new futuristic scenarios for Block 2?

For discussions of the Open University's T214 Systems course.

Re: new futuristic scenarios for Block 2?

Postby Teiana on Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:45 pm

well would the 'availability of oil' /dependence on oil thing be better expressed just as dependence on finite resources - perhaps that's just a subset of 'sustainability...maybe we can still include the idea but on a bigger scale than 'just' oil..
perhaps 'consumption of finite resources' is a better phrase?
H.R.H. 8-)
Teiana
 
Posts: 2800
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:46 pm
Location: planet earth

Re: new futuristic scenarios for Block 2?

Postby jamesWtc on Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:05 pm

Andrea wrote:I think James, on the other hand, is trying to do too many things at the same time. There is the concept of "change over time" and cycling between different stages, which can be plotted as a trajectory with the x-axis representing 'time'. I've seen the Y axis sometimes representing "level of organisational complexity".


Yes. And I realised it is too complicated to put everything into a single diagram, even in 3-dimensional chart. :idea:

But then again, it is the very process itself that generates many insights.
jamesWtc
 
Posts: 271
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:17 pm
Location: Basel, Switzerland

Re: new futuristic scenarios for Block 2?

Postby Andrea on Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:14 pm

Okay, it seems as if this project has legs and will go places :D

I've created a new page on the Systemsplace wiki to start capturing some of the ideas ( https://systems-place.wikispaces.com/future+scenarios ). So far, I've suggested a template we could use ( I think I've used the word "template" appropriately this time ;-) ). Once we are relatively happy with the template, then we can start fleshing out the various scenarios while maintaining discussions here....
esse sequitur operari
Andrea
 
Posts: 1104
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:31 am

Re: new futuristic scenarios for Block 2?

Postby Neill on Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:08 pm

Obviously you have all been very busy while I have been away.
I just spent a week in the USA and am glad to be back to my mountains.

A few weeks ago I had a discussion about 2 types of society that may be possible candidates for "futures".
1. Afghanistan
2. the UK.

I see Afghanistan as being full of lots of independent nodes (like the Internet). They are loosely linked but there is no hierarchy.
Destroying one node has little or no effect on the rest. The system is very resistant (as the British, Russian and American Empires have all discovered).

The UK is the opposite. It is hierarchical and the nodes are more strongly linked. Vitally, they all link in to a single big node in the middle.
Destroy the big node and the rest fall over with their legs in the air. Similar to when the allies captured Berlin. Every one said "OK, you got Berlin, you win, we give up". This system is probably more resilient than Afghanistan, up to a point as it is more organized. It can handle slow change but when it "falls over" it stays fallen.
Beyond "the point" I suggest that the Afghan system is more durable.

I can imagine two futures. Centralization or Dispersion but I think that the second is more resilient and likely to survive a global crisis.

Just my thoughts
Neill
Neill Hogarth
Life is not a practice [www.hogarth.de]
T307-10
Neill
 
Posts: 1166
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:20 pm
Location: Nesselwang, Germany

Re: new futuristic scenarios for Block 2?

Postby Andrea on Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:39 am

Neill wrote:1. Afghanistan
2. the UK.


Very useful distinctions, if only because there's a lot of unpacking that can be done ;-)

Afghanistan is especially fascinating. You state, Neill, that the Afghani system is a highly decentralised one. But I wonder how this model fits with the long and stable rule of the Taleban in that country? Surely, the Taleban established a ruthlessly hierarchical system, which viciously suppressed any diversity, including the total subjugation of women and people of non-Islamic persuasion. That system seems to have entrenched itself very easily within the population.

I would argue that the failure of British, Russian and American interventions in Afghanistan are more a result of clashes between two highly hierarchical but ultimately incompatible systems. Indeed, both sides use extreme violence to advance their case. Doesn't look very "grassroots" and "participatory" to me ;)

N.b. glad to see you back on Systemsplace (there's nothing like a good argument with Neill........) :mrgreen:
esse sequitur operari
Andrea
 
Posts: 1104
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:31 am

Re: new futuristic scenarios for Block 2?

Postby Dave H on Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:11 pm

I feel that there is some new original thinking required on the governance issues for the scenarios.
I have a particular world-view, pespective and beliefs which influences my views and there is the difficult boundary of realistic so my views may be biased.

