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Understanding complicated complex and chaos
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Understanding complicated complex and chaos


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  • Thomas- thanks for sharing this nice and well-informed presentation. The illustrations are relevant and the flow of ideas is commendable.
    I used the locks and key metaphor to explain the differences among systems' behavior. See: A creative Metaphor for Complexity.
    I agree with you fully that fractals form out of complexity.
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  • Anne, serendipity happens in social tools as they are not working optimally, they haven't hit a scale where they function properly as in search or knowing of groups or interests that are available for use to find community with or in others. But serendipity is more of a state of happenstance that flows from a less than optimal service functioning.

    There have been services, I'm thinking Dopplr in particular, that optimized serendipity as its goal. Building a tools that highlights and creates seeable interactions that you didn't see as valuable before. Dopplr allowed travelers to find other's whose paths you may cross through travel in different contexts so to connect face to face. Knowing you were going to be in Atlanta the day following my being there I may stay to say hello for a breakfast meeting, that sort of thing. Seeing the unseen to increase the potential for interaction.

    When social platforms and services are starting the state of being overloaded is not a concern, but having connections is something to promote, so the focus on serendipity at this stage is helpful. Later stages intent of use commands the focus over serendipity.
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  • I have seen this slide (14) on scaling and functionality several times before. Not until today did my brain get jolted in understanding and appreciating B: Serendipity.

    It is great to see that is being considered as part of systems (social systems). Most people discount the value of serendipity and others ignore it.

    Great presentation, btw.
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  • 1. UnderstandingComplicated, Complex, and Chaos to Improve Design Thomas Vander Wal :: Design for Context DC UX Camp :: 6 January 2013
  • 2. Simplicity First
  • 3. Simplicity First ?
  • 4. Our World andInteractions are not Simple
  • 5. Who is Thomas?
  • 6. Simple or Simplicity?
  • 7. Simple: Plain, basic, oruncomplicated in form, nature, or design
  • 8. Simplicity: The quality orcondition of being easy to understand or do
  • 9. Simple is state related ------ Simplicity is a result ofwhat is/has been applied
  • 10. To put simplicity first we mustunderstand the other dimensions
  • 11. Complicated or Complex
  • 12. Complicated or Complex
  • 13. Complicated or Complex?
  • 14. Scaling and Functionality D A - Personal Use B - Serendipity CPeople Participating C - Mature Social Tool B D - Complex Social System A # of Objects in System InfoCloud Solutions, Inc. - 2012
  • 15. Dave Snowden &Cynefin Framework
  • 16. Dave Snowden’sCynefin Framework
  • 17.
  • 18. Simple, Complicated, and Complex
  • 19. Simple :: Blocks
  • 20. Complicated :: Grids
  • 21. Complex :: Fractals
  • 22. Start by mappingcore dimensions
  • 23. Map the interactionsbetween dimensions
  • 24. Work to boil down to its basic dimensions
  • 25. If you can get it to amatrix you are working with complicated
  • 26. Complicated can usegood practices and can be straight forward
  • 27. More than matrix dimensions you aredealing with complex
  • 28. Complexity requiresmonitoring and small actions and adaptable solutions
  • 29. Chaos is from not understanding theproblem well enough
  • 30. Work to get out ofchaos and embrace the complexity
  • 31. Fractals are not builtfrom chaos, but from complexity
  • 32. Chaos is the unknown, not the unknowable
  • 33. Things happen because of an action or activity,seeing the outcome lets us know there is something there
  • 34. Prod to make it easier to see and discover then unknown
  • 35. Complex Actions
  • 36. Find the intent, actions, and force
  • 37. Run to the light ofcomplexity - Mike Kuinavsky
  • 38. InfoCloud Solutions, Inc. - 2012