Biology Is Complicated

It’s probably too complicated for me to grasp, but I love the general shape of this:

http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/maddox/maddox_p2.html

It’s talking about how biological mechanisms need understanding in terms of physics. For example, how someone needs to work out the thermodynamics of muscles. Essentially the idea is that, though complex, these systems can be broken down into mathematical models…

It echoes the idea behind Chaos Theory a little – an idea that I found simultaneously comforting and bracing.

Comforting, because it means things can be understood – even when they’re complicated (like brains, behaviour, and brands).

And bracing, because it means we can’t be lazy. We can’t either just say that what we do as planners is “an art”, and rely wholly on instinctive understanding of what makes people tick. And we can’t stop at imperfect measures (like, ooh, I don’t know, the AI score) on the assumption that we can’t do better.

It might be hard, but we can. And we should.

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