Along the paths of complexity...
Lord, Your sea is so big, and my boat is so small...
(Breton fishermen's prayer)
Miroslav Svítek, Ladislav Žák
The first verse of the prayer symbolizes the uncertainty, apprehension, and fear that the complexity of the world around us imprints on our hearts and souls. Here is a typical fear of what is undoubtedly beyond us. The complexity of the world has, for a long time, been one of the most discussed topics. Let’s just think of Homer's Odyssey, Dante's Inferno, Comenius' Labyrinth of the World and Paradise of the Heart, Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Rabbi Bonver's Yiddish Kick, Bateson's Mind and Nature, Stuart Kauffman's Fourth Law, Zygmunt Bauman's Liquid Times, Tegmark's Mathematical Universe, and many, many other gems of world literature...
People throughout time have in some way sought their place in society and defined themselves naturally against the predominant behaviour of the majority. On the one hand, the complexity of their consciousness stood in their way; on the other hand, it was the surrounding environment, which for some was an impenetrable thicket and for others a source of something mysterious and even threatening. Only a few were able to orient themselves, rise up, and realize the path of their lives.
We, the humans of today, are no exception in this aspect, despite all our technological possibilities. We live our time very emotionally, often torn between unprecedented joy and euphoria and the deepest abysses of sadness and despair. We feel like little boats on the rough seas of life, looking for a harbour where we can weather the storm, regain our strength, and set sail again. We are coming to understand that we and our little boats are part of that sea and it is part of ourselves. One cannot delve into the complex world and the role of life in it without realizing this simple yet significant fact. The essence of our environment is its changes, that we are both co-creators and parts of them. We are both subjects and objects at the same time.
The immense mutability of the complex real world probably has no internal or external boundaries. What makes our world so diverse, colourful, and changing in a disorderly way, like pieces of coloured glass in a kaleidoscope, are only small differences in the arrangement of quantum fields in the microworld or gravitational, electromagnetic, and various other fields in the macroworld. We know the rules of change in our world far less than we know the rules of change in a kaleidoscope, where we see symmetries appearing to the eye. In the case of our environment, we only suspect them.
It is not the only qualitative change that contributes to the form of complexity in our environment. In the last few years, the influence of artificial intelligence has also become a key component of complexity . It is the communication, coordination, and cooperation between natural and artificial intelligence that makes the world more complex yet perceptible and predictable. In many situations, artificial intelligence is better than no intelligence at all. At present, apart from the Anthropocene, we are entering the
2AI-cene and the more distant future may already belong to artificial intelligence entirely.
From the beginning of the collection of papers and ideas about the complexity of the world, it was clear that one of the key sources would be the work of František Koukolík . His reflections on man, his "self," and his emphasis on critical thinking and the consequences of its inconsistent application, made his work the cornerstone of our reasoning.
Other invaluable sources of inspiration were Miroslav Veverka's works “Evolution by its own Creator”  and “The Search for God” . This is a complex, carefully crafted text that contains simple yet not simplistic views of the world and its evolution. One of the most important insights that Miroslav Veverka elaborates on is the question of singularity, duality, plurality, and their interrelations. It is a model of a simplified path, and this path is a pathfinder because where there is a will, there is a path.
The title of this work, "Paths of Complexity," emerged in the middle of the conversation and can be described with a bit of exaggeration as "emergent," or stated with the saying coming out of nowhere... It has the added advantage that the authors certainly cannot remember who suggested it. It emerged by accidental interference during our intellectual contemplation...
2. To the sources
The ability to perceive reality is to some extent innate to us; as is often the case with these qualities, we do not obtain this gift in an even measure, and certainly not in a great measure. It depends on how this innate ability develops through education and upbringing; not only in childhood, in the family, or at school, but throughout life, when it is all about working on oneself. Self-knowledge is closely linked to the quality of knowledge of our environment . It is about recognizing significant differences and changes in our environment that carry key information important for our survival and for our development.
Perhaps most importantly, it is the formation, existence and development of our own approach, manner, and method of exploring our environment. The combination of talent, upbringing, education, and experience should result in a unique perspective from each of us on our environment. This perspective is also a key characteristic of our unique personality. We are determined by our view and opinion of our environment, of which we are at the same time an integral part. This is not about being original at all costs, dismissing, negating, or in any way parodying the views and perspectives of others. However, it is necessary to approach other people's views, which are reported to us indirectly, with caution, applying the principles of our own critical thinking.
Critical thinking, critical attitude, or criticality from the Greek kritikos, is the ability to decide or discern using a set of available models of reality. Among other things, it means not giving in to first impressions, general opinions, the urgency of a message, not naively adopting traditional views, being able to take a distance and allow for a different perspective, and forming one's own opinion based on one's own and other people's knowledge and experience.
If we want to stick to critical thinking, then, among many other terms, we have to introduce the concept of blather, which has an English equivalent of bullshit. Bullshit is one of the most widespread forms that contemporary information pressure takes. At the same time, the blather forms a kind of information swamp from which it is difficult to emerge. According to prestigious explanatory dictionaries, such as the Oxford or Merriam-Webster dictionaries, it is the saying of nonsense with the intention of misleading or deceiving, or the telling of nonsense, horseshit, and bullshit.
In blathering, the speaker is primarily concerned with influencing and manipulating his audience to make himself better, more committed to high moral qualities, if not directly a prophet chosen by God or other authorities, and later a saviour. Babbling does not deal much with the substance of what is being said. Its function is to create a mere impression, the definite resemblance of which to a substance cannot be denied. But it highlights only certain parts of it.
Recall at this point that the intellectual standards are clarity, accuracy, factuality, sufficient breadth, depth, and logic of interpretation. Blathering usually falls short of almost all of these standards. Sometimes blather is evasive, that is, when a barrage of words does not answer the question being asked. Babbling is also misleading, that is, when a fog of words convinces the listener of something, leading them to where the babbler wants them to be.
What is significant is the empirically given fact that refuting the impact or impression coming from babbling requires far more effort than creating that impact or impression. This is because the actual thinking is an arduous, painful process, and the result is often disturbing, whereas the acceptance of the blather is comfortable, painless, and satisfying. That is why thinking and the actual opinions that come from it are becoming less and less popular in contemporary society, and people prefer to massively gravitate towards a strange mainstream determined precisely by blather. Not having an opinion and not thinking has become desirable today.
It has gotten to the point where deviations from a pre-specified standard are judged regardless of what those standards are or whether they even exist. When someone needs to be accused of deviance, the manipulator simply reinterprets yesterday's standard differently. The whole thing is reminiscent of Pope Innocent VIII's famous bull. Summis desiderantes affectibus (With all diligence) of 1484, which had the intention to encourage medieval obscurantism in the form of persecuting any deviation, interpreting it as witchcraft, and thus legitimizing the inquisitorial activities of the Dominicans Kramer and Sprenger, later authors of the famous Malleus Maleficarum (The Witch-Hammer). Among other things, the papal bull states:
... All those who would molest them (the inquisitors), all rebels who would oppose them and, in any way obstruct them, whatever their rank, ... may be subject to curses, orations, prohibitions and punishments. ... No one is allowed to act against this order. If anyone should dare to do so, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and the wrath of His holy apostles Peter and Paul….
