Thursday, 21 July 2011

The God Complex

In this video Tim Harford (writer of "The Undercover Economist" in the Financial Times) explains the God Complex and the importance of making good mistakes. The idea is that many of us think we understand complex systems, in fact we don't. He suggests that all complex systems evolve from trial and error and that they are way, way, way too complex for any individual to understand. You may be thinking that this blog has a tinge of the God Complex as it seeks to enhance British representative Democracy which has evolved over centuries. But, looking at it another way, Interactive Democracy fosters innovation, change and adaptation by integrating many people's views instead of trusting to a few politicians who, Tim Harford would agree, have tendencies towards the God Complex themselves. Here are some ideas about how ID can foster trial and error:
  1. Diverse people foster ideas, debate, learn and innovate.
  2. Divorcing politicians from policy allows them to manage the process without getting tied to risky issues that may demolish their careers, in turn freeing-up innovation and trial and error.
  3. The DMAIC process (Define, Measure, Analize, Improve and Control) provides the framework for measuring the results of each policy and encouraging remedial action
  4. Regional decisions foster comparisons so that we can learn from best practice; policy research must gather experiences from abroad.
  5. The ID web site can evolve to incorporate new ways of analysis, debate and decision making.

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