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April 21, 2004

Complexity is more unavoidable than death

Thought provoking research paper by University of Toronto professors, from the abstract :

We are doomed to formulate conceptual structures that are much simpler than
the complex phenomena they are attempting to account for. These simple conceptual
structures shield us, pragmatically, from real-world complexity, but also fail, frequently, as
some aspect of what we did not take into consideration makes itself manifest. The failure
of our concepts dysregulates our emotions and generates anxiety, necessarily, as the
unconstrained world is challenging and dangerous. Such dysregulation can turn us into
rigid, totalitarian dogmatists, as we strive to maintain the structure of our no longer valid
beliefs. Alternatively, we can face the underlying complexity of experience, voluntarily,
gather new information, and recast and reconfigure the structures that underly our habitable

There is a lesson for technology proponents here that any system claiming to solve complexity should leave one door open for allowing itself to be self-corrected based on the ever changing realities.

April 21, 2004 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink


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