Friday, November 23, 2012

Organized "Systems" Cannot Grow by Decreasing Use of Their Own Liquidity Tools

commentary by Roger Erickson

Consider the "Austerity Now" drumbeat still rising in Europe, and then think outside isolated perspective of any one speciality blindly groping an elephantine context.

Do the specialists calling for austerity even know that there their calls produce contradictory signals in the perspectives of other, invaluable segments of their own population?

"Two less steel factories in every country, and two less chickens in every pot! Yeah!!"

Cameron tells EU leaders to stop budget 'tinkering' and instead impose big cuts

Cameron digs in to protect UK rebate [rebate? freeze the rebate from a shrinking budget?  dead-on-arrival negotiating ploy?]

Tata Steel is to axe 900 jobs and shut a dozen plants in the UK in a bid to cut costs after it revealed it had tumbled into the red earlier this month.

It's already evident that when perspectives from inseparable system processes become isolated, their inevitable re-collision invariably sounds much like a script from Alice in Blunderland, especially the paragraph on things sometimes done twice before lunch.

Fuel for poets, comedians and cynics also result. What's the inverse of building the British Empire? Self-degradation? Dismantling, and taking others down with you? Burning the furniture in hovels below Camelot? A burning sewer beneath a hill?

Humor aside, let's imagine stepping back far enough to get a full view of the entire group of blind specialists groping this context and shouting out their blindly local advice.

The first, obvious lesson from our encompassing view is that continuous growth of an organized "system" cannot occur by decreasing use of it's liquidity metrics. That's logic 101.

In the isolated sub-context seen by most economists and politicians, disuse of liquidity metrics equates to hoarding fiat currency, aka sequestering 'profit' margins. Yet in the perspective of all system analysts, liquidity as a concept is inseparable from quality (including tempo) of feedback distribution, which is what greases the quality of distributed decision-making in supposedly organized systems.

Astute readers may immediately jump to the conclusion that Political Economics is too important to be left to the combination of politicians and academic economists? Ya think? The isolated views of politicians and economists are meaningless unless shaped by the full range of operational feedback (aka, context models), from all other sub-processes existing in a given economy and culture. A context model = the full body of group feedback, it's that simple.  We have no higher authority available to appeal to.  Just ourselves.

By now it should also be blindingly obvious that every process is too important to be left to the presumed process owners, especially in any group growing by either diversity or population. That's a truism precisely because liquidity for decision-making in such groups is mediated by increasingly context-specific re-use of the same language signals. Given that data is meaningless without context, no specialist part of a complex system can ever - by definition - access or wield the inter-dependency data required for full-group tuning, aka policy agility - unless they receive adequate samplings of full-group feedback, in real-time.

Just as unlimited fiat currency supplies accurate records of transaction liquidity, "unlimited cross feedback" in group discourse constitutes "awareness liquidity," and supplies accurate instantiation of Situational Agility. That's why optimal organization =  OpenSource.  To be blunt, agile group actions track our rate of updating group-wide Situational Awareness (aka, NOT isolating process management from timely group feedback). Distributed Situational Awareness only occurs with adequate feedback liquidity, constantly cutting across all sub-context-specific wording, taxonomies and semantic triggers to continuously rebuild and drive just-adequate Group Agility.

The very act of restricting semantic liquidity - aka, leaving sub-processes to presumed process owners - precludes system tuning. Leaving political economics to politicians and economists was not only doomed from the start, it was always an act of outright imbecility. Without scalability of council interactions, every culture quickly degrades to action patterns driven only by mob ignorance.

Every collection of highly organized tribes fusing into a super-culture must, by definition, get collectively dumber before new methods allow them to regain and then actually grow group smarts. Re-growing expanded group intelligence always starts with complete redesign of feedback channels, bandwidth, and methods for relaxing information flow patterns to states first to deliver just-adequate Adaptive Rate performance.  [After all, adequate Situational Awareness today is better than perfect historical awareness next year.]

Survival depends on developing distributed methods for doing all of the above faster every year. In human cultures, one small part of that involves methods for adjusting lean, coherent language taxonomies and managing local variance of semantic triggers.

In a population as large and dynamic as ours, we cannot survive unless an informed electorate is aware of different patterns of things every year, is acutely responsive to the moment to moment demand to alter it's Situational Awareness, and is also aware of tools and methods for tuning and leveraging it's own, distributed awareness.

Having said all that, a simple question results. Has anyone ever seen a single taxonomic model providing rapid, population-wide visualization of Public Policy Perceptions? Without models for increasingly rapid tracking of degenerate use of terms by diverse sub-audiences, we will, with absolute certainty, grow into an unstable mob, not a growing nation.

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