Whenever I have spoken of ‘complex adaptive system’, CAS, in the past, never had I ever articulated this distinction:
“This is the conceptually unified and richly transdisciplinary foundation for the new economic paradigm that we describe in part II of our article[i]. We make a crucial distinction between two meanings of the key term “complex adaptive system”: The first meaning is a complex system that is adaptive as a system(CAS1). The second meaning is a complex system composed of agents following their respective adaptive strategies (CAS2). The key insight of MLS theory is that CAS2 systems do not robustly self-organize into CAS1 systems. Special conditions are required: namely, the whole system must be the unit of selection. Otherwise, lower-level selection forces take over, in the same way that cancers destroy the functional organization of multicellular organisms.“
Wow, thinking back, I understood this, but only tacitly. The context of my peregrinations had to serve to indicate whether I was wibbling on CAS2 or CAS1.
PPS: POSSIBLE PRAXIS INSIGHT… What is the unit/chunk/module/holon/VS(or nonVS) that is being selected? Are you sure?
Bolx to CoPs, as they were Wengerised away from the elegant ethnography of Jean Lave, in service of McKlumsey or was it SpiteWatereddownShysters. CoPs were emasculated at birth by theMan. Bolx to System Convening, a Learical senescent early-retirement community.
How dare you desertify a floral community and replace it with a floral clock?
Back then, though, I was revisiting all the marvellous 80s learning organisation malarkey. Having been handed its ass on a plate by the wily orientals of the co-opetioning clans (Co-opetition? ugh. Great idea, vile wordle curdle) gathered under the stern gaze of grandma MITI, American carmakers were licking their wounds when a nice young man in a periwinkle blue jumper wandered in from Harvard with a book wot he wrote… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_organization
I soon realised the learning organisation was a dumbass reification, a pellet of baby food regurgitated for the fluffy pinstriped baby birdies in the boardroom to swallow. The issue is how do organisations learn, ffs, not have they got a ‘stificate in PRINCE Charming sick Stigma. Possibly helped by the fact that I was picking up on the learning organisation fad as it fell out of the top twenty and had therefore been dropped as a work area by m’colleauges in the spanish Inquisition, sorry MPD, management practice and development, when I worked at LGMB, formerly LGTB, not to be confused with LGBT.
Shapiro, Eileen C., FadSurfingintheBoardroom: Managing inthe Age of Instant Answers, Basic Books (1996), ISBN 0-2014419-5-0
organisational learning isn’tmuch better becauseit is, wordsaladalert a neologism portmanteau of reificatio… fuqsayk, just say it man – because its a POS made up of 2 horrible reifications, because organisations don’texist as a thing and neither does learning. Iwill stab you if Ihear you say ‘learning point’s or key learning points, and swear to god I will shoot you dead if you pluralise the verb learning.
What were really getting at is this, punchline alert, thingification is a process for an individual or ideally a small group who care, to deploy when they try to bring forth a new, erm, thing. That’s why Icalled it thingification. It is the yin to the enormous yang of thingification. Loved by Etonians because it hides the pain of thinking and feeling.
So, our pinstriped Waitroseian strides forth into his Cotswoldian landscape to inspect his (his! Lol) tradition country garden, the wife is really into Beth Chatto you know [look, you can use google, ffs, I’m getting tired now] these are hollyhocks from John Clares [googlit] garden near Stamford, and, its been a cold winter, not that he noticed, and the daffodills aren’t out yet, they’re the original ones you know, the pale small native flower not the horrid Dutch cultivars, like swaggering drag queens in SF, ugh, and he is suddenly apoplectic with rage, the pure Etonian rage of cousin Eustace in Dawn Treader, (twas on telly yesterday,) the Bunter-roid rage of the thwarted ten year old nanny’s boy, becuase Charles, and Bex, and tommo and Katerina and Binky and Daisy are up from the smoke for the weekend and the fucking daffodills aren’tout, and Iknow m’wife Madelaine will be so dissapointed, because bloody women letting me down again, and suddenly— a boy wrenched from home aged 7, and therefore locked into a grief gestalt trauma beneath saville row body armour—- and he will beat Maddy after his not-friends from the Bank have failed to gaze upon his Ozymandelsonian fucking flowers that Ibuy every year from by the till in me Nisa.
