Marcus, 

 

This behavior difference tells a lot.  I dunno about SFI.  The more I dealt 
with them up there, the more I felt there were mostly a bunch of strivers 
hoping that the Call to Hah-vud would come before the soft money ran out.  Some 
wonderful exceptions, but still.  Speaking of isolation from the community, 
it’s hard to imagine an institution more uninterested in its community than 
SFI.  Well, I suppose I should acknowledge the Ted Talks at the Lensic.  
There’s a famous [apocryphal?] story about when SAR approached SFI and 
solicited an invitation to visit.  SFI acceded and some people trooped up the 
hill, and everybody seemed to have a wonderful time.  On the strength of that 
apparent success, the SAR people invited the SFI people for a return visit.  
The response, stated with genuine bewilderment, was, “Oh why ever would we do 
that?”  

 

To be a thousand percent, this is probably most sour grapes on my part.  When I 
retired out here, I naively hoped that I could make some sort of contact with 
SFI. Nothin’ doin’.   In fact, it was you-guys who welcomed me, and made 
retirement here in Santa Fe possible.  

 

Nicholas Thompson

Emeritus Professor of Ethology and Psychology

Clark University

 <mailto:thompnicks...@gmail.com> thompnicks...@gmail.com

 <https://wordpress.clarku.edu/nthompson/> 
https://wordpress.clarku.edu/nthompson/

 

 

From: Friam <friam-boun...@redfish.com> On Behalf Of Marcus Daniels
Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 6:27 PM
To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group <friam@redfish.com>
Subject: Re: [FRIAM] NO LANL IN SANTA FE! Wednesday, 12; 00 outside SF City 
Hall; bring friends

 

Nick writes:

 

“So what then IS IT about?”

 

Something called work/life balance.   That’s a thing, I’m told.    It is 
facilitated by lots of federal money sloshing around, and having free time on 
your hands.

 

https://www.lanl.gov/careers/life-at-lab/index.php

 

I would contrast it against working at SFI, where it was not unusual to stop by 
at midnight and find a dozen people working or doing something like working.  

 

Marcus

 

From: Friam <friam-boun...@redfish.com <mailto:friam-boun...@redfish.com> > on 
behalf of "thompnicks...@gmail.com <mailto:thompnicks...@gmail.com> " 
<thompnicks...@gmail.com <mailto:thompnicks...@gmail.com> >
Reply-To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group <friam@redfish.com 
<mailto:friam@redfish.com> >
Date: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 2:23 PM
To: 'The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group' <friam@redfish.com 
<mailto:friam@redfish.com> >
Subject: Re: [FRIAM] NO LANL IN SANTA FE! Wednesday, 12; 00 outside SF City 
Hall; bring friends

 

So what then IS IT about?

 

N

 

Nicholas Thompson

Emeritus Professor of Ethology and Psychology

Clark University

 <mailto:thompnicks...@gmail.com> thompnicks...@gmail.com

 <https://wordpress.clarku.edu/nthompson/> 
https://wordpress.clarku.edu/nthompson/

 

 

From: Friam <friam-boun...@redfish.com <mailto:friam-boun...@redfish.com> > On 
Behalf Of Marcus Daniels
Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 2:42 PM
To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group <friam@redfish.com 
<mailto:friam@redfish.com> >
Subject: Re: [FRIAM] NO LANL IN SANTA FE! Wednesday, 12; 00 outside SF City 
Hall; bring friends

 

On the topic of LANL in Santa Fe, or on the topic of the quality of life in Los 
Alamos itself, I am not even taking the position that the local people in the 
surrounding reason (e.g. Santa Fe proper) are or should be a consideration, or 
that anything in particular is good or bad for them.   I understand that is an 
objectionable disposition to some people, and that’s fine.  However, even when 
one expects the anglo-invaders to assert whatever they want from the 
environment, they don’t really seem to want to do much.   That’s what is kind 
of sad to me about life at LANL.   One does not find office lights on at 10pm.  
 It’s not about the lifestyle and it isn’t even about the work.   

