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Monday, July 10 • 17:30 - 18:00
3003 From Science to Systemic Solutions

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Human imagination through mental processes of symbol manipulation in the mind produces a range of ideas for expression of thoughts in terms of a large variety of models for representations, communications, and prediction of events and states of parts of the empirical world such as the arts, entertainments, rules and regulations for coexistence in a society, explanatory hypotheses driven by curiosity such as the sciences and so on. This kind of thinking has been going on at all levels for facilitating survival, promoting development of human intellectual endeavours and trying to aid the construction of projects on a small, every day basis to large scale i.e. engineering driven by purposive activities of humans within social and technical scenarios.
This programme of work has been going on for millennia only the details changing, mostly through paradigm changes of concepts as the means for grasping parts of the world of interest. The last major change was the Renaissance, another is taking place now.
Pre Renaissance thinking, with the possible exception of Archimedes, had been by and large speculative along lines of philosophical contemplation, mysticism, superstition, religious beliefs etc. All kinds of thoughts had been acceptable until conventional science of physics entered the scene. Although conventional science had been propounding explanatory hypotheses of more or less generality, it only accepts those, particular instances of which can be verified by models resulting in falsification, or not, of the hypothesis itself. Mathematical models having been proved most suitable for this purpose.
Conventional science has been immensely successful in producing such hypotheses for the satisfaction of curiosity, discovering new materials and products, generating teaching schemes and affecting social changes. However, its theories are symmetrical in time, thus, it could just cope when faced with irreversibility, its invariants are restricted to qualitative and quantitative properties of a single, selected object involved in highly repeatable phenomenon, it operates in many domains and as such has failed engineering as a provider of knowledge base etc. A paradigm change beckons.
The question of problem solving in technical - social scenarios emerged in an organised manner for the first time during the 2nd WW when convoys of escorted ships crossed the Atlantic and moving enemy aircraft had to be shot down giving rise to operational research and control theory. The post WW period saw rapid, further development of interest in the ‘systemic or structural view’ evolving towards divers, speculative attempts with many ill defined models and approaches which currently still prevail.
This view rejected conventional science in its entirety branded as reductionist. The view of new science of systems retains science’s methodology of problem solving and its structure of ‘general principles plus models’ but with ‘systemic or structural content’ for modelling and designing structures with multiple agents in static and dynamic states which constitutes a paradigm change and supplements current thinking.
The advantages of this approach are:
Based on the universality of the structural/systemic view.
Availability of operational models directly applicable to analysis and design of scenarios.
Accommodation of conventional science of physics in systems science resulting in a possible, unified view of the scientific enterprise.
Being part of and aiding conventional and systems engineering.
Accommodating effects of emotions, will, prejudices, ambitions etc. on activities of human beings.
Construction of novel teaching schemes to suit problem solving.
Modification of views on parts of knowledge such as chemistry.
Rooted in existing knowledge.
Adding linguistics to supplement mathematics as a symbolism for modelling.
Supplements mode of thinking by professionals and others in society.

The presentation describes the scheme of human intellectual endeavour and the ‘new science of systems’ in problem solving supplying material for sorely needed debate.

Monday July 10, 2017 17:30 - 18:00

Attendees (3)