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Comments on CONCERNS ABOUT NES.htm (all items)
Document uploaded 08-17-2005 06:38 PM ET (US)

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  Spam messages 45-44 deleted by QuickTopic 11-07-2019 08:16 AM
Larry VictorPerson was signed in when posted
03:24 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 33

Once I started a project to get "top minds" to list their top ten books, top ten authors, top ten formative events, etc. Maybe, for some we need to go beyond the top ten. When I start a book, I first look at the references - who is included and who is missing. Very enlightening. Major gaps.

I really need to do this for myself.

Cybernetics is a field I avoided for a long time, as its origins were with Norbert Wiener in 1947 (talk began at the Macey Conferences in 1942 -- astounding events during WWII). It was then "the science of control and communication in the animal and in the machine". "Control" turned me off - but it was the science of feedback and flows. It grew and branched. According to Heniz von Foerster, FIRST Order Cybernetics is of OBSERVED SYSTEMS, while SECOND Order Cybernetics is of OBSERVING SYSTEMS.

"Cybernetics offers access to an interaction with complex systems in order that they may appear simple; to and with apparently simple systems in order that their complexity may be revealed." -- From a large book: THE CYBERNETICS OF CYBERNETICS (1974, 1995 second edition), which I recieved when attending a small, intimate conference in Chicago in honor of von Foerster and attended by all major players still alive.

Cybernetics is a discipline that I have actually read very little in. I have the book above, but have read only 1/4 of the articles.

One aspect I often refer to is Ross Ashby's Second Law of Cybernetics or the Law of Requisite Variety:

It is a constraining on information flows and systems as the law of energy conservation is on physical systems. Yet, social systems and institutions are frequently designed which openly violate this law.

One issue we need to highlight is RECENCY vs RELEVANCY. Much old literature is of high value today, often greater than more recent publications on the same topics. However, because of an evolution of style, and often inclusion of issues that are no longer relevant, these texts are almost universally ignored. One massive project for a mature NES is to digitize, edit, and make accessible the literature of the past that remains of high relevance today.

When you talk about flows, and balances of flows - explorations emergent from earlier cybernetics may be of value. As I mentioned, Autopoietic Theory of Maturana and Varela may be relevant. On the other hand, the basic ideas can be formulated independent of the complex background of their origins, and applied. Most of the authors of these deeply abstract concepts had their start in very detailed research - for decades.

About the time we connected I was attempting to put together writings on Worlds, Semiotic Worlds, sems, etc. I do believe my distinction has high utility potential. This will be one topic for Learning Expeditions.

I believe we have a number of potential books to write - both in expansive hypertext format and in print publishable formats. Advances are quite possible. We might explore creating SEAFing teams to assist us - and who would get a % of any profits from sales. This needs to explored parallel to work on NES. Somehow, when I back up, all this seems to weave together into different patterns that erase many of old categories.

We may find that others have already written much of what we might contribute in A BETTER DEBATE: A BETTER WAY TO GOVERN. Our contemporary difficulty is not that there aren't many good alternative positions eloquently presented - they are blocked from only a very small percent. BUT, there are other positions not written about or discussed anywhere - one being my proposal of NU sidestepping transforming the old "New World Order". The frame of fixing/healing/reforming is almost universal.

Are you aware that the major overhaul project pushed on the US Military by Rumsfeld is called TRANSFORMATION. I watched 2 hours of PBS the other night that gave me some scary insights that I will need to share somewhere else.

02:04 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 33
Some day I will ask you to recommend a book list that would help me in my continued formative development. All those you cite here sound very interesting although, I have no background as to how cybernetics (of whatever order) would apply. Maybe that is where I should start.

I have used spherical to distinquish what I am talking about from the common linear view of how things work. I do not think of it as actually forming a sphere. Rather, if a structure is composed of the relationships between component orgs, then what is missing from most discussions of change is how the structure affects the flows of "energy" through the system. You once said that the concept of energy is used as a metaphor. In this usage, it would include all those things that actually flow such as goods, services, money, information and opportunity. The flows within a whole system are ultimately cycles (spherical). To affect change, you must change the structure in a way that changes the flow.

