Complexity: what is it and why is the subject so complex?
Have you ever wondered why such simple projects become such important events? Or why, when you are planning with a group, do the criteria for organizing an event keep growing and growing? Well, we know that our government bureaucracy continues to grow, and the number of laws we have on the books does too, and let’s not even start talking about our tax code. But have you ever wondered why so much complexity in the world?
Why do things evolve from simplicity to complexity, all the time seemingly on the brink of chaos? Well, these things have puzzled historians, lawyers, philosophers, and even mathematicians for centuries, even to this day, when someone thinks they have it all documented, figured out, and under control, it just gets more complex.
It’s almost as if you follow the third law of thermodynamics, right? Maybe, but you would be surprised to know everything that goes on behind the scenes when trying to prove or disprove this. In fact, I would like to recommend a very good book on this subject. One that I often use as a reference when writing my article online. The name of the book is:
“Complexity – The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos” by M. Mitchell Waldrop, Touchstone Publishers, a division of Simon and Schuster, New York, NY, (1992), 380 pages, ISBN: 0-671-87234- 6.
This is the same author who wrote a book called “Chaos” and how appropriate it is that this book has to deal with complexity. Although it was written long before the information age came into full swing, this is a great book; both from a philosophical and scientific perspective. Many believe that one day supercomputers can decipher the future, tell us about the past, in a way that transcends time; I myself tend to believe this, but can you be wondering?
Maybe, yes, maybe it’s a possible future eventuality. So why not learn more about the reality of complexity, the complexity that surrounds us every day, wherever we go, and is omnipresent regardless of our awareness of that reality? If you have any ideas on this topic or if you would like to discuss this book with me, please email me. In the meantime, consider all of this and think about the complexity of life, systems, economics, physics, cosmology, chemistry, earth science, climate, society, and predicting the present future.