A global community interested in systems science(s). Includes members of the International Society for the Systems Sciences.
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David Ing
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Discussion  - 
 
Hajo Neis, coauthor of Christopher Alexander's 2012 book, explains how "The Battle for Life and Beauty" evolved from 1983 "The Ordinary Way" manuscript, published without Chapter 24 "Large Scale Building Production, Unification of the Human System and the Physical System".  

"Patterns and pattern language" is one principle of many in the "Overall Pattern Language Approach".  

See a digest of text from slides at https://daviding.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/hajo-neis-battle-for-life-and-beauty-of-the-earth-urban-architecture-and-regenerative-process-web-video-april-14-2014-u-oregon/
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David Ing
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Discussion  - 
 
What happens if high school students get administrator privileges on their laptops?  They could become self-sufficient rather than being depending on programmers.  

> The [Penn Manor School District] gave all 1,700 high school students laptops running Ubuntu operating systems, an easy-to-use version of the open source product Linux. [....]  
> “The difference is with a device such as this, it’s unlocked and kids have administrative level accounts on their laptops,” +Charlie Reisinger said. “So where our formal instruction ends, their new learning can begin because they have control over the device.” Students can download and load anything they want — and Reisinger even encourages them to do so. He’s not worried about them breaking the system because of its flexibility and wants them to learn from mistakes, if they do.  
> Reisinger is baffled by the behavior of districts like Los Angeles, which rolled out a one-to-one iPad program and then revoked student privileges when kids figured out how to navigate around district filters. “On the one hand we’re handing kids amazing learning devices, perhaps one of the most amazing inventions of the past 100 years, but yet we’re saying don’t learn about it, we don’t want you to understand how it works,” Reisinger said.  
> Treating devices that way makes students and teachers dependent on programmers for their needs, rather than letting them learn what’s under the hood. Penn Manor teachers assign work on devices to help kids meet learning standards just like teachers everywhere else, but they also have more options to let the kids explore safely.  
> “While we have the ‘must do’ layer, there’s also that little bit of subversion here, giving kids that little bit of creativity and maybe a ray of hope,” Reisinger said. “I want them to learn that learning is not all about what someone else preordains for you. It’s OK to tinker and play with things.” Penn Manor is as beholden to performing well on state tests as any other school district and its teachers make sure to cover curriculum, even using a few third party software programs to provide remedial help.  

"Why Aren’t More Schools Using Free, Open Tools?" | Katrina Schwartz | June 9, 2014 | Mind/Shift, KQED News at http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/06/09/why-arent-more-schools-using-free-open-education-resources/
One school in Pennsylvania is using open-source tools wherever possible to keep students close to the code behind the machines they use. This stance is opposite to the very restrictive policies of many schools, but could allow students more freedom to explore what makes devices work.
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David Ing
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Discussion  - 
 
A reflection by +Greg Bryant on the 2013 PUARL (U. of Oregon Portland Urban Architecture Research Laboratory) meeting raises questions about "what was not discussed" in the ideas originate from architect Christopher Alexander:  innate judgement, unfolding, living structure, and patterns (by senior presenters).

"Reflections on PUARL 2013: hope & surprises" | Greg Bryant | January 16, 2014 | Rain at http://www.rainmagazine.com/archive/2014/reflections-on-puarl-01062014 

Third International PUARL Conference, Fall 2013, Conference Program at http://center.uoregon.edu/PUARL/2013/registration/schedule.php

There is no PUARL conference in 2015.  Some of the participants will convene at Purplsoc, July 3-5, 2015 in Krems, Austria.  See http://www.purplsoc.org/
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David Ing
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Discussion  - 
 
The wifi is free and fast in Helsinki, reports @lmirani, even though Finns typically have lots of bandwidth on mobile phones. Visitors benefit from Finnish goodwill.  
> ... visit the Finnish capital of Helsinki, and there is a free hotspot almost everywhere you need one. It’s fast enough to allow video calling and HD streaming. And it doesn’t require a reading of lengthy terms and conditions, nor a password, nor the need to divulge your age, gender, or email address.  [....]
> When Helsinki’s city government was installing Wi-Fi in its offices and other facilities, it decided to concurrently install open networks for public use. [....]  
> The result is not necessarily blanket coverage, but wherever there is a building or space controlled by the city, there is Wi-Fi coverage. And it isn’t particularly expensive. Otranen says the cost is included in overall maintenance of the city’s internet and is not broken out separately, though Simo Volanen of Helsinki’s IT department estimates that the outside base stations cost some €40,000 to buy and install ($45,000) and have an annual maintenance cost of about €4,000. This does not include the cost of running the network, which Helsinki does for its own purposes in any case.  [....]
> But here’s the odd thing: Most Helsinkians have little need for free Wi-Fi. Finns receive the most generous data allowance from mobile operators for every euro they spend, according to Politico.