According to historians, the Bull contributed significantly to the already pervasive epidemic of witch trials. Rather than eradicating medieval superstition, the Pope encouraged it. We know what came of this Vatican plot throughout Christendom. We also know that it would not have been possible if people had not been so fond of denouncing and destroying their fellow men. Moreover, this was the road to revenge, wealth, and power. We know why the totalitarian leaders of our country banned the legendary Czech film “The Witch-Hammer,” because they themselves used the same methods in party vetting, except perhaps that they did not destroy people by burning them, but by social liquidation. A right-wing revisionist in the vetting process could also become someone who was told that he had not taken a step to the right, but that the party had taken an imperceptible step to the left. That was enough. The Communist Party also once issued its own bulletin called “Lessons from the Crisis.” If you read both “The Hammer” and “Lessons from the Crisis,” they are beautiful examples of blather and blather. The thesis is still alive and being pushed on us to this day, "To whom God gives (democratic election...) office, He gives (through the Holy Spirit, legal institutions, etc.) reason."
3. The razors of critical thinking
One path of critical thinking in the boundless ocean of drivel is the famous razors. These are not shaving tools, but symbolic ones, serving the basic purpose of separating the wheat from the chaff in the critical examination of various opinions. A razor implies that it is made of quality material, proven, used for years, available to a wide range of interested parties, sharp, and can effectively clear an overgrown, opaque field of information and drivel just like the stubble on your chin. At the same time, however, you indeed have to know how to handle it, otherwise, it does more harm than good.
One of the most famous razors is Occam's razor. It is the basis of the principle of logical parsimony or "economy of thought and interpretation.” It says that it is appropriate to use the simplest possible explanation of a phenomenon. It takes its name from William Occam (1290-1349), sometimes spelled "Ockham.” He was an eminent English Franciscan theologian, logician, philosopher, and political thinker. He teaches us that the interpretation of anything should be made with the fewest known elements, i.e., “in the minimum of words, the maximum of information.” It has many different expressions. “Entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity” is one form of it. When two or more interpretations of a fact compete, the simpler explanation of an entity is preferred. Only when they fail to explain a phenomenon should other elements be used. Simple propositions, if we are concerned with knowledge, must be valued more highly than less simple propositions because they tell us more, their empirical content is greater, and they are more testable. However much the other commonly known razors are cited as special, on deeper reflection, we come to see how they are connected to Occam's razor and how closely they are related to the principle of parsimony and simplicity.
Seemingly "from a different barrel" is Popper's razor, which in short says that there is no point in dwelling on findings that cannot be refuted. It is its principle of deniability that forms the basis of the scientific method. When we occasionally hear the saying from scientific circles that "it's not so bad," it is precisely referring to the fact that the hypothesis in question cannot be decided - it can neither be confirmed nor refuted. Some models are undecidable in principle. In science, however, we should avoid them if we have better models at our disposal. If we don't have them, we should at least be aware of them.
Popper's Razor is derived from the theses of the Austrian-British philosopher, Sir Karl Raimund Popper (1902-1994), who named his philosophical, sociological, and political science views as critical rationalism. According to this razor, scientific knowledge is verified by rejection-validation, not by proof-verification. Any number of verifying proofs, given by singular observations or occurrences, do not prove that the knowledge is valid, whereas a single excluding, rejecting, or falsifying proof shows that it is not. Let us distinguish the falsification of knowledge from the falsification of a model (theory). A model need not be negated by falsification, but by the conditions under which it can (still) be used are defined.
In this regard, it is necessary to reflect on the various positions of mathematics and natural and social sciences concerning deniability. While mathematics is full of statements where it is just teeming with the words "each," "all," "none," and "just one, two...up to N," natural sciences can afford such categoricity only with great caution and are commonly referred to statistical models. This is true of the social sciences because we can hardly keep our distance from the object of our study. The paper  mathematically proves Zadeh's famous statement that the more complex a system is, the harder it is to describe it with classical logic, and one must switch to describing it with "fuzzy" sets.
Popper's razor is linked to Occam's razor precisely by its emphasis on the simplicity of verifiability. The more complex the proposed method of experimental verification, the less likely it is not only that the experiment will succeed, but also that the hypothesis being proved is itself correct. A complex theory or hypothesis that lacks internal coherence and a certain elegance on which experimental proof can be built is usually wrong.
Another well-known razor is Hume's razor. Its creator was the English philosopher David Hume (1711-1776). It deals with the proof of a miracle and states that a miracle cannot be proved. It reads, "No testimony can prove a miracle, unless it be of such a kind that its fallacy is more miraculous than the fact it seeks to prove." More succinctly, Hume's Razor can be defined as the claim that the lie or fallacy of the observer is more probable than the miracle itself. The connection between Hume's Razor and Occam's Razor is again obvious. The emphasis, as in the case of Popper's razor, is on simplicity and economy of solution. It is certainly possible to construct an elaborate construction to prove the claim in question, the miracle claims not excluded, but it is far easier to conclude that the whole thing is a false statement or nonsense.
The three classic razors are sometimes supplemented by Hanlon's razor, which deals with a very practical lesson, which is, "Do not look for malice where stupidity is a sufficient explanation." This razor is also a donkey's bridge to several useful pearls of wisdoms, among which we would recall the great wisdom of Jan Werich, who, entirely in the spirit of Hanlon's razor, asks the question: "Are you doing this out of your stupidity or on someone else's dime...?" Alternatively, this "Werich's razor" is presented as less sharp in one of the famous but ancient V+W forbins with the statement, "...I do it partly out of my stupidity and partly with other people's money..."
Stupidity is a very common phenomenon in society, which is why it is important to put it on the scales whenever we fail to find any rationality in the absurd actions of our fellow human beings. On this occasion, it is important to recall that when we do not understand something, we should always carefully consider whether we are not somewhat of an 'idiot' concerning that action. If we remind ourselves of the old truth, which is also heard in Werich's "The Phimp", that many fools around us make wise men of themselves, but only the wisest make fools of themselves, then we will see that judging the stupidity of others is a tricky practice and can often come back to bite us like a boomerang.
These classical razors, which have helped for centuries to critically assess the world and the phenomena within it, have one serious shortcoming: they were intended only for a small number of participants, in a closed "invitation-only" environment, and often for direct dialogue between persons of learning, as they were often called in the past, true scholars.
