Complexity theory is a relatively new form of thinking. It encourages people to look at context, and to ‘think ecologically’. Complexity theory takes uncertainty, interaction between different fields, apparent disorder and unintended consequences, for granted. What has previously been the ‘normal Western mode’ of understanding has tended to take these issues as secondary or derivative, when compared to regularity. I suspect that learning to think in terms of complexity, in fundamental in helping people deal with the problems that arise during a transition. Hence much of this site involves discussions of complexity.

Disorder Theory

Disorder theory is related to complexity theory, in that it suggest that regularly appearing disorders cannot be dismissed as accidents. They are regular part of social and technical dynamics, and have to be studied. If, for example, we are not succeeding in our attempts to mitigate and reduce climate change, then that failure is a regular part of the ways we approach climate change, and hence our approach may need to be different. If large software projects nearly always cause problems, that is part of the design process, and needs to be analysed.