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Sat, 03 Apr 2010
Business (Over)Complexity
# 20:45 in ./general

Clay Shirky has written an article suggesting that Big Media have problems fitting into and making money from the internet because their business is too complex.

Joseph Tainter wrote a book explaining the theory that the accumulation of complexity pushed some well-known societies over the edge (e.g. Roman Empire) causing their collapse. Shirky extends Tainter's theory to great Business Empires (e.g. News International).

There seem to be a lot of pages about Professor Tainter and his theories of complexity around. He defines complexity himself at the top of an article in the The Oil Drum about human resource usage and sustainability.

This discussion is quite apt. The sort of complexity that should seriously trouble us now is that which almost sunk our society a year ago. This is the complexity that still encompasses our financial system and our Too Big to Fail banks.

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