Recent Changes

Thursday, December 11

  1. 12:55 pm

Tuesday, December 9

Thursday, August 28

Thursday, July 31

  1. page Links to Participant Wikis & Blogs edited ... Allison Pinto Eric R. Weaver's personal experience Blog to review the Complexity he sees evol…
    Allison Pinto
    Eric R. Weaver's personal experience Blog to review the Complexity he sees evolving from these meetings.
    Bruce Neubauer's home page
    Many Paths of Understanding is another Private Class Blog where Student's joined to compile and compare their notes in the Seminar 2007.
    Community, Sustainability & Complexity is the Private Google Group we used to continue class discussions in the Seminar 2007.
    (view changes)
    6:21 pm
  2. msg Bruce Neubauer on Technology, Community & CAS message posted Bruce Neubauer on Technology, Community & CAS I appreciate seeing this and knowing that the video was viewed. I miss you all very much. I thi…
    Bruce Neubauer on Technology, Community & CAS

    I appreciate seeing this and knowing that the video was viewed. I miss you all very much. I think what you all are doing is very important. Best wishes always.
    6:17 pm

Sunday, July 27

  1. page New Page edited Testing
    (view changes)
    6:01 am
  2. page edited ... IISC Grant Meta-process New Page
    IISC Grant
    New Page
    (view changes)
    6:01 am

Wednesday, July 23

  1. msg The presentation message posted The presentation Looks good to me so far. I will look more closely later and maybe chime in. Meanwhile, I will sen…
    The presentation
    Looks good to me so far. I will look more closely later and maybe chime in. Meanwhile, I will send a draft of a brief paper I am writing for City and Society.
    7:49 am

Tuesday, July 15

  1. page Heather Curry edited ... Plates and paintings, however, can be sold in garage sales or donated to Goodwill. … In my …
    Plates and paintings, however, can be sold in garage sales or donated to Goodwill.

    In my father’s house, there is a small room, painted a rich, bright shade of yellow. There are fish on the walls—glass fish, canvas fish, metal fish. He is obsessed with fish. He owns possibly a dozen shirts, short-sleeved, button-down, covered in fish. Trout, snook, something wall-eyed, flounder, mackerel. More glamorous fish, too, of course, but he’s indiscriminate. There are fishing magazines hanging over a rack that date back five years or more. I have never perused their pages, but the covers are always graced by someone who looks uncannily like my father.
    We are sitting in this room, attempting, yet again, to a have a conversation. A two-way, he-talks-I-talk-we-learn-something-about-each-other-conversation. This is an awkward process, a wrenching, creaking, shuddering effort. I ask him a series of questions, ones I have crafted in advance with the hopes he will reveal himself to me, and, more importantly me to me. This question is, “Why did you marry Mom?” Implicit in this is, “If you were capable of loving her, how is it you can un-love her?” And, embedded in that question, “Will I make the same mistake?” I firmly believe at this point that I must be able to know and write the story of their dissolution so I won’t live out their mistakes.
    He can’t answer this question, though. It’s too naked. He talks about his parents, about his childhood, about the perfection (and fiction) that was 1950s America. These are all diversions. We are about to lock ideological horns, both happy to invest ourselves in an abstraction, when his wife awakens and we agree to resume it at some nebulous point in the future.
    We never do.
    But there was an unexpected gift in the moment. A gift that eluded me for years. It sat in the periphery of my heart; we had spun out a line between us—however fragile. The question he had answered was (and I cringe as I write it, since it’s been years since my father and I have had such a palpable distance between us, but there it is), “Do you love me?” He artfully evaded my battery of questions, yes, but he showed up.

    All indulgence aside, as a good many stories are, it’s a story of a CAS, right? Two physical agents comprise this system, but there are a good many more unseen agents that impact the moment. A family is that poignant nexus of past, present and future—living proof that the bounds of time simply don’t stay neatly contained nor are they linear. My father and I, in reflecting upon our relationship, in whatever sense we were capable of, negotiated a new route of interaction, most of it done in silent agreement. The moment I described marked a phase transition for us. Prior to this moment, tequila and bad white wine had been our avenue to communication. We had packed our bags and were just short of a “Bon Voyage!” on our way to social alcoholism when something opened up in that moment. The questions I asked him were a child’s questions—the ones I had been holding onto since I was eleven (probably younger—they should have divorced years before they did), but simply never had the courage, time, or space to ask.
    Suchman writes (in a work we’re not supposed to cite), “A third factor in the emergence of novelty is diversity,” but goes on to caution, “The more widely divergent the views or backgrounds of the participants in a conversation, the harder it may be for them to hear or understand one another.” In the conversation I loosely detailed, there is an added dimension to the dynamic—the accountability of one conversant to another, particularly in instances of shared history. It’s not simply that we have divergent perspectives; it’s also that I want him to account for that divergence. In that moment, I wanted to know how it was he could describe such an idyllic childhood and then have failed so completely to provide the same for me. I wanted him to understand his specific part in that divergence, and then also to love and respect the very aspects of me that have grown from the wounds we share. But I wonder now at the fairness of such a proposition; I must surely remind him of what went wrong, and endanger the mythology he’s crafted in the aftermath.
    Ah, families. I suppose really looking at the ties that bind threatens to undo them. I am left with a good number of questions, though, about how we comprise a CAS. Does applying the label “complex adaptive system” imply some constancy in the boundaries? And now that we’ve opened up the system to new agents—Otis, Demian, Mary (my stepmother), my nieces, etc.—is there any resemblance to what we were before? Particularly when how we relate to one another in the system is really so different than how we related ten, or even five years ago. When the “wounds” are now either healed or so faintly scarred that we don’t have to skirt around them in order to speak to one another. Once a CAS has gone through a series of adaptations so fundamental as to render it unknowable in light of its previous iterations, is it the same CAS? What’s the benefit of naming it so? (RETURN TO THIS—NEEDS REPHRASING/FRAMING)
    "Peace is Every”… Time You Find Yourself Screaming at 2:00 in the Morning:
    (view changes)
    7:01 pm

