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Thanks Harold

I give up on this Listserv. It is just not requisite for more than the equivalent of an English cup of tea and scones in the afternoon. (I still have not managed to set the parameters for shadowing my own copy! 

I'll upload the document to the Wikispace and post the link for those who wish to browse. Time for the Google discussion area I think!.

See Harold et al - 27Oct.doc



 at http://cybernetics-society.wikispaces.com/Small+Teams+Space   

Hope this works.
Regards. 
Russell

--- On Tue, 28/10/08, Garderen, Harold van <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
From: Garderen, Harold van <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: RE: Snowden
To: [log in to unmask]
Cc: "Snowden Dave" <[log in to unmask]>
Received: Tuesday, 28 October, 2008, 12:01 AM



 
Russell: I had to redo the formatting. See 
attachment.
 
Dave: Its your model, I leave the first reaction to you 
:-)
 
Harold


  
  
  From: Forum dedicated to the work of Stafford 
  Beer [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of R 
  Clemens
Sent: maandag 27 oktober 2008 13:48
To: 
  [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: 
  Snowden


  
  
    
    
      
        Harold et al 

        (cc: Dave Snowden)
        

        (sorry its long but 
        technology limitations …!)
         
        My thoughts to date in 
        very summarised brain dump format: (I’ll just us ‘DS’ and ‘SB’ as 
        shorthand. Not meant to be definitive – rather to stimulate thought and 
        reflection.
         
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->1.      
        <!--[endif]-->DS disintermediation is 
        recursive issue but taken to extremes. It also relates to SB algedonic 
        but perhaps seen as bidirectional. Whereas SB VSM implies 1:1 from S1 to 
        S5, DS may be seen (in praxis) as N:N or perhaps N:1 where multiple 
        fragments are assembled (attenuated) into rich pictures (abstractions) 
        for S5 appreciation. That emergence (of meaning) in itself is 
        recursiveness in nature I think. Remembering DS is Knowledge mgt then 
        action can praxis if there is theory to guide it – SB is one such 
        theory. SB would I think claim it is a naturalised theory.
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->2.      
        <!--[endif]-->Span of control – this starts 
        to lose the classical circa n=6 as we approach quantum dynamics of 
        certain environments. I’m not sure whether DS and/or SB think they apply 
        to ‘reality’ – I myself feel that complexity is more a case of mental 
        overload to un-attenuated variety due in part to inappropriate 
        model/s. However DS has his complex adaptive systems (CAS) definitions 
        that are at least circular enough to encompass organic life 
        (autopoiesis) and possible some inorganic human systems joined up way 
        past their safety levels. In short, using the SenseMaker tools and the 
        Cynefin framework may mean rewriting the traditional heuristics on span 
        of control which I think heavily underpin VSM logic. 
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->3.      
        <!--[endif]-->Distributed cognition – this is 
        surely similar to the VSM in principle. SB goes one further in that this 
        distribution of cognition is influenced by the context of operational 
        diversity – i.e. S5 through S1.
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->4.      
        <!--[endif]-->Possible inter-alignments:
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->a.       
        <!--[endif]-->S4 (external environment) == Cynefin 
        framework + SenseMaker tool set.
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->b.      
        <!--[endif]-->S3* Audit/feedback == SenseMaker tool 
        set
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->c.       
        <!--[endif]-->Algedonic (instinctive 
        pain/pleasure channel) == bidirectional. [SB implies production model 
        with ‘red button’ signal sent to control centre. DS allows for micro 
        fragments at scale (s1) to assemble for S3/S5 such that action can be 
        taken – hopefully not shooting innocent people on trains! Perhaps the 
        problem is when S3 takes action on trains without counter balance of S4 
        (or vice versa). Red button vs Red flag. 
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->d.      
        <!--[endif]-->S2 (regulation internal) == I 
        think this area of operations is most comfortable in the simple/ordered 
        world and without conceptual or procedural layers of protection very 
        quickly either dominates everything (we have just been there) or is 
        overwhelmed and we cannot get paid of fly safely.  Not 
        sure where DS fits in per se, but I assume knowledge is filtered to such 
        operating systems in appropriate manner. I think that is assumed as well 
        in DS approach. How this aught to be done may be a role for VSM?
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->e.       
        <!--[endif]-->S5-s1 == this is either direct 
        disintermediated algedonic (s1-S5) or bureaucratic (S2,S3,S3*,S4,S5) 
        depending on context that can be appreciated through Cynefin 
        framework.
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->f.       
        <!--[endif]-->S3 (operation mgt/directorate) 
        ==  complex – complicated
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->g.      
        <!--[endif]-->S4 (env, futures directorate) 
        == chaos – complex – complicated
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->h.      
        <!--[endif]-->S3* (audit/feedback) == 
        SenseMaker is a shared tool for internal (S3*/S3) and external (S4) 
        domains. Could also be a communications tool for S4-S5 and S4-S3. As 
        said elsewhere, the practical use of this tool starts to diminish VSM 
        metasystem logical distinctions (as in Relativity over Newtonian) – but 
        this praxis does not invalidate the VSM conceptual domains – in fact the 
        VSM can help maintain sense of accountability in role. DS ‘crew’ 
        concepts presuppose ordered chains of command which are equivalent VSM 
        paradigm.
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->i.        
        <!--[endif]-->Haemostat == as per above, 
        Cynefin provides some orientation at S5 (to know what context problem 
        situations are in) and SenseMaker provides the disintermendiated 
        communications tool for S4-S5-S3 dynamic. But DS is less clear (to me) 
        on determining requisite S4 vs S3 balance perspective. It appears 
        neutral – neither assisting nor hampering what is.
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->j.        
        <!--[endif]-->DS = action based on knowledge 
        (information derived and assembled). 
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->k.      
        <!--[endif]-->SB = VSM theory based on information?? 
        [could be on a limb here?]
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->l.        
        <!--[endif]-->VSM is engineer’s view of the car == 
        DS is driver’s view of the car. 
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->m.    
        <!--[endif]--> SB using mechanical 
        system universe model == DS using organic cognitive model.
         
