Herbert A. Simon

From Hierarchies to Networks

From Hierarchies to Networks

Towards the close of childhood, there typically comes a moment of realization that our time is finite while the knowledge out there isn’t.

II. Back to Hierarchy Theory

II. Back to Hierarchy Theory

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.

VI. Clockwork Simulations

VI. Clockwork Simulations

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?

IV. Ian Stewart & Jack Cohen and "Complicity"

IV. Ian Stewart & Jack Cohen and "Complicity"

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.

II. Herbert A. Simon and "Near-Decomposability"

II. Herbert A. Simon and "Near-Decomposability"

“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).