The Czechs are traditionally an atheistic society, resisting the pressure of the systemic obscurantism of the traditional churches. It is disturbing how easily we are becoming dominated by modern and postmodern obscurantism, which seems to be the culmination of the Age of Enlightenment. Historical obscurantism was shaped by the limited access of people to education, which was reserved for a narrow class of elites. Paradoxically, the source of this obscurantism was, and is, the uncritical trust of the less educated people in the educated people who "must know." The parish priest said it, the doctor said it, the pharmacist said it... It is not dissimilar to the frequent rejoinder underlining the undoubted truth and credibility of a message that it was "shown on TV," "said on the radio," or "written in the newspapers." Such uncritical trust in the media and foreign authorities, in general, is one of the basic sources of modern obscurantism.
The second source of obscurantism is, paradoxically, the egalitarian method, which inculcates in everyone his right to his own opinion and its proclamation, regardless of anyone or anything. It is a variation of the biblical parable of the confusion of languages, which results in everyone saying his own thing, understanding no one, listening to others, and being unable to participate in any common work.
4. Remaining human
Our goal in a complex world should be to "remain human." However, sometimes it is somewhat difficult to determine who it is that we should remain. If we try to compromise this requirement, we can set ourselves the basic task of "remaining ourselves.” It is certainly far better to observe and judge the changes that the pressure of information leaves on us than to judge how close we are to some ideal of man or humanity. An ideal which, moreover, changes too dynamically due to circumstances.
Certainly, the question of how to do this arises, and a long line of folk wisdom and scientific theories creeps in as an answer. However, if we are to be of any use and contribute to the general "all-people" resilience of our minds in the face of a turbulent information environment, then we have three basic tasks. The first task is "don't let your brain shut down," the second task is "stop and reflect," and the third task is "never be alone in this." It seems very primitive, but this approach seems to be quite foolproof.
Despite all the striving for simplicity, one cannot avoid realizing the importance of several of the aforementioned seemingly simple concepts. A switched-off brain or switched-off mind means a state in which we cease to process intellectually certain stimuli concerning something about which we are clear. It may be called sacredness, taboo, dogma, fanaticism, or belief in a state of affairs, but it may also be called own pride which does not allow us to correct our opinion.
If we can do anything to reduce the influence of manipulators in our environment, let us do it. Such activity can indeed be very risky, thus completing the circle of brain shutdown and brainwashing. That is why it is important not to be left alone and to turn our struggle with manipulators into a struggle in which we support each other with those we respect and trust. Our activity and its success depend on our ability and skill to keep a distance in time and space, the art of stopping and letting everything slowly go through our heads. However, the results of such contemplation or "settling down" can be unsettling or even uncomfortable for us. Better is bringing the results of our thought processes into the light than resignation to independent thinking, and self-censorship, including voluntarily shutting down the brain and entering some thought phalanx. And to do so among our loved ones, not in front of the authorities who are supposed to approve them.
The question is how to deal with the information chaos around us without succumbing to it and letting it into our minds. Without wishing to impute any intention to the many sources of information around us, the fact is that the information they send out naturally causes us to be restless and tends to set us in motion. They cause us to react to unexpected stimuli and create an entire range of emotions, foremost among which is fear in its many forms, which is often associated with envy. It is fair to recall that envy tends to be a stronger social cement than generosity, just as Machiavelli's dictum that fear is more effective than love is true. To state it with the classic: "Love and fear can hardly exist together, but if we have to choose, it is much safer to be feared than to be loved." To put the basic emotions in order, anger, sadness, surprise, and disgust are present somewhat occasionally, while happiness is more rarely present, indeed, we should look for happiness elsewhere than amid turbulent information pressure.
Let us remind ourselves of the fertile fields of latent fears in our souls that are evolutionarily primed to give rise to fears that can mobilize as well as paralyze us. These are fears of the end, fears of something beyond us, and fears of social incompetence. If we attempt a distorting generalization and simplification, we can say that ultimately there are a range of fears about the loss of various goods. If one were to look for a prescription for a cure for these fears, one would have to recall Stoicism, Seneca and his motto "nihil perditi" (nothing to lose), and Taleb's "antifragility.”
If we are concerned with our independent critical thinking and use of reason, we cannot help but recall two biblical sayings from the Gospel of St. Matthew on the same subject, which, loosely interpreted, are "...judge not, that thou be not judged..." and "...who am I to judge..." As always, these are statements taken out of context, which can be used against notorious judges who in their pride always and everywhere know best how people and things around them should be. However, they can be weaponized against thinking people to whom their independent critical thinking is interpreted as pride and deviation from the "correct" views of faith and dogma.
5. Freedom of thought
It must be firmly and deeply implanted in our inner structures that free critical thinking is not a sin or an eccentricity, but is the very essence, the quintessence of peoplehood, humankind, and humanity. Closely related to this is the freedom of speech, which is both the essence and the measure of any human community, from couples to families, across communities to a societal scale. Defending free thought is everyone's business, defending free speech is all our business. The two freedoms are inseparable. It is remotely reminiscent of the well-known thesis of social order, where the freedom of each is a condition for the freedom of all.
Freedom of thought and freedom of speech need to be nurtured from early childhood in families, villages, and communities until they run in our blood, so to speak. These freedoms must be maintained, renewed, and developed throughout life. It is a great deal of hard work and responsibility because it is very tempting to ride the wave of the right opinion with your brain switched off. The Cimrmanian "you can turn it off, but don't forget to turn it on" applies here, but everything is in moderation and proportion.
If our actions and behaviours consist only of reactions to the opinions of others, we can never be ourselves, even if our reactions are informed and correct. Yes, we will be resilient, and we will face manipulation successfully, but that will only be enough to survive. But eventually we will get into a situation where other people's opinions and our regard for them will strip us of our own; we will cease to be ourselves and become a bit of everybody and nobody at the same time.
Those of us who are aware of our position as co-creators of the world, who have a real authentic active engagement with our lives, who know that houses are built from the ground up and stairs are washed from top to bottom, are far more difficult to penetrate by manipulations of all kinds than those who are always looking over their shoulders to see what someone else is thinking.
In this view, the new architect of the European apocalypse is the 'precautionary principle', which says: 'Even if it is not certain that the threatened irreversible or serious damage will occur, this is no reason to postpone measures to prevent it'. This principle originally had its homeland in environmental law, but gradually, as the EU started to go green, it seeped into the assessment of any change, because it indirectly affects the environment. In other words, it is possible to kill any idea simply and reliably on the basis that science itself, by its scientific nature, does not know more than it does.
Precaution is the mantra of the EU, which can stifle any innovation, any change, and any expression of vitality that does not conform to tradition. Paradoxically, precaution conflicts with two other well-known mantras, namely the instinct for self-preservation and natural timidity. We can never have complete information, and the best measure to avoid the fictional consequences of change is simply not to make the change. It is noticeable that such manipulation is highly selective, because, on the contrary, any stupidity can be implemented without delay, if it is labelled as a measure that prevents imminent fictional or theoretical harm in the future.