"Helsinki’s free, city-wide Wi-Fi network is faster than your home internet" | Leo Mirani | June 8, 2015 | Quartz at http://qz.com/414061/helsinkis-free-city-wide-wi-fi-network-is-faster-than-your-home-internet/
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David Ing
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Discussion  - 
 
McGregor's 1960 Theory X + Theory Y expands to 2 dimensions by Matthew Stewart with Theory Utopian + Theory Tragic, excerpted from "The Management Myth".  

> Theory U, for Utopian, says that conflicts among human beings always originate in misunderstanding. Eliminate the false assumptions that individuals carry around in their heads, the theory says, and a human community will return to the natural state of peace. McGregor — like just about every management guru you’ve ever heard of — is a U-man at heart.  

> Theory T, for Tragic, says that conflict is endemic to human relations and arises from real divergences of interest. Peace is therefore a temporary state, and its endurance depends primarily not on the attitudes of individuals but on the system of their relations. Shakespeare and the framers of the U.S. Constitution are classic T-types.  

> Both theories put crucial emphasis on the concept of “trust,” but in strikingly different ways. Theory U says that you build trust by relaxing your control over people — by showing them that you trust them. Theory T says you build trust by demonstrating that things are under control — by creating a system in which good deeds regularly receive due rewards and bad deeds are appropriately punished.  

"Theory U and Theory T" | Matthew Stewart | August 24, 2010 | Strategy + Business at http://www.strategy-business.com/article/00029?gko=5d297&cid=enews20100413  

"The Management Myth" | Matthew Stewart | June 2006 | The Atlantic at http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/06/the-management-myth/304883/

http://mwstewart.com/
Thoughts on the 50th anniversary of one of the most influential contributions to management theory.
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David Ing
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Discussion  - 
 
The documentary on Aaron Swartz, indicted by the feds for downloading from JSTOR, is on the Internet Archive at https://archive.org/details/TheInternetsOwnBoyTheStoryOfAaronSwartz .  Unfortunate prosecution in the U.S.  

> The Internet’s Own Boy told the story of the life and tragic death of Aaron Swartz, the leading geek wunderkind of his generation who was hounded to suicide at the age of 26 by a vindictive US administration. [....]  
> His downfall came when he turned his attention to JSTOR, a digital library of academic articles hidden behind a paywall. He devised a method of downloading large numbers of articles from JSTOR, using a computer hidden in a closet at MIT. He was arrested in January 2011 and pursued by federal prosecutors with a vindictive zeal, eventually being indicted on a raft of charges which carried a potential jail sentence of 35 years. Ground down by this, he hanged himself on 11 January 2013.  

"Aaron Swartz stood up for freedom and fairness – and was hounded to his death" | John Naughton | Feb. 7, 2015 | The Guardian at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/07/aaron-swartz-suicide-internets-own-boy

"The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz" | June 27, 2014 | Internet Archive at https://archive.org/details/TheInternetsOwnBoyTheStoryOfAaronSwartz
The Internet's Own Boy depicts the life of American computer programmer, writer, political organizer and Internet activist Aaron Swartz. It features interviews...
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David Ing
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Discussion  - 
 
Idealized design of a doctoral degree for the 21st century at Philadelphia U., by the Systems Wisdom team:  

> We imposed two project requirements.  First was the adoption of a systems thinking framework or mindset including expansion rather than only reduction thinking.  A new doctoral program, we posited, is a social system contained within the university system.  [....]

The second related requirement was that the expert knowledge for the design was presumed to reside in many places and with many people beyond the customer and consultant.  To create the design for a new doctoral program, therefore, requires direct involvement by internal and external communities, stakeholders, and users.   For this project, the consultants would be process experts; the customer, stakeholders and users would be the content experts who would directly incorporate their own interests and values resulting in a program “designed by” the customer, stakeholders and users.

