Well, thank god Frank, our paths are diverging again! Phew - I was getting worried!!

Obviously you make a valid point about PC gone mad. But that's because of what I have referred to in another recent posting, of bad 'systems thinking'. The percolation of various versions of systems' thinking throughout the modern world have led to many pathologies for the human beings whose recurrent interactions are - it is held - subject to the systems' thinking/ PC is just one symptom of this disease.

But, that doesn't mean that the inflamatory discourse and imagery are neutral in all this, Frank.

The main thing, perhaps, is that these sorts of too and fro's surely miss the point, somehow.


Roger
On 10 Jan 2011, at 13:39, Frank Wood wrote:

First, Russell, thanks for taking the trouble to reply.

If you are going to partly blame the obnoxious Sarah Palin for someone running amok, then you are going to have ban a lot of music not to mention books for fear that they may cause violence. This is political correctness gone mad. This means that I as a fiction writer (don't even think it Russ!) could not write much fiction cos I would have to worry that some nutcase would model himself on one of my characters. When Palin used the cross hairs of a target she was using target in a metaphorical way. To say because of that this man went on the rampage is nonsense, Yes she cannot complain if her enemies make political capital out this, she has only herself to blame for that. 

The bottom line is that no one forced that man to go on a rampage. He did it himself and the number of factors as to why he did it could be almost infinite.

I do not accept that B's employer should share responsibility except as a ploy for D getting a discount on new strings!

You said:

Anyway, my take is this: if you are in a reductionist paradigm then you have no choice but to come to a conclusion such as you have.

However, if your world view is not reductionist -- or not so wholly reductionist (see Stafford's first few minutes on Aristotle in Javier's video) then things are not so clear. 

Oh please that's a typical cheesy way of saying I'm a reductionist. At least call me reductionist to my face. I promise I won't throw a tantrum! It's no wonder those Aussies were ticked off!

Regards

Frank


On 10 Jan 2011, at 11:11, russell_c wrote:

Frank -- see comments embedded (italics)

rc


Sorry Russell,

I can't go for this nonsense about reductionism. I repeat - you cannot be responsible for other people's actions. You can only be responsible for your own actions. 

Frank, why do I feel like this carrying over into this domain what has been the war (in a teapot) in another?

I cannot help you with your way of viewing the world. You are welcome to it. In part I also share it. But also in part I share other views. Your views (and here I'm using Roger's thesis pages 195-196, which, now that I'm back into train travel again, has become my reading companion), would seem to relate to the "multisystem" view and mine more strongly the "multiverse" which I think Roger ascribes to Maturana and also Espejo). In a nutshell, if I get it right -- you are seeing the world as a system of things (humans in this case - B & D).  

I am seeing the world as relationships (B+D) in a dance. To ascribe the treading of toes in the dance to one boot is a bit difficult in a tightly coupled event. The young B introduced herself the D. And the rest is history as they say. 

Tell me, what do you think of this and the implied argument building in it that shock-jocks and Sarah Palin et al and cross hairs are poartly to blame for the tonal influences that lead to the unfortunate event? 

In my view what is more correct is to say we share responsibility in an event. I maintain that it is a risk management issue/paradigm -- not a blame exercise. I refuse in this case to use the 'blame' word because it limits the process to premature closure in what I call a reductionist way. Others may see it differently. They have their own voices. 

It is also interesting to note that one respondent made the leap and replied (still somewhat outraged as you are) that if B shared some of the responsibility then so must her employer A. My thinking exactly. Again, the actual % is not the issue. The issue is, from my perspective, the not-entirely-accepting-as-the-absolute-and-definitive 'truth' or answer that which your way of thinking claims itself to hold. 

That is the rub, and that is the primary cause of the outrage observed in my opinion -- whether others appreciate this or not. 


This case is not some sort of horrendous complex systems thingy, it's really quite simple and to call me reductionist because I state the obvious is laughable!

