Nasrudin found a weary falcon sitting one day on his window

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Nasrudin found a weary falcon sitting one day on his window
COGNITIVEEDGE
Contextual complexity
Almaden Institute
Nasrudin found a weary falcon sitting one day
on his window-sill.
He had never seen a bird like this before.
“You poor thing”, he said, “how ever were you to
allowed to get into this state?”
He clipped the falcon’s talons and cut its beak
straight, and trimmed its feathers.
“Now you look more like a bird”, said Nasrudin
Shah, Idries (1985) The exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin
& The subtleties of the Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin. London: Octagon Press
Copyright © 2007 Cognitive Edge. All Rights Reserved.
2
The taxi & the map
“The Knowledge”
1851 to current day
320 standard routes
25K streets
Points of public interest
Order of theatres
30% success rate
2-4 years
Enlarged Hippocampus
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3
The context
The sterility of social science & the confusion of correlation with
causation
Key aspects of complex adaptive systems
They are very sensitive to initial starting conditions
They have feedback loops
The are retrospectively coherent (which gives us a major headache)
They exist far from equilibrium
Scalability & phase shifts
Emergent properties & the relationship of the whole to the parts
Simulation should not be confused with prediction
You cannot engineer a ecology, but …
You can destroy it by trying to
However you can influence its evolution
But we need new approaches to discovering meaning
And there are no rules of engagement ……
Moving from stability to resilience: the necessary degree of inefficiency
needed to ensure effectiveness
Humans are not ants …..
… neither are they computers
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4
… meeting them half way
Brains are analogue, computers are digital
Brains use content addressable memory
The brain is massively parallel not modular and serial
Processing is not fixed in the brain, there is no system clock
Short term memory is not like RAM
No hardware/software distinction can be made with respect to
brain/mind
Synapses are far more complex than electrical logic gates
Processing & memory are performed in the same components in the
brain
The brain is a self organizing system
Brains have bodies
http://www.cognitive-edge.com/2007/03/_only_if_we_meet_them_half_way.php
Copyright © 2007 Cognitive Edge. All Rights Reserved.
5
The criticality of context
"...one theory of memory suggests
that memories are composed of
linked sensory fragments -- odors,
sights, sounds, and even body
positions. Simply activating one or
more of those fragments makes the
entire memory more likely to be
retrieved”
Cognitive Daily
"A good metaphor is something
even the police should keep an eye
on."
G.C. Lichtenberg
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Ritual & identity
Wales 27 England 18
Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but Thou art mighty;
Hold me with Thy powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
Feed me till I want no more;
Feed me till I want no more.
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7
Knowledge (I-space adapted)
Codified
abstract
Symbolic
ymbo
olic
lic
analyzed
naly
lyzeed
Narrative
arra
ati v
articulated
ticula
at
Un-codified
concrete
EEmbodied
mbod
mbo
od
eexperienced
xperie
Undiffused
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Diffused
8
Narrative & complexity
Narrative is a basic patterning device of
human interaction
The shift to metadata: recognizing
cognitive bias
Serendipitous encounter & inquiry
Cross cultural understanding
Current applications
Risk Assessment & Horizon Scanning
Pre-hypothesis market research
Ethical auditing & cultural mapping
Employee satisfaction surveys
Impact measurement & monitoring
Weak signal detection
Social cpmputing
“Paton’s brain” & KM systems
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9
Knowledge is context dependent
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10
Sensing patterns in metadata
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11
Sensing patterns in metadata
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Sensing patterns in metadata
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13
Diversity/Conflict 01.07-04.07
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14
Connectivity/Reach 01.07-04.07
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15
Morality/Sophistication 06.05-12.06
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It is now impossible for the third and youngest
son of any king, if he should embark on a quest
which has so far claimed his older brothers, not to
succeed. Stories don’t care who takes part in
them. All that matters is that the story gets told,
that the story repeats. Or, if you prefer to think of
it like this: stories are a parasitical life form,
warping lives in the service only of the story itself.
Terry Pratchett (1991) Witches abroad
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17
The landscape of management
Complex
Output
Computational
Complexity
a simulation
Naturalising
Sense-making
an ecology
Simple
Output
Process
Engineering
a machine
Systems
Dynamics
an organism
Simple Input
Complex Input
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In the idealistic approach, the leaders of an
organisation set out an ideal future state that they wish to
achieve, identify the gap between the ideal and their
perception of the present, and seek to close it. This is
common not only to process-based theory but also to
practice that follows the general heading of the “learning
organisation”. Naturalistic approaches, by contrast, seek
to understand a sufficiency of the present in order to act to
stimulate evolution of the system. Once such stimulation is
made, monitoring of emergent patterns becomes a critical
activity so that desired patterns can be supported and
undesired patterns disrupted. The organisation thus
evolves to a future that was unknowable in advance, but is
more contextually appropriate when discovered
Kurtz & Snowden
Bramble Bushes in a Thicket
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19
The Cynefin framework
Bounded diversity
Humans can move systems
to equilibrium states, and do
so for good reason
“Multi-ontology sensemaking
Example applications
Strategy planning
Conflict resolution
Search and monitoring of
incoming data
Project management and
resource allocation
Innovation programs
Tool selection & application
Copyright © 2007 Cognitive Edge. All Rights Reserved.
Complex Complicated
P-S-R
S-A-R
Monitor
Analysis
Chaotic
A-S-R
Innovate
Simple
S-C-R
Doctrine
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IBM: Initial Questions
Are the fundamental laws for complex systems ? i.e. 2nd law
of thermodynamics
What are the techniques to model and discern system level
properties to and from properties of parts and interactions?
From systems biology, complexity science, control theory,
physics…
How to determine the complexity in a state of a system?
Can we anticipate catastrophic failures?
How to engineer predictable system level properties in largescale systems of interacting parts?
Architectural stability and standards help but often
abandoned due to vendors’ competitive will
How to anticipate the effects of perturbations and
evolutions?
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21
Increasing variety of stimulation
Epistemic rain dances
Increasing variety of response
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22
Thank You!
www.cognitive-edge.com
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