"Designing an Ideal Doctoral Degree" | +Larry Starr | May 11, 2015 | Systems Wisdom blog at http://systemswisdom.typepad.com/my-blog/2015/05/designing-an-ideal-doctoral-degree.html

See also Reports and Papers at http://www.systemswisdom.com/papers
In 2014, Philadelphia University (PhilaU) a 130 year old institution with a mission to develop the model for professional university education in the 21st century asked Systems Wisdom to design ( we provided project leadership[i] and facilitation[ii]) a new kind of professional doctorate for their institution. Based on their deep...
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David Ing
owner

Discussion  - 
 
By state, the most common job in 1978 was secretary; and in 2014 was truck driver.  As self-driving trucks rise, local economies will be impacted.  

> Truck drivers dominate the map for a few reasons.
> Driving a truck has been immune to two of the biggest trends affecting U.S. jobs: globalization and automation. A worker in China can't drive a truck in Ohio, and machines can't drive cars (yet).  
> Regional specialization has declined. So jobs that are needed everywhere — like truck drivers and schoolteachers — have moved up the list of most-common jobs.  
>  ... the government categorizes jobs [by lumping] together all truck drivers and delivery people, creating a very large category.

"Map: The Most Common* Job In Every State" | +Quoctrung Bui | Feb. 5, 2015 | Planet Money at http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2015/02/05/382664837/map-the-most-common-job-in-every-state 

> According to Morgan Stanley, complete autonomous capability will be here by 2022, followed by massive market penetration by 2026 and the cars we know and love today then entirely extinct in another 20 years thereafter.  [....]

> Take all of these estimates together, and we’re looking at a window of massive disruption starting somewhere between 2020 and 2030.

"Self-Driving Trucks Are Going to Hit Us Like a Human-Driven Truck" | +Scott Santens | May 14, 2015 | Medium at https://medium.com/basic-income/self-driving-trucks-are-going-to-hit-us-like-a-human-driven-truck-b8507d9c5961
The imminent need for basic income in recognition of our machine-driven future
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David Ing
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Discussion  - 
 
After "The Nature of Economies", the idea of "import replacement" associated with Jane "Jacobs externalities", has continued after the 2006 passing of the original author.  
https://ingbrief.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/post-2008-articles-on-jane-jacobs-ideas-in-economics/
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David Ing
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Not a citizen of a country where university tuition is free?  Maybe you might study abroad where you're welcomed.  

>  Dorothee Stapelfeldt, a senator in the northern city of Hamburg, said tuition fees "discourage young people who do not have a traditional academic family background from taking up study.  It is a core task of politics to ensure that young women and men can study with a high quality standard free of charge in Germany."  

"7 countries where Americans can study at universities, in English, for free (or almost free)" | Rick Noack | Oct. 29, 2014 | Washington Post at http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/10/29/7-countries-where-americans-can-study-at-universities-in-english-for-free-or-almost-free/
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Come to Norway, and let me correct, the winters are not that bad...
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David Ing
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Discussion  - 
 
Newer PCs with UEFI and Secure Boot make a computer more vulnerable to hacking (including by the NSA) rather than "more secure".  I've been struggling with a Lenovo T440s with UEFI and Windows 8.1, beside a Lenovo T420s with BIOS and Ubuntu Linux (previously loaded with Windows 7).  

"BIOS Hacking" | +Bruce Schneier | March 23, 2015 | Schneier on Security at https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2015/03/bios_hacking.html  

"Windows 8 and Intel UEFI: the NSA front door" | Zoltan | Oct. 2014 | Tek Syndicate at https://teksyndicate.com/comment/1775376  

"2.4 UEFI... The Microsoft NSA Kill Switch" | David Spring | Sept 11, 2014 |  
Free Yourself from Microsoft and the NSA... at http://www.freeyourselffrommicrosoftandthensa.org/02-superbugs-and-cyber-wars/2-4-uefi-the-microsoft-nsa-kill-switch  

The change from BIOS to UEFI occurred in 2012, so older computers and Windows 7 are not affected.  See http://blog.fpmurphy.com/2012/09/lenovo-t430-t530-now-support-uefi-secure-boot.html
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About this community

The International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) is among the first and oldest organizations devoted to interdisciplinary inquiry into the nature of complex systems, and remains perhaps the most broadly inclusive. Originally founded as the Society for General Systems Research, the initial purpose of the society was "to encourage the development of theoretical systems which are applicable to more than one of the traditional departments of knowledge," with the following principal aims: to investigate the isomorphy of concepts, laws, and models in various fields, and to help in useful transfers from one field to another; to encourage the development of adequate theoretical models in areas which lack them; to eliminate the duplication of theoretical efforts in different fields; and to promote the unity of science through improving the communication among specialists. In the intervening years, the ISSS has expanded its scope beyond purely theoretical and technical considerations to include the practical application of systems methodologies to problem solving. Even more importantly, it has provided a forum where scholars and practitioners from across the disciplinary spectrum, representing academic, business, government, and non-profit communities, can come together to share ideas and learn from one another.

