Episode 089 Nonlinear Systems & Technology with Complexity Labs


Episode 89

Nonlinear Systems & Technology with Complexity Labs

An interview with Joss Colchester

June 21, 2018

In this episode, Haley talks with the founder of Complexity Labs, Joss Colchester. Joss explains why he created Complexity Labs, which is the most extensive online resource on complex systems, as well as what he hopes to achieve with his platform. He describes one of his courses, “Blockchain Introduction”, and shares how this complex, emerging technology will influence society and economy. Joss also discusses artificial intelligence and the immense challenges and opportunities it presents.


Show Notes


Quotes from this episode:

“I found a lot of the math that I learned in school really didn’t apply to complex networks and you really need a different kind of mathematics or a different set of models.” — Joss Colchester

“One of the things that I like a lot about complexity theory is that is actually reopens a lot of science and math to philosophical and even spiritual ideas.” — Joss Colchester

“Nonlinear dynamics, nonlinear systems, I find that pretty fascinating. A lot of things that sound quite technical like feedback loops, chaos theory, butterfly effect, attractors and bifurcation...I don’t think they are taught to fit together properly.”  — Joss Colchester

“Very simple rules of positive and negative feedback can give us the concepts or vocabulary to describe what look like very complex processes of change.” — Joss Colchester

“Reductionism got us to where we are and it’s done a lot of good things, but it has also created a lot of problems so we really need a new way of thinking.”  — Joss Colchester

“The blockchain is really a link between all these ideas that have been happening in systems theory and complexity theory over the past decade and what is happening out there in the world at the moment. These networks are going to be extraordinary disruptive and I think they are going to take a lot of these ideas from complexity and bring them out into the world.”  — Joss Colchester

“I think that the blockchain is going to be the coordination mechanism of how we, in many ways, structure our societies and our institutions and that’s going to happen quite fast.” — Joss Colchester

“I actually don’t use the term AI very much. I don’t like that term. I don’t think it’s a very useful one personally. I know a lot of people do. I think the real underlying technology and important thing to focus on is analytics, because that is really what AI is about, advanced analytics….I don’t think the innovation is trying to simulate human intelligence.” — Joss Colchester

“It is less about machines. It’s more about us and trying to understand ourselves and the fact that we now have these other entities, these automated systems, and that we have to actually differentiate ourselves with respect to that. We have to find a synergy to work together with those systems and we have to move out of that space of doing routine mechanized activities and create a new function for ourselves.”  — Joss Colchester

 Joss Colchester, founder of Complexity Labs

Joss Colchester, founder of Complexity Labs

Resources from this episode:

Find Complexity Labs on Twitter, Facebook & Youtube 

Blockchain Introduction course