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A-Z of the Future > Complexity

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The world is comprised of a network of interconnected systems. From the most elementary particle, to the human body, to how we construct society and to the formation of our universe, these are all comprised of a system of one kind or another.


Systems are nested within larger systems and are pourous, constantly interacting with other systems. Understanding how our reality if reliant on these systems helps us to see that the world is not machine-like with simple cause and effect relationships, and clear purposes or goals. Rather the world is a complex, dynamic and highly unpredictable network of interactions that constantly adapt and co-evolve. Appreciating this has fundamental impacts for how we think about the future.


The connections between humanity, technology, environments and society are so utterly complex, that it becomes impossible to be anywhere near certain of where the future will take us.


It requires that we have more humility in our ability to make predictions, as it's impossible to fully understand this myriad of interconnectivity. The future is almost infinitely complex which is why grand predictions about the future are nearly always wrong.


But complexity should not make us fearful of making predictions or thinking about what might happen though. Prediction is good if it encourages us to face up to social problems that already exist, it’s bad when it leads us to be passive whether through a belief that the future is inevitable and  beyond our control or that technology will simply fix our problems for us.


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