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UCD-STAFFORDBEER  December 2008

UCD-STAFFORDBEER December 2008

Subject:

Re: Viable Economy #3

From:

Roger Harnden <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Sat, 6 Dec 2008 09:42:48 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (178 lines)

I am up for this, Barry, but as you have no doubt noted, and Javier  
stated, my primary value is probably as a subset of S4 (definitely NOT  
sales or marketing), a sort of internal critic, gadfly, and, perhaps,  
intellectual authority. But, what you are outlining requires in the  
first instance the consolidation of a S3/S1 function.

Roger


On 5 Dec 2008, at 15:55, BARRY A CLEMSON wrote:

> This is my third rant about developing a cybernetically sound  
> regulatory system for the global economy. For the sake of brevity, I  
> am going to make some straightforward assertions, without much in  
> the way of qualifying comments. Please consider all of this as  
> tentative and my challenge to you to improve upon it.
>
> OUR GOALS:
> 1) Every national government in the world should have a "Council of  
> Systemic Advisors", similar to the existing Council of Economic  
> Advisors.
>
> In the US we also have a Science Advisor to the President, but there  
> is no one charged with explicitly thinking about systemic issues. A  
> Council of Systemic Advisors would, in the long run, have an  
> enormous impact on government policies and on the university and the  
> roles of cybernetics/systems within the university (which in turn  
> would feed back for more impact on government and corporations).
>
> 2) We need Obama and his team of economic advisors to be aware of  
> and receptive to the cybernetic community's insights re. regulation  
> in complex systems.
>
> To achieve goal #2, we do not need a fully developed design for  
> regulating the global economy What we need to begin are a few well  
> chosen demonstrations of where cybernetics would dramatically  
> improve on the current economic thinking that led to the current  
> crisis. At the risk of revealing my abysmal ignorance about  
> economics and the stock market, i will suggest that the current  
> system is largely a positive feedback loop with "speculator  
> expectations" as the  key level (to use Forrester's system dynamics  
> language). If this is even close to correct, then the system is  
> GUARANTEED  to engage in wild swings and ultimately collapse.  
> Regardless of the correctness of my example, I think what we need to  
> get our ideas on the table is a few such examples of systemic  
> alternatives to grossly inadequate designs.
>
> STRATEGY
> 1) We need a group focused on developing the examples of where  
> cybernetic thinking would dramatically improve upon current  
> orthodoxy. Hopefully there are at least a few of our number who  
> understand a little about economics and maybe can do this fairly  
> quickly.
>
> 2) Obama is certainly the most important player right now, but other  
> nations should not be ignored. And getting to the government of one  
> country might well make it easier to get to the government of other  
> countries. Thus, we should all work on our own national governments  
> (and, where possible, help each other). Thus we need a group focused  
> on how to get the attention of the national decision makers.
>
> 3) This is much bigger than just management cybernetics. We need to  
> enlist every system thinker in the world. (NOTE: I am now really  
> going to reveal the ignorance resulting from spending most of the  
> last ten years as a carpenter and ignoring the academic world, but  
> perhaps i can still make the point). We need to enlist and ally with  
> groups such as System Dynamics, Society for General System Theory (I  
> know, it transmogrified into a different group but I don't remember  
> the new name), and the organizational learning folks such as Peter  
> Senge who emphasize systems thinking. Undoubtedly there are many  
> others I don't know about.
>
> NEXT STEPS
> 1) We need to know who is interested and willing to work on this  
> project. Step right up and volunteer. Indicate:
> - your country
> - sketch of your background, what you bring to the table, how you  
> see yourself helping.
>
> 2) A dedicated forum, listserve or some such. Some of you are much  
> more knowledgeable than I about what we need to support the project.
>
> 3) Refinement of the goals and strategies. Clearly a serious  
> discussion has to refine these before we can do much else.
>
> 4) Think carefully about what other system scientists we can drag  
> into this project. Go ahead and recruit those you can. Make lists of  
> those you think might be useful but that you don't have personal  
> connections with.
>
> A NOTE ON ME
> I spent eight years teaching admin. in colleges of education, then  
> ten years in in  teaching engineering management. I was then forced  
> out of the university for failing at TV teaching. I also had careers  
> in software development (mostly with very large systems) and  
> community development. The last ten years I mostly built additions  
> to homes and recently became a novelist (discovered fiction is a  
> hell of a lot harder than technical writing!). All this is by way of  
> saying that I will have zero credibility with government decision  
> makers and that quite obviously someone else is going to have to be  
> the public face for this project. This might not be an issue, it  
> might well be that the best public face for the project will become  
> obvious as we proceed. On the other hand, I often think of Thomas  
> Jefferson's comment that any politician who wants the job is thereby  
> disqualified because he will then make decisions our of a context of  
> preserving his position instead of a context of the common good. So  
> this is something to keep in the back of your mind as we proceed.
>
> PARTING SHOT
> This obviously can only be done if a group of us step up to do it.  
> Now is the time! And you are the One! Take one step forward if you  
> are willing to help save the world ....
>
> Grace and Peace,
>
> Barry
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> What i have not yet seen is any large number of people explicitly  
> volunteering to do much about it.
>
>
>
>
> ===================================================
>
> 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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