Thursday, August 9, 2007

Seed in multiple directions, see which pans out, and then dive into that stream

I finished reading a book entitled It's Alive: The Coming Convergence of Information, Biology, and Business. [For Kurzweil geeks out there....C4, Vince he gives a positive review on back cover]...
I can't go through all of their recommendations. But some of the more important ones:--"A key principle of general evolution is that the bottom-up interactions of agents create adaptive systems." (p.101). Seekers in William Easterly's terms. (versus top-down planners).
The problem generally with planners/top-down approach is that it assumes the myth of the given, a single world easily recognizable for everyone involved. Adaptive enterprise/complexity science is chaotic, I wanted to say postmodern in the (good) sense of enaction (a la Maturana and Varela).
If you study how a bird sees its environment it does not see the same environment you and I see when we look in the same general say field or forest. A bird literally does not see that with which it does not interact with--a literal world-space. Which is why the Gaia proponents (especially as cited for public policy, say on environmental-economic issues) have a serious flaw: no other animal, other than some humans, sees this Nature/Gaia. It is not a flat neutral space on which all the other animals, creatures, planets, etc. are acted upon and then must respond.
Rather what is Nature is in part a co-creation of these agents. And onion-like layers of Nature at that.
Similar with the gov't/business model of adaptive enterprise. You do not plan for a single identity/solution that you then try to enforce on a neutral background (commerce or politics) that is the same for all. Rather you create the organization such that its primary code is ability to adapt and ride the chaos, thereby seeding its own worldspace. Works as a feedback mechanism, with the envio and agents responding to each other, helping creating each other.
This is why I prefer say with climate change work on resiliency. Then you cut through the miasma of the politics and debate on human/non-human. agnostics, deniers, true believers, apocalyptic believers, etc. Whatever happens the system, the network itself is ready to respond. Rather than trying to predict what the future will be, then massively shifting the entire human resource base to try to be ready for a change we're not even entirely sure will come in the first place and we are not sure that even if we were to undertake this massive change (i.e. massive economic regulation) it would not change the environment so that a new set of problems would emerge which we would still be unprepared to deal with.
Riding the chaos. This is the key. Requires a great deal of technology to sense and respond in real-time. Seed in multiple directions, see which pans out, and then dive into that stream. Then re-seed multiply from within that stream, see which works, and respond.
It also requires managers (politicians?) to no longer be those who hold special information guardedly at the top (as in a command control economy/politics/military), having to wait from orders from even higher up, or having your intelligent employees nannied into a state of waiting for permission to prosper. The real job of the manager (pol?) will be to recognize talent (sense and respond) and get them in the right places AQAP (as quickly as possible).
Agent-based, bottom-up, open-source networks. Not for example, as with the warantless wiretapping these huge dragnets of planned obsolescence where eventually everybody (and therefore nobody in particular) ends up on some list. As an example, Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower, his daughter ended up a surveillance list (as I think maybe he did) during his research for the book.
I know others will disagree with this, but I think we could start with smart government as a means of working together across political divides, then still have our discussions about the actual size (some always favoring less, others more) from that place. tags technorati : tags technorati : tags technorati : tags technorati : posted by CJ Smith @ 12:28 PM 0 comments Indistinct Union: Christianity, Integral Philosophy, and Politics

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