Global Sensemaking

Tools for Dialogue and Deliberation on Wicked Problems

An attribute I admire about the United State's form of government is its historic attempt to balance sloth with greed. This post is more about balance than a discussion about these two sins. Many complex issues do not have an ideal solution. Appeasing the masses and history is a balancing act.

Many times I am torn between over analysis and blind faith with respect to physically accomplishing something. In error I am told that hindsight is 20/20, but I realize forethought often does not require corrective lenses. At my age I'm pretty nibble at learning and advancing from mistakes. At some point this ability will be lost without a good historical archive and retrieval process.

I believe history repeats itself and most wheels have been invented. The problem is how to assert how a square peg resolves a round solution among the space and time of potential answers.

When it comes to global sense making, I feel this group is heavily weighted on developing tools based on Stephen Toulmin's argument model. These argument tools tend to focus on developing concrete solutions to fixed but complex problems.

The missing counter balance is cause, effect, and a multi-dimensional historical point of view. Also missing is an intuitive indexing method for historical retrieval.

I don't claim the Do Good Gauge is completely balanced, but it does address much of this conversation.

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Hi Scott,

Very interesting post. My thought is what you see in Compendium and other tools is what's possible with a limited development effort. Most of the tools allow for linking or even including any kind of content. True, the classic IBIS style of linking and labeling nodes does not highlight historical data but there's nothing stopping users from including it or changing the arc labels.

On a completely different tack, I think the "historic attempt to balance sloth with greed" is not due to the US government but the US economic model and what's often called its Calvinist cultural component. The very fact that it is part of the "conventional wisdom" that people are mostly motivated by money to work to support family and community is something I think is a huge mistake. Seems to me it's far more accurate to see human activities as driven by a desire to fulfill human needs (see for example Manfred Max-Neef). While many do see money as the main way to satisfy their needs (and in the extreme the only way), I don't think most of us do. Of course this leads to a discussion of what are human needs; I happen to find Max-Neef's work enlightening.





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