Spontaneous order is the creation of meaningful structure by independent entities acting in self interest without coordination. For example, stock markets set remarkably accurate prices based on the decisions of millions of investors acting in self-interest. Ecosystems are another example of spontaneous order whereby organisms acting in self-interest end up balancing a complex system.
The RulesIt would be naive to think that self-interested competition always produces spontaneous order. Competition can also bring destructive results, decay and collapse. For example, if stock markets were unregulated you'd soon see corruption eating away at market efficiencies until nobody trusted the market enough to invest. A system of rules is often required for societies to produce sustainable value from spontaneous order.
This is the complete list of articles we have written about systems thinking.
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