An idealized mutual escalation spiral

In reality, a positive feedback loop can’t go on building indefinitely. Some form of external modulation must occur, either producing homeostasis or a crash, no?

How do we diagram that? — I ask as an interested amateur…

I realize that the author of a diagram gets to name the things in it, but to me the spiral he calls escalation looks to me like a pathway, while the points at zero on the graph that he calls peace is an orientation at the coordinate (0,0,0). (note: I give the orientation an extra zero, because I usually think in three dimensions.)

So, in answer to his question: “how do we diagram that?”, I say by putting the cross-sectional profiles that defines the orientation of each parties in escalation onto the pathway to peace, and then either swept, loft or define the boundaries between both profiles.

The difference being, when defining the space labeled “peace”, in the space between the swept or loft movements, we are dealing in relationships between the escalating profiles, while when we are dealing with boundaries between the two parties in escalation it’s mostly about resources.

But then war is mostly about economic considerations (boundaries) and fought by people with little economic considerations (cross-sectional profiles that are swept or loft).

So the ones who really have to do the agreeing (to peace) are those who go to war for economic considerations and those who go to war despite economic considerations, and not those doing the escalating.

via » Blog Archive » An idealized mutual escalation spiral.

This Land Is Your Land

Words and music by Woody Guthrie.

From a link on my wife’s Facebook’s feed came a video showing a fellow asking the question, “where is my land?” There was no context to his question, but if it was in the context of Woody Guthrie’s song, “This Land is My Land”, then his Land is still there.

The problem is, according to Ralph Nader in an August 2nd show on CSpan:, The “Land” that he is asking about has been taken over by corporatists, and, as the name of Ralph’s book implies, there is an unstoppable movement ready to take it back.

According to Ralph, the “land” is still there, but what has been lost is the freedom of contract.  I think he is right, but the other commentator’s in the video have very good points also. It’s nearly a Singularity moment, as Ralph is speaking before a CATO audience with the other speaker coming from another Right Wing think tank.

The easiest way to think about this is in the terms of contract that you have to agree to when downloading software on to your computer. You have to click on to the button that suggest one has agreed to the terms of use of the software, or you don’t get to use the software. There really is no choice there, because if you click that you don’t agree, you don’t get the software.

Of course my example is the least significant example one can use, but you get the point, i.e. all your choices come from the corporation. The corporation in the U.S. is now human, and most of the real choices we have today come from “them”.

As a dig on Ralph, one of the speakers, a Daniel McCarthy in the Cspan video, aptly calls it “Corporal Liberalism”. He make the correct point that there is nothing either Corporate nor Liberal about it. We are in a consumer economy, and the freedom lost is the one that we used to make between a mortal human and ourselves.  Once upon a time humans had the freedom to enter into a contract or a Constitution, with other humans, and thanks to the SCOTUS that freedom is nearly gone.

But it is a cultural thing. Liberalism and Conservatism creates a cultural friction that is contained within either a structure that is of the Right or Left network configuration. The difference in the configuration being how the structure handles friction. The structural network of the Left handles friction using the edges between the nodes, while the structural network of the Right handles friction using the nodes as a normalizing force.

But the significance isn’t in the handling of the friction–the significance is that there is structure present to handle the friction. The significant part of Ralph’s logic is that combining the Left and Right doesn’t destroy the friction handling abilities of structure, as the Tea Party is threatening to do, but uses the structures of the Left and Right to bring about Operational Change.

Perry to Deploy National Guard Troops to Mexico Border

Other Republicans in Texas and Washington have called on Mr. Obama to deploy the National Guard to deal with the border crisis, but Governor Perry could benefit from being viewed as the first to take action. Democrats, including Texas lawmakers in the border region, immediately lined up in opposition to the deployment plan, calling it an attempt to score political points and to militarize the border.

Many in the U.S.A. believe the George W. Bush brand is dead. This is simply not true. Governor Perry is proof. He has become “The Decider”.

But being the Decider was not the only capability of the W. brand, it was only a part of the process. The real asset of the W. brand was the willingness to build other countries in the American image.