In an earlier post 3 pairs were given and in one pair the United Nations was linked with transtion towns. I would never have put the UN at the other end of that scale. On reflection there does not appear to be a global body with real power that is effective and I have been wondering if it should be something like the European Union. However we are moving towards a global scoiety that is a bit like the Internet with nobody in overall control and I think this should be reflected in one of the scenarios.

Another approach is to look at the Future of the Internet where everybody will be permanently connected to everyone and at the same time we will all be connected to a range of objects such as our chocolate store. Such a scenario seems very 1984 big brother and I feel that this should be another scenario.

I am still trying to work out what is in between these two extremes. I think it is some sort of new organisation but it is difficult to visualise how it could have real power, be accepted by all countries, and be effective.
Dave H
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:27 am

Re: new futuristic scenarios for Block 2?

Postby Neill on Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:38 pm

Hello Andrea,
I am really not getting in enough time here. To much happening in the "real world".

My suggestion that Afghanistan is highly decentralized is based on the idea that there is no one "person" that you can topple and thus take control of the country.
It was meant as a comparison to the UK where I suggest that if you get control of central London you will get everything.

which viciously suppressed any diversity, including the total subjugation of women and people of non-Islamic persuasion

I did not say it was a good system. I merely suggested that it was a hard system to get to grips with.

Neill
Neill Hogarth
Life is not a practice [www.hogarth.de]
T307-10
Neill
 
Posts: 1166
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:20 pm
Location: Nesselwang, Germany

Re: new futuristic scenarios for Block 2?

Postby Andrea on Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:50 am

Neill wrote:My suggestion that Afghanistan is highly decentralized is based on the idea that there is no one "person" that you can topple and thus take control of the country.
It was meant as a comparison to the UK where I suggest that if you get control of central London you will get everything.


You've got an extremely valid point here, and I spent quite a lot of time puzzling over this last night.

You state that Afghanistan is highly decentralised because there is no one person that can be toppled to take control of the country. I would respond that the reason why this centralising "one person" can't be toppled is that it's God!! And I'm not joking. The centralising force at the centre of a hierarchical network doesn't have to be a person. It can also be a dogmatic ideology with very strict rules of behaviour and fervent adhesion.

If the Americans want to subjugate the Afghanis, they will have to undermine the centralising force i.e. religious fundamentalism. As we have repeatedly seen in the Israel/Palestine conflict, violent confrontation will never work because it does not undermine religious fanaticism. it makes it worse.
esse sequitur operari
Andrea
 
Posts: 1104
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:31 am

Re: new futuristic scenarios for Block 2?

Postby Neill on Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:43 pm

Andrea wrote:
You've got an extremely valid point here

Shock! I am going to use that line as a screen saver. I can refer back to it when ever we disagree - like most of the time :-)

Is there really a "deity" at the top of the power pyramid in Afghanistan?
I know that is the claim but are the "next layer down" really beholden to it?
Or is religion an excuse for power as it has been for the last 2000 years.

The great thing about the power structure as you have suggested it is that the "top dog" can not be taken captive (so you can not lose) or pop up to disagree (so that you have to listen to what is being said).

I think that the discussion about whether there is a fictional "top dog" or not is irrelevant.
The result in both cases is a decentralized and resistant organization.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the Euro as it also appears that there is no "top dog" here either.
One country is in a bad way but will the other "decentralised powers" be able to work their way out of the problem. In the old "single currency, single government" days it was impossible but who knows today?

Neill
Neill Hogarth
Life is not a practice [www.hogarth.de]
T307-10
Neill
 
Posts: 1166
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:20 pm
Location: Nesselwang, Germany

Re: new futuristic scenarios for Block 2?

Postby jim_lewis1 on Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:20 pm

Another reason I'm glad not to be in the Euro zone. I'm not surprised the Germans are unhappy, after swallowing the bitter pill of reunification to be saddled with Greece's debts must rankle.
Current OU study: A230
Studying towards: BA Humanities
Past OU Study: MBA (Tech Man), BEng/MEng (incl T214, T306) PG Dip EDM (incl T863, TU812), AA100, AXR272
(OU Systems courses)
jim_lewis1
 
Posts: 1078
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:14 pm

PreviousNext

Return to T214 - OurStuff

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron