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On 8 Nov 2009, at 23:26, Anja C Reissberg wrote:

!! 

e malama kumu wai
"protect the source" 

¸.·´ `·.¸¸.·´ `·.¸.·´ `·      º

Anja Reissberg, PhD
Department of Geography
University of Hawaii at Manoa




----- Original Message -----
From: rc <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Monday, November 9, 2009 12:02 am
Subject: Re: Come on guys! (identity)
To: [log in to unmask]

> In relation to this theme, having just returned from a long absence from the Listserv, please excuse my interruption without reference to the past genesis of this topic.
>  
> Roger calls out for us ‘guys’ to make an effort. So, here on a Monday morning in the southern hemisphere, the natural time and place for me before I head off to the hamster wheel, I submit the following.  
>  
> My comments relate to my current thinking in this area by virtue of applying the sustainability principles of ‘sense-of-place’. 
>  
> I recently discovered the new emerging field of ‘organisational anthropology’[1] to be of interest and returning to the sources of cybernetics for a research connection to anthropology, found Mead and Bateson’s short triologue with the interviewer, which lead to von Foerster’s views on 2nd-order cybernetics and ethics showing links through to Maturana and his ‘languaging’ school of thinking which has touched the organisational world through the term ‘autopoiesis’. [2]
>  
> So, in the spirit of S4, and with the technique of S3*, and in respect to my local sense-of-place, I listed to an end-of-week talk by a locally newly arrived professor of innovation.
>  
> Two things emerged for me: (a) One of his city case studies included Newcastle (UK) which reminded me of Hull Metaphorum 2008); and (b) a later ‘at the bar’ chat where it was revealed the university’s  school of geography was split into two – one half in the physical sciences, and the other half in social, if my memory serves is correct. And yet, geography, like anthropology or biology, must be one of the natural domains for connected thinking grounded on what is ‘out there’ in the landscape (or in this case the cityscape). What hope is there for wholistic thinking when the structures of learning are so disported by corporate thinking and practice?
>  
> I dropped the words “Hull” and “cybernetics” into the conversation and got no response – in fact negative reactions to the latter (although in an email to Sullivan, reference below, I did not get the same strong –ve reaction which might imply Mead’s work is still alive there?).
>  
> I also learned that research submissions which are cross-disciplinary now attract a weighting of up to 50% higher that non-cross-disciplinary proposals.  But I got the sense that not many people know how to do it, or want to do so. Is this common?
>  
> I have only just rejoined, and so I am not familiar with the origins of this thread, but it sound familiar. I’d suggest focus on a ‘market’ (perhaps academia?) and returning to people like Mead and Bateson to review where they were at in defining the term ‘cybernetics’ in the first place. I’m now planning some of my own research around ‘organisational anthropology’ to introduce the cybernetics topic via Mead.
>  
> It is perhaps a strange coincidence that another female in the history of computing, Grace Cooper in the US Navy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Hopper ), was also a key driver in the creation of COBOL as a common business orientated language to conflate the variety of proprietary computer mainframe systems proliferating at the time.  Perhaps it is not so strange that this ‘joining up’ phenomena should emerge through the female line, and there are, it seems, so few represented here and in this field.
>  
> In any case, I believe many of today’s complex problems can be seen reflected in the pragmatic ICT problems of the US Navy in the 1960s, and that COBOL is an apt metaphor for dealing with emerging complexity. It is about language and languaging: it is about common language and non-elitist languaging. Does anyone else share this view of the systemic and cultural dynamics involved in ‘going forward’ (a phrase from economic that I do not like, but is used without respite today)?
>  
