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REMEDY 101

When Simplicity Fails

When "keep it simple" does not work, what then?

REMEDY 101

When Simplicity Fails

What do you do when your "simple" plan is anything but?

REMEDY 101

When Simplicity Fails

When "keep it simple" does not work, what then?

REMEDY 101

When Simplicity Fails

Simple is effective until it ISN'T -- then what?

REMEDY 101

When Simplicity Fails

When "keep it simple" does not work, what then?

REMEDY 101

When Simplicity Fails

My simple and your simple disagree -- conflict is not simple.

Time Left To Find Clarity:

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Our Key Concepts

Learn About Our Key Concepts

Requisite Variety
How to guide / manage/control a system. The Law of Requisite Variety says that the degrees of freedom the number of variables that are available to be manipulated which are present in a system need to be similar in whatever it is we try to use to control that system. If the controller has too many degrees of freedom will be lost in uncertainty and ambiguity. If the controller has too few degrees of freedom, then the system will be able to run away with itself. .
Black Boxes
Kinds of models and descriptions. The kind of black box we are talking about is not the one found on airplanes which records all of the data available to it for some given time. Instead is a logical tool that we use to simplify the world. This black box consists of the linkage between some input X and some output Y where what goes on between X and Y is hidden from us. It is the black box which we assert contains the relationship between X and Y. And we speak of black boxes like this as if they were real.
Narratives
The stories we tell to make sense of things.“The listener has to feel like a part of the story. Otherwise, all you have done is to take the statistics and turn them into words. For example, if you merely tell the story of best practice and expect it to be repeated, you treat it in the complicated realm – as a systemic thing. But you can tell the same story and say to people: ‘In this situation this worked. Let’s examine what it was about the situation that allowed it to work. How does that differ from your situations? Can you point out things that are the same and things that are different?’ Invite the listeners to think about these things and then hoist them.”
Descriptions
Labels and more for pre-given categories.Description is the formal name for the use of a token to signify a specific and defined meaning. Descriptions are reductions. Any reduction's effectiveness is determined not only by the nature of the reductive process but also by the context in which the reduction is employed. Thus, when the goal is efficiency, descriptions can be very helpful. Morse Description allowed for the transmission of a significant amount of information in its day. Descriptions can be dealt with via look-up tables, statistics and Shannon's information theory. It is efficient to assert the presence of a label and then to "look up" the appropriate behavior or next action based upon the label.
System
"A set of interrelated elements ... a system is an entity which is composed of at least two elements and a relation that holds between each of its elements and at least one other element in the set. Each of a system's elements is connected to every other element, directly or indirectly. Furthermore, no subset of elements is unrelated to any other subset" (Ackoff) "System" corresponds to a man-created general conceptual model for coherent, complex and more or less identifiable and permanently observed real world entities. "A system is a set of elements dynamically interacting and organized in relation to a goal" (de Rosnay). "A set of parts with a common destiny,which maintain their interrelations, even when placed in a different environment"(Bonsack).
Resilience
Resilience is the capacity of a system (or a person) to maintain its core integrity in the face of dramatically changed circumstances. (Zolli and Healy, 2012) Resilience requires that there be resources available to accommodate the demands of differing contexts. It is the ability to spring back, to rebound.
Constraints
To constrain is to force by imposed stricture, restriction, or limitation or to restrict motion to a particular mode. Constraints act as boundaries. They can limit the range of possible actions or behaviors but conversely by providing a foundation upon which limits are known, constraints can be sometime enabling.
Models
The ability to experiment and to learn.The modeling relation is what tells us whether we actually have a model or if we merely have a description. Model is something that we can manipulate in the space of our minds or on a computer or on a piece of paper and then depending on what we observe in the model can decide how to implement things in real life. A description gives us no such opportunities. Manipulating the description has no implications for what happens in real life.

Why Models are Important

Models allow you to play. They allow you to experiment. They allow you to understand what might happen. Being able to play and to draw conclusions without having to take actions which have real consequences is very important. It is the key ingredient to allowing you to have resilience. By contrast, when dealing with a description, manipulations can only play with the description itself -- they have no real world consequences. They cannot be decoded into some actual implementation or embodiment in the real world. But remember, pre-given labels and categories are very efficient. Much of our simple world works due to the efficiencies from the use of pre-given labels and categories. Not everything needs a model.

Models need to be "appropriate" to the situation.

How do we determine appropriateness? There are some easy questions you might ask. Are you presenting a model which can be acted upon or you merely offering up a description? Does your story encompass enough context to address the situation at hand or the problem that you were trying to address? Is your story open or closed to the current context of your listener? And it's the current context of the listener that matters not some hypothetical context not some prior context but the actual now.

Science depends on 'appropriate' models

Scientists cannot always apply ready-made terms, concepts or procedures to interpret new or surprising features of the world. Traditional views of science have emphasized the established, accepted, finished product, [an] approach [which] hides the extent to which scientists invent and negotiate ways of representing aspects of the world they are investigating the meaning of a term is not given by a finite, fixed set of necessary and sufficient conditions for its application (as analytical philosophy assumes), nor by stipulating an exact set of referents. Rather, meaning is given by sets of objects and associations that are invoked when a term is used. Membership of these sets can change. In science—as in everyday life—words and phrases often emerge from concrete situations in which participants jointly work out ways of describing what is going on. New terms, symbols or images are situated—they acquire meaning through collective use in real situations. (Gooding and Addis, 2008)

Black boxes are key to finding "appropriate" models

The principle of the Black Box is that, where we observe some change in a behavior, we construct and insert a Black Box allowing us to interpret the change as the result of the operation of an invisible mechanism, held within the Box, on what is now seen as input giving rise to output. The observer/scientist develops a description functioning as a mechanism/explanation (i.e. model) which accounts for the transformations of what are now input into output. The explanation is purely historical and the product of the interaction between the observer and his inventive, fictional insertion, the Black Box. What is vital is that the Black Box is essentially and crucially a construct of the observer. The observer watches and changes. What the observer learns he learns from interaction with the Black Box. When what is observed is observed by an observer, that observer is responsible for the observation, the sense he makes of it, and the actions he takes based on that sense. (Glanville, 2002)

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Introductory Video
When Simplicity Fails: Remedy101

This 26 minute video provides an introduction to what the science of context can do for you.

Books

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