I called you nothing Frank. You have self-ascribed this label to yourself I think. The method of thinking is reductionist. However, it may be accurate as well to say you are a reductionist if you do not differentiate between you own identity (ego etc) and the way in which it works. Now I suspect you are punching pillows and stomping feet and wishing to throttle me. Fortunately for me there is a planet between us. 

Less fortunately for me, my small degree of knowledge in (mgt) cybernetics appears to be far greater than my wisdom to not use it in certain worldly places. That is Luc's prognosis and I tend to agree (in hindsight of course). 

But the work must go on. Blundering and bumbling as it is ... all I feel I can be held to account for in court before the 'judges' is any disrepute I may have brought upon cybernetics as an honorable field, responsible discipline and noble profession. And given it does not have a field and discipline (at least in the conventional sense) -- and given that I would naturally plead 'shared responsibility' with these giants (who are obviously remiss for leaving such material around for the children to pick up and consume) -- then I'm sure I would get off with a 'good behaviour' bond. Given that this good behaviour could itself be seen to be ... nahh, forget it! ... Life it too short!!! ... ;-)p 


D is responsible for his actions, B is responsible for her actions. From what I can gather his maneuver was a tricky one that required great concentration. If his concentration is that easily broken then he should not be flying kites. I note that D also contends (in his view) that this may have happened without B's interference.

Frank, you are playing the man and not the ball (as we say here). No one knows or can know. If I surprise you without warning and you drop you hot tea and scold yourself (or another) then are you to blame? If you stepped back and knocked over a cabinet of glass would you still be 100% sure that you were 100% to blame? 

Frank, I think you are missing the point (and ot the original post) -- it was not to solve the 'problem', but rather to ponder the situation. It that forum, a complex situation that involved professionals interacting with the public. And the genesis of the topic was at another beach and another situation of concern involving expert 'show ponies' who were irresponsibly out of control. 

This B&D scenario was simply dropped in to bring some focus onto a minor sub point raised by others in discussing that original situation. If there had not been a response to the response then it would have died a natural death. A response was given (along the lines as this, in tone and intent at least) and it went viral and amassed more views and postings from across the country than anything that small forum had seen in a long while. (303 replies and 11410 views -- now 9th on the top ten of all threads in a small community of around 300 I think). The forum id of the unwise protagonist has now entered the language lexicon. 

You are not alone Frank. Many share your view of the world. My only overall observation is to suggest that final judgments be left to the 'cough cough' experts -- and that the rest of us mere morals just get on with avoiding judging our neigbours and share our dancing in as a discerning way as possible. 

What I find interesting is the usual over analytical over intellectual approach of (mercifully) some Cyberneticians so it's little wonder that these people have not got anywhere nor will get anywhere when they get so easily bogged down.

Pass.

BTW what do you think of my previous comment that maybe some of the hostility towards D on that forum may have been because they felt his reluctance to accept total responsibility made them all look irresponsible and stupid in the eyes of opponents of kite flyers on beaches?

It made them feel something strong ... what I have not yet analysed. I suspect they saw self interest -- e.g. their insurance rates going up. 

Also I can't see how stating that D is 100% responsible for his actions is a personal attack.

No, the personal attack was because D did not fit the profile of the group demographic and was asserting his rights as a member of the public who happened to own some kitesurfing gear. He continually reminded the rest that he was not agreeing with their claims that he (and they) were a community. He claimed he was posting on a public internet forum -- not joining a cult. 

I find it a little depressing that many Cyberneticists just don't get it, are appalling at communication (oh irony of ironies!) and just don't want to come down from their ivory towers.

Double pass ... (cough, cough).   

But as they say "c'est la vie", maybe it's a good thing if it keeps them off the streets!

Come on Frank, try some 'cough, cough' drops!!!


On Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 8:54 AM, Frank Wood <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Sorry Russell,
I can't go for this nonsense about reductionism. I repeat - you cannot be responsible for other people's actions. You can only be responsible for your own actions. 

This case is not some sort of horrendous complex systems thingy, it's really quite simple and to call me reductionist because I state the obvious is laughable!

