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
New measure for the wellbeing of populations could replace Human Development Index
07.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Because not only arguments count
30.10.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)
Innsbruck quantum physicists have constructed a diode for magnetic fields and then tested it in the laboratory. The device, developed by the research groups led by the theorist Oriol Romero-Isart and the experimental physicist Gerhard Kirchmair, could open up a number of new applications.
Electric diodes are essential electronic components that conduct electricity in one direction but prevent conduction in the opposite one. They are found at the...
Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.
Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
19.11.2018 | Event News
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
21.11.2018 | Life Sciences
21.11.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
21.11.2018 | Life Sciences