The link between procrastination and complexity

neural network failure

Image by onkel_wart via Flickr

Before you read these extracts or go to the full article PLEASE consider this. If complexity is created to facilitate problem-solving we educate (add complexity) to our brain to deal with the tasks that confront us on a daily basis as we go about our lives or in the workplace.

  • We train our body to manage tasks requiring physical exertion
  • We develop our business system to add functionality and create competitive advantage
  • We expand our social and business groups to enrich our lives – and to resolve “bigger” problems together INTERDEPENDENTLY
  • We add to our IT network and computer memory to ensure there is adequate speed and capacity, etc.

I’m sure you get the picture.

What happens when the system, to which we add this problem-solving complexity, reaches the point of “critical complexity” (upper limit), or, as a result of some exogenous or endogenous force, is impaired? Read more of this post

Complexity: it’s complex, real, multi-layered and VERY dangerous


Image by J. Star via Flickr

My previous blogs referring to Joseph Tainter’s book, The Collapse of Complex Societies were, again, brought to mind by a recent article, by Prof John Kay, in the Financial Times (Barbarians at the gates of complexity).

The following is an extract from a speech Tainter delivered in 2009. Interestingly the focus of the full version, which can be found here, was Sustainability…another topic close to my heart!

…complexity costs. In any living system, increased complexity (involving differentiation in structure and increasing organization) carries a metabolic cost. In non-human species this is a straightforward matter of additional calories. Among humans the cost is calculated in such currencies as resources, effort, time, or money, or by more subtle matters such as annoyance. While humans find complexity appealing in spheres such as art, music, or architecture, we usually prefer that someone else pay the cost. We are averse to complexity when it unalterably increases the cost of daily life without a clear benefit to the individual or household. Before the development of fossil fuels, increasing the complexity and costliness of a society meant that people worked harder. Read more of this post