Coevolving Innovations

… in Business Organizations and Information Technologies

daviding

http://daviding.wordpress.com/

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Entropy: The Second Law of Thermodynamics | David L. Hawk | ST-ON 2021-03-14

For espoused systems thinkers who are predisposed towards towards finding an equilibrium (or maybe one amongst multiple equilibria), a discussion about entropy can raise discomfort.  In the systems sciences, the second law of thermodynamics — as an entropic process — is often cited by the learned as a universal law applicable across physics, chemistry, biology … as well as social systems.

In economics, Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen drew attention to the inconvenience that “perpetual motion of the third kind is impossible“.  Thus, “a closed system that does work forever at a steady rate” violates the second law of thermodynamics.  Towards unpacking the implications of this universal law, we drew on David L. Hawk for expertise.

This video has been archived on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
March 14
(1h37m)
[20220314_ST-ON EntropySecondLawOfThermodynamics HDPlus.m4v]
(HDPlus 1073kbps 836MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

Audio downloadable onto mobile devices was transcoded from the video into MP3.

Audio
March 14
(1h37m)
[20220314_ST-ON EntropySecondLawOfThermodynamics.mp3]
(33.5MB)

Developing and appreciation for entropy — let alone the controversies within correct scientific use of the second law of thermodynamics — is challenging, at best.  If we really wanted to get serious about understand living systems, we might look into the thermodynamics and ecology writings of James Kay, or read Eric D. Schneider and Dorion Sagan (2005) Into the Cool: Energy Flow, Thermodynamics, and Life.

Whenever I get into a discussion about entropy, it’s a toss-up whether I’m become less confused after the conversation, or more confused. … Read more (in a new tab)

For espoused systems thinkers who are predisposed towards towards finding an equilibrium (or maybe one amongst multiple equilibria), a discussion about entropy can raise discomfort.  In the systems sciences, the second law of thermodynamics — as an entropic process — is often cited by the learned as a universal law applicable across physics, chemistry, biology … as well as social systems.

In economics, Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen drew attention to the inconvenience that “perpetual motion of the third kind is impossible“.  Thus, “a closed system that does work forever at a steady rate” violates the second law of thermodynamics.  Towards unpacking the implications of this universal law, we drew on David L. Hawk for expertise.

This video has been archived on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
March 14
(1h37m)
[20220314_ST-ON EntropySecondLawOfThermodynamics HDPlus.m4v]
(HDPlus 1073kbps 836MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

Audio downloadable onto mobile devices was transcoded from the video into MP3.

Audio
March 14
(1h37m)
[20220314_ST-ON EntropySecondLawOfThermodynamics.mp3]
(33.5MB)

Developing and appreciation for entropy — let alone the controversies within correct scientific use of the second law of thermodynamics — is challenging, at best.  If we really wanted to get serious about understand living systems, we might look into the thermodynamics and ecology writings of James Kay, or read Eric D. Schneider and Dorion Sagan (2005) Into the Cool: Energy Flow, Thermodynamics, and Life.

Whenever I get into a discussion about entropy, it’s a toss-up whether I’m become less confused after the conversation, or more confused. … Read more (in a new tab)

Systems Thinking through Changes: An action learning guide | Canadian Digital Service | 2022-03-04

In the 4th year of an espoused 10-year journey, the Systems Changes Learning Circle reached a major milestone.  With Code for Canada, the team conducted its first educational workshop based on the contextural action learning approach currently under review for publication.  The client was the Canadian Digital Service .

The presentation outlining the basic ideas and guiding questions was scheduled for a quick 60 minutes. After lunch, the participants convened for 3 hours in three parallel breakout groups, discussions guided by templates provided in the workbook.

This video has been archived on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
March 4
(58m25s)
[20220304_CodeForCanada SystemsThinkingThroughChanges CC-BY-SA_1920x912.m4v]
(1920×912 169kbps 127MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

Audio downloadable onto mobile devices was transcoded from the video into MP3.

Audio
March 4
(58m25s)
[20220304_CodeForCanada SystemsThinkingThroughChanges CC-BY-SA.mp3]
(22.9MB)

Here is a description of the session.

There are a variety of approaches to systems thinking in practice.

Systems Changes Learning takes a view of living systems over time. As individuals, groups and organizations, we are lines (lifelines) co-responding alongside each other. Our lines have rhythms. Sometimes, the lines weave together in synchrony. At other times, the lines might clash, or get tangled up.