David Ing
owner

Discussion  - 
 
The world political economy of 2015 is traced by @georgesoros from Bretton Woods, through the 1980s Washington Consensus, the 2008 financial crash, and today's Euro crisis.  New financial institutions from China might or might not be recognized by the IMF and the United States.  

> Unregulated financial markets are inherently unstable: instead of a general equilibrium that assures the optimum allocation of resources, they produce financial crises. This was dramatically demonstrated by the crash of 2008. By coincidence, 2008 marked both the end of America’s political supremacy and the demise of the Washington Consensus. It was also the beginning of a process of financial and political disintegration that first manifested itself in the microcosm of the European Union, but then spread to the world at large.  

> The crash of 2008 had a lasting negative effect on all the economies of the world, with the notable exception of China’s. The Chinese banking system was relatively isolated from the rest of the world and largely government-owned. As a consequence, the Chinese banks could, at the government’s behest, offset the collapse of external demand by flooding the economy with credit. The Chinese economy replaced the American consumer as the motor of the global economy, largely by selling to the American consumer on credit. It has been a rather weak motor, reflecting the relative size of the Chinese and American economies, so that the global economy has grown rather slowly since the emergence of China’s international economic power.  

> The main reason why the world avoided a global depression is that economists have learned some lessons from the experience of the 1930s. The heavy load of debt and lingering political prejudices limited the scale of fiscal stimulus globally (again with the exception of China); but the Federal Reserve under the leadership of its chairman, Ben Bernanke, embarked on unorthodox monetary policies including quantitative easing—large-scale injection of money into the economy through the purchase of bonds by the Federal Reserve. This prevented the reduction in effective demand from deteriorating into a global depression.  

> The crash of 2008 was also indirectly responsible for the euro crisis.  [....]  

> China has begun to build a parallel set of financial institutions, including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); the Asian Bond Fund Initiative; the New Development Bank (formerly the BRICS Bank); and the Chiang Mai Initiative, which is an Asian regional multilateral arrangement to swap currencies. [....]

> The International Monetary Fund could play a positive part in this. It has abandoned its commitment to the Washington Consensus but the controlling shareholders of the Bretton Woods institutions—the US, the UK, France, and Germany among them—are unwilling to relinquish their voting control by increasing the representation of the developing world. This is very shortsighted on their part because it does not recognize changes in the relative weight of various economies and particularly the rise of China.

"A Partnership with China to Avoid World War" | +George Soros  | July 9, 2015 | The New York Review of Books at http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2015/jul/09/partnership-china-avoid-world-war/
The future course of history will greatly depend on how China tackles its economic transition from investment and export-led growth to greater dependence on domestic demand, and how the US reacts to it. A strategic partnership between the US and China could prevent the evolution of two power blocks that may be drawn into military conflict.
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George Soros is an expert at discerning the current and prospective behaviors of second order systems, particularly the aspect concerning garnering of resources but not so much the aspect of continuous improvement of All the members of a system. 
All pirates hate faster, more maneuverable targets. 
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David Ing
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Discussion  - 
 
Mutual accommodation is an alternative to extreme individual rights at the expense of society, and divisions amongst different groups.  Paul Volcker thinks that North America can learn from Canada.  William A. Macdonald writes:  

> Mutual accommodation is the opposite of what is happening in the United States. This great nation is being undermined by extreme emphasis on individual rights at the expense of society, on divisions among different groups, and on the never-ending struggle between good and evil. The global order now faces serious risks of destabilization and disruption. Mutual accommodation looks more and more to be the crucial ingredient needed for the survival of the best of our world as we know it.  

