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UCD-STAFFORDBEER  December 2008

UCD-STAFFORDBEER December 2008

Subject:

Re: VSM scope of application (was:RE: is there anyone out there????)

From:

Roger Harnden <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Tue, 2 Dec 2008 19:32:16 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (433 lines)

Javier Livas is  Mexican who was close to Stafford and has spent  
considerable time and resources producing a couple of explanatory  
DVD';s of VSM and related topics. His e'mail is

<[log in to unmask]>

Sorry about the acronym - RC mean roman catholic

I didn't realise that my reply to Stefan went to the forum,

Roger

On 2 Dec 2008, at 19:13, BARRY A CLEMSON wrote:

> What is RC? And who is Javier?
>
> Barry
>
> On Dec 2, 2008, at 1:41 PM, Roger Harnden wrote:
>
>> I am sure Javier would take many issues with me. Isn't he deeply  
>> RC?? I'm not saying that in criticism, but it does lead to a  
>> particular set of social/human fundaments, most of which I would  
>> disagree with,
>>
>> Roger
>>
>>
>> On 2 Dec 2008, at 18:17, Stefan Wasilewski wrote:
>>
>>> Roger
>>>
>>> I think Javier may take issue with you on some elements here as  
>>> his thiird DVD will show.
>>>
>>> Stefan
>>>
>>> On 2 Dec 2008, at 18:11, Roger Harnden wrote:
>>>
>>>> Reading the other responses to you, Harold, I think I now  
>>>> understand your question.
>>>>
>>>> I have a somewhat different take on VSM, one that I discussed in  
>>>> some detail with Stafford.
>>>>
>>>> In brief - the VSM applies to what I call 'formal social  
>>>> structures'. It DOES NOT apply to something that I call 'human  
>>>> relations'. The formal social is constituted by categories,  
>>>> labels, roles etc. Humanity is constituted by the recurrent  
>>>> interactions of human beings with one another as they cross the  
>>>> barriers and identities of various social forms in their natural  
>>>> flow of living.
>>>>
>>>> These are two quite distinct domains of reality. They are  
>>>> complementary necessities for our lived experience. Human does  
>>>> not involve social ORGANISATION, even though our interactions  
>>>> enable the emergence of social infrastructure, and many of our  
>>>> character traits are drastically shaped (or damaged) by our  
>>>> social identities.
>>>>
>>>> Exercise: take the VSM at any social scale, and drop levels of  
>>>> recursion to the lowest 'atom' (lowest S1). You will NOT discover  
>>>> a human being. You will find  a constitutive role or a function  
>>>> for the given system-in-focus. You will NOT discover a  
>>>> constitutive element for humankind (ie a human being). And it is  
>>>> impossible to do the same exercise for system-in-focus  
>>>> 'humanity'. There are only just two mutually constitutive  
>>>> elements to this reality - the set of all human beings, and each  
>>>> and every one of the individuals. That is what humanity IS.
>>>>
>>>> When taken on board, the above is not a limitation of the VSM,  
>>>> but an enormous strength - which was what underlined my original  
>>>> query to you, Harold. A model such as the VSM (or anything`) HAS  
>>>> TO HAVE limitations, otherwise it is not a model, but an  
>>>> ideology. The VSM concerns SOCIAL forms - whether institutions or  
>>>> more informal organisations, such as clubs. But in any case, they  
>>>> are SOCIAL forms. People ignore this at their peril, and to the  
>>>> detriment of the model.
>>>>
>>>> Roger
>>>>
>>>> On 2 Dec 2008, at 17:48, Boris G Freesman, Q.C. wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Arthur,
>>>>>
>>>>> I think you misunderstood what Barry said.
>>>>>
>>>>> Of course the VSM applies to corporations and all kinds of  
>>>>> organizations because it is a model for viability rather than  
>>>>> any specific form or type of organization. It is like one of  
>>>>> those coats that fits everyone in general and no one in  
>>>>> particular... and because it fits no one in particular, fits no  
>>>>> one. [<= feeble attempt at humour!]
>>>>>
>>>>> Boris
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Arthur Dijkstra" <[log in to unmask] 
>>>>> >
>>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2008 11:05 AM
>>>>> Subject: VSM scope of application (was:RE: is there anyone out  
>>>>> there????)
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> Barry,
>>>>>> You wrote: IMHO, the VSM applies very well to governments and  
>>>>>> societies. The
>>>>>> VSM is a framework for viability, not for corporations or any  
>>>>>> other
>>>>>> particular form of entity.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Why can't the VSM be applied to corporations ? What makes the   
>>>>>> model
>>>>>> ineffective for a corporation ?
>>>>>>
>>>>>> How do others see this ?
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>>> ARthur
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> -----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
>>>>>> Van: Forum dedicated to the work of Stafford Beer
>>>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Namens BARRY A  
>>>>>> CLEMSON
>>>>>> Verzonden: 02 December 2008 16:09
>>>>>> Aan: [log in to unmask]
>>>>>> Onderwerp: Re: is there anyone out there????
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Harold,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I do not believe that Stafford failed in applying the VSM to  
>>>>>> society.
>>>>>> In the case of Chile in particular the project only lasted 18  
>>>>>> months
>>>>>> before the coup and had some notable successes in that short  