> In my opinion, there is little hope of making a difference with cybernetics unless these realities are understood. And I believe, understanding ‘humans’ today involves understanding a cyborg-like creature at work (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyborg ). I note, if population projections are accurate then the whole human race appears to be returning, and most will be living in a city landscape and a mental ‘matrix’. [Last night I watched a TV documentary outlining how the global fishing industry is converging en-mass on the tuna in the Pacific ocean – the last fish stocks left having largely cleaned out the other oceans of the world. What are they going to eat? Canada’s cod fisheries collapsed only a decade ago!]
>  
> Now I have not returned to suggest that Sullivan’s ‘Morris Dancing’ (1) is a good metaphor for current debate on ‘cybernetics’ etc, but Sullivan has a point. We should be looking at ourselves collectively as patterns of customs and rituals in order to see better what to do next.
>  
> I think the ‘purpose’ of any contemporary action related to the continuation of the work of Bateson and Mead and Foerster and others must be defined – and the ‘need’ must be identified. What do we need to do as the planet seems to be on the cusp of a major climate change (human induced or not), and the human race enters a Naven cycle, or at least the need for one? (see 2 below for an outline of the Naven)
>  
> So, here is the point: a quote from Mead cited in von Foerster “I specifically want to consider the significance of the set of cross-disciplinary ideas which we first called 'feed-back' and then called 'teleological mechanisms' and then called 'cybernetics' -- a form of cross-disciplinary thought which made it possible for members of many disciplines to communicate with each other easily in a language which all could understand.”
>  
> I suggest a return to consider Mead’s comment: i.e., “. . . a form of cross-disciplinary thought which made it possible for members of many disciplines to communicate with each other easily in a language which all could understand.”
>  
> Therefore, as one starting point, to accommodate the cultures of academia, especially in their new corporate roles as the incubators of future governance systems operators, I suggest: (a) an acronym; and (b) a common language for communication without the jargon of cybernetic.
>  
> How about CDCS – cross disciplinary communication system (although I’d consider replacing ‘system’ with framework or another less technically suggestive word) . . .  or even just CDC?
>  
> It is targeted at academia initially, focused on the real cybernetic issue that Mead identified half a century ago, and has, if my local university case-study anything to go by, a real-world need that is being ‘rewarded’ in the research weighting stakes.
>  
> It is only one step more to see how structure (such as the splitting of geography into physical and social) inhibits natural, joined up wholistic thinking grounded on sense-of-place: an absolute initial condition for sustainability to emerge imo.
>  
> As we all sit around wondering how the universe is going to run without casino capitalism, perhaps we should think about producing Stafford Beer’s “Gubernator” as an ethical self-referencing and self governing autopoietic cyborg.
>  
> I’m heading off to anthropology to study tribes and cultures and Checkland’s “cultural feasibility” – starting with ‘geography’ departments and perhaps even some Morris dancing (now that I understand its critical cultural purpose as the ‘jester’ function in the court mirroring the hypnotic prancing of the courtiers)!  
>  
> regards
> Russell
>  
> - - -
> Ref
>  
> [1] Sullivan (2008), provides a belly laugh with his canny use of the ‘Morris Dance’ as metaphor for modern bureaucratic policy process. Pure cybernetics according to Mead’s perspective I believe – whether one calls it ‘first’ or ‘second order’. See “Bureaucratic Process as Morris Dance: an Ethnographic Approach to the Culture of Bureaucracy in Australian Aboriginal Affairs Administration, Critical Perspectives on International Business”, http://www.aiatsis.gov.au/research/people/sullivan.html
>  
> [2] see: “For God’s Sake, Margaret, Conversation with Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead” --  a conversation between Stewart Brand, Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead and was originally published in the CoEvolutionary Quarterly, June 1976, Issue no. 10, pp. 32-44., http://www.oikos.org/forgod.htm  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CoEvolution_Quarterly ).  Von Foerster - http://www.stanford.edu/group/SHR/4-2/text/foerster.html . 

