joe norman

joe norman

intro’d to Joe here:

I had such a deep conversation with @normonics and @HeikkilaStina thinking about organising through the lenses of complex systems. This conversation covers #architecture, #epistemic #riskmanagement #localism #homesteading #culture #networks
Original Tweet:

jun 2020 – 65 min podcast – Organizations as Architectures for Complexity — with Joe Norman

with joe

joe starts at 3 min – when think of org of systems.. think more of structure than content.. so i wouldn’t ask if living or nonliving but rather the structure the org embodies.. some more mechanistic/specialization.. others more like living systems

5 min – most difficult question.. what makes systems living.. not just a system that does things.. has process/structure.. but the process as system unfolds refreshes the structure of that same system.. manifests continuation of system.. what made it possible in first place.. there’s a minimal defn of a living system..t

organism as fractal et al

let’s go that deep.. ie: maté basic needs

6 min – robert rosen.. causal structure w/in system to generate itself..

7 min – hard to say what makes a living org.. hard to say.. can’t get outside of it and look.. nevertheless.. how system unfolds in time.. top down or unfolding.. et al.. very big question.. whether living or not is what it’s allowed to do

let’s allow ourselves to listen deeper.. to undo our hierarchical listening ie: 2 convers as infra

10 min – when we go to design things we tend to have an intention about what we want.. and when nature evolves.. no one deciding those things.. just happening..  t.. meeting thru spaces of possibilities.. so architecture interesting because of that intersection (intentional and not) .. fan of christopher alexander

11 min – so.. what does it mean to grow a system intentionally.. how to structure environ/constraints/conditions.. so organic system can grow/develop in a way we as people w values deem useful.. so challenge is to not see human agents in systems.. role is to facil organic unfolding and not impose too many directives on it.. how do we set those constraints..t..  who sets and at one level.. important to set them because possibility is so large .. we’re really stealing from aha moments.. if we don’t allow the system to move into configurations that no single person could imagine..   so what architect does is of the utmost importance in any system that asks for an architect or architectural process


2 convers as infra

13 min – precautionary principle is about large scale and systemic risk.. place only constraints.. rather than directives.. in places/ways that prevent cascading of systemic risk.. so balance for allowing system to persist/explore/evolve.. in cutting largest risk.. a lot of times say.. if don’t take any risks.. but has to to with manner of risks..

15 min – has to do w localism.. having a pref for connections that are local in nature

imagine using daily curiosity as data to connect us locally everyday

16 min – can also be local in convo space.. ie: twitter

best scale.. is *smallest scale possible to do so.. so precautionary scale done by bounding locally.. so that when failure happens.. learning from it .. surviving it system wide

*ie: 8b daily curiosities

18 min – multiple crisis.. across globe.. there’s clearly a disconnect for most people between career and community.. goes back to core themes of complexity.. emergence.. changes of scale..  so when look at how orgs have scaled since industrial revolution.. an increasing disconnect between human communities and orgs we participate in.. so this goes back to our values.. question is .. do we value human community .. and if we do.. what is resolution to that..  lack of community.. raw econ indicators are not indicators of how people are doing.. of health of community..  as we scale orgs.. more and more neg externalities not represented in market crisis

22 min – s: maybe missing point we have is how this transition is going to happen..

24 min – transition is happening right now.. broad theme defining it is decentralization.. not a trend.. we have become interconnected.. we don’t have means to respond to them.. so systems are naturally decentralizing self because too much happening to respond to at large scale..  abilities to tune into what is locally relevant.. and tune out what’s not

28 min – one thing we can count on.. surprises.. so much of looking at things in complex systems.. is developing a humility of what can we really predict.. what are strategies we can adopt for that..t

un predict able ness

29 min – this variable that has been missing for quite a while..

30 min – decentralization is a means of making things not so large scale..

