The revolutionary power of network thought- a Scientific American Blog to share (not mine)

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2014/12/12/how-networks-are-revolutionizing-scientific-and-maybe-human-thought/

from the SA blog- “Network thinking lets us scientifically understand the world around us as one of connections that shape observed phenomena, rather than as one where the intrinsic properties of people, genes, or particles determine outcomes. Like previous scientific revolutions, the network revolution also has the promise of reshaping our basic commonsense expectations of the world around us, and may allow us to recognize that we are not a basically individualistic, asocial, and quarrelsome creature that comes in bounded linguistic, ethnic, racial, or religious types, but a social species linked to one another by far-reaching network ties.”

My short take:
This piece takes some elementary ideas from network analysis and packages them for the the less than convinced linear thinkers. Again, we system thinkers are again pleading for openness to this paradigm. Maybe such blogs (and even my book, http://www.springer.com/public+health/book/978-3-319-12202-1) can break through the complacency. The revolution lies in accepting our relational reality and approaching its discernment in systemic fashion. Period.

MBF

Sunbelt XXXV Call for Abstracts

Deadline: 31 March 2015

The Sunbelt XXXV organising committee is soliciting abstracts for paper presentations at the upcoming 2015 conference 23 – 28 June in Brighton, UK. Submission opens on 28 Nov 2014 and closes on 31 March 2015 at 17:00 GMT.

We invite abstract submissions for posters (90 minute poster session) and oral presentations (20 minute talk) on topics relevant to social network analysis, including theory, methods, and applications of social network analysis. Please limit your abstracts to 500 words. If an abstract is being submitted as part of an organised session, please select the appropriate organised session name in the session field submission form.

Paper and poster presentations will begin on Wednesday (24 June) and end on Sunday (28 June). Presenting authors of accepted submissions must be INSNA members and register for and present their work at the meeting. This stipulation applies to both oral and poster presentations. Each person may present only one paper at the conference.

To submit an abstract, visit the conference website at http://insna.org/sunbelt2015.

