A single-celled bacteria is as much an “organism” as a multi-celled human being or a forest tree. A 35-storied structure built by humans is as much a building as an anthill by ants. You get the feeling that nature tends towards complexity, and that complexity is its way of hiding away valuable information for the future to unravel. The complex irony however is that sometimes, the most profound insights lie in simplicity.
At times, we are not sure whether simplicity is supposed to build to complexity, or whether complexity is meant to be unravelled to simplicity. Could it be that we are supposed to allow them co-exist? If so, what amount of simplicity and what amount of complexity is permissible? Sometimes, the most successful societies are those that have found dynamic answers to these “unanswerable” questions.
Complexity has is advantages, its reasons, its nuances, its ramifications, its dimensions and its negatives. It has come to stay with us as humans however - take the complex motor car that evolved from the “simple” unicycle, for example. It can only be expected to get much complex as we tend towards driverless cars that move on renewable energy. Contrast it to Nigeria’s problems however. Wouldn’t it be easier if we were able to simplify Nigeria’s problems to solve it? Or is the key to solving Nigeria’s problems embedded in its complexity?
So we are left with seemingly existential questions. Should complexity be simplified? Can it be understood? Should it be ignored? Should we allow only those that can, deal with it? TEDxPortHarcourt will attempt to discuss complexity in all fields of human endeavor this year, and see if we can unravel nature’s mysteries, or at least, better appreciate it.