Text notes: Architecture of Complexity

A collection of notes from Herbert Simon’s 1962 essay, “The Architecture of Complexity“ INTRODUCTION Useful concepts from Cybernetics: Feedback, Homeostasis, Analyzing “adaptiveness” in terms of “theory of selective information” Point: Describe the usefulness of complex systems across fields. By being abstract, may have relevance (careful to not say application) to other systems like those in … Continue reading Text notes: Architecture of Complexity

Climate change: a problem of organized complexity

Problems of organized complexity The case for a simple pattern Concluding her famous ode to cities in 1961, Jane Jacobs writes, “Cities happen to be problems of organized complexity.” From sidewalks of access to sidewalks of place, cities deal “simultaneously with a sizable number of factors which are interrelated into an organic whole.”  As an … Continue reading Climate change: a problem of organized complexity

What can a Building Technologist do about Climate Change?

Title inspired by Bret Victor’s piece “What can a Technologist do about Climate Change?“ Something that has been swirling in my mind lately: personally having a more direct impact on our quest to reduce the causes of climate change. While I’ve been indirectly involved in environmental endeavors for most of my career, I naively thought … Continue reading What can a Building Technologist do about Climate Change?

Org Design, Part 1: Nearly decomposable systems, with Serendipity & Slack

PART 1. “Organizations are systems of behavior designed to enable humans to accomplish their goals” –Herb Simon, The Shape of Automation The “buzziness” of 50-100 The period of organizational growth from 50 to 100 people can be a chaotic time. According to physicist Geoffrey West, at this stage [A] the org begins to lose its “buzziness.” … Continue reading Org Design, Part 1: Nearly decomposable systems, with Serendipity & Slack