Observation: Is life more complicated (#5)?


The Buzztracker Daily Image, under World News in the column on the right is neat tool to see a snapshot of major news around the world.

Columbia University Press defines [1]:

Complexity, in science, field of study devoted to the process of self-organization. The basic concept of complexity is that all things tend to organize themselves into patterns, e.g., ant colonies, immune systems, and human cultures; further, they go through cycles of growth, mass extinction, regeneration, and evolution. Complexity looks for the mathematical equations that describe the middle ground between equilibrium and chaos, such as the interplay between supply and demand in an economy or the relationship among living organisms in an ecosystem.

The definition above tacitly describes complexity in terms of simplification, or reduction. That is the degree to which there is a lack of discernible patterns or structures represents the degree of complexity.

This suggests a sequence or evolution: things that may initially appear complex are simplified through study to identify the patterns. A complex system therefore is one that has yet reached some threshold. So many things seem complex because they have yet to reach the threshold. People tend to make things complicated because they have yet to think through the problem; they are in the early stages of understanding.

The creators of Buzztracker thought through the problem and have presented one pattern for simplification. It’s not the only pattern, no doubt there are others identified or yet to be identified. They will be identified if there is a critical mass of people that continue to have difficulty in understanding.


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