I’ve figured out a name for what I do. It’s Full Stack Systems. It’s important to have a name for things, so we can notice them, and can choose to notice them. I’ve borrowed Full Stack from the IT term Full Stack Developer, meaning someone with the skills to program back end and front end systems, and who understands the full delivery model of their work.
Full Stack Systems Thinking looks at the connections between things as much as the things themselves. It looks at patterns, emergence, interconnectedness and other systemic stuff.
Going up the stack
Knowing Myself, knowing the patterns I use, the internal dramas I have
Understanding the way groups interact at their best and worst, and how they can work in curiosity or contempt
Challenging my own and others Theories in Use and Theories in Practice
Seeing how groups interact, and the patterns and drama…
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In TooDeepPodcast: NewEpisodes
This month we have two new interviews on the In TooDeeppodcast with Sam Rye and Luke Craven that you won’t want to miss.
In our conversation with Sam Rye we touch on a variety of topics – from the role of nature in encouraging greater presence, the importance of an experimental focus, how to combine systems analysis, strategy and prototyping, and why we need to focus far more on relationships.
Luke Craven shares his systems effects methodology, some of the challenges in traditional systems mapping, and secrets for how to bring more of a user understanding of complex systems into social science and policy making practice.
And if you missed our first four episodes, you can listen to them here or search for “In TooDeep” wherever you get your podcasts.
If you’ve browsed the Kumu docs, you might have stumbled across our Quick Tips, a playlist of 2-5 minute video tutorials on different Kumu concepts and skills. We recently started recording more quick tips; here are some of the latest entries:
Ever read a complex news article and felt like you didn’t quite grasp all the details? Alex (head of customer support at Kumu) has, and he’s come up with a solution: turn the article into a system map!
In a webinar on Tuesday, April 23 at 10am PDT, Alex will demo his approach to mapping articles and talk through some of our thoughts on how to make system maps more readable and approachable. Here are a few resources if you want to dive in ahead of time:
The concept of social interaction is at the core of embodied and enactive approaches to social cognitive processes, yet scientifically it remains poorly understood. Traditionally, cognitive science had relegated all behavior to being the end result of internal neural activity. However, the role of feedback from the interactions between agent and their environment has become increasingly important to understanding behavior. We focus on the role that social interaction plays in the behavioral and neural activity of the individuals taking part in it. Is social interaction merely a source of complex inputs to the individual, or can social interaction increase the individuals’ own complexity? Here we provide a proof of concept of the latter possibility by artificially evolving pairs of simulated mobile robots to increase their neural complexity, which consistently gave rise to strategies that take advantage of their capacity for interaction. We found that during social interaction, the neural controllers…
You’ve probably seen this effect—perhaps you are a victim of it. You feel alienated from mainstream culture and want to make a statement that you are not part of it. You think about wearing different clothes, experimenting with a new hairstyle, or even trying unconventional makeup and grooming products.
And yet when you finally reveal your new look to the world, it turns out you are not alone—millions of others have made exactly the same choices. Indeed, you all look more or less identical, the exact opposite of the countercultural statement you wanted to achieve.
This is the hipster effect—the counterintuitive phenomenon in which people who oppose mainstream culture all end up looking the same. Similar effects occur among investors and in other areas of the social sciences.
How does this kind of synchronization occur? Is it inevitable in modern society, and are there ways for people to be genuinely different from the masses?
Today we get some answers thanks to the work of Jonathan Touboul at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. Touboul is a mathematician who studies the way the transmission of information through society influences the behavior of people within it. He focuses in particular on a society composed of conformists who copy the majority and anticonformists, or hipsters, who do the opposite.
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And his conclusion is that in a vast range of scenarios, the hipster population always undergoes a kind of phase transition in which members become synchronized with each other in opposing the mainstream. In other words, the hipster effect is the inevitable outcome of the behavior of large numbers of people.
