You can't install complexity.

Networks are biased against large-scale drastic change. The only way to implement a large new system is to grow it. You can't install it. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia tried to install capitalism, but this complex system couldn't be installed; it had to be grown. The network economy favors assembling large organizations from many smaller ones that keep their autonomy within the large. Networks, too, need to be grown, rather than installed. They need to accumulate over time. To grow a large network, one needs to start with a small network that works, then add more sophisticated nodes and levels to it. Every successful large system was once a successful small system.



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This is a blog version of a book of mine first published in 1998. I am re-issuing it (two posts per week) unaltered on its 10th anniversary. Comments welcomed. More details here.
-- KK