Inclinations & Dispositions

Complex adaptive systems: no linear cause, but instead we have dispositional state, a set of possibilities and plausibilities, in which future state cannot be predicted.


Fundamental attribution error (typical North European/US problem): the assumption there is always a cause or a reason for things. (caused by Newton and the criticality of cause and effect relationships in scientific revolution).

If something has happened then there must be a reason for it and we attribute blame or credit accordingly.

If we attribute cause, and intentional cause at that (at that = in addition; furthermore), then we get to a position were we start to believe that control is possible. Because we believe that we set targets; achievement of targets is a survival capability so they are achieved regardless of consequence.

The one thing we can say for certain in a complex adaptive system is that whatever we do will have unintended consequences. The bigger the intervention the higher the risk hence the need to do smaller experiments in parallel.

In general many complex problems are solved obliquely not directly.

working obliquely produces unintended consequences that we then observe and we sense a new possibility, we innovate.

working around a problem allows us to find possibilities that could not have been discovered directly.

=> avoid inclining to the conventional view, pay attention to the unconventional (people who are looking at the world differently from the norm).

In a complex system it is the views on the edge that matter (dispositional mapping).