Ontology rests on the idea that reality is not perfectly uniform – that it has discontinuities. To develop a sense of these “contours”, hierarchy theory provides a crude and attractive account that makes for a good beginning.
The unreasonable ubiquity of hierarchies should be suspect. Is the fact that you need a B to get from A to C – the fact that any accomplishment stands on the shoulders of giants – so trivial and arbitrary so as to be practically worthless?
We concluded last section by linking Simon’s watchmaker parable to Holland’s multiplier effect to show that reproduction’s inevitable incorporation of error creates an innate bias to increase complexity.
“Why is reality structured at all?” was what Herbert Simon, an extraordinary polymath regarded as one of last century’s most influential thinkers, asked himself in his watchmaker parable from the article “The Architecture of Complexity” (1962).