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

David's posts

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Lower prices for produce in Chinatowns come from small network supply chains, says +Valerie Imbruce.

> Chinatown’s 80-plus produce markets are cheap because they are connected to a web of small farms and wholesalers that operate independently of the network supplying most mainstream supermarkets.” While most of the rest of New York's markets get their produce from the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx, Chinatown sellers work directly with small neighborhood warehouses. Since they're operating in close geographic proximity, they can get fresh produce throughout the day from wholesalers, and therefore don’t need a store with refrigeration or a lot of storage space.

Imbruce, author of "From Farm to Canal Street: Chinatown’s Alternative Food Network in the Global Marketplace" is at Binghamton U.

> Chinatown represents the economic equivalent of a hybrid in plant breeding: It combines microscale neighborhood enterprise based on direct relationships with globalized supply chains marked by "open borders, the continuous cool-chain technology necessary for shipping perishable goods, and integrated transportation networks," as Imbruce notes. It fuses an economic model as old as cities themselves with ones that are distinctly modern.

"Fox News Could Learn a Thing or Two From Chinatown" (with web audio) | Tom Philpott | October 10, 2016 | +Mother Jones Bite at

via "The Real Reason Chinatown Produce is Crazy Cheap" | Katherine Whittaker | June 27, 2016 | Saveur at , pointer to "Why Fruits and Veggies Are So Crazy Cheap in Chinatown" | Anne Kadet | June 24, 2016 | Wall Street Journal at

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In the 1950s, Hubert Dreyfus ...

> met such figures as Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty. The conversations with these great men, he told [Sean Kelly], were disappointing. Merleau-Ponty, for instance, refused to talk about his early work (because he had progressed so far beyond it) and also about his current work (because it was still too underdeveloped). Instead he insisted on academic gossip. Conversations with Sartre and Heidegger were no more satisfying. But Dreyfus studied the written work of these philosophers carefully, and became convinced that phenomenology and existentialism were worth paying attention to. He returned to the States with what was then the unconventional idea of writing a dissertation on transcendental and existential phenomenology.

"Hubert Dreyfus" | Sean D. Kelly | April 24, 2017 | Daily Nous at

> Dreyfus’s proteges include philosophers Taylor Carman, John Haugeland, Iain Thomson, Mark Wrathall, Sean Kelly and Eric Kaplan, a writer and producer on such comedy TV series as The Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons and Futurama, who named the quirky Futurama character “Professor Hubert Farnsworth” after Dreyfus.

"Hubert Dreyfus, preeminent philosopher and AI critic, dies at 87" | Yasmin Anwar | April 24, 2017 | Berkeley News at

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Can the Design Methods Movement shift from science based in physics towards biology?

> The DMM and its demise are of more than historical interest because design today has still not achieved the scientific approach that was looked for. This paper seeks to show that the way forward for design is the realisation that biology is also a science and that the strategies of biology offer a much better model for design than the imitation of physics.

> The paper starts with an account of the optimism that formed the intellectual climate for the DMM. People born since 1970 have not lived through such a period and the DMM cannot be understood without awareness of the effect of scientific optimism on design. The loss of this optimism led to a search for alternative design methods and the paper describes a Darwinian approach involving different kinds of memes as imperfect replicators.

"The Design Methods Movement: From Optimism to Darwinism" | John Z. Langrish | June 2016 | Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference at

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The pursuit of positive double binds, says @EBBerger, originates with Gregory Bateson and Alan Watts, through R.D. Laing, Esalen, +Stewart Brand, and the Global Business Network.

> Most likely under the influence of Watts, Bateson and his team discussed Zen Buddhism at length in their “Toward a Theory of Schizophrenia”. While the schizophrenic experience offered a negative double bind, Zen offered a positive double-bind that led in the opposite direction, one that pointed towards Enlightenment. [...]

> Bateson and his team at Palo Alto had observed that the positive double-bind to be found in the Zen experience was made possible by role of the master, himself an embodiment not of authority but of the experience of passing through itself – yet this was not unique to Eastern philosophies. The bulk of mystical traditions around the globe offered variations of the shaman, a spiritual guide who has undergone the tribulations of ‘madness’ in order to be able to assist others on their journey. Looking at this esoteric currents, Laing felt that the psychiatry should be approached in the same way – what better guide for the schizophrenic than another who had already passed through the experience? [....]

"Into the Mystic: Capitalism and the Structuralization of Spirituality" | Edmund B. Berger | August 12, 2015 | Synthetic Zero at

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Think of sustainability as the interlocking of life cycles, rather than preservation (or the numerical rhetoric). A digest of Tim Ingold's lecture.

> [35m35s] I may may give you another example which I like very much. It comes from a study by an anthropologist called John Knight, who worked with foresters in a mountainous region of Japan, and was looking at their traditional practices of forestry and then what had happened to them in in recent decades.

> [35m55s] The traditional practice was this — that the forester would plant, and grow, and look after the trees for generations. Something like 30 years went from the conifers, so you planted the tree, you attended, you looked after it to make sure things well with it. And once a suitable period had elapsed you would cut it down. And then having cut it down, you would use those trees to make timbers for your house. And then, so, during the first 30 years of the growth of the tree, you’re looking after the tree. In the next 30 years the tree has become a house timber and it’s looking after you. You and your family living inside the house. And they call this the second life of trees.