Interest in systems thinking arises when people feel “stuck”. A system could be trapped in a rut, or struggling through an abrupt transformational change. We look into dysfunctions as rhythmic shifts in the primary system of interest, and/or in co-related systems of influence.… Read more (in a new tab)

In the 4th year of an espoused 10-year journey, the Systems Changes Learning Circle reached a major milestone.  With Code for Canada, the team conducted its first educational workshop based on the contextural action learning approach currently under review for publication.  The client was the Canadian Digital Service .

The presentation outlining the basic ideas and guiding questions was scheduled for a quick 60 minutes. After lunch, the participants convened for 3 hours in three parallel breakout groups, discussions guided by templates provided in the workbook.

This video has been archived on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
March 4
(58m25s)
[20220304_CodeForCanada SystemsThinkingThroughChanges CC-BY-SA_1920x912.m4v]
(1920×912 169kbps 127MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

Audio downloadable onto mobile devices was transcoded from the video into MP3.

Audio
March 4
(58m25s)
[20220304_CodeForCanada SystemsThinkingThroughChanges CC-BY-SA.mp3]
(22.9MB)

Here is a description of the session.

There are a variety of approaches to systems thinking in practice.

Systems Changes Learning takes a view of living systems over time. As individuals, groups and organizations, we are lines (lifelines) co-responding alongside each other. Our lines have rhythms. Sometimes, the lines weave together in synchrony. At other times, the lines might clash, or get tangled up.

Interest in systems thinking arises when people feel “stuck”. A system could be trapped in a rut, or struggling through an abrupt transformational change. We look into dysfunctions as rhythmic shifts in the primary system of interest, and/or in co-related systems of influence.… Read more (in a new tab)

Schizophrenia, Alcoholism, Double Binds: From Practice to System Theory | Gary S. Metcalf | ST-ON 2021-02-21

Many might sequence systems thinking as (i) systems theory preceding (ii) systems practice.  This is not always the case.  There are situations where (i) systems practice has preceded (ii) systems theory, or the two advance in a tight learning loop.  Jack Ring once pointed out that applied science (engineering) precedes science, because human beings often have systems working before we understand why they work.

Gregory Bateson was consulting on questions associated with schizophrenia and communications, that expanded into a broader theory of double binds.  Along the way, he developed an appreciation for techniques amongst alcoholics where the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous were leading to a more correct epistemology.

Before pursuing studies in systems sciences, Gary Metcalf was in practice with an earlier career in family therapy.  He explained how techniques and frameworks that he had previously applied became enriched with the deeper understanding of systems thinking, and a history of science associated with the double bind.

This video has been archived on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
February 21
(1h37m)
[20220221_ST-ON_Metcalf_SchizophreniaAlcoholismDoubleBinds_WQHD.m4v]
(WQHD 1042kbps 818MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

Audio downloadable onto mobile devices was transcoded from the video into MP3.

Audio
February 21
(1h37m)
[20220221_ST-ON_Metcalf_SchizophreniaAlcoholismDoubleBinds.mp3]
(33.8MB)

Gary provided some slides to guide the discussion.

Here is the original Systems Thinking Ontario session description.

Is there a pattern where you see a system is stuck? In the 1960s-1970s, anthropologist Gregory Bateson was working with cases of schizophrenia and alcoholism, leading to the development of systems theories on double-binds.… Read more (in a new tab)

Many might sequence systems thinking as (i) systems theory preceding (ii) systems practice.  This is not always the case.  There are situations where (i) systems practice has preceded (ii) systems theory, or the two advance in a tight learning loop.  Jack Ring once pointed out that applied science (engineering) precedes science, because human beings often have systems working before we understand why they work.

Gregory Bateson was consulting on questions associated with schizophrenia and communications, that expanded into a broader theory of double binds.  Along the way, he developed an appreciation for techniques amongst alcoholics where the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous were leading to a more correct epistemology.

Before pursuing studies in systems sciences, Gary Metcalf was in practice with an earlier career in family therapy.  He explained how techniques and frameworks that he had previously applied became enriched with the deeper understanding of systems thinking, and a history of science associated with the double bind.

This video has been archived on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
February 21
(1h37m)
[20220221_ST-ON_Metcalf_SchizophreniaAlcoholismDoubleBinds_WQHD.m4v]
(WQHD 1042kbps 818MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

Audio downloadable onto mobile devices was transcoded from the video into MP3.

Audio
February 21
(1h37m)
[20220221_ST-ON_Metcalf_SchizophreniaAlcoholismDoubleBinds.mp3]
(33.8MB)

Gary provided some slides to guide the discussion.

Here is the original Systems Thinking Ontario session description.

