How Does the World Work?


  • See the About page for a description of the subjects of interest covered in this blog.

Series Indexes

Global Issues Blogroll

Blog powered by Typepad

Comment Policy

  • Comments
    Comments are open and welcome as long as they are not offensive or hateful. Also this site is commercial free so any comments that are offensive or promotional will be removed. Good questions are always welcome!

« Steps toward an energy solution 3 | Main | Happy Birthday Charlie and Abe »

February 09, 2009

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Neven

"I will be forever grateful to Dr. Fuller for that sage advice. And now I've passed it on to you if you care to try it."

Thanks for the confirmation, George!

And thanks for explaining a bit more about yourself. Messages get more depth when you know something about the messenger. Although I'm not a scientist, I can relate to many of the things you write.

Tickmeister

Since you have a long term interest in evolution, maybe you can answer a dumb question. We have seen several species become extinct (dodo's, passenter pigeons, those big woodpeckers, etc.). Have we seen any new species formed? I haven't heard about it if we have.

George Mobus

Thanks Neven.

Tickmeister,

You might want to read up from Wikipedia - Speciation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speciation_(biology)

George

Salient Green

You are a holistic thinker George. I can't remember if you have used the term in your recent writings. Do you like it or do you prefer system science?

I am curious as to why anon had trouble following your theme.

I have been a fitter and turner/toolmaker and now have my own orchard business. Never been to university and yet I find your works easy to understand and fully 'get it'.

Does this add to the Sapience versus Cleverness theme in the form of Specialist versus Generalist/Holistic to explain how we have come to our predicament?

George Mobus

Hi SG.

I have to confess, it never occurred to me that the world wasn't a whole! I've never been comfortable with specialization. I get bored doing the same thing over and over.

Anon, in other e-mails has been asking me for clarification. I don't think that s/he didn't grasp any major points, but having had a Master's degree in cognitive science s/he felt that at times I didn't represent the science as well as I should have. Her/is suggestions will show up in a subsequent draft when I get a chance.

My main objective was to keep things at a level that the average intelligent and well-read reader could absorb. No college necessary! What I hope for is just to get people thinking that there is another dimension to human capabilities beyond intelligence, creativity, and emotions.

If I understand your last question, I suspect that most people find it comfortable to specialize because so much specific knowledge and skills are needed to be productive. And society expects productivity in cooperative efforts like agriculture and industry. There really is a limit to the amount and complexity of knowledge one can acquire in a lifetime. What I like about systems science and explicit systems thinking is that it allows for a lot of knowledge 're-use' (to borrow a term from software engineering). Systems principles, once learned and understood, are applicable to virtually every other more specialized field of knowledge. You can go from one area to another with transferable basic knowledge already in place.

For anyone who is interested in reading an excellent general book based on systems thinking, see: Hidden Connections by Fritjof Capra (or any book by Capra).

George

The comments to this entry are closed.