2008/07/18 11:05 Jim Gustafson, "Vertical and Horizontal Scaling Strategies to Avoid Destruction in the Modern Contest"

ISSS Madison 2008, 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the ISSS web site by David Ing.

Jim Gustafson, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin-Madison:

Take two regions of energy capture, and go farther

Simpler version of diagram:  if then, what about us

  • Most of us work on systems that work on the lower part of the curve:  we put in a lot of energy
  • It's harder to get output

Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

  • Not atypical, low energy capture
  • Dr. Jekyll can't keep it up, he gets tired
  • Cycle, Mr. Hyde bursts out without restraint
  • People in low gain energy, busting out in high gain energy
  • Signals depression and anxiety, then rage to take more resources

Watch Clockwise movie:  high school with a control tower over his school

  • Most successful headmaster in England, as they round him up

If only two possibilities of low gain with a cycle of high gain, we would be a problem

A third region, where gives more energy than taking away waht we've got

  • A transitional field, book this fall, The Core Instrument and Key ...
  • Balance between exterior field and interior field
  • In the transition field, all beautiful pursuits:  love, art, music
  • Many don't know how to obtain this

Need a vertical and horizontal scale

  • Ability to locate a small enough scale, to get some independence from wearing oneself out, and a rhythm that isn't perterbed in space
  • Horizontal scale is time

Where can we find a region?

  • Maggi and Strogatz
  • Varied oscillation
  • Unstable region in the middle
  • The tighter the coupling, and the lower the frequency, you lock synchrony
  • Have incoherence when little coupling, and lots of frequencies
  • Region in between:  coupling somewhat loose, and frequencies not too great

Alexander and Globitz similar to Maggi and Strogatz

Middle area tuned like a musical instrument

In between an incoherence that is like a breadth

Walter Freeman:  like a breath, studied rabbits, and when breath is drawn in, system is loosely coupled, open to odours -- pulse motor

  • In the out breath, sensors link into one odour, e.g. carrots

In human body, can lock top-down (brain as one), and bottom up (pulse mode), and in between have an interesting region

  • If mother watches everything, constant worry
  • Play is in the middle region, randomness
  • Gilligan, 10 year old girls:  come into synchrony from other girls, become locked in or out of peer groups
  • Every year would take girls to museum, ask them about pictures of men
  • At age 11, would say they don't know what they think, then age 12 doubled, by age 15, didn't know anything
  • Worked against a steep gradient

Girl survived mother, put her into a pack, put her into medical school, get a problem

  • She'll have a list of things to do
  • Residents used to have packs of white cards with things to do, not computers
  • She's so coupled to mother with teenage worries, and packs, and then reading off cards, then all of these other things they have to learn

Psychologists are all upset, because they do everything by rote, and don't talk with students

  • If ask why is going on in dreams at night, too incoherent

How to find the third region?

  • At sleep, mind disconnected from synchrony, drop into the night sea of  ...
  • Poincare, mathemetician, chapter in Giesel:  when working on a proof, would go for a walk, and then dream the proof
  • He called this region a sieve:  selection of enumerable possibilities
  • If can use the middle region, can dream a picture of the geometry that are embedded in: non-linear geometry
  • Have worked with patients showing them the geography of energy capture

Had a dream of my sieve

(Drawing on whiteboard)

Dreamt was in training to be a drug company representative

  • In department conference room, but another long table
  • Beginning of training with an exercise, where all trainees were supposed to rush to a table to write down a list of references, faculty representative
  • Standing around, thought completely left of this
  • Second scene:  standing on hill, watching the trainees in a race that would come down a hill, and then a spurt uphill
  • Led by a drug company repesentative
  • Colleague was on his tail
  • Reminded of training in San Francisco, but this was on West Washington Avenue, towards the Capitol
  • End in entropy
  • This is a dream of hierarchy over time
  • Poincare:  can dream of own hierarchy over time
  • High hopes, but dream to low gain
  • Self has a hill to stand on, and can see the trajectory over time
  • Had a dream in 1996 about a French explorer who had a hat, attacking the train line going from Poughkeepsie to New York
  • At that time, thought could exhaust self in New York, now not attacking it

Second dream:

  • In San Francisco, as the sun was setting over the Pacific
  • Had to go from South San Francisco, passing all the way to north (Marin County), passing through many military bases
  • Led by a 16-year old boy
  • A map of self as young resident, struck by shallowness of everything
  • Esalen Institute, south of San Fran, everyone had a method for everything
  • Was facing being drafted to Vietnam
  • In San Fran, was being taught by psychoanalysts in control mastery theory
  • Guided by a 16-year old boys, who was me
  • Father sold cars from Ford, low gain activity, could only make a little money, had been taught about low gain energy
  • All of these schemes promise high gain energy, but end up as low gain

How do we get out of this?

  • The English sentence
  • 5000 years old, Indo invasian at 2000-3000 BC
  • Everything in west is high gain energy capture
  • Greatest writers have written about high gain energy capture:  tragedy, Tolstoy
  • Death of a Salesman is about low gain, Beckett coming down in low gain

Vincent Sculley, Yale

  • Mycene, where Agamenmon's tomb is, where the Trojan War emerged
  • Non-linear geometry, Shelley's portrait of it
  • Sculley's decription of the place
  • Mycene a seat of pride and power.  Holiest place, strongest in magical sense, and dread.  Pass from the north, two peaks of mountain.  Fortress in the middle.  Multiple images.  Horns.  King puts self in citadel in center.
  • Everything in Greek tragedy is about the balance

Horizontal scale

  • Leopold
  • Time and way to protect it
  • Birds first make sounds at 4 a.m.


Can we only get this state when we're sleeping, or also in semi-sleeping state?

  • Absolutely
  • Hypnogogic space:  if you don't jump out of bed, you're in the transitional region
  • Make notes before sitting up, will get beautiful pictures of geography
  • Countless regions of getting there:  e.g. tennis, in a crouch, dancing, making love

Can't stay in the semi-sleeping state too long, it's uncomfortable

  • Have to also bow to the need for energy capture
  • Going to work, energy forward, but have to hold back as well

Entropy, exergy, exploring human relationship with thermodynamics.  Conservation of energy?

  • Interesting things happen not with a question, but in conversation.
  • Whole talk about conservation of energy
  • Using the third region to allow energy to be drawn up inside us
  • Playing tennis, coach said standing up straight was cutting off energy top from bottom
  • That's conservation of energy, more vitality than less

Beyond systems science to systems seeing, systems being.  Vicker's appreciative system.  Moving from probable to possibilistic.