> 
> On Mon, Nov 9, 2009 at 7:17 AM, Doug McDavid <[log in to unmask])" style="color: blue; text-decoration: underline; ">[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Thanks, Roger.  We may be a ways from *too much* Roger, but thanks for the heads up!
> 
> This is exactly the right approach, if we can take the time.  What does this emerging enterprise exist to provide into some marketplace in return for something considered to be valuable reciprocity.  Valuable reciprocity may be money, or maybe not.
> 
> Along that line, I have always found (always meaning since mid '80's at Pacific Bell when Allenna did some work there) the VSM to be a particularly valuable tool that I use in an informal, and usually private, way to size up whichever organization I'm dealing with.  I say private because only seldom do I make a presentation to clients in overtly VSM terms.  So, I find myself using the tool, and not so much selling the tool.  So, my point here is that maybe I, and people like me (if any), may be a customer for tools and expertise in using the tools that some people here are positioned to provide.  
> 
> At the same time, I'm personally interested in having an eager market for people that can use tools like the VSM, so that maybe I can provide some of those services (being a consultant type person).
> 
> Just brainstorming in public.  Hope that's OK.
> 
> Doug
> 
> On Sun, Nov 8, 2009 at 11:46 AM, Roger Harnden <[log in to unmask])" target="1" style="color: blue; text-decoration: underline; ">[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Come on, everyone.

> 
> What is needed is a to the point descriptor/label (otherwise, you're all becoming too much like Roger).
> 
> To tease this to light, the first things is to identify what you want to 'advertise' yourselves as offering.
> 
> Well - what is that? If we can express that, we can move towards a descriptor,
> 
> Roger
> 
> 
> 
> On 8 Nov 2009, at 15:45, Niculae Mihaita wrote:
> 
> Dear Professor Doug,
> What about Cyber Paradigm Synthesis Scholars or Group
> Cyber Synthesis Roundtable Teams
>  
> Niculae

From: Doug McDavid <[log in to unmask])" target="1" style="color: blue; text-decoration: underline; ">[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask])" target="1" style="color: blue; text-decoration: underline; ">[log in to unmask]
> Sent: Sun, November 8, 2009 12:12:25 PM
> Subject: Re: Call to action and reflection on the identity the forum
> 
> You're very welcome to intervene Niculae.  I like the idea of working with the word synthesis.  Let's see what others think of these and all suggestions.
> 
> Thank you,
> 
> Doug
> 
> On Sun, Nov 8, 2009 at 1:08 AM, Niculae Mihaita <[log in to unmask])" rel="nofollow" target="1" style="color: blue; text-decoration: underline; ">[log in to unmask]>wrote:
> Excuse me Sir for intervening,
>  
> but what about The new paradigm: Systems-Actions Synthesis
> or The Emergence of Holistic Paradigm and Analytical Paradigm Synthesis?  
> or System/Actions Paradigm Synthesis
> or Global ...........................................
>  
> Yours sincerely,
>  
> Niculae V. MIHAITA, PhD
> University Professor and Research Fellow
> Faculty of Cybernetics, Statistics and Economic Informatics in Bucharest
> email: [log in to unmask])" rel="nofollow" target="1" style="color: blue; text-decoration: underline; ">[log in to unmask]
[log in to unmask])" rel="nofollow" target="1" style="color: blue; text-decoration: underline; ">> [log in to unmask]
[log in to unmask])" rel="nofollow" target="1" style="color: blue; text-decoration: underline; ">> [log in to unmask]

> 

> From: BARRY A CLEMSON <[log in to unmask])" rel="nofollow" target="1" style="color: blue; text-decoration: underline; ">[log in to unmask]>

