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UCD-STAFFORDBEER  December 2008

UCD-STAFFORDBEER December 2008

Subject:

Toward a viable economy #2

From:

BARRY A CLEMSON <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Wed, 3 Dec 2008 17:04:58 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (105 lines)

The big question is “how do we get cybernetic control systems into the  
discussion for reforming the world financial system?”

All of us, me too, have been pretty much wringing our hands “woe is  
me” I don’t know how to get anybody to listen. Enough of that crap. I  
don’t want to have to tell my grandchildren that I didn’t try.

We need to systematically see whom we can recruit to build support for  
this effort. There are two different levels of support we can ask for:

1) the world needs management cybernetics, or, as a fall-back position
2) the insights of cybernetics/systems/feedback loops provide powerful  
tools for designing regulatory systems that would be far superior to  
what we have now.

Clearly we would like people to stand up and say we need management  
cybernetics. But there are a lot of super-stars out there (Russell  
Ackoff, Peter Senge, Jay Forrester, John Warfield) who will certainly  
support the second and that would be a big step.

We have at least a couple of months before people start seriously  
thinking about what sort of controls should be put into place on the  
global financial system. For at least a few months everyone will be  
too busy trying to put out fires to even think about a new control  
system.

Crises bring out both the best and worst in people. Therefore, hoping  
for the best, I think we should try to think of superstars that we  
might possibly enlist in our campaign. The worst that will happen is  
that they will say no.

I have been out of academia for ten years so I am woefully out of  
date, but here is my initial brainstorm of people we should try to  
enlist:

Russell Ackoff
Peter Senge
Jay Forrester
Jay Forrester, Jr, some years back was head of research for a big oil  
company and was doing System Dynamics for them
Chuck Keating, former president of Engineering Management Society and  
my PhD student and later my colleague.
Bill Reckmeyer has lots of contacts all over the place
John Sutherland
Stuart Umpleby has a very effective laid back style that encourages  
people to try new things and Stuart is in DC
Gordon Pask’s old contacts in the US military
Warren Buffet (yes, that Buffet)
George Soros (was once supportive of Friedman and later became  
critical of him)
Paul Krugman, nobel laureate in Economics and NYTimes columnist

Now, I have a couple of suggestions for your consideration (please  
improve upon all of this – I consider everything I have said here as a  
starting point that I hope the rest of you will chew up and improve).  
That said, I suggest:

- a new list serve dedicated to trying to 1) get these ideas into the  
conversation and 2) designing the outlines of a new control system

- everyone of us should brainstorm possible allies to get the ideas  
considered. Then we should all help think about how to contact these  
people. For instance, I know Ackoff but haven’t spoken to him in more  
than 20 years so I am unlikely to be the best one to approach him).

Barry

Oh, boy. Fear and trembling. I feel like Gandalf confronting the  
balrog: "I'm already tired"

===================================================

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."
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