Systems Policing: a fair CoP?

Why does nobody understand or appreciate or love System(s) Thinking?

A contrarian view.

arthur~battram…

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2016/04/21/why-i-hated-being-a-cop#.ooZAgNgmv

People often say to me, they say, “Please tell us, Captain Complexity, why does nobody understand or appreciate or love System(s) Thinking?”

And I say, quoting an ex-President of the United States, “Gee, that’s a toughie, dude.”

Then I ramble on about complexity and ecology and learning n shit.

Then I found this blog, by an American CoP*. He says, in the course of a superb essay/reminiscence:

“Getting away from the job really freed up my mind.”

“There’s a great quote from Upton Sinclair:

” “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

So now I just tell people to read his blog. Aren’t the police wonderful? Fight the power.

_________
*Lolz. That’s a wanger joke. Oops, I mean Wenger, bloody autocreckt. It’s a fair cop.

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Publishing: a new sense of the word

Publishing.

This one of the terms in my small personal idiosyncratic vocabulary.

(Others are ‘andnotbut’, ‘thingification’ and ‘PlainPhrase’ and ‘PossibilitySpace’)

I don’t mean book publishing, I mean a special sort of what, thanks to social media, we call ‘sharing’.

If blogging is the web equivalent of leaving a poem on the bus, and facebooking the equivalent of saying to a mate in the pub ‘did you see that thing?’ then publishing is more akin to a friend sharing a confidence in a quiet cafe in a nearby town, safe from oversight by the gossips. Except it’s in a groupwork setting.

Although it can also be the act of declaring an artistic intention in a public way in which you are forcing yourself to actually do it and not just talk about it.

~

I forgot to mention that publishing is an extra point on the Kolb Learning Cycle, at the 1pm position on the clockface, after what is usually labelled ‘concrete experimentation‘ (although it also works with gravel, or imaginary objects) and ‘reflective observation‘, which, oddly, doesn’t require a mirror.

In the K-cycle, it works like this:

  • concrete experimentation: you do some stuff (build a wall, design a car, make a meal, run a meeting, whatever)
  • then you publish!

Which means you ‘share’ it with someone.  If you are on some sort of training day, with or without Denzel Washington, or a course or “programme” then there are probably only 3 main ways of sharing, no, four. These are:

  • tell the tutor
  • tell your partner/s in a learning pair or trio
  • tell the whole group of 15 or more ‘participants’
  • tell your small group of maybe 5-8 people.

Some ‘programmes’ jump straight from ‘concrete experimentation’ to 

  • reflective observation

How does that work? I go and sit somewhere and have a little think, and make notes? What if I was baffled or bored or disagreed with some part of the setup or content in some way? Pah. I might just doodle in my moleskine, or surreptitiously check email on my phone, think about lunch, watch that squirrel on the lawn outside, or fume silently about X or Y.

There’s no guarantee that I reflect on anything, least of all ‘the task’.

But if I publish where I am at, make my feelings and thoughts known to the tutors and the others, well then , now we have some possibilities…

The tutor might explain the thing that was confusing me. Others might concur with my point of disagreement, and so on. Of course there’s still no guarantee that I am honest in my publishing, but it is indisputably more likely. It’s a bit like testifying in the gospel church sense. “This is what I experienced, this is what I saw. I shall now reflect on this, and other observations”.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 21:43

TBCompleted…

 

quotidian recycling beauty blue

JAPANESE BORO CLOTHING FROM THE 1800S TO EARLY 1900S

“Stitch for stitch, scrap for scrap, boro garments embody the Japanese indispensable concept of “mottainai” or not wasting (the fabric) when one can prolong its useful life through recycling and reuse. These homemade pieces of clothing were characterized by their patchwork assembly and mended patched look. Often they had an abundance of sashiko stitches to hold the unalike layered fabrics in place.

Boro textiles inherently pass on the tale of the struggle of a hardy people who lived in indescribable poverty to make ends meet. Frigid winters required hard-working thrifty women to add two or three layers of fabric to their husband’s work coat or pants and to mend the thin areas with patches of scrap fabric and reinforce it with sashiko stitching, all in order to stretch out the garment’s useful life.

