techbeat writes: Civilisation, goes an old maxim, is four meals away from barbarism – once the food deliveries stop, so does law and order. That could mean trouble for the political uprising in Egypt. It may also be what triggered it, says Debora MacKenzie at New Scientist. Scientists who study complex systems have been warning that ever-tighter coupling among the world's finance, energy and food systems would result in waves of political instability. Some say that is now happening in the Middle East.