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Chaos is not order; it is the highest form of order

July 12, 2012

All living systems (including our own human systems, as much as we may deceive ourselves to the contrary) emerge naturally, with chaos as the over-riding organising force.

Many intelligent humans have built complex computer programs to model chaos within human systems (for example, the stock market). While we have become aware of operating principles, rules, patterns and order within nature, it is chaos that is the over-riding organising force in life, eluding predictability – ordered yet spontaneous, one of life’s beautiful paradoxes. Societies and economies are emergent, beyond control. Though predicting the future may be appealing, it is through understanding and align­ing ourselves with the basic rules of nature that we can navigate optimal path­ways for future success. Self-organisation, complexity and chaos operate the ecosystems within which we live and work.

We must admire the special aspects of the human species that have allowed us to temporarily transcend some of nature’s constraints and organising forces. Yet for all the knowledge and experience of human civilisation, it would be prudent also to draw upon our wisdom to respect the primacy of these organis­ing forces – like learning to write software in the right language. How might humans readapt to what some may view as our huge evolutionary success in habitat colonisation and population growth? How might we come to terms with the notion that we are still subject to nature’s laws and operate within these?

It would be a good start to understand the principles of life itself – after all, nature has been dealing with dynamic change for over 3.8bn years. Understanding the patterns and principles of nature can provide insight into how best to future-proof business for the unpredictability ahead.

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