The Dance of Complexity
We are mostly dancing bodies. The water in our bodies dances. We may see the calm surface of water, but researchers using have shown how water molecules dance. Molecules in our bodies dance too. A new method which uses tightly confined light trapped between gold mirrors a billionth of a meter apart to watch molecules ‘dancing’ in real time could help researchers uncover many of the cell processes that are essential to all life, and how small changes to these processes can lead to diseases such as cancer or Alzheimer’s. The butterfly effect is in action is our bodies.
Swans dance together. Dolphins dance together. Ideas dance in our heads. Apparently ideas too have molecular structures that enjoy dancing in our heads. We dance with joy in celebration of new ideas and good news. The stock markets have their wavy fractal dancing patterns. Pendulums dance to make waves that remind me of the waves of stock markets.
The dance of pendulums serves as a good metaphor for complexity and visualizing its dance as well. The pendulums forms pattern as they dance. It is when we push them violently that they may swing to the extremes. More importantly is the interaction of multi layered pendulums. The image below shows first from left two pendulums attached to three pendulums in the middle and then to five pendulums to the left. I chose the numbers 2, 3, 5 because these are Fibonacci numbers. The dance of the two pendulums affect the dance of the three pendulums and these in turn affect the dance of the five pendulums. The five pendulums are affected by the environment and may affect their dancing pattern. This effect is then cascaded to the middle three pendulums, which in turn affect the dance of the two pendulums. There is no way by which we may predict how the new dance would be.
The complexity of business today is reflected in this mode. Businesses are getting more interconnected and the dance of one partner shall affect the dance of all partners. The environment of business is getting like our natural environment. We can see how "partners" affect each other. We have witnessed how the Greenhouse Effect impact on the environment. The formation of tornadoes and the flooding of some cities are direct consequences of how the dance of many pendulums has been disturbed. This is similar to disturbing the molecular dance in our cells and eventually leading to cancer. One disturbance cascades into hugely impacting results. The warming up of the earth leads to the fast evaporation of water, which gets carried away by the wind and deprive some lands from the water necessary for agriculture. The formation of arid zones with not enough water to water plants lead to health problems, loss of jobs, death of animals and drying up of plants.
The Greenhouse Effect leads me to suggest the Greenhouse Effect of Businesses. The fall of one business leads to the fall of many businesses such as suppliers to the fallen business, banks that gave loans to the business, the insurers who may suffer similar destiny and to the job market where many people lose their jobs as well.
The increasing interconnections of global business means that that the emerging complexity of the global business will have more vitality, but also greater risks to the rippling effect that may cascade to many sectors of the business domain.
We need to think and imagine the future and how it may look like to prepare for it now. We need then to take small steps at a time so that the system doesn't swing violently and may cause earthquakes' to occur.
We have a hard game to predict the movements of the multi-layered global financial system.
I dedicate this buzz to Laurent Boscherini for his constant support, illumination and friendly gestures.""
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