And do you know what he shouts? This Proustian wail he bellows across the hollyhocks, they aren’t out either, bastards, across the pinstripy lawn, we have this marvellous little man, George, still uses an absolutely ancient Dennis mower, must be in his 80s, Idigress, so he stands, our brittle etonian, at the top of his fitness peak, his arse getting stabbed by the ointy peak of his fitness, his perfect adaptation as bastardi di tutti bastadi, bigdog, and he shouts at the flowers, or rather the vibrant pale acidy-green spears of life stabbing up through the dirt and John Innes, and he shouts:
GROW, DAMN YOU, GROW ! ITOLD YOU TO GROWW!!!
IT’S ok, I’m calm now, gather, gather, deep breath.
A leaning organisation is a garden in a shitty patch of suburbia. Choked with bramble and knotweed, rose-bay willowheb, old mans beard, n shopping trolleys, ford anglia gearboxes and Pampers and hedgepr0n, prone to flooding when the river, etcetera, overhung by senile sycamores and seedy silver birch and I need this bombsite to look like this…
We need a group quietly nods it head sentence gary.
Heres mine for learning organisation
“how, can we, (and by we I mean everybody, not just us, the staff and children of the small primary school in worcestershire, but the village and the cleaners and, and ,and, and and — where’s the boundary Gary, of the fishtank in the dentist waiting room, Gary)
“Scientists have debated whether tree planting should be used as a way of combatting carbon emissions, but Mr Waters said there was an urgent need to try new initiatives and the benefits of tree planting go beyond capturing carbon.
“He said: “We are in a climate emergency and that word emergency is really important. We can’t wait for a perfect solution and we have got to try stuff and we’ve got to do it fast.
“”We know trees help deal with flooding, they help your well-being, there’s very good evidence that being around trees reduces your stress and your blood pressure. There’s evidence to show that areas with lots of trees have a lower crime rate.”
“Lee Waters said Wales “cannot wait for the perfect solution” to combat climate change.”
“There’s evidence to show that areas with lots of trees have a lower crime rate.” Cretinous logic. Maybe he’s right. There’s very little car theft in the Amazon rainforests, very little burglary.
What the idiot doesn’t know is that baby trees are net producers of carbon until they get to their twenties; then they get a job and settle down or something, and make less nasty carbon than they sequester.
For Forest’s Sake
If you actually care about the planet and yours or other people’s kiddies, this science bloke tells you exactly why it’s a counterproductive crock of shite
Climate change: Free tree offered to every Welsh household Published6 December 2021 Every household in Wales will be offered a free tree to plant in an effort to help tackle climate change.
People will have a choice of native species to plant in their gardens or have added to woodland on their behalf.
About 1.3 million trees will be made available by the Welsh government, in a scheme which will cost £2m.
Deputy climate change minister Lee Waters said the scheme could help, but there still needed to be a greater increase in planting trees.
“To meet our climate change targets, we have to plant 86 million trees by the end of this decade,” he said.
Every household in Wales will be offered a free tree to plant at home or in a woodland “That’s an increase every year of 15-fold. So it’s a hell of a challenge, as well as a climate emergency.”
Scientists have debated whether tree planting should be used as a way of combatting carbon emissions, but Mr Waters said there was an urgent need to try new initiatives and the benefits of tree planting go beyond capturing carbon.
He said: “We are in a climate emergency and that word emergency is really important. We can’t wait for a perfect solution and we have got to try stuff and we’ve got to do it fast.
“We know trees help deal with flooding, they help your well-being, there’s very good evidence that being around trees reduces your stress and your blood pressure. There’s evidence to show that areas with lots of trees have a lower crime rate.”
Lee Waters said Wales “cannot wait for the perfect solution” to combat climate change.
Jerry Langford, of Coed Cadw – the Woodland Trust in Wales – said he was confident people would succeed in nurturing trees in their gardens.
“Trees are tough actually,” he said, “you’ve got to treat them pretty badly to kill a tree. So just a bit of tender loving care and it will be fine.
“They need a supply of water and they need to need to make sure they don’t get swamped by competing vegetation.”