But to do that, turn another country to our will, takes an army and there are not any other  possible candidates for POTUS that have one.

Most of the other candidates, especially in the Republican Party, are even, if unintentionally, rolling-up the military by their commitments to a “smaller” government.

As such, Governor Perry is not only taking off where W. left off, in Born-again Americanism, he is setting off to expand the U.S. government into Central America. While Governor Perry is sending in the National Guard, he is also sending in a military unit that doesn’t have the resources to secure its own position and operating in the area under the control of SOF and under the command of the Commander and Chief of the United States of America.

When conditions change, they will change very fast now.

via Perry to Deploy National Guard Troops to Mexico Border –

Diseases of Orientation, II; A Comment

I think living systems are open systems, as Boyd wrote, and closed systems, systems that are isolated, are non-living systems. Orientations are living systems because they have feedforwad and feedback coming into the system in the form of information as well as data. This is, I think the difference between the two forms of isolation that I believed are represented in your article.

A living system that orients itself to the environment observed (information coming back and forward) takes this information and does one of two things. The culture of the orientation either enforces conformity within or generates diversity outward. An orientation is a position, so the living systems either stays in one position or changes position. The third thing it can do is, like Boyd suggest, neither option. If those at Google, who the Google employee talks about, can’t find a tipping point, when it shows up, will, as Boyd lays out, die.

Whether they find the tipping point and make the correct decision to either enforce conformity or generate diversity (two points from Howard Bloom’s book, Global Brain), depend on the entropy in the system.

Excluding an outside entity, the entropy of the system comes from the capabilities of the organization. Finding the entropy of the organization depends on it’s culture’s ability to adapt resources to a changing environment, the structures ability to contain and control friction in the culture’s use of resources, the organizations ability to maintain the process (OODA) in which those resources are being used, and the want and needs of the living system being maintained by the assets of the organization.

If the living system can maintain its capabilities there is no need to generate diversity. If it can’t maintain its capabilities, then it will need to change its position, because what it is doing isn’t working. If the living system has all it needs, but wants more, then it has the option of either conforming or diversifying, which is the power behind a consumer economy, i.e. perpetual want.

The culture at Google, like the USA itself, is built on the advantage of a consumer economy. The people at Google have all they need, but want more.

That then gets back to what I have said. before: all war is about economic considerations and fought by people with little economic considerations.

Diseases of Orientation, II | Slightly East of New.

The Money Changers

I ran into a discussion on Twitter about Facebook’s newest showing of its ethics.

The discussion came down to the question of who are the customers?

Most of the people who have established a feed on Facebook believe that they are the customers of Facebook. This is simply not so.

If you have established a feed on Facebook, you are the supplier, not the customer.

For your efforts in supplying Facebook with what they need to stay in business, they give you what you want, the ability to form an orientation in the environment of mostly your choosing.

As one commenter on the Twitter feed said, they give you this ability to form a positing in the Facebook environment “untaxed”.

But the information you give Facebook comes with a cost to you the supplier, and like all suppliers, you stay in “business” as long as your costs for what you supply is less than what you exchange it to Facebook for. And apparently that exchange is your private information in exchange for the privilege of being connected to the tax-free environment of Facebook.

Being connected is what you want, so there is no problem in this arrangement as long as you keep wanting. So Facebook needs to find and understand what you want.

This process of finding and understanding is the friction being created behind Facebook’s latest’s PR problems.

Facebook needs to know what it’s suppliers want (it already knows what its customer’s want) and the suppliers are not sure they want to give Facebook this information.

There is no harm in Facebook observing the market, but Facebook is not just observing. Facebook is getting inside the orientation of the suppliers, and that has an effect on the market, by taking away some of the advantage the supplier has. In other words, Facebook is choosing the customer over his supplier.

That may be something the supplier doesn’t want, and Facebook needs to deal with that, strawman or no.

Carl Bass

A good reference as to where hardware and software are going. I liked the nano robot delivering chemicals to a targeted cell. The real point was made towards the end of the video about designing in the cloud. The computer is not changing (yet) the orientation of the designer, just giving options. But when creating structure, the culture has the ability to change with it.