Dappled Ideas

Creativity is the dappling of ideas of different colors. Sounds like a strange definition, but it is in this definition that I find a great way of explaining complexity.

The Idea Seeds

Having read posts and comments from three different authors the seed of this post emerged.

First I read a superb comment from Rajat Kapoor in which he wrote;

Evolutionary and experimental leadership is dappled with an almost infinite vision. Our thoughts flavor the mind much like tea leaves.

This comment urged me to think deeper. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines dapples as any of numerous usually cloudy and rounded spots or patches of a color or shade different from their background.

For example, we see dapples on horses, dogs, and in trees. Whenever sunlight meets a shadow, dapples form in different colors and shapes. For the interested readers, I recommend a post, which has wealth of information explaining the different paddles that form on horses and their variety of colors.

A second interesting post explains well the factors that influence the colors and shapes of dapples on leaves. The post refers to dappled light as that spotted light that typically comes through gaps in a tree canopy. It enumerates several factors that affect the shapes and colors of dapples. These are:

  • The position of the sun;
  • The height of the tree canopy;
  • The shapes of the gaps which light is coming through (which tend to change frequently with the wind); and
  • The plane where the light is hitting

The reader can guess what I am driving to conclude. When opposites meet “sunlight and shadow”, different colors and shapes emerge. These shapes are complex and any small changes may lead to changing their colors and shapes.

Dr. Eric Zabiegalski wrote a recent post on What ABOUT COMPLEXITY IN ORGANIZATIONS in which he wrote;

Organizations facing the tensions between exploitation and exploration would be in this situation of negative entropy, breathing in and out like a living system
Diverse agents and building blocks build robust structures and chaotic (asymmetric) structures and systems are perhaps the most robust of all.

Dr.  Zabiegalski is so right. Companies that live the creative tension between opposites (exploitation and exploration) are self-renewing companies. A company that focuses on either one lacks this creative edge.

Farooq Omar shared a meaningful post on Life Puzzle. He wrote, “Life is Jigsaw puzzles with each event in our lives representing an event He then wrote;

There are times when two pieces are so comparative I don’t find my slip-up until one more piece of the riddle will not fit together. Then, at that point, I need to discover the mistake and begin remaking from that point.

I offer the formation of dapples as a metaphor for events in our lives. Events in our lives are colors. Some black, some grey, some yellow and so on. It is the mixing of the colors that give the emerging tones and tints of life.

Not only forests form dapples. We humans create our own. When we interact and mix ideas of different colors new dapples of thinking emerge. When we share opposing ideas just like sunshine and shadow when they meet, they form dapples of colors, so our opposite ideas shall be.


Ali Anani
Ali Anani
My name is Ali Anani. I hold a Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia (UK, 1972) Since the early nineties I switched my interests to publish posts and presentations and e-books on different social media platforms.

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  1. You are very generous dear Farooq.

    I want to thank you for your glorious comments and scenarios.
    I want to add to the snowflake scenario that itself is a complex one because so many variable affect the size of a snowflake. Now imagine this frozen drop of water how it interacts with light and produces among other things rainbows of different resolutions.

    You are so right in describing the holes in a canopy among tree leaves as pinhole cameras. Imaging how many cameras these trees have and each taking a slightly different image than the next one. What we see on the ground is the best visual example of complexity.

  2. Dear Ali, much obliged for sharing a fascinating, yet inspirational post with stunning illustrations and as it should be. I like to share my models identifying with yours. Maybe, it can disclose and open roads to investigate the subject you’ve shared.

    Simply envision a solitary snowflake tumbling from the night sky. Without anyone else, it has no desire for changing the world. Be that as it may, this single snowflake has BIG desires and BIGGER thoughts. It understands that it needs to assemble different snowflakes to develop BIGGER and Further. Thus it chooses to fall on top of the greatest mountain top where it interlocks with other similar snowflakes. There it trusts that the breeze will blow and the ground to shake, in the long run changing this single snowflake into one of the most impressive and brutal powers on the planet: A Rampaging Avalanche! Furthermore, to believe that this began with a solitary snowflake who set out to plan for an impressive future. …The paradox is the ‘missings’and connectings’
    We either can think to solve the complexities or through sentiments generated thoughts – The left and right of cerebrum combination.
    Another example which maf fit better, and relates to dispersion of light passed through a medium or Prism (prism effect)

    Dappled light is delivered when daylight is flitered through the leaves of trees. The dapples result not on the grounds that tree leaves have curved openings in them but instead in light of the fact that the passes on consolidate to make numerous smallpinhole cameras, which then, at that point produce different pictures of the sun’s surface on neighboring projection surfaces. Subsequently each dapple is a picture of the outer layer of the sun. On the off chance that there is an enormous sunspot on a superficial level on the sun, that spot will show up inside each dapple. That is your question

    As you pointed out, how to solve look a loke but are infact not similar (dispersion)…A simple think to do is to…Try to change the issue into an alternate structure or organize framework that dispenses with the intricacy.
    The method here is to search for what doesn’t change in an issue — the invariants — despite the hidden intricacy….
    Another way stating it can be, maybe problem-solving research should use a similar differentiation between “little p” and “BIG P” to mark toy problems on the one side and big societal challenges on the other. The question then remains: what can we learn about BIG P by studying little p? What phenomena are present in both types, and what phenomena are unique to each of the two extremes? The BIG P is the source, ‘basic color, SMALL p as tints and hues (variants)…We need to give more value to the small ‘p”, the small p looks small but difficult to analyze with accuracy in conjuction with Big P…’Small p is the complexity/ies…How to solve the smaller ps’ and coming back to the Big P to form an outcome is the process/proceedure needed to solve the complex issue. Anyone who can come out with a proceedure to solve it, would be an edequate model/s in my opinion…

    Why do simple linear systems not fall within CPS? At the surface, nonlinear and linear systems might appear similar because both only include 3–5 variables. But the difference is in terms of systems behavior as well as strategies and learning. If the behavior is simple (as in linear systems where more input is related to more output and vice versa), the system can be easily understood (participants in the MicroDYN world have 3 minutes to explore a complex system). If the behavior is complex (as in systems that contain strange attractors or negative feedback loops), things become more complicated and much more observation is needed to identify the hidden structure of the unknown system (Berry and Broadbent, 1984; Hundertmark et al., 2015).
    I am sure, that @Raj, Dr. Erik and Dr, Rod and you dear @Ali, can come up with something innovative and out of the box…It is bound to be a very interesting excercise. Regards