Communicating Science: Systems

I’m a committed advocate for the importance of systems theory, cybernetics and complexity science but the solution of communication precisely is the problem. It is not a bundle of ideas or throwaway conceptual vocabularies that can ever compress down to a brief logo.

The conservation of cognitive as much as cultural resources predisposes people to a lowest common (representational) denominator. The consequences of this are that the kinds of ideas, frameworks, narratives and conceptual schemas that do percolate to ascendance are generally those that most readily and rapidly self-replicate; if history and experience is much to go to by, they are generally not the smartest or most sophisticated of solutions.

If those narrative artefacts that maximally self-propagate do so as a function of statistical inevitability the most probable salience in any policy or regulatory landscape is implicitly alienated from the means and methods by which it might effect most positive change in the world. This further complicates matters because the practice of information or material organisation management becomes progressively more abstracted away from the most sophisticated models of reality it requires and even as they acquire greater accuracy.

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