Reification and Thingification: the primitive ravens.

Those other ravens were Thought and Memory. No, they weren’t in the Marvel movies, they’d end up being Hekyll and Jekyll in Song O’ the South, shudder, racist bickering disney sidekicks…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huginn_and_Muninn

Anyway, we’re all familiar with reification, it means making into a thing. It’s what they did to Murphy in Robocop, I do love my cheesy movie references, as a colleague once said, sourly.

Here’s the outlaw Jimmy Wales to explain…

Reification

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Look up reification or reifyin Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Reification may refer to:

Science and technology[edit]

Other uses[edit]

See also[edit]

2 and 3 and especially 4, and a dash of 5, and a pinch of 6, and a big, carefully disinfected chunk of 7 and plenty of 9.

So what is thingification? I’m getting there, hold on. So and from that https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstract_and_concrete link, I give you this handy table

AbstractConcrete
TennisA tennis match
RednessRed light reflected off of an apple and hitting one’s eyes
FiveFive cars
JusticeA just action
Humanity (the property of being human)Human population (the set of all humans)


Iwould add on the left learning organisationand on the right…? Later, lets crack on…

This has a lot in common with Carse’s magnificent Occamick distinctions in his glorious prose-poem of Jesuitical logic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finite_and_Infinite_Games

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Co-opetition_(book)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministry_of_International_Trade_and_Industry

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., Fad Surfing in theBoardroom: Managing in the 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…



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floral_clock

well, sucks teeth, says the lad from Green Quadrangle, we can do it, but it won’t be cheap…

Oops, nearly forgot, Thingification and

plink is the sound of new language being formed in the space between a small group of people who care.

Plink is an anti-reification place holder, a means of resisiting the misnomery of early and innacurate reification. As in yes! So what we need is BPR or TQM or no Gary, sit down , please. What we need is to find a PlainPhrase©, a form of plain english [plain, good Amish word, plain] a sentence ,not a TLA, a fucking sentence Gary, Cap at the front, full stop at the end, Gary, a sentence that even Marjorie in the typing pool, oh you don’tknow any marjorie, that because she left and she’s working at your rivals now, as AD, a sentence that even Marjorie can nod her head to.

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)

I’ll start again:

HOW CAN WE ALL WORK TOGETHER BETTER ?

PlainPhrased © sentences are not clever or sharp or elegant. But you’ll know them by their quiet head-nodding in a circle of people who care.

I have an actual CaseStory©, but I’m, tired and need bacon, call me if ya wanna hear it.

Use the Phrase Luke, use. The. Phrase…

Fucking wordpress has hidden categories, so Ican add them, fuqitt.


How the states have become “Laboratories of Autocracy” — and why it’s worse than you think | Salon.com

Coming to the UK as soon as the Electoral Reform Act is passed next week while you’re all whining and laughing abot BYOB Spaffel…

Former Ohio Democratic Party head David Pepper has a dire warning: Rigged state legislatures are destroying America
— Read on www.salon.com/2022/01/15/how-the-states-have-become-laboratories-of-autocracy–and-why-its-worse-than-you-think/

TOXIC OPTICS: the management of appearance and the appearance of management

blying blliars blying

“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”

Message found in a bottle of snake oil, in the Sargasso sea…

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: 

  • individual play
  • parallel play
  • social play

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 .

~~~

Read Seedstock by Frank Herbert… full text here… https://momentoftime.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/seed-stock-frank-herbert/

I  cannot link to that story without rereading it, and when I  reread it, I  cannot help but be moved to tears.

~~~

Koan for you: “how can we value things without judging them?” asked the abbot.