Thursday, July 3

  1. page WikiPoliSee edited This is a page to contribute ideas that can help to develop the concept of WikiPoliSee. WikiPoliS…
    This is a page to contribute ideas that can help to develop the concept of WikiPoliSee.
    WikiPoliSee is a developing effort to create a technology that is able to support community participation in policymaking and community self-organizing in relation to the issues that policies aim to address.
    Mason Haber, Bruce Neubauer and Allison Pinto have been developing this effort so far.
    Mason presented on WikiPoliSee at the 05/15/07 Complexity Brownbag, in preparation for a poster presentation he will be making on the effort in June.
    The initial document that Mason drafted to describe WikiPoliSee will be posted here so that folks can practice "co-creating" the description using a wiki.
    WikiPoliSee – A Vehicle for Web-Based Co-Creation of Public Policy
    WikiPoliSee is a proposed system to make it possible for everybody to be more involved in public policy making. The first effort will involve policies regarding the treatment of vulnerable youth. The plan is to create an opportunity for young people, their families, youth service providers, and others involved in safeguarding the well-being of vulnerable youth to become more involved in policymaking.
    In proposing this system, we make a distinction between involvement in policy advocacy – expression of support or opposition to a policy that is designed by a legislator or other traditional policymaker – and policymaking – active contribution to the content of policy proposals. We plan to orient policymaking activities around a youth mental health services issue that is beginning to receive wider attention from traditional policymakers, an issue that is therefore apt for piloting of a new policymaking approach: transition to adulthood of youth with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD).
    Activities of the initial demonstration of the system will seek to engage stakeholders in a policymaking process focusing on service gaps and/or perceived injustices associated with transition to adulthood of youth with EBD. The ultimate intent of the demonstration, however, is to describe mechanisms through which the breadth and depth of stakeholder involvement could be increased in policymaking on other problems faced by youth with EBD or other subpopulations of vulnerable youth and their families.
    Architecture of WikiPoliSee
    The proposed system will be organized into modules. All modules will offer similar policymaking-related activities, but each will serve a specific type of stakeholder. Users will access the system through a common portal, which will grant access to individuals specifying a unique username and either a pre-specified or a user-specified stakeholder category (e.g., youth with EBD presently receiving transition support services, program administrators and staff of transition support services, mental health experts, legal experts, legislators or other traditional policymaking professionals, etc.) Multiple "activity rooms” will be made availave, such that members of each stakeholder group will have their own "room." Within each of the rooms will be multiple "activity areas." The first activity area within each activity room will be devoted to storytelling – an exchange of experiences of participants within a given stakeholder group. The second activity area within each room will be devoted to the creation of a consensus statement, a brief statement representing the views of each participating stakeholder group on transition issues of youth with EBD. The third activity room will provide opportunities for policy modification, an activity that will consist of commenting on and/or directly modifying proposed legislation or other policy codifications related to transition of youth with EBD.
    Media of WikiPoliSee
    In order to broaden and enrich participation, WikiPoliSee will provide participants with access to content (i.e., stories, consensus (co-sensus?) statements, and policies) in diverse ways, so that participants can better “see” policy through textual representations (e.g., documents), graphic representations (e.g., concept maps) and audio-visual representations (e.g., video clips of participants’ stories).
    Storytelling, Consensus Statement, and Policy Modification Activity Rooms
    Storytelling in this instance does not refer to a chronological narrative, but rather, a more general process of sharing and simultaneously making sense of personal experiences, or “sense-making”. Given the nature of the proposed forum, stories will likely convey perceptions of youth on their transition-related challenges and successes, their experiences with formal systems that may support or obstruct successful transition (e.g., education, mental health, juvenile justice), and experiences with other systems or informal sources of support or interference with transition. For program administrators and staff, stories might relate to their difficulties in operating transition support programs, due to lack of appropriate funding sources, ambiguity of existing laws and regulations or for other reasons. For parents, stories might convey their desires to access more objective or otherwise better information about programs to support transition of their youth with EBD, to redress grievances related to unexpected and/or objectionable treatment of themselves or their children during their transition to adulthood by education, mental health, juvenile justice, or other relevant programs, or, in cases where programs were perceived as helpful, desires to ensure continued, unfettered access of families to these services.
