Paul Plesk: Emergent property

“It is more helpful to think like a farmer, than an engineer or an architect in designing [complex systems]… Engineers and architects need to design every detail of the system. This approach is possible because the responses of the componens are mechanical and therefore predictable. In contrast, the farmer knows that he or she can only do so much. The farmer uses knowledge and evidence from past experience and desires an optimum crop. However, in the end, the farmer simply creates the conditions under which a good crop is possible. The outcome is an emergent property of the natural systems and cannot be predicted in detail.”
—Paul Plesk.