The Elephant

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

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Sometimes you need to combine different perspectives and observations to get a clear picture of the system and it’s mechanisms. This is called emergence. The principal is nicely illustrated in parable of the elephant and six blindfolded people. The people are asked to touch the elephant and describe what they think it is. One of them says a snake (trunk), the second one says a wall (the elephant side), the third one says a tree (leg), the forth one says a spear (tusk), the fifth a robe (tale) and the last one says a fan (ear). No one describes any part of the elephant, but by exchanging their observations the elephant appears.

Instituut voor Briljante mislukkingen