Categories
Philosophy

Solving Complexity

Complex systems require complex solutions and global problems require global thinking. The application of holistic analyses to complex adaptive systems obligates us to come up with solutions that are themselves complex adaptive systems.

An evolutionary feedback loop is the only plausible way to align adaptive technical solutions with “real-world” volatility and uncertainty.

Obtaining contextual tenure and sustainably persistent relevance is a function of the technical solutions we are compelled to develop and of a creative aptitude to recursively evolve those solutions themselves. As Heraclitus opined: no one ever steps into the same river twice.

The unrelenting, effervescing self-propagation of biological complexity is the shape of both what we need to understand and of the ways in which we must model and simulate those artefacts, entities and systems.

Complex systems require complex solutions. Global problems require global thinking. The thing about applying holistic analyses to complex adaptive systems is that any obligation to assert solutions that are themselves complex adaptive systems invokes a strategy that applies far beyond the specific problems addressed. Where we define optimal solutions in any one context, we define them everywhere.

In an accelerating world, our only possible play is to embrace the intractable uncertainty of the systems we are attempting to understand. Rationality has for far too long attempted to define itself in and as an alienation of the messy, ambiguous facts of the natural systems that have brought us all into existence. We will only ever be able to understand and harness the underlying symmetries and hyper-inflating complexities of nature if we acknowledge that they are not and never were separate from us or our technologies and scientific knowledge.

In order to solve complex problems, we need to think globally and come up with complex solutions that are themselves complex adaptive systems. This requires that we accept that there will never be a “best” solution or most accurate approximation to truth, there will only be “better” ones. We can only ever “solve” complexity and the myriad complex environmental, organisational, technological and political problems that face us all and as a unified humanity if we are prepared to admit that there is no closure here, there is only endlessly adaptive and indefinitely extensible evolution.

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