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Topic: Re: should students watch this video series?: Dimensions
(originally in French)

Replies: 1   Last Post: Sep 1, 2014 10:49 PM

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kirby urner

Posts: 3,690
Registered: 11/29/05
Re: should students watch this video series?: Dimensions (originally in French)
Posted: Sep 1, 2014 1:27 PM
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On Mon, Sep 1, 2014 at 4:23 AM, GS Chandy <> wrote:

> Kirby Urner (KU) posted Aug 31, 2014 10:29 PM (
> - GSC's remarks
> interspersed:

> >
> > I'm thinking the confusion here is you see my short
> > Action Plans and think I'm trying to get something
> > started right here on math-teach. You say my Action
> > Plans need more elements.
> >

> No. You're thinking wrong. It's NOT the number of elements that makes for
> an effective (or even adequate) Action Plan.
> There is no confusion whatsoever on my side. There is some confusion on
> yours.
> It is NOT because of any 'shortage of elements' in your 'Action Plans'
> that I claim they are not Action Plans.

I think they're more summaries of action plans in being retrospective in
some cases.

For example E.J. Applewhite had a mission, to bring more attention to
Synergetics by Bucky Fuller, with whom he collaborated on the
Macmillan-published books (per 'Cosmic Fishing' his own book on that
(not forgetting Dr. Arthur Loeb)

An action plan was to develop a visible public award and have it given out
to people making authentic contributions to the Synergetics corpus, in the
wake of its publication.

The plan was implemented, the award given, and the newsletter of the
Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) contained the news. Interest was
thereby generated.

Another action plan was to encourage the widespread adoption of Sir Harold
Kroto's suggestion that this newly discovered C60 molecule be named

As Sir Harold has written to me by email (5/27/13):


... how the name Buckminsterfullerene arose

The sequence of events is as follows: Smalley and I wrote the
original draft of the discovery manuscript together. At one
point the question arose at to what the title should be.
Smalley asked me to suggest a possible title. I responded
on the spot with these words: "C sixty colon space
Buckminsterfullerene". Smalley typed this in exactly and to
my memory made little or no comment and I guess did
not think too much about it at the time.


Here is another mission statement I learned from watching 'Prohibition'
(the documentary) by Ken Burns:

Mission: to prohibit the industrial scale manufacture and distribution of
alcohol by Constitutional Amendment within the US jurisdiction

Action Plan: to introduce the Federal Income Tax as an alternative way to
gain significant revenue thereby weaning Uncle Sam (US) off liquor taxes

Again, this action plan was implemented and the mission was accomplished in
the form of the 18th amendment to the US Constitution.

> I was, in fact, just thinking of preparing a document 'titled "What is an
> Action Plan?" or "How to create an Action Plan", with a couple of
> illustrative examples of real Action Plans when your post arrived. Those
> illustrative Action Plans would necessarily have to be shown as
> attachments, because there is no way that a real Action Plan for a complex
> Mission can be shown in the pure text mode we are limited to here at
> Math-teach.
> Then I realised that you probably would not bother to read any attached
> document (for whatever reason), so what would be the point of doing that?

I do prefer world readable documents on the web as easier to share and
discuss in a public forum, versus attachments.

> The real reason why your so-called 'Action Plans' are not really Action
> Plans is because they do not indicate an 'Action Path' to the goal. Let me
> try to give you an illustration.
> In your post dt. Aug 29, 2014 8:19 AM (
>, you've put up
> various Missions and 'Action Plans' to accomplish them. Here is one such:
> Mission: to free more people from thinking like 1800s Economists
> Action Plan: promulgate GST as an alternative to obsolete Economics
> Are you seriously trying to claim that general systems theory (GST) has
> NOT "been promulgated as an alternative to an obsolete Economics"???
> It's not Kirby Urner alone who's had this excellent thought, but more or
> less EVERY SINGLE PERSON who became excited about the potential that GST
> had to help us understand the real world, do difficult things in the real
> world, etc, - practically anyone and everyone who ever became even the
> least interested in GST has thought,
> "Why not use GST to 'fix' our broken economic systems?"

I suppose I wasn't clear on what I meant by "an alternative to obsolete

I meant as a major in college and as a PhD program, students should be
allowed to credential in GST versus Econ given aspirations to join
management teams.

When HR looks out over a vista for new recruits, seeing GST on a person's
resume should be relevant and useful information in some cases.

So I'm more speaking in terms of degree programs than in terms of "fixing
broken economic systems".

Of course I'm interested in upgrading eco-systems, as well as green field
development (starting from scratch).

Portland State University's PhD program in Systems Science has been a good
first approximation to what I'm talking about, but twas a rare experiment
few academic institutions have tried.

The action plan would be to engage in more such experimental programs and
to continue looking at GST as a resume / employment credential when
recruiting to higher management.


All of which brings up the question of meaning within namespaces.

As a fellow stakeholder in GST, you obviously want to understand my action
plans for its promulgation but when you read my pithy summaries you may
leap to untoward conclusions.

That's what I need to remember as a downside of being pithy: my action
plans are more subject to misinterpretation as a function of over-brevity.

Rumsfeld may have faced this too, with those memos. What do we mean by
"torture" for example. The devil is in the details as they say.

That's why I'm glad I can point to the historical record to unpack,
retrospectively, in more detail, what's been happening, in terms of getting
the Bucky Fuller stuff out there by following actionable plans within an
Agile management framework (all buzzwords I know).

Given you're distancing this application of GST from OPMS, I may seek to
foster closer ties with the Agile camp going forward.

> > Our main difference I think is you're seeing anemic
> > attempts to get something going, whereas I'm looking
> > back over a long campaign and seeing a lot was
> > accomplished.
> >

> That's NOT our main difference.
> What you claim is "a lot" is just a useful beginning that could help get
> you over the 'machine view of the world', no more.

We're down to a simple disagreement then. I can live with that.



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