> To: [log in to unmask])" rel="nofollow" target="1" style="color: blue; text-decoration: underline; ">[log in to unmask]
> Sent: Sun, November 8, 2009 12:26:17 AM
> 
> Subject: Re: Call to action and reflection on the identity the forum
> 
> Doug,
James Greyson is a very wise and creative systems guy who already has a presence on WiserEarth and has written some very good papers for NATO on how we might proceed to deal with the current meta-crisis. I am Cc'ing him this note. I will also give him a little of the background in a separate email.
> 
> I don't think that metaphorum is a good name for the proposed site, but am not sure of a good alternative. I think that we (systems/cybernetics types) should try to put together a tool-kit for progressive activists. Initially this would include 1)some key papers such as Greystones "seven policy switches" and Donella Meadows article on leverage points and 2) short notes with references for the VSM, syntegration, Ackoff's Idealized Design, etc. 
> 
> I don't have the name for the site, but I personally would like it to be something like the the following:
> 
> Holistic Tools for Activists, or
> Systems Thinking for Saving the World (this is ridiculous, but maybe points in the right direction), or
> Systems Toolkit for Gaia
> 
> I don't really like any of these and perhaps the name is not critical.
> 
> I think getting started is critical and would urge you forward.
> 
> Barry
> 
> 
> 
> On Nov 7, 2009, at 1:05 PM, Doug McDavid wrote:
> 
> Thanks, Barry.  I have now done a bit more investigation.  This Wiser Earth service is very feature rick, which can be seen from the various different configurations people have set up for themselves.  I have looked into a number of communities, and there is an expected level of divergence among them, in terms of design of their sites, and the amount of activity.  A really good example of a seemingly vibrant site/community is the Puget Sound Community Change site.  
> 
> One of the key features is the ability to link to other communities, and feature that relationship on the pages for both groups.  This would be one mechanism for making this group stand out as a sort of meta group -- providing powerful tools and thinking frameworks for any domain, and therefore any group that sees the value in taking a more systemic and rigorous approach.  This is not for everyone, naturally, but it seems like it be worthwhile to experiment here.  I agree with your conclusion that there is not much in the way of systems thinking as a focus for the communities on Wiser Earth.
> 
> Some of the features that are available for any community include:
> Bulletin Board
> Wiki
> Chat
> Discussions (like forums)
> Upcoming Events
> Participation (Opportunities and Jobs)
> Resources
> Group Membership
> Beneficiaries
> Network navigator (graphic)
> File Libraries
> Search
> 
> I would be willing to start up a shell of a community on that site.  Would the name be Metaphorum?  I would do this just as something for people to look at and envision how to use.  This is certainly not to be technology-driven, but to consider the advantages of establishing a presence in the midst of all this good work.
> 
> On Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 12:31 PM, BARRY A CLEMSON<[log in to unmask])" rel="nofollow" target="1" style="color: blue; text-decoration: underline; ">[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Brief comments follow below

> Barry
> On Nov 5, 2009, at 12:34 PM, Doug McDavid wrote:
> 
> Hi folks --
> 
> This is to reply to some of the notes here.
> 
> I have visited Wiser Earth, and I agree it has a nice look and feel.  It is also large, with 1600 groups already defined.  I think there might be a tradeoff here about working in that venue, where there are probably a lot of like-minded folk, vs. some other social network collaboration site, link Ning, Xing, or LinkedIn.  A lot of this has to do with affordances available in various sites, but it also has to do with social attraction.  Are there any groups that a especially interesting, that you know of Barry?  That we might link to and/or emulate?
> I think quite a few. Jon Walker (husband to Angela Espinosa) is deeply involved with the permaculture movement which he tells me is applied systems/cybernetics. The Transitions Movement is another one. Both permaculture and Transitions are big movements. Coops are also represented as are many movements among indigenous peoples. Nonviolence and peace groups are there. Many of these groups / movements have a systems orientation although many of them seem not to be aware of systems theory / cybernetics. I recommend spending a few minutes searching the site for your particular interests.
> 
> 
> I actually think t would be worth checking into Google Wave.  This is released to a developer community.  I don't think of myself that way, but I do have an exploratory license.  I had a demo a month or so ago, and it does look like the "wave" of the future.
> I say a 45 minute video on Google Wave and it looks really interesting.

