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Understanding Is A Poor Substitute For Convexity (antifragility) | Conversation | Edge

Understanding Is A Poor Substitute For Convexity (antifragility) | Conversation | Edge | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it

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. 


Via Spaceweaver
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Anne Caspari's comment, June 17, 2013 4:22 AM
Against popular understanding of what makes the universe go round "(yin/yang") , it is ASSYMETRY in many different realms. Generative systems design can benefit hugely from understanding this and using what Taleb calls convexity in order to desgin for results and success.

And here is another take on assymetries cross posted from Bonnitta Roy, http://alderloreinsightcenter.com/insightful-ideas-blog/  pointing out the different realms where assymetry is the driver:

"That at every level or domain of existence there are exclusionary principles which are the principles which guarantee difference and generate increasing levels of uniqueness. So for example, at the quantum level there is wave-particle uncertainty, at the atomic level there is Pauli exclusion, at the level of abiotic there are things like laws that govern crystals, handedness, etc… at the level of plant there is the exclusion of space, at the level of animals there are incompatible goods, and at the level of humans there are incommensurable beliefs. "

This all makes a lot of sense.
Generative Systems Design
Complex Adaptive Systems, Process Design, Adaptive Push Back, Antifragility, Dynamic Organization, Autopoiesis
Curated by Anne Caspari
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Participatory wisdom and sustainability

Participatory wisdom and sustainability | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it

In that effort I think it wise to seriously reflect on nature’s patterns. Evolution, ecology and ancient tribal cultures all tell us – each in their own useful ways – that nature is sustained by the participation of all its life forms and ecosystems, all its elemental forces and cycles. They tell us that communities and species thrive within that vibrant association by fitting their participation harmoniously into the larger dance of life around them. Sure, they can and do shape their environment to serve their needs and dreams. But they must simultaneously serve the wellbeing of their fellows and their ecosystem or they risk being removed from the dance by elemental forces and cycles far greater than themselves.

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Tree roots form a sort of "neural network" with one another, in an antifragile complex adaptive system

Tree roots form a sort of "neural network" with one another, in an antifragile complex adaptive system | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it

"In this real-life model of forest resilience and regeneration, Professor Suzanne Simard shows that all trees in a forest ecosystem are interconnected, with the largest, oldest, "mother trees" serving as hubs. The underground exchange of nutrients increases the survival of younger trees linked into the network of old trees. Amazingly, we find that in a forest, 1+1 equals more than 2"


Via Lorien Pratt
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Lorien Pratt's curator insight, July 21, 4:05 PM

This blows me away; I had no idea about these interconnected, synapse-like links from one tree to the next. 

Flora Moon's curator insight, August 20, 8:51 AM

I was just thinking about anti-fragile systems,  great example, thanks!

Kathy Mays's curator insight, August 26, 3:58 AM

Consider Jung's concept of the collective unconscious while looking at this.

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Group genius: Why fish are smarter in swarms - YouTube

Read more: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22129540.800 When animals swarm they exhibit a complex collective intelligence that could help us build robo...
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ANTIFRAGILE 2014, 2-5 June 2014. Call for papers and participation. | www.altreonic.com

ANTIFRAGILE 2014, 2-5 June 2014. Call for papers and participation. | www.altreonic.com | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it

Keynote speaker: Dr. Kennie H. Jones from NASA kindly agreed to give a keynote speech at ANTIFRAGILE 2014. He will discuss, among other issues, the role that antifragile engineering is playing within NASA and how this research direction may provide an answer to the design challenges of large and complex resilient and antifragile systems.


The expected returns are extraordinary as well: antifragile computer engineering promises to enable realizing truly autonomic systems and ambients able to meta-adapt to changing circumstances; to self-adjust to dynamically changing environments and ambients; to self-organize so as to track dynamically and proactively optimal strategies to sustain scalability, high-performance, and energy efficiency; to personalize their aspects and behaviors after each and every user. And to learn how to get better while doing it.

 

The ambition and mission of ANTIFRAGILE is to enhance the awareness of the above challenges and to begin a discussion on how computer and software engineering may address them. As a design aspect cross-cutting through all system and communication layers, antifragile engineering will require multi-disciplinary visions and approaches able to bridge the gaps between “distant” research communities so as to propose novel solutions to design and develop antifragile systems and ambients; devise conceptual models and paradigms for antifragility ; provide analytical and simulation models and tools to measure systems ability to withstand faults, adjust to new environments, and enhance their resilience in the process; foster the exchange of ideas and lively discussions able to drive future research and development efforts in the area.

 

For the link to the international workshop https://sites.google.com/site/resilience2antifragile/

Anne Caspari's insight:

Glad to see Taleb's work spreading and becoming the focus of system design application in the real world. 

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A Big Little Idea Called Legibility

A Big Little Idea Called Legibility | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
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, ...
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Significant Scales in Community Structure

Significant Scales in Community Structure | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
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.

Via Claudia Mihai, Eric L Berlow
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Eric L Berlow's curator insight, October 17, 2013 11:48 AM

Evaluating the statistical significance of modules within networks identified by community detection algorithms

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Social networks require ownership | Harold Jarche

Social networks require ownership | Harold Jarche | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
Anne Caspari's insight:

"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."

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The Living Technology of Christopher Alexander - Point of View - October 2011

The Living Technology of Christopher Alexander - Point of View - October 2011 | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it

"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." 

Anne Caspari's insight:

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. 

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In-sighting Emergent Capacities

In-sighting Emergent Capacities | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it

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.

