How did the problem and the solution find one another?
From the MET point of view, the Chudnovsky brothers represent a “solution so remote it might as well be one of those green glass Japanese fishing floats bobbing happily off the coast of Peru. From the Chudnovsky point of view, the MET problem is quite literally locked away in a vault buried within an institution and a profession the brothers do not understand and may not actually know about. The Unicorn tapestry photos might as well have been on Mars. (This is an asymmetrical remoteness because, presumably, museums find mathematicians more easily than mathematicians find museums.)
That problem and solution found one another is a miracle. Our job is to see if there were mechanics in the miracle, and what, if anything, these can teach us about networks in expanding cultural spaces.
The first question, of course, is whether the Chudnovsky-MET connection has anything to do with the real world. Some will say the Unicorn photo problem is the sort of thing that happens to museums, and nobody else. Surely, the brothers Chudnovsky are the very definition of an arcane solution. Maybe. But not if we proceed metaphorically.
I think it must be true that problems in the world are speciating as fast as everything else in our culture. When we decide to “reinvent some part of our world, to express our creativity, to think “outside the box, we often force ourselves to move out of the standard package of solutions to something that must be custom build, perhaps even purpose built (few, if any, modular components).
In the old Vegas, entertainment called for little more than a conventional stage, a half decent sound system, and some way of keeping middle-aged women from practicing Dionysian abandon at Waynes expense. The advent of Circe du Soleil changed all that. Now it is customary to make people sail through water and air in a single arc. For the old Vegas, the number of people capable of solving the staging “problem could be counted in the hundreds of thousands. For Circe, its down to a handful. God knows how they find them. (Chances are, they train them instead, perhaps from infancy.)
I think this might also be true for the corporation. There was time when CEOs were either patrician or hard charging. (Morgan Stanley, before and after.) And there was plenty enough of either one. Now that the corporate world is a place of new complexity, the number of suitable candidates has fallen. It is not clear that the MBA conduit remains the best recruiting system and it looks as if the old supply chains are failing us. In-house training may be the solution here. (And this is a very interesting recipe for plenitude. Some theory of the corporation says that managers are supposed to be interchangeable and that when they do trade places, the intelligence of the system distributes itself and becomes more uniform. But if we are looking at a world in which corporations are so complicated that they can only be run by creatures raised from within, creatures who do not and cannot move across corporations, this will encourage still more different corporate cultures.)
My point (and I do have one): as the world becomes more various, problems and their solutions are perhaps becoming more various too. If the old supply chains are failing us, this opens the vista of a culture in which problems and solutions are ever harder to connect.
Oh, for crying out loud, Ive done it again. Banged out 700 words and not yet supplied the answer to the question in question. My conclusion, and I do have one, tomorrow. Sorry!