> 
> As far as virtual Syntegrity, what occurs to me is the ongoing work of Aleco Christakis and Ken Bausch.  They have done distributed facilitation of their problem-solving method, using a tool they have developed for this purpose.  I don't know a lot more than this, though I tried to introduce them into IBM, without notable success.  I think others on this list have more knowledge, including the compatibility of their approach with Team Syntegrity.
> If I remember correctly Christakis worked with John Warfield. They developed a group decision process called (I think) Interactive Management. As I recall Interactive Management is quite effective at pulling together the insights of a diverse group relative to ONE complex issue. Thus (again, if I am remembering correctly), Interactive Management might be used after a problem jostle. I don't think Interactive Management had a formal process that corresponds to the problem jostle. Disclaimer: I haven't looked at this work for about 15 years and it might have changed significantly since. 
> 
> 
> On Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 8:49 AM, M.J.R. van de Wijnckel<[log in to unmask])" rel="nofollow" target="1" style="color: blue; text-decoration: underline; ">[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hello all,
 
> 1.
> Regarding the purpose and identity of Metaphorum I largely agree with what Roger Harnden wrote (see his message @ 31-10). Through the Metaphorum we can support each other in the right direction with our own/joint projects. E.g. With the support of Malik Management we want to launch a Dutch Ecopolicy competition in 2010 for youngsters between 10 & 17 years old. It would help me if you can trigger me with “cybernetic questions” on how to make this competition viable!?
 
> 2.
> I do think a new, open source Metaphorum-website would increase our effectiveness and capabilities. E.g. a forum module would make our conversations more focused: I value this list serv, but sometimes there’s too much variety! But also for disseminating “new cybernetic media” we should use this website more (videos, podcasts etc.).
 
> 3.
> I would be willing to try “virtual syntegration” with you: again, imagine what we could really do!?
> A while ago Arthur Dijkstra showed me Google Wave:http://wave.google.com - Communicate and collaborate in real time???(it will be live somewhere beginning 2010)
> This could complement the Metaphorum-website as another module. I know there are real Syntegration-experts in this community, so please let us know what you think about it?
 
>  
> Yours,
 
>  
> Mike van de Wijnckel.
>  
> Van: Forum dedicated to the work of Stafford Beer [mailto:[log in to unmask])" rel="nofollow" target="1" style="color: blue; text-decoration: underline; ">[log in to unmask]] Namens BARRY A CLEMSON
> Verzonden: woensdag 4 november 2009 21:06
> Aan: [log in to unmask])" rel="nofollow" target="1" style="color: blue; text-decoration: underline; ">[log in to unmask]
> Onderwerp: Re: Call to action and reflection on the identity the forum
>  
> Doug,
 
> 1. After the St. Galens meeting I had hoped that the next step would be a web site that would make it easy for systems scientists to find out about each other's projects. Angela Espinosa worked with Malik on getting the info from that Saturday morning workshop together but I don't know (or maybe just don't remember) what has happened to the information.
>  
> The Wiser Earth website is a superb tool for perhaps 30,000 different progressive projects all over the world. The site is absolutely marvelous and already has a number of projects that systems people are deeply involved in.  I think it would be possible to use that site to make it easy to keep track of the efforts of  any definable group by simply attaching a special key word to the project because they already allow tagging projects with (I believe) essentially unlimited keywords and the site has good search capabilities.
>  
> 2. I think we desperately need to figure out how to do online group decision making ... sort of the virtual equivalent of syntegration.  So far I don't think we begin to know how to do this. 
>  
> I don't know if either of these interests you, but seems to me both are badly needed ....
>  
> Barry
>  
> On Nov 4, 2009, at 10:38 AM, Stefan Wasilewski wrote:
> 
> 
> let's pick up your word 'entanglements' because it resonates across so many fields. 
 
