How to provide simple entities and rules that can enable organic relationships between them, rather that creating complicated and information packed entities that are (semi)closed and rigid?

I am not a philosopher by any stretch of imagination, or very familiar with that domain, but I do know that a major paradigm shift in ontology came in 20th century with Martin Heidegger. For centuries before him, Cartesian “I think therefore I am” was the proof of reality of one’s own existence, the essential property of being human. Heidegger argued that for something or somebody “to be”, it is less defined with its properties and more with it’s relationship with the environment, other entities. This had a profound impact on 20 century philosophy, literature and art.

Interestingly enough, the same or very similar principle can be observed in complex systems: natural, sociological, financial, or mathematical, where simple entities driven by simple rules establish variety of relationship, thus creating rich complex environment. One of the simplest example of this in mathematics can be observed in fractal geometry established by Benoit Mandelbrot. Fractals are simple entities that are reproduced through simple rules, in a self-similar fashion on multiple scales producing complex, yet understandable structures. Mandelbrot based this mathematics on observation of the “roughness” of the natural world, but more and more this mathematic is becoming applicable to science, technology, art and design, even stock trading.

Look at our own bodies, all is created/designed from simple entities, only 4 amino acids, guanine, cytosine, adenine, thymine. Even less, two and two pair up, GC and TA. Yet, in their sequencing – relationship, an incredible amount of complex protein structures, tissue and organs are created and maintained. (side note, what happens when that relationship is broken. Cancer.)

Bringing it even close to our domain. Some of the most popular digital services out there, such as Twitter or Instagram rely on simple entities, tweets or pics, establishing the rules for connecting those entities which then enable creation of relationships between them and the users. Twitter itself does not try to create relationships between entities or users, but by providing mechanisms, rules, framework it enable users to choose what kind of relationship they want to establish with others. Although a tweet as an entity is a set of 140 characters, Twitter as a system, is rich, complex and meaningful due to abundance of relationship within.

This is very high level deconstruction of basic principles of creation of a meaningful social app/service, that can be themed with anything, in our case – movies. Do we really need to dig in this deep this create a simple movie app? Probably not :) you can stumble upon the next great thing by tinkering, pivoting, trial and error-ing, but seeing underlying principles could help here and there. Unfortunately, seeing the high level principles does not guarantee a creation of successful service, if that were the case all the philosophers would be richer than Warren Buffet or Bill Gates. Seneca apparently was, but that is a different, longer story.