I am becoming more comfortable with your use of and emphasis on sems. When I was working, it was my habit to read the national and world news in the paper every morning and then get ready for court. Since I stopped working, I have been starting with the opinion pages and now, often, do not get as far as the news itself. A combination of that habit, your request that I write down my thoughts and an earlier comment about parallel tracks, led me to consider the following possibility:

It may be possible to write a book about what we are discussing that would be attractive to a publisher in the current market. (possibly get us an advance?). It seems to me that, given the choice between two extreme views, the American people will vote conservative. It was mentioned on the creative cultural website that one of the characteristics of such a person is that they like neither the Republicans nor the Democrats. We could write a book along the lines of "A Better Debate: A Better way to Govern".

"The strategy of ever decreasing taxes to force an ever shrinking government should now be discredited in the same way as the strategy of government providing solutions for all problems has been discredited. It is time to take the debate beyond which of these two failed strategies we should pursue. It is time to look at those things on which we agree and pursue a new strategy."

"For example, we should acknowledge that we want government to do certain things and we should be willing to be taxed for the reasonable cost of government to do those things . . ."

Anyway, I am not suggesting that we drop everything and change course. I believe that NES has more potential in the long run. However, if we complete the NES sems you are working on and still have trouble attracting interest, that might be another approach that could use to attract attention.
Larry VictorPerson was signed in when posted
10:44 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 33
/m38 I do believe that I had comprehended you properly re "Spherical Integration". Part of our difficulty may have to do with which aspect of "spherical" you attend to. The surface, the volume enclosed, the boundary, the closed nature of the surface, the center and various radii.

I see your Spherical Integration as sharing with Toffler's prosumption (producer/consumer = prosumer) and with Maturana and Varela's Autopoietic Living Systems (which create all their own components). From a process perspective, Cybernetics (especially Second Order) is appropriate.

Processes don't always translate well with scale change. Local space in Einstein's General Relativity theory is flat and Euclidean -- as is the surface in our local environs. We have to expand scale until curvature is apparant. Even in logic, my interpretation of Godel is that logic is only valid in the small, but becomes "circular" when the scale is expanded too greatly - his issue with "completeness".

In my ideal, where our material needs were met, then we could do away with concepts such as "ownership". We would be known to be the producer/author - but not the "owner".

One of my models was to develop Colab Studio as the money making enterprize and NUEDU would not have to be concerned with issues of comparative worth and effort.

But, we don't live in that ideal world -- but the retired population may approach it, but only temporarily.

I feel the Spherical Integration you seek is contaminated by having to compensate some efforts and not others. In NES, do we really need an exchange system mediated by something akin to "money"?

I expect that we probably will, which is OK. But, when I step back, I don't see anything absolute that distinguishes those humans who work with attention and effort using scripts (even for diversion) from those other humans who work with attention and effort creating scripts and evaluating. In NES, one pays cash, the other earns cash. But, this will soon become confused when CPers start using scripts and Users start creating scripts.

Eventually, the Spherical Integration becomes cycles of Scripting/Performing that results in bootstrapping and uplifting. If scripting/performing can result in REEEE GALDEE for participants, they will stay, they will increase their involvement, they will spread the word and recruit others. Supernovae - the rapid creator and distributor of atoms in galaxies!

But, we will need resouces to eat, and to buy computers and cable access. Here is where money making enterprizes can emerge as projects from within NES. What would it take for NES to make its own hardware from scratch? Have enough income to buy the necessary factories, or have them made.

Is there a way to JUMP START NES - from a financial perspective? Remember, there will be a lot of collaborative labor needed BEFORE NES is viable. Happenings in the larger world may help or may hinder.

Is there something missing from what I said that yet distinguishes it from your concept of Spherical Integration?

Well, that is a bit over 8 hours today -- I am almost getting back to working "full time". Larry
Edited 08-20-2005 10:54 PM
Larry VictorPerson was signed in when posted
10:08 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 4
/m37 You have a great skill, competency, to work with REEEE within complex systems of people -- and that has been sufficient for you in your past challenges. Yet, you had to attend to details of the law, and to protocols and forms, and to some schedules. What you did in working with people was in the context of the legal sems.

