From the power grid to the stock market to the latest iOS, complex systems are plagued by unintended glitches, unpredictable behavior, and unexplainable system failures. Why can’t we make things simpler? Is technological complexity inevitable? And how are we supposed to deal with technology that nobody can understand anymore?
In Overcomplicated, complexity scientist Samuel Arbesman explores the forces that lead us to continue to make systems more complicated and more incomprehensible, despite our desperate desire for them to be more coherent. He offers a new framework for dealing with complex systems. We must abandon the idea that we can understand the rules, and instead become field biologists for technology, relying on description and observation to uncover facts about how a system might work.
Whether you work in business, finance, science, or IT—or you simply own a smart phone—Overcomplicated offers valuable insight on how to adapt to the complex age we are living in.
Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension
by Samuel Arbesman