Pattern language is not for wicked problems, said Max Jacobson, coauthor with Christopher Alexander of the 1977 A Pattern Language: Towns, Building, Construction. In addition, the conventional definition of an Alexandrian pattern as “a solution to a problem in context” when applied to social change might better use the term “intervention”, rather than “solu […]
Christopher Alexander (pattern languages), Horst Rittel (wicked problems) and C. West Churchman (the systems approach) were neighbours on campus at U.C. Berkeley in the 1960s and 1970s. What might we synthesize from their joint wisdom?
In a book series celebrating C. West Churchman, John P. van Gigch digests (and portends to extend) The Systems Approach and its Enemies. On enemies … 4.1 A MATTER OF DEFINITIONS: ADVERSARIES VERSUS ENEMIES I note the similarity/difference between the words ‘enemy’ and ‘adversary.’ Other authors use the word adversary (ies) to denote all the […]
A public policy professor, Clinton J. Andrews, looks at how The Systems Approach may encounter problems in skepticism from engineering practice. The systems approach is one general way of going about tackling a problem; some others include the experimental, political, moral, religious, and aesthetic approaches [1,p. 5], . The systems approach to a problem […]
An informed view of the Systems Approach from 1982. (Richard Mattessich was a well-respected professor at UBC when I started in the doctoral program in 1982, but I wouldn’t get to appreciate the Systems Approach as described by C. West Churchman until the ISSS 1998 meeting). In his latest work [The Systems Approach and its […]
Program evaluation can be approached from the philanthropic perspective. In searching for ways to give money effectively, donors have many options and confront a wide range of theories about how to achieve impact. It is possible to think about these theories as falling into three main categories: theories of change, theories of leverage, and theories […]
From the program evaluation community, with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation … The program logic model is defined as a picture of how your organization does its work – the theory and assumptions underlying the program. A program logic model links outcomes (both short- and long-term) with program activities/processes and the theoretical assumptions/principles of t […]
On a multi-boot Linux computer where Ubuntu has already been installed, adding on Manjaro Linux installs its own version of Grub (that I’ll call Arch-Grub) that is different but compatible with that previously installed (that I’ll call Debian-Grub). Updating Ubuntu to a newer version (or installing an older version) restores Debian-Grub, replacing the workin […]
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