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Niall Ferguson & Peter Schwartz, “Historian vs. Futurist on Human Progress”, Longnow Foundation, 2008/04/28

In thinking about the future, what can we learn from how historians think, versus how futurists think? … historian Niall Ferguson and futurist Peter Schwartz fire-hosed each other with enough ideas, frames of reference, ripostes, and eloquences to lead to

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  • Entropy: The Second Law of Thermodynamics | David L. Hawk | ST-ON 2021-03-14
    For espoused systems thinkers who are predisposed towards towards finding an equilibrium (or maybe one amongst multiple equilibria), a discussion about entropy can raise discomfort.  In the systems sciences, the second law of thermodynamics — as an entropic process — is often cited by the learned as a universal law applicable across physics, chemistry, biolo […]
  • Systems Thinking through Changes: An action learning guide | Canadian Digital Service | 2022-03-04
    In the 4th year of an espoused 10-year journey, the Systems Changes Learning Circle reached a major milestone.  With Code for Canada, the team conducted its first educational workshop based on the contextural action learning approach currently under review for publication.  The client was the Canadian Digital Service . The presentation outlining the basic id […]
  • Schizophrenia, Alcoholism, Double Binds: From Practice to System Theory | Gary S. Metcalf | ST-ON 2021-02-21
    Many might sequence systems thinking as (i) systems theory preceding (ii) systems practice.  This is not always the case.  There are situations where (i) systems practice has preceded (ii) systems theory, or the two advance in a tight learning loop.  Jack Ring once pointed out that applied science (engineering) precedes science, because human beings often ha […]
  • Living, Becoming, Process Philosophy: Systems Thinking in Time (ST-ON 2022-01-10)
    System thinking, coming from roots in mainstream Western philosophy, tends to orient towards (i) thinking in space,  before (ii) thinking in time.  Structure is an arrangement in space.  Process is an arrangement in time.  A critical systems perspective leads us to think about inclusion within boundaries.  Does this lead us to overlook boundaries in time? Li […]
  • Progress on Systems Changes Learning | CSRP Institute | 2022-11-07
    The Systems Changes Learning Circle, formed in January 1999, has since been meeting at least once every 3 weeks.  In many respects, the core group has exhibited great patience in our mutual learning towards an agenda of Rethinking Systems Thinking, from talks given in 2012, and published in 2013. In anticipation of a journal article due in the new year, an o […]
  • Ecological Economics and Systems Thinking | Katie Kish + David Mallery | (ST-ON 2021-10-18)
    In the 1980s, ecological economics seemed to be mostly economists extending their work towards environmental and resource concerns.  In the 2020s, ecological economics is seeing a new generation first schooled in other disciplines such as environmental studies or one of the social sciences, then coming into economics.  Programs that encourage the new perspec […]
  • 2022/04 Moments April 2022
    Spring sees art exhibitions opening up around Toronto, then a trip to the Bay Area in Northern California to visit family and friends.
  • 2022/03 Moments March 2022
    Emergence from hibernation at home, as winter gives way to spring
  • 2022/02 Moments February 2022
    Walking rather than bicycling in a colder winter this year, travel out of the neighbourhood by car.
  • 2022/01 Moments January 2022
    An indoor start to the year, with the combination of cold weather and pandemic restrictions coincident with writing a journal article to deadline at the end of the month.
  • 2021/12 Moments December 2021
    Shorter days with earlier sunsets, holiday season, and a trip via Vancouver, British Columbia, to visit with newlyweds in Oakland, California
  • 2021/11 Moments November 2021
    Academic research conferences in Brussels, visiting with friends, and sightseeing smaller towns in Belgium, as we've visited Brussels before.
  • Book review of ZHANG, Zailin (2008) “Traditional Chinese Philosophy as the Philosophy of the Body” | Robin R. Wang | 2009
    In this review of a philosophical work written in Chinese, a comparison is made between Chinese philosophy centering on the body, in comparison to Western philosopy centered on the mind. (I found a reference to this book, tracing back from Keekok Lee (2017) Chapter 9, footnote 8.
  • Approche systémique
    The translation from English "systems thinking" to French "la pensée systémique" misses meaning. "Approche systémique" has lineage to "Conférences Macy", "General System Theory (Bertalanffy)" and "Gregory Bateson"
  • The Arrogance of Humanism (1978/1981) David W. Ehrenfeld
    When one chooses a guiding philosophy of life  -- and the modern world has chosen humanism -- one becomes responsible for all the consequences that flow from that choice. (David W. Ehrenfeld, 1981)
  • The evolution of service systems to service ecosystems | Brozović and Tregua 2022
    “Rethinking Systems Thinking” (2013) is cited by #DaniloBrozović (U. Skövde), #MarcoTregua (U. Napoli Federico II): The level of complexity in current service ecosystems is rising, not least due to technology (Barile et al., 2020), with the effect of such increased complexity of service ecosystems being perceived as ‘simple’. On the other hand, some systems […]
  • 1995 Francois Jullien, The Propensity of Things
    Jullien views propensity in Chinese philosophy, as a counterpart to causality in Western philosophy.  Some unpacking of his writing in digests may be helpful. Jullien, François. 1995. The Propensity of Things: Toward a History of Efficacy in China. Translated by Janet Lloyd. Zone Books. Introduction How can we conceive of the dynamic in terms of the static, […]
  • Reformation and transformation (Ackoff 2003, 2010)
    In his system of system concepts, Russell Ackoff made the distinction between reformation and transformation in many of his lectures. Here are two written sources. From Redesigining Society (2003) … Systemic Transformation A system is transformed, as contrasted with reformed, when its structure or functions are changed fundamentally. Such changes are discont […]
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