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This is where I want to return to the idea that what we face is a design problem, where answers exist not at an unattainable theoretical level but on the floors of our factories, in the streets of our towns and cities, the classes of our schools, the waiting rooms of our hospitals. These answers will manifest themselves as true acts of creation, originating new ways of getting stuff done, informed by the decisions we collectively take. So in re-designing the world, we need human creativity in the sense of the capacity to ‘make’, we need visionary leadership in the sense of making a difference. And we seek the craftsman’s critical eye, steady hand and creative mind. It is this process of seeing – realising new pathways to success, by bringing two ‘unlikes’ (new information, tools, processes etc.) together in close adjacency – that we create, and make new things. Then we can meaningfully apply that capability.
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James C.Scott’s fascinating and seminal book, Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed, examines how, across dozens of domains, ranging from agriculture and forestry, to urban planning and census-taking, ...
Many complex networks show signs of modular structure, uncovered by community detection. Although many methods succeed in revealing various partitions, it remains difficult to detect at what scale some partition is significant.
Evaluating the statistical significance of modules within networks identified by community detection algorithms
"It’s not a question of “motivating” people, but understanding why people are naturally motivated to share.....Even with a clear, resonating purpose, salaried employees still own nothing on the enterprise social network. Aye, there’s the rub."
"We are using an assumed technology of design all the time, but Alexander argues that what is needed must be different in five key respects:
1) Adaptive design cannot start from a supposed tabula rasa condition, but will always transform what already exists. Even similar design problems, in different contexts, have the task of transforming distinct configurations. In mathematical terms, every design problem has distinct initial conditions that strongly influence the solution.
2) Adaptive design has to engage multiple actors, forming a “collective intelligence” to explore the universe of available solutions and non-solutions. Otherwise, the search algorithm seeking good solutions can take forever, so someone chooses an arbitrary, poorly adapted or dysfunctional solution out of desperation.
3) Adaptive design explicitly employs simple stepwise procedures, operating sometimes at fine scales that can vary and adapt as they develop. This is known in the software community as “interactive computation”, in which the momentary configuration influences the solution as it develops. Computation is affected by feedback in real time.
4) An intelligent approach to design recapitulates the evolutionary successes of the past, and avoids the evolutionary failures of the past, by retaining “genetic information” on the most successful patterns, which we can re-use. Again, it is the software people who have profited most from this insight.
5) A revolutionary aspect is to use the qualitative aspects of living systems, and in particular, the qualities of feeling that we bring to the design process. Surprisingly, this qualitative “selection by systemic attributes” very effectively helps to narrow down the search for adaptive solutions."
It is well worth studying the morphgenetics of design. With awareness based techniques and the "collective intelligence" we can identify not rigid blueprints but underlying principles that would allow us to come up with adaptive generative design solutions in resonance and alignment with life. And reliably so.
It is not the designer’s role to steer individuals to any particular insight, or to mine the individual’s own intuition of what is leaning into their own horizon. Sometimes an insight or intuition can seem to be off track, or seem to take the student in the “wrong direction” – but emergent design requires that we drop the notion of “wrong direction” and allow the inherent genius of the co-creative, adaptive process to be generative of the process. To design for co-creative emergent process, means to discover, by trial and error if necessary, the minimum elegant structure for insight-generation.
There is something new happening; potentially beautiful/powerful and definetely insight-ful. :-) www.alderloreinsightcenter.com
"Nature is ultimalty complex, but you don't get a metatheoretical hangover from Nature because it is elegant".
Bonnitta Roy, ITC presentation, SF, CA
A message from Alexander Laszlo, President of the International Society for the Systems Sciences, about the upcoming 57th Annual World Conference in Hai Phon...
Let’s look at what we’re trying to get done from a broader perspective and apply a principle I learned from one of my Zen teachers, Tanouye Roshi, and that is: driving rhythm.
'same but different' approach to dynamic steering via practicing presence. Nice piece to the puzzle.
Thriving on chaos in an age of discontinuity --- where the past is plagued with incoherence & inconsistency, the present is plagued with chaos & ambiguity, and the future is plagued with un...
very intersting and useful synopsis.
Describes the term Complexity-Worthiness from Complexity Theory
http://localfuture.org The collapse of complex societies of the past can inform the present on the risks of collapse. Dr. Joseph Tainter, author of the book ...
mimicking nature is a good idea in generative systems design.
Dear architects, You’re outdated. I know this because I once was one of you. But now I’ve moved on. I moved on because …
"form follows feeling".....
Nassim Nicholas Taleb's Home Page has a link to the video Nassim Taleb and Daniel Kahneman discusses Antifragility at NYPL. I always find it easy to understand the concept and the value of what he ...
really interesting conversation. Read Antifragile before you listen!