What may be needed now, is to participate in creating a new body of sems - the Sems of NES. Legislation are sems, and in a sense scripts. It always puzzled me why they are all called "LAWS" - as more are scripts and guidelines than DOS AND DON'TS.

You rightly "fear" plans that box one in, oppressive plans.

I see cycles of creating scaffolding by FUTURING, and then people will organize within that scaffolding. Some of what they will do is composing scripts that may lead to modification and/or creation of more scaffolding. If we can really make a sharp distinction between Semiotic Structures and Gross Physical Structures (including the very small, the nano things, and biological forms) we can possible weave a fancy dance.

The importance of sems, is that they don't change and can be perceived by all. I resist making analogy with legal sems, because human deception is being more and more successful in finding ways of distorting intepretation. In some sense our legal sems are too outmoded and useless - and the ways they do now change is not the best.

I don't believe that it is necessary that you get deep into creating sems, or scripts. Your talents of orchestrating and guiding human behavior, in the context of sems that are being created by NES, may be where you should devote your time. But, someone must be creating sems -- the scripts that will enable NES to become viable -- and you would have to be familiar with much of them -- even provide direction if not actual text (except where we need legal sems).

I grok the dance of the organic and inorganic, of emergence and transformation, of cycles and spirals, as well as of linear progressions. A new born baby, examined outside the context of the human family, would be judged a failure, not destined to survive. Humankind is that baby, and there is no family. But there is awesome potential and deep spiritual drives. We face the convergence of unintentional negative consequences of millennia of successes. We didn't know any better - but we do today.

I do believe we can arrive at a good balance between our different competencies. We each may need to learn some new skills. but, we will find that we need competencies that neither of us have. We will create a team that will have all the requisite competencies. Your skills will be essential in forming that team.
Edited 08-20-2005 10:11 PM
Larry VictorPerson was signed in when posted
07:14 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 1
/m36 I have copy/pasted Comment 36 as an independent QuickDoc, where I will comment to specific parts.

It can be found at:

Larry -- this is an experiment.
03:46 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 33
In classical economics a business is said to be vertically integrated when it incorporates a number of steps in the processing of raw materials to finished product. A business is said to be horizontally integrated when it incorporates a number of subsidiaries in a variety of business fields. I am trying to describe an organization where what is produced is fed back into the system itself and is not an output.

The organizational level of spherical integration most common today is the level of whole economies (we are approaching only one) or at the level of the family where there is production for family consumption.

NES incorporates spherical aspects. If the idea of web based educational services was proposed from a linear (input -> output) perspective, a corporation would be formed to raise money to hire software designers and content providers to develop the product and when the product was developed, a sales staff would be hired to go around to retirement communities and sell the product. The company might put money into a continuous development of content but the presure would always be to limit content cost while at the same time retaining and attracting users.

NES takes a different approach. Rather than employees paid to produce product, CPs are owners of what they produce. As owners, they have incentive to continually improve the quality of the product so that it retains and attracts users. They have incentive to serve as evaluators and SEAFer to retain and attract users. The more users enjoy the product the more CPs can earn and the more incentive they have to provide the service that attracts users. Product is not produced and sold, it grows as the act of production and consumption cycles.

I am trying to think of some questions to test your grasp of this distinction between linear (vertical, horizontal) and spherical. I have heard something similar from people attempting to "align the interests of stakeholders". I think those people understand the need to design spherically but I have yet to see them apply the concept successfully as all attempts I have seen are constrained by the linear model.

I have used the concept of spherical integration to address two issues. First, I apply the concept of production and consumption cycles to identify the "structure" of existing systems. (The global economy is a set of relationships between component orgs). It is important to understand what changes you can make in the existing structure without threatening those who obtain power and wealth through that structure. Second, I am interested in applying the concept to create new orgs that can escape the limitations imposed by the existing structure. There is only so much you can do if you are limited to competing for throughput in the existing structure.

Still have not thought of any pertinent questions. If I have not yet been clear, please ask more questions. As I say, all words have linear meanings so maybe the best I will ever be able to do is give examples that may not fully convey the meaning that I have given the concept.
02:49 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 4
By posting to each other we are, in a sense, assigning each other the task of reading and commenting.

