It Comes Undone-Think About It
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Absolution

The American public and, indeed, the American citizen is the ultimate cause of all problems within the American social system.  It is because of citizen demand for sub-optimal policy choices, sold to them by shills and shysters, that we get sub-optimal policy choices in our society which then tarnishes our entire nation and our viability as a country.  It is through their democratic voice, or lack of giving a voice, that we get the dysfunctional policy choices that we get, which then sets our nation, our society, and our world backwards and degrades the overall quality of life and well-being for the general public.  Unless a new leadership emerges to counter the incorrect and sub-optimal policy recommendations of our current leadership gives and to rise above the idiotic, the delusional, the misinformed, and the ignorant elements within our society, we are never going to be able to achieve the optimal quality of life we could potentially achieve with what we've presently got.

A democratic society is good for holding leaders to account.  However, the quality of that role depends largely upon the quality of the citizens' abilities to make choices for themselves on the collective and individual level.  If the ability of the public is compromised by leadership elements or by their own human fallibility, the system breaks down, and those moments of light which democracy brings forth may not be worth the long term costs of having a generally erratic and temperamental, incoherent, and not necessarily inclusive method of reaching decisions.  Like any relationship, it takes intelligent and sensed decision making by both partners in order to achieve optimal results.  Failure to do so will result in collapse, catastrophe, or else otherwise mediocre performance by the society.

Quite honestly, if a government and its members are able to know their own interests accurately, and are otherwise able to achieve them effectively, a hybrid of democracy and dictatorship becomes the preferable option in the long term, due to the stability of a well-functioning leadership who manipulates the society to positive ends and is affirmed by the society for doing a genuinely positive job at governing.  Knowing what the people need and want is a significant piece of the governing puzzle.  However, a too much chaos in the system leaves it destabilized in the long term. Too many voices with irrelevant or harmful ideas and methods of going about things will bring down the entire system, or else, make it significantly more difficult to achieve the fundamentals of survival, let alone, the ability to thrive as a society of individuals.

This is the ultimate conundrum of society.  While I agree that voting and access to the governing should be cheap and easy, I also think that not everything or everyone should be listened to.  Opinions are not, after all, equal in common reality.  A person may believe in the geocentric universe quite honestly.  However, all evidence points to it being quite an incorrect view of how the universe is and how it works.  The same principles apply in the world of policy, even if we're less clear about what actually is happening and how things actually are and are working.  A person may believe in a policy or in a method of organizing and managing a government and a society.  However, even though it may be possible to implement those ideas, it doesn't mean that it's an actually beneficial, healthy, or sustainable thing or set of things to do.  You can eat doughnuts everyday, all day for months and years.  However, just because you can, doesn't mean that you should and, quite honestly, it will lead to your death much sooner than it otherwise may have been, thanks to all of the health problems that it creates.  A society can operate on fossil fuels for energy or with the wealth being concentrated in the hands of a few with the democratic processes otherwise shut down to anything opposing the immediate desires of the elite.  However, that doesn't mean that a society should operate and function in such a condition and, having things be as such, the lifetime of the society will be shortened due to environmental and social pressures (assuming that no additional external catastrophes happen along the way).  This is going to be a moment of absolution for our society throughout these coming years and decades.  I don't know how we're going to do with the present set of socially illiterate people at the helms of our societies and the bumbling, incompetent nature of the general public to compound the problems that we're facing.

 

That's all I've got to say for now.  A shame I don't have better news to give.  I wish I could do something about it.  However, I need the permission of the society and its leadership in order to do that.

 

Shame, things were starting to look so cool.

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Rescooped by Eli Levine from Complex systems and projects
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The Downsides of Avoiding Complexity

The Downsides of Avoiding Complexity | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
By embracing the complexity of today’s intricate systems that knit together the programmatic audience buying landscape, we arm ourselves with more tools.

Via Philippe Vallat
Eli Levine's insight:

You gotta take the whole that is present, and make intutive sense of it in order to make anything valuable out of "big data".

 

The human brain can only process so much information.  Most likely we will have to use computers to translate the big data into the relevant chunks that we need in order to understand a given situation and to then make choices based on those decisions relative to all sorts of policy and programatic situations, in business and in society.

 

You can't simplify things and just take things at face value anymore.  It didn't really work then, and it certainly should not be used now that we ought to know better.

 

It's amazing to me how human beings fail to register these things!

 

Think about it.

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Philippe Vallat's curator insight, April 24, 2014 9:57 AM

I like that one: "The course of history has shown that irrationality is one of our specialties, which means there’s no one better than a human to think like a human."