Is there a pattern where you see a system is stuck? In the 1960s-1970s, anthropologist Gregory Bateson was working with cases of schizophrenia and alcoholism, leading to the development of systems theories on double-binds.… Read more (in a new tab)

Living, Becoming, Process Philosophy: Systems Thinking in Time (ST-ON 2022-01-10)

System thinking, coming from roots in mainstream Western philosophy, tends to orient towards (i) thinking in space,  before (ii) thinking in time.  Structure is an arrangement in space.  Process is an arrangement in time.  A critical systems perspective leads us to think about inclusion within boundaries.  Does this lead us to overlook boundaries in time?

Living systems are a subtype of systems in general.  The capability for autonomous movement might lead us towards a philosophy of “becoming with” as “becoming alongside”.  This can lead us towards a challenging shift towards process philosophy.

Participants in Systems Thinking Ontario session were invited to discuss, and potentially reframe their view of systems.

This video has been archived on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
January 10
(1h32m)
[20220110_ST-ON LivingBecomingProcessPhilosophy_FHD.m4v]
(FHD 954kbps 718MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

Audio downloadable onto mobile devices was transcoded from the video into MP3.

Audio
January 10
(1h32m)
[20220110_ST-ON LivingBecomingProcessPhilosophy.mp3]
(34.1MB)

A short presentation provided some shared context for discussion.

Agenda:

  • A. Some Systems Thinking Basics
  • B. Hawk (1999):  Change of state vs. State of change
  • C. Ingold (2000): Temporality of the Landscape
  • D. Nayak & Chia (2011):  Process Philosophy
  • E. Discussion

Some who attended the session have read Process and Reality, by Alfred North Whitehead.  I haven’t. (It’s difficult!)  I’m leaning more on readings theorizing living systems.

Here is the content from the original announcement.

Structure is an arrangement in space.… Read more (in a new tab)

System thinking, coming from roots in mainstream Western philosophy, tends to orient towards (i) thinking in space,  before (ii) thinking in time.  Structure is an arrangement in space.  Process is an arrangement in time.  A critical systems perspective leads us to think about inclusion within boundaries.  Does this lead us to overlook boundaries in time?

Living systems are a subtype of systems in general.  The capability for autonomous movement might lead us towards a philosophy of “becoming with” as “becoming alongside”.  This can lead us towards a challenging shift towards process philosophy.

Participants in Systems Thinking Ontario session were invited to discuss, and potentially reframe their view of systems.

This video has been archived on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
January 10
(1h32m)
[20220110_ST-ON LivingBecomingProcessPhilosophy_FHD.m4v]
(FHD 954kbps 718MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

Audio downloadable onto mobile devices was transcoded from the video into MP3.

Audio
January 10
(1h32m)
[20220110_ST-ON LivingBecomingProcessPhilosophy.mp3]
(34.1MB)

A short presentation provided some shared context for discussion.

Agenda:

  • A. Some Systems Thinking Basics
  • B. Hawk (1999):  Change of state vs. State of change
  • C. Ingold (2000): Temporality of the Landscape
  • D. Nayak & Chia (2011):  Process Philosophy
  • E. Discussion

Some who attended the session have read Process and Reality, by Alfred North Whitehead.  I haven’t. (It’s difficult!)  I’m leaning more on readings theorizing living systems.

Here is the content from the original announcement.

Structure is an arrangement in space.… Read more (in a new tab)

Progress on Systems Changes Learning | CSRP Institute | 2022-11-07

The Systems Changes Learning Circle, formed in January 1999, has since been meeting at least once every 3 weeks.  In many respects, the core group has exhibited great patience in our mutual learning towards an agenda of Rethinking Systems Thinking, from talks given in 2012, and published in 2013.

In anticipation of a journal article due in the new year, an outline of work-in-progress was shared at the CSRP Institute Symposium 2021, in Brussels, Belgium. (CSRP is the Creative Systemic Research Platform).

This video has been archived on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
November 7
(26m42s)
[20211107_1200_CsrpInstitute_Ing_1050p.m4v]
(WSXGA+ 383kbps 98MB) [on the Internet Archive]

Audio downloadable onto mobile devices was transcoded from the video into MP3.

Audio
November 7
(26m42s)
[20211107_1200_CsrpInstitute_Ing_AAC.m4a]
(M4A 24MB)

The 30-minute presentation was well-received by symposium attendees.  We didn’t cover the full slide deck, with details that would later be revised for the written text for publication.

The scope of rethinking has been described as ambitious. In November 2021, we were approaching the end of the third year of an espoused 10-year journey, so there’s still much to be learned!

