„The emergence of computer technology in World War II and its rapidly growing power in the second half of this century made it possible to deal with increasingly complex problems, some of which began to resemble the notion of organized complexity. Initially, it was the common belief of many scientists that the level of complexity we can handle is basically a matter of the level of computational power at our disposal. Later, in the early 1960s, this naive belief was replaced with a more realistic outlook.“

—  George Klir, p. 2.
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George Klir15
American computer scientist 1932 - 2016
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„We are confronted with problems of organized complexity... organization runs through all levels of reality and science.“

—  Ludwig von Bertalanffy austrian biologist and philosopher 1901 - 1972
p. 58. as cited in: Doede Keuning (1973) Algemene systeemtheorie. p. 185

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„There is no consistent, integrated conception of the world which serves as the foundation on which our edifice of belief rests. And therefore... we are more naive than those of the Middle Ages, and more frightened, for we can be made to believe almost anything.“

—  Neil Postman American writer and academic 1931 - 2003
Context: The world in which we live is very nearly incomprehensible to most of us. There is almost no fact... that will surprise us for very long, since we have no comprehensive and consistent picture of the world which would make the fact appear as an unacceptable contradiction.... in a world without spiritual or intellectual order, nothing is unbelievable; nothing is predictable, and therefore, nothing comes as a particular surprise.... The medieval world was... not without a sense of order. Ordinary men and women... had no doubt that there was such a design, and their priests were well able, by deduction from a handful of principles, to make it, if not rational, at least coherent.... The situation we are presently in is much different.... sadder and more confusing and certainly more mysterious.... There is no consistent, integrated conception of the world which serves as the foundation on which our edifice of belief rests. And therefore... we are more naive than those of the Middle Ages, and more frightened, for we can be made to believe almost anything.

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„Complex problems do not demand complex solutions.“

—  Charles Allen Kollar
Solution-Focused Pastoral Counseling: An Effective Short-Term Approach for Getting People Back on Track

Lotfi A. Zadeh photo

„In general, complexity and precision bear an inverse relation to one another in the sense that, as the complexity of a problem increases, the possibility of analysing it in precise terms diminishes. Thus 'fuzzy thinking' may not be deplorable, after all, if it makes possible the solution of problems which are much too complex for precise analysis.“

—  Lotfi A. Zadeh Electrical engineer and computer scientist 1921 - 2017
Zadeh (1972) "Fuzzy languages and their relation to human intelligence". in: Proceedings of the International Conference Man and Computer, Bordeaux, France. Basel: S. Karger, pp. 130-165. cited in Gaines (1976) "Foundations of fuzzy reasoning" in: International Journal of Man-Machine Studies 8(6), p. 624

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Stanisław Lem photo

„The declining intellectual quality of political leadership is the result of the growing complexity of the world. Since no one, be he endowed with the highest wisdom, can grasp it in its entirety, it is those who are least bothered by this who strive for power.“

—  Stanisław Lem Polish science fiction author 1921 - 2006
Context: The book does not contain “everything about the human being,” because that is impossible. The largest libraries in the world do not contain “everything.” The quantity of anthropological data discovered by scientists now exceeds any individual’s ability to assimilate it. The division of labor, including intellectual labor, begun thirty thousand years ago in the Paleolithic, has become an irreversible phenomenon, and there is nothing that can be done about it. Like it or not, we have placed our destiny in the hands of the experts. A politician is, after all, a kind of expert, if self-styled. Even the fact that competent experts must serve under politicians of mediocre intelligence and little foresight is a problem that we are stuck with, because the experts themselves cannot agree on any major world issue. A logocracy of quarreling experts might be no better than the rule of the mediocrities to which we are subject. The declining intellectual quality of political leadership is the result of the growing complexity of the world. Since no one, be he endowed with the highest wisdom, can grasp it in its entirety, it is those who are least bothered by this who strive for power.

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„The dramatic problems of today's complex world can only inspire a humble approach.“

—  António Guterres Secretary-General of the United Nations 1949
Quoted in "UN General Assembly elects Guterres as secretary-general" http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-un-secretary-general-guterres-20161013-story.html, Chicago Tribune (13 October 2016)

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