D is responsible for his actions, B is responsible for her actions. From what I can gather his maneuver was a tricky one that required great concentration. If  his concentration is that easily broken then he should not be flying kites. I note that D also contends (in his view) that this may have happened without B's interference.

What I find interesting is the usual over analytical over intellectual approach of (mercifully) some Cyberneticians so it's little wonder that these people have not got anywhere nor will get anywhere when they get so easily bogged down.

BTW what do you think of my previous comment that maybe some of the hostility towards D on that forum may have been because they felt his reluctance to accept total responsibility made them all look irresponsible and stupid in the eyes of opponents of kite flyers on beaches?

Also I can't see how stating that D is 100% responsible for his actions is a personal attack.

I find it a little depressing that many Cyberneticists just don't get it, are appalling at communication (oh irony of ironies!) and just don't want to come down from their ivory towers.

But as they say "c'est la vie", maybe it's a good thing if it keeps them off the streets!

Frank


On 9 Jan 2011, at 12:50, russell_c wrote:

I though I saw A in there somewhere.

Anyway, my take is this: if you are in a reductionist paradigm then you have no choice but to come to a conclusion such as you have.

However, if your world view is not reductionist -- or not so wholly reductionist (see Stafford's first few minutes on Aristotle in Javier's video) then things are not so clear. 

In this 'not-entirely reductionist' paradigm, I contend that the only condition is that not everything can be wholly reductionist, or by definition 100%. 100% does not exist on this earth except as an aspiration (for the unwell usually).

It seems to me D is holding out on a strongly constructivist argument and likely to end up being given hemlock!. 

rc



On Sun, Jan 9, 2011 at 8:39 PM, Frank Wood <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hi Russell.
I was talking about B the trainer and D the kite flyer only and as far as I can see I didn't get them mixed up.

As you say the core issue is responsibility and we can only be responsible for our own actions not others. That maybe not the legal case but sure is the common sense case!

Yes D is right to highlight the problem of interfering do gooders as long as he does not try to dilute his responsibility. In other words he should stress that he is responsible for his actions and not B.

If you are driving a car and crash cos you are distracted by one of  your passengers then you cannot blame the passenger! Even if in law the passenger could be accused of distracting you that cannot absolve you of blame (yes I say that non PC word "blame")

It certainly stimulated discussion! :-)

Frank



On 9 Jan 2011, at 12:06, russell_c wrote:

Frank,

You voice is well represented in the debate. 

I think you may have got you A,B, and Cs a bit mixed along the way, but yes, the core issue is whether D can claim some shared responsibility with another adult B who was there only to earn money -- and the 'expert' advice unsolicited was incorrect.

If it had been correct information then maybe D would have reacted differently. Perhaps D thought wtf and who is this idiot. Perhaps D should have ignored the noise. Perhaps the noise was a young child in his mind? 

All other public risks were in hand as D had checked that and was in fact in a practice session to do what he was doing. In previous trials the safety release device was activated. This time it got away. VERY tight timing involved. 

Look I think we can assume D is not trying to dodge the issue of being a dill (although others may see it that way). Rather, he is perhaps trying to highlight (in the forum) that B (and those in her position) has to be very careful. The same thing could be a personal trainer in a park, or yelling out to a young woman nervously trying to turn right across oncoming traffic with a baby in the back seat. I think it is close to public nuisance. Perhaps the next D could be a rather aggressive user of the health services! I suggested that the next D scenario could be an American tourist (there are plenty of Swiss and Germans down for the winter break) and s/he would be (of course playing on the archetype) far more likely top be legally orientated -- especially of s/he had broken their neck or something.. 

The intent to submit the case study was to stimulate discussion on risk of dealing with dangerous performing show ponies on a busy beach -- not a learner in a quiet isolated space-time zone. But the response was so strong a note book and pencil just had to be taken out. The whole thing got hijacked due to the 100% issue. I suspect that may have suited some interests. 

