Dave Pollard on the Web as a complex phenomenon:
“It has more variables affecting its evolution than anyone could ever hope to identify or analyze, and its properties are emergent. The result is therefore, like nature and other complex phenomena, not always pretty and rarely efficient, but resilient, innovative and effective.
We still long to, and try to, reduce it to a ‘manageable’ merely complicated phenomenon: We develop applications that are centralized or top down and require everyone to learn one way of doing things and behave in a common way (most of the failed first-generation social networking tools suffer from this impossible, in complex systems, requirement). We try to map it, manage it, analyze it, complicate it. Corporatists want, and try, to control it.”