I'm Eating Fractals Tonight

Complexity is not complicated

(Fractals. Cauliflower. Picture by author)


Big is small and small is big. I think about this a lot these days when I have conversations about energy production and how the new megalomaniac solutions will only be spinning out of control together with more and more and more consumption.


It's kind of logical. You produce loads of (renewable) energy with windmills and solar panels and our human minds go: "Oh there is enough, our factory doesn't have to limit itself in consumption."


So, the only thing happening is that data centers, big buildings, production companies, e.g. feel no need at all to innovate radically to limit their energy use. They just go greenwashing with the fact that they switch from fossil to renewable.


So, what is the systemic solution? It's simple: boundaries and smaller scale make it simple to optimize a complex system. And when we ensure that the information and collaboration between the systems are flowing in wide and fast rivers, we can scale our solutions big time.


Learn from each other. Implement. And evolve.


And I'm not saying windmills or solar panels cannot be part of this way of thinking. They can definitely be. Just not as huge parks and farming fields full of panels. We should look at the energy demand of the local system, its peaks and lows, and adapt our energy production and distribution to it.


In Biomimicry, we call these nested wholes. In nature and technology, we call them fractals. The small system is whole, self-sustaining. And it nests in a bigger system, which is also whole.


Complexity solutions don't need to be complicated. Please, make it all very simple so everyone can understand and we can start creating with nested wholes.


In Groningen, they call this system an economy of happiness and health. And that's true. Life and health are our only compass. It can be as simple as that.


Our body is a whole. It's perfect in its imperfection. And our body lives in a bigger system, a community. Where we connect with other bodies, other minds, other hearts. And all these communities form a country. And all these countries form a world, a planet. Where we share the space with other natural (and in the meantime unnatural) species.


Let's design our human systems like this. Energy. Buildings. Clothes. Water. Food. Education. It will definitely be more resilient...


The movement we are making right now in our world is from megalomaniac, big scale, and uniform to nested wholes. Diversity. No one-size-fits-all solutions. But adapted. Like nature does it.


I'm eating fractals tonight. I'm eating cauliflower. And writing poetry.


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