The task you are asking of me, which I accept to the best of my ability, is to describe what I am seeing as the path from where we are to a viable NES. As I said above, that is not my habit and it is becoming clear to me that it will take effort to change my habit. To some extent I have not worried about the details that we will face as we tread that path. I assume that we will address challenges as we face them. To another extent, it seems to me, that we will not be able to plan the path, rather we will need to keep trying different approaches until such time as we find one that works. The one that works may result from the accident of which resources we acquire and in what order. All of that is no excuse for keeping you, as my collaborator, in the dark as to my thinking.

Right now I am thinking that I should find your comment asking me to explain spherical integration and see if I can do that concept justice. That will take some time and effort. I know exactly why you are frustrated. I cannot yet "see" the set of relationships that you mean when you talk about a NU world or a NU human.

Let me take a shot then I have some chores to do. I will continue to think through your other comments. I have read them all and they each deserve a thoughtful response.
02:14 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 1
I have the overall feeling that I want to see more detail, and to explore the details of some of my suggestions.

I was thinking in terms of 1) experiment with scripting and see if that generated any interest on O.net 2) using the scripts to try to attract new members who have a generalist perspective and then figure out a way to interest them in NES 3) refine the executive summary and post it as discussion topic on O.net and 4) as we identified interested parties, find a way to integrate whatever talent and commitment those parties offer into the "effort" to take NES to viability. I'm not sure you can call that a "plan" its more like developing opportunities to acquire resources to develop a plan.

I will try to be more considerate and try to verbalize what I am thinking. I am not in the habit of doing that. I "see" sets of relationships in functioning whole systems and I generally do not try to describe them as any words I could use also have linear meanings. It has been my habit to only try to describe those linear aspects that people need to understand to do their part.

I proposed that the SEAFing and ColabStudio aspects of NES could be integrated or made autonomous -- and am looking for some discussion on those options.

I have been toying with the idea that the intitial participants would be offered an inside track (pole position) for earning money as CPs in NES in exchange for providing the SEAFing aspects. I thought we might restructure and pay only for Content but give some other compensation for those providing evaluation (SEAFing) at different levels. (internal currency) It crossed my mind that those with high evaluation feedback scores could constitute an advisory counsel with a vote based on their score.

As to the Colabstudios, I am in favor of developing better intelligent tools for collaboration. That is not an area of my expertise. You may need to describe for me how you see the availability of this technology changing the quality of collaboration rather than just its efficiency. I am assuming that developing colabstudios will cost money and therefore assigned it to the list of tasks to be looked into at such time as we have money.

I have heard you when you talk about on demand video reply of conversations, voice to text and text to voice. I can "see" that capability being useful for 1) developing ideas in a collaborative process and 2) conveying ideas and testing for formative development.
Larry VictorPerson was signed in when posted
08:29 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 4
/m28 As you read some of my comments, you may comprehend my reservations about O.net -- although I don't have any alternative to suggest -- other than promoting our proposal on multiple sites.

I still sense a large gap between what activity we can generate on O.net and the details I envision needed in getting NES viable.

I am open to have some tasks requested of me -- as sometimes following a script you compose may be the best way for me to learn what you want to share with me. By posting to each other we are, in a sense, assigning each other the task of reading and commenting.

You "Managing Dynamic Complexity" strategy is interesting. this is somehow how I see SysNets working. The global network will generate an organized system of tasks (mostly with scripts or PPAs). Then, SEAFWEB will try to match tasks with persons competent to perform the tasks. If there are tasks no one wants to do, but are essential, they one must design a PARTY or some highly enjoyable activity during which the unpleasant task is performed.

It may be that others are having editing privledge difficulties within Chart House. I have yet to try again.

I have just complete 6.5 hours of straight commenting -- and I can't believe I could sit here so long. My dogs haven't even asked for their cookies, and I must take them on their walk - and then myself getting down to making dinner.

Hope you enjoy yourself with my comments tomorrow, and that we can move to even better comprehend each other.
Larry VictorPerson was signed in when posted
07:59 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 44
/m16 My personal metamorphosis was a more realistic concept when I was younger. I would basically like by behavior to be more in step with my ideas -- to shed much of my prior conditioning. I expect that REEEE GALDEE will be sufficient.