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Project Management Strategies for Complex Projects: Case Study Report

Project Management Strategies for Complex Projects: Case Study Report | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
TRB’s second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) Renewal Project R10 has released a non-edited version of a report titled Project Management Strategies for Complex Projects: Case Study Report that describes fifteen U.S.

Via Christophe Bredillet, Philippe Vallat
Eli Levine's insight:

It's a lengthy read.

 

But this is the wave of the future.

 

Back to biology!

 

Think about it.

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Christophe Bredillet's curator insight, April 6, 2014 5:30 PM

Worthwhile reading the 3 reports.

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How can governments deal with complexity? The kryptonite of strategic thinking

How can governments deal with complexity?  The kryptonite of strategic thinking | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

The more complex a problem, the more difficult it is to come up with a long-term plan, Insead professor Yves Doz says. 

"We are looking at the way in which national governments can become more integrated, can become more strategic, can take a longer-term perspective, [rather] than just be hostage to the political agendas and the political time frames, and that is obviously quite challenging.

We have been finding two or three interesting things."


Via Philippe Vallat
Eli Levine's insight:

Four words: brain implants and computers.

 

We need to learn about the social, economic and environmental physics and how our individual, organizational and collective actions impact everyone and everthing else on this planet.  Then we can develop increasingly accurate models for mapping out what is the optimal state or what is the optimal path to get to that optimal state and then let the programs run their course.

 

Most likely we won't get to that point, owing to one potential calamity or another that could ruin the research.  However, the technology is advancing and the perspective of the universe is being reached.  No more can we afford to live in a world of our own brain's creation.  It's time to embrace the reality that is us and around us for what it is and accept it/work with it as such.  For our own sakes, as much as for everyone elses' sake.

 

Think about it.

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Philippe Vallat's curator insight, May 13, 2014 11:05 AM

Worth reading. I like especially:

"We should be aware that beyond a certain point, the complexity is going to defeat attempts at being rational."

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Flow, Conflux | Smart Cities

Flow, Conflux | Smart Cities | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

“The city is not only a community, it is a conflux. ….The real city, as a center of industry, is a conflux of streams of traffic; as a center of culture, it is conflux of streams of thought.” So wrote Benton MacKaye in 1928 in his book The New Exploration: A Philosophy of Regional Planning. When I sent a copy of my own recent book The New Science of Cities to my erstwhile colleague and old friend Lionel March, he quickly scowered it and said: “I see in your Preamble that you cite Castells’ ‘space of flows’ and that your approach makes much of flows and networks. I immediately turned to your bibliography to search for the name Benton MacKaye. It is not there! The author of The New Exploration (1928) is my hero of metropolitan/regional development. I’m sure you know of him”.


Via Bernard Ryefield
Eli Levine's insight:

Location, location, location.

 

The natural geography has to fit with the demands of the population and the society.  It's not something that someone on high chooses, but rather one where things grow up naturally according to the relative advantages and disadvantages of the area.  Then you build and with building in these geographically advantageous (or, sometimes, just convenient) areas you reinforce their advantages as centers of commerce, trade and "flows" as Batty would put it.

 

It makes sense to have it be on the regional, national and/or international scale, such that we, as humans, take advantage of the most strategic places and the most strategic resources that are available.  With this comes the flourishing of new life, happiness and possible/hopefully sustainable prosperity for the present and for the future well being of our civilizations.

 

The climate is changing and that's going to force a lot of changes on our part.  If we can survive the environmental tumult, and the economic and social tumult that it is going to cause, we could potentially, get off on a better footing than before, in spite of the losses which we incur as a result of the present silliness of our political, social and economic "leadership".

 

Good stuff!

 

Think about it.

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Common scaling laws for city highway systems and the mammalian neocortex - Changizi - 2009 - Complexity - Wiley Online Library

Common scaling laws for city highway systems and the mammalian neocortex - Changizi - 2009 - Complexity - Wiley Online Library | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

Changizi, M. A. and Destefano, M. (2010), Common scaling laws for city highway systems and the mammalian neocortex. Complexity, 15: 11–18. doi: 10.1002/cplx.20288


Via Bernard Ryefield
Eli Levine's insight:

Could you imagine if we're able to mimic our social/constructed systems upon our natural/organic systems?  Imagine if we could discover the natural laws that shape our world and then make our world be in conformity with these natural, discovered laws (as opposed to our abstracted, imaginatively created laws.

 

Think about it!

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