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->5.      
        <!--[endif]-->The question is how their functioning 
        (as models and tool) can be appreciated in the practical world – i.e. to 
        Vickers’ “Rocking Boat” and as a Singerian enquiring system. 
        (e.g. Checkland 1981, p. 264)
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->6.      
        <!--[endif]-->“What model of social reality is 
        implied by the methodology?” (Ibid) and one might add “the methods and 
        tools?”.
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->7.      
        <!--[endif]-->Analogy – using the internet? == 
        SB/VSB at the level of emails and Listservers. DS at the level of blogs 
        and You Tube. Where is business going? Ergo … ? Evidence supports this 
        view. 
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->8.      
        <!--[endif]-->In summary, I think DS tools and 
        framework are extremely applicable to Checkland’s Soft Systems 
        Methodology (SSM) by way of forming (and reforming) rich pictures 
        (albeit abstract 3D representations) and hypothesis from these.
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->9.      
        <!--[endif]-->Boundaries – the DS Cyefin 
        provides conceptual boundaries for environmental (situational) context 
        appreciation via four windows. Already variety is increasing to govern 
        variety. SB also provides conceptual boundaries via VSM. Both are 
        diagnostic tools. DS has s/w tools to complement. VSM is orientated 
        towards theory and insight. DS is orientated towards engagement and 
        reflexive (safe/fail) action. Both are organically grounded in 
        experiment and theory and can be coupled via respect for S5 need for 
        identity and policy and governance praxis. 
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->10.  
        <!--[endif]-->Ethics – this is one area of 
        distinction (albeit my knowledge is incomplete). SB embraces viability 
        and eudemony as highest ideal outcome/impact (indicator) and has stated 
        that VSM should not be deployed in tyrannical States – e.g. shutdown in 

        Chile circa 1973. 
         SB rather silent on this (but working on it I 
        understand) and in fact s/w has emerged from covert surveillance 
        theatres (as did the internet I might add!). 
        <!--[if 
        !supportLists]-->11.  
        <!--[endif]-->Gubernation (emergent democratic 
        governance) == both seem applicable without clash or symbiotic 
        disharmony. For example VSM has been of interest to activist 
        organisations such as GetUp.Org, and possible Avaaz in the future. DS 
        approach could equally apply with the added benefit that deployment of 
        plug-in features could add 2nd order cybernetic features to 
        blogging etc. 
         (eom) 
        

--- On Mon, 27/10/08, Garderen, Harold van 
        <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

        From: 
          Garderen, Harold van <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: 
          Re: Snowden
To: [log in to unmask]
Received: 
          Monday, 27 October, 2008, 9:04 PM


          
          Dave,
           
          Thanks for the quick 
          reply.
           
