29 November, 2011
9 February, 2011
Love is not simple. It’s painfully messy and yet as addictive as a drug. Now I get this. It is messy so it’s not lineal, from a system’s point of view. Things happens that makes other things happens that affects the first things. In a simple way love starts at a sight, whether love happens or not, a sight leads to an emotion. That simple emotion can be good or bad… that would be the stock of the system. Sometimes it fills with “good” emotions untill it reaches love, or it drains with “bad” emotions. When emotions reaches a certain point, let’s call it “interest” it’s expected to be an encounter… maybe even a digital encounter such as a web broadcast. That encounter generates some appealing that feedback the emotion itself. Now there’s an undeveloped subsystem that I call “Past History”. Past History would be some sort of stock by itself. It feeds with good and bad encounters that provoke certain perception, a multiplying factor that either maximize or minimize the emotion. Now the tricky thing is that there’s the same thing for the other person (OP). Some in that cybernetic world with feedback and control (those loops below) there’s the subject itself. In a system matter, that’s called cybernetics of second order or “cybernetics of cybernetics”: the study of a system controlled by feedbacks and feedforwards in which the subject is immerse.
Of course this is just a sketch. Love, again, is not that simple.
Edit (29/12/11): Note that polarity is intentionally unclear.
2 February, 2011
For where I stand, I knew my purpose of living when I was 16. We had to do social work in our school in order to graduate. My school was a catholic school from the Dominics Order. The Order had a nursery outside the city, and students must have done their social work there working with elder people. Except for those 10 students who achieved more academic success, for they were elected to conduct classes to cleaning personnel for a near mall. Mid-40′s people who never graduate from school. I taught english. And in those adults, eager for knowledge with immense gratitude for our work, I learned that I wanted to be a teacher.
And then I was 19, a failed undergrad student of Industrial Engineering. Failed at math and physics. But not because of stupidity nor lack of understanding, but because of complete lack of interest. I have met the joys of social life and studying was not my resolution. However this failure of student came to his third year with deep regret of what he had become for it costed his relationships. And in that regret and as a gift of life, I received a course in Operations Research, and when I understood the magnitude, the art and the joy to model I wanted to cry for wasting those math classes and those physics classes and then I engaged with full commitment to my study. And I rocked it. I was good, I was excellent at it. I realised that I was meant to be an architect, a modeller, a teacher yes! To teach modelling.
Is it wrong that me, who failed once in his academic life, wants to teach? I got better, things got better. I really rocked OR, and Systems Thinking, and Stochastic Processes and System Dynamics… I was really good, more than good. But am I wrong? My fear is not to fail again, but the ghost of it hunts me every time.
But that aside, I start a project today. A modelling project in System Dynamics. My intentions will be later revealed, but for now I leave this post with a text that went through my chest. I felt the author, a man I admire and hope to ever know. This text offers a glimpse of the importance of Policy Design in System Dynamics and it is magnificent well explained.
