Peter Anthony, Managing Culture, Open University Press, 1994, ISBN 0-335-09788-X - Bibliography

Part 1 - Review - The Human Systems - The weight of culture - implications

Good businesses know how to encourage people to collaborate, so I find Anthony's case has personal resonance, I have suffered cognitive dissonance whenever I contemplate the co-operation that is advocated inside a company to the ruthless competition that is advocated outside it.

Similarly, outsourcing destroys any feelings of belonging and commitment. On one business assignment which involved long hours I was able to get to know the cleaners - one in particular took extra time to polish the brass door fittings out of a sense of pride. Outsourcing destroys that - the job then just becomes a chore to be got through as quickly as possible; in one FTSE company the carpets in our office had to be fumigated, in another I cleaned my own desk because the cleaning only extended to a quick wiz round with a vacuum. 

Part 2 - Assess - Vision - Good Characteristics

 

Frijof Capra and Pier Luigi Luisi, The Systems View of Life a Unifying Vision, Cambridge University Press, 2014, ISBN 978-1-107-01136-6 - Bibliography

Systems thinking is central to Capra's philosophy and approach, see also his The Turning Point

Part 1 - Review - The Human System - Knowledge and its acquisition

Fritjof Capra and Pier Luigi Luisi, A Systems. View of Life, op.cit. Chapter/Section 7.2.3 Emergent Properties, pp 133 - Bibliography

Part 1 Review - The Human System - Knowledge and its Acquisition

Appendices - Systems: an overview - System characteristics

Frijof Capra and Pier Luigi Luisi, The Systems View of Life a Unifying Vision, Cambridge University Press, 2014, ISBN 978-1-107-01136-6 - Bibliography

See Chapter 11.3 The determinants of being human

Part 1 - Review - The Human System - Our natural selves

Frijof Capra and Pier Luigi Luisi, The Systems View of Life a Unifying Vision, Cambridge University Press, 2014, ISBN 978-1-107-01136-6 - Bibliography

See Chapter 12 Mind and Consciousness

Part 1 - Review - The Human System - The products of mind

Frijof Capra and Pier Luigi Luisi, The Systems View of Life a Unifying Vision, Cambridge University Press, 2014, ISBN 978-1-107-01136-6 - Bibliography

They quote Lewontin 1991, referring to the atmosphere and the addition of oxygen, on p141

Part 1 - Review - The Human System - Behaviour as an emergent property 

Anthony Damasio, The feeling of what happens, Vinatge, 2000, ISBN 0 09 928876 1, Part 1, Introduction, Stepping into the Light - Bibliography

Part 1 - Review - The Human System - The products of mind

Jarred Dimond, The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee, Vintage 1992, ISBN 978-00999138-01 - Bibliography

Part 1 - Review - The Human System - Our natural selves

John Hands, Cosmo Sapiens, Human Evolution from the Origin of the Universe, Duckworth Overlook, 2015, ISBN 978-0-7156-5121-6 - Bibliography 

Part 1 - Review - The Human System - Our natural selves 

John Hands, Cosmo Sapiens, Human Evolution from the Origin of the Universe, Duckworth Overlook, 2015, ISBN 978-0-7156-5121-6 - Bibliography

What we think we know is wrong, see Chapter 23, especially when it comes to the presence of cooperation as a factor in evolution. This even results in difficulties getting papers published that counter cherished ideas.

Part 1 - Review - The Human System - Knowledge and its acquisition

John Hands, Cosmo Sapiens, Human Evolution from the Origin of the Universe, Duckworth Overlook, 2015, ISBN 978-0-7156-5121-6 - Bibliography

See Chapter 24 The Evolution of Consciousness

Part 1 - Review - The Human System - The products of mind

John Hands, Cosmo Sapiens, Human Evolution from the Origin of the Universe, Duckworth Overlook, 2015, ISBN 978-0-7156-5121-6 - Bibliography

On pages 413 and 420

Part 1 - Review - The Human Systems - Our natural selves 

L P Hartley, The Go-Between (1953), First sentence;  “The past is foreign country, they do things differently there.” https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/L._P._Hartley

Part 1 - Review - The Human System

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Past - History Overview - Life and Evolution

I am thinking here of the biases that we are all prone to, as described in Daniel Kahneman, Thinking Fast and Slow, Pengiun, 2011, ISBN 978-0-14103357-0 - Bibliography

Part 1 - Review - The Human System - The products of mind

All I can say is that I did study political philosophy as part of my 1st degree and have some awareness of various strands of thought. My own favourite is Thomas Hobbes, and I find the idea of the social contract attractive though I demur from the idea of the state of nature being one of perpetual war. Elsewhere in this ebook where I consider idealism and the reality of power I also reference Machiavelli.

Part 1 - Review - The Human System - The products of mind

I know the left wing, orthodox answer to these rhetorical questions. By building (the correct) class-consciousness it is intended to build a politically strong force to wage war on behalf of the working class interests. Then there follows a debate about whether this is pursued via parliamentary or revolutionary means. In the face of the destruction of union power (a political act) or the end of mass society (a historical trend) the weakness of class allegiance and solidarity has and is making the defence of working class interests difficult. My analysis has some superficial similarities to this thesis but I reject it. Class is not a group in the system (it is a classification) and class war is either a misleading metaphor or the justification for violence. If socialism is co-operation, how can a class war bring it about? This gets to the root of my argument for holistic political economy - its values and the the utility of its strategy and tactics. 

