Complicated or complex

Complicated is like a tangled ball of string. With perseverance, there is a way to sort and create order.

Complex is like trying to gather mercury. The moment you touch it it changes into a thousand new pieces and your solution is now compounded a hundredfold. 

Before we jump to problem solving it is worth asking if this problem is complicated or complex. 

To work with complex problems like the issues in the Middle East or Latin America, we need a completely different way of thinking. It certainly doesn’t require intervention from a meddling third party that will just disperse the mercury and compound the problem one hundred, one thousandfold.

Complex requires first and foremost a whole systems view. Start with Universe. The global flows. Economy, climate, trade, resource availability, puppeteers pulling strings. 

Similarly to blockchain. Almost all the responses in the blockchain field are working on complicated problems, forgetting that the mechanism for recording trust and value in a distributed way lives in the larger field of the complex. Few understand what currency, money, trust and value really are and the consequences of removing humans from their stewardship and handing it to a machine.

There is a neurobiological developmental ability to work in the complex arena. Our thinking and consideration need to adapt to working with complexity and refuse the impulse to be reductive in our thinking.

Einstein said it best. We cannot solve today’s problems with the same level of thinking that created them.

A few great questions.

Is it complicated or complex? 

How do we educate for the capacity to work with complex?

Who has the ability to work with complex fluently?

February 27th 2019

Photo taken February 27th 2019


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