>>>>>> time. And
>>>>>> the coup was instigated and funded by the CIA and was unrelated  
>>>>>> to the
>>>>>> work Stafford did. Also, Stafford did some very interesting  
>>>>>> work with
>>>>>> Canadian Indian tribes.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> IMHO, the VSM applies very well to governments and societies.  
>>>>>> The VSM
>>>>>> is a framework for viability, not for corporations or any other
>>>>>> particular form of entity.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> You do raise a good question tho, "Where doesn't Stafford's work
>>>>>> apply?" The answer to this depends upon which aspects of the  
>>>>>> work: The
>>>>>> VSM doesn't say much about the process of planning, but  
>>>>>> Syntegration
>>>>>> does. Neither Syntegration nor the VSM say much about how one  
>>>>>> tries to
>>>>>> understand the inner workings of some complex process, but  
>>>>>> Decision
>>>>>> and Control does in the sections on modeling. Staffords work  
>>>>>> provides
>>>>>> very powerful tools for an immense range of situations and  
>>>>>> purposes.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Having said that, i also think that there are other critical  
>>>>>> tools/
>>>>>> frameworks that need to be used. For instance, Ackoff's idealized
>>>>>> planning is a critically important methodology. And Ackoff's  
>>>>>> circular
>>>>>> organization is a way to make large organizations both more  
>>>>>> effective
>>>>>> and more democratic. Further, both idealized planning (as a VSM  
>>>>>> system
>>>>>> 4 methodology) and the circular organization (as a way of  
>>>>>> organizing a
>>>>>> corporation or government entity) are completely compatible  
>>>>>> with the
>>>>>> VSM. I don't know of anyone ever trying this, but I have  
>>>>>> thought for
>>>>>> years that the circular organization would be a management  
>>>>>> structure
>>>>>> that would facilitate the use of the VSM.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Barry
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On Dec 2, 2008, at 2:36 AM, Garderen, Harold van wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Like many others that responded thus far, I'm interested and  
>>>>>>> try to do
>>>>>>> some collaborative work at time.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> One thing worries me and that is the - at times - almost
>>>>>>> fundamentalistic focus on Stafford. A few questions:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> * Where doesn't Staffords work apply?
>>>>>>> * What progress have other made in the meantime.
>>>>>>> * What of that work can we integrate to make more VSM ideas  
>>>>>>> readable
>>>>>>> in
>>>>>>> todays terms.
>>>>>>> * Isn't VSM used outside its validity boundaries when applied to
>>>>>>> society
>>>>>>> (Stafford failed there)
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> And the most vital one:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> * How do we achieve 200,000+ page views a day on the wiki?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> One suggestion: find better names (and use them) for S1-S5.  
>>>>>>> Nobody
>>>>>>> will
>>>>>>> understand that for a long, long time.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> This work is in dear need of newbies. So go and wiki!
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Harold
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Now blogging at http://fragmentedliving.blogspot.com/
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>>> From: Forum dedicated to the work of Stafford Beer
>>>>>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
>>>>>>>> Roger Harnden
>>>>>>>> Sent: maandag 1 december 2008 23:21
>>>>>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>>>>>> Subject: is there anyone out there????
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Is anyone interested in the wiki??? I know the few who are,
>>>>>>>> but how about others?? Or is it just not of interest; is it a
>>>>>>>> pile of shit; is it irrelevant to other people's needs; is it
>>>>>>>> difficult to engage in??????
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Best wishes,
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Roger
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> This message and attachment(s) are intended solely for use by  
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> addressee and may contain information that is privileged,
>>>>>>> confidential or otherwise exempt from disclosure under  
>>>>>>> applicable law.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> If you are not the intended recipient or agent thereof  
>>>>>>> responsible
>>>>>>> for delivering this message to the intended recipient, you are
>>>>>>> hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or  
>>>>>>> copying of
>>>>>>> this communication is strictly prohibited.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> If you have received this communication in error, please  
>>>>>>> notify the
>>>>>>> sender immediately by telephone and with a 'reply' message.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Thank you for your co-operation.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>>>>
>>>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>>>> 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
>>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>>>
>>>
>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>> 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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