> That's how things really work, the energy of another get's transferred because each are listening and learning from the other but not complicating things because they're doing their own thing! Both benefit!
>  
> Stefan
>  
>  
>  
> On 4 Nov 2009, at 14:10, Doug McDavid wrote:
> 
> 
> That's a good point Barry, and maybe there is value in trying to make these efforts and accomplishments more visible.  People do bring in their individual projects to illustrate these discussions, and that is always enlightening.  But, at the same time there is a difference between "we" as individuals who share a common and interest and "we" as a collective, accomplishing things together.  There seems to be some appetite for trying to be more of the latter.
> 
> I share that appetite.  I may seem to be a relatively new voice here, but I have been ears here for years (thanks, Leonid).  I have carried your book around (one of the most expensive in my library, by the way! Bu well worth it) and waved it in the faces of visitors to my office, as an accessible explanation of a powerful thinking tool (VSM).  The VSM thought framework is like an item on a heads-up display for me -- always available as a device to peer through at each new interesting social organization that I stumble upon.
> 
> At the moment, I am almost totally free of organizational entanglements, so I am quite interested in helping to formalize or otherwise encourage any efforts to bolster our collective and individual effectiveness.  Do we want to be an enterprise?  I am something of an enterprise architect.  So I'm happy to pitch in, if there's enough interest.
> 
> Best regards,
> 
> Doug
> On Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 5:31 AM, BARRY A CLEMSON <[log in to unmask])" rel="nofollow" target="1" style="color: blue; text-decoration: underline; ">[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> That was well put, Joe.
 
> Given all the evidence that Gaia and human civilization are both in crisis,  this listserve is a critical oasis of sanity and thoughtfulness. 
>  
> As an activist by temperament, I would love to see lots of concrete action coming from the listserve members. However,  we spent a Saturday morning at the Cybernetics of Crisis conference in St Galens just sharing the projects we were involved in.  I was completely blown away by the number and variety of practical projects our members are already engaged in. I now believe that the primary reason we don't see practical projects coming from the listserve is because many, many members of the group are ALREADY deeply, actively committed to changing the world thru a huge variety of projects.
>  
> Barry
>  
> On Nov 4, 2009, at 3:23 AM, Joseph Truss wrote:
>  
> Indeed Stefan.  
>  
> Deep, insightful, thought provoking, profoundly human conversation (dare I say love?) occurs in this place.  The purpose of a system is what it does.  
>  
> It takes a critical mass of infosettic consciousness to become a stable attractor in which orbit we may choose to self organize into action - or not.  
>  
> Best,
> Joe
>  
> Joseph Truss
> Team Syntegrity International AG/ Metaphorum / Abbey North Drummers
 
>  

> From: Stefan Wasilewski <[log in to unmask])" rel="nofollow" target="1" style="color: blue; text-decoration: underline; ">[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask])" rel="nofollow" target="1" style="color: blue; text-decoration: underline; ">[log in to unmask]
> Sent: Mon, November 2, 2009 6:50:08 PM
> Subject: Re: Call to action and reflection on the identity the forum
> 
> Speaking personally a broader understanding of the issues, seeing a large group become coherent, friends
 
>  
> On 2 Nov 2009, at 20:54, Frank Wood wrote:
>  
> Yes, greed often overcomes discretion however  even it is usually the social dynamics of an organisation usually finish off any genuine attempt to improve a company. 
 