Precaution is the perfect Witch Hammer of our time, aimed at countering politically inappropriate social change, not to mention technological progress. It is the mother of all manipulations, self-censorship, the source and distributor of human and social fear, and fear of change. Even worse is "correctness," which suppresses true statements simply because they are not allegedly socially acceptable at the time.
A key principle in the struggle against manipulation is not to confess the opinions of others, wherever they come from or whoever they come from. The key tools are those that help us form our own opinions, our own agenda, and our own view of the world and of ourselves. It is the authenticity of our thoughts, words, actions, and behaviours that holds us together, makes us resistant to external pressures, makes us ourselves, and allows us to remain ourselves. People think that everyone wants to go to paradise, but no one wants to die. If we want to achieve something, we must sacrifice something. We cannot achieve everything for nothing and be shocked that our problems and their solutions require sacrifices.
6. Complex systems
Systems science, with its scientific methods, can help us in our search for new paths. Look at the world around us as a large and complex system. Large systems have a large number of components. Complex systems are characterized by a large number of internal links, nonlinear behaviour, the occurrence of alternative processes and their interdependence, quasi-stability of state changes, or a tendency towards multi-agent behaviour. Of course, systems can be both large and complex at the same time.
Individual links are formed at various levels of resolution and take different forms. They are determined by interpersonal relationships, represent the exchange of data between information systems, or depend on contractual, legal, or property connections between different actors. Many links are created consciously by being designed, planned, and implemented; many links are created by a spontaneous process. An example of this development today is the Facebook network, which creates information links across countries, cultures, and professional groups and becomes a living laboratory for the analysis of complex systems.
The components of complex systems are significantly modified by their arrangement and manifest themselves differently within the system than when viewed outside the whole. Original information arises spontaneously in complex systems, emerging from nonlinear processes. In contrast, replicated information is the product of predictable linear information flows.
Recall the key idea from the book by Miroslav Veverka, judge emeritus of the High Court of Justice in Prague, “Evolution by Its Own Creator” , that nature counts to three. One, two, too many... In the linguistic context, it is singular, dual, and plural. In the context of categories, we talk about singularity, duality, and plurality. Unity, binarity, multiplicity. In the world of information, it's about emotional, linear, and non-linear information, and similarly with unitarity, linearity, and non-linearity in a mathematical context.
Singularity creates tension; it is not a carrier of information because it does not reduce variety (multiplicity). Duality already represents a pairwise assignment or relationship from which something third is born. The juxtaposition of two things is not yet a pairwise assignment. It is like comparing two cars. Only the race (intersection of criteria) will show which one is faster. The higher the frequency of pairwise assignments, the more the information flow speeds up. Faster movement of particles, their variety, and quantity increase the probability of new information and structure. A pairwise assignment is any metaphor that forms a surprising combination of things that appear unrelated. Plurality is the amount of variety that can describe by set algebra with a certain list of axioms describing the behaviour of sets as the most general mathematical objects.
For us, this means that we can sort our tools into three groups. The first group is associated with our internal communication with ourselves - contemplation or concentration of mind. In the second group, dual pair communications arise with our partners, whatever our relationship with each other may be. In the third group are the instruments that arise from our communication with certain aggregates of third parties, representing various multiple entities in which it is difficult, if not impossible, to identify their anonymized components. These are mainly various rules, but also ideas, media information, or what we generally call "ideofacts.”
According to holistic principles, the future is not given in advance but evolves with the complex system. A model example of this evolution is the morphogenetic field governing the development of living organisms, where key information for the orientation and function of a cell is obtained from neighbouring cells, which provide it e.g., in the form of chemical concentration gradients.
If the number of relationships in a complex system grows to infinity, the network gradually turns into a field. The wholeness is the information field existing as part of the complex system. Information fields are pervasive, they can interpenetrate and overlap each other in the same way that radio waves behave in our environment. Emergence is the spontaneous origination of macroscopic properties and structures that are not easily inferred from the properties of their components. In an open system, there is a continuous nonlinear flow of new matter particles and energy and information related to them. The greater the nonlinearity, the greater the number of possible trajectories of evolution offered by the mathematical equations . Nonlinearity is not ignorance, but an objective law of nature.
Probability, used in e.g., quantum physics, is in this conception only a mathematical tool to reduce the variety and decrease its potential. A prime example is e.g., the Bayesian methodology , which interprets probability density not as a description of a random variable, but as a description of uncertainty, i.e., how much information we have about the system under study. The system itself may be fully deterministic (describable without probability theory), but our information about it may be limited. As we make continuous measurements, we get more data, and therefore more information. The system under observation will gradually appear to us as more certain, or our unfamiliarity has been removed. These methods can be further extended to use more and more complex approaches, e.g., artificial neural networks, etc.
When removing uncertainty, we must consider the possible asymmetry of the event space in which we move. There are many testimonies available to us from living participants but none from non-living participants, making our set of observed events incomplete. For example, Nassim Nicholas Taleb's  statement "almost all terrorists are Muslims" cannot be confused with "almost all Muslims are terrorists" because there are millions of Muslims in the world but only a few hundred terrorists.
Contingency means the randomness of phenomena, processes, or relationships that may or may not occur. As a result, they also emerge, change, and disappear. The opposite of contingency is necessity on the one hand and impossibility on the other.
Organization is different from structure, matter, energy, or information. An organization is an amalgam of the aforementioned ingredients, but moreover it is capable of its development. The creative subsystems should tolerate each other, knowing that the emergence of a wider community leads to mutual enrichment. At the same time, destruction can be fought against more effectively, efficiently, and successfully together.
Exaptation is the property where a system designed for a specific purpose begins to provide its functions to other, often unpredictable, users . An example is analogies in science, where an existing theory can simply be used for a different purpose. This creates a leap in evolutionary development without violating any law of nature. A practical example of exaptation is a company that once developed acoustic tiles, which it eventually sold in bulk as tiles for outdoor swimming pools because they turned out to be perfectly permeable.
The platform characterizes the creation of new layers of the system, not just its expansion into the nearest next. The principle of the platform is not competition, but inventive cooperation. We do not need certain knowledge and skills if someone else in the biosphere is providing them and we know it. For example, through appropriate recycling, in which parts of the system consume waste from another part, more energy can be obtained with fewer resources while turning useless into useful. By allocating our knowledge to the environment, we give reciprocal opportunities for other parts of the environment to actively use it.