Perhaps 2 ~ 3 hundred years ago, at a time when newly woven whole cloth fabrics became somewhat abundant throughout the backcountry, Japanese women were able to sew clothing and household items from a soft cotton fabric for their families for the first time. And, simultaneously, these aforesaid homemakers who resided in remote impoverished rural regions always needed to reduce, reuse and recycle the family’s textiles for both financial and practical reasons.

They would carefully take apart old futon covers, worn-out garments, and other unusable household textiles in order to recycle and remake the usable fragments from them into field-work apparel. Sometimes, these same disassembled fabrics were re-dyed to give them a refreshed appearance. Many times one can see signs of a textile’s previous life, like the faint image on the back of a boro jacket that still retains a faded tsutsugaki or katazome design.

Today, people who appreciate the admirable habits of a rural Japanese woman’s unpretentious lifestyle of textile thrift, reuse and repurpose… are able to hold and touch with their hands such precious items of a former time, when they acquire Japanese boro garments and textiles for themselves.”

Systems Policing: a fair CoP?

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2016/04/21/why-i-hated-being-a-cop#.ooZAgNgmv

People often say to me, they say, “Please tell us, Captain Complexity, why does nobody understand or appreciate or love System(s) Thinking?”

And I say, quoting an ex-President of the United States, “Gee, that’s a toughie, dude.”

Then I ramble on about complexity and ecology and learning n shit.

Then I found this blog, by an American CoP*. He says, in the course of a superb essay/reminiscence:

“Getting away from the job really freed up my mind.”

“There’s a great quote from Upton Sinclair:

” “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

So now I just tell people to read his blog. Aren’t the police wonderful? Fight the power.

_________
*Lolz. That’s a wanger joke. Oops, I mean Wenger, bloody autocreckt. It’s a fair cop.

Half an onion: quotidian parsimony

TWO GOATS STARED down at the stranger from a steep fenced field. A scatter of hens and half-grown chicks pecked and conversed softly in long grass under peach and plum trees. A man was standing on a short ladder against the trunk of one of the trees; his head was in the leaves, and the traveler could see only his bare brown legs.

“Hello,” the traveler said, and after a while said it again, a bit louder.

The leaves shook and the man came briskly down the ladder. He carried a handful of plums, and when he got off the ladder he batted away a couple of bees drawn by the juice. He came forward, a short, straight-backed man, grey hair tied back from a handsome, timeworn face. He looked to be seventy or so. Old scars, four white seams, ran from his left cheekbone down to the jaw. His gaze was clear, direct, intense.

“They’re ripe,” he said, “though they’ll be even better tomorrow.” He held out his handful of little yellow plums.

“Lord Sparrowhawk,” the stranger said huskily. “Archmage.”

The old man gave a curt nod of acknowledgment. “Come into the shade,” he said.

The stranger followed him, and did what he was told: he sat down on a wooden bench in the shade of the gnarled tree nearest the house; he accepted the plums, now rinsed and served in a wicker basket; he ate one, then another, then a third. Questioned, he admitted that he had eaten nothing that day. He sat while the master of the house went into it, coming out presently with bread and cheese and half an onion. The guest ate the bread and cheese and onion and drank the cup of cold water his host brought him. The host ate plums to keep him company.

“You look tired. How far have you come?”

 

From ‘The Other Wind’, the fifth book of Earthsea, by Ursula Le Guin

As well as being a magisterial depiction of the Art Of Hosting, this is a small sample of some of the finest writing I have ever had the priceless pleasure of imbibing. It’s nothing less than plainsong.

And it’s that half an onion that clinches it for me. It says so much about welcome and thrift and respect and humanity and good-enough.

You’ll forgive me, I think I have some onion in my eye.

3,900 Pages of Paul Klee’s Personal Notebooks Are Now Online, Presenting His Bauhaus Teachings (1921-1931) | Open Culture

via 3,900 Pages of Paul Klee’s Personal Notebooks Are Now Online, Presenting His Bauhaus Teachings (1921-1931) | Open Culture.

Love his playfulness and his studiousness.