> There are three kinds of stories: the “how” (the manner of journey), the “where” (the journey’s destination), and the “what” (specific events that happen along the way). Mutual accommodation is a how story – a way of doing politics and social living. Science is another great how story – the whats (the discoveries) and the wheres (the specific investigation goals) take place within the science way of doing things. In the years since the Renaissance, science has changed the world by the way it approaches knowledge and technology. Freedom, human rights, the rule of law, and democracy have also changed the world.  

> Mutual accommodation is not itself a memorable event, although it can make possible uniquely remarkable events. It has changed Canada. It has not yet changed the world. But Europe’s postwar successes have come from the continent’s growing capacity for mutual accommodation. Europe’s current risks stem from those places where it has fallen short. With the right will, however, mutual accommodation can change the world – just as freedom and science have changed everything.  

"To be a global role model, Canada must realize what sets it apart" | William A. Macdonald | February 19, 2015 | Globe and Mail at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/to-be-a-global-role-model-canada-must-realize-what-sets-it-apart/article25041223/  

Paul Volcker wrote:  

> Today, we need some of the Canadian genius of mutual accommodation, of a shared order. The ability of North America – Mexico included – to work together in the common interest has been well demonstrated.  

>  Critically important. Can we not, for instance, extend that degree of harmony and stretch it across the Pacific? Can we reason together deal with the common concerns about climate change? And at the same time, can we work together to make sure that a radicalized Middle East does not become a destructive force economically or politically?  

> These days, eight centuries after the signing of the Magna Carta, we are reminded that it is indeed dedication to the rule of law that provides the basis for strong and open democratic societies.  

"The world needs more of Canada’s commitment to accommodation" (address at U. of Toronto convocation, June 5, 2015) | Paul Volcker | June 16, 2015 | Globe and Mail at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/the-world-needs-more-of-canadas-commitment-to-accommodation/article24976721/

The essay by Macdonald was a second in a series, started at "The magic of the Canadian ideal" | William A. Macdonald | June 10, 2015 at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/the-magic-of-the-canadian-ideal/article24894099/  

The Canadian Studies program at Trent University will facilitate a conversation about the country, starting fall 2015.  "Canadian Narrative Project: In Conversation about Canada" | June 9, 2015 at http://www.trentu.ca/newsevents/newsDetail.php?newsID=9787  

A 30-page book "Canada: Still the Unknown Country" is downloadable from http://www.canadiandifference.ca/ (both in English and in French!)
As we prepare for the 150th anniversary of Confederation, it’s vital to understand what ties this country’s greatest achievements together
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David Ing
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Discussion  - 
 
San Francisco Chinatown, writes @koxinga21, both serves its older, poorer residents and could reblossom with the Central Subway in 2019.  The story is framed in the future of the Empress of China building on Grant Avenue.  

> ... not everyone in Chinatown buys into the narrative that the neighborhood is declining and needs to change. There’s an opposing view, which holds that Chinatown is actually doing an excellent job of serving the interests of the people who currently live in the neighborhood, a demographic considerably poorer, older, and more dominated by recent immigrants than the rest of the city. From this perspective, Chinatown, rather than seeking to rekindle the glory of the Empress of China or otherwise pump up the glitz, should be looking for ways to better serve those residents and keep their rents the lowest by far in San Francisco.  [....]  

> But despite the gloom about the closure of the Empress, the current moment is surprisingly fertile. This food-crazed town would love nothing better than for Chinatown to reassert itself as an epicenter of one of the world’s greatest cuisines. The debut of the Central Subway (in 2019, if all goes as planned) will make it easier to get to Chinatown than it has been since the Embarcadero Freeway was torn down. And the neighborhood’s unique characteristics are likely to ensure that outside economic forces don’t fundamentally change its DNA. Chinatown’s crisis is also Chinatown’s opportunity.

"Long Live the Empress" | +Andrew Leonard  | April 2, 2015 | San Francisco Magazine at: http://www.modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/long-live-the-empress 

This article was part of a special issue on the Chinese and San Francisco.  See "The Chinese-American City" | April 2015 | +San Francisco magazine at http://www.modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/the-chinese-american-city/
Might the passing of a culinary grande dame pave the way for a younger, sexier Chinatown?
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David Ing
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Discussion  - 
 
Six lessons learned in developing world management education, cites @GPfeffermann @The_C_G_E +Global Business School Network   +CGE Global Scholars Program 
> 1. Visionary champions breed success 
> 2. Integration with the business community is key 
> 3. Independence is a primary factor in the ability to innovate 
> 4. Young schools in emerging markets can innovate more easily than established ones 
> 5. Partnerships matter 
> 6. Schools need a bold mission 

