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From the Best to the Best



Translation of an extract from the book :
LA CORDÉE MULTIVERSELLE – Un Aperçu de la théorie des cordes- Seconde édition revue et augmentée. ISBN : 978-2-924591-01-7
(THE MULTIVERSELLE ROPE- An Overview of String Theory-Second edition reviewed and expanded- From Chapter III : LES LIMITES DE LA MODÉLISATION, Page 31)

Complexity   and Complication



The two words are not synonyms. their respective meaning is completely different.  Hère are a few examples.


Glucklich is one of the lucky guys who can walk to their office  — a ten-minute walk from their home.
He nevertheless decides to walk to the subway  (a ten-minute walk) then to take the train (a ten-minute ride) to catch the bus just on time (another twenty minutes). He has every reason to be satisfied: he is dropped off at the door of his workplace.
No need to be a soothsayer to guess what you think:  all this is very complicated! Why not make it simpler?
Let us not dwell on the thousand and one ways to make it simpler. What we are interested in here is the word "complicated" that just came to mind. A complicated situation can always be simplified. A complex situation cannot be.


The Universe is not complicated. It stems from a complex reality, a very complex one !
Human beings are complex.  Their  brain has a complex structure, to say the least. It is currently impossible to touch a part of the brain without generating impacts elsewhere. The complexity of this prodigious organ is indispensable and reflects our own complexity.


When a situation presents many uncontrollable factors, many interactions between these factors, it can be described as complex. Try to simplify the situation (by reducing the number of factors or relationships, for  instance) and you are faced with a different situation, having very little to do with the original situation.


The complexity of the many systems around us leads scientists to build models (physical, mathematical, economic, social...).
Modeling a phenomenon essentially consists in assembling elements and introducing rules, all of which should be likely to help us understand the phenomenon under study. This representation remains highly dependent on our own perception of the phenomenon. The constituents of the model may or may not be part of the concrete world, accessible to our senses. Modeling a complex system reveals itself... complex (it’s stating the obvious...  I agree!).
By comparison, a complicated model is necessarily a poorly designed model and would benefit from being simplified. A complex model cannot be simplified without losing its power or even its « raison d’être ».
Simplifying a complex model automatically makes it incomplete.


A complex recognized system is non-simplifiable. It is known to be irreducible.

 

Note:

Most authors associate complexity with unpredictability, adopting the academic definition of Complexity. This vision is not unanimous. A complex system or phenomenon is not inevitably unpredictable. Its complexity essentially reflects an optimal compromise between design efficiency (irreducibility) and operation efficiency. Certainly, this intrinsic complexity makes the object under study more difficult to grasp. However, it can be considered to be of complex structure or behaviour, although it is fully understood.

 

 

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