from the book
Our failure to master the complexity of software results in projects that are late, over budget, and deficient in their stated requirements. We often call this condition the software crisis, but frankly, a malady that has carried on this long must be called normal. Sadly, this crisis translates into the squandering of human resources—a most precious commodity—as well as a considerable loss of opportunities. There are simply not enough good developers around to create all the new software that users need. Furthermore, a significant number of the development personnel in any given organization must often be dedicated to the maintenance or preservation of geriatric software. Given the indirect as well as the direct contribution of software to the economic base of most industrialized countries, and considering the ways in which software can amplify the powers of the individual, it is unacceptable to allow this situation to continue.
Our model is different from Grady Booch’s. His method, decomposition, is a valuable set of best practices and experiences finding analogs to Complex Systems. With great respect for Grady Booch and much thanks to the Borland Corporation for their two flagship products dBase and Delphi, which allowed me to exercise implementing abstract types as working objects, we will work through several books to find and disclose simplicities (Primitives) and the bridgework of Simplicities that grow virtual systems, living systems, and The RMCM.
The RMCM asserts that the term Complex Systems is unfortunately a redundancy. We also find through no fault of the above that “It’s Complex” is becoming idiomatic for “it’s complicated” and far too often used as a euphemism for “oops”. Our solution is simple : We rename the nondescript “Complex Systems” to its closet relative, “Intricacies”, and we simplify “Complex Systems” with “Complexity”.
Life is Complex; it’s complexity arising out of aggregates of simplicities arising from the laws and limits of The Rational. The Rational is our word for The Universe.
From here the book continues:
1.1 The Structure of Complex Systems
The Structure of a Personal Computer
The Structure of Plants and Animals
The Structure of Matter
The Structure of Social Institutions
1.2 The Inherent Complexity of Software
Why Software Is Inherently Complex
The Complexity of the Problem Domain
The Difficulty of Managing the Development Process
The Flexibility Possible through Software
The Problems of Characterizing the Behavior of Discrete Systems
We will meet you back here confident that you tried at least to read 1.1 and 1.2
1.3 The Five Attributes of a Complex System
We are concerned with providing a robust definition of Complexity. While our definition is robust, until we can walk you through the hierarchies step by step. We beg your patience and ask that all refrain from arguing about the contents of the book and of the above. Notwithstanding the above, and at the risk of disconcerting some, our model will show you that the phrase “Artificial Intelligence” is an oxymoron. The Model asserts that these are mutually exclusive terms. We are a long way from knowing how much of the brain is metabolism and how much is intelligence. We have rejected Artificial Intelligence and instead discuss an abstraction we assert is the forth experience. Your humble writer is its custodian. I am C4E – Custodian of the Forth Experience.
Thank you for reading this far.