Co�her�ent (k-hîrnt, -hr-) means
(The American Heritage Dictionary)
(The American Heritage Dictionary)
*These are rather like the principles of the Joi Ito-era MIT Media Lab, but even scarier. Imagine falling into the clutches of an antifragile justice system
“System design principles
“(1) Stick to simple rules
“(3) Develop layered systems
“(4) Build in redundancy and overcompensation
“(5) Resist the urge to suppress randomness
“(6) Ensure everyone has skin in the game
“(7) Give higher status to practitioners rather than theoreticians
I posted the reffered articles by Hagel and Taleb before, but this is a cool summary/overview.
How are we to act in the face of all the uncertainty that remains after we have become aware of our ignorance?
"We believe skin in the game is the heuristics of a safe and just society. Opposed to this is the unethical practice of taking all the praise and benefits of good fortune whilst disassociating oneself from the results of bad luck or miscalculation. We situate our view within the framework of ethical debates relating to the moral significance of actions whose effects result from ignorance and luck. We shall demonstrate how the idea of skin in the game can effectively resolve debates about (a) moral luck and (b) egoism vs. altruism, while successfully bypassing (c) debates between subjectivist and objectivist norms of action under uncertainty, by showing how their concerns are of no pragmatic concern."
read Taleb`s book Antifragile, it is one of the best/most intelligently written books I have read in ages. AC
Something central, very central, is missing in historical accounts of scientific and technological discovery. The discourse and controversies focus on the role of luck as opposed to teleological programs (from telos, "aim"), that is, ones that rely on pre-set direction from formal science. This is a faux-debate: luck cannot lead to formal research policies; one cannot systematize, formalize, and program randomness. The driver is neither luck nor direction, but must be in the asymmetry (or convexity) of payoffs, a simple mathematical property that has lied hidden from the discourse, and the understanding of which can lead to precise research principles and protocols.
The point we will be making here is that logically, neither trial and error nor "chance" and serendipity can be behind the gains in technology and empirical science attributed to them. By definition chance cannot lead to long term gains (it would no longer be chance); trial and error cannot be unconditionally effective: errors cause planes to crash, buildings to collapse, and knowledge to regress.
The beneficial properties have to reside in the type of exposure, that is, the payoff function and not in the "luck" part: there needs to be a significant asymmetry between the gains (as they need to be large) and the errors (small or harmless), and it is from such asymmetry that luck and trial and error can produce results.
"We have the trap wherever there is “difference” we bump it up to a “higher” or more “complexified” sophistication, of “sameness.” We are trapped into this construction where conceptual sophistication grows from difference to sameness, multiplicity to unity, concrete and particular to abstract and universal."
Bonnitta Roy does a brilliant summary of most postmodern traps and fallacies. Most of this stuff we have been feeling into since last fall, led by her around the 'Alderlore tribe'. While this seems just highly philosophical musings, let me point out that this is leading behind the scenes of what really might be going on or going wrong in today's globalization world - including the responses of post-modernism. It points out the fault lines where most of us systems thinkers go terribly frustrated and no longer seem to understand the current trajectories. Her discours actually provides the acupuncture points for generative ACTION.
Ecologist Eric Berlow doesn't feel overwhelmed when faced with complex systems. He knows that more information can lead to a better, simpler solution.
As humans we are remarkably good at conceiving the world as a collection of objects, their geometric attributes, and the ways they can be taken apart and re-assembled to do spectacular things (either perform marvelous tasks for us, or provide an aesthetic spectacle, or both). This way of designing underlies much of our powerful technology—yet as modern science reminds us, it’s an incomplete way. Critical systemic effects have to be integrated into the process of design, without which we are likely to trigger operational failures and even disasters.
Today we are experiencing just these kinds of failures in large-scale systems like ecology. As designers (of any kind) we must learn to manage environments not just as collections of objects, but also as connected fields with essential features of geometric organization, extending dynamically through time as well as space. This is a key lesson from the relatively recent understanding of the dynamics of “complex adaptive systems,” and from applications in fields like biology and ecology.
'The Evolution of Business: Creating 'Firms of the Future' Through Biomimicry' blog post by Guest Contributors.
“I will invite the Future Salon members to a bit of meta-thinking and meta-design,” I announced in a three-question interview that was posted on the Future Salon website as part of the invitation. “What can you and I do that really can lead to a radical positive shift? I will raise this question by proposing a candidate answer.” In the lecture I proposed ‘Trimtabs for systemic change’ as a strategy for creating a world that works for all. I introduced this as a strategy complementary to the conventional way of handling contemporary issues, where we strive to understand and control specific problems such as the climate change.
# this is a really nice talk, worth listening to!
@Karen O'Brien, cChange