Wednesday, January 18, 2012

OpenOperations "Visual Economy" HighSchool Challenge



Open Operations is issuing a Challenge to EVERY HIGH SCHOOL IN THE USA, heck, in the world, to develop and present simple system visualizations in two categories:

1) Visual model for how Personnel System Methods make an Adaptive Organization.

2) Visual models for how Credit, currency, criminology & policy Methods make a Scalable National Economy. (5 subsections)

For more details, see below.


Why this challenge, now?  In many domain areas, we have endless criticism of things that are wrong, and and many illogical things to correct.  Take CREDIT, CURRENCY, CRIMINOLOGY AND FISCAL/TAX POLICY in general.   Despite growing numbers of critics, gridlock abounds, and OUR COUNTRY IS BECOMING A LESS RATHER THAN A MORE PERFECT UNION.  Identifying what's wrong is no longer rate limiting.  Our biggest problem is in coordinating coherent responses to what are still very distributed perceptions.  Our group-awareness of context is lagging context change, and is never adequately close to being coherent.

What to do?  Target aggregate context awareness.  How?  Here's our idea.

I just had a long talk with Peter Groen of CosiTech about the evolution of domain-specific exaqmples of "campaign momentum."

Peter is an IT person focused on distributing enabling IT tools, starting with OpenSource Health IT. He's basically the co-father of the VA's ViSTA open-source healthcare system.

I tried to impress upon Peter that there's a developmental step - widely discussed in biology - that is prior to coherent demand for tools.  Peter grasped it, and agreed in principle.

In health, for example, the bulk of our population had, after decades of education, arrived at a coherent view of personal & public health as systems.

The elements of that context awareness?  Recognition of a system, with components like vitamins, trace minerals, organs, blood pressure, infectious agents, immune responses, draining swamps, clean water, epidemiology, etc, etc.   Few now argue about the details, and instead share a common view.

With that common view came coherent context awareness.  Subsequently, citizens & clinicians began recognizing and crating tools to fill holes where the context model demanded data.  Health IT tools became obviously demanded, as one obligatory part of SYSTEM INSTRUMENTATION, but only once group awareness of a system was established.

Similarly, specific types of navigation tools proliferated AFTER more people realized that the world was round and circled the sun, not before.  For personal/public health, the response was rapidly spreading demand for all the diagnostic-tracking tools we know today, from charting of diets/exercise/toxins/nutrition all the way up to shareable electronic health records & statistics from public databases.

In the case of other systems?  We're just beginning to build coherent public awareness.  Take:
  military personnel systems;
  currency systems;
  public policy systems ... .

For these areas, THERE IS NO COHERENT CONTEXT MODEL!  Yet!

Why? First, we're not teaching the prior need for coherent context awareness to students.  Second, we don't provide enough ways for youth to PRACTICE the overriding return-on-coordination that scales up to trump any & all heroic but unscalable local practices.  Why memorize data BEFORE knowing what it's for?  Most data is irrelevant, most of the time.   Data can be generated or retrieved upon demand.  Adaptation primarily involves creating & capturing new methods for determining what tiny fraction of data matters, when it finally matters.

This is a distributed problem where adults have all the relevant data, but where AMERICA DOES NOT KNOW WHAT AMERICA KNOWS.   Worse yet, we don't know how little we need to know!   When that occurs, it's up to youth to come up with their own, coherent group-awareness of group-context.

Since DATA IS MEANINGLESS WITHOUT CONTEXT, we must first build group context-awareness before trying to utilize all the data we've been producing like projectile vomit.

Ergo, for neglected domains where coordination is now rate-limiting, our absolute first need is to disseminate simple models for visualizing & picturing system and system-component models.  

In our current context, we need simple models letting any Trudy, Nick or Harriet visualize how personnel (not just personal) methods make an organization, and how credit/currency/criminology policy methods make a national economy.  

With an iterative approach to such frameworks, people can fit in more detailed visualizations of sub-systems like credit systems, currency systems, criminology systems, and policy systems ... that are actually coherent visualizations of actual systems, rather than uncoordinated and unscalable ideologies. 
   The necessary visualization models need to be as simple as the currently popular but absolutely culturally worthless mobile-phone video games. :)

We have an emerging electorate that visualizes Grand Theft Auto better than they do Grand Theft Economy!   We can fix that.  The way to fix it soonest is to go through a logical process.

1) CREATE multiple, simple visualizations of context.
     Is the world flat or round?   
     Is an economy a dynamic equilibrium among distributed, conflicting, forces .... or a centrally commanded feudal system of, by & for the 1%, narrow-minded ideologues?

2) ADEQUATELY DISTRIBUTE competing, summary visualizations of as many models as possible.  Let juries of our peers - in Open Source courts or "selection markets" - converge to what is or isn't coherent.

3) CONVERGE to adequately shared context awareness. Then let the explosion of Open Source tools begin.  

If we can have Open Source Health tools & practices, then we can also have Open Source Policy tools & practices ... but only after achieving adequately shared public awareness of an economy as a coherent system.  If we as land and sea-faring nomads can invent celestial navigation tools and practices, then we, as Context Nomads, can also invent tools for navigating any context whatsoever.  To navigate, you first have to model which signs are most useful, and then monitor and leverage them appropriately.

Hence, Operations Institute, the OpenOperations Forum and Cosi Open Business & Economics are collaborating on a Challenge to EVERY HIGH SCHOOL IN THE USA, heck, in the world, to develop and present simple system visualizations in two categories:

1) Visual model for how Personnel System Methods make an Adaptive Organization.

2) Visual model for how Credit, currency, criminology & policy Methods make a Scalable National Economy.
Upon reflection, it seems necessary to divide scalable economics into 5, overall stages, especially for students being introduced to scalable systems theory.
     a) credit operations      b) monetary operations      c) regulatory operations      d) national policy operations [public ambitions]      e) a->d combined (adjusted, actual or "dynamic" national policy).

All models submitted for review must include a metric representing the sum "quality of distributed decision-making."   That metric will drive coherency as a selection criteria, thereby building in adaptive rate as the continuous goal, regardless of any pattern of context inputs.

All team members must be named, and - to practice coherent coordination - at least 4 disciplines must be represented.  For example: art student, choreography student, physics student, engineering student, etc, etc.

We suggest that all visualizations be submitted as YouTube videos and/or mobile phone apps.  We'll work with partners to create appropriate channels.

Open Operations Forum and collaborators will begin developing a distributed network of rewards for participating student teams.  Our initial approach will be to connect students to professions in any & all fields targeted above, and also to professionals in those fields who contribute by participation.   Thereby, participation result will be its own rewards.

Those with additional suggestions for further student incentives are free to contact us.