31 min – how does system that is centralized today become less decentralized in future.. unfortunate thing.. by system destructing..  but maybe another way.. we were really a federated.. over years become more centralized.. can we devolve back in to more decentralized.. i hope so.. but not clear

33 min – at local scales still have risk of dictatorial coming into power.. but more you make risks localized.. fewer people they effect.. not a way of eliminating risks.. just thinning out the tails.. more distributed

37 min – a clear truth .. the more people you need to agree on something.. fewer things you must have them agreeing on.. so place we are able to cohere.. t.. founding values.. ie: us – reason able to agree for so long.. has had core values to return to

yeah.. spot on.. but not deep enough..

let’s go deep enough to get to our essence – already in us: maté basic needs

40 min – problem system faces should dictate scale at which its confronted.. localism doesn’t mean only your neighborhood..

43: s: how do develop new scale of systems to scale across.. to get network effects w/o centralization

44 min – a coherent system.. 1\ all doing same thing – top down 2\ going in same direction – bottom up..

when facing complex environ.. have to respond to forces at diff scales.. ie: human body.. muscles and skeleton vs immune system.. multi scale variety in a system

46 min – so any org that seeks to persist by math necessity.. must respond to diff challenges at diff scales.. so question is how do we enable system to discover natural scales of behavior it needs to operate on

listen to and facil 8b daily curiosities  ie: cure ios city

imagining we are all art ists..  and we ongoingly zoom dance

49 min – have to start thinking about competition and coherence working in tandem.. coopetition.. term in permaculture.. i do think proper/appropriate role for competition.. but not a last man standing dynamic.. where coop and competition is healthy so the game can go on – both could become vice or virtue

52 min – (on role of culture).. so modernity.. what is its theme.. generally this triumph of top down design .. imagine world as ought to be.. as perfect machine.. then go out and structure world.. often see people using term.. blueprint.. seeing dna as blueprint.. making reality fit original rep.. modernity is vision of world in that way.. and loose that multi scale fractal ness

55 min – wendell berry.. writes about farming not just changing when mechanized.. entire class of americans whose way of life disappeared.. so problems of depleting rather than enriching.. triggers a cascade.. and.. makes it hard to reverse decisions like

57 min – modernity we’ve overestimated amount to which we can deal with word.. and underestimated ways of doing things (naturally).. forced ourselves to forget how we were doing things.. that had a lot of functional value.. how do we start approaching that consciously.. one of benes of localism.. hope of detecting what’s happening at human scale

59 min – the real hope of localist mindset is return/regrowth/evolution of novel cultures.. and multi scale variety.. if 2 scales.. global and individual.. no place for a variety of cultures.. needs to be these intermediate scales..

1:01 – (what to do to org) trying to build relationships around me.. take those initial steps.. going and talking to people.. helping them and getting help from them.. small scale producers have experienced a huge surge of demand.. folks are waking up to fact that they don’t want to buy things shipped from miles away.. i can go direct to my farmer.. same money.. with diff quality..

1:03 – on homestead focus on trying to get our own needs subsidized.. ie: chickens et al.. to be more self sufficient and more helpful to our community.. very much localized..


Joe Norman (@normonics) tweeted at 4:30 AM on Tue, Jul 07, 2020:
In periods of stasis, hyperspecialists flourish
In disruptive times, the value of the generalist is revealed

stasis: ‘a period or state of inactivity or equilibrium’

so like dead ness

begs we build an infra based on organism as fractal (knowing what to do when we don’t know what to do)

what the world needs most: the energy of 8b alive people


Joe Norman (@normonics) tweeted at 9:05 AM on Mon, Jul 13, 2020:
I can feel my mentality *slowly* shifting away from the modern the more I integrate locally.
“Home” becoming more real all the time. Displacing “career”-so-called as the centerpiece of my mind and soul


quote by joe norman

..”any organization that seeks to persist has to, by mathematical necessity, [ref: Ashby Law] respond to different challenges at different scales. So the question is, how do we enable a system to discover those natural scales of behavior that it needs to operate on?” (2/3)
Original Tweet:

ie: cure ios city

what we need is to let go of the responding ness.. of the mathing ness.. 

‘ ideas won’t emerge w/o the jettisoning of much of our accustomed categories of thought—which have become mostly sheer dead weight, if not intrinsic parts of the very apparatus of hopelessness—and formulating new ones.’ – David Graeber




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Applied Complexity Science. Localism. Homesteading.

new hampshire

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