The trees will be available from five hubs from March, with a further 20 in the autumn of 2022.
Coed Cadw will plant the trees which people opt not to have in their gardens.
“But there is a kicker to the story, and in it we see how the cynicism of self-preservation prevailed at the expense of doing something long-term and substantive about race relations. Shortly before Macpherson published his report, Straw proposed a follow-up – an ambitious strategy that would prioritise race equality considerations in policymaking across government bodies. Yet taking on racial justice in such a direct manner was just too risky, too destabilising to the government. “A regulation nightmare,” said Blair. Angus Lapsley, an official in Blair’s private office, decided not to back a proposal that racist police officers should be dismissed (government was “cool” towards this suggestion, he said), not because the policy would be wrong, but because of how rightwing papers would react to it. Here is where the decibel level rises. “This could easily become a ‘Telegraph cause celebre’ if taken too far,” said Lapsley. Blair agreed, saying: “We do not want to go OTT on this.” The proposal was killed. There is a sort of sickening relief in seeing those sentiments – expressed behind closed doors – spelled out so matter of factly; in knowing for certain that concerns about racial injustice aren’t taken seriously not because they’re not believed but because they rock the boat. Indeed, the smothering of a broad, progressive race policy 20 years ago tells us much about where we are today, with a government proudly hostile to interrogating the true state of race relations”
A friend of mine said, in a lovely,erudite presentation to some very smart folk:
“a weakness of my current thinking is a lack of explicitly encompassing the group, the social.”
Totally agree, we all lack this.
Re-examine page 49 of ‘Navigating Complexity: the essential guide to complexity theory in business and management’, written by myself.
Then think about that botanical nostrum – Early Years textbooks teach that there are three kinds of play in young humans and many mammals:
Know that this is botany – classifying plants by the shape of their leaves. We observe the spots of a leopard, but what is the mechanism that creates them?
What are the primitives, the atomic irreducible processes that underly the phenomena?
We do not have a language to describe phenomena in groups. I suspect they are incommensurable, like weather prediction after Lorenz.
We do not have a language to describe phenomena in groups.
This has hamstrung playwork, education, professional football, orchestral performance, NASA budgetary oversight inquiries, Air Accident Investigation, Corporate Fraud Investigation, etcetera etcetera.
There are clues in the Miles Davis approach to group play.
There are clues in Taoism, and Zen.
But as Sapir, Whof and Wittgenstein, and probably Gibson (JJ not W) would tell you, language shapes thought and we do not have the language.
Try explaining how to put oil into a car without using any car-related, or engine-related words. Go on, try it. Write it down, now go through it and strike out any car-related and engine-related words that crept in. We don’t have a big enough RAM, our short-term memory, to hold even one sentence of the resulting tedious arm-waving stuttering verbiage.
Why doesn’t the world move when I shake my head?
M’learned friend also said:
“This has many implications, but that main one is that we should judge education by the value created for stakeholders (laudate Tom) – this is fittingly complex and circular.
NO NO NO, NO!
Very pleased that you rate teecha Tom.
Not stakeholders, feck stakeholders. Leave that to the Tory Goovey Gradgrindians.
I think you might mean participants? If so then I‘ll semi-agree.
How would you judge a Beth Chatto garden? Answer that and you’ll know how to judge education .
Back in 2012, the U.S. food truck industry for the first time blew past the $1 billion revenue mark (it in fact reached $1.5 billion that year), making it one of the fastest-growing sectors of the national food and restaurant market. Still, food trucks are often seen as the enemy of local restaurants. Just as cab drivers have taken to protesting Uber and other ride-hailing services, brick-and-mortar restaurant groups have rallied in cities across the nation to ban or limit food trucks.
But what do food trucks actually mean for urban economies? What impact do they have on local restaurants, food industries, and our choices as consumers?
A recent study from Elliot Anenberg of the Washington, D.C. Federal Reserve System and Edward Kung of UCLA takes a detailed look at the economy and geography of food trucks in our nation’s cities. To get at this, the study uses unique data on food trucks from the U.S. Census Bureau and a dataset of daily Washington, D.C. food truck locations, as well as social media data from Twitter and Google Trends. The study is particularly interested in the connection between food trucks and new digital technologies—especially social media—and how food trucks make use of them. Here are its five big takeaways.