Elisa Bellotti, Bruce Cronin, Martin Everett
Sunbelt XXXV Organising Committee


Flipping the Right Policy Switches on Climate Change Policy the Greyson Way

Flipping the Right Policy Switches on Climate Change Policy
Social policies are, more often than not, framed with the traditionalist rationalization of human intentionality. Be that as it may, policy tenders the protocols that are then acted up-on publically to bring social impact. Of course, a well-intended climate policy must take into account on courses of collective action as well as funding priorities and constraints. While some level of desired social and health satisfaction may be experienced in the short term by shifting policy priorities, it is also probable that no tangible value is achieved toward to the overarching desire to elicit system wide impact. Did you hear that the two largest suppliers of pollutants, China and the United States, ‘pledged’ to actionably reduce limit greenhouse emissions over a media-friendly handshake (http://tinyurl.com/ld7mz8y)? Commentators are calling these ambitious goals for the EU. But Directorate-General for Climate Action (“DG CLIMA”) long recognized that climate policy both within the EU is a large part of the solution. The wisdom of the DG CLIMA offers the requirement that with 2020 policy goals, it is ‘adaptation measures (that) will reduce the European Union’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.’ (http://ec.europa.eu/clima/about-us/mission/index_en.htm). This is an inescapable reason for governing bodies of all levels to open their ears and eyes to this reality that change really means adaptation! And the EU appears to be leading the way, perhaps unnoticed by constituents outside of the EU.
John Sterman, a pioneer in systems thinking, corrected our thinking about effects in a system. We often frame the resulting social effects of a policy as ‘side effects’. This is incorrect thinking. What governing bodies often try to combat are so-called ‘side effects’. There are main intended effects which are the ones that policymakers want to happen. What policymakers often uncover are unintended effects, not side effects, which signal faulty understanding of the climate system.
Climate change and ecological sustainability is hot right now. No pun is intended. Global governance to reverse the historic ‘dangerous anthropogenic (manmade) interference’ makes for good news with often with short media shelf-lives. This is a fancy way of saying that human action is tied to the state of the ecosystem. The language of the Kyoto Protocol provisions is less social media friendly. The long term effects of carbon emissions continue long after the media debate switches to another policy development. Human actions have left an injurious pox on the Earth’s ecosystem. Consumers do have an effect on climate change. But we need data to measure these consumer effects. The IGBP Climate-Change Index ‘highlights the general trend by bringing together key climate-change indicators: atmospheric carbon dioxide, temperature, and sea level and sea ice.’ (http://tinyurl.com/c8bhsbg). James Greyson, founder of the BlindSpot think tank in the UK, wrote that ‘people are not inherently destructive’ (http://tinyurl.com/k6v5ur3).The balance between personal consumption of resources with the need for climate health highlights the very quandary of policy success. It is hard to give up something of worth when the effect of that may seem inconsequential in the big scheme of things. People may just side with the illusion that their personal actions somehow are not connected to the collective ill effects on the Earth’s ecosystem. People will at all costs minimize personal burden and disengage spiritual discomfort while still contributing to Styrofoam to landfills.
Failure is picking up a socially expected square peg after the innovative oval one fails to fit a conventional hole. If you really “need” the oval to work (and the world is not yet with the program), check out the board again. If there is no oval hole, darn it and chuck that board. Find a reamer and create your own or perhaps ask for a refund with no return shipping. Failure is the incessant attempt to satisfy others by hiding that socially acceptable square peg behind your back and asking for a few more days (in dog years) to work it out. Whittling that square peg with that dull pocket knife into a misshapen imposter of an oval peg serves no god. That imposter peg is not flush to the side of the hole. It is surrounded by slight flashes of open space. That open space created around the non-flush peg should extract with a slight tug. Trust me, that tug will be less taxing than the linear process that got that wrong peg there in the first place. Policy has little tolerance for misshapen pegs that bring with them unintended effects. Use a policy that works until it does not or admit that it never worked at all. Then make it work without the errors gumming up the machinery. What works may not be the most apparent or popular choice.
Climate policy holds a special role that should not be understated. A policy has the power to guide and mold the direction of societal movements or evade an unfortunate setback. The policy is rather worthless, even harmful, if it merely placates to critics that policymakers are doing something. James Greyson expertly forewarned that ‘less bad is not good enough’. Every point of attack in a policy does not yield the same bang for the policy’s buck. The best way to assure policy effectiveness is to change mindsets or paradigms around climate change. Climate policy cannot be business as usual. Policy as conceived today is not reversing the ecological losses plaguing the ecosystem. But this is a large load to carry for the vast diversity of workforce that is involved in only one of many spokes in the regulation system.

Finally, my book is available in paperback and gaining traction

Check out your favorite vendor. Thanks for your support. #orgcomplexity @mbattlefisher

On day of release, my book premiered as one of the top hot new releases on Amazon in Medicine & Health Sciences / subcategory Administration & Policy in both the Ethics category (top 2) and Public Health category (top 5). It is staying pretty consistent for now.

Now I can get back to blogging…Wanna blog? Let me know. I would love to have some more on board to become bloggers.

MBF

For your consideration- Chapter 2 from my book is freely available here

Chapter 2 from my book found posted here as a pdf and on the Springer International website

Chapter 2 of my Systems Thinking and Policy Book

MBF

My book is now available on the Springer site!

My book now available at . This method will require library license. Paperback and e-book coming soon for the rest of us. Please spread the word of

Welcome to John Bragin- newest contributor to Orgcomplexity!

I am so happy to have John Bragin on board! Mr Bragin is a periodic Lecturer in Complex Systems Science for the UCLA School of Engineering, the UCLA Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, and the Undergraduate General Education Initiative of the UCLA College of Letters and Sciences. Mr Bragin was a co-founder of the CSEOL Computational Ecology & Evolution Group, for which he was co-convener of professional conferences on Molecular Evolution & Engineering, Computational Social Systems, and Female Choice in Primate Evolution.