Complexity: The Haven of the Status Quo

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The sophistication of simplicity.

Currently, my team and I are analyzing and evaluating all of the visual applications in the industry. We are beginning to question the plethora of “features” and asking are these elementals or molecules composed of elementals that we are dealing with? If they are molecules, we are breaking the bonds and looking at the atoms that compose them. We are throwing out all of the molecules from our interaction designs and only offering the atoms. If you want a molecule, you build it.

We are asking the same questions about media. What is fundamental to media what are the nodes and what are the links? How do we break the links (rules) that compose them?

The result is simplicity. We are learning what the elemental atoms are and the fundamental bonds between them. We are exploring what digital technology is making possible and questioning all our premises. Do we need these nodes? Do we need these lines? Do we need these tables? Do we need these networks?

We are finding that complexity is the haven of those that want to conceal the fundamentals and profit from our ignorance. Complexity is an obstacle to the change we need to implement to escape the trap of the banking institutions, the lending institutions, the credit institutions, the existing infrastructures and resource companies who profit off of what we think we need. Complexity is only a necessity to those who want to entrench the status quo through mental red tape we neither need or want.

Destroy the rule systems that exist throughout society. We don’t need to streamline. We need to disintegrate the existing power structures.

The bonus monies disbursed to bank executives was payment by the powers that be to those who succeeded in generating massive profits at the expense of the American people and the world. It was payment for creating a system so complex we could not let them topple for fear of bringing down everything with it. But the secret is to let them topple by destroying their nodes and links, hubs and networks. Such freedom and responsibility is a scary prospect, but “You will miss us when we are gone!” is not a business model. Complexity is fat and American capitalism is gluttony.

Put down the plate and lose the weight.

Rediscover the freedom and responsibility of simplicity.

Use Visualization to identify and destroy complexity.

Jared Diamond: Societal Collapse

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If you listen carefully to what Jared Diamond is saying in the TED video above, he is describing not a five part, but a six part power curve into a systemic singularity. This has been one of the core themes of discussion of this blog.  We all seem to be too close to our problems to see the commonality.  The interrogatives come into play here:

  1. Goals
  2. People
  3. Functions
  4. Forms
  5. Times
  6. Distances

Times and Distances being the basis on which the higher orders are built.

When we look at the recent economic “crisis” we see 300 trillion in currency circulating and roughly 1 trillion to 2 trillion shifting suddenly and unexpectedly.  We witnessed a systemic collapse, a singularity, a tipping point, a power curve, an exponential change, a phase transition or whatever label you want to call it.  These have been happening everywhere since Time and Distance began in different contexts and orders both in human and non-human systems.

What Jared Diamond and other alarmists are implying is that human society is now a system approaching its final singularity in this century on this planet.  We are implying that today we are experiencing a less than one percent crisis on a power curve into a singularity.  How many more iterations will the global system withstand?  Will humanity make the step into space successfully before we experience a global dark age?  How will the six or more factors in the power curve play out?

The truth to me appears to be that power curves whether they play out or not result in either a systemic climax or anti-climax followed by a systemic collapse.  Would it not be better if we experienced a systemic climax that led to us expanding into the solar system?

Systemic collapse seems to be the fashion of this generation.  Every generation looks with fascination at its own youth, maturition, reproduction and acceleration into mortality.  Some die early, some die late, but all die.  It is an irrevocable law of nature.  It is not about self-interest.  It is about what self-interest is defined as.

Related Posts:

Beyond the Singularity

Servitas and Libertas

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Cooperation Studies: A New Story

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Howard Rheingold, introduces a new story regarding how human systems are acting collectively. Cooperation has created entirely new systems with new motives, organization, processes, inventory, geography and tempos. And new technology is becoming a ever more powerful catalyst for cooperation as we are experiencing in smart mobs and wikinomics.

Here’s Howard’s own video on Blip.tv

Here’s Howard’s presentation at the TED 2005 Conference