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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Complexity Made Simple

Complexity Made Simple

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Monday, May 15, 2017/Categories: video, sustainability, art and design, environment

                                 Flavor Complexity and Food Influences Web (credit: NPR)

Eric Berlow is an ecologist who studies complex ecosystems. He utilizes visualization tools to search for important patterns in his field data. Berlow demonstrates how his approach was applied to alpine lakes and helped determine the critical factors underlying their ecology. Berlow then used his strategy to see if it could be applied to a military situation where social complexity faced Special Forces training officials in Afghanistan. The practical results were surprising.`

The military/social data analysis drew the attention of Sean Courley, a physicist, who studied the 'mathematics of war'. The two thinkers combined their interests to see if ecological pattern recognition and physics algorithms could be appleid to a visual archive of complex concepts, ideas. They demonstrated how ideas presented in presentations were connected, could be visually mapped, and how their transmission had been accelerated globally. In the process, the two researchers took complexity and reduced it to its "simplest common denominators" with broad utility.

Ideas represent one of the most powerful engines for 21st Century growth. We only need to pay attention and be willing to give them a try.



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