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I heartily agree with your balanced comments, Javier. Sorry if I 'mis- 
labelled' you.

And you are absolutely on mark with your S4/S3. Yes, I am firmly S4 in  
this respect, with both the strengths and weakness of that. And, yes,  
S3 ('doing something useful) is lacking (including from me, but that's  
not my interest).

And I think from your comments about society, that you and I are  
perhaps saying the same thing. Your 'State' is similar to my 'formal  
social structures'.

Best wishes,

Roger
On 2 Dec 2008, at 19:58, Javier Livas wrote:

> Dear friends, Barry,
>
> I make the same question to Roger, what does RC mean?
>
> And I think Javier means me, Javier Livas, mentioned by Stefan W.
>
> Allow me to observe:
>
> There are clearly two paths we (at Metaphorum) have been following  
> both belonging to the VSM structure. One is to continue building the  
> theory that Stafford and others, as Roger for instance, have been  
> doing. This is great. (SYSTEM 4) Learning to do new things.
>
> The other path is to try to make Stafford ideas work for the public  
> in general. Applications is what we need. (SYSTEM 3)
>
> The problem is this:
>
> On my way back from Spain last Friday, I bought the book "Giant  
> Steps in Management. Creating Innovations That Change the Way We  
> Work." It was written by M. Mol and Julian BirKinshaw, from the  
> London Business School and associated in some way to Gary Hamel, the  
> management guru of Harvard Business Review fame. (I can only smile  
> when I find that Hamel recommend organizing large businesses with  
> the resiliency of THE US CONSTITUTION!!!)
>
> The point about mentioning this book is that neither STAFFORD or the  
> VSM appear as part of this 150 year history of "management  
> solutions". This is not to say that we are wasting our time, but  
> only to emphazise that Stafford's ideas have a way to go before they  
> will be applied by the masses, as was his intention in the Chilean  
> effort, as you all know. If we keep building without connecting to  
> the rest of the world it won't be long before we disappear  
> completely from sight.
>
> I have been listening into the conversations only to realize that  
> some of the exchanges become difficult to follow and understand. At  
> times the language used becomes highly obscure. Obviously this is  
> not your fault but mine. But then I would conclude that some of us  
> must forget about theoritical considerations (SYSTEM 4) must work in  
> the opposite direction (SYSTEM 3) which is the popularization of  
> Stafford's ideas and of Cybernetics. Do something usefull with them  
> that can be copied by others.
>
> In this respect, it is URGENT that we get some things clearified.  
> For instance when we talk about Cybernetics and Society I do not see  
> the connection to the VSM because societies are more of a complex  
> adaptive system with many autonomous agents copying each other's  
> solutions. VSM is the map of a STRUCTURE which to me is exactly the  
> same as that of the STATE, which makes it official whether we like  
> it or not. The problem of course is that beyond the first recursion  
> level, the rest of the legal structure is highly reductionistic and  
> a big failure.
>
> ¿What could we say right now about the world financial crisis  
> expressed in the language of cybernetics or the VSM? Maybe we should  
> try posting our conclusions for everybody to see.
>
> Finally: If the meaning of "RC" is in any way connected with the  
> content of UNIVERSO KUBERNETES, let me say that I am not a religious  
> man at all and therefore perhaps a mediocre christian. Is anyone is  
> interested in discussing the contents of this DVD I be very glad to  
> engage in that.
>
> Thank you all for continuing to exchange ideas. I am sure we all try  
> to build with whatever resources we have available and within our  
> limitations too.
>
> My best to all,
>
> Javier Livas
>
> On Dec 2, 2008, at 1:13 PM, 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
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> ===================================================
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> 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 ---
>>>>>>>
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>>>>>>> --- my paraphrase of Sensei Hamada ---
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> And peace rolled down like a mighty river.
>>>>>>>  -- Inspired by the prophet Amos 5:24--
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
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>>>>>>>      -- Gene Knudsen Hoffman --
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>>
>> ===================================================
>>
>> 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
>>
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>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>
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