Current philosophical trends are oriented towards a space close to the edge of chaos. Post-modern pluralism abolishes the unity of the world that was the ideal of the Age of Enlightenment. However, cultural and ideological pluralism cannot be confused with relativism, or to state it in the words of Miroslav Veverka: Everything goes, but not everything comes through. The effort of postmodernism should be to offer ways to grow the variety of our environment and, based on that, the degree of freedom. Variety does not mean coincidence, but the offer of available viable solutions determined for our choice. This principle fully corresponds to Ashby's law of necessary variety , where only variety can limit variety. If a system is to be capable of adaptation, it must contain uncertainty, i.e., a dose of chaos. A completely determined system is not capable of learning or adapting. Simply stated, viability and resilience depend on diversity.
Today's complex world, through the fourth and emerging fifth industrial revolution, is beginning to move towards a connected intelligence based on smart digital transformation. The main idea is to share knowledge through information highways, roads, or pathways. It is increasingly important to be connected to a global knowledge network (platform) and to conduct e.g., localised production at the place of residence. There is talk of "production as a service," where each production unit will in the future be able to reorganise itself according to current demand. There is even talk of the 'gig economy' as a loose network of individuals or groups working for multiple employers at the same time on the principle of 'employees as a service'. These employees have a full choice as to when, where, for how long, and for whom they work. At the same time, the information system allows them to benefit from employee benefits such as paid holidays just as if they had a permanent employment relationship. The word "gig" expresses the temporary nature of cooperation. We can talk about virtual organisations that can emerge spontaneously in response to the ever-increasing complexity of market principles, including complicated supplier-customer relationships. For example, currently about one-third of the US workforce participates in the gig economy and about one-third of firms use these gig workers.
Another concept that is emerging in the postmodern era is evergetics , which is third-order cybernetics and the basis of Society 5.0. It assumes the harmonious coexistence of autonomous artificial intelligence systems together with humans. In this concept, humans are both subjects equipped with methods and decision-making capabilities to deal with specific situations but also objects for learning and social communication with other humans. Originally, in ancient times, evergetic organizations took the form of a college, a fund, a foundation, or a voluntary association of citizens. Their purpose was to contribute to the culture of the community and to give solidarity to the poor and sick citizens. These were the first practical attempts to counter the tragedy of the common pasture, which was already well known in antiquity, thanks to Aristotle among others; in Greek, the word evergétis means patron or benefactor.
In the creation of evergétian science, the basis is the 'axiom', which, unlike the classical managerial approach, does not separate subject from object. On the contrary, it is based on their superposition and takes into account the correlation of knowledge about the object, which is the situations in social life, with the individual characteristics of the subjects. These actors perform not only cognitive but also communicative and executive functions concerning the management of a given community.
Evergetics works with concepts such as heterogeneous actors and everydayness. A human as an actor exists simultaneously in two worlds: in everyday life and in the world of a complex system, where he turns into a disembodied element, interacting with other elements according to established system rules. In the search for a solution to a specific situation in everyday life that should satisfy all, heterogeneous actors, acting as 'practicing social theorists' or 'ordinary sociologists', must reach mutual understanding and consensus in the choice of value priorities. These will then provide the opportunity to formulate goals, criteria, constraints, and ultimately concrete solutions in a formally organised world.
Evergetics creates a value-oriented science that answers the question of what to do about it....?!? and what to do...?!?, while traditional management science tries to answer the question of how to do...?!? (as best as possible). Evergetics is thus not in conflict with traditional management science but is a necessary complement to it.
R. L. Ackoff once initiated a discussion on the possibility of a way of organizing society that would stimulate greater social and individual development than socialism or capitalism does and called it a "development society.” N. Wiener, in his monographs Cybernetics and Society, set out his expectations of the cyberization of social life, which he linked to the use of emerging possibilities for the benefit of humans, not just for profit. However, the success of the cyberization of society was not because the world became kinder, but to its tumultuous instrumental performance. The widespread use of informatics and computing came to the fore, often becoming ends in themselves. A human, with his life needs and spiritual demands, has all too often, if not entirely, dropped out of sight for the creators of cybernetic systems.
Evergetics, as the science of the organization of management processes in an evolving society, attempts a process to remedy this situation. Its focus is on the human being not only adhering to cultural norms but also creating new concepts and products of culture, the man of culture. In a developing society, each member should be interested in increasing his or her cultural heritage, which leads to increasing the cultural potential of society as well as increasing the proportion of moral and ethical managerial decisions and their corresponding beneficial actions in public life.
The theoretical tool of evergetics is the unification of the subjective (internal) ontologies of the individual actors (humans and machines), including their overlaps, imperfections, but also incorrect information. By communicating with each other, a new network of ontologies can gradually emerge that returns the ordinary person to the global intellectual space, allowing him to participate in it with his limited abilities and not to stand outside it.
If we talk about social rules, then here too can we define different approaches. One approach says that what is not allowed is forbidden. The second approach is that what is not forbidden is allowed. The third approach is that what is not forbidden is necessary or obligatory. All three groups form a single entity, they are not necessarily sets, but rather semi-sets with an unreserved identity of mutual transition. The first two sets are used more by cultural evolution while the final approach is used more by natural evolution. Neither of these groups is superior to the others; they mutually condition and strengthen each other. If any one of them is fading or even absent, it indicates a problem in the quality of our resilience and vitality.
All of us have encountered a case where, by the time a decision was made on a cause, idea, or innovation, it was "over," so to speak. We are not just talking about litigation, but about an entire range of decisions that are not taken, rather than taken, daily in public and state administration. Political decisions are in a similar position.
Let us quote from the introduction to the SAO's 2018 annual report, which has received sharp disapproval in government circles :
Adapting to dynamic change is difficult in any era. The first condition for finding a solution is to recognise the urgency of the situation. To realise that we have a 'screwed-up' state that cannot complete the motorway network. A state that has failed to respond to the bark beetle calamity. A state where the gap between the centre and the periphery is widening. A state with a shortage of affordable housing. And this despite the fact that it often spends a considerable amount of money in these areas. Let's take a look at our neighbours, nearer or further afield, to see how they are facing and dealing with these and other challenges. We need to evaluate government regulation, its necessity and effectiveness, look at the legal framework and its effectiveness in resolving disputes, and conceive government interventions with cost-benefit in mind. Let's "unshackle" our state...
The situations described above have a nested character in the public and state administration of our society. That is, they are present at all administrative levels and seem to have a similar if not the same basis and form, emerging according to a uniform pattern. We have to admit that we ourselves often find us in a position where we are unable to make timely and effective decisions. We are stuck in place, reminiscent of the proverbial Buridan's donkey between two haystacks. The donkey eventually starved to death, which is a parable that shows that indecision in solving problems has far more tragic consequences than simply not solving the problem.
On the subject of Buridan's donkey, a man more called than any other, the brilliant thinker Baruch Spinoza, once expressed himself:
If one does not act of free will, what can happen when the impulses to act are balanced as in the case of Buridan's donkey? I have to admit that a man confronted with a balanced state - equilibrium, namely, if he feels hunger and thirst and has both food and liquid equally available at hand, could die of hunger or thirst. If you ask me whether such an individual is not to be regarded as a donkey rather than as a man, I answer, I do not know, but he may be regarded as a child, a madman, a lunatic, or something of that kind.