Crucially, Toubol’s model takes into account the time needed for each individual to detect changes in society and to react accordingly. This delay is important. People do not react instantly when a new, highly fashionable pair of shoes becomes available. Instead, the information spreads slowly via fashion websites, word of mouth, and so on. This propagation delay is different for individuals, some of whom may follow fashion blogs religiously while others have no access to them and have to rely on word of mouth.
The question that Touboul investigates is under what circumstances hipsters become synchronized and how this varies as the propagation delay and the proportion of hipsters both change. He does this by creating a computer model that simulates how agents interact when some follow the majority and the rest oppose it.
This simple model generates some fantastically complex behaviors. In general, Touboul says, the population of hipsters initially act randomly but then undergo a phase transition into a synchronized state. He finds that this happens for a wide range of parameters but that the behavior can become extremely complex, depending on the way hipsters interact with conformists.
There are some surprising outcomes, too. When there are equal proportions of hipsters and conformists, the entire population tends to switch randomly between different trends. Why isn’t clear, and Touboul wants to study this in more detail.
It can be objected that the synchronization stems from the simplicity of scenarios offering a binary choice. “For example, if a majority of individuals shave their beard, then most hipsters will want to grow a beard, and if this trend propagates to a majority of the population, it will lead to new, synchronized, switch to shaving,” says Touboul.
It’s easy to imagine a different outcome if there are more choices. If hipsters could grow a mustache, a square beard, or a goatee, for example, then perhaps this diversity of choice would prevent synchronization. But Touboul has found that when his model offers more than two choices, it still produces the synchronization effect.
Nevertheless, he wants to study this further. “We will study in depth this question in a forthcoming paper,” he says.
Hipsters are an easy target for a bit of fun, but the results have much wider applicability. For example, they could be useful for understanding financial systems in which speculators attempt to make money by taking decisions that oppose the majority in a stock exchange.
Indeed, there are many areas in which delays in the propagation of information play an important role: As Touboul puts it: “Beyond the choice of the best suit to wear this winter, this study may have important implications in understanding synchronization of nerve cells, investment strategies in finance, or emergent dynamics in social science.”
Science searches for answers to the mysteries that confront us as living beings. For over 60 years, the work of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) in the ‘general systems’ field has been to encourage the development of theoretical systems which are applicable to more than one of the traditional departments of knowledge.Recognizing our embeddedness in nature provides ways to investigate the common patterns or ‘isomorphies’ of concepts, laws, and models in various fields, and to help in useful transfers from one field to another. Understanding and appreciating these patterns is key to the development of systems-literate people able to make robust decisions and act in complex situations, considering relationships and effects of systems of all kinds and at all levels.
As President of the International Society for the Systems Sciences I would like to invite you to join us at our 63rd Annual Meeting and Conference “Nature’s Enduring Patterns: A Path to Systems Literacy” at Oregon State University In Corvallis Oregon USA June 28-July 2. Registration is now open, as is the system for submitting abstracts of work you would like to present at the annual meeting. The conference website is located at http://isss.org/world/ISSS2019
The conference will have opportunities for plenary participative engagement using ideas from Liberating Structures http://www.liberatingstructures.com/ and other participative processes. Conference speakers http://isss.org/world/_Speakers2019 are from diverse fields of study and application. We will begin by exploring different ways of knowing on the first day. Speakers with education experience in earth, ocean, climate and network topics will discuss successful approaches to literacy, also we will be joined by colleagues from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Geoscience, Data, and Network programs from Organizations and Universities around the world. They will share their experiences with connections between climate and ocean acidification and plastic pollution with system education, change efforts around the globe and the importance of Systems Literacy for all. Speakers will include former ISSS Presidents Mike Jackson, Jennifer Wilby and Len Troncale (who will deliver the Von Bertalanffy lecture). Pille Bunnell will deliver the Ranulph Glanville Lecture.
This email is going to the nearly 2500 people on our ISSS mailing list with news about developments last year and the first couple of months of 2019. This year promises to be an exciting new year in the continuing evolution of our society to connect members around the world, and to represent, research, educate and communicate about systems sciences, thinking, theories, methods, and approaches.
