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Immortal since Apr 23, 2010
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Emergent day to you. 2010-04-22 is my knowmad birthday. Think I understood the word. More to emerge.
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    The human species is rapidly and indisputably moving towards the technological singularity. The cadence of the flow of information and innovation in...

    The Total Library
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    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.


    Wave Riders have been with us always, usually unnoticed, or if noticed then treated as a curious exception to the rule. And indeed it often seemed that they were playing by very different rules. There was doubtless a time when we could afford to smile sympathetically at the behavior of the Wave Riders in our midst. When good things happened (the difficult was handled with dispatch, and the impossible achieved with a little more time), we could scratch our heads and wonder at the fabulous run of luck which the Wave Rider obviously enjoyed. It would never occur to us that there might actually be a method in their madness. In fact such thoughts could not occur to us if only because virtually all of our training and experience told us otherwise. Wave Riders were clearly the exception, and we all knew the proper way to do business, what ever that business might be. The critical point was to seize and maintain control in the manner of the Great Man Leader. Only then could good and useful things happen. Or so many of us thought.


    More, in the words of Harrison Owen:

    The times have changed. The anomalous behavior of the Wave Rider holds a critical clue to new ways of surviving, and indeed thriving, in our chaotic world, enabling all of us to achieve levels of excellence and high performance previously unknown.

    The search for high performance has typically been a major concern of businesses and other organizations in their quest for efficiency and effectiveness. However, the stakes have risen dramatically. Achieving optimum levels of human performance is no longer just an issue of organizational effectiveness, but now a matter of global survival. The list of threatening possibilities is virtually without end: Global Warming, Nuclear Disaster, Pandemics of various sorts, to name a few. Any one of these, taken by itself, would constitute a real problem, but everything is coming together in a dizzying maelstrom of complex interaction. Even just thinking about all of this is sufficient to produce the maximum headache. The good news is that for the past several millennia, human beings have successfully negotiated the terrain. Not always perfectly, and perhaps less than elegantly, but so far we have made it. There are, however, more than a few disturbing signs that our good luck may be about to change, signs which appear as organizational dysfunction, and individual fatigue and disorientation.

    The simple fact of the matter is that our institutions, major and minor, are stretched to the breaking point. Even with the best efforts in the world, the stuff accumulating in the Global Inbox is getting out of hand. The impact on our individual lives is equally obvious and severe. Stress, breakdown, alienation, exhaustion – we know them all. Rather like the mad Queen in Alice and Wonderland, we are discovering that the faster we go, the "behinder" we get.

    Doubtless the end is not yet, and for sure we have a few more tricks up our sleeves. However, the time may well have come when the consideration of alternatives would be useful. Typically, we have attempted to deal with our multiple dilemmas by trying harder and harder to do more and more of what we have always done. If our organizations lack purpose and power, it is obviously time to reorganize – and reorganize again. And when events show every indication of spinning into oblivion, we redouble our efforts to assert, or regain, control – layering controllers upon controllers upon controls. I propose that it is not that we are doing something wrong, but rather that we are doing the wrong thing. Or put somewhat differently: Going the way we are going we are not likely to reach our destination. It is time for a change of course.

    The argument of the book is that we must now recognize that we, our organizations, as indeed the entire cosmos – are all self organizing systems. Not just a little bit, not just in some special part, but from beginning to end, top to bottom. It is all self-organization. The implications of this recognition, should it prove to be valid, are two fold (at least). First, a large part of what we currently devote a good deal of time and energy to – organizing things – is wasted effort, for our systems, left to their own devices, will take care of that business pretty much all by themselves. Secondly, our efforts at organization and control are not only of questionable value, but also destructive. By imposing our view of organization on a self-organizing system we essentially throw a spanner in the works, thereby reducing organizational function, and our own levels of performance.

    Stated in more positive terms, were we to recognize, and fully appreciate, the power of self-organization we could be relieved of an enormous task, freeing time and energy for the many other pressing issues of our day. Even better, we might learn how to leverage the power of self-organization for our benefit, thereby achieving levels of performance which presently lie beyond our wildest dreams. We will ride this primordial power, compensating for our own powerlessness. Wave Riders for sure.


    Preserved 2011-11-06. More...

    Image credit: Joan Thewlis CC-BY-NC-SA

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    Monica Anderson discusses the ongoing paradigm shift - the "Holistic Shift" - which started in the life sciences and is spreading to the remaining disciplines.

    Model Free Methods (also known as Holistic Methods) are an increasingly common approach used on "the remaining hard problems", including problems in the domain of "AI" - Problems that require intelligence. She illustrates this using a Model Free approach to the NetFlix Challenge.

    The ideas we are talking about are that the brain works using Intuition and Prediction, not Logic; that Intelligence is 99% Intuition; that Intuition based methods allow short-term prediction in Bizarre problem domains; that they also allow Discovery of Semantics from mere observations of chains of events such as those in spatiotemporal sequences; that artificial systems based on these ideas can learn and understand languages and partially understand the world using only text as input

    My rough estimate is that over a million person-years has been spent on AI and closely related topics worldwide

    Monica Anderson
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