> In my company I learned very fast not to get credit for anything I did that benefited the company. People who work hard to help their organisation usually get  hunted down and exterminated.
>  
> The Law of Requisite Variety and POSIWID saved my life. I did a rough VSM because I'm not very au fait with that model but know enough to appreciate its importance as an analytical tool.
>  
> So I know that Cybernetics delivers the goods but my main question was what hard examples of any action that has come out of all the theorising on *this* listserv?
>  
> Frank
>  
> On 2 Nov 2009, at 07:35, Stefan Wasilewski wrote:
>  
> Here's the rub
 
> If I broadcast what happened in 1998 for Bankers Trust vetted by the FED, SEC and rating agencies I am on open network and I don't know who's listening and their affiliations, but to answer Frank's question in part.
>  
> I designed Contingent Capital in 1994, used the VSM as a language to parse the bank's business model and placed $1 billion of the product at a time the bank couldn't get traditional capital. Price was not keen but a lot better than traditional method's, the instrument didn't screw up ratios and sent a message to stakeholder's that 'they were good for the money'.
>  
> When push came to shove the SEC much preferred 'big is best' and so let Deutsche Bank take them over. Now look what's happened!
>  
> I'm currently drafting the IM again, I've added a lot of the advances in OC to the model and feedback from the market confirms its operation is to support the organisation and makes the market self-regulating, even the G20 says it wants it but doesn't quite know what it is (See G20 publications)
>  
> So Frank it has been applied, does work, but when Greed Overcomes Discretion even the best products can be marginalised. 
>  
> No slight on friends and this forum but IP is a difficult thing, and I wish to control it for personal and this collective groups advantage until implemented properly.
>  
> Stefan
>  
> On 2 Nov 2009, at 01:13, BARRY A CLEMSON wrote:
>  
> I'm afraid I agree with you!
 
> Barry
> On Nov 1, 2009, at 6:48 PM, Frank Wood wrote:
>  
> Hi Barry,
> I'm glad it does. However this is a bit vague and for me, a fictional investor here it does not motivate me to  invest.
>  
> Frank
>  
> On 1 Nov 2009, at 22:34, BARRY A CLEMSON wrote:
>  
> Frank,
 
> Nice question. 
>  
> My personal answer is that the discussions here inform my actions in at least two ways: 
>  
> 1) my own understanding is deepened and that deepened understanding then informs the projects I work on
>  
> 2) these discussions have directly influenced the theme for my next novel, which is very much aimed at changing the world.
>  
> Barry
>  
> On Nov 1, 2009, at 8:52 AM, Frank Wood wrote:
>  
> My response to this discussion is a question.
 
> Can anyone give me hard examples of any ACTION that has come out of all the theorising, speculation and discussion there has been over the years on this listserv as regards cybernetics, especially VSM. I don't know George Soros but I suspect he might want to see how we have turned theorising into action and more importantly how that action has benefitted the community.
>  
> I know I keep banging on about this for which I'm totally unapologetic :-)
>  
> Regards
>  
> Frank Wood
>  
> On 31 Oct 2009, at 13:48, Roger Harnden wrote:
>  
> All,
 
