Economist Tim Harford has catapulted to the top of my “must-read” list. His new book, Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure, espouses the virtues of the trial and error process in our increasingly complex world. Despite playing an indescribably critical role in our daily lives, we often fail to perceive the complex systems that surround us. In this video, Tim expounds on a task that, at face value, seems reasonably doable—the creation of a toaster from scratch—to illustrate how decentralized and impenetrable our market economies can be.
This got me thinking about all of the systems we help construct, become a part of, or benefit from. Even the writing of this blog post brings together innumerable systems of wide-ranging complexity, from the nascent thought processes that inspire these words to their delivery and publication across the internet. It behooves us to better understand the systems that surround us, so we may help improve them in an effort to make our world a better place.