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UCD-STAFFORDBEER  December 2008

UCD-STAFFORDBEER December 2008

Subject:

Re: Metaphorum Identity - outside and inside

From:

Frank <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Thu, 4 Dec 2008 23:39:24 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (371 lines)

Roger,
thanks for a powerful and interesting reply.

There's not much more that I can add to it.

I suppose on one level when I wade through the academese I see myself as 
outside but when I'm writing as here, I see myself as inside. Although I may 
come across as critical of academese, I'm critical in the context of is 
there going to be steps to get cybernetics out to businesses and 
businessmen?

Maybe it's a case of a ferment. Where something practical emerges out of the 
theorising and then this is taken to the "masses" so to speak. By practical 
I mean something that can be used by consultants as they implement the 
principles of cybernetics.

But of course there will be massive problems. Organisation man will not take 
kindly to cybernetics. Take the Law of Requisite Variety. It's true that 
knowledge is power. In this case knowledge of the processes of an 
organisation is also responsibility. Which means that when something ends in 
disaster no one can say "I didn't know what was happening". So proper 
controls a la Law of Requisite Variety will be fiercely resisted by all, 
right down to the shop floor.

Regards

Frank

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Roger Harnden" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2008 11:52 AM
Subject: Metaphorum Identity - outside and inside


Frank,

I think this relates to Javier's words on S3/S4 activities of the
Metaphorum community. As he indicates, RH is clearly S4, and has
littler interest unless forced, in moving from that identity. The only
problem is that there needs to be further S3 input - not that RH S4
ceases or becomes S3. And I think you are proposing the need for that
in a particular domain (in other words, in some such thing as
LISTSERVE).

Your comparison may or may not be apposite, and as we have both
indicated it might be tackled by one of two main ways:

1. clearer, more accessible language
2. a different listserve.

However, a real issue, indicated by this very interaction between
myself and you, is that the advise (from you) is advice from outside,
as it were. In other words, though participating you are adopting the
position of an outsider to something that HAS insiders. This is a
fascinating issue of Boundaries (which Russell has commented on in a
somewhat different context in the wiki).

Because, over the months and years, this sort of mixed dialogue has
been quite regular. Now I don't know whether this is characteristic of
this sort of forum. or pathological (in other words) indicating
something wrong with this particular forum). You are talking with me
as if I am an INSIDER, but, Frank, I am talking with you as also an
INSIDER. This is a fascinating instance of the play of structure and
organisation in practice (M&V). The shifting configurations of
structure in this instance are individuals coming and going, and
through their coming and going and recurrent interactions, coupling
Metaphorum to a niche (that itself is instanced by individuals coming
and going). However, for the OBSERVER (in this case RH and FW) there
is a meta-level coupling (In Pasks's language CONVERSATION) in which
the two individuals CHOOSE their operational reality in a Spencer
Brown manner. In this first instance, you are Choosing outside
Metaphorum which has RH as inside; but I am choosing inside Metaphorum
as including FW).

For those practitioners amongst us, this should be quite valuable and
interesting in indicating new tools and methods, because, guys, it
goes on all the time in terms of social organisations which are in
some shape or form 'organisationally' closed, but 'informationally'
open.

So there's a good old paradox. Are you in or are you out? Is RH in or
is he out?

Now, for me (and I am not saying this is the case for others) the
present LISTSERVE should service this ambiguity, because that domain
of uncertainty is at the heart of any learning domain. But you are
100% correct, that a learning domain is very different from a sales or
marketing domain.

Roger

On 3 Dec 2008, at 23:57, Roger Harnden wrote:

> Yes,
>
> I suppose what I am saying is that there should be another space  that IS 
> explicitly outward facing, but that LISTSERVE members have  access to for 
> their outwardfacingness.
>
> Or doesn't that make sense?
> Roger
> On 3 Dec 2008, at 23:23, Frank wrote:
>
>> Roger,
>> agreed. I was on the Complex-M listserv for some years. It was  intimate 
>> and personal and we had our rows like any family :-) and  it was a great 
>> mix of professioanals, academics and managers and we  for the most part 
>> all spoke in a clear language and those that  didn't were from time to 
>> time pulled up on it.
>>
>> I'm not quite sure what you mean by "a platform for individuals to 
>> launch themselves."
>>
>> Unless you are going to plan a separate listserv along the above  line 
>> you will not get much interest from business. IMO anyway.
>>
>> Frank
>>
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Roger Harnden" 
>> <[log in to unmask]
>> >
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2008 11:15 PM
>> Subject: Re: Toward a viable economy #2
>>
>>
>> Frank
>>
>> Should Listseve be that 'outward facing' space? Isn't and shouldn't
>> LISTSERVE be something more intimate and personal, but provide the
>> platform for individuals to launch themselves?
>>
>> ROger
>> On 3 Dec 2008, at 23:01, Frank wrote:
>>
>>> I think it was John Warfield that spoke of context, content and 
>>> process. So which comes first?
>>>
>>> Will the content determine the context and process?
>>>
>>> Will the context determine the content and process?
>>>
>>> Will the process determine the content and context?
>>>
>>> As regards a new Listserv, could it be a place where everything is 
>>> discussed in clear English? The reason being that in order to   succeed 
>>> in this project we need to be able to attract businessmen  at  all 
>>> levels.
>>>
>>> Regards
>>>
>>> Frank
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "BARRY A CLEMSON" 
>>> <[log in to unmask]
>>> >
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2008 10:04 PM
>>> Subject: Toward a viable economy #2
>>>
>>>
>>> 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."
>>>         -- 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
>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>>
>>>
>>> ---
>>> avast! Antivirus: Inbound message clean.
>>> Virus Database (VPS): 081203-0, 03/12/2008
>>> Tested on: 03/12/2008 22:27:18
>>> avast! - copyright (c) 1988-2008 ALWIL Software.
>>> http://www.avast.com
>>>
>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>> 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
>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>
>>
>> ---
>> avast! Antivirus: Inbound message clean.
>> Virus Database (VPS): 081203-0, 03/12/2008
>> Tested on: 03/12/2008 23:17:51
>> avast! - copyright (c) 1988-2008 ALWIL Software.
>> http://www.avast.com
>>
>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>> 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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


---
avast! Antivirus: Inbound message clean.
Virus Database (VPS): 081203-0, 03/12/2008
Tested on: 04/12/2008 19:21:03
avast! - copyright (c) 1988-2008 ALWIL Software.
http://www.avast.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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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