The Q&A content below is derived from complexityexplained.github.io, which we encourage everyone to explore directly (as it is full of interactive Complexity illustrations and simulations):
How does Complexity Science define a Complex System?
Complexity science examines how many components in a system interact with each other to create interesting patterns and behaviors without any outside direction or leaders. These systems are called complex systems and can't be fully understood just by knowing the parts. Understanding these systems requires new math and science methods.
What is the main challenge of Complexity Science?
The main challenge of complexity science is not only to see the parts and their connections but also to understand how these connections give rise to the whole.
What is the difference between Simple and Complex Systems?
In simple systems, you can predict the properties of the whole by adding up its components. However, in complex systems, there's something called "emergence" where the interactions between components lead to new information and structures. This means that you can't predict the properties of the whole just by knowing its parts, and it's often said that "the whole is more than the sum of its parts."
What is self-organization in Complex Systems?
In a complex system, the way its parts interact can create a pattern or behavior on a larger scale. This is called self-organization because there's no single controller directing it. Instead, the control is spread out among the parts and happens through their interactions..
What is adaptation in Complex Systems?
Complex systems don't just move towards a static state, they actively respond to their environment. For example, a bird adapts to wind currents while flying, unlike a ball that just rolls to the bottom of a hill and stops. This adaptation can happen on different levels such as cognitive, social, or even evolutionary through genetic variation and natural selection.
Of course, this is just a taste of all there is to learn about Complexity!
Here are some other "Intro to Complexity" references you may find interesting:
If this is the beginning of your Complexity journey, we are so excited for you! You are welcome to join our next Complexity Adventures Summit cohort to accelerate your learning. Roughly 1/3 of cohort Participants are new to Complexity, so you are not alone!