> Several individuals have at various times expressed their frustration that this forum has not had more impact on the world of action, given the relevance of our ideas to the present global crises (both economic and ecological), and the resonnance of the insights and discourse of systems thinking and VSM with that of certain major players (such as George Soros).
>  
> Let's reflect a moment on why his might be so, and what (if anything) might be done about it. 
>  
>  
> I feel there needs to be an understanding of the significance of  the nomenclature of the community from which this forum arose - Metaphorum. This isn't intended to frustrate or deflect  the call to action, but an attempt to release the latent energy that I am sure is inherent in this particular community.
>  
>  
> As has been mentioned before, Listserve was established as a communication space for Metaphorum - a group of individuals who had in one way or another been close to Stafford or involved in his ideas. This group participated in a Syntegration held to celebrate his life and death. Metaphorum emerged from one of the topics generated in the Syntegration, a topic which discussed ways to explain, advance and disseminate Stafford's ideas and cybernetics in general (but with a focus upon managerial cybernetics in particular).
>  
> The name Metaphorum was chosen deliberately. There is a play on 'metaphor' and on 'forum'. But also upon 'meta'. I think we saw this entity as preserving and advancing the central ideas, but also as generating new understandings and initiatives. - spawning them, as it were. We saw ourselves acting as the proverbial acorn, seeding future ideas and initiatives that we presently (at that time) might not have been aware of. The initiative was very much seen as an opening up rather than a closing down -  a living laboratory or breeding ground to celebrate and launch a particular set of ideas; rather than a mausoleum to simply preserve them.
>  
> Given that we are all 'normal' human beings (well, more-or-less!), even though we try to think cybernetically and systemically we often find ourselves bedded within the usual constraints and habits of conventional thinking. And, as a community, I think there is a slight schizophrenia between a yearning for self-organisation, and a lurking recognition that in the social domain self-organisation is seldom enough alone., in questions such as 'What are we going to do?', and 'How are we going to do it?'.
>  
> And, my point is that the 'meta' of the name of this community (or nexus of communities), surely legitimises this through turning a tendency towards schizophrena into a healthful paradox (wafter all, the paradox lis central to cybernetic thinking). For instance, I personally enjoy sliding in and out of being overly intellectual, or else pursue flights of fancy in exploring and pursuing ideas. But this does not mean that I want everyone else to do the same thing, or feel that this forum should focus upon this. Rather, I would love the forum to evolve along its 'meta' lines' by providing both the person skills and resources for concrete projects, AND and theoretical underpinning for projects and initiatives. In other words to allow flights of fancy together with demand for application to co-existence in parallel, thence generating further synergy.
>  
> I know I tend to get bogged down by these details in a perhaps over-intellectual way (as oppose to 'getting on with things'), but  perhaps these issues need to be visible, rather than lurking as a blind spot. Thus, under the umbrella of 'meta' we might progress both the 'reflective' and the 'practical', and gain a better understand how these things work off one another. Some of us, after all, are more ''men' of action', some of us more ''men' of reflection', but surely all of us are a bit of both. But our commonality in this forum, is to do with the a loose sharing (or overlap) of a mindset. As history manifestly reminds us, few people are equally reflective and practical. There are obvious exceptions, and Stafford indeed lived both sorts of identity - reflection and action. But this Listserve is perhaps not itself a precursor to action nor to reflection, but rather a space that might generate reflection and action, at various times and for various purposes, itself acting as a launch pad rather than venue for such initiatives. Does that make sense?
>  
> And this would be a good thing.....a metaphorum.......But perhaps this means that its own effectiveness is as a space that enables synergy, interaction and thattriggers (rather than carries out) further initiatives [whether commercial projects, co-writing papers of books, social events (such as conferences]). And as long as we accept this (provided we do) it should be able to provide both functions for different people at different times......
>  
> Mind, I do think that in order to effectively carry out such a dual function, the matter of protocols is important (as has been mentioned before);. That will help all we different and varied individuals with our different and various agenda's, to experience synergy rather the unpleasant sensation of stepping on each other's toes.
>  
> Anyway, that's how I see it, folks.
>  
> 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%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E%7E
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>  
> BARRY  CLEMSON
> 757-622-6673
> Cybernetica Press Inc
> Denmark Rising is now available at my web site
>  
>  
>  
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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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> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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  CLEMSON
> 757-622-6673
> Cybernetica Press Inc
> Denmark Rising is now available at my web site
>  
>  
>  
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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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>  
> BARRY  CLEMSON
> 757-622-6673
> Cybernetica Press Inc
> Denmark Rising is now available at my web site
>  
>  
>  
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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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> 
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> Doug McDavid
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>  
> BARRY  CLEMSON
> 757-622-6673
> Cybernetica Press Inc
> Denmark Rising is now available at my web site
>  
>  
>  
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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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> 
> BARRY  CLEMSON
> 757-622-6673
> Cybernetica Press Inc
> Denmark Rising is now available at my web site
> 
> 
> 
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> 
> BARRY  CLEMSON
> 757-622-6673
> Cybernetica Press Inc
> Denmark Rising is now available at my web site
> 
> 
> 
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