5 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2019
    1. It is the augmentation means that serve to break down a large problem in such a way that the human being can walk through it with his little steps, and it is the structure or organization of these little steps or actions that we discuss as process hierarchies.

      As I begin to read this (as I did back in 2000 when I was introduced to Doug) I begin to think in terms of reductionism as a practice in the face of problems which are highly complex, nonlinear, and which do not submit to chunking.

  2. Aug 2017
    1. Ehrenfeld (2008) concurs with McDonough and Braungart, in his plea for a holistic approach towards sustainability: “Our society is addicted to reductionist ways of solving virtually all our problems. ... Over time, as we engage more and more in this practice, society’s (as well as individual’s) competence to address the complicated, messy problems we confront has diminished. Unsustainability is just such a messy problem. Reductionism will not make it go away.” (Ehrenfeld, 2008, p. 11-12)

      This reminds of the constant attempt of Complexity Theory to push for Systems analysis and Synthesis in contrast to Newtonian, reductionist analysis.

  3. Jul 2017
    1. He appreciated that there are certain things which are simply not knowable, and that to study them is a form of blasphemy in that to do so reduces the beautiful to the commonplace, usually by means of statistics.

      This is a poignant description of what happens when an academician attempts to reduce the ethereal to the mundane and somewhat visceral. Whether quantitative or qualitative it just doesn't matter - reduced to jetsam at the hands of statistics.

  4. Oct 2015
    1. became an inevitability

      There’s a lot in STS (Science & Technology Studies) to challenge linear thinking about inexorable series of outcomes. Given a technocentric tendency to extrapolate from perceived trends, this kind of foretold consequence is at the very core of much #transhumanism.

    2. Ideally, you should be using the smallest possible gadget to do as much as possible before going to the next largest gizmo in line.

      Pithy, but potentially misleading.