Saturday, January 17, 2004

Progress

After a little checking and $110 later I am now registered to take the GRE on Wednesday the 21st. While it would certainly be more ideal to have additional time to study, I have little choice in order to meet the deadline of my applications. My getting into a graduate program is not necessarily contingent on me having GRE scores, yet a number of fellowships will be. I’m not certain if my scores will be good enough, and there is little I can do in this time-frame to change them, but I figured that a paid education was worth taking the chance. My applications are nearly complete and are simply waiting for my last essay. I need a description of my program goals.

At this point it is obvious to me, and I’m sure becoming so for you readers as well, that my area of interest is far too large to pack into a graduate program. Even a Ph.D. program, though I do know of one individual that took over a decade to complete his! I don’t think my wife would be able to go along with that ;-).

So what in the world does System Dynamics have to do with a Global Mind? I’ve been asking myself this question incessantly, and while the specifics have been a little fuzzy I am starting see the connection. I’m afraid that I can’t talk about these details on a public Blog just yet, but once my ideas are part of a program, I’m sure it will be safer to publish.

Yet to aid in my own process, and to give those of you that are actually somewhat interested in some ammunition for providing me feedback, I will talk more about existing parallels. Principia Cybernetica Web is a rather unique project that started in 1989 that looks to help develop the very theory and philosophy behind a semantic network and other cybernetic technologies. I first came across this site as the result of a posting on the System Dynamics list serve that responded to a query about peoples’ favorite books and papers on system science. One of the individuals included a number of references to cybernetics, which was something that I had previously assumed was simply a popular science fiction term and not a real discipline. After a quick search, it became clear that Principia Cybernetica was indeed an interesting resource of a truly academic nature.

It’s not just about cybernetics though, and actually has a refreshing description of System Science. What is more, is how the site is organized and maintained. Some of it is very much like a Blog with user feedback enabled. Yet it also includes a unique user interface, and is designed to adapt itself in response to how it is accessed. Of course while Blogs are just now becoming popular, this was all started back in 1993 when the project was first implemented on the web!

There is also a fair amount of philosophy laid out, which is again interesting and stimulating, but begins to lead off-topic for my project. Like in my previous post, such information is useful, however, I don’t intend to answer any age old questions like “why are we here?” in my study.

As I've accessed these sites and read about useful technologies, I've started to recognize a patterned and systemic problem to each. It is with this issue that I hope my experience in System Dynamics will be of value. I would be glad to talk more about this in person with anyone who simply can’t wait, ha, ha. Until my idea is somewhat protected, the rest of you will just have to be happy with reading about whatever it is I’m working on!

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