Friday, April 2, 2010

Clay Shirky – “The Collapse of Complex Business Models”


Great article by Clay Shirky over at his blog. Here’s a small excerpt:

One of the interesting questions about Tainter’s thesis is whether markets and democracy, the core mechanisms of the modern world, will let us avoid complexity-driven collapse, by keeping any one group of elites from seizing unbroken control. This is, as Tainter notes in his book, an open question. There is, however, one element of complex society into which neither markets nor democracy reach—bureaucracy.

Bureaucracies temporarily reverse the Second Law of Thermodynamics. In a bureaucracy, it’s easier to make a process more complex than to make it simpler, and easier to create a new burden than kill an old one.

The whole thing is excellent. Read it!

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 12:13 am  

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