In recent decades, American politics has been dominated, at least rhetorically, by a battle over the size of government. But that is not what the next few decades of our politics will be about. With the frontiers of the state roughly fixed, the issues that will define our major debates will concern the complexity ofContinue reading “Ideological Justification”
Category Archives: System Theory
Missed Opportunity, the Failed Legacy of John Boyd
I’ve recently had reason to look back at John Boyd‘s work. This has led me to review his “legacy.” Even today his writings are only available through a network of self-styled acolytes and has been enshrined as the rationale behind a lot of very dangerous and very silly thinking that’s “informed” U. S. military adventuresContinue reading “Missed Opportunity, the Failed Legacy of John Boyd”
There is a world of difference between a map and a story. The power of the reductivist world-view resides in the ruthless insistence that everything can be boiled down and that signs are equivalent to reality. Whatever doesn’t fit is thrown away as an externality or dismissed in disgust as chaotic. The rush to efficiency is not to be slowed because of any “messy” “complications.”
Berger’s “Moment of Cubism,” part III
Berger’s essay explodes with the import of rediscovery of what had been lost in a stratification of layers sedimented over as the years passed. When I look at where I now stand, I see this essay and its insights as essential elements of my foundations. Berger shows us that there is a curious parallel here to our moment in the close synchrony between their moment of realization and the latent consequences of mounting conditions that made it too late to avoid their tragedy.
Berger’s “The Moment of Cubism” part II
They began to see complexity not as a negative, as the merely inconveniently complicated; but as a fact; an essential attribute of our condition; something that must be confronted squarely, not simply wished away. This can only happen through the direct experience of complexity. This cannot happen without a ground for experience.
Not very clever thoughts on Systems Theory
Hi Antonio and Horizons of Significance readers, First off, thanks for the opportunity to engage in what is – for me at least – an important and useful discussion. I wish I had some more fruitful comments to make! For those of you who’ve come in late, this is my attempt to respond to Antonio’sContinue reading “Not very clever thoughts on Systems Theory”
The Bad Taste of Clever
System Theory was another of those things, like speaking “prose,” that once it was described to me I realized I’ve been doing it for a long time. There are many fascinating insights to be found there. In the end, I found the “practice” of Systems Theory to be a dead end.
The Trouble with Movements
The student protests in Britain have captured our imaginations. It’s been a long time since a movement of social protest has occurred in the West. Many of us hunger for the imagery and the projected trajectory such events seem to prophecy. As soon as the conversation moves beyond the righteousness of the calls to rejectContinue reading “The Trouble with Movements”
It’s not fair! It’s too everything!
In this case these are geneticists and they are reacting to findings that inheritance isn’t as simple as they’d wished it to be. The genome isn’t a set of instructions, a simple algorithm that leads to a predestined result, that can be predicted and manipulated at will if you own the shiny equipment paid for by people made ill with the diseases brought on by a culture that puts everything in the world into making shiny equipment.
a Presentation placing Economics in context
New Economy, New Wealth This post breaks with the usual pattern here. Instead of a stand-alone essay, this link. Instead of vaporous ruminations, a direct series of statements. Instead of private musings, someone else’s charts and graphs. Two main reasons for this: motive and opportunity. I’ve been focusing on my new project, Boats for DifficultContinue reading “a Presentation placing Economics in context”
A Shared Foundation of Experience
It seems crazy to be thinking about boats at a time like this. Not just with winter closing in, but within this climate of growing uncertainty as the imminence of collapse emerges into our everyday lives. The old patterns don’t work, and whether we are upset by this, or inwardly glad to see cracks inContinue reading “A Shared Foundation of Experience”
And now they govern…
The “inevitability” felt in such times grows out of an allegiance to system itself, over an above self-interest, even the instinct for survival. This trait is held up as a laudable example. This is what creates “heroes” and allows us to fight for “higher” purposes. We all see through this when an adversary claims this authority, but mostly we fall for it when it comes from “our side.”