    The consensus statement and policy modification activities will likely involve an iterative process by which participants will contribute to policy-making through: a) commentary on existing statements reflecting views of the group or policy codifications relevant to issues of the group, b) direct modifications of consensus statements and policy codifications, c) comments on their own or others modifications, and d) monitoring of others’ contributions to ensure that the iterative consensus statement creation and policy modification processes remain relevant and constructive. Collectively, these activities will constitute two “policy-wikis”, one of which (the consensus statement activity) will serve to clarify group values, group objectives, and preferred strategies for realizing these values and objectives, and one of which (the policy modification activity) will help stakeholders to work collectively to create or modify existing codes in a such a way that opportunities for implementing values, objectives, and strategies of the group will be increased.
    The environment will be designed so as to facilitate conversations within and among groups of stakeholders in the spirit of emergence, as in the literature of complex adaptive systems (CAS). Concensus will not necessarily mean agreement within groups or among groups. Rather, what is sought is the potential of a kind of a conceptual space in which agreement and disagreement can coexist in what might be described as a quantum state. This is in the spirit of the conception that laws are fluid -- they are (hopefully) amended as the needs of those governed change. It also is a reflection of the acknowledgment of the fact that public opinion is also not static, nor monolithic.
    The nature of stories and the creation of (possibly) visual associations of story elements and policy element is yet to be fleshed out. Youth in particular have stories to share and personalities they often wish to project into various cyberspaces. The popularity of MySpace, FaceBook and YouTube are evidence of that. There is also the prospect of the creation of community stories in cyberspaces such as WikiPoliSee. What begins as one person's account of some event is likely to evolve as others contribute to the account from the basis of their own similar experiences. Hopefully, storytelling will not be limited to youth. Service providers also have their stories to tell regarding their experiences with others including government agencies.
    The creation of visual associations between the stories that evolve in the multiple groups of stakeholders and the elements of exisiting and/or model legislation is yet to be worked out. Software such as UCINET might be used to create visual images of those logical associations. A more immersive way to view the associations might be useful. Imagine being inside a human brain and being able to watch the brain as throughs run through the mind. Imagine observing the sky in the midst of a thunderstorm. It is the connectivity between how people experience their lives and the structure and content of public policies that WikiPoliSee seeks to make accessible.
    Phases of WikiPoliSee
    Once stakeholder groups have been established and are working together productively, the focus of the demonstration will shift to facilitating communication and collaboration of stakeholder groups with one another and with the outside world. This shift divides the development of the system into an “intra-group” and an “inter-group” phase. The rationale for introducing this phasic asynchrony between the two types of communication is to provide like-minded WikiPoiSee participants with safe, secure, virtual spaces for policymaking activity. These spaces will provide each stakeholder group with some measure of protection in its initial, fragile stages of self-expression from intrusions of stakeholder groups that may have competing or incompatible interests. We hypothesize that such spaces are initially necessary for representative participation in policymaking in situations where stakeholder groups have varying levels of power. However, we also anticipate that once established, these spaces will help previously disempowered groups to engage outsiders on the groups’ own terms, helping their members to overcome oppressive power asynchronies in the policymaking context.
    The precise timing of proposed phase transition will be left for each stakeholder group to determine. However, it will presumably follow the development of intra-group dialogues that are sufficiently focused and dynamic to support the more challenging process of establishing inter-group communication. In addition to making its own decisions about timing, each group will also create its own formal protocols for communication with other groups both within and outside of WikiPoliSee. These protocols will address such issues including the timing, content, and form of intergroup communications.
    Implementation of WikiPoliSee
    WikiPoliSee can be implemented using traditional means of Website development (pages, blogs, RSS and the like) and/or implemented in a virual world such as Second Life. It is likely to be implement in multiple ways such that it can be accessed in different ways, realizing that different participants will have different preferences. The visual potentials of its implementation in Second Life are certainly appealing to some. The challenge is to make it available in a way that leverages various aspects of Web development and provides a valuable experience that does not require participants to use every aspect of its virtual existence. In other words, ideally, those who do not want to venture into Second Life (or who are unable to for technical reasons) will be able to participate using only more traditional kinds of Web resources. In any case, the intent is to leverage the powers of mass collaboration in the interests of responding to the needs of youth and promoting democracy in the spirit of self government. Participation may also serve to help citizens become better able to access mental health and related services in the various markets in which such services are provided.

    (view changes)
    2:14 pm