Understanding complexity: A prerequisite for sustainable design

The sciences of complexity are a variety of process-oriented areas of research exploring non- linear dynamics within complex systems. As I have mentioned before, the simplest definition for a complex system is any system with more than three interacting variables. Complexity is thus a common feature of the world we inhabit. Daniel Christian Wahl –…More

Uber’s Path of Destruction

Since it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major share of the urban car service market. But the widespread belief that it is a highly innovative and successful company has no basis in economic reality.…More

COMPLEXITY RISING: From Human Beings to Human Civilization, a Complexity Profile

Since time immemorial humans have complained that life is becoming more complex, but it is only now that we have a hope to analyze formally and verify this lament. This article analyzes the human social environment using the “complexity profile,” a mathematical tool for characterizing the collective behavior of a system. The analysis is used…More

Were the principles of life invented or discovered?

Even if you are not a reductionist and believe, as I do, that there is genuine causal power and functionality in the arrangements of things that is not contained in the things themselves or fully explainable by their low-level interactions, you are still left with the question of where that functionality comes from. It does…More

7 Differences between complex and complicated

Many people believe that complexity is just higher order complicatedness i.e. that there is a continuum and that the difference is one of degree, not type.  When one considers however how very different these states are from each other, I tend to agree with Dave Snowden when he says that there are in fact phase shifts between them…More

Knowledge Work Effectiveness not Efficiency

The default marketing strategy for this category of tool is to emphasize efficiency…. The marketing from efficiency argument is simple to articulate and deeply rooted in an industrial mindset. Tools are good if they make workers more efficient; Frederick Taylor opined on the size and shape of shovels to improve the efficiency of strong-backed men…More

Touch Screens and the Loss of Nuanced Control

As software eats more of the world, we’re abstracting more controls to panes of glass. Touchscreen-based user interfaces are more flexible and cheaper to design, develop, deploy, and iterate than dedicated physical controls. But touchscreens come at the expense of nuanced control in critical situations, where tighter feedback loops between the system and its operators…More