Categories
cybernetics

On Describing Complex Systems

My experience, beyond an effervescing percolation of the very many sociotechnical instances with which both we and our reflexively teleological heuristics of symbolic communication (in and as language) aspire to epistemological closure, is that there is no simplest state or unified descriptive method available to us. Yes, we can iteratively refine taxonomies and (what become) […]

Categories
Organisation

Entropy: Organisational Change

Complex systems probabilistically tend (and trend) towards lowest energy cost, statistically median solutions. Once in place, these are natively and autonomously-oriented towards the reproduction of an environmental context as transmission medium for that emergent system or heuristic. Seeking alternate paths of divergent conceptual vocabulary or usefully unorthodox behavioural grammar is problematised not only by the […]

Categories
Philosophy

Negotiating Organisational Complexity

In an era of complex systems, negotiating organisational complexity is front and center. Large, stratified hierarchies have traditionally relied upon the necessary – or at least (and arguably) inevitable – Manichaean historical certainties that both define and constrain growth, innovation and resilience in this context. In some ways, traditional bureaucracy represents a logico-symbolic aspiration for […]

Categories
Philosophy

Organisational Unity

The integration of diversity within coherent unity (and as expressed or experienced across multiple technical and functional domains and disciplines) is a core problem of our era. One thing, and context agnostic, that large organisational systems rarely do well is to find effective balance between a need for control (as direction, guidance, intent) and the […]

Categories
Philosophy

Ontological Lego

“System differentiation is nothing more than the repetition within systems of the difference between system and environment.” Niklas Luhmann, ‘Social Systems’, Stanford University Press, 1995, p. 7. The abstractions are effectively the difference between a(ny) system and its environment, replicated and recursively reproduced as the self-inflation and fact that is that system. The abstraction that […]

Categories
Philosophy

AI: Big Data, Narrow Intelligence

Context: The False Philosophy Plaguing AI The (or at least a) problem here is that the ascendant technologies, frameworks, cultures and commercial incentives have inadvertently stumbled upon the constructive and recursively self-inflected sweet-spot through which those core assumptions themselves optimally self-propagate. If the incentives and rewards for developers, researchers and corporate or institutional entities find […]

Categories
Organisation

The Rudderless Reality of Human Systems

It always strikes me as being an astonishingly dark irony that the core and kernel of a psychologically reflexive desire to identify or assert centralised control systems in the world is quite plausibly the key causal factor that almost entirely problematises and renders such control as functionally impossible. This indicates a deeper psychological property and […]

Categories
business Organisation Philosophy

Organisational Competencies

Context: Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? The brilliant systems (i.e. organisational, operational) theorist Russ Ackoff once framed an uncannily similar issue along the lines that our organisational systems are in general exquisitely well-structured to continue producing precisely the wrong kind of thing. We might constructively decompose the problem into one not dissimilar […]

Categories
Philosophy

Bureaucratic Inertia

Organisations tend on the whole towards an inadvertent orientation for the reproduction of the policies and procedures (as axioms) that were originally cultivated to assist that organisation to perform its defining task, to address its asserted problem space. In this way, we observe the reproduction of procedural systems and behavioural, cognitive or otherwise normative grammars […]

Categories
culture

Diversity in Organisational Leadership

Monocultural or ideological hegemony in organisational leadership is a recipe for disaster. As a general observation, when organisational systems fall into overtly biased configurations and power symmetries, it is rarely a consequence of willful misdirection. From the interior surface of a half-mirrored labyrinth of self-validating justification and institutional logic, this kind of monocultural percolation may […]

Categories
Philosophy

Limitations of Artificial Intelligence Reflect Intrinsic Individual and Shared Failures

Context: Would you trust an AI Operative in the field? This (quote from the above article) is an assessment of limitations in current AI: “…tend to respond well to what they’ve been trained to detect, but responses can become erratic when confronted with unexpected circumstances…” is in fact, and perhaps not coincidentally, an operational and […]

Categories
Philosophy

Semantic Ambiguity

The dynamism and flexibility of language is simultaneously its strength and its weakness. This is a corollary of the abstract/logical and concrete/material extensibility that haunts technology as cyber (in)security but is by no means limited there. It is an irreducibly discontinuous symmetry of uncertainty that plagues all organisations and institutional contexts. The incessant invention of […]