Cosma Shalizi says Complex Systems are those with many strongly interdependent variables. This excludes systems with only a few effective variables, the kind we meet in elementary dynamics. It also excludes systems with many independent variables; we learn how to deal with them in elementary statistical mechanics. Complexity appears where coupling is important, but doesn't freeze out most Degrees Of Freedom.
Most Human Systems are complex.
Complex Systems are unpredictable. Sorry.
- trying to improve them is a Wicked problem.
- Bob Frankston noted (private group): The key is not redundancy but Resilience... As to Civilization-s and complexity - one way to think of it is that if things work too well you loss resilience. Y2K was a nonissue because it presumed highly coupled systems but those can't survive even without Y2K.
- this article about removing traffic lights and signs (Naked Street-s) to increase Street Traffic safety seems like an example of de-optimizing to increase resilience. Ben Hamilton Baillie smells like the guru in this movement.
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