          I think emergence is present in the 
          VSM, but it is hardly discussed lately. I thing that viable 
          organizations can have aspects of all four domains of Cynefin. You are 
          right when saying the lots of them will fall in the complicated domain 
          (how to find what is known, learn/improve together, COP's etc), others 
          fall into the "operational domain": daily routine in production or 
          service operations f.e. Even the chaos domain can have its merits for 
          organizations from time to time allthough few will see it that way. 
          And indeed, high levels of "fever" can only exits for a limited period 
          else death will follow. The complex domain in my view has most to do 
          with the System IV (four) in the VSM, be it that Fail-Save approached 
          are rarely (or to implicetely for me?) advocated in the VSM groups. 
          Please note this is my impression/observation. I'm not blaming anyone 
          ....
           
          The discussion in the thread was about 
          the nestedness of the VSM and where this is related to / found in / 
          relevent for the Cynefin model. Cynefin in my view is not an 
          organization model, but a sense-making framework and so I expect 
          Cynefin to mean something for working with the VSM in 
          real situations, but I do not expect the idea of nestedness coming out 
          of Cynefin automagically. The question however is interesting: how 
          does "Cynefin inspired sense-making" lead to nestedness in 
          organization. It seems common sense, but that seems a rare good 
          today.
           
          Harold

          
            
            
            From: Snowden Dave 
            [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: maandag 27 
            oktober 2008 10:50
To: Garderen, Harold van
Cc: 
            [log in to unmask]; 
            [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: 
            Snowden


            Thanks Harold and nice to see you engaged.  I 
            haven't got time to write an essay but a couple of points: 
            - I think aspects of Beer apply to the complicated domain of 
            cynefin
            - I think the complex space needs managing, its not just 
            leaving it alone or assuming that a community of interest (more 
            complicated) will solve it.  More techniques like 
            SNS, but also specific actions to vary constraints and connectivity. 
             The difference is a solution will be emergent and unique and 
            will not fit in a model
            - Stuart (had dinner with him a few months ago) more important 
            the V/M I think, his latest badly written book has some real 
            insights in it.
            - If Beer was around today he would be into (and would 
            understand) complexity and cybernetics (which I don't like as a 
            word) would be a different place
            And yes, we need to do some very different things if the world 
            is to survive in any humane form - just blogging that

            
            

            

            Dave Snowden
            Founder & Chief Scientific Officer
            Cognitive Edge Pte Ltd
            

            Now blogging at www.cognitive-edge.com


            
            On 27 Oct 2008, at 08:40, Garderen, Harold van wrote:

            
              
              Hi 
              Russell,
               
              First of all "yes" I meant "his work". 
              
               
              What I meant to say about "nestedness" is 
              that the Cynefin model suggests that the "hard/intractible 
              problems" are situated in the complexity domain (upper 
              left corner, forgive me Dave :-) ) and can be treated 
              (or at least tried to) by a group of "interested" people, a 
              community of interest so to say. Ofcourse these people come from 
              their respective parts/departments or groups in- or outside the 
              organization and a such they are from different "nests", but not 
              on the sense of "nestedness". 
               
              What I meant with prescribing is that 
              Dave never/hardly? prescribes while Beer explicitely models 
              organizations in a nested way with the resource bargain as part of 
              the disussion while forming a lower recursion. I'm not sure it 
              will help, as Dave seems to assume that once such a 
              CoInterest is formed they are given the resources (f.e. time) to 
              work on the problem.
               
              Knowing the Dave is regularly involved in 
              treating (or at least consulting for) problem that have to do with 
              improving humanity, I have copied him in with this email. As far 
              as I know, Dave knows about the Varela/Maturana work and about 
              Stuart Kaufmann's work too. The latter might be as important 
              as the last.
               
              Harold
              

              
                
                
                From: Forum dedicated to the 
                work of Stafford Beer [mailto:] On Behalf Of R 
                Clemens
Sent: zondag 26 oktober 2008 
                23:54
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: 
                Re: Snowden


                
                
                  
                  
                    Dear Harold,

Thank you for this 
                      positive view. I think you are right about the potential 
                      here -- for both sides of the coin (and for humanity as 
                      well, without trying to save the world!). I will pass on 
                      the very nice term "Beer 
                      proof" (with attribution) to Dave --  I'm sure 
                      it will enter the lexicon down the track.  
                      ;-)

With Dave, on this matter, I have used the idea 
                      of "conceptual coupling" (as per Maturana & Varela) as 
                      a reconciling of certain S5 issues in operation -- and I 
                      hypothesis, if both models/approaches are real, from real 
                      identities, then it is accord with the VSM , and polite 
                      society, to follow this route.

