Roger, Barry, Allenna and all:
I seem to remember that Stafford mentioned or produced a letter with
an oath were scientists plegded not to accept being used for ignoble
purposes. Am I correct? Can we find this letter?
The bad use of the VSM has been a source of reflection for me for some
time. One of the assumptions that the VSM makes which is a little off
is that workers themselves have at least some notion of dignity to
defend. I am not so sure, at least in Mexico, that this is true. Here
you will find people willing to accept so much mistreatment it is
terrifying. So given this working environment, where workers expect
nothing but a meager salary (think tens of thousands of maquiladora
jobs in the border town) it would be extremely simple for owner-bosses
to abuse the VSM.
So then the ethical problem turns very nasty when confronted when you
are confronted with the following choice: should I create a
maquiladora and USE and exploit ignorant workers and improve their
condition marginally while I make a profit, or should I let them to
continue to make a living by mugging or narcotraficking? Sometimes the
only moral choice is between bad and worse. What then?
Something practical to think a bit about,
On Dec 4, 2008, at 1:00 PM, Wright, Steve wrote:
> Ha its a real question sure enough but it crosses two interlocking
> issues, ethics and efficacy. None of us would I hope be willing to
> enforce a totalitarian model of control since we have a moral
> to build only systems as if people mattered.
> Nevertheless, the organised knowledge to create the Guantanam
> was absed on this premise and came from the UK, specifically Northern
> ireland where methods were evolved to attempt to break selected
> internees within a few days. The hooding, white noise, dogs, being
> dropped out of hovering heliocpters five feet above the ground, mocj
> executions, use of drugs, beating to soften up, stoika positions,
> deprivation and boiler suit and goggles our ours - the techniques were
> designed to mimic sensory deprivation...
> But the holy grail of interrogation - confession without tell tale
> to reveal how much prisoners were abused was not reached even though
> most of these priosners were permanently damaged. But even if it
> had, we
> were not dealing with a closed system here - information leaked out,
> violence increased, more people had to be interred...So purely from a
> mechamistic amoral perspective metaphorum members would not touch it
> because the system was dysfunctional in bringing about the opposite of
> its intended functionality. Put the two feedback loops together on
> ethics and efficacy and we would/should whistleblow....
> In the wider world however, we can anticipate little learning about
> factors has been achieved and when the next security crisis/ crackdown
> emerges - anticipate more of the same via information exchange and
> training exchanges through security assistance programmes...say in
> India/Pakistan or both.....
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Forum dedicated to the work of Stafford Beer
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of BARRY A
> Sent: 04 December 2008 17:02
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: VSM and morals - CHOICE
> I certainly hope the members of this community would not accept that
> job. If they did, I would immediately remove myself.
> On Dec 4, 2008, at 11:11 AM, Roger Harnden wrote:
>> This follows an interaction with Allenna,
>> Models may well be neutral, but social systems aren't. Some are
>> geared to torture individuals prior to any legal process in places
>> like Guatanamo Bay; others are geared to support the vulnerable.
>> These two social forms are DIFFERENT and loaded with VALUES.
>> From the standpoint of the US administration (as is made clear from
>> the very recent confessions of the ex-interrogator), a 'more
>> effective' Guatanamo Bay would process the captives in way that
>> helps deliver to the US administration its requirement to justify
>> the rape a sovereign country n the pursuit of its own economic and
>> political advantage. And, should one of us have been so 'lucky' as
>> to be approached by the then US administration, i am sure we could
>> readily apply the VSM to achieve that goal.
>> Therefore, might we not ask 'Is there any reason why the members of
>> this community (Metaphorum) would not accept that job?'
>> Well, is there?????
>> For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
>> For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go to:
>> METAPHORUM eList Archive available at -
>> Archive of CYBCOM eList available at -
> BARRY A CLEMSON
> [log in to unmask]
> 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 --
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