Scaling Fallacy

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The fallacy to think that large systems are like small systems, just bigger.

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The problem is that not all the variables of a system change at the same rate.

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We can see it with a simple cube. When we double the distance, the surface is four times bigger and the volume eight times bigger.

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Scaling of a cube
Scaling of a cube

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The term comes from Weinberg's Quality Software Management.

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In complex systems, we can build causal loop diagrams to identify the relationships between the variables and how they will scale.

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