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Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 7 months ago

Complexity, Space, Communication


Moving on ...


My own thinking is moving on to Managing Complex Adaptive Networks (rather than systems), and I will be giving a paper (see:

http://learning-affordances.wikispaces.com/CANs ) on that theme, at  a conference in Cape Town in October (2007).  However, it strikes me that what I am doing is substantially shifting the way in which I am thinking about these issues, and I need a new framework, so I have started to put one together, in Mind the CAN  (see

http://k-m-etaphors.wikispaces.com/Mind+the+CAN  ).  (Apologies,  but the editor wont accept slashes in the URL)



I am fascinated by Complexity Theory, or Complex Adaptive Systems Theory (CAST). 


I will be applying it to a new research project on how learners create and exploit affordances for learning. 


Coping with complexity: educating for capability

Here is a paper that looks at the educational consequences of complexity thinking.



Basics of Complex Adaptive Systems Theory (CAST)

If you have space for:

Interaction, communication, feedback, flexibility, & a few, simple, ground rules ...


You get:

Self-organisation, new affordances, emergent properties, new event horizons, and new behaviours which

might consolidate as ‘frozen accidents’.



Models and Stories


Traffic Roundabout


Ground rules are simple: give way right, signal lane changes, proceed anti-clockwise.

Communication requires clear line-of-sight space.

Interaction requires larger spaces for more participants (vehicles)

Boundary of spaces must be clearly differentiated from ‘road’ or ‘freeway’ to indicate new type of interactive

space, and change of basic interaction (speed) must be clearly marked.


Self-organisation works.


However, if you change just one of the basic parameters (diameter, relative to traffic volume), as in crowded

Nairobi roundabouts, lane discipline is discarded, (its not possible) and the speed reduces.  It becomes a

bottle neck, and is less effective for maintaining traffic flow.


The whole point of a roundabout (self-organised interaction in a maintained traffic flow) is compromised,

although possibly not altogether compromised.  The question is, does this traffic intersection (with roundabout)

provide any advantage over a central Cairo intersection(with traffic lights and lanes, all of which are ignored)? 


It the Nairobi intersection still a 'roundabout'?


There must be many more examples ... any thoughts?



Wall Newspaper


This is a form of a paper wiki ...


Ground rules: Provide a large sheet of newsprint (30-50 feet) on a wall of your choice.  People may only write/ draw on it something that

someone else has said/ drawn/ depicted (in the air, on paper, or what you will).  Its 'reportage'.

Works well at a workshop/ conference.


The way that 'writing' takes place is redefined from what one person might say/ think/ or write,  to: what emerges from

a speaking and hearing pair - each item is the product of an unscripted interaction between two people - conversation - and

what is said is mostly not 'meant' to be written down. 


What is written down often surprises even the person who 'said' it in the first place. 


Its interesting to see what gets written, but more interesting is to see that a tiny change in the way the feedback

(or feed-around) is set up can have a large effect on what happens in the overall environment. 


Its one way of eliciting emergent, new, self-organising behaviour.



If you have any ideas, insights into complexity, space, communication, self organisation or emergence please add your views




(see:  http://k-m-etaphors.wikispaces.com/Mind+the+CAN )...  


(Apologies, but the editor does not accept slashes within links).

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