LST: Bridging the biological and social sciences [Jim Miller, ISSS 1998
Plenary Session, July 20/98]
These notes are a rough transcription,
prepared as each individual presenter and/or commentator spoke at the ISSS
1998 conference. Gaps and errors have likely occurred. For more accurate
citations, please consult the original presenters. These notes have been
contributed to the ISSS by David Ing, of the IBM Advanced Business Institute
(firstname.lastname@example.org).[Plenary Session, July 20/98, 10:40 a.m.]
Sessions on "Systems Science: Bridging Specialties for Sustainable Technology"
Jim Miller: Living Systems Theory
Chaired by Enrique Herrscher, dean of the largest and oldest business school
Problem in the way universities are being organized.
Experience: When dean at Cleveland, went to Harvard reunion, met the Prince
Saw Prince of Wales walking towards him, was taking a picture in a movie
camera, then realized that the prince was walking towards 3 pretty girls
standing beside him.
First starting thinking this way in the 1970s.
Each university tries to arrange for a "full faculty".
Developing an entity at a local system which is replicated all over the
Today, it's possible to do differently.
The Prince of Wales came to Cleveland to dedicate the law school building.
He's the best person, worldwide.
However, universities are not this way, we can do this on a worldwide basis.
Most recently, have been working on the "university of the world".
Competing to have people replicated at every level is ridiculous, when
we could try to Albert Einstein at every university in the world.
Would recommend to the ISSS to study the possibilities of doing education
Available to Africa, Alaska, ...
Possible through IT.
All universities would be better if they all had Einstein teaching at them.
Since Einstein had few lectures recorded, might be Enrico Fermi, or someone
of equal stature.
Are developing videos, useful worldwide.
Miller is founder and chairman of the board of University of the World.
Currently have 2 sets of conversations, in segments of 20 minutes.
World leaders on systems science.
Another set of tapes on Living Systems, which are available in South Africa.
Currently, there is Iridium: 66 satellites conveying signals to all places
in the world.
Denzel Edge (Kentucky?) will be taking over, and is collecting tapes.
Colleague from UW sent article: "a virtual university is a virtual impossibility".
Currently in use by phone companies (e.g. AT&T), expensive now, will
fall in price, later.
Miller is interested in Iridium for education.
If you send a signal from Louisville, KY through Imagetel (in Iridium),
can't reach India due to the curve in the earth.
However, have a colleague in Hong Kong who can retransmit to India.
Have an offer from a millionaire in India who wants to do this.
Used this opportunity to address this opportunity.
In the world university, will offering the same courses throughout the
world result in a monoculture, with an impoverishment of diversity.
Are academics being naive in thinking about how companies will use knowledge?
Habermas: system of ideas will colonize the educational lifeworlds brought
up over generations.
There's a possibility that one person's lectures won't be acceptable to
a country, and thus, there will be a selection.
Jim Miller's comment: Today, have certain textbooks which are popular,
and sell better throughout the world.
World university doesn't mean United States teaching the world, because
all countries have good teachers.
Jim Miller's reply: Perhaps it will happen, but there's always local choice
If there isn't satisfaction with the materials, another university will
Enrique Herrscher: Imperialistic lessons, but still need to teach students
This one media isn't meant to exclude other forms of teaching, and should
only be considered supplementary.
Corporations are going global, but are educators?
... to the 1998 ISSS Conference (Rough) Transcription
... to the ISSS home page at www.isss.org.