Top of the pops

Posted: December 18, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,
John Lennon: We're going straight to the top, boys!
Beatles: Oh yeah? Where's that?
John Lennon: The toppermost of the poppermost!

 

Not surprisingly, the top of pop complexity is to be found in Wikipedia.

Don’t get me wrong. I am an admirer and an avid user of Wikipedia, a beautiful tool for quick reference and often the best place to start from if you want to investigate a topic completely unknown to you. It can save you enormous amounts of time in web browsing, and this simple fact is worth a regular donation to Jimbo’s organization.

(In my experience, en.wikipedia is best, followed by es.wikipedia and fr.wikipedia. The others I just can’t judge, except it.wikipedia which, for some reason still mysterious to me, is dismal, currently a fiasco).

However, it has its flaws. And one of these concerns complexity, a concept still entirely in the hands of pop-complexity fans over there.

As of today, December 18, 2011, <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complexity> misses out completely on the notion of [non]linearity, hence it does not even come close to explain the inner workings of complex systems and complex behaviour.

The adjective linear appears only 1,582 words through the article, or 60% its length. (There even are distinct articles for “complex system” and “complex systems”!).

It will improve. But that’s where we stand today, 50 years after P.W. Anderson and 40 years after E. Lorenz.

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