๐Ÿ“‘ Accretive Growth Logics

Bookmarked Accretive Growth Logics by Venkatesh RaoVenkatesh Rao (ribbonfarm.com)

Despite the resemblance, an accretive robot is not the same thing as what in software architecture is known as a [big ball of mud](http://www.laputan.org/mud/). Big balls of mud are the result of organic growth logics going wrong and stalling out due to insufficiently thoughtful organization. Accretive growth is marked by ongoing incorporation of bits and pieces into an improvised, emergent architecture that has a small, conceptually coherent kernel and a large, wild shell. It is the material-embodiment analogue to the AI/big data principle of โ€œsimple code and lots of data beats complex code and little data.โ€

Source: Accretive Growth Logics by @ribbonfarm


Venkatesh Rao unpacks the different between organic and inorganic choatic growth, which he labels as accretive growth. Interestingly, with accretive growth, goals are “very unimportant”:

Goals themselves will evolve as chaotically as the body and mind of an accretively growing entity, and will matter much less. In fact, the more I think about complex, large scale systems, the more I realize โ€œgoalsโ€ are a very unimportant feature of their behavioral profile. Accretive growth logics prioritize the next round of growth, self-perpetuation, and survival, not long-term goals.

Source: Accretive Growth Logics by @ribbonfarm

This has me thinking about SMART goals and curriculum planning in education, and how these might be done differently by being accretive. I wonder if this is what the adaptive Modern Learning Canvas was trying to achieve.

In the end, Rao captures the biggest challenge of all in my opinion in highlighting that organic growth often wins out as it is easier to implement.

Scaling with accretive growth logics is much harder than scaling with organic growth logics. It takes conscious intelligence and more active steering to do. Very simple creatures can grow organically. It takes human intelligence to invent organ transplants that work. Dumb, unmanaged accretive growth isnโ€™t a thing.

Source: Accretive Growth Logics by @ribbonfarm

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