Some people appear to misunderstand, says the arrogant author, that part of my work/thinking which they describe as being about ‘chaos’.
I feel moved to attempt, vainly*, to counter that misunderstanding. (*both senses)
It has to be said: I’m largely to blame for this misunderstanding.
My work is widely understood as being about chaos. It isn’t, it’s about the edgeofchaos.
Let’s say that we are talking about two things: order and chaos. Think of it like this: we have black and white, like a chessboard. We can see only black and white: is that a black square or a white square? Not sure.
We keep seeing squares which sort of look black and sometimes maybe look sort of white. Some of us aren’t too bothered by this, we take a quick look, decide whether a square is black or white and get on with our lives.
Until this Greek bloke, ex-follower of Aristotle, pops up and starts eurekaring. There is another colour, he shouts! There’s loads of it about! I’ve given it a name! I’m calling it ‘blackywhitishwhiteyblackish’. It’s not black! But it’s not white either! It’s sort of in-between. There aren’t just two shades, there are loads!
Weeks later his wife decides that blackywhitishwhiteyblackish is a stupid name. She decides to call it grey instead. She writes a book about the profound implications of her husband’s discovery: ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey Instead’.
He forms a band called ‘Aristotle’s Error’. They have a minor hit with a cover version of Steve Strange’s song ‘Fade To Grey’, which had been a number one hit for him and his band, Strange Attractor.
It’s not about chaos.
It’s not about order.
It’s not black and white.
To be precise: it’s complex.
This thing in between order and chaos is ‘neither one nor t’other’ it is a thing in its own right. You can call it the edgeofchaos or you can call it the edgeoforder or you can call it complexity.
The world is not black.
The world is not white.
The world is grey.
The world is not order.
The world is not chaos.
The world is many complex adaptive systems at the ‘edge of chaos’.
The world is complexity.
When things are really connected, that’s order.
When things are really disconnected that’s chaos.
In between is complexity.
It’s about the connections between things. In an NK network, it’s about the K not the N. Would that we could relabel them KN networks.
When I wrote my little book ‘Navigating Complexity’ I had the immense ‘Tools for Thought’ as my lodestone:
” At the deeper level, we find that most aspects of life and its interactions with its surroundings are interconnected into complexes. No powerful action can be expected to have only one consequence, confined to the thing it was primarily directed at. It is almost bound to affect lots of other things as well […] We need nowadays to be able to think not just about simple processes but about complex systems… We have found ourselves faced by a series of problems- atomic warfare, the population explosion, the food problem, energy, natrural resources, pollution and so on- each complex enough in itself, but then it turns out that each of these is only one aspect of, as it were, a Total Problem, in which all aspects of the world’s workings are inter-related. This Total Problem is sometimes called the World Problematique.”
The world is not order.
The world is not chaos.
The world is complexity.
By that point, Moses has developed “such arrogance that he started to think himself irreplaceable.” Jacobs, on the other hand, operates with equal determination but from a deep place of humility and compassion for the citizen’s experience. The two titans of urban planning soon clash over their differences, exposing the disquieting fact that no ideal is without its tradeoffs and that what is most effective, more often than not, comes at the expense of what is most ennobling.
Sobering, eye-opening article. Also, of course, true of the UK. Here is an edited summary of the data:
” • EDUCATION: This is the first generation of boys in U.S. history who will have less education than their dads.
Yet male teachers are scarce. Recess and vocational education are being curtailed.
Boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, drop out of school or be expelled than girls.///
• FATHERLESSNESS: A third of boys are raised in fatherless homes. This lack of a dad leads to poorer academic and behavioral results for them than it does for girls. A recent study of boys revealed that by the third grade, boys with absent fathers scored lower on every achievement test.
Most gang members come from homes without dads.
• EMOTIONAL HEALTH: Depression remains hidden in boys because of the male taboo against the showing of feelings.
Boys’ risky, anti-social or violent behavior often serve as a mask for depression. Usually that behavior is punished but the underlying depression not treated.
Between the ages of 13 and 20, BOYS’ SUICIDE RATES SOAR TO FOUR TIMES THAT of girls of the same age.”