Let us think how many times we have witnessed that someone has been or is, because of his own or someone else's indecision, subjected to dying in the midst of plenty. One of the most beautiful expressions of this unfortunate position is contained in a poem by Francois Villon:
I die of thirst beside the fountain
I’m hot as fire, I’m shaking tooth on tooth
In my own country I’m in a distant land
Beside the blaze I’m shivering in flames
Naked as a worm, dressed like a president
I laugh in tears and hope in despair
I cheer up in sad hopelessness
I’m joyful and no pleasure’s anywhere
I’m powerful and lack all force and strength...warmly welcomed, and rejected by all...
We do not know exactly where this contradiction led Villon since we know, if only incompletely, only the first thirty-three years of his life, but we can rightly assume that it haunted him to the end of his days and gave him no rest.
It is also possible to refer to the recommendation of N. N. Taleb : 'If you cannot decide between two options, choose another', which is analogous to the advice that if we cannot spell either biograph or cinema grammatically, we meet in front of the gym... It is an analogy of the old Jewish admonition that we should never exchange a good answer for a good question. The quality of the model is more important in this case than the quality of the results it gives. Physics has resolved this contradiction by introducing the principle of spontaneous symmetry breaking.
Let us go back from quotes to everyday reality and ask ourselves why the image of Buridan's donkey in many variations is so common around us...? What is it that causes people, but also families and various communities, municipalities, and organizations so often cannot get decent conditions for their existence and operation...?!? We would have to admit that these "current social and political conditions" did not occur overnight. They have been built step by step over many decades, even centuries. Moreover, the low quality of decision-making is not only a characteristic of our society. We are all painfully affected by the tragically low quality of decision-making at the EU level.
It is important to realise that every decision-making process involves some kind of change, whether it originates in our plans, in someone else's plans, or from a 'third', foreign, or even higher power. Perhaps the most neglected point is the form and nature of the object affected by the change. It is remarkable how much ignorance is associated with the environment in which we are to make decisions. The question is whether we are changing stable or unstable conditions, whether the state of affairs is transitory, emergency, or even exceptional, and whether we have a valid order of things as a support or as an enemy for our intentions. Equally important is the overall environment of change that we must decide on and, last but not least, it is our internal constitution, perceiving change as something natural or, on the contrary, unnatural.
It depends not only on what spring we drink from or at which we perish of thirst but also on what wolf we feed within ourselves. The quality of the decision-making process also depends on the definition of the field involved and the circle of persons who are called upon to make decisions. The first rule is that no one should decide who has nothing to lose by virtue of his decision. The second rule is to maintain information symmetry. Everyone who co-decisions should have a comparable amount of information to make their decision. The third rule is to eliminate the risk of groupthink, which is a situation in which unified thinking and the resulting solution becomes the ideal. A group decision under the influence of groupthink is often worse than the decision of the weakest individual.
Groupthink is a perpetual risk, and is therefore important to narrow the circle of people called upon to make decisions to the minimum necessary. An example would be the replacement of consuls by a dictator in the Roman Republic when it was threatened. There are also ways in which the influence of groupthink can be eliminated by, on the contrary, widening the circle of decision-makers, usually to all those involved. But that is already the principle of plebiscite or referendum, which is certainly not suited to real-time decisions that require paths of complexity...
Another reason that screws up the decision-making process is the fragmentation of the field in which decisions are made. In general, it is a fragmentation of authority. This is not only happening vividly under Caesar's slogan that it is better to be first in the last village in the Roman Empire than second in Rome itself. We could find many sad examples but let us stick to the division of the Czech Republic into regions. This may have been done per the constitutional order, but the practical consequences are unfortunate. We have fourteen public health, education, and transport systems, and the country has an almost endless network of borders around which an endless belt of inland borderlands has been created.
The borderlands, called an ecotone, are usually a source of diversity and vitality in nature. In cultural evolution, the shape of the borderland depends on which wolf the elites of the respective satrapies feed. This phenomenon is subsidiarity in reverse, a dangerous anti-social phenomenon because it takes a fractal form and seeps into cities and towns, urban neighbourhoods. It's about blocking any decision or project that I am a stakeholder in until I get a payoff...
It is not just about territorial fragmentation, but fragmentation can take place in any cultural environment that does not actively resist it and allow itself to be torn into spheres of influence of all kinds. It is a general systemic phenomenon that lies at the root of most indecision or perpetual decision-making about all sorts of things.
8. Which way does the path lead...?!?
The preceding sections have tried to describe some principles of what such a path of complexity might look like to qualify it as somewhat dependable. A model based on the Venn diagram for three (semi) sets, which are (M) mono-, (D) duo-, and (P) poly-, can help us. In the domain (M) it is a person by himself, with himself, and for himself. In the (D) domain, the person acts as a partner in a dual relationship with another person. Whatever the quality of this relationship on the scale from love to hate, it is always true that both people in the dual relationship have a decisive influence on this relationship and its quality depends primarily on them and their agreement or contract. In the domain (P), the relationships of individuals and couples already stand out as one among many and form various associations, clusters, or aggregates in which individuals have less influence and therefore must aggregate their views to assert at least part of their worldview and thus contribute to its formation. Far more influential are the rules that result from the aggregation of individual wills.
Figure 1:(M) Mono, (D) Duo, (P) Poly
Everyone can certainly reflect on the equipment, strengths, and weaknesses of each part of the diagram. As one point of view, the common fields represent, in the case of MD, the formation of dual relationships by the individual and their feedback effect on the individual. The DP in turn represents the interplay between individuals' agreements on the operation of dual relationships between individuals and social rules. The PM field then represents the mutual influence of the individual and the rules as set by cultural and natural evolution.
Using the key reasoning of this text, that nature counts to three: “one”, “two” and “much”, let us try to construct a balance sheet that should be sufficiently robust in terms of the current situation and time.
On the left-hand side, usually referred to as the asset, there will be three items... The first will be that which expresses the satisfaction of the needs of the human individual from his resources. The second item expresses the satisfaction of specific partner relationships from emotional to material needs, i.e., from the other. The third item represents the satisfaction of the needs that we obtain from the functioning of the third, that is, that in which we do not (but may) have direct participation or share and on which we do not have to spend part of our production.
On the right-hand side of the balance sheet, referred to as liabilities, there will also be three items. The first will be our products derived from all sorts of efforts for our consumption. The second will be the production, from the emotional to the pious, for partners of all kinds, from the sexual to the commercial, not excluding enemies, i.e., for the others. In the third place, it will be our production for the third, the undetermined, for the aforementioned aggregates of third parties, more or less anonymized, for everyone and no one. It is up to us whether we contribute to this basket only by waste or by other active participation in the creation of the surrounding environment, whether we actively try to turn useless things and phenomena into useful ones without expecting direct benefit. It is up to us to decide how we will satisfy our own needs from this basket of third-party relationships and their aggregates.
