Earlier this week Chris Corrigan pointed to a great blog post from one of my favorite curmudgeons, Dave Snowden (Dave, yes, I think a cacophony of curmudgeon’s is perfect!) on the heuristics of complexity. Dave wrote in (Of tittering, twittering & twitterpating) the following:
We need to draw a fine line between legitimate experimentation and slipping into magpiedom and the legitimacy probably depends on the degree to which there is a coherent narrative around the core activity.
Aside from that I made a serious of points that apply more generally, as well as to the foresight community who were my primary targets. They included:
- The whole success of social computing is because it conforms to the three heuristics of complex systems: finely grained objects, distributed cognition & disintermediation
- I an uncertain world we need fast, real time feedbacks not linear processes and criticism includes short cycle experimental processes which remain linear.
- The real dangers are retrospective coherence and premature convergence
- Narrative is vital, but story-telling is at best ambiguous
- Need to shift from thinking about drivers to modulators
- You can’t eliminate cognitive bias, you work with it
- Extrinsic rewards destroy intrinsic motivation
- Messy coherence is the essence of managing complexity
I suggest you read the whole post for context (and humor). I could ruminate on any of these, but I have my peeps coming into town starting today for the Seattle KM4Dev Gathering (Dave, we’ll still try and tempt you!) so I’ll just say this one is my focus for the week: “Need to shift from thinking about drivers to modulators.”
As we explore next week the practice of “managing knowledge” for international development, this could be a cracking good opener… Now I need a visual. Any ideas?