Versions of Complexity
I had the pleasure of co-teaching Complexity by Design at Parsons SDM last semester and engaging with wonderful thinkers and institutes in this space.
It is becoming increasingly clear that complex thinking (definition to come later) is a core part of modern life. This was discussed in different circles before we all got into this state of unknowingness.
I have been working with a very acute definition of complexity, but given that the field is emerging (no pun intended), I wanted to linger a moment on its positionality.
I have been working with 2.5 versions of complexity: a partial list of links and resources to follow.
V1: Scientific #
Santa Fe Institute, and their Complexity Explorers Group on FB
Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies
other topics include: chaos, fractals, bio-mimicry, modeling, netLOGO
V2: Management #
V 2.5: Self-Leading #
A lot of the leadership advice, individuation, Jungian ideas of synchronicity, and adjacent thinking on signifiers and semiotics are all very much complexity friendly.
Mostly because they accept the behaviorist nature of our world (the noise in your head is different than mine).
My working list of axioms around complex systems is as follows:
interconnected overrules design: they are not designable
in fact: emergence (‘it just happens…’ as one student informally articulated) is the opposite of design
a system is as complex as we need it to be: we can exercise reduction if the situation allows and seek extra details (context) when the solution slides off the problem
complex systems are open-ended
hence a machine can never be truly intelligent, by the way (I recommend Marcus’ book for those interested in that point)
Complicated systems–like a car, computer program, or highway system–are an elaborate stacking of known constructs.
We can model the difference between complex and complicated as designing a highway system or designing fewer accidents.
p.s. I am sure I left links out; please comment with ideas and suggestions - I would love to add to this list.