Answers on a postcard to my fastness by Ruabon mountain, please, or via ‘e-mail’.

~~~

Push for order… Lock in the chaos…Report: Side effect of Apple’s increasing garden walls is better hiding places for elite hackers – 9to5Mac

Report: Side effect of Apple’s increasing garden walls is better hiding places for elite hackers – 9to5Mac
— Read on 9to5mac.com/2021/03/01/report-apple-security-can-help-hackers-hide/

This is hilarious.

I’ve been waiting for this for years. Walled garden security theatre, and incidentally a hollywood BDAM trope for years. Once we’re in, etcetera.

As a system is tightly controlled to impose order, so the chaos breaks through. Systems become brittle.

Thanks to computers, we can now develop brittle systems much faster than before, that fail harder. Hello Texas, is the water back on yet? The leccy? Technological progress.

The Magic beneath Food Truck Location

ice-cream-van-roma-cafe-mid-40'sBack 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?

48cc88ecda789e9ceed65fe3ce4a234c.jpg

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.

via The Secrets to Food Truck Location – CityLab.

1365815878.jpg

1. Twitter is a big factor in food truck location.

Food-seeking flocking behaviour.

2. The connection between food trucks and digital technology is greater in big, dense cities.

Network effect, more nodes, and more importantly, more connections. Check out Valdis Krebs.

3. When it comes to location, variety matters a lot.

We, birds, humans, weasels, get bored eating the same stuff. And to maintain health we need to eat different stuff. Variety matters. Duh.

4. Food truck location is spiky.

Even normal economics understands this power law effect.

5. Food trucks cause households to spend more money on eating out.

See 3 and 2.

___________________________

Complexity fans will have spotted the lack of underpinning theory in the otherwise excellent CityLab piece. So I provided it, in bold italics. You’re welcome.

 

 

provocation #3 ‘Why oh why did this happen, can you see what it is yet?’ (file under: contentious and and half-baked) | LinkedIn

An occasional series of provocations for management thinkers.

May contain elements of offense.

(File under: contentious and and half-baked)

provocation #3

 

 

WHY OH WHY DID THIS HAPPEN, CAN YOU SEE WHAT IT IS YET?

NB: My target here is managerialism, not committed, ethical, hard-working public sector employees and elected representatives.

Rearrange these into the correct order:

1. Give police targets determined by politicians, and managers subservient to them

2. Import managerialism into the public sector

3. Destroy the multi use approach to city and town street life – thanks planners, abandoning the streets after 8pm to ne’er-do-wells, clubbers, drunks, and the poor and desperate.

4. Think it clever to save social services budgets a few quid by buying cheap places in care homes for vulnerable kids in depressed towns like Rochdale.

5. Close your children’s homes and allow the market to create cheap children’s homes in low cost areas.

6. Send vulnerable kids half-way across the country

7. Don’t see children and youth as valid members of society with needs, rights, and AGENCY, so don’t cater for their leisure and affiliation needs

8. Rack up business rates so that only poverty-level wages for fast-food work are viable in town centres.

9. Prioritise car theft, based on public complaint, over missing children who don’t complain because they don’t matter (“scrubbers” anonymous policeman, BBC Radio 4 Friday, September 12, 2014 13:37).

 

That was a trick question: there isn’t an order only a pattern.

Then wonder why the Rochdale Child Abuse Scandal.

Discuss. Use both sides of the argument and the brain.

 

_____________Footnote

if you find this offensive is it less or more offensive than the Rochdale Child Abuse Scandal?

via provocation #3 ‘Why oh why did this happen, can you see what it is yet?’ (file under: contentious and and half-baked) | LinkedIn.

INTRODUCING: musings|half-baked… ‘who should run the world and why’

Introducing ‘musings: half-baked

This is a new category, in some ways going back to my original idea of a scrapbook in the form of a blog. So half-baked musings are scraps of thinking, that I might do something with, or might pique my or someone else’s interest.

So here is the first one, file under ‘who should run the world and why’.

Very cool lady judge presiding over the Pistorius case. I’m going to extend the ‘the world should be run by 8 year old girls’ to include ‘successful black women of pensionable age’ (context: where black is an oppressed group within the dominant societies on this planet. Your culture may vary. May contain traces of nuts).

Despite being jovially couched, this is a serious notion. Its about experiences and perspectives. Its an idea emerging, slowly.

The idea is to specify, in a quasi-scientific manner, the ‘necessary and sufficient conditions’ for a thing. In this case ‘running the world nicely’. It’s like a concept car for management systems thinkers.

Judge MasipaArticle is from yesterday's 'i'

			

Security Theatre

Schneier is brilliant, and unpronounceable and difficult to spell. Coined the term  ‘Security Theatre’. I was an unwilling participant in one when making an internal flight from a city in the UK to a city in the UK to speak at an event. On the return leg I spent a hours waiting in the departure lounge in Inverness with Tim Gill, another speaker. I had bought two bottles of scotch and hadn’t realised they needed to checked in. Eventually it transpired that these dangerous bottles containing possible explosives could be kept in the office for up to 7 days. [pause for the absurdity of keeping ‘bombs’ in an office in the centre of an airport to sink in] I was told they would be destroyed if not collected. Like I believe that in Scotland. I rang the mom and pop taxi firm I’d used and they agreed to store them for me until I could collect them. Which turned out to be never as I have not been back. But a mate was flyfishing nearby and collected them for me, a year later. Thank you, old chap.

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2014/08/irrational_fear.html

Notice how human kindness has to work overtime to fill the gaps? One thing security theatre smashed effectively was trust, another is compassion. But humans, on a one to one basis, will always help. It’s a primate thing.

Footnote: my public school educated friend tipped them a tenner. That jarred. Been worrying at it for years. I think this is why, and it relates to the notion of ‘conviviality’ as described by Illich (googlim): it’s a class thing. Posh people, and don’t get me wrong, my friend has been a staunch supporter and had put plenty of work my way, do the tipping thing, working-class people don’t. Our expectation is that we help each other out without thought of reward. (There are exceptions and you can guess what they might be). I suspect that Hamish and Marie were bemused by his gesture and might have quietly donated the ten quid to charity. Having said all that, I wish I was half as gentlemanly as my posh friend.

