Brunelleschi or other architects of the renaissance did not set out to design spandrels, those curved triangular areas between the arches supporting cupolas. Even if later on spandrels turned out to have their own utility, they appeared initially only as byproducts of adaptations. The same happens in evolution: not everything adaptive today appeared because it […]
Psychology, mass media research, and even behavioral economics have of late become very interested in the phenomenon called priming or framing: the fact that being exposed first to one stimulus biases one’s response to a second stimulus. Priming and framing prevent us from discovering and consciously exploiting the current utility of byproducts of previous adaptations. […]
Under the classical, mechanstic paradigm, identities were delimited by crisp, sharp edges — crisply defined conceptual boundaries, if you will. But the contextual embeddedness of complex systems makes them more like bramble bushes than geometrical shapes. Even worse, boundary conditions actually structure and organize complexity — just like the Aristotelian formal causes of old. The […]
Today’s front page of the Wall St Journal has a hilarious article on the serious debate in France concerning whether or not “informatique en nuage” is an appropriate rendering of “cloud computing.” Both France and Spain have official commissions that rule on the appropriateness of neologisms and terminology (France’s General Commission of Terminology & Neology […]
I guess Nobels also go for hope. I guess, too, that just as there are sins of omission there are also prizes for omission, for not being… I’m a big Obama fan, but… Started Socialnomics but quit after the third page when I read “principals” instead of “principles.” I’ve always tolerated “fast but sloppy” (evolution […]
Are the following incompatible? 1. Manufacturers and their sales force want the very “design of everyday things” to point to the way a product is to be used (Norman); consumers feel comfortable when they can slot a product into a familiar category. 2. Industries thrive on innovation, and radical innovation is a matter of “redomaining” […]
I love October. Tis the season of Nobel, MacArthur, and Booker awards — celebrations of true accomplishments not celebrity. And this is the time of early, glorious Fall weather in Washington, D.C. I didn’t even lose my cool at standing in line for over 95 minutes at various branches of the US Post Office without […]
I just learned that the very concept of blackmail didn’t really exist prior to the 19th century. Before the rise of “professional classes” whose economic and social status depended on their reputation, the whole idea of blackmail was by and large logically impossible: nobles remained members of the nobility — with all the rights and […]
Or is it just Cuban complexity? I’m currently consumed with getting the word out about Complejidad 2010, the 5th biennial conference on the Philosophical Applications of Complexity Theory, which will be held next January 6-8 in Havana, Cuba. Doyne Farmer will deliver the opening talk, Niles Eldredge the closing address. Daniel Brooks, John Collier, Alvaro […]
The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.
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