Notes I took from a Dave Snowden presentation in 2009...
The key lesson of complexity is that a lack of constraints can only be chaotic, whereas over constraint leads to catastrophic failure - Dave Snowden, http://www.cognitive-edge.com/blogs/dave/2010/05/tommy_can_you_hear_me…
The complexity of the present world is shattering expectations in every arena, most especially, in the geography of the soul. Lost as we all are, we can understand why some retreat into fundamentalisms that provide archaic certainties, holding houses of containment before the onrush of new realities. Others wander in a spiritual void, overwhelmed by the loss of all pattern, looking to material accomplishments to replace the loss of essence. Still others flee into "replacement strategies"-- psychotherapy, drugs, sex, growth seminars, travel - Jean Houston http://www.dailygrail.com/Religion-and-Spirituality/2010/3/The-Future-G…
One of the problems of taking things apart and seeing how they work - supposing you're trying to find out how a cat works--you take that cat apart to see how it works, what you've got in your hands is a non-working cat. The cat wasn't a sort of clunky mechanism that was susceptible to our available tools of analysis - Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Most of us think of our DNA as sort of locked in our body, waiting to be passed on to our children, but in fact your DNA at every moment is interacting with your environment, interacting with every bite of food you take, interacting with your thoughts, your feelings, and various things, so when you take a bite of food, literally, the information -- beyond the calories in the food -- goes right into your cells, into your DNA, and switches on genes, or turns off genes based on what information is in that food - Dr. Mark Hyman
Man's mind cannot grasp the causes of events in their completeness, but the desire to find those causes is implanted in man's soul. And without considering the multiplicity and complexity of the conditions any one of which taken separately may seem to be the cause, he snatches at the first approximation to a cause that seems to him intelligible and says: "This is the cause!" - Nikolai Tolstoy, War and Peace
Complexity thinking in contrast focuses not on closing the gap to some ideal future but on describing the present and making small changes now, in order to evolve to some future state which could not be anticipated but which is more stable and resilient than any idea - Dave Snowden http://cognitive-edge.com/blog/entry/5811/all-is-vanity-nothing-is-fair/
Categorisation is dangerous as you miss out the fuzzy bits between - Dave Snowden, http://www.cognitive-edge.com/blogs/dave/2010/03/km_hong_kong.php
The UN is a new form of evolution which should occupy the attention of the best minds of this planet. It is a comprehensive evolving network: a system of innumerable, interacting sub-systems, from nations to individuals, from the infinitely large to the infinitely small, within an ever-expanding time framework. It is an entirely new, fundamental biological phenomenon which will wipe out all former political science. We need more biologists as political leaders - Robert Muller