Question: how do you 
                      think "prescribing nested forms of 
                      organization" in Dave's 
                      work would help (a) his work; and (b) coupling?  I'm 
                      thinking of how to broach the topic with him. At the 
                      moment I've just used the term "Black box" to describe my 
                      interpretation of his way of dealing with the issue. 
                      

regards
Russell 

p.s. I assume your 
                      "I would really encourage he work 
                      to be integrated in these discussions." should read 
                      "I would really encourage his work to be 
                      integrated in these discussions."-- is this 
                      correct?

--- On Mon, 
                      27/10/08, Garderen, Harold van <[log in to unmask]> 
                      wrote:

                      From: 
                        Garderen, Harold van <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: 
                        Re: Snowden
To: [log in to unmask]
Received: 
                        Monday, 27 October, 2008, 6:45 AM


                        
                        Friends,
                         
                        That is 
                        right, Dave's view is in no aspect at odds with 
                        Staffords'. That is a rare thing today. I think Dave is 
                        one of the few contemporary management thinkers that can 
                        be regarded as "Beer-proof" today. In particular his 
                        Cynefin model (see paper section of mentioned website) 
                        can be seen as covering most of the dynamic features 
                        Beer has put into the VSM.
                         
                        On the other hand 
                        Dave's work is not so structured as Beers' VSM. Cynefin 
                        isn't prescribing nested forms of organization. In fact 
                        is doesn't say anything about organizational form 
                        whatsoever. 
                         
                        I would really 
                        encourage he work to be integrated in these discussions. 
                        Not only contentwise, but also because Dave is succesful 
                        and booming. An "integration" (hope the word doesn't 
                        convey to many wrong meanings here) could speed up the 
                        broadening of interest for the VSM in my 
                        view.
                         
                        With kind 
                        regards,
                         
                        Harold
                        

                        
                          
                          
                          From: Forum dedicated 
                          to the work of Stafford Beer [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
                          On Behalf Of R Clemens
Sent: zondag 
                          26 oktober 2008 14:17
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: 
                          Re: Snowden


                          
                          
                            
                            
                              Roger

If you are 
                                interested this link is Snowden speaking in 
                                Melbourne before he came through Perth recently. 
                                Careful listening will show that he covers many 
                                of the VSM aspects -- at least I cannot find any 
                                conflict with it.

http://www.cognitive-edge.com/podcasts/WS330063.mp3



--- 
                                On Sat, 25/10/08, R Clemens 
                                <[log in to unmask]> 
wrote:

                                From: 
                                R Clemens 
                                <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: 
                                Snowden
To: "Forum dedicated to the work of 
                                Stafford Beer" 
                                <[log in to unmask]>
Received: 
                                Saturday, 25 October, 2008, 10:00 AM


                                
                                
                                
                                
                                Roger: 

It is discursive and 
                                digressive and as the Irish would say (I 
                                assume): to be sure to be sure, I'd have to tell 
                                a longish story about the truth as I see it 
                                myself. 

However, in summary:

Dave 
                                Snowden is a very well informed Welshman I came 
                                across in my studies of scenarios etc some years 
                                ago because of his writings on the use of 
                                narrative while he worked in IBM (through a 
                                company merger). 

He is now one of the 
                                originators of the new field of Knowledge 
                                Management. He is an expert in complexity 
                                science and its application to management 
                                practice. We are trialling his approach Cynefin 
                                framework (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynefin) 
                                and software called SenseMaker at 
                                my department. (see 
                                http://www.sensemaker-suite.com/) -- e.g. 
                                


                                "It is a 
                                pre-hypothesis based research tool, a knowledge 
                                repository and a decision support system in one 
                                coherent package." 


                                The approach emerges from a 
                                foundation in complex adaptive 
                                systems theory, cognitive 
                                sciences and narrative & 
                                anthropology. 
                                (http://www.sensemaker-suite.com/concept.htm)
He 
                                was in Perth for a day en-route 
                                Melbourne-Singapore, and I was host. 

