Economics writer Tim Harford studies complex systems — and finds a surprising link among the successful ones: they were built through trial and error. In this sparkling talk from TEDGlobal 2011, he asks us to embrace our randomness and start making better mistakes.
Harford describes the “God Complex” as the overwhelming belief that we are infallibly right in the solution that we know, a complex seen in many of our business and political leaders. In reality it is of course completely impossible for us humans to understand the universe in its entirety and it is okay to accept that limitation. We too often think that we can explain the complexities of life, the universe and everything in between through charts, statistics, computations, diagrams, etc and that these are the only explanations. What Harford reminds us of is to keep an open mind, that life is far too complex to be measured and explained in its entirety, and to not be afraid of making mistakes; as long as they are in the right direction.