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UCD-STAFFORDBEER  December 2008

UCD-STAFFORDBEER December 2008

Subject:

Re: Modeling Emergent Structure

From:

Roger Harnden <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Forum dedicated to the work of Stafford Beer <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 12 Dec 2008 11:38:32 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (196 lines)

Barry, I am working through the current backlog, and probably
answering/commenting out of phase. Yes, I thin you are absolutely
correct in the context of an S4 tool. Good point.

Roger
On 10 Dec 2008, at 19:51, BARRY A CLEMSON wrote:

> Roger,
>
> You say:
>> Reaching out for a 'new' model, may often deflect attention from
>> the fact that one is perhaps not understanding existing models
>> properly - or testing them to their conclusion. I would certainly
>> not say that VSM has been tested to any sort of conclusion,
>
> I am not sure i understand your point here, but a dissipative
> structure model of emergent social behavior (if we succeed) would be
> an S4 tool in the same way that the Chile project used system
> dynamics models.. It would not in any way be an attempt to replace
> what the VSM does.
>
> Barry
>
> On Dec 9, 2008, at 5:51 PM, Roger Harnden wrote:
>
>> I agree, Czeslaw.
>>
>> I remember the interesting work done by Peter Allen on
>> demographics, while at Brussels and part of Prigogine's team. Even
>> at that statistical level findings were swamped by observer
>> distinctions.
>>
>> The very unique aspect of SB's work was that he took out of
>> scientific findings notions that he integrated into his own
>> conceptual framework as a MODEL. He cross-referenced (if you like,
>> reality-checked) with other, diverse fields, including non-
>> equilibrium thermodynamics. His value was to reduce key insights
>> from various fields, to a level of granularity that fitted the
>> human social scale.
>>
>> The use of scientific models developed and applied in their own
>> domain of reality, has to be handled impeccably and rigorously, and
>> a whole series of issues concerning metaphors and so on addressed.
>>
>> Reaching out for a 'new' model, may often deflect attention from
>> the fact that one is perhaps not understanding existing models
>> properly - or testing them to their conclusion. I would certainly
>> not say that VSM has been tested to any sort of conclusion,
>>
>> Roger
>>
>>
>> On 9 Dec 2008, at 21:52, Czeslaw Mesjasz wrote:
>>
>>> Dear All,
>>>
>>> I am currently working on a book about the links between various
>>> areas of
>>> "systems approach", or whatever we may call it, and broadly
>>> defined security. So I also had to read something on applications
>>> of thermodynamic models in social sciences.
>>>
>>> As to avoid any misunderstandings, I graduated in physics and in
>>> management. I am a kind of "former physicist" but it helps me in
>>> uderstanding the sense of the problems. In case of difficulties, I
>>> can
>>> always ask my Colleagues who are physicists.
>>>
>>> Applications of thermodynamics in studying society is a very
>>> well-known issue. All depends how we define social system.
>>> If we use "tangible models", thus attempts to find entropy,
>>> equilibrium,
>>> no-equilibrium, dissipative structures, etc. can bring some results.
>>> The main problem is that broadly understood "social systems" are
>>> mental
>>> and linguistic constructs. So we are affected by the participant-
>>> observer
>>> problem.
>>>
>>> Thus we enter the applications of metaphors and/or analogies,
>>> or, in other words, linguistic variables. In my approach I prefer a
>>> moderate version of constructivism.
>>>
>>> In such case writing that a social system is in a far-from-
>>> equilibrium
>>> state is but another narrative which could be affected by
>>> reification of
>>> metaphors.
>>>
>>> In my opinion such a "scientistic" language has been immensely
>>> abused by
>>> social scientists who do not know physics and by people coming
>>> from "hard
>>> science", who some day discover that their models can be used for
>>> studying, or sometimes, even saving, society/humanity.
>>>
>>> I have even a hypothesis that using in social studies such terms
>>> as chaos,
>>> complexity, turbulence affects the minds at archetypical/
>>> subconscious
>>> level. It's my simplified explanation why studies referring to those
>>> ideas attract so much attention.
>>>
>>> It's a very old problem although not so trivial.
>>>
>>> For example, one of the challenges of modern economic thought is to
>>> assess to what extent economic ideas drawing on 18th and 19th
>>> century
>>> mechanics (equilibrium, stability, etc.), could be applied in
>>> modern economic
>>> theory and practice.
>>>
>>> I am sorry, but I cannot get involved too often in the discussion.
>>> I am
>>> busy writing about some of the issues discussed here.
>>>
>>> Regards, Czeslaw Mesjasz
>>>
>>> Assoc. Prof. dr hab. Czesław Mesjasz
>>> Cracow University of Economics
>>> 31-510 Krakow
>>> ul. Rakowicka 27
>>> Poland
>>> Tel: +48-12-293-56-19; Fax: +48-12-293-50-67
>>> e-mail: [log in to unmask]
>>>
>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>> For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
>>>
>>> For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go
>>> to: www.platformforchange.org
>>>
>>> METAPHORUM eList Archive available at - https://listserv.heanet.ie/ucd-staffordbeer.html
>>>
>>> Archive of CYBCOM eList available at - http://hermes.circ.gwu.edu/archives/cybcom.html
>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>>
>>
>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>> For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
>>
>> For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go to: www.platformforchange.org
>>
>> METAPHORUM eList Archive available at - https://listserv.heanet.ie/ucd-staffordbeer.html
>>
>> Archive of CYBCOM eList available at - http://hermes.circ.gwu.edu/archives/cybcom.html
>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>
>
>
> ===================================================
>
> BARRY A CLEMSON
> [log in to unmask]
>
> 757-692-6673
>
> Cybernetica Press at www.cyberneticapress.com
>
>
>
> "It's not how much you do - it's how much love you put in it.... Do
> small things with great love."
> --- Mother Teresa ---
>
> The true warrior may be killed, but he can not be defeated.
> --- my paraphrase of Sensei Hamada ---
>
> And peace rolled down like a mighty river.
> -- Inspired by the prophet Amos 5:24--
>
>
> "An enemy is a person whose story we have not heard."
> -- Gene Knudsen Hoffman --
>
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
>
> For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go to: www.platformforchange.org
>
> METAPHORUM eList Archive available at - https://listserv.heanet.ie/ucd-staffordbeer.html
>
> Archive of CYBCOM eList available at - http://hermes.circ.gwu.edu/archives/cybcom.html
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org

For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go to: www.platformforchange.org

METAPHORUM eList Archive available at - https://listserv.heanet.ie/ucd-staffordbeer.html

Archive of CYBCOM eList available at - http://hermes.circ.gwu.edu/archives/cybcom.html
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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