Cognitive Economics: How Self-Organization and Collective Intelligence Works – Evonomics

i.e. those responsible for strategy. As argued by Eric Beinhocker, good organisations adhere to the principle of ‘big what, little how’. That is, strategy sets high-level settings and direction, but doesn’t solve the detail.

But self-organization is not an altogether-coherent concept and has often turned out to be misleading as a guide to collective intelligence. It obscures the work involved in organization and in particular the hard work involved in high-dimensional choices. If you look in detail at any real example—from the family camping trip to the operation of the Internet, open-source software to everyday markets, these are only self-organizing if you look from far away. Look more closely and different patterns emerge. You quickly find some key shapers—like the designers of underlying protocols, or the people setting the rules for trading. There are certainly some patterns of emergence. Many ideas may be tried and tested before only a few successful ones survive and spread. To put it in the terms of network science, the most useful links survive and are reinforced; the less useful ones wither. The community decides collectively which ones are useful.

Source: Cognitive Economics: How Self-Organization and Collective Intelligence Works – Evonomics

Cognitive Economics: How Self-Organization and Collective Intelligence Works – Evonomics

And design, as argued, is the ‘science if the particular’.

Friedrich Hayek gave eloquent descriptions of the virtues of self- organization, and counterposed the distributed wisdom of the network to the centralized and hierarchical wisdom of science or the state: “It is almost heresy to suggest that scientific knowledge is not the sum of all knowledge. But there is a body of very important but unorganized knowledge: the knowledge of the particular circumstances of time and place. Practically everyone has some advantage over all others because he possesses unique information of which beneficial use might be made, but of which use can be made only if the decisions depending on it are left to him or are made with his . . . cooperation.”

Source: Cognitive Economics: How Self-Organization and Collective Intelligence Works – Evonomics

What is the Morally Appropriate Language in Which to Think and Write? | Literary Hub

Something about recursiveness and reflexivity and mapping to reality…

India as a country, a nation-state, was a British idea. So, the idea of English is as good or as bad as the idea of India itself. Writing or speaking in English is not a tribute to the British Empire, as the British imperial historian had tried to suggest to me, it is a practical solution to the circumstances created by it.

Source: What is the Morally Appropriate Language in Which to Think and Write? | Literary Hub

The Octonion Math That Could Underpin Physics | Quanta Magazine

It’s the bias of every organisation to think that more information is required to solve their problems rather than a better synthesis of what already exists. Pair with any reading on the difference between puzzles and mysteries…

But rather than seek mathematical answers to the Standard Model’s mysteries, most physicists placed their hopes in high-energy particle colliders and other experiments, expecting additional particles to show up and lead the way beyond the Standard Model to a deeper description of reality. They “imagined that the next bit of progress will come from some new pieces being dropped onto the table, [rather than] from thinking harder about the pieces we already have,” said Latham Boyle, a theoretical physicist at the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada.

Source: The Octonion Math That Could Underpin Physics | Quanta Magazine

The Defeat of Reason | Boston Review

Not only can people be led astray, most people are. If the devout Christian is right, then committed Hindus and Jews and Buddhists and atheists are wrong. When so many groups disagree, the majority must be mistaken. And if the majority is misguided on just this one topic, then almost everyone must be mistaken on some issues of great importance. This is a hard lesson to learn, because it is paradoxical to accept one’s own folly. You cannot at the same time believe something and recognize that you are a mug to believe it. If you sincerely judge that it is raining outside, you cannot at the same time be convinced that you are mistaken in your belief. A sucker may be born every minute, but somehow that sucker is never oneself.

Source: The Defeat of Reason | Boston Review

The year ahead for strategy: we’ve got a fight on our hands

Marketing isn’t a cost centre any longer.

It’s a sad state of affairs when people feel the need to argue that ‘marketing is no longer a cost centre’.

I know we lost this battle to the finance monkeys years ago – and to the neoclassicists and shareholder value ideologues – but it’s still ridiculous.

It’s a world gone topsy-turvy, a dystopian reality where somehow value creation is a cost, and everything is valuable.

We’re living in the Upsidedown.

“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”

Peter Drucker, The Practice of Management, 1954

Source: The year ahead for strategy: we’ve got a fight on our hands