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  • Writer's pictureBBD

Less is more: Adding up may be counter-productive

Our minds always think linearly. Whenever we encounter an issue, we plan to bring more to the table, adding up more strength, scaling up resources, and so on. Hold your breath, the paradox I will talk about will unsettle the age-old belief and jostle you to think on a new trajectory.

Let me brief you about an incident in Seoul, South Korea - when the city was suffering snarl of traffic and the authorities decided to demolish the bridge, which was passing through the center of the city and everybody got the jolt due to the contrarian move. Demolition of the busy bridge brought the much-needed panacea to the traffic issue and it surprised everyone around. A similar incident happened in New York, Germany - those facts lend more credence to the thought “Less is more”.

German mathematician Dietrich Braess postulated this Paradox in 1968. He observed that adding one or more roads to a road network can slow down traffic flow through it. This is Braess Paradox. This can be applicable in a few other areas as well.

Hence, before you choose to improve upon something, ask yourself, will that bring a positive result or it will go southward.

We should thank Mr. Braess for waving the red flag!

Braess’s paradox can also be found in biological systems, electrical engineering, sports strategy, and computer science.

In sports parlance, there is something called the Ewing paradox which is strangely analogous to Braess’s paradox. It describes how teams mysteriously play better when their star player is not on the court or field.

Now, the question for you, do you think - the premise of Braess’s paradox is contextual to Politics- where you are taking off the face of the political party from the election campaign. Will it work or won’t it?

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