From John Sterman in his lecture for his well achieved Jay Wright Forrester Prize in 2002: “All models are wrong: reflections on becoming a systems scientist”
While it’s hard to define what system dynamics is, I don’t have any trouble answering why it is valuable. As the world changes ever faster, thoughtful leaders increasingly recognize that we are not only failing to solve the persistent problems we face, but are in fact causing them. All too often, well-intentioned efforts to solve pressing problems create unanticipated ‘‘side effects.’’ Our decisions provoke reactions we did not foresee. Today’s solutions become tomorrow’s problems. The result is policy resistance, the tendency for interventions to be defeated by the response of the system to the intervention itself. From California’s failed electricity reforms, to road building programs that create suburban sprawl and actually increase traffic congestion, to pathogens that evolve resistance to antibiotics, our best efforts to solve problems often make them worse._At the root of this phenomenon lies the narrow, event-oriented, reductionist worldview most people live by. We have been trained to see the world as a series of events, to view our situation as the result of forces outside ourselves, forces largely unpredictable and uncontrollable. The concept of unanticipated events and ‘‘side effects’’ I just mentioned provides a good illustration. People frequently talk about unexpected surprises and side effects as if they were a feature of reality. A doctor may say, ‘‘The patient was responding well to treatment, but died from unanticipated side effects.’’ Our political leaders blame recession on unanticipated shocks such as corporate fraud or terrorism._Managers blame any difficulty on events outside their firms and (they want us to believe) outside their control, as for example when Cisco Systems blamed their record $2.2 billion inventory writeoff and massive layoffs on ‘‘reduced capital spending and the global macroeconomic environment, which resulted in the reduction in our workforce and inventory charges we announced.’’ (Cisco Systems 2001 Annual Report). In fact, there is compelling evidence that, like other firms in the high-tech/telecommunications sector, Cisco’s own policies—from the design of its supply chain to pricing, production planning, and even the credit terms it offered customers—were central to the inflation and implosion of the great demand bubble (Goncalves 2002; Shi 2002)._There are no side effects—only effects. Those we thought of in advance, the ones we like, we call the main, or intended, effects, and take credit for them. The ones we didn’t anticipate, the ones that came around and bit us in the rear—those are the ‘‘side effects’’. When we point to outside shocks and side effects to excuse the failure of our policies, we think we are describing a capricious and unpredictable reality. In fact, we are highlighting the limitations of our mental models. System dynamics helps us expand the boundaries of our mental models so that we become aware of and take responsibility for the feedbacks created by our decisions.
16 December, 2010
So yeah… someday I think I want cheesy pink romance. To be an A-List kinda guy with a brain (probably holding a ph.d). For now I think I’m having a great time with my life. In this movie that’s my life, these are the boring scenes where the main character watches rain dropping outside the window while evolving. Peace non the less, it doesn’t hurt.
By the way I felt like sharing. Welcome to the box, first readers.
17 September, 2010
“Your paradigm is so intrinsic to your mental process that you are hardly aware of its existence, until you try to communicate with someone with a different paradigm.” D. Meadows.
There are a few people in the world I’d like to meet. There’s only one I can think of, I’m never going to. A pioneering scientist, thinker and teacher that never doubt to tell the truth.
I only know you for “Limits of growth”. But I know enough to think of you as a Legend.
22 August, 2010
This is a presentation I gave to my dearest teacher at some time in the University. The ppt version is complete with animations and well explained by me. Even though it lacks of text, the intention is clear. And aside some misspelling errors I enjoyed it deeply.
5 July, 2010
I kind of like when in life colors and music takes over. Sadness comes with a scale of greys and a violin, while lust and pleasure saturates of red. Theres a kinesthetic learning in all of us… some of you might percieve it stronger and clearer. I don’t.
I do imagine life as a film. I’m the main character of course, but who isn’t in its own movie? Life plays a song that fits the moment everytime. The camera focus in what’s relevant to make it more dramatic. It’s all about drama. It saturates of color when there’s a strong feeling within, and I don’t see it because you see… I’m in it.
Even when one looks in the past, the image is as saturated as you want it to be. The time I told my mother the truth can look shiny and clear once every since… Of course it’s a lie. It wasn’t shiny because I coudn’t see well. It was distornioated, unfocused. There was no music that day, silence made it more shocking to the audience. The lips of us moved a couple of times but you couldn’t hear anything. How else do you place a vicious atmosphere in a flick. The camera focused in her most of the time as she cried out her deception. It only shot me once while I look down and said the words.
I don’t regret though. I can feel something will eventually change. I believe in it. That’s why I keep rolling the camera.
As I carry with that scene one year later, the movie keeps playing in the same scale of gray… sometimes it gets a little blue. I’d love to ask the writers for a new direction. What if we achieve drama trough romance? It’d be lovely to see some brighter colors around.
I guess… in those rough times one could only hope to be de director of its own film. I’ll tell you later how the movie goes on.