This is the assertion of Lasse Gerrits in his dissertation The Gentle Art of Coevolution, in which he investigated the decision-making concerning the expansion of the Hamburg and Antwerp ports. Simplification tends to exacerbate rather reduce problems.
For his research, Gerrits reconstructed the decision-making process around the expansion of the ports of Hamburg and Antwerp. In that regard, he investigated the manner in which the decisions about deepening the waterways were reached. Port authorities are constantly seeking ways of expanding the capacity of their port in an effort to retain their position on the international scene. Expansion-related decisions need to be taken quickly, and all factors that are felt to be interfering are kept outside of decision-making process as much as possible. However, port developments also touch on complex environmental and social issues.
The reconstruction showed that this exclusion of interfering factors would, in fact, lead to greater physical and social problems, or the threat of these, such as water level changes and social protest. This puts even greater pressure on those taking the decision, and makes it even more tempting to further simplify the decision-making process. After all, if the problems are considerable, one does not want to be distracted by ‘noise' such as complaining citizens and environmental groups. Politicians and officials try to focus their efforts on the core of the problem. However, these kinds of complex problems can rarely be stripped down to a single core. If the decision makers concentrate on one aspect, they often forget about other, equally important, factors. This simplification of the decision-making process is counterproductive.
The study showed that this actually causes problems to escalate instead of being resolved. Physical problems with rivers and social unrest continue to exist or are even amplified, because they remain excluded from the decision-making process. These types of problems also occur where other spatial issues are concerned. Politicians and officials should therefore not allow themselves to be tempted by the pretence of simplicity, according to Gerrits. Complex issues demand complex decision-making and not forced simplification.
Yvette Nelen | alfa
Sibling differences: Later-borns choose less prestigious programs at university
14.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung
Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ
09.11.2017 | Vanderbilt University
A study carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Physical Review X shows that ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers. The scientists introduce trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.
In order to reach their full potential, today’s quantum computer prototypes have to meet specific criteria: First, they have to be made bigger, which means...
Since 2016, German and Spanish researchers, among them scientists from the University of Göttingen, have been hunting for exoplanets with the “Carmenes”...
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
18.12.2017 | Information Technology
18.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.12.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science