Simplexity: small causes yield huge effects

The way small causes yield huge effects is itself only one piece of the much grander idea of simplexity, a science that is increasingly being studied at universities and institutes around the world, but nowhere more intensely than at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. No single unified rule governs all complex or simple systems, but there are a few big ones.

Image from from a post on “The Butterfly Effect” illustrated with an amazing true story about Robbie Williams

The most powerful of the simplexity concepts is choke points – the keyholes in complex systems that can sometimes shut them down entirely.

“The London cholera epidemic of 1854, which could have claimed thousands of lives, was stopped cold when physician John Snow traced the contagion to a single contaminated water pump on Broad Street. The complex epidemic collided with the simple fix of shutting down the pump, and the simple fix won.”

To read What’s the big deal? It’s the little things by Jeffrey Kluger for The Los Angeles Times.

Each Think Differently is a short challenge to encourage us that there are always differently ways of framing any situation and is brought to by Peter Fryer author of the Trojan Mice blog.