"Cutting a Path to Prosperity: How Education Pioneers are Building Better Business Schools for the Developing World and Why" | Global Business School Network | 2013 at http://www.gbsnonline.org/news/175806/Cutting-a-Path-to-Prosperity.htm

"Digital Colloquium with Guy Pfeffermann" | May 28, 2015 | CGE Global Scholars Program at https://youtu.be/OAgBvxUanRI
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David Ing
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Discussion  - 
 
Most post-2013 computers have Intel BootGuard, but @chrisbhoffman says Google Chromebooks come with Coreboot open source BIOS instead.  
> Modern UEFI firmware is a closed-source, proprietary blob of software baked into your PC’s hardware. This binary blob even includes remote management and monitoring features, which make it a potential security and privacy threat.  
> You might want to replace the UEFI firmware and get complete control over your PC’s hardware with Coreboot, a free software BIOS alternative—but you can’t in PCs with modern Intel processors, thanks to Intel’s Boot Guard and the “Verified Boot” mode PC manufacturers choose. [....]  
> This isn’t just some fringe free software project—all modern Chromebooks ship with Coreboot, and Google helps support it.

"How Intel and PC makers prevent you from modifying your laptop's firmware" | +Chris Hoffman | Feb. 13, 2015 | PC World at http://www.pcworld.com/article/2883903/how-intel-and-pc-makers-prevent-you-from-modifying-your-pcs-firmware.html

A pre-2013 laptop may be a better choice.  See advice from +ktgee via https://plus.google.com/+DavidIng/posts/ZbiD6QDmrcR
The UEFI firmware that boots up your PC is a closed, proprietary blob of code—and you can't change it out even if you wanted to. Here's why.
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David Ing
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Discussion  - 
 
Animated lecture of "tree of knowledge" to "web of life" rhizomatic networks @mslima +Manuel Lima, an 11-minute cartoon derived from the 18-minute lecture.

"RSA Animate - The Power of Networks" | Manual Lima | Oct. 23, 2013 | Visual Complexity Blog at http://www.visualcomplexity.com/vc/blog/?p=1125  

"RSA Animate - The Power of Networks" (11 minutes) | Manuel Lima | May 22, 2012 | RSA at https://www.thersa.org/discover/videos/rsa-animate/2012/05/rsa-animate---the-power-of-networks/ 

"The Power of Networks: Knowledge in an Age of Infinite Interconnectendess" (18 minutes) | Manuel Lima | Dec. 8. 2011 | RSA at https://www.thersa.org/discover/videos/event-videos/2011/12/the-power-of-networks-knowledge-in-an-age-of-infinite-interconnectedness/
About two years ago, in November 2010, I wrote a post stating I much I enjoyed and admired the “remarkable examples of visual storytelling” produced by the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and CognitiveMedia in their enticing RSA Animate series. Earlier this year I received an email from RSA telling ...
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David Ing
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Discussion  - 
 
Strategy consulting as Porter's 1979 competitive advantage is dead, with Drucker's 1973 dominant force of customers enduring.  The demise of Monitor Group in Nov. 2012 is explained by +Stephen Denning.

> Porter began his publishing career in his March-April 1979 Harvard Business Review article, “How Competitive Forces Shape Strategy”, with a very strange sentence: “The essence of strategy is coping with competition.” Ignoring Peter Drucker’s foundational insight of 1973 that the only valid purpose of a business is to create a customer, Porter focused strategy on how to protect businesses from other business rivals. The goal of strategy, business and business education was to find a safe haven for businesses from the destructive forces of competition.  [....]
> There was just one snag. What was the intellectual basis of this now vast enterprise of locating sustainable competitive advantage? As [Matthew] Stewart [author of The Management Myth, 2009] notes, it was “lacking any foundation in fact or logic.” Except where generated by government regulation, sustainable competitive advantage simply doesn’t exist.  [....]
> Although Michael Porter, the human being, appears to be a well-meaning man of high personal integrity, his framework for the discipline of strategy “isn’t just an epistemological black hole; in its essence, it’s antisocial, because it preserves excess profits, and it’s bad for business, because it doesn’t work. It accomplishes the unlikely feat of goading business leaders to do wrong both to their shareholders and to their fellow human beings.” [....]
> The “profit potential of an industry” turned out to be, not a fixed quantity with the only question of determining who would get which share, but rather a highly elastic concept, expanding dramatically at one moment or collapsing abruptly at another, with competitors and innovations coming out of nowhere. As Clayton Christensen demonstrated in industry after industry, disruptive innovation destroyed company after company that believed in its own sustainable competitive advantage.