I too have learned much by experience (there are experiences outside the business world) -- and from my many non successes at ventures. I have learned much about my fellow humans from their reactions to my attempts to share.

I am ready to proceed. I am just alerting you to an emotional resistance. You will probably not have to change your lifestyle as we work on NES. I will need to, to become much more REEEE. I expect that I will eventually have to move -- and I don't want to pack and unpack many more times. I would shift to a 5th Wheel, for the rest of my life, if I could afford one.

My vision is to live in an intentional community with persons working on NES and related ventures, consistent with the NU Strategy. Living outside the urban tumors, having to drive very seldom. To have a powerful Colab Studio available. My biggest changes will be learning to actively collaborate - having been a loner most of my life - not by choice, but because I could find few people to resonate with. I have a few good friends and am not a hermit, but I do live alone and go for days without seeing anyone. At times it appears bizarre.

But, I am ready to make personal life changes which will be required by our ventures. Your not only resonating with me, but also willing to take the initiative on the business front is very helpful to me.

Larry VictorPerson was signed in when posted
07:43 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 43
/m15 I will select some dates and times for phone conversations. I will wait until I have response to these comments. Do you prefer that we start without an agenda and just see where the conversation moves us?

Sorry to hear of your father's passing. Losing relationships is never easy.

I have free long distance on my cell - and no minutes after 7pm or on weekends. But, I can call in the 8-5 window if that is best for you.

Are you considering getting a camrecorder - then we could have video dialog - and I can even record the dialog.
Larry VictorPerson was signed in when posted
07:36 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 41
/m14 From my perspective, none (or very little) of my recent writings to you have been what I consider "theoretical". They are explicitly related to the details involved in implementation. That you felt that they could be pursued later is formative feedback to me that you put them in the theoretical category -- which may be because I may use theoretical context to embed my concrete questions.

All I know about your "business" plan is "theoretical". Maybe I need to just butt out of attempting to contribute to the business aspects of our joint venture.

Larry VictorPerson was signed in when posted
07:27 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 39
/m13 What is the "ground work" you are doing?
I also agree that some version of NES is the direction we should go -- but today there are so many variations of NES n my mind all consistent with what I have read that has been written by you, that I don't know what you are actually doing.

I am willing to jump in and work with you on Chart House. This evening I will try to establish my editing priveledges. I have also been playing with sketching some scripts -- I've done some surfing in Science Watch, for example.

Do you hope to identify people who interact with your two charts as candidates to help SEAF our efforts. Why do you feel this is sufficient?

What specifically are you doing "to attract participants to NES"? I agree that we need to agree before we approach Art.

I am beginning to feel that I need to design some formative evaluation for you about my concept of "details". I may start with that later tonight or tomorrow -- but I also look to your responses to these comments.

There is no need to slow down, unless you feel the need for a break. We might add a few more items to our work agenda.
Larry VictorPerson was signed in when posted
07:12 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 33
/m12 I discovered the NanoCorp site a few years back, and was impressed by the concept - but I didn't spend much time on the site. A few months ago I went back and found that one founder of the site had ceased contributing, did a Google on his name and discovered Omidyar.Net. I don't remember his name. It appeared to me that O.net was attempting to develop a model to SEAF the NanoCorp idea.

I appear to be a dunce, or my mind is decaying at 70. But I can't grasp the specifics of your concept of "spherically integrated design", SID, and what you include in your conception of "linear efforts". You have commented extensively, but I seem to keep ending up with MY interpretation of what you mean. I need some formative evaluation from you. Can you compose a few questions of me to test how well I comprehend you on this distinction. Are there any unique aspects of your concept of SID that are beyond the conventional issues about the limits of linear design?

Somehow I have been moving along believing that I was being consistent with your concept of "spherically integrated design" -- although I don't remember (not meaning it wasn't used) the term "integrated" used before.

I will attempt to draft a script for a learning expedition, for us to mutually compose. But, I first need to read your responses to what I am writing now.
07:07 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 4
This is a great discussion and I can hardly wait for your comments to my previous comments. However, my wife will be home soon and dinner isn't ready yet. I hope to reply in full tomorrow.
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