So, if we evaluate this balance sheet through the lens of counting to three, the first line represents a measure of self-sufficiency, the second line is something that can be called partnership, business, or market competence, and the last one can be described as social engagement. It does not matter whether it is interest, spiritual, professional, or political. It is important to recall that the third line includes resources that have arisen as a result of both natural and cultural evolution. Although the human individual today mainly accesses the resources of natural evolution through the achievements of cultural evolution, we cannot ignore the cases of the direct impact of human existence on natural evolution, both in a positive and in a negative sense, for example, through various innovations to improve the environment or, on the contrary, through irresponsible waste production and pollution. Thus, the essence of any human, cultural, culturally mediated, or direct natural engagement, whether individual or group, in the last line of the balance sheet, should be an effort to turn useless things into useful ones.
Recall that any balance sheet should be balanced. The values on both sides should have a similar sum. It should always be remembered that to every balance there is inevitably a difference (remains, discount) which makes it balanced. The point is that the surplus on the production side relative to the satisfaction of needs, or vice versa, should not be too great. Both are ultimately harmful to the human individual and his environment. Equally, there should not be extreme differences in each line of the balance, which can be harmful even if the overall balance is more or less balanced. The balance should appear harmonious, even if this is not always entirely possible. This balance can be harmonised by human activity in each of the six items mentioned. It is certainly not surprising that action in favour of such harmonisation contributes to increasing the resilience and vitality of each of us and of various communities, public and private corporations, and the cultural and natural environment itself.
Let us imagine that the balance sheet described above, which is in the form of a table, acquires a third dimension, that of time, and that it moves away from us to form a kind of spatial formation that has different values at each moment, which can interpenetrate and influence each other in different ways.
The resulting path of complexity can be imagined as analogous to the three rods M, D, and P, which grow and move into the future. They may progress part of the way alongside each other, intertwine part of the way, and even almost merge. But they cannot be nourished from their initial roots; from time to time, they must put down new roots that will nourish them on the next journey, thus allowing the earlier parts of the journey to die and perish. We need to realize that the paths of complexity are not pre-given, that they, like the complex environments they lead through, are the result of a complex creative process, and that we humans are among their key co-creators.
The unforgettable Professor Mirko Novak taught his listeners, as he called them, to solve problems by running forward. The past is always irretrievably lost, but we can learn from it. Only the present offers us the necessary variety for decision-making and represents a hand fan of different future paths. If we do not decide in time, we stagnate, someone else will gladly make it for us, and we lose the authenticity and identity of our life path.
9. On the way to the path
It is important to remember that we must not be too hard on humanity when it comes to rationality. Rather than being rational creatures with occasional emotions, we are emotional beings who occasionally think . This makes it more difficult to "remain ourselves.” On the other hand, too much rationality is binding and stifles wisdom and with it, intuition and creativity.
The analogy of the rods (M, D, P), where the old part ceases to exist and the new part is just emerging, implies one particularly important fact. We cannot go back along the paths of complexity we cannot turn around and hold on to some of Ariadne's thread in the Labyrinth that we have been unfolding behind us. The way back no longer exists behind us, it has disappeared. Of course, we can turn around and try to find places we have already passed through, but very often we conclude that even these places no longer exist, they have disappeared. This refers us to the great Anaximander of Miletus and his first sentence of philosophy, which, in one of its interpreted forms from extant fragments, says:
And the source of coming-to-be for existing things is that into which destruction, too, happens according to necessity;
For they pay penalty and retribution to each other for their injustice according to the assessment of time…….
The above conclusion that a path arises as disappearing is fully consistent with the scientific theory of complex systems, or with the many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics, where many variable paths and destinations exist in parallel . The remaining question is what the source of the variability and motion of these paths is.
Bata's motto "Be first!" may imply competitiveness, the push to perform, the need to achieve results, and the necessity to win, but also to find the courage to take a step in a different direction than the majority goes, to accept the challenge and become a pioneer. Perhaps the path is where the human will exists. It is the desire to leave a footprint where no one has been before, knowing full well that those footprints will eventually be covered by the dust of time. For as the Scripture says: dust we are and to dust we shall return.
Another explanation of motion may be the Kauffmanian direction of evolution by the shortest and quickest route to the nearest next . The limited cognition of the human individual at each moment is focused on creating a map of the nearest next. At least in the sense of whether it will be possible to root the individual rods (M, D, P) there, if not all at once, at least one of them. This movement towards the nearest next has implicit in it the human desire for a better life. A desire that shapes the direction and motivation of the movement of human individuals, right up to their mass migrations. Anthropologist Aleš Hrdlička has described these motivations extensively in his Laws .
The constant tension between what "should or ought to be" and what actually "is" can also be a source of movement. This is a quite general phenomenon, which is based on the principle that reality permanently defies all its descriptions because it is far more complex, but on the other hand more interesting... Gregory Bateson and Zdeněk Neubauer have already argued that every pupil should know that a map is not a landscape and science is not about the world, but only about a model of it, called objective reality. N. N. Taleb says the same thing in other words , "to ask science to be able to explain life and its questions is like asking a grammarian to be able to explain poetry."
A possible way is the question of human ingenuity and creativity, which let us illustrate with the model example of the intersection of two ideas A and B. In the framework of analytical thinking, we are looking for common features (positive intersection) of our two ideas, their informational overlaps, similarities, and concurrences. It should be noted that most of the population has well-developed analytical skills due to natural selection, and even the scientific community is concerned with analytical methods associated with measuring, processing, and evaluating specific data. Analytical thinking is associated with the left hemisphere of the brain.
On the other hand, there is the less discussed synthetic thinking, where ideas A and B inspire us to search for missing areas (negative intersection) to gain more comprehensive knowledge beyond the original ideas. Filling in the missing parts tends to be associated with creativity and is attributed to the right hemisphere of the brain.
The illustrative example of two ideas can easily be extended to a larger number of ideas and their processing in pairs, triples, or even tuples. There will be positive intersections between some combinations and negative intersections between others, leading to better sorting and organization of knowledge in analytical thinking. In the synthetic domain, this increases the demand for new missing ideas.
Due to the multi-dimensionality, complex thought resonances can arise, leading to both sudden insights, which are usually associated with seeing connections in the analytical part, or increased demand for unique missing knowledge. Famous scientists, artists, or creative people in general, often described similarly the inner desire for knowledge that eventually led them to create a new work associated with the exclamation "eureka!”
