Networks and complexity

I enjoyed Antony Mayfield’s notes on business networks. This line resonated strongly:

We don’t grasp how magnificently terrifyingly complex networks are. We like to draw pictures of them and then think we’ve captured their meaning, when they are more like the weather – always changing, hyper-complex.

One thing I see a lot of are presentations and books that do a good job showing how old models fail to capture the wonders of complexity. Sadly, these so often go on to make the mistake Antony names. They come up with a new way to “close the field”, and in the guise of unlocking the mysteries of complexity, they merely repackage it as if it’s just complicated.

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