Russell

On Sun, Jan 9, 2011 at 7:42 PM, Frank Wood <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I would say that the responsibility rests entirely with D.

1. If he was aware of his actions he would KNOW that the bar was the right way up

2. If he was concentrating properly on what he was doing he would not allow himself to be distracted.

When I used to play tennis people could be doing anything around the edge of the court and I would not notice. However the mind is always primed for danger signals and clearly B's comment was not a danger signal as I have already said he would have known the bar was the right way up.

It appears that B is a control freak and cant' resist interfering and also I suspect there was a show off element to c in her intervention.

As a general rule of thumb it is best to not offer help to people unless you are asked. Sometimes when people offer me unasked for help I'm tempted to snap at them and say "Did I ask for your help!"

So the responsibility was entirely A's and he is wrong to try and dilute the blame by saying it is shared responsibility.

Now if he had gone up to B and shouted at her etc then B could not complain as this would not have happened if she had not interfered.

Each person is responsible for their own actions, shared responsibility is a cop out term.

That is not a personal attack but rather an obvious observation to anyone who accepts the idea that we ALL have to accept responsibility for our own actions.

I suspect the outrage on the forum may be cos people felt that D was trying to wriggle out of the fact that he was 100% (as was put on the forum) responsible for his actions as B was 100% responsible for her own actions.

It would be interesting to know what B's comments were (if any).

Looking at it from the viewpoint of Primary Cause, it could be argued that it was B's fault as if she did not interfere then none of this would have happened. However that ignores the fact that if D was properly focussed on what he was doing this would never have happened.

If kite flyers can't be focussed o;n what they are doing then why are they flying kites in public places?

IMO D has given a lot of ammunition to those that want kite flying on beaches to be banned. Another reason maybe for the outraged reaction on the forum as the members possibly felt that he was doing them no favours.

Frank



On 9 Jan 2011, at 08:46, russell_c wrote:

One for the legal beagles.

There is no legal matter in this -- it is just a case study (based on actual events) in which I would like to clarify one fact: shared responsibility and risk.

I only need an answer to feel more confident in my discussions with others on this case study.

I don't need legal opinion -- but I just would like to know whether in general principle my point about some degree of shared responsibility is valid -- or at least a grey area needing some arbitration.

The contention is between two world views: one that holds a 100%:0% 'blame' paradigm; and one that holds a shared risk paradigm somewhere (but not explicit) in the range of 99%-1%.

The debate is not legal (although it is ultimately a legal issue if pursued - which is not in this case): it is philosophic.

It is just a case study but I'd like to know more clearly whether I'm correct or not. I hold the shared responsibility view (around the 80:20 range). The principle is the focus -- not the actual values.

Situation:

A -- a small company selling kitesurfing equipment and providing training services via 'sub contractors' who ply their trade on a public beach.

B -- Trainer walking on public beach with C in a training session.

C -- personal being trained by B through a contract with A.

D -- Independent person on the beach in an activity with some physical risk to D (only). No risk to others by virtue of ensuring no other public are close by in direction of wind and potential risk zone if event fails.

D has no relationship with B or C. (and in fact never met)

D has some historical commercial relationship with A.

B is wearing a top wetsuit vest that subtly identified her as a trainer for A.

B and D have never met before although D has observed her in the distance training others.

The location is in D's local beach area less than 0.7km from house. A, B & C most likely travel to the location from elsewhere.

There is no suggestion of fowl play or poor intent by any party -- merely poor communications, timing and lack of understanding of shared risk at that time (by B) in a public place with respect to D (and others in same situation).

At a critical moment in D performing an act (e.g. launching a large kite), B (with C in tow) calls out to D from behind (and to the side a touch) that the "bar is around the wrong way" or words to that effect. D did not realise B was there or only slightly noticed from corner of the eye just moments earlier. B & C were walking along a beach where small sand dunes blocked D's view of their approach.