The generation of diverse ideas is not limited to individuals but also works for a team of people who understand and listen to each other. The presentation of ideas by different participants can generate more ideas that would never have been generated without the right creative environment. These methods of knowledge creation  are commonly known as brainstorming.
The question remains whether we can influence the direction in which the path of complexity is born. We cannot simply accept the adage that the journey itself is the destination and it does not matter where we are heading. Let us not be satisfied with merely walking somewhere. By definition, it is impossible to think of the direction of our journey in fixed Cartesian coordinates. Nor can we calculate distance, direction, or determine a time of arrival. That is simply not possible in a complex environment. Still, it is good to establish a fuzzy idea of the space we want to be part of in the surrounding all-encompassing and all-pervasive complex system. In that case, it is advisable to determine some of its properties and always be prepared for the possibility that we may not find such a place at all. It will be even more joyful if, at least for a moment, when we see a glimpse of these visions as a divine revelation.
Again, the thought creeps in that we humans seem to be heading intuitively and with the hope of a better life to those places that are related to concepts like knowledge, faith, and beauty. There is, if not purposely repressed, a shared idea of the shape of the goal among diverse human individuals, a kind of shared collective wisdom that allows us to work together to achieve common goals, even if our specific ideas about their shape differ somewhat. Thus, we intuitively look for footholds, handholds, or opportunities to put down pillars or roots in the Kauffmanian nearest next. It is tempting sometimes to take the longer step, but often the complexity of the world makes it a step into the emptiness.
Let us ask ourselves whether the paths of complexity are not, by their very nature and form, individual paths, the paths of solitary pilgrims. The fact is that the prerequisite for a successful pilgrimage through complexity is a united will. This does not mean, however, that it must necessarily be a single will. The single will of the individual is, of course, unified, unless the individual in question is schizophrenic. A human individual has the highest degree of personality, which in a sense no corporation can achieve.
Without will there is no way, and therefore in the case of a group of pilgrims, it is necessary to place in that role an aggregate which is a compromise of the wills of the individual pilgrims. The aggregation of wills and interests in any community, not to mention marriage, is a complex process and therefore it seems more effective to entrust groups of pilgrims to experienced guides through the paths of complexity. But we know the stories of pilgrims led astray, the story of the Pied Piper, and also the story of Thurber's lemmings.
That is why it is worthy of our attention if as many of us as possible can navigate the paths of complexity, create our paths, and be able to lend a helping hand to others on their journeys. It is at the same time a more effective and resilient solution than the complex aggregation of wills and the consequent risks of collective decision-making or, on the contrary, surrendering to the single will of a leader or dictator. Let us also not forget the age-old adage that two is advice, three is treachery, which perfectly captures one of the fundamental differences between partnerships between individuals and relationships in a collective.
Let us quote the verses of Jan Neruda:
It's coming, oh it's coming! Only each one look well to his own core: if each of us is made of flint, the whole nation is made of squares...
Jan Neruda certainly did not think in his “Songs of the Cosmos” about the ways of complexity, but he tried to highlight the quality individual ready to help his fellow man in uncertain times, who is aware of his team responsibility. If these skills spread in any community or corporation, such a community need not fear for its viability and future.
10. Summary and recommendations for conclusion
Let us try to outline recommendations on how to behave in the increasingly complex world that surrounds us:
1. Let us keep in mind the complexity of our environment, which is constantly changing, has a mostly chaotic temporal and spatial evolution, and exhibits surprising, changing, positive, and negative emergences in various synergies, sequences, and with unexpected consequences. Let us not be caught off guard by these developments and always maintain the appropriate distance and privilege of authentic decision-making about our own lives, our co-responsibility for the lives of others, and the perpetuation of the cultural rules that influence our environment.
2. Let us perceive that in a complex environment, it is impossible to set one ideal goal to which only one right path leads. Nevertheless, it is good to set a goal, because as the famous Jára Cimrman teaches us: those who do not have a goal will not know that they have lost their way. The goal will be a fuzzy area or a distant idea rather than a specific point. It may be some subspace of a complex environment that we believe we might feel comfortable in. This subspace will change, requiring us to be constantly 'on our toes' and to orient ourselves quickly in the light of new experiences. Our task should be to recognize that we are getting closer to the goal and to identify our associated internal states, which we can call contentment.
3. In a complex environment we are free to choose the plethora of possible paths that are offered to us at any given moment, as long as we are not living in a totalitarian-deterministic system. Deciding on a particular step is often intuitive. With reason, we can only see to the nearest next one; with emotion, we can see further, but alas, not to our nebulous destination. Decision-making integrates our personality, knowledge, skills, and experience, but most importantly the values that have been instilled in us by our ancestors. It is a kind of ethical lighthouse that we can rely on in rough seas. We must trust that if we do not betray our values and stray from the path, eventually we will see our nebulous destination, or at least its shadow. But it can be like the horizon - the closer we get to it, the further it recedes.
4. At every turn, let us be aware that we are not alone in the world and let us develop bonds of all kinds, both internal and external, both partnership and community because two make better time, and if there are more of us, we fear no wolf. Often, the more we put into relationships, the more we get back. Not only from others, but it strengthens us immediately. Therefore, let us strive to help others not out of expediency or mere compassion, but out of simple humanity as if we were in their shoes. We can certainly agree with the quote that the way to joy leads through gratitude. It is gratitude that gives us additional strength on our journey of complexity. A strength that comes from humility, wisdom, and beauty.
5. Let us observe the behaviour of the environment, including our successes or failures, with the proper distance and with our brains "on.” In this way of thinking, reflecting, and experiencing, we approach long-neglected meditations, rituals, or symbolic understandings of the world. They have the privilege of engaging all the senses, intuition, and emotions, and the result is a holistic view of expanded consciousness in which we can more easily see a new form of purpose and an approximate direction for life's next journey. Until our last days and moments, there is hope that we will eventually see an even more attractive destination than we ever hoped for, and it happens to be in sight.
6. Let us work on ourselves and our vitality. Let us create a variable environment of possibilities around us. Let us bring into our environment the questions that others may be afraid to ask of themselves and expect similar questions from others. Let us try to build a viable platform in our environment from which we can draw on the accumulated knowledge and experience of others while enriching it with our own. By exploring this platform in detail, we can experience exaptation and move leaps and bounds along our path of complexity, not just linearly, but into new and previously unknown territory.
7. Let us work for the future. Let us gather knowledge, create new hypotheses and theories, expand our horizons of knowledge, test novel approaches, create knowledge systems, and map blind alleys. Let us organize them in the name of their transferability, so that future generations can draw on them and continue the constant cycle of life, and can similarly develop the cultural values of humanity, and its vitality. Likewise, let us search for the sources of wisdom bequeathed to us by our ancestors, and let us strive to make use of them and make them available to our descendants.
Figure 2: M. Svítek: The Stormy Mind - acrylic (dedicated to co-author L. Žák as a memento of our discussions)
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