Posts tagged ‘Decisionmaking’

If You Are Caught In The Rational Domain, Liberation Can Come From The Spiritual Domain

Plato already knew how people can be guided by illusions. Plato’s cave illustrates it perfectly. I envision that living in the rational domain is like living inside Plato’s cave of rationality and thinking this way is the only way. In modern society, we learn to behave like this, not knowing any better. It’s our culture. We act and think as we do. But suppose you could get a glimpse at the sunlight coming outside the cave? And suppose you then suddenly realize there’s more than only the rational domain. You see there is a spiritual domain also. Well, that happened to me. Since that time, I can see there are two domains. Each has it’s own specific added value. They cannot exist without eachother. And they can amplify eachother if we would allow it. I have allowed it for myself. It has made me much stronger. Since that time I can better rationalize cases that need rational decisions. I am also getting better in making spiritual decisions when necessary. And I am now learning how to balance the two decision domains. A very nice experience I like to share.

About Entering The Knowledge Era And How To Develop More Advanced Decision Making Techniques

We are entering the Knowledge Era. Our society is becoming more and more complex as well as the technologies we all use. The time to invent or further develop more advanced decision making techniques becomes more and more urgent, but how do we do that? Or to refer to one of the key principles of Het Rijnlandse Boekje: “Wie het weet mag het zeggen” or in English “(s)he who knows may tell how”. Let’s start from the Darkness Principle, as Jurgen Appelo so nicely explains in his article “Why We Delegate: The Darkness Principle” by referencing K.A. Richardson: “Each element in the system is ignorant of the behavior of the system as a whole […] If each element ‘knew’ what was happening to the system as a whole, all of the complexity would have to be present in that element”. As long as we are not yet able to oversee all the complexity, we will have to distribute it somehow. And remember that the smarter we are trying to get by adding more complexity dimensions to our own decision making context, in fact the dumber we get. This is because in this case we do not re-use the knowledge already available adjacent to us. So the more complex the “system” is for which we are trying to solve some problem, the more there is a need to delegate the decision making. I see also a parallel in the network topologies designed by Paul Baran†. From the three distinct topologystyles available (centralized, decentralized and distributed) he picked the distributed topology style for the fundamental design of the Internet. And today it still works! It is an example of a highly self-healing, self-supportive architecture in which components (routers, switches etc.) make autonomous decisions based on the complexity of their direct environment (they do not need to know the total environment as is the case in traditional centralized, decentralized or hierarchical decision making styles). So it seems so obvious: if the complexity of the total system we are trying to “control” increases, a good approach is to organize the decision-making process in a network (distributed) style and not any more in a centralized or decentralized style. Each cell in the network is then allowed to make autonomic decisions within it’s own “jurisdiction”. For any decision that goes beyond that, the cell needs to organize some form of collective decision making by informing it’s direct adjacent cells before deciding. Further informing is not necessary, because the adjacent cells do that. Now the final question only remains: is there an optimum network size? Or should the network size depend on the problem you try to solve (for example solving a complex problem by crowdsourcing)?

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