what we lose when when we fear prolixity and live brevity

Nobody wants to be ‘that guy’ who goes on and on.  Besides, one-liners are cool.

So if you have a lot to say, maybe you should blog (kettle? black?)? Of course, that’s why I do – right now I’m channelling Seth Godin.

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/

Yet sometimes extreme brevity is uncool. Like:

  1. More haste, less speed.
    1. Oh boy. A work colleague sends you an email. It’s 3 words. It might be ambiguous, so at the risk of looking a bit silly, you reply asking: Did you mean x or y? they reply, tersely, in what appears to be confirmation. So you then say: So what we are saying is the blah blah is x and not y because of [reason]. You don’t need me to tell you how much longer that took.
    2. And multitasking is a myth. Every time the inbox pings, your concentration on that important thing pings away. Hey.
  2.  Some things can’t be explained in a text, or a one-line email.
    1. Like love, or systems.
    2. Or why?  why usually needs space, which, increasingly, we ‘don’t have time for’.

Call me Captain Prolixity, for reasons that you don’t have time for.

Is There a Non-Creepy Way to Run Behind a Woman? –

http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/cac-non-creepy-way-run-behind-woman/comment-page-1/#comment-1715546

Here my take on this interesting question.

The key word, IMHO, is public. Public space in the public realm. This would be a non-issue of the streets were full of people. “Empty neighbourhood”? Can it be a neighbourhood if it is ‘empty’? Look at the writings of Jane Jacobs, I’m thinking of ‘The Death and Life of American Cities’. Imagine a street full of people, children, old people, pavement cafes, people chatting, mums with prams. Now picture yourself weaving through all of that. Actually it’s difficult to run through all of that… but that’s another issue…

– See more at: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/cac-non-creepy-way-run-behind-woman/comment-page-1/#comment-1715546

REGENERATING THE PUBLIC REALM: Blenders, babysitters and burglars! – connecting neighbours in unexpected ways – Playing Out

“For my street – and the others who have shared their experiences – new and rich connections have grown from sharing time and fun on the street during playing out sessions. And they have changed the way I feel about living here for the better.”

We know more about regenerating a rainforest or a prairie than we do about regenerating the public realm.

We really need to get out more.

And we really need to study more.

PlayingOut, is one neccesary, but—of course—of itself, insufficient condition for this regeneration of  the public realm to take place. Pun placed intentionally!

Read and follow their excellent bloggery.

via Blenders, babysitters and burglars! – connecting neighbours in unexpected ways – Playing Out.

Give them all ASBOs! This is what advocacy for play looks like

What follows is the (obviously) unofficial view of a senior police officer on the subject of ASBOs, ABCs and other legal attempts to control the nuisance of children.

The officer is commenting on a report, which you can read by following the link below.

———————————————-

The officer said:

“I am writing in a non official capacity – my role is that of *** in ***
(Force).

If I can take the opportunity to comment on your ABC report. I thought it
was spot on and I will ensure it will be sent to my officers responsible for
delivering and working with those who deliver ABCs.

I do see a use for ABCs but as you point out, when the system is vague
and threatening it does nothing to inspire me that this is a tool that will
be of any merit or worth.

Surely children who may be experiencing problems in their lives require
support and should not be growing up in an authoritarian environment?

Thank you for a thought provoking report.”

The report he or she is commenting on is this one:

Report re: The Compatibility of Acceptable Behaviour Contracts with
Article 6.1 of the European Convention on Human Rights

By Jan Cosgrove and Matthew Cosgrove

Click to access 1325042991.pdf

Have any of our noble play-related university lecturers done any work in this area? I would love to see it.

 

You can find out more about FPFC here:

 

http://www.fairplayforchildren.net/what.htm

Evidence you say? What is that? Away with you and your ‘evidence’! (NAMED AND SHAMED: GPs who miss cancer diagnoses)

Read this blog, please. If you value any of my bloggage, read this other bloke’s blog. We need to bring as much as we can of this level of surgical precision to management.

If psychology can be a science, (a claim I find dubious having obtained a degree in it from an excellent college ranked number 3 or 4 in the UK, Hindustani).

(Hindustani? How could this idiotphone think I meant that when I wrote incidentally? This is why the robots well not take over just yurt)

As I was saying, if psychology can be a science then so can management.

There was a brief kerfuffle in the business schools about why they didn’t see the crash coming and why they failed to teach ethics to MBAs. Six months later all forgotten. Gary Wossname would have put on a conference or earned a big fee for meaculpaing, or both. Business school profs make admen look shamefaced and moral.

I’m not advocating Taylor’s Scientific Management. We have some better science now. And proper true facts are harder to come by in management consultancy. But we could work a lot harder than we do to seek truth amid opinion and cant.

Please read the wise words of the junior doctor.

juniordoctorblog.com

If you saw the Mail on Sunday today you would have seen the above headline.

According to Wikiquotes, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 4-time US senator and academic, once said “You are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts”. Rather than writing an extensive counter-diatribe of rhetoric on the ridiculousness of the article, the irresponsible attitude to health reporting and Jeremy Hunt in general, I have decided to try a new form of discussion. I call it ‘The Facts’.

Fact #1
Here are the National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidelines for referring patients to a specialist with the suspicion of cancer. http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/CG27*

Fact #2
This is how common bowel cancer is: there are 47.2 new cases per 100,000 people per year (crude). This equals around 40,000 new cases nationally, which means nearly 1 case per UK GP per year.

This is how common breast cancer is: there are 155…

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