Date: Dec 27, 2012 4:04 AM
Author: GS Chandy
Subject: Re: Would effective gun control laws be 'unacceptable social engineering'?
Kirby Urner posted Dec 26, 2012 11:52 PM (GSC's remarks interspersed):
> On Tue, Dec 25, 2012 at 10:22 PM, GS Chandy
> <email@example.com> wrote:
> > Responding to Kirby Urner's post (pasted below my
> signature for reference) of Dec 26, 2012 3:38 AM:
> > I agree with much that you state/claim. However, I
> believe the singular weakness of the 'Occupy'
> movement is that they do not help us much towards
> 'sustainable democracy' (or so I believe - as many of
> the Occupy realizations seems to die out in short
> order). On the other hand, 'nominal democracy' (as
> achieved in the US; the UK; in India; elsewhere)
> seemed to have achieved a sizable degree of
> sustainability - as already demonstrated at several
> locations worldwide. (By this, I am not denying the
> huge defects and deficiencies inbuilt, which the
> 'Occupy movements' have tried to overcome).
> I would consider that a fair criticism. Fairly early
> into the camping
> chapter (Alpha and Beta camps along Main St., also
> R2D2 -- Right to
> Dream Too -- which is ongoing on Burnside), I started
> referring to my
> wood beam framed home as "the Blue Tent". This was
> to strengthen the
> image of our Portland neighborhoods as no more than
> immigrant camps
> (refugees if you will) of some semi-permanence, as
> indicated by more
> use of stone foundations, concrete, asphalt. Our
> "tents" are made of
> wood, lathe and plaster (many from the early 1900s).
> We have a grid
> (so did OPDX, with a generator in the SE corner of
> Camp Alpha).
> Cities are distinguished from camps by their
> timeline, but then
> technology has not occupied all the niches in
> between. Human
> settlements may be graphed according to their levels
> of intended
> and/or actual permanency. A gold rush throws up
> shanty towns then
> leaves them in the dust. Commitments differ when the
> majority of the
> population is transient.
> How about a community of 550 personnel that's
> *scheduled* to exist for
> only 25 years? An undersea base? An community in a
> ecosystem, in need of study? Envision many such
> scientific research
> bases. You'll possibly have a pattern of
> long-termers (residents)
> versus rotators-through (tourists, visitors) with
> many gradations.
> I'm used to thinking this way as my own family have
> been invited
> visitors in many settlements, provided for when
> present, but not
> scheduled to stay indefinitely.
> I would claim that landlubbers are unused to such
> thinking (scheduled
> communities, set to expire) as their communities
> arise more
> spontaneously. Many ghost towns are left behind, but
> it's not
> scheduled. Exceptions would be construction for
> World Expos (World's
> Fairs), Olympics and construction sites in general.
> A small village
> or town may arise with the construction of a large
> project, but then
> goes away -- trailers often used.
> Sea-based communities have a stronger sense of
> beginning, middle, end
> (scheduled in advance) because ships don't last
> forever. They need
> repairs and ultimately recycling as scrap. Oil rigs
> likewise become
> useless though I'm not clear how the dead ones are
> disposed of. How
> are wrecked rigs dealt with? Towed to shore? Some
> may become
> platforms for new "virtual nations"...
> Back to Occupy, we-the-Quakers invited some of the
> leadership to our
> meetinghouse to discuss longer term plans and
> directions. Again, a
> meetinghouse is just a more permanent tent, a longer
The underlying issue is that we are in dire straits indeed - for a variety of reasons, primarily world human population and that population's demands on the limited available natural resources - and that we do not have much time (if we are not already too late to make a difference to the fate of this rather lovely world as we know it).
> Where am I going with this? That institutional
> structures have
> different time frames in which to operate.
We have very little time indeed - if any at all (see above).
> The feedback loop I'm working on includes funding
> institutions that
> channel to research institute "villages". Ordinary
> private parties,
> not necessarily "investors" or "investment bankers"
> have an
> opportunity to vote with their winnings.
The most urgent need is to try and get individuals at various locations to:
a) understand the realities underpinning our world (in particular the demands we make on planetary resources);
b) find out if we can continue to survive; (I am by nature an optimist on such issues; but I'm often in doubt about this);
c) learn how to do that;
d) implement our "hows" worldwide.
> I will conclude with the "credit wheel" model of an
> Picture two circles. One is your "income circle"
> which may be
> imagined as a pie chart showing all your income, both
> physical and
> metaphysical (don't have to use those terms --
> cultural income
The difficulty is that, over the past 2-3 centuries, our 'expenditure of natural resources' has been growing exponentially, at a rate that the planet simply cannot sustain. (Someone said, very truly: "Humankind's greatest weakness is that it has never understood the exponential function" [words to this effect]).
How do change this? If we do not 'adequately' resolve this issue, all else is moot (or even impossible or useless to try).