CSPR Institute Symposium 2021

The Systems Changes Learning Circle, formed in January 1999, has since been meeting at least once every 3 weeks.  In many respects, the core group has exhibited great patience in our mutual learning towards an agenda of Rethinking Systems Thinking, from talks given in 2012, and published in 2013.

In anticipation of a journal article due in the new year, an outline of work-in-progress was shared at the CSRP Institute Symposium 2021, in Brussels, Belgium. (CSRP is the Creative Systemic Research Platform).

This video has been archived on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
November 7
(26m42s)
[20211107_1200_CsrpInstitute_Ing_1050p.m4v]
(WSXGA+ 383kbps 98MB) [on the Internet Archive]

Audio downloadable onto mobile devices was transcoded from the video into MP3.

Audio
November 7
(26m42s)
[20211107_1200_CsrpInstitute_Ing_AAC.m4a]
(M4A 24MB)

The 30-minute presentation was well-received by symposium attendees.  We didn’t cover the full slide deck, with details that would later be revised for the written text for publication.

The scope of rethinking has been described as ambitious. In November 2021, we were approaching the end of the third year of an espoused 10-year journey, so there’s still much to be learned!

CSPR Institute Symposium 2021

Ecological Economics and Systems Thinking | Katie Kish + David Mallery | (ST-ON 2021-10-18)

In the 1980s, ecological economics seemed to be mostly economists extending their work towards environmental and resource concerns.  In the 2020s, ecological economics is seeing a new generation first schooled in other disciplines such as environmental studies or one of the social sciences, then coming into economics.  Programs that encourage the new perspective include the  Economics for the Anthropocene partnership, and Leadership for the Ecozoic network.  Emerging scholars can bring a new research agenda.

This is what I’ve been learning through the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics (CANSEE).  To bring some of that perspective to the Systems Thinking Ontario community, I invited Katie Kish and David Mallery for a conversation.

This video has been archived on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
October 18
(1h41m)
[20211018_ST-ON EcologicalEconomics_Kish_Mallery_FHD.m4v]
(FHD 1547kbps 1.19GB) [on the Internet Archive]

Audio downloadable onto mobile devices was transcoded from the video into MP3.

Audio
October 18
(1h41m)
[20211018_ST-ON EcologicalEconomics_Kish_Mallery.mp3]
(35.5MB)

Here is the content from the original announcement.

For this session, Katie Kish and David Mallery will lead a discussion on Ecological Economics in two parts.

(1) Where is Ecological Economics going with Systems Thinking?

  • In the “Critical Pluralism” paper (see below), the newest generation of EE scholars is portrayed as taking a regenerative approach to research and learning. This is best navigated with critical pluralistic approaches well-developed in systems thinking. The shift might be better supported through a wider set of systems tools, which might also have complementary effects on systems methodologies.
Read more (in a new tab)

In the 1980s, ecological economics seemed to be mostly economists extending their work towards environmental and resource concerns.  In the 2020s, ecological economics is seeing a new generation first schooled in other disciplines such as environmental studies or one of the social sciences, then coming into economics.  Programs that encourage the new perspective include the  Economics for the Anthropocene partnership, and Leadership for the Ecozoic network.  Emerging scholars can bring a new research agenda.

This is what I’ve been learning through the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics (CANSEE).  To bring some of that perspective to the Systems Thinking Ontario community, I invited Katie Kish and David Mallery for a conversation.

This video has been archived on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
October 18
(1h41m)
[20211018_ST-ON EcologicalEconomics_Kish_Mallery_FHD.m4v]
(FHD 1547kbps 1.19GB) [on the Internet Archive]

Audio downloadable onto mobile devices was transcoded from the video into MP3.

Audio
October 18
(1h41m)
[20211018_ST-ON EcologicalEconomics_Kish_Mallery.mp3]
(35.5MB)

Here is the content from the original announcement.

For this session, Katie Kish and David Mallery will lead a discussion on Ecological Economics in two parts.

(1) Where is Ecological Economics going with Systems Thinking?

  • In the “Critical Pluralism” paper (see below), the newest generation of EE scholars is portrayed as taking a regenerative approach to research and learning. This is best navigated with critical pluralistic approaches well-developed in systems thinking. The shift might be better supported through a wider set of systems tools, which might also have complementary effects on systems methodologies.
Read more (in a new tab)
  • RSS qoto.org/@daviding (Mastodon)

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    • Book review of ZHANG, Zailin (2008) “Traditional Chinese Philosophy as the Philosophy of the Body” | Robin R. Wang | 2009
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