Sunday, September 28, 2014

How To Do More Than Just Carp Uselessly From The Sidelines?

Complaints are, after all, an admission of weakness, and an appeal to the admitted victor.

Yes, these types of policy statements are a significant problem, since they attempt to reverse the meaning of insult and reason.

"It's an insult to human reason and to the legitimacy of this institution to suggest that anyone other than the [Assad] regime carried out this [Sarin gas] attack [in Syria]."
Obama address to UN General Assembly, Sept 24, 2013
And it gets worse, now that Obama is roped into talking about the Ukraine.

Time to reassess context? Let's back up to find a point of consensus. We're each bystanders lost somewhere in a rapidly growing culture, wondering how to catalyze Cultural Growth vs terminal mistakes. If answers were easy to find, we wouldn't need to think so hard.

How would YOU best catalyze coordinated growth in a LARGE set of interdependent automata?
So what do we actually DO about this disorganized context we're in, stuck with increasingly inept bureaucracies?

First off, what's the key friction?

My first guess is that there are now too many layers of credibility and missing communication between political offices and the various subsegments or subclasses of an electorate now exceeding 320 million current/emerging voters.

Call it a problem in marketing or propaganda or lack of honesty ... the fact is that it's not currently possible for any politician to convince a majority of the electorate to swallow any one, simplistic story. Using present methods alone, that defines organizational breakdown, and growing incoherence. There a better way, and we have to select it.

Honesty obviously seems like the safest course, but apparently those currently at the top haven't been trained or selected well enough to sense that. Hence we're 
squandering the very strength of a democracy - the ability of the whole to use, better/faster/sooner, a BIGGER PROPORTION of what its distributed components collectively know!
Seriously. What's the wisest way to start or select a reform movement able to chart a survival course that veers away from our current warning signs?

We have some past examples, but they're just that, examples from a different context.

Well before the start of the American Revolution, distributed efforts called "Committees of Correspondence" spontaneously formed, in anticipation of replacing the bureaucracy of Royal dictatorship. That was followed, later on, by the centralized "Federalist Papers," to articulate one focused version of an idea that had already grown to near consensus. Formal political parties didn't even appear until after the Declaration, Revolution, Constitution, and George Washington's first 2 terms in office!

One modest goal at this time? Anticipate 
replacing our current political parties with a more open process that acknowledges, generates, samples and leverages far more distributed feedback ... faster.
Many of my economist friends harp on the vague concept of capitalism being dead. My best interpretation of what they're trying to say is that a strategy of over-reliance on accumulating Static Capital is no longer agile enough, and that steps to even further embrace Dynamic Capital (coordination skills) are long overdue. 
Hoard coordination skills, not static capital?

Yet promoting even such a simple concept doesn't look likely, using ONLY our present institutions. My gut feeling is that, as always, we need a few NEW institutions to rapidly promote growth of methods allowing a bigger Policy Space and more Policy Agility.

When we're continuously tuning complex systems, there's an inevitable string of milestone goals -
finding the next subtle, buried tuning step that unleashes the most additional system agility.
It's all about the indirect subtlety.

Any serious suggestions about the LEAST number of subtle, new institutions to launch? I know that's a lot to ponder, but please comment or write, AFTER sleeping on it awhile.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What Part Of Distributed Tuning Of Some But Not All Complex Systems Do People Have A Mental Block About?

From CEO 'Takers' To CEO 'Makers': The Great Transformation

This article suggests that capitalism should transition it's key management metric from shareholder value to customer satisfaction. ..... Uhhh, be still my beating heart?

In an email, Casey Haskins states the obvious response by pointing out that for such complex tasks, "no SINGLE measure will work."

You'd think that would be obvious for everyone, but it's not! What is it about tuning of some but not all complex systems do people have a mental block about?

What happened to the concept of distributed solution sets for complex tasks? Don't stop doing nested polynomial N(i), wherever appropriate? That's what we do all the time, but just not consistently.

Ignorant citizens all over the country are quite comfortable using multiple parameters to tune engines, or card games or to "solve" video games. Then they turn around and can't yet apply the same logic to tempering their ideology, politics and policies.

Isn't diversity that what makes democracy so resilient? Cultural recombination is as useful as sexual recombination. What's missing? Just practice? Just practice at managing enough outcomes to know how many variables have to be juggled?

Sure, all people get experience handling a wide spectrum of processes which they presume depend upon one to many control or feedback parameters.

It seems overwhelmingly clear, however, that many of the presumptions people make about MANY of the processes they utilize are, in fact, grossly erroneous. The bulk of humans in a crowd - or mob - are remarkably cavalier about monitoring the variables which co-effect their personal-+-group outcomes.

The concepts of central or distributed CONTROL of experimental variables is ostensibly taught as a fundamental axiom for use of the scientific method ..... but I can tell you by experience that remarkably few supposed "scientists," ever actually learn that axiom in undergrad courses, graduate schools or other training programs. Even fewer citizens, scientists or not, ever get enough practical experience at managing massively parallel "combinatorial" experiments, of the sort faced daily by individuals, electorates, economies, nations and cultures. In combinatorial evolution, there is no control, only accelerating outcomes to surf. And only the agile aggregates survive.
It's ironic that attempted utilization of the scientific method itself has become largely formulized, as more of a ritual than an honest act of exploratory logic.

If formulization of the scientific method itself has become ritualized, why is anyone surprised that faux disciplines like our various policy ideologies are steadily drifting further from common sense or relevant reality?

The big question is what to do about this recognized problem.

Where are the key places to intervene?
What are the key methods for gracefully intervening?
What type of key people are able to use these methods to gracefully intervene at key places?
How do we get the right key people with key skills into key places in key institutions?

For get the Dem and GOP parties. Maybe we need a MACS party - for Multivariate Adaptive Common Sense? Jane and Joe Sixpack might sign up, if the party platform presented a combination of engine tuning, card games and computer games as their political platform. :(