Embrace complexity

Machines are complicated but fixable. In complicated systems, there is a correct answer and it is possible to “solve” problems and “fix” the machine.

Living things are complex. “Complex” here means ultimately unknowable. Complex systems are all about the relationships. You can’t isolate a part of the problem because in a complex system all things influence all other things. Therefore, a complex problem can never be “solved.” A complex system can only be continously worked and made more predictable.

Humans are not machines. Humans and their habitats are a complex system. Accept and embrace that because it means your are alive. But realize that your health problem cannot be “fixed.” Any one aspect of your health is connected to the rest of your health, and they are both connected to everything else — the season, your town’s transportation system, and what kind of dirt your dinner grew in.

To address a complex problem, we need to probe the past, try to recognize paterns, take baby steps, observe what happens and modify behavior or system to test ideas. Because complexity is ongoing and dynamic, complex problems have no final solutions and cannot be “solved.” Rather, we use strategies to make the situation more predictable.

We humans must act, observe the patterns, and respond. Above all, we must be patient and stick with it. Our health problems can never be solved, but they can be made more predictable.

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