He 
                                appears both as academic and businessman. He has 
                                strong opinions on many things -- one of which 
                                is that Stafford Beer's model of the brain and 
                                the VSM are wrong -- or at least out of date. 
                                [There are strong S5 issues at work here] 
                                

He does not have a cybernetic or systems 
                                orientation although I need to be careful here. 
                                Ralph D Stacey (Complexity & 
                                Creativity in Organizations) would appear 
                                to be someone Snowden is aligned with. He did 
                                degrees in Philosophy & Physics. 
                                

Don't lose sleep over it. I find it 
                                interesting and useful to synergise both SB 
                                & DS views (and one or two others). I 
                                mentioned at Metaphoruim 
                                2008 (last slide) that I/we were planning 
                                to trial SenseMaker as 
                                a follow-on from our scenario work.  After 
                                some extended email discussions (you think these 
                                are long!) - I tortured him enough to consider 
                                it theoretically possible to use his SenseMaker 
                                approach to verify the VSM hypothesis. 
                                

To try this I now need to develop the 
                                right set of signifiers (a term he uses that is 
                                more than tagging) to show there are five 
                                interwoven systems and cultures at work (i.e. S1 
                                thru S5). I would hope for some help from people 
                                here when the time comes (and it is coming very 
                                soon now). I have an organisation of N=1,000 
                                approx. It is most likely to be chopped into 
                                three. 

p.s. I'm not selling his approach 
                                or methods or theory -- I'm testing it (a) in 
                                practice at work; and (b) in theory here with 
                                the VSM. Whereas VSM is a 'dead duck' in respect 
                                to local  management interest Snowden's 
                                approach is rapidly gaining traction. I see his 
                                SenseMaker
                                primarily as a S3* tool -- but it also has wider 
                                application I think. I have just had two 
                                university schools (one business 
                                management/leadership and the other 
                                Sustainability policy and practice) become quite 
                                interested in his SenseMaker as 
                                a research tool. 

Oh, I should add, he 
                                has a following as well! ... ;-)

If you 
                                want some samples of him speaking then try here: 
                                http://www.cognitive-edge.com/podcasts.php

--- 
                                end of discursive field notes 
                                -----



--- On Sat, 25/10/08,
                                Roger Harnden 
                                <[log in to unmask]> 
                                wrote:

                                From: 
                                Roger Harnden 
                                <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: 
                                Re: Wikipedia and the Meaning of Truth
To: 
                                [log in to unmask]
Received: 
                                Saturday, 25 October, 2008, 2:59 AM


                                Russell. 
                                

                                I'm missing out somewhere. What is the 
                                'Dave Snowden' stuff??
                                

                                Roger

                                
                                On 24 Oct 2008, at 14:24, R Clemens 
                                wrote:

                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                Yes, I am still writing out 
                                my 10,000 lines on the blackboard: "Discursive 
                                is bad!" ... Not sure it's going to work though 
                                ... ;-)p
                                
 
                                What Frank wrote, I responded 
                                to. What he meant, I can only surmise. Whether 
                                it reflects Bloor, I can only take his 
                                opinion.
                                
                                
 
                                
 
                                
 
                                --- WARNING: Do Not 
                                Read Further If You Wish To Avoid Discursiveness 
                                ---

                                

                                

                                
 
                                
                                Reliable Knowledge: 
                                “Statements about truth must be viewed 
                                skeptically. Rather than state something as 
                                "true," the following phrase should be used: "On 
                                the evidence available today the balance of 
                                probability favors the view that...".” ( V. 
                                Gordon Childe, Man Makes Himself, 
1936)
                                
 
                                
                                Religious meaning of 
                                knowledge: “The Old Testament's Tree of 
                                Knowledge of Good and Evil contained the 
                                knowledge that separated Man from God: "And the 
                                LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one 
                                of us, to know good and evil… " (Genesis 
                                3:22)”
                                
 
                                (Source: both in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge)
                                
 
                                Why am I there in the Wiki? 
                                Well it’s a story for another time perhaps, but, 
                                in short, well medium-long, I’ve just spent a 
                                busy day studying a strange complex species 
                                called “Dave Snowden” at work in the field – 
                                hence arriving at “Knowledge Management” is the 
                                same Wiki-reference area to quotes above (while 
                                I read this email from Frank). 
                                
 
                                In my opinion, what Snowden 
                                is doing is 100% cybernetics (as per autopoietic 
                                definition explained to me by Luc) and his 
                                approach – including SenseMaker – is one 
                                very powerful tool to use. Watch this space! 