> [36m41s] So, the first life is when the tree is growing in the ground, and when and you’re looking after it.

> [36m47s] The second life is when the tree is in your house and it’s looking after you.

> [36m52s] That also lasts about 30 years during which time you’ve planted a new set of trees. They’ll be harvested and they’ll replace the old timbers as they begin to go rotten.

> [37m01s] Perhaps, by that stage — and so that way — you gotta a perfect interlocking of tree lasting and human lasting — that is, tree life cycles, and human life cycles — that are kind of in phase with one another, and carrying on indefinitely through time.

> [37m17s] That was all fine, until the conservationists came along and said you can’t cut those trees! These trees are part of nature! We need to preserve nature! So they denied the trees the possibility of their second life. They just stood there getting older and older in the ground, until they eventually drew out, as conifers do, sort of died down. They died on their legs, and died in their roots, and became dead trees standing in the ground.

> [37m47s] And the foresters didn’t have the raw materials to build and restore their houses. So what happens now is we have ancient trees and concrete houses, in the name of preservation, and thinking of sustainability in terms of the preservation of form, rather than the continuation of life cycles.

> [38m12s] So, that’s what I mean, in terms of, that if we compare a way of thinking of the world, which the Japanese foresters had. Something that is in movement, that is continually evolving over time, or whether we think of the world as some sort of steady state.

> [38m30s] So, what that example reveals, I think, is a difference in ways of thinking about the future. And, of course, that’s precisely what sustainability is about. How do we how do we think of the future? And one way which — in this case one would associate with the conservationists — is in terms of projection; and the other way is in terms of anticipation.

[Transcriber's note: Tim Ingold tends to give lectures, and then write them up. If some form of this content does get published, it probably would be until at least late 2017 or early 2018]

Tim Ingold, “The Sustainability of Everything” (web video) | Tim Ingold | Sept. 10, 2016 | digest at

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People resent professionals with "no skin in the game" says @nntaleb but not necessarily the rich.

> I will propose that effectively what people resent –or should resent –is the person at the top who has no skin in the game, that is, because he doesn’t bear his allotted risk, is immune to the possibility of falling from his pedestal, exiting the income or wealth bracket, and getting to the soup kitchen. [....]

> In addition, someone without skin in the game –say a corporate executive with upside and no financial downside (the type to speak clearly in meetings) –is paid according to some metrics that do not necessarily reflect the health of the company; these (as we saw in Chapter x) he can manipulate, hide risks, get the bonus, then retire (or go to another company) and blame his successor for the subsequent results. [....]

> Static inequality is a snapshot view of inequality; it does not reflect what will happen to you in the course of your life [...]

> Dynamic (ergodic) inequality takes into account the entire future and past life.

"Inequality and Skin in the Game" | +Nassim Nicholas Taleb | Dec. 26, 2016 | Incerto at

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"American Futures" project by @futuryst @SAIC_Design mounted Canadian utopia of Canassist.Us in Chicago.

> CanAssist.Us is a [hypothetical] private company that helps clients navigate the Canadian immigration system for Americans under President Trump. The project channels the anxieties driving this escapism into critical review of the individual’s responsibility within their community to challenge complacency in this reality.

"How to move to Canada (*Without leaving home)" | +Stuart Candy and Cat Bluemke, School of the Art Institute Chicago | January 19, 2017 | The Skeptical Futuryst at

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Do Chinese speakers orient more towards action with verbs, asks @perrylink , than Indo-European language speakers preferring nouns?

> Indo-European languages tend to prefer nouns, even when talking about things for which verbs might seem more appropriate. The English noun inflation, for example, refers to complex processes that were not a “thing” until language made them so. Things like inflation can even become animate, as when we say “we need to combat inflation” or “inflation is killing us at the check-out counter.” Modern cognitive linguists like George Lakoff at Berkeley call inflation an “ontological metaphor.” (The inflation example is Lakoff’s.)

> When I studied Chinese, though, I began to notice a preference for verbs. Modern Chinese does use ontological metaphors, such as fāzhăn (literally “emit and unfold”) to mean “development” or xὶnxīn (“believe mind”) for “confidence.” But these are modern words that derive from Western languages (mostly via Japanese) and carry a Western flavor with them. “I firmly believe that…” is a natural phrase in Chinese; you can also say “I have a lot of confidence that…” but the use of a noun in such a phrase is a borrowing from the West.

..,. Confucius uses slightly more verbs than nouns. Plato uses about 45 percent more nouns than verbs. ....

> I wondered: in Western languages, especially in their modern versions, do we sometimes use nouns to conceive things when we don’t really need to?

"The Mind: Less Puzzling in Chinese?" | Perry Link | June 30, 2016 | The New York Review of Books at

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Knowledge creation Nonaka <-- Churchman, Rittel, Alexander, says @DubberlyDesign characterizing designing as a form of learning.

> Nonaka received his MBA (1968) and Ph.D. (1972) from UC Berkeley, when West Churchman was teaching in the business school and offering seminars that included design-methods pioneers Horst Rittel and Christopher Alexander, who were on the faculty of the UCB College of Environmental Design.

"Design as Learning—or “Knowledge Creation”—the SECI Model" | Hugh Dubberly and Shelley Evenson | Feb. 1, 2011 | Dubberly Design Office at , also published as ACM Interactions | Volume XVIII | January + February 2011 | On Modeling Forum at
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