Part 1 - Review - The Human System - The weight of culture

Commissions of Enquiry are our ways of looking at complex problems in the current political system. They are problematic for many reasons: holding them is at the discretion of politicians, the time and effort needed to set them up, the time they take to take evidence, participation, there are no guarantees that the findings will be adopted, cherry picking individual recommendations (point solutions creeping in), and the implementation processes not being reviewed by the people who looked at the problem in the first place. More fundamentally, the process is a quasi-judicial one, as far as I know there is no application of systems thinking to the problem areas. This is just too cumbersome and slow to be effective. 

Part 1 Review - The Human System - Knowledge and its Acquisition

Tony Benn's 5 tests for democracy were these:

  1. What power have you got? 
  2. Where did you get it from? 
  3. In whose interests do you use it? 
  4. To whom are you accountable? 
  5. How do we get rid of you?

https://www.thenation.com/article/tony-benn-and-five-essential-questions-democracy/

They inspire the following 

The latest example of a point solution not working is the way the betting industry is getting round the £2 per bet restriction the has been imposed on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. 

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/apr/01/bookmakers-bet-on-roulette-style-games-to-bypass-new-fobt-rules

All regulatory rules can be worked round or gamed. Unless problems are looked at systemically loopholes will be very obvious and easy to find. What is needed is a more systematic analysis of the problem with a considered decision about where and how to intervene that will be most likely to succeed and be least vulnerable to unintended consequences. However that alone will not be enough if there is no agreement as to what the problem is. To be really be effective a culture must exist that accepts there is a problem. Here we have a wilful rejection of the need for restraint, an incomprehension that dumping costs on the public sector (in this case the costs of betting addiction and its fallout) is something the industry is responsible for. From those who make huge profit from gambling, this is surely unacceptable.

Part 1 Review - The Human Activity System - Knowledge and its Acquisition - Point Solution

This may seem a rather abstract way of showing the human activity system; I wanted to capture both its extensiveness and something of its complexity in an accessible way. I have used the large dotted boxes and overlapped them (similar to a Venn diagram) and a four-way arrow-headed cross to try and capture a flavour of this complexity and interconnectedness.

The major hypothesis of this work has three elements: (1) that this model will stand up to scrutiny, undoubtedly a formal literature search demonstrating the key interactions would useful, (2) that human behaviour is not a given but an emergent property of the entire system, (3) it follows that since we make our culture we can modify our behaviour.

With those things established its a matter of values to decide if and how we should make changes. Essentially the optimistic conclusion is that change for the better is possible. 

Part 1 - Review - The Human System

In my wilder optimistic phases I thought it may be possible to take the new awareness of cooperation within evolution and derive an alternative politics from that. The emergent aspects of human behaviour however include the products of mind so its actually necessary to spell out the values on which an alternative politics is based – this of course also means that people are free to come to other conclusions.

Part 1 - Review - The Human System - The products of mind 

Even communes will have an unofficial hierarchy; there is always someone who organises the meeting and often some dominant personalities.

Part 1 - Review - The Human System - The weight of culture

Many dictators have tried to bring about change by imposition - left, right and centre, ultimately it does not work, though it may take time to fail. We settle for our imperfect democracy as if it was a given – the worst system except for all the others that have been tried as Churchill famously had it https://winstonchurchill.org/resources/quotes/the-worst-form-of-government/

I think that's not good enough, in fact its complacent and unless we want to sleepwalk into the future we had better start joining up the dots.

Part 1 - Review - The Human System

Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct, Penguin, 1994, ISBN 0-14-017529-6 - Bibliography

Part 1 - Review - The Human System - Our natural selves

David Priestland, Merchant, Soldier, Sage: A New History of Power. ISBN 978-1849663519 - Bibliography

Part 1 - Review - The Human System - The weight of culture

Robert M Sapolsky, Behave, The Biology of Humans at our Best and Worst, Bodely Head, ISBN 978-18479221-68 - Bibliography

Part 1 - Review - The Human System - Our natural selves

There is a full discussion about how much the tendency to kill is inherited in Robert M Sapolsky, Behave - Bibliography

See pages 315-327. He considers that bonobos as less aggressive than chimpanzees and notes that the species have diverged. He also states that we should be cautious of concluding we are inherently violent because "Roughly 95-98 percent of of hominid history has been spent in small, nomadic bands that ranged for edible plants and hunted cooperatively."

Part 1 - Review - The Human System - Our natural selves

Guy Standing, The Precariat, ISBN 978-1849663519 - Bibliography

He describes people whose work and lives are precarious because they have short-term jobs, irregular income, are not covered by social protection and cannot easily unit (as a factory based working class could) so that they have little protection from hard times

Part 1 - Review - The Human System - The weight of culture

Yanis Varoufarkis, Adults in the Room, My Battle with Europe’s Deep Establishment, Bodely Head, 2017, ISBN 978-1847-9244-52 - Bibliography

Introduction p7-8. He reports a a conversation between himself, then Finance Minister of Greece and Larry Summers, then independent (previously Chief Economist World Bank, Secretary of State for Treasury, President of Harvard). Summers asked Varoufakis if he would be an insider or an outsider. Only be being an insider could he get access to information and the chance to influence decisions. Outsiders, said Summers insist on the right “to speak their version of the truth”, insiders on the other hand stick together. This is a very revealing anecdote – many politicians have enough hubris to readily opt to become insiders. Throughout this site I will argue that by giving up their version of the truth they are giving up the crown jewels as a price of entry. That step once taken reinforces the existence of the club. 

Part 1 - Review - The Human System - Our natural selves, Implication - Constraints 

Part 2 - Assess - Vision - Vision for Realists - Mind thought, Culture and Values