This causes D to hesitate at a critical moment of launch, look down and check the bar (held in the hands to control the kite via 4x25 m strings.) D finds the bar is not around the wrong way. D wonders what B is talking about and replies that he basically 'knows what he is doing' (or at least that the bar is correctly held). The kite lifts abruptly and D is slightly off balance due to B's interruption. D is pulled to the ground , hurts ribs and breaks kite string. D contends that this may or may not have happened without B's uninvited interruption to his private activities on a very deserted public beach (i.e. no risk to others). No one will ever really know.

No other party is hurt or was put in danger. D was learning the ways of the kite. Perhaps the kite was not positioned well with respect to wind. However previous self launches by D had been performed and worked ok. Winds were a touch stronger than perhaps wise to launch in by D -- but not excessive.  Position of kite with respect to wind could have been better. There was risk but calculated (maybe poorly in hindsight).

B & C walk off.

D recovers from the spill and packs up equipment and returns home via the premises of A (close by) where the equipment was purchased and where original training was provided (but not by B).

D claims that B (as A's employed contractor/employee) is partly responsible for the event due to interrupting D without invitation and by sending incorrect 'expert' information at that time (the bar was not around the wrong way).

D's original 60:40 shared risk view includes a belief that risk is also to A by virtue of employing B (i.e. commercial law etc).

D and A agree that 70%:30% (D:B) is reasonable.

A agrees to sell D new strings for large discount just above cost. A & D agree this is fair. (basically reflecting the 70:30 split)

D suggests to A that he advise young B that next time she should be more careful about approaching members of the public while on duty. D suggests some skills training for B so that opening communication can be more polite and in the form of a question -- e.g. "Excuse me, can I assist..." (or words to that effect).

A week later in the same place, under similar conditions (but lighter winds and with better kite position etc due to advice from A to D on how to do it better), B walks past and offers to help launch the kite for D. There are no hard feelings and no other communications (D and B are approximately 30 metres apart due to length of kite strings). Standard 'ok' & 'thanks' hand signals are shared by D & B.

There is no issue. Both A, B & D seem to have learned something.

Some weeks later D relates this scenario in a public forum which is discussing risk on public beaches in respect to 'Show Pony' behaviour that places the public at risk. Public outrage with the 'sport' is rising in the wider community due to bad high risk behaviour by certain experienced people.

D receives a public lashing by many people in the small Internet community (but not all) for the suggestion that risk was shared in this complex situation of concern outlined above. Heated debate and bullying attack on D ensue over an extend period by a strident section of the Internet fraternity who believe that 'Blame' is 100% with D as a 'fact'. No one claims to be a legal expert -- it all looks and sounds like opinion.

Question: Can D claim that risk was shared in that situation of concern -- or at least that it is a grey area that would need arbitration etc to resolve?

D's issue is not with B or A.

Rather it is with the mindset of the rabid Internet forum attackers who seem unable to consider the situation and who continue to attack D at a personal level from the 100% blame position. It appears to be a very strong blame culture. This community may also have higher insurance premiums to pay if they find out they do share risk in some public-private interaction (especially when commercial trade is going on and a 3rd party is affected). Many of these 'voices' are probably trainers as well.

The purpose of D raising this scenario was to develop open discussion. A lot of noise was developed (charge & rebuttal) but not much information or answers. The original Show Pony situation was completely left discussed and unresolved. The Show Pony problem seems to have been raised numerous times before and remained a hot contentious and unresolved item.

The kitesurfing community claim to be extremely concerned with self governance and not being pinned down with outside control and regulations "like elsewhere in the world". Certain 'voices' in the Internet fraternity claim this is because of good work by the local association of members which also provides public insurance to members and requires members to agree to indemnity conditions that seem to protect all office holders and all members form challenge.

After further analysis of the situation (of the internet community reaction) D concludes this is largely because the local context is in a time warp and that soon there will be public outrage and clamp down as it has occurred in other parts of the world..

Any comments or hints on the original 100% vs shared risk responsibility issue most appreciated.

Nothing will be quoted or ascribed. Email to me 1:1 if more appropriate.

Thanks anticipation.

Russell




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