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Yes,

I believe that whatever the good intentions, Malik are more stretched and commercially-focused than we had expected. In particular, there might have been some confusion on their part as to our own identity. I don't think they fully recognised that we are a loose group of widely spread individuals gathered round a set of ideas (and values?), but not individually wealthy or able to throw finance or other personal resources at this issue. 

Metaphorum has a small pot of money which the steering group has agreed to devote to the building of a more flexible, multi-purpose site that would have no obligation to third parties (such as MZSG), though we might still work in parallel with them. It would  also move us towards your second valuable point - group decision-making.

My initial reflection, Barry, following what you say, is that it might be a valuable part of the design process for this site (scheduled possibly for the New Year), to have built into it from its inception LINKS and pointers to other sites/communities with which we might generate synergy. 

That does not exclude other individual 'entanglements'  (Stefan) with any other initiatives that Doug's messages seem to suggest,


Roger






On 4 Nov 2009, at 20:05, BARRY A CLEMSON wrote:

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]> 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]>
To: [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




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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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Cybernetica Press Inc
Denmark Rising is now available at my web site



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--

Doug McDavid
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916-549-4600
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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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