Naturalising narrated – Cognitive Edge – Dave Snowden (response to two recent Mike Jackson pieces)

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Naturalising narrated – Cognitive Edge

Naturalising narrated

Dave Snowden March 28, 2021 MANAGING COMPLEX SYSTEMSREFLECTIONS

In recent times I’ve been engaged in a series of interesting exchanges with Dr Mike Jackson OBE, hereinafter referred to as Mike.  I have a visiting chair at Hull University where he is Emeritus Professor and as well as a fair number of mutual friends including Yasmin Merali and Gerald Midgley.   I have been provisionally scheduled to give the Mike Jackson memorial lecture in 2023, Peter Senge gets the slot in 2020 I gather, so there will be some interesting contrasts to be made.  This year will see Carlo Rovelli is leading a symposium on the work of Alexandr Bogdanov whose work in systems has been much neglected so I am looking forward to that.

I should also make clear at this point my gratitude to, and respect for, the work that Mike has put into understanding not only Cynefin but the wider fields of complexity and systems.  It makes an exchange both interesting and rewarding and allows for a non-homogenising understanding of the wider field.  We share concerns about the rejection of all Systems Thinking by Stacy, and the, at times arrogance of the agent-based modellers of what I call Computational Complexity.

Now the exchanges, while interesting, have led to a certain amount of bafflement on my part as a large part of my responses have been along the lines of but that isn’t what I am saying and that isn’t what Cynefin is about and variations on that theme.  When this happens it is usually a result of the way one or other party is framing the problem and/or the way the idea is being communicated.  Two recent events resulted in a breakthrough for me at least, the light dawned and while I don’t yet hold said light in the palm of my hand I think I am getting there.

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Naturalising narrated – Cognitive Edge