Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Complication vs. Complexity

There's a big difference between what's complicated and what's complex. It's something that's actually really important, and you should stop to think about it.

Complicated things are made up of lots of intricately interconnected parts, usually wildly different, and most definitely not simple to understand in structure.

Complex things do not have to be complicated. If you look at a school of fish, the schooling behavior rises out of a few very simple rules. The same for flocks of birds, or ant colonies, etc. Complex behavior is often manifested in the emergence of something unexpected from something simple.

You can build something very complicated that behaves very simply. You can create something very simple that exhibits complex behavior.

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