Sunday, January 17, 2010

Complex Adaptive Systems

I need to do some more reading about about Complex Adaptive Systems, so that I can do a better job of explaining the point that I have been trying to get across in earlier posts.


I have often advocated the use of scientific techniques to improve society. I will now try to give an explanation of what I mean by that.

The scientific process is a technique for gaining knowledge about the world around us. Hypothesis are formulated, then experiments designed to test those hypothesis. The data from the experiments is analyzed, then the hypothesis modified, new experiments designed and performed. In many fields, experiments cannot be performed, but the real world is observed to see how well the hypothesis explains what is going on. This loop of thinking, experimenting, observing, analysis, and refinement is a never ending process. Over time, ideas that are contradicted by the evidences are discarded. This is my highly simplified amateur explanation.

When I advocate applying scientific techniques to social, economic, & political systems, I am talking about this never ending self improving loop of thinking, simulating, acting, observing and analysis. The exact nature of this loop will be fine tuned in each arena, so the way physics is done will not be how politics is done, but the higher level iterative process can be applied in all areas. What is needed is to entrench the concept of constant and never ending improvement in everything we do.

CANI is an acronym that I got from the book, "Awaken The Giant Within" by Anthony Robbins. I don't know how good the rest of the book is, since two readings of the book didn't help me find the Giant. CANI is an acronym for "constant and never ending improvement".