Complexity Politics - Recalibrate Models in a Loop

Unser surfs on the waves of complexity. However, it tries to master it by the intelligent interplay of instruments, agility and adaptivity ... And thus, cut through the waves in certain situations. 

The century of complexity

Structural changes are complicated, but system changes are complex. International relations are complicated, but global civilization is complex. In complex systems, crises are not simply cycles, but operational accidents with often catastrophic consequences.

"The 21st century, is the century of complexity", said Stephen Hawkins. In fact, the physics of geopolitics, economics, social systems ... with its striving for equilibriums is replaced by a physics of complexity. Never before did we have smart connected things and processes. Never before did we have smarter methods and tools. Never before have we lived in multipolar, multi-civilizing orders. The biggest system change: shifting state-centered orders into an arena of multiple agents.

There's one big thing that's atop the details: there's no significant payoff of any political change, without quantitative political engineering. Policymakers having lost their abilities to sustain decisions need deep understanding of positive feedback, free agent complexity, the complexity of risk, the limits of probability, the impossibility of predicting future. But the need to know, how to write future instead.

Free agent complexity

Socio-economic systems are determined by the mutual behavior of agents. Interacting agents are producers, investors, consumers. They constantly change their strategies and actions in response to the result they produce reciprocally.  A more difficult constellation is hardly conceivable.

Multinational or transnational?

Multinational corporations have a fixed headquarter. But smart affiliates think transnationally in a network of market participants, partners and company networks. They see the world through the lens of supply and demand, without nations. This is close to the concept of fluid dynamics in physics: flow and friction of solids, liquids, and gases. Flow and friction determine the ability of the offers to meet the demand. Resources, goods, capital, technology, work, data, ideas ... flow, constrained by borders, conflicts, sanctions, rules, protective rights ...

In this complexity, markets are no longer places, but the exchange itself.

Writing future

Complexity politics need to thinks less in concrete goals and structural principles, but in their patterns. The usual forms of political expression (geopolitics, social, economics ...) are to be replaced by making, reacting, and renewing. Write, not predict future. On the basis of models, simulation, adaptation ...

The way to do it will be the orthogonal organization of instruments, models and methods and calibrating the driving parameters in the loop. Frequent recalibration. Remember, surfing on the waves of  complexity and cutting through them model-driven.

Not an easy task .. but indispensable.