In December we launched a members-only website at http://www.myisss.org Please join and log on to create your profile. We invite you to join or re-join the ISSS by going to https://www.myisss.org/register/ You will be able to find other members in the membership directory on that site, which will help our networking together. We also use this website for member-to-member communication. The society’s main information website is still at http://www.isss.org
Online SIG Discussion Group: In December 2018, we started a Special Integration Group Session on Saturdays through video conferencing on the Bluejeans system. These conversations are an hour long and offered twice every Saturday at 11am and 11pm Eastern time USA. That is 4pm Saturday and 4am Sunday in the UK and 3am and 3pm Sunday in Australia, for example. These sessions are for members only. More information on this is at https://www.myisss.org/sigs-sessions-on-saturdays/ You will need to be a member to login and read the details, get the link to join future sessions, and view recordings of sessions so far.
Links with other Societies: Among several cooperative Memorandum of Understandings held by ISSS is the one with the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) to co-develop understanding of systems sciences for systems engineering. Many of us participate in the Systems Science Working Group of INCOSE. I was asked by the Chair of the SSWG James Martin to give a talk on the Grand Vision for Systems Sciences at the recent INCOSE International Workshop in Torrance California. I have recorded a version of the presentation I gave for the web which can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/317104695 It runs for 30 minutes. At the same INCOSE IW meeting we had a 3-hour workshop on Systems Literacy. That work continues and we hope to develop this topic more over coming months. Please join the efforts. More can be read at http://www.systemsliteracy.com Systems Literacy is a major theme for this year’s 2019 Annual Meeting and Conference at Oregon State University, June 28 – July 2. Please put us on your calendar.
AAAS: ISSS began life as meetings at the American Association for the Advancement of Science http://www.aaas.org Last year ISSS regained and renewed its affiliation with AAAS. The annual meeting of AAAS in Washington, D.C. was attended by Jennifer Wilby, VP Admin, Janet and Michael Singer (ISSS members) and myself. During those four days, I made a couple of 2-minute videos about our visit and these can be viewed at https://bit.ly/2TJ6J5z We are planning on having a larger presence at next year’s AAAS meeting. Are you interested in working with us on proposals for sessions? The deadline is April 18, 2019. Next year’s meeting is in Seattle. https://meetings.aaas.org/.
There are many other plans in the making bubbling along that we can communicate more about in the next few months. Please log on to the myisss.org website, join or renew your membership in ISSS and meet with us in the SIG conversations on Saturdays. And we hope to meet many of you face-to-face at the Annual Meeting in Corvallis http://isss.org/world/ISSS2019.
In ending, I urge you to please consider, and communicate to us, ways in which you can contribute to help build our Society into a worldwide resource and hub for the systems community at large. Our email for conference communication is firstname.lastname@example.org and you can email me directly at email@example.com
The workshop Complexity72h is an interdisciplinary event whose aim is to bring together young researchers from different fields of complex systems.
Inspired by the 72h Hours of Science, participants will form working groups aimed at carrying out a project in a three-day time, i.e. 72 hours. Each group’s goal is to upload on the arXiv a report of their work by the end of the event. A team of tutors will propose the projects, and assist and guide each group in developing their project. Alongside teamwork, participants will attend lectures from scientists coming from different fields of complex systems, and applied workshops. The workshop is organized and will be hosted by the IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca.
Wanna know more? Send us an email at complexity72h [at] gmail [dot] com
Cooperation is still an important issue for both evolutionary and social scientists. There are some remarkable methods for sustaining cooperation. On the other hand, various studies discuss whether human deliberative behaviour promotes or inhibits cooperation. As those studies of human behaviour develop, in the study of evolutionary game theory, models considering deliberative behaviour of game players are increasing. Based on that trend, the author considers that decision of a person requires certain time and imposes a psychological burden on him/her and defines such burden as the cost of decision. This study utilizes the model of evolutionary game theory that each player plays the spatial prisoner’s dilemma game with opponent players connected to him/her and introduces the cost of decision. The main result of this study is that the introduction of the cost of decision contributes to the evolution of cooperation, although there are some differences in the extent of its…