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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Complexity or simplicity?

You probably met a "scientific" tendency to separate things in their representation (various descriptions of reality) making them complex. I meet the examples of such a tendency so often that think the words "science" and "complexity" have become synonyms. The same was (and I think still is) with the words "science" and "analysis".

Yes of course there can be the reasons to announce the representation of things as "complex" and then analyze them. From my viewpoint the reasons for that, for example, are followings:

- There is a legacy of methods (distributed by educational system) to think and consider reality or its description, which lead to complexity. It can be risky because such a social institute like "science", funded by state budgets, is situated between reality and general public, which can’t verify the scientific results and is forced to rely on them. Did you hear: "I believe in science"?
- Education to succeed usually costs money (brand name schools and universities) and it’s "good" marketing trick to market, for example, all these managerial disciplines (strategy, human resources, knowledge management, customer relationships, etc.) for years of paid studying instead of one discipline – management.
- Science is based on experiment and/or on specific language (professional jargon). How much time you can spend to learn the languages within your national language in order to use new scientific products?

In fact such descriptive abundance limits consumption and may lead business into wrong direction - descriptions don’t describe reality and economical crisis becomes a natural reaction to match them (reality and its description). But who pay for that?

Let’s consider how to substitute some complexity by simplicity.

For example, if you’re trying to find answers to Kipling questions (I suggest additional 2 questions - "from what?" and "by what?", including in the framework for collaborative self-consulting) you may not to get answers. What does it mean? Complexity? I think it may mean there is no description relevant to your reality.

If you run business, try answering the question "what your business does?" and you can realize that except products for market your business produces waste products in which you also invested, but also you pay for their utilization (of course its depend on your industry). If so, how long you will be ready to pay double (if not more) for useless products and their utilization?

Maybe its time to revise accumulated knowledge in order to find other cheap methods to satisfy your customers (without waste products) by creating new demand (healthier)? If not you, your competitors probably go this direction and will reduce their costs. By the way, the word "simplify" has the meaning: "to reduce".


A quote from "Fundamentals of Complexity Science. A call for research proposals":

"£2.5 million of research funding is available to develop fundamental theory, tools and techniques that will be applicable across a wide range of complex systems.

Addressing complexity presents a real test for the whole of science and society. It challenges traditional academic divisions, frameworks and paradigms, opening up new and exciting interdisciplinary frontiers. The EPSRC wishes to increase the UK capacity in complexity science by supporting research into fundamental theory, tools & techniques of complexity science as described in our Delivery Plan ...

... models of climate change involve hundreds of equations that contain such enormous uncertainty in parameter values that the models are even the subject of intense debate amongst politicians, some of whom use this lack of certainty to question whether climate change even exists.

Whilst it is clear that there is urgent need to develop new theoretical approaches to complex systems, there is also a surprising unity in the theoretical requirements across disciplines".

1 comment:

Nikolay Kryachkov said...

Value networks host a discussion about "Complexity or simplicity?".

To see it click a blue link Complexity or simplicity? above my post.