Category Archives: Notes in process

Critique of econometric models in Thinking in Systems: a Primer

Donella Meadows’s book Thinking in Systems: A Primer (pp. 89-90) contains a rather interesting critique of econometric models and their limitations in explaining and predicting what happens in the world. While Meadows acknowledges that econometric models are more useful than … Continue reading

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Simulating technological development: sneak peek!

As previously stated, we’re seeking to simulate the development, adoption, and modification – in short, the evolution – of technologies. Here’s a sneak peek of the sort of shiny output our computing clusters will soon be churning out. Hopefully :). … Continue reading

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Would E.Ts try to kill us off? (Nope. They’d be deterred.)

There has been some debate in the sciencey & science fictionish circles about whether searching for and contacting extra-terrestrial aliens is really such a great idea. No less a luminary than Stephen Hawking recently warned the humanity about the possible dangers … Continue reading

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Innovations and evolution of technology, note I: Schumpeter and Usher on innovations

Some notes about what previous thinkers have said about innovations and the evolution of technology. We’ll begin by notes I made from Ruttan’s classic 1959 article,  “Usher and Schumpeter on invention, innovation, and technological change.” As the title says, it’s … Continue reading

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Crises are “come as you are” events, not springboards, simulations say

My PhD research topic deals with resource constraints and, by implication, resource shocks such as the oil crisis of 1973 – and the current slow-mo energy crisis. What I’m trying to do is to sort out whether sudden constraints, such … Continue reading

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Theories of design – is design problem-solving?

The field of design theory is separated to two warring camps. On the one side are people following Donald Schön’s (1983) “Reflective Practitioner;” an epistemology of practice based on a close examination of what different practicioners actually do. On the … Continue reading

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(Descriptive) theories of change

Van de Ven and Poole (1995) group the main theories of change to four groups: Life cycle Teleology Dialectics Evolution The most interesting of these is #4, evolution. Viewed correctly, it actually encompasses all the others. Other ways of describing … Continue reading

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