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Ashley Dancer
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Bryan, I liked your inclusion and discussion of everyday system thinkers that may not have a "platform." It made me reflect on our culture and education system. Why don't we have more systems thinkers? Why don't we teach or cover this material in our public education system? Systems thinking is more or less a process of trying to understand complex system and eventually positively influence it. It could be taught in conjunction with other subjects as a method of evaluating, historical events for example. Our public education system is rigidly stuck in an industrial model of educating U.S. citizens. But, we don't need many "worker bees," anymore. We need well-intentioned innovators and dynamic problem solvers that are actively engaged with their community. However, the direction we are going when it comes to public education increasingly concerns me. What are your thoughts? Using the readings as a basis, what do you think could be done?
I was initially a little confused by your post. But, I checked it out and there are a few sources online that discuss Russia's propaganda claims that they can take out the entire US Navy with EMP bombs. Apparently the device or devices, can "render planes, ships, missiles, and even satellites completely useless." From what I read, a lot of their threats are geared towards neutralizing the nuclear missile defense system the United States currently has AKA an EMP could disable our missile defense system and allow a nuclear bomb to hit US soil. But, I could see how such a devise could also be used to disrupt economic stability and safety (fire example you mentioned). ...or just use an EMP as a non-violent show of force (non-violent in the sense that no one dies as a direct result, secondary deaths could occur).
Monica, I'm also super interested in hearing what Chris Allen has to say. I've started to work on the visual component of our systems map/model for my 3SO group project, and it's a lot more challenging than I thought it would be. I think this is mainly because it's only supposed to be a "model" of reality and so, can not fully capture the complexity. But, what makes a good model reflect reality is that the right and the right amount of information is included. I have a feeling that systems mapping/model creation becomes easier with practice and is likely both an art and a science. I'm sure a huge part of effective systems mapping/modelling entails effectively catering the materials you create to your audience. AKA making sure that it speaks the language of the group or organization in need of systems thinkers to help solve wicked problems.
Monica, I agree that the basic solution to the problem seems straightforward i.e. switch to sources of energy that do not produce GHGs. But, getting there will be incredibly complicated and many stakeholders will have different perspectives on when and how to get there. There's also entire industries, businesses (who employ people), and submarkets dedicated to petroleum based energy and petroleum based products. A lot of infrastructure is built around energy from oil and gas; new infrastructure and energy grids would have to be built to support multiple renewable sources of energy. While I 100% think that we need to be moving towards renewable sources of energy, to include, reliable sources of energy storage. I think the problem is anything but simple; a lot of change in economic and environmental policy as well as American culture would need to occur. I think what's most concerning is shifts like this can take a lot of time, time we are increasingly running out of.
"It’s for these reasons that I believe government involvement in industry should be prioritized to protecting the health and safety of its citizens and the environment in regards to shared resources, such as the oceans, public lands, and the climate- anything that cannot be privatized." I 100% agree with this statement. But, I would add that it should cover things that cannot AND should not be privatized. The government should be the referee and leveler of power. Or at least, attempt to keep markets as perfectly competitive as possible. As of late though, private industry seems to be increasingly consolidated. This has warped many markets and minimized the power of consumers by reducing competition. If the US keeps moving in this direction, we'll see an increasingly smaller and poorly funded government and private industries with significant power due to monopolies. If the sole goal continues to be "profit for shareholders," the future doesn't look awesome.
Wow! How serendipitous! I really enjoyed your use of the Sesame Street example to illustrate key points and expand on this week's readings. Sometimes I wonder if it might be a worthy exercise to break-down children's TV shows and/or stories into the core philosophical, economic, or social/psychological arguments they are trying to make. I think that would be a fascinating and tangible way to explore academic ideas. Oh, actually! One of my roommates is an undergraduate, and he was telling me recently that there's a course that is incorporating Game of Thrones into the syllabus to assist with understanding the material. I think the class was medieval literature. One thing though, I had a hard time connecting the dots in The Guardian article when he made the jump from Neoliberalism to the election of President Trump. I feel like it's a bit of a reach to blame the outcome of our recent democratic election on an economic theory. There was definitely more at play; Neoliberalism may have contributed somehow though, but to what degree, I am unsure.
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Oct 13, 2017
Haha! This totally reminds me of the first episode of the New Magic School Bus on Netflix. They discussed ecosystems and invasive species. I think it is super interesting to think of invasive species as particularly resilient. It's a new way to frame them and a way of looking at them that I had not thought about before. Also, fires acting as a way to spread velvet grass reminds me of an article I read about how "shocks," to ecosystems can permanently alter them, and make certain species of plants and animals more vulnerable. The article had to do with mass animal species death and how this can alter ecosystems due to the significant amount of rotting flesh. See this link for details (the experiment involved lots of pig carcasses): My favorite quote from the article, "Traps for ground-dwelling insects were lifted out of the ground by maggots and 'rode the river of maggots down the hill.'"
Monica, I too had trouble framing the relationships and interconnections between key elements within a system. I seemed to be pretty good at identifying elements and purpose/function, but, after reading this section, I definitely over simplified interconnections. Time! I forget to consider rates of change as well. It's probably because I often fantasize about being able to pause time and fix the world's problems and then hit play again. I think the biggest challenge for me is acknowledging that as changes happen within a system they do so over time as opposed to a static environment, which can lead to weird or unintended outcomes. A specific example would be those oscillation graphs in our reading that visually depict response delays. They reminded me of my time in the military and how the Air Force struggled with being either over-manned (too many people in a specific job) or under-manned (too little people in a specific job) and was consistently trying to reach equilibrium (balancing feedback loop), but neglected to consider response delays.
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Sep 10, 2017