The Living Thing / Notebooks :

Complexity

(Sir Menelik)

Can science achieve a unified theory of complex systems? Permanently skeptical of friends of the institute External faculty: A routine that exerts selective pressure By killing less fit programs, life evolves, in cyberspace. Green and blue objects in self-replicating lightning Represents random mutations, completely chaotic systems Such as turbulent fluids or heating gases are formless. Truly, complex amino bond traders appear at the border Between rigid order {?} torturing stick to terms compiled Among a list of 31 ways to define — “Grammatical”: The degree of universality in a language required to describe a style “Effective”: The degree of regular, rather than random, information. For instance, complexity equals the capacity of an unexpected observer. “Thermodynamic depth”: the amount of resources to put back a system Together from scratch, pioneering, engineering, cybernetic cellular calculus Cooperating flatly contradicting predictable circumstances Including uranium-235, is obtained, for bomb fission

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[Kool Keith] + (Sir Menelik) Is light, the source? (Touch my delicate instruments) Is light, the source? (Touch my delicate instruments) Is light, the source? (Touch my delicate instruments) Is light, the source? (Touch my delicate instruments)

Dr Octagon, Biology 101, 1996

Can we get a general measure of ‘complexity’ of things in the real world that make intuitive sense to us? (e.g. that human beings are more complex than an onion, and, I dunno, market capitalism is more complex than socialism or indeed provided rationalisation for whatever is our favourite ideology.)

Short answer: No. I think this question as a general one is dead, and we are dealing now with some well-defined modular domain-specific ones, such as

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