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Steven Pinker almost gets complexity

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 29 October 2019

 



Title

Steven Pinker almost gets complexity
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 232
Posted DateTuesday 29 October 2019 13:00 GMT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen

A real society comprises hundreds of millions of social beings, each with a trillion-synapse brain, who pursue their well-being while affecting the well-being of others in complex networks with massive positive and negative externalities, many of them historically unprecedented.

It is bound to defy any simple narrative of what will happen under a given set of rules.

A more rational approach to politics is to treat societies as ongoing experiments and open-mindedly learn the best practices, whatever part of the spectrum they come from.


Steven Pinker in his book Enlightenment Now almost grasps the Cynefin Framework and recognises that in the complex domain we need to perform experiments to make sense of things in order to make good. decisions. In Cynefin-speak: we need to "probe-sense-respond",

But he gets it wrong by saying we need to learn best practices. There are no best practices in the complex domain. They belong to the obvious domain.



If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen


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