Dear Readers (those still reading!),
My deepest apologies for not responding to prior post comments for a while now. I appreciate the many thoughtful comments and regret that I haven't had the time to go through them carefully and responded where questions were asked. This post is to update everyone on what is going on in my world and offer some thoughts about what I might be posting in the future. As you have ascertained from my last series of posts, I have essentially concluded that humanity is on a course that is irreversible owing mostly to the fact that the vast number of people in the population are simply incapable of seeing the larger and long-term picture of reality. They think neither strategically nor, apparently, systemically. The strongest proof I can offer at this point is the political season that just played out in the US, and the results of the election itself. True enough that the Democratic candidate got a majority of the popular vote but that majority was extremely slim given the nature of the opponent. Moreover, those who did vigorously want Clinton (and not just because they didn't want Trump), in my opinion, were duped just as badly about her capabilities as Trump supporters were about his.
I consider the situation in the US now as just stronger evidence of the decline and fall of global civilization. It is just one more step down, though it may lead to a significant acceleration of the whole process. Incidentally, all of the media talk about an improving economy is complete hype. The real economy is still in decline and that is why Trump won. The people on the ground, the ones living the reality, have been seriously hurting for a long time and it got really worse under Obama. No wonder they rejected someone who only promised to be more of the same in favor of someone, no matter how reprehensible, who said he would change everything for their benefit. My simple prediction, which you could probably have guessed, is that Trump will be no more capable of making things better. He'll make things worse by wasting much more of the remaining energy resources that are semi-affordable.
So my last series was just a summary of where we have gotten to and where we are likely to go. And I really don't have more to say about it.
As for my situation and future:
I have recently gotten a contract with Springer to write a follow-on book to Mobus & Kalton (2015). This new book will be about how to use the principles of systems science covered in that book to obtain better understanding of real systems. The title is in flux but the contents will cover the basic ontology of systems, a new language of systems (that I have posted about previously), holistic systems analysis using this language to deconstruct systems (both existing and desired) and put the discovered details into a structured knowledgebase (structured according to the formal definition of system that I have also posted about), and the generation of models and designs (for systems engineering, broadly defined) from the knowledgebase. Its a good sized project and I will be the sole author this time (Mike Kalton is a philosopher!) so I'm kept pretty busy with that.
On top of that I have been invited by the Board officers of the Intl' Federation for Systems Research (IFSR) to become the chief editor for their book series (also published by Springer) "Systems Science and Engineering" (former editor, George Klir). You may recall that I attended the IFSR Conversation in Linz Austria last April as a consequence of having been involved in the first really comprehensive book on systems science! We're still negotiating about the workload requirements, etc. for the book series job. But I will end up playing some role in it. The importance of this is that I hope to have some influence on the future direction of the series and thus that of the fields of systems science and engineering in general. Both are currently undergoing some soul searching since they have been in formal existence for more than 50 years and there seems to have been little progress over that time. One indication of this is the near complete lack of systems science education programs in the US and that systems engineering is usually an add-on program on other disciplinary engineering programs. Things are only marginally better in other countries. But the increasing complexities that are being experienced in organizations, products, ecosystems interactions with humans, and governance, are making it obvious to many that humanity cannot make any forward progress in understanding and managing complexity without a rigorous systems approach.
These writing and editing projects have been keeping me busier than I was when I worked as a full-time teacher/researcher! Good thing I retired from the former.
I will try to post a bit more frequently in the future but I will mostly be posting about some of my more esoteric thoughts about the meaning of systems, not only in science and engineering, but in terms of why and how the Universe works the way it does. What has struck me about the nature of systems (systemness) is just how universal it really is. And this must mean something profound for the human condition. We are able to perceive systemness and conceive of being systems ourselves, but most important, being in the larger systems that exist in the world. This latter fact needs deeper examination.
Our human created world, as it is, may come to an end before too long. But I still hold that the chance for some higher sapient individuals to survive and form the nucleus of a bottleneck population is quite high, and therefore worth attending to. To whatever degree the knowledge of systems science and systemness can be preserved and passed on to that population it will mean that they do not have to completely start over. Knowledge of systemness is the hardest won knowledge there is. It includes not just ordinary knowledge, but wisdom as well - the knowledge of what ordinary knowledge to gain and how to use it. This will be more valuable to some future population than computers or solar collectors because from this knowledge all other technical aspects can be regenerated.
Once again, forgive me my lack of interactions. I hope you can appreciate that at my age I am a bit slower in many regards and have to spend much of my time pushing these writing projects forward.
Regards to all.