                                
 
                                I believe it can cover 
                                audit/feedback, boundaries (or lack of them), 
                                algedonic links (which he calls 
                                disintermediation), homeostatic balance, and 
                                inter-recursive level communications issues. In 
                                fact, where as VSM gives an x-ray view, 
                                Snowden’s complexity approach is very much a 
                                ‘Blackbox’ paradigm – and management are getting 
                                very excited about it. Ultimately it is second 
                                order cybernetics applied to governance praxis. 
                                In short, he claims to synergise quantitative 
                                and qualitative methods and data – I think 
                                effectively. 
                                
 
                                In a note to Angela I said: 
                                “There are some identity issues between SB [ 
                                Stafford ] & DS which are natural and 
                                expected (and explained in VSM and other 
                                models/frameworks).  But this should be 
                                celebrated, not seen as a problem. If SB was the 
                                "most viable system" someone knew -- then I'd 
                                say DS must be one of the most ‘SB’ characters I 
                                know (without actually knowing SB -- rather by 
                                sensing from reading and Metaphorum derived 
                                insight).
                                
 
                                If, I’m wrong then shoot me. 
                                Now back to the blackboard….
                                
 -- End of Discursiveness 
                                --- 




--- On 
                                Fri, 24/10/08, Roger Harnden <[log in to unmask]> 
                                wrote:

                                From: 
                                Roger Harnden <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: 
                                Re: Wikipedia and the Meaning of Truth
To: [log in to unmask]
Received: 
                                Friday, 24 October, 2008, 10:45 PM


                                Frank, take no notice of 
                                Russell - he lives  down under - probably 
                                in the outback  - so all he understands are 
                                'walkabouts' (including those to the pub, if my 
                                memory is correct!). 
                                

                                Serious point. If you look below, I don't 
                                think Frank actually said such an  absolute 
                                statement. IHe is summarising his understanding 
                                of a thesis - indeed, from the look of it (I 
                                don't know the book) quite a sensible one.
                                

                                It is interesting how many of these 
                                discussions circle round (without explicitly 
                                acknowledging that they do  the 
                                objectivist/relativist debates.
                                

                                The thing I keep trying to say - albeit 
                                clumsily - is that I feel that insights of 
                                cybernetic thinking and analysis overcomes many 
                                of the problems that can dog so-called 
                                'post-modernist' discourse. 
                                

                                Roger 
                                

                                PS Russell, in the light of one or two 
                                previous irritated comments, I have to say I 
                                feel we are both behaving quite well about 
                                keeping stuff  terse!
                                

                                
                                On 24 Oct 2008, at 11:46, Frank 
                                wrote:

                                
                                
                                Ha ha point taken! 
                                Sloppy thinking on my part. Nonetheless Bloor 
                                makes some interesting points.
                                 
                                Regards
                                 
                                Frank 
                                Wood
                                
                                ----- 
                                Original Message -----
                                From: R Clemens
                                To: [log in to unmask]
                                Sent: Friday, 
                                October 24, 2008 11:34 AM
                                Subject: Re: 
                                Wikipedia and the Meaning of Truth
                                

                                
                                
                                
                                Re: David Bloor 

The 
                                problem I have with these absolutist statements 
                                "... there is no such thing as 
                                absolute truth .. " is 
                                they are self contradictory.

I once sat 
                                through 20 minutes of indoctrination (1:1) by a 
                                supposed policy expert who's thesis was "there 
                                are no facts" -- when she'd finished I simple 
                                asked the obvious question -- "Is that a fact?" 
                                Session ended rather soon 
                                afterwards.

 

--- On Fri, 
                                24/10/08, Frank <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

                                From: 
                                Frank <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: 
                                Re: Wikipedia and the Meaning of 
                                Truth
To: [log in to unmask]
Received: 
                                Friday, 24 October, 2008, 8:58 PM


                                
                                Just seen the error 
                                that Barry made so don't have to make the 
                                correction now :-)
                                 
                                Kenneth Patchen 
                                said in his novel The 
                                Journal of Albion Moonlight "I 
                                do not choose my truths." I disagree. I think we 
                                choose our truths in the light of our culture 
                                and the paradigm of our times.
                                 
                                This is the point 
                                David Bloor made in his book "Knowledge and 
                                Social Imagery". My interpretation of what he 
                                said is that there is no such thing as absolute 
                                truth and that truth is dependent on the ongoing 
                                paradigm and nothing changes until the paradigm 
                                is broken and then the paradigm breakers set up 
                                the new paradigm.
                                 
