A recurrent theme of my design is the potential cross-over between complexity science and the ability of people to deal with complex reality as often captured in sayings and metaphor. A very nice example of this occured to me just now: rule of thumb/simple rule
This also underpins my argument that it is possible to have a ‘social’ version of complexity, based on people’s ability to practically deal with complexity using this intuitive/rule of thumb/ rather than the traditional technical-science approach. Of course don’t think for one minute that anyone out there is going to buy this approach, accept perhaps in design of systems which have no option but deal with messy reality, rather than force control onto that reality.
For example from knowledge management: it’s better to take the risk of repeating a question, than not say it at all; yes, it’s (much) better to take the risk of repeating a question, than not say it at all.
Systems that don’t take account of messy reality exhibit the classic ‘push down, pop up’ effect (itself a nice social complexity term). The effect of targets in the NHS is a well known example of this.