Anne Caspari's insight:

There is something new happening; potentially beautiful/powerful and definetely insight-ful. :-) www.alderloreinsightcenter.com

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Elegance

Elegance | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
Anne Caspari's insight:

"Nature is ultimalty complex, but you don't get a metatheoretical hangover from Nature because it is elegant". 

 

Bonnitta Roy, ITC presentation, SF, CA

http://alderloreinsightcenter.com/insightful-ideas-blog/

 

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ISSS 57 - Curating Conditions for a Thrivable Planet

A message from Alexander Laszlo, President of the International Society for the Systems Sciences, about the upcoming 57th Annual World Conference in Hai Phon...
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How to Get Stuff Done, Integral Style!

How to Get Stuff Done, Integral Style! | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
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.
Anne Caspari's insight:

'same but different' approach to dynamic steering via practicing presence. Nice piece to the puzzle. 

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Economics students call for shakeup of the way their subject is taught

Economics students call for shakeup of the way their subject is taught | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
Students from 19 countries argue economics courses failing wider society by ignoring need to address 21st-century issues
Anne Caspari's insight:

about time...

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How Different Cultures Understand Time

How Different Cultures Understand Time | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
Time may seem universal, but different cultures interpret it very differently.
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4 Bio-Inspired Tips to Create Better Teams | Design Thinking

4 Bio-Inspired Tips to Create Better Teams | Design Thinking | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
There’s an entire industry built around how to be a better leader and build strong, dynamic teams. But we look to nature for inspiration.
Anne Caspari's insight:

Nice. More design thinking should be inspired by all things nature. 

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Beyond “Sissy” Resilience: On Becoming Antifragile

Beyond “Sissy” Resilience: On Becoming Antifragile | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
What’s the opposite of a person or organization that's fragile?
Anne Caspari's insight:

don't know about the manliness, but the pics and graphs are cool :-) 

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Eli Levine's comment, January 31, 12:10 AM
Not a bad goal for humanity to accomplish.<br><br>I think it's feasible, provided we get out from under the outdated nonsense that we're currently under.
Eli Levine's comment, January 31, 12:10 AM
Not a bad goal for humanity to accomplish.<br><br>I think it's feasible, provided we get out from under the outdated nonsense that we're currently under.
Eli Levine's comment, January 31, 12:10 AM
Not a bad goal for humanity to accomplish.<br><br>I think it's feasible, provided we get out from under the outdated nonsense that we're currently under.
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What Starbucks Gets that Architects Don’t

What Starbucks Gets that Architects Don’t | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
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 …
Anne Caspari's insight:

"form follows feeling".....

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Nassim Taleb and Daniel Kahneman discusses Antifragility at NYPL

Nassim Taleb and Daniel Kahneman discusses Antifragility at NYPL | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
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 ...
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Anne Caspari's curator insight, September 19, 2013 5:35 AM

really interesting conversation. Read Antifragile before you listen! 

Angela Rizner's comment, September 19, 2013 3:37 PM
Half way through. hoping to audit his class in the spring.
Anne Caspari's comment, October 5, 2013 4:46 PM
:-), thanks, and Angela, go for it, would love to hear about it... !
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The Coherent Organization

The Coherent Organization | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it

Co�her�ent (k-hîrnt, -hr-) means

1. Sticking together; cohering.2. Marked by an orderly, logical, and aesthetically consistent relation of parts: a coherent essay.3. Physics Of, relating to, or having waves with similar direction, amplitude, and phase that are capable of exhibiting interference.

(The American Heritage Dictionary)

 
Anne Caspari's insight:

good direction! 

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Antifragile system design principles | Beyond The Beyond | Wired.com

Antifragile system design principles | Beyond The Beyond | Wired.com | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it

*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

“(2) Decentralize

“(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

Anne Caspari's insight:

I posted the reffered articles by Hagel and Taleb before, but this is a cool summary/overview. 

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Skin in the Game as a Required Heuristic for Acting under Uncertainty

Skin in the Game as a Required Heuristic for Acting under Uncertainty | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
How are we to act in the face of all the uncertainty that remains after we have become aware of our ignorance?
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Anne Caspari's curator insight, August 6, 2013 7:28 AM

"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 

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Understanding Is A Poor Substitute For Convexity (antifragility) | Conversation | Edge

Understanding Is A Poor Substitute For Convexity (antifragility) | Conversation | Edge | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it

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. 


Via Spaceweaver
more...
Anne Caspari's comment, June 17, 2013 4:22 AM
Against popular understanding of what makes the universe go round "(yin/yang") , it is ASSYMETRY in many different realms. Generative systems design can benefit hugely from understanding this and using what Taleb calls convexity in order to desgin for results and success.

And here is another take on assymetries cross posted from Bonnitta Roy, http://alderloreinsightcenter.com/insightful-ideas-blog/&nbsp; pointing out the different realms where assymetry is the driver:

"That at every level or domain of existence there are exclusionary principles which are the principles which guarantee difference and generate increasing levels of uniqueness. So for example, at the quantum level there is wave-particle uncertainty, at the atomic level there is Pauli exclusion, at the level of abiotic there are things like laws that govern crystals, handedness, etc… at the level of plant there is the exclusion of space, at the level of animals there are incompatible goods, and at the level of humans there are incommensurable beliefs. "

This all makes a lot of sense.
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A Question of Wholeness

A Question of Wholeness | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it

 

"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."

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Anne Caspari's curator insight, June 16, 2013 8:05 AM

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. 

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Eric Berlow: Simplifying complexity | Video on ...

Eric Berlow: Simplifying complexity | Video on ... | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
Ecologist Eric Berlow doesn't feel overwhelmed when faced with complex systems. He knows that more information can lead to a better, simpler solution.
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