                                His section The 
                                Popper-Kuhn Debate  is an interesting 
                                discussion on truth and the nature of 
                                facts.
                                 
                                This is a good 
                                overview of Bloor's stance.
                                 
                                http://www.iit.edu/~schmaus/Science_and_Values/notes/sociologists/social.pdf
                                 
                                Regards
                                 
                                Frank 
                                Wood
                                
                                ----- 
                                Original Message -----
                                From: BARRY A 
                                CLEMSON
                                To: [log in to unmask]
                                Sent: Thursday, 
                                October 23, 2008 6:27 PM
                                Subject: Re: 
                                Wikipedia and the Meaning of Truth
                                
Stefan, 
                                

                                Thank  you. It is no wonder I was 
                                confused, I didn't see the article by Simson L 
                                Garfinkel and I thought you were talking about 
                                Frank.
                                

                                Barry

                                
                                On Oct 23, 2008, at 1:01 PM, Stefan 
                                Wasilewski wrote:

                                
                                Barry (and Frank) 
                                

                                I was addressing the article of Simson 
                                L. Garfinkel itself and 
                                not Frank at all, having read the whole thing 
                                and the result was my thoughts as 
                                below.
                                

                                I believe Roger replied and I agree with 
                                him (and Frank) but to reply to your 
                                thought, we should always go into something with 
                                the idea of verifying what we read.
                                

                                Garfinkel is Navy and framed by his 
                                environment and this was my thrust in your point 
                                3. I'm old enough to remember being behind the 
                                'Wall' for long periods and talking to those of 
                                my age that sought 'truth' but who were open 
                                enough to question what was said all along the
                                way: This attitude stayed with me.
                                

                                Of the times I've had discussion with Frank 
                                it was always clear, interesting and thought 
                                provoking, I seldom now respond to anything 
                                other.
                                

                                Hope this helps
                                

                                Stefan
                                

                                

                                
                                
                                On 23 Oct 2008, at 16:46, BARRY A CLEMSON 
                                wrote:

                                
                                Stefan, 
                                

                                I find your comments puzzling and would 
                                like clarification. 
                                

                                1) It seems to me that you are saying that 
                                Frank has a grudge -- is this correct? I found 
                                his piece to be a thoughtful critique that also 
                                was quite supportive of Wikipedia.
                                

                                2) You say (and I agree) it is up to each 
                                of us to verify the facts we seek. What Frank 
                                pointed out very nicely is that we might be 
                                blindsided by our unexamined assumptions. And if 
                                we are not even aware of our assumptions (which 
                                is often the case) we are quite thoroughly 
                                trapped by them and unable to check our 
                                facts.
                                

                                3) i saw no hint of a suggestion to prefer 
                                "the current filtering of information and the 
                                writing of history by the winners". Rather I saw 
                                support for Wikipedia. Where did this come 
                                from?
                                

                                4) Perhaps I am merely clueless but I don't 
                                see how his specific profession provides any 
                                clue to his viewpoint.
                                

                                Please help me out here.
                                

                                Barry
                                

                                

                                
                                On Oct 23, 2008, at 11:01 AM, Stefan 
                                Wasilewski wrote:

                                
                                I generally find that people who criticise 
                                but don't offer an alternative have a grudge and 
                                therefore to be put in one box to be balanced as 
                                others are likewise accessed. 
                                

                                Surely it's up to each and every one of us 
                                to verify the facts we seek and in doing so 
                                learn accordingly: Nothing should be taken on 
                                face value.
                                

                                Would he prefer the current filtering of 
                                information and the writing of history by the 
                                winners to remain as our only sources?
                                

                                His profession should give a clue to 
                                viewpoint.
                                

                                Stefan
                                  

                                
                                On 23 Oct 2008, at 13:24, Frank 
                                wrote:

                                
                                
                                Dear 
                                Listm
                                http://www.technologyreview.com/web/21558/?nlid=1452&a=f
                                 
                                Any 
                                comments?
                                 
                                Regards
                                 
                                Frank 
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                                757-692-6673
                                

                                Cybernetica Press at www.cyberneticapress.com
                                

                                

                                

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                                great love."
                                        
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
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                                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. 
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                                Hamada ---
                                

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                                       -- Inspired 
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