13 February, 2014

3-1-10 understanding systems: Second order effect

What is the relation between uncertainty, change, and interdependence?

-          What makes a complex system a very hard thing to understand and predict is that it has a unique and unpredictable interdependencies that we don't figure out yet. So, there is still uncertainty about a lot of stuff in it
That's best explained by a term called (Second order effect):

We can make a change to a very complex system, and we may predict what is the direct consequence of that move. But there are consequences to this consequence and there are effects to this … which is known by (second and third and fourth order effects) … that in the end; the final effect of this may result in things COMPLETELY opposite to what you intend to get by taking this course of action in the first place

-          The smallest change in a complex system results in huge consequences, mostly unpredictable
-          The basic rule of a complex system is: you DON'T mess with a system that you don't fully understand. You will do more harm by messing with it than if you let it by itself

-          Internalizing these concepts and understanding them is the best way to begin dealing with such systems