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David Ing
Systems scientist, marketing scientist, business architect
Systems scientist, marketing scientist, business architect

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In a 2017 TEDx talk, Timothy F.H. Allen describes strategies with high gain resources and low gain resources. Human beings who don't proactively decomplexify their systems may instead face collapse.

> Ecologists can learn from economists, says Timothy F.H. Allen, paying attention to return on effort. This video is a refined presentation of ideas based in hierarchy theory and the collapse of complex societies, jointly researched with Joseph Tainter and published in Supply-Side Sustainability.

The Power of Profit in Ecology | Timothy F.H. Allen | 2017 | TEDxMadison at

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Living Systems (1978), by James Grier Miller, is available in softcopy on the Internet Archive. (I have a copy, but an electronic version works better for me than hoisting the 1100+ page volume!)

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On negotiated order @davidlhawk sees a mode of management, in a 1996 paper rediscovered (which a coauthor in 2005 didn't know about!)

> The first mode begins within the management confines of a narrow box. [....] The rat is a worker that informs management of the nature and depth of worker discontent. [....]

> The second mode is a logical progression from the first. [....] The “rat” retains a role, but in democratic circumstances its role is to help articulate the mission statement, which always tends toward the cynical.

> The third mode is a different logical type. [....] In this mode, the only use of the box is to bong the “rat.” Elsewhere, this third mode is known as the “negotiated order” mode of management. [pp. 13-14]

"Relations Between Architecture and Management" | David L. Hawk | 1996 | J. Architectural and Planning Research at

+David Hawk 1996. “Relations Between Architecture and Management.” Journal of Architectural and Planning Research 13 (1): 10–33, , cached at

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Does a drive towards simplicity reduce variety (below the requisite variety of Ross Ashby) in a race towards a lowest common denominator?

> “Woz”, unlike Jobs, was known for his tinkering and his attention to technical specifications. Woz is the reason the Apple II came with eight expansion slots. Jobs is the reason the original Macintosh came with none.

> I’d love to see Apple embrace the philosophy of its other founder, Steve Wozniak. “Woz”, unlike Jobs, was known for his tinkering and his attention to technical specifications. [....]

> I think that, in the next couple years, you’ll see Windows PCs make inroads into traditionally Mac-dominated fields: specifically in the realm of professional graphics machines.

"The Neglected Mac" | +Steve Lovelace | April 5, 2017 at

> Ashby came up with the concept of variety as a measurement of the number of possible states of a system. His "Law" of Requisite Variety stated that for a system to be stable, the number of states that its control mechanism is capable of attaining (its variety) must be greater than or equal to the number of states in the system being controlled.

"2017: What Scientific Term or Concept Ought to Be More Widely Known?" | John Naughton | 2017 | at

> The larger the variety of actions available to a control system, the larger the variety of perturbations it is able to compensate.

"The Law of Requisite Variety" | F. Heyighen, C. Joslyn (editors) | 1993/2001 at

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The Systems Approach and Its Enemies, "provide a powerful way of learning about the systems approach, precisely because they enable the rational mind to step outside itself and to observe itself (from the vantage point of the enemies)".

Four enemies chosen by C. West Churchman in 1979 are politics, morality, religion and aesthetics.

> But are these four really enemies of the systems approach? The reflective mind of the rational systems planner can’t help asking whether politics has improved matters over the years, whether our present-day moral revolutions are really better than the old ones, whether our religions and our aesthetic sensibilities have become more refined. Perhaps, after all, the best systems approach we humans can find is coping with issues, so that the total tapestry of political history does display a “holistic” integration. Of course, there is much to make the rational mind skeptical about any of these speculations. But the question whether these four are truly enemies will remain to the end. After all, if we really understood the enemies, we’d really understand ourselves, and that’s not going to happen.

> As to the exhaustiveness and exclusiveness of the four enemies, the proper response seems to be that the question is irrelevant, since these are not logical categories; indeed, they “unfold” into each other in fantastic ways. Another writer could easily make another list of enemies which would eventually unfold into mine. [p. 26]

Since this book is out or print, and an electronic (i.e Google Books) preview is extremely limited, excerpts from the book may encourage a reader to seek out a library with a copy.

"The Systems Approach and Its Enemies , C. West Churchman , 1979 | June 23, 2018 | Coevolving Innovations at

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Does the process of changing laws serve the citizens? In Canada, legislation has caught up with realities with cannabis.

> Bill C-45 was shepherded throughout the legislative process by Liberal MP Bill Blair, a former chief of the Toronto Police Service, who is the parliamentary secretary to the Ministers of Health and Justice. In a recent interview, he said Canadian law is simply catching up to the fact that thousands of Canadians smoked cannabis daily.

> “When a third of the population is ignoring the law, you really have to look at the law,” he said.

"Parliament ends Canada’s 95-year prohibition on cannabis" | Daniel LeBlanc, Laura Stone, Mike Hager | June 20, 2018 | Globe & Mail (paywall for subscribers) at

Legislation passed through the House of Commons weeks ago, and after some amendments, was ratified by the Senate.

> Why is Canada doing this now?

> This legislation fulfils a 2015 campaign promise by Mr Trudeau, the leader of the Liberal Party.

> The prime minister has argued that Canada's nearly century-old laws criminalising use of the drug have been ineffective, given that Canadians are still among the world's heaviest users.

> Polls have repeatedly indicated that a solid majority of Canadians are supportive of the move.