"What Killed Michael Porter's Monitor Group? The One Force That Really Matters" | Steve Denning | March 20, 2012 | Forbes at http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2012/11/20/what-killed-michael-porters-monitor-group-the-one-force-that-really-matters/ 

"Even Monitor Didn't Believe In Five-Forces Analysis!" | Steve Denning | Nov. 24, 2014 | Forbes at http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2012/11/24/even-monitor-didnt-believe-in-the-five-forces/  

"It's Official! The End Of Competitive Advantage" | Steve Denning | June 2, 2013 | Forbes at http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2013/06/02/its-official-the-end-of-competitive-advantage/

"The Management Myth" | Matthew Stewart | June 2006 | The Atlantic at http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/06/the-management-myth/304883/

"The Management Myth: Debunking the Modern Philosophy of Business" | Matthew Stewart | W.W. Norton & Co. 2009 at http://mwstewart.com/books/the-management-myth/
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Reminds of patent trolls...
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David Ing
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Systems thinking in technologies and organization is strong in a free "Building an Optimized Business" O'Reilly 2015 ebook anthology.  Includes chapters that reflect agile, lean and devops.  

> The ebook includes excerpts from the following books:
Designing Delivery (Jeff Sussna): Chapter 1. From Industrialism to Post-Industrialism
Lean Enterprise (Jez Humble, Joanne Molesky, Barry O'Reilly): Chapter 6. Deploy Continuous Improvement
DevOps in Practice (J. Paul Reed): Chapter 2. Nordstrom
User Story Mapping (Jeff Patton): Chapter 3. Plan to Learn Faster
Lean Enterprise: Chapter 9. Take an Experimental Approach to Product Development
Lean UX (Jeff Gothelf, Josh Seiden): Chapter 7. Integrating Lean UX and Agile
Designing for Performance (Lara Callender Hogan): Chapter 8. Changing Culture at Your Organization
Creating a Data-Driven Organization (Carl Anderson): Chapter 1. What Do We Mean by Data-Driven?
Human Side of Postmortems (David Zwieback)
Lean Enterprise: Chapter 15. Start Where You Are

"From Industrialism to Post-Industrialism" | +Jeff Sussna | Designing Delivery, excerpt at http://radar.oreilly.com/2015/04/from-industrialism-to-post-industrialism.html via @branderlog
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David Ing
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Designing experiences and products at Ikea is based in research, including anthropology and a focus on maintaining low prices. Despite being a globally appreciated brand, the Ikea catalog is localized regionally within nations.  

> Even surveying 8,292 people doesn’t always get you the right answer. The problem is that people lie. Ydholm puts it more delicately. “Sometimes we are not aware about how we behave,” he says, “and therefore we can say things that maybe are not the reality. Or it could be that we consciously or unconsciously express something because we want to stand out as a better person. That’s very human to do it like that.”  
> One way Ikea researchers get around this is by taking a firsthand look themselves. The company frequently does home visits and—in a practice that blends research with reality TV—will even send an anthropologist to live in a volunteer’s abode. Ikea recently put up cameras in people’s homes in Stockholm, Milan, New York, and Shenzhen, China, to better understand how people use their sofas. What did they learn? “They do all kinds of things except sitting and watching TV,” Ydholm says. The Ikea sleuths found that in Shenzhen, most of the subjects sat on the floor using the sofas as a backrest. “I can tell you seriously we for sure have not designed our sofas according to people sitting on the floor and using a sofa like that,” says Ydholm.  [...]  

> There’s an internal nickname for products that take too long to put together. “Sometimes,” Dickner says, “we call it a ‘husband killer.’ ”  
> It may not be noticed by everyone, but in recent years Ikea has been killing far fewer husbands. The company has accomplished this modest feat in large part through improving its product design. As much as it has doubled down on market research and logistics, Ikea has been relentless in its focus on design.  

"How Ikea took over the world" | Beth Kowitt | March 15, 2015 | Fortune at http://fortune.com/ikea-world-domination/ .
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