> The other circle is how you divide your time, your
> day, your
> attention, among activities / projects i.e. what do
> you consciously /
> unconsciously "DO" with your income. It's not just a
> "pass through".
> In between the two circles is the "personal
> workspace" (or maybe a big
> institution). The gap between the circles is the
> space of
> "value added".
*Individually* AND *institutionally* we just have to work out that 'income Vs. expenditure' cycle and its implications. Nothing else matters if we do not work this out. To my best understanding, we are not really going anywhere but down a very slippery slope towards an unimaginable abyss.
> > Do check out a OPMS as a practical tool to help
> develop something that could have the
> *sustainability* and wide replicability that are
> essential (with needed modifications, of course).
> > (The testing out of this claim of mine should be of
> interest to you as an empirical scientist).
> > GSC
> I've looked at OPMS and do agree that a sequence of
> questions, a flow
> sheet, is an important tool.
I believe you have not adequately *looked at* it. (See below).
The 'OPMS process' is NOT just a flow chart!!!
Various flow charts are indeed outcomes of working on any OPMS - but they are only the LEAST important of the possible outcomes.
The most important outcome is the possibility of each individual/group being able to discover his/ her/ their own weak or wrong ideas and to strengthen, correct or modify them, based on the inherent human capability we all possess - but which we alas little use in practice (because of the ingrained training we've all had through umpteen years of mind-misdevelopment in our extremely unhealthy educational and other societal systems).
The OPMS process (if actively used) can significantly enhance the possibility that we would see our ideas for what they really are, and then learn how to use them effectively to our chosen purposes. Check out "How a Child Learns" for some thoughts on these issues.
What happens, when one actually works out an OPMS on an issue - ANY issue!! is that one then needs to work out a whole slew of other interlinked 'One Page Management Systems', relating to 'local' (small individual) issues as well as to 'global' (ecosystemic) issues.
Let me try and give you an instance (with the reservation that this is only a quick abstract of a fairly long and drawn-out - and sometimes painful - process involving, on the one hand, continuing development of the OPMS as a model; continuing development and refinement of the model, etc, etc, and, on the other, actually doing various practical things in the world):
1. I conceived the OPMS way back in 1983, almost immediately following a series of workshops here in India that I had invited Warfield and several of his associates to conduct. Purpose of those workshops: "To expose various people in India to the 'systems ideas' that Warfield had pioneered - in particular that of 'looking at' a system in terms of the relationships (as perceived by stakeholders) between the factors (also as perceived by stakeholders) in any system of interest.
[I had originally met Warfield in 1979, when I had been trying to find out "how to use 'systems' in real-life issues" - and I found that his approach was the ONLY one available that gave us the possibility of doing this].
2. As soon as I conceived the 'OPMS' as a *usable* 'representation' of a 'system' (for 'action purposes'), I tried to apply it to a variety of relatively 'simple' issues, such as:
-- "To understand how to present the OPMS to a group"
-- "To understand how to present the OPMS to a group of 'system experts'";
-- "To create the right overhead slides for a presentation to XYZ" (PCs; PowerPoint; the OPMS prototype software; etc, etc were still a fairly long way off in the future);
-- "To convince group at Company ABC about OPMS" (My first workout in actually doing this for a specific group was a total disaster, which led me to:)
-- "To overcome the objections raised by PQR..."
-- Etc, etc, etc.
(The applications made were, at some level, successsful enough to lead me to believe I had a sound model).
By November 1983 I had fixed on one single Mission, to which all else became 'sub'-Missions:
-- "To propagate and apply OPMS in India and abroad"
("'Sub'-Missions"? For instance, this letter to you is the realization of a 'sub'-Mission to my main Mission - and I am able to keep track of its fairly complex argument effectively because of the OPMS worked out in my head: I could NEVER have written it without having that Mission ready worked out in my mind - to its current extent. The time taken to write the letter was far less than it a weak response have taken without my backing OPMS in my mind. I just had to think of the Mission, "To respond to Kirby" - and almost immediately all of the arguments came to mind: of course, it took a bit longer to actually write this post down).
Soon after this Mission was conceived, I realized that I needed to do various things in order to make it happen, for instance:
-- "To develop the OPMS software": as I was not adequately knowledgeable about software design, this demanded that I take up the Mission:
-- "To get together a software team to develop the OPMS software"; which then required:
-- "To launch a Company to develop OPMS and market it", which immediately demanded:
-- "To find sufficient finances to launch and operate a Company for OPMS; (which led to a Company called 'Interactive LogicWare Pvt. Ltd - ILW - which was where I developed the prototype OPMS software).
Various adventures (and misadventures!) later, I've reached where I am now. It should be noted that each of these above-noted Missions was integrated with the continuing process of developing and refining OPMS as a 'process concept', testing it out on a variety of Missions, etc, etc. (Some of these Missions - and what lies behind them - are described at the PowerPoint presentation: "Some Missions of interest", which is attached to my message at http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?threadID=2419536 ).
