Tag Archives: complexity

#34 On frameworks around complexity

Dear Jamie

The “innate maps” you talk about are the same toolkit I meant when I said “‘Heuristics, rules of thumbs, feel your way around locally, learn from error.” But I don’t think these have the weaknesses of the other frameworks and so aren’t maps in my analogy. These innate responses can definitely, definitely be wrong. And how. But the point I want to stress is that they in principle don’t exclude any physically possible course of action. While maps can be defined by the course of actions they exclude.

A map is a guide, an explanation, a rule, a representation but what makes it a map is that it is static and predictable. Like a good explanation it is fragile, it’s strength comes from its reproducibility. Innate responses are not consistent, often irrational and maybe even random. Which at least reflects how the world is. Maybe the right way to go is Continue reading #34 On frameworks around complexity

#13 On trumping our instincts

Dear Mat,

Sorry I’m late.┬áCan I blame Trump?

Anyway, as for your last letter,┬ánot bad. It’s like the reduced randomness = better art idea. It reminds one of Kolmogorov complexity. As you know, that’s where the complexity of a string of information is proportional to the length of a computer program that could reproduce it. A string of 6.66666… could be of infinite length but is not very complex at all, because a tiny computer program could describe it. A sequence of random digits, however, cannot be easily summarised or programmed and any algorithm that would do so would be at least as long as the sequence itself. Of course, that makes complexity something close to randomness. Continue reading #13 On trumping our instincts