Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

Internet withdrawal by the lake in Austria

The International Federation for Systems Research hosts about 25 people in Fuschl am See, Austria, every other year. I was invited to the meeting two years ago, when the venue had been set as the Seehotel Schlick. Over the two years, I’ve noticed two improvements at the hotel. Firstly, they seemed to have done some sprucing up, with a small but noticeable maintenance (which is probably more than just cleaning). Secondly, the Seehotel Schlick has gotten a fancy web site, done by a professional designer. The photos aren’t misleading, but that’s not to say that every day in Austria has blue skies. (About half our days did).

In 2004, the best that we could do in Fuschl was dial-up access. On one afternoon, arrangements had been made for attendees to get a bus ride into Salzburg, presumably for the opportunity to see sights. DLH and I spent much of the afternoon in an Internet cafe, catching up on e-mail. Going offline for extended periods of time just feels bad.  Unfortunately for the Seehotel Schlick, their Internet access hasn’t improved over the two years.

This year, we heard that up the street, at the Hotel Mohenwirt, high speed Internet access was available. On the first day, three of us took our laptops up at lunchtime. We told the person at the front desk that we had come for lunch and Internet, and she gave us IDs and passwords for an hour, without charge. On the second day, a different front desk clerk said that she was going to charge us, but then gave us the same deal. There must have been six laptops all open on lunch tables that day.

On the third day, on the walk up to the Hotel Mohenwirt, we met some of our group walking down. They said that the policy had changed, and the hotel was charging for Internet access and for lunch. That group decided to walk out in protest. Gary and I decided to just pay for 30 minutes, and then ate somewhere else. The hotel lost some revenue by not bundling its services together.

On the afternoon off, if it wasn’t for the cataract in my eye, I might have taken a bicycle trip around the lake. Diana wouldn’t let me pack the folding bike on this trip, though.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • RSS on Coevolving

    • Causal Texture of the Environment
      For those who haven’t read the 1965 Emery and Trist article, its seems as though my colleague Doug McDavid was foresighted enough to blog a summary in 2016!  His words have always welcomed here, as Doug was a cofounder of this web site.  At the time of writing, the target audience for this piece was […]
    • Causal texture, contextualism, contextural
      In the famous 1965 Emery and Trist article, the terms “causal texture” and “contextual environment” haven’t been entirely clear to me.  With specific meanings in the systems thinking literature, looking up definitions in the dictionary generally isn’t helpful.  Diving into the history of the uses of the words provides some insight. 1. Causal texture 2. […]
    • Trist in Canada, Organizational Change, Action Learning
      Towards appreciating “action learning”, the history of open systems thinking and pioneering work in organization science, the influence of Action Learning Group — in the Faculty of Environment Studies founded in 1968 at York University (Toronto) — deserves to be resurfaced. 1. Trist in Canada 2. Environmental studies, and contextualism in organizational-change 3. Action learning, […]
    • Remembering Doug McDavid
      The news that Doug McDavid — my friend, colleague, and one of the original cofounders of the Coevolving Innovations web site in 2006 — had passed, first came through mutual IBM contacts.  More details subsequently showed up on LinkedIn from Mike McClintock. Doug left us on May 9, while working at his desk, likely in […]
    • Pattern language, form language, general systems theory, R-theory
      One of the challenges with the development of pattern languages is the cross-appropriation of approaches of techniques from one domain (i.e. built physical environments) into others (e.g. software development, social change). The distinction between pattern language and form language is made by Nikos Salingaros. Design in architecture and urbanism is guided by two distinct complementary […]
    • How do Systems Changes become natural practice?
      The 1995 article by Spinosa, Flores & Dreyfus on “Disclosing New Worlds” was assigned reading preceding the fourth of four lectures for the Systemic Design course in the Master’s program in Strategic Foresight and Innovation at OCAD University.  In previous years, this topic was a detail practically undiscussed, as digging into social theory and the phenomenology […]
  • RSS on Media Queue

  • RSS on Ing Brief

    • Wholism, reductionism (Francois, 2004)
      Proponents of #SystemsThinking often espouse holism to counter over-emphasis on reductionism. Reading some definitions from an encyclopedia positions one in the context of the other (François 2004).
    • It matters (word use)
      Saying “it doesn’t matter” or “it matters” is a common expression in everyday English. For scholarly work, I want to “keep using that word“, while ensuring it means what I want it to mean. The Oxford English Dictionary (third edition, March 2001) has three entries for “matter”. The first two entries for a noun. The […]
    • Systemic Change, Systematic Change, Systems Change (Reynolds, 2011)
      It's been challenging to find sources that specifically define two-word phrases -- i.e. "systemic change", "systematic change", "systems change" -- as opposed to loosely inferring reductively from one-word definitions in recombination. MartinReynolds @OpenUniversity clarifies uses of the phrases, with a critical eye into motives for choosing a specific label, as well as associated risks and […]
    • Environmental c.f. ecological (Francois, 2004; Allen, Giampietro Little 2003)
      The term "environmental" can be mixed up with "ecological", when the meanings are different. We can look at the encyclopedia definitions (François 2004), and then compare the two in terms of applied science (i.e. engineering with (#TimothyFHAllen @MarioGiampietro and #AmandaMLittle, 2003).
    • Christopher Alexander’s A Pattern Language: Analysing, Mapping and Classifying the Critical Response | Dawes and Ostwald | 2017
      While many outside of the field of architecture like the #ChristopherAlexander #PatternLanguage approach, it's not so well accepted by his peers. A summary of criticisms by #MichaelJDawes and #MichaelJOstwald @UNSWBuiltEnv is helpful in appreciating when the use of pattern language might be appropriate or not appropriate.
    • Field (system definitions, 2004, plus social)
      Systems thinking should include not only thinking about the system, but also its environment. Using the term "field" as the system of interest plus its influences leaves a lot of the world uncovered. From the multiple definitions in the International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics , there is variety of ways of understanding "field".
  • Meta

  • Translate

  • 
  • moments. daviding.com

    Random selections from the past year
  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
    Theme modified from DevDmBootstrap4 by Danny Machal