> Filling these out for a public archive
> and doing several generations of revision, might be a
It is, indeed, a long process - but only the first time around: it takes about 2 months to construct an initial OPMS for any Mission to an adequate level where one can feel, "Yes, I understand the process and I can do the next one easily, by myself".
Nothing I can do about that.
But do remember that it also took all of us several months (or much longer) to learn how, for instance, "to walk"!
(Once one ever works out any OPMS - one can almost instantaneously arrive at an appropriate [properly weighed and evaluated] - decision on any issue that may ever arise).
I also claim that to learn to use an OPMS is to learn to think 'systemically' for the first time.
It is also an educational process whereby one trains one's own mind. In due course - as a matter of fact within a couple of months (as the OPMS for any Mission is developed) which can also be done without access to the OPMS software - one gets to the stage where time is NOT ever a constraint at all for decision-making - regardless of the complexity of the situation demanding the decsiion.
> Again, time frame is a primary constraint when you're
> looking at
> decision-making. Is a decision required in five
> years or five
> minutes? The worry around thermo-nuclear breakdown
> is a president is
> awakened by an urgent call at 2 AM and is called upon
> to decide within
> seconds what to do. No time for OPMS.
See above. The OPMS is simply a crystallization of the kind of mind processes we all go through even as children learning to sit up, stand up, walk, etc, any of which activities are in fact more complex skills than anything taught at Harvard or MIT - but EVERY child learns how to perform them (as a matter of course)! A child may take months to learn how to walk - but once he or she has learned how to do that, he/ she is able to do it instantaneously in any situation arising. [See "How a Child Learns", attached herewith]
IF there were ever a President awakened at 2 A.M. for an urgent decision on any issue whatsoever (including launching a missile with a nuclear bomb) - and if that President had adequately worked out his OPMS before that - he would make his decision with all the speed and certitude required. His decision would the correct one for the situation.
MUCH more importantly - he would most likely not ever allow the world to get to the stage where he could be awakened at 2 AM for a 'nuclear decision'!
Actually, there is always PLENTY of time for OPMS (if ever we get to the stage of learning how to use our own minds effectively.
> Humans stressed to this degree aren't guaranteed to
> make wise
> decisions. We like to give them more time. A lot of
> processes are about applying brakes, slowing the
> about the Blue Tent and inviting Occupy leaders to a
> meetinghouse (350+ years history of processing,
> dealing with issues,
> e.g. slavery), I was (we were) changing the time
> constraint. How
> might we harness this fast flash-in-a-pan community
> and integrate it
> into a slower but no less real process? That was a
> question. Answer:
> I've been sharing some of them i.e. lets switch
> h gears to look at
> longer term camps. Arab Spring personnel share our
> interest. Helping
> refugees is a priority.
> That nation-state system has its complement, a
> shadowy world of
> quasi-states, semi-states, virtual states. You may
> have been
> following the action in Canada. This morning,
> sitting around the
> table of the Pauling House, we're discussing similar
> issues: treaty
> rights and Native Americans. Elizabeth Furse,
> originally South
> African, and 3x congresswoman (in the US legislature)
> is quite well
> versed in this area, her South African heritage
> adding perspective (she joined us the other day).
> My funding institutions designs are casino-friendly
> on many levels.
> Forging connections between Occupy and the NavAm
> leadership might be a
> quick synopsis of my agenda. I'm less reliant on
> Anonymous as a
> battle arm (cyber-war). Quakers have their own
> However there are bridges from both subcultures to a
> common geekdom,
> where democracy is again of concern. Geeks are
> appropriately paranoid
> and understand the need to keep secrets. The UNIX
> ecosystem (now
> POSIX) is in itself a way of organizing a
> cyber-community, by means of
> root, creating users, letting users password protect
> and chmod their
I claim that you would discover - if you ever were to work out an OPMS on ANY issue whatsoever - that, for instance, the whole free software movement (or the Internet, for that matter) is in fact an outgrowth of 'OPMS-like thinking'.
> The Web itself is one of the grandest institutions,
> as a synthesis of
> many protocols. Those interested in the future of
> democracy will
> study it.
I agree. See below.
> That includes public schools with a
> serious interest in
> contributing (back to credit wheel diagram).
Indeed. I agree almost completely with your sentiments about schools. In particular, you will understand, if you ever work out a 'sample OPMS' for any Mission, that all it actually does is to lead one to a deeper (and more usable) appreciation of the transitive relationship "CONTRIBUTES TO". (See "The Power of the Word", attached). In conventional circumstances, we do not ever realize the real 'action power' of this verb (or of its 'negative', "HINDERS").
But how do I know you have not 'adequately looked at the OPMS'? You would have, mainly on your own, discovered ALL the linkages I discuss above (unfortunately my discussion is only in prose due to the limitations imposed by existing 'discussion systems').
Message was edited by: GS Chandy
Message was edited by: GS Chandy