Quotes & References

This is, by no means, intended as an exhaustive list merely a few notable comments relating to, such as: complexity, risk, uncertainty, interdependence…more to come from me and PLEASE do not hesitate to suggest others worthwhile entries for inclusion.

Albert Einstein "I wouldn’t give a nickel for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity."
Nassim Taleb "Simplicity should be kept at all cost for it may be the only ingredient that can make good, offset or compensate for the very complex system of globalization."
Prof Kevin C Craig PhD “In a complex system, learning how all the pieces—constant and variable—interact gives a depth of understanding that averts catastrophe. That is what we mean by human-centred design—understanding the interfaces among technology, people, communities, governments, and nature. This is what makes complexity manageable”.
Nassim N Taleb & A Pilpel( on errors in Risk assessment) "If one needs data to obtain a probability distribution to gauge knowledge about the future behaviour of the distribution from its past results, and if, at the same time, one needs a probability distribution to gauge data sufficiency and whether or not it is predictive of the future, then we are facing a severe regress loop"."This is a problem of self reference …since a probability distribution is used to assess the degree of truth – but cannot reflect on its own degree of truth and validity. And, unlike many problems of self reference, ones related to risk assessment have severe consequences". 
Jason Jones Insurance & underwriting Presentation by Jones Consulting. The Insurance industry requires a "Paradigm Shift from Risk to Uncertainty" 
Prof Thomas Homer-Dixon Society & Environment "Key point: just because everything looks relatively calm on a society’s surface doesn’t mean that everything is fine underneath. Incremental, long-term, and largely invisible shifts in a society’s complexity and interconnectedness, in the quality of the resources it depends on, and in its relations with its natural environment can make a society progressively more vulnerable to sudden, sharp, and enormously disruptive bursts of change."PREPARE TODAY FOR TOMORROW’S BREAKDOWNToronto Globe and Mail
Ulrich Beck(Author of: Risk Society)Sociology "Current societies, according to Beck, are characterised by their extreme complexity at a moment in history in which traditional political institutions have lost much of the power, a power which has now passed into the hands of multinational companies with their relocation strategies. In this situation, a growing deregulation can also be observed which, in turn, rebounds in the appearance of new risks and uncertainties."
Joseph Tainter(Author of The Collapse of Complex Societies) When the value of complexity turns negative, a society plagued by an inability to react remains as complex as ever, right up to the moment where it becomes suddenly and dramatically simpler, which is to say right up to the moment of collapse. Collapse is simply the last remaining method of simplification.
Heinz Pagels (1939-1988), the physicist and writer of several science books including The Computer and the Rise of the Sciences of Complexity “The nations and people who master the new science of complexity will become the economical, cultural and political superpowers of the next century.”
Garrett Hardin “The reliability that matters is not the simple reliability of one component of a system, but the final reliability of the total control system”
Douglas Hostadter "It turns out that an eerie type of chaos can lurk just behind a facade of order – and yet, deep inside the chaos lurks an even eerier type of order"
Douglas Adams
(Creator of Dilbert)
“Complexity is often a natural outgrowth of success. Man-made complexity is simply a combination of things that we figured out how to do right, one layered on top of the other, until failure is achieved”
John Maeda "Openness simplifies complexity"
John Maynard Keynes "Too large a proportion of recent "mathematical" economics are mere concoctions, as imprecise as the initial assumptions they rest on, which allow the author to lose sight of the complexities and interdependencies of the real world in a maze of pretentious and unhelpful symbols."
John Mariotti …manage complexity better and improve profitability, while reducing risks! Too good to be true? NO. It works.
Prof Thomas Homer-Dixon “Societies become inexorably more complex as they try and solve their problems, this complexity costs energy, and over time, that complexity produces diminishing returns”
Vaclav Smil Greater complexity that was required to make the forecasts more realistic also necessitated the introduction of longer chains of concatenated assumptions—and this necessity was defeating the very quest for greater realism…
Dave Gray
Author, "The Connected Company"
“Companies are not really machines, so much as complex, dynamic, growing systems. After all, companies are really just groups of people who have banded together to achieve some kind of purpose…”

Professor George Rzevski

“Build complexity into an artefact to make it adaptable……. to have artefacts of all kind capable of adapting and being resilient…”

Dave Snowden [Cynefin]

Complexity is more a way of thinking about the world than a new way of working with mathematical models. Over a century ago, Frederick Winslow Taylor, the father of scientific management, revolutionised leadership. Today, advances in complexity science, combined with knowledge from the cognitive sciences, are transforming the field once again. Complexity is poised to help current and future leaders make sense of advanced technology, globalisation, intricate markets, cultural change, and much more. In short, the science of complexity can help all of us address the challenges and opportunities we face in a new epoch of human history.

Prof John Kay

“…complexity breeds complexity, and is subject to diminishing  returns. Eventually the costs of increased complexity exceed the benefits”

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