> The decision to legalise recreational use of marijuana in Canada comes as global trends shift away from criminal prohibition of the widely used drug.

"Canada legalises recreational cannabis use" | June 20, 2018 at

There could be repercussions on the legality of recreational cannabis and having a long border to the south with the United States.

> Canada’s softer approach to marijuana could also exacerbate the country’s already turbulent relationship with Donald Trump’s administration. While nine US states and the District of Columbia have legalised recreational marijuana, the White House has previously suggested that the Department of Justice will do more to enforce federal laws prohibiting recreational marijuana, raising concerns over how Canada’s approach will coexist with a potential US crackdown.

> Nearly 400,000 people a day cross the border between Canada and the US. Since 2016, Canada has been pushing the US to change a policy that bans Canadians who admit to having used marijuana from travelling to the United States.

"Canada becomes second country to legalise cannabis use" | Ashifa Kassam | June 20, 2018 | The Guardian at

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(Social Enterprise Systems) Engineering) ... or ... (Social) (Enterprise Systems Engineering) by James Mason, now at Lesley U.

> Social Enterprise Systems Engineering (SESE) is defined as that body of knowledge and practice whereby engineering discipline is applied to plan, analyze, design, implement and operate a coordinated network of enterprises processes and stakeholders – in order to create sustainable social value for marginalized populations. Engineering discipline brings the rigor of lifecycle process, verification, validation, non-functional requirements modeling and simulation to assure that the design and performance of solutions are driven by and are traceable to the requirements of stakeholder populations – and that opportunity selection and operational practices align with the social mission and values of the enterprise.

Social Enterprise Systems Engineering | James Mason | 2015 | Conf on Systems Engineering Research at

James Mason | “Social Enterprise Systems Engineering” | 2015 | Procedia Computer Science, 2015 Conference on Systems Engineering Research (open access) |

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Open science, writes @jsomers, could shift academic journal publishing to "computational essays" of explanatory text with interactive diagrams. From paper to Mathematica to the Jupyter interactive notebook.

> The Watts-Strogatz paper described its key findings the way most papers do, with text, pictures, and mathematical symbols. And like most papers, these findings were still hard to swallow, despite the lucid prose. [...]

> Victor’s redesign interleaved the explanatory text with little interactive diagrams that illustrated each step. In his version, you could see the algorithm at work on an example. You could even control it yourself. [...]

> The notebook interface was the brainchild of Theodore Gray, who was inspired while working with an old Apple code editor. Where most programming environments either had you run code one line at a time, or all at once as a big blob, the Apple editor let you highlight any part of your code and run just that part. Gray brought the same basic concept to Mathematica, with help refining the design from none other than Steve Jobs. The notebook is designed to turn scientific programming into an interactive exercise, where individual commands were tweaked and rerun, perhaps dozens or hundreds of times, as the author learned from the results of their little computational experiments, and came to a more intimate understanding of their data. [....]

> The Jupyter notebook, as it’s called, is like a Mathematica notebook but for any programming language. You can have a Python notebook, or a C notebook, or an R notebook, or Ruby, or Javascript, or Julia. Anyone can build support for their programming language in Jupyter. Today it supports more than 100 languages.

"The Scientific Paper Is Obsolete: Here’s what’s next" | +James Somers | April 5, 2018 | The Atlantic at

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Will Github-Microsoft 2018 (portending Android) be a repeat of Symbian-Nokia-Microsoft 2011 (portending Gitlab)? Can commercial enterprises learn about the paradigm of open sourcing while private sourcing?

> The first English translation of Operation Elop, an examination by Finnish journalists into the final years of Nokia phones, has reignited debate about the fate of what was Europe's largest and most admired technology company. [....}

> The core question is whether Elop was correct to ditch Nokia's existing platforms, Symbian and Meego in favour of the Windows Phone. Careless PR gave the market the impression that Symbian was being axed, despite Elop's expressed intention to sell 150 million Symbian phones before it was finally shunted off to the glue factory. [....]

> At the time (2010-2011) the look and feel of Android phones differed enormously, with all the players making big efforts to skin the system down to the widget level. Google only flexed its muscles, clamping down on the OEM look and feel, much later. Ironically, Nokia would struggle to get Microsoft to change any aspect of the Windows Phone UI – and only a few employees were even allowed to look at it.

"Stephen Elop and the fall of Nokia revisited: English translation of probe into Finnish phone giant's twilight makes for interesting reading" | +Andrew Orlowski | Feb 15, 2018 | The Register at

"Operation Elop: The final years of Nokia’s mobile phones" (online book) | +Harri Kiljander | Oct. 13, 2017 | Medium at

PDF, ePub and MOBI versions of "Operation Elop" are at

"Team “Operation Elop”: Why and how the book?" | Nokia People | Feb. 13, 2018 | Medium at

A parallel reference: since 2003, I was in Finland, cooperating with +Minna Takala at Nokia, in parallel activities at IBM that have led to the 2017/2018 book, "Open Innovation Learning: Theory building on open sourcing while private sourcing, at

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The systems philosophy shifted away from Russell Ackoff and towards Gregory Bateson (through the ecological psychology of J.J. Gibson and ecological anthropology of Tim Ingold) in the writing of Open Innovation Learning: Theory building on open sourcing while private sourcing.

The web video and digital audio is an easier way into the content than reading the open access book.

"Open Innovation Learning, Book Launch" | June 3, 2018 | Coevolving Innovations at
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