 

Marcus

 

From: Friam <friam-boun...@redfish.com <mailto:friam-boun...@redfish.com> > on 
behalf of Merle Lefkoff <merlelefk...@gmail.com <mailto:merlelefk...@gmail.com> 
>
Reply-To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group <friam@redfish.com 
<mailto:friam@redfish.com> >
Date: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 12:57 PM
To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group <friam@redfish.com 
<mailto:friam@redfish.com> >
Subject: Re: [FRIAM] NO LANL IN SANTA FE! Wednesday, 12; 00 outside SF City 
Hall; bring friends

 

Hi Marcus,

 

My client many years ago was Los Alamos County.  They hired my consulting firm 
to design and facilitate a county-wide meeting to discuss the relationship 
between LANL and the citizens who lived there.  When I interviewed local people 
prior to designing the meeting, I found a lot of anger about the role of the 
lab in relation to its surrounding neighbors.  It was quite emotional, and so I 
brought in a colleague who is a psychiatrist to help me facilitate.  Toward the 
end of a difficult weekend of discussion, he asked:  "We've had deep dialogue 
together, but I feel that there is still an "unspoken" here.  What is it?"  A 
member of the group raised her hand and said the "unspoken here is that the 
laboratory considers the county, the town, and its citizens just "decoration.  
We have practically no relationship, and they feel we do not contribute any 
added value."

 

So sad, and so totally expected.

 

 

 

On Wed, Jan 15, 2020 at 10:30 AM Marcus Daniels <mar...@snoutfarm.com 
<mailto:mar...@snoutfarm.com> > wrote:

Glen writes:

 

< I remember moving to Santa Fe and hating Cerrillos Rd with all it's little 
businesses, the trashy look, sections of ill- and un-used properties, peppered 
with upscale stuff in some spots. >

 

Before brainstorming about how to integrate LANL, etc. into the St. Michael / 
Cerrillos area, it might be worth asking why the town of Los Alamos is so 
abysmal.   Los Alamos county has one of the highest per capita incomes in the 
country, and yet there is not a thing to spend money on up there besides real 
estate.   One reason I've heard is that the folks that own the lots in the town 
find it more profitable to hold on to them and rent to the lab when the need 
arises.   Thus there is no way to build anything.   Another is that it is a 
family town, and oddly enough not a town that facilitates workism -- people 
more-or-less work 9 to 5 and then hang out at home, and want to.   Or on the 
weekends they ski or hike.   Its always been astonishing to me that there 
aren't more restaurants.   The only conventional sign of progress is the big 
Smiths facility. 

 

Marcus

  _____  

From: Friam <friam-boun...@redfish.com <mailto:friam-boun...@redfish.com> > on 
behalf of uǝlƃ ☣ <geprope...@gmail.com <mailto:geprope...@gmail.com> >
Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 8:14 AM
To: FriAM <friam@redfish.com <mailto:friam@redfish.com> >
Subject: Re: [FRIAM] NO LANL IN SANTA FE! Wednesday, 12; 00 outside SF City 
Hall; bring friends 

 

Just a preamble: I remember moving to Santa Fe and hating Cerrillos Rd with all 
it's little businesses, the trashy look, sections of ill- and un-used 
properties, peppered with upscale stuff in some spots. I'd moved there from 
Dallas, TX, where they'd rather tear down an old building than repurpose it. I 
recognized the "planned" look of Dallas because I grew up in Houston, where 
zoning laws are relatively loose. 

But Cerrillos is what taught me the meaning of "organic". So, as an (also 
vague) attempt to answer the question, the only way one can "design" an 
ecosystem is by first studying the already extant ecosystem and nudging it in 
multifarious ways. The primary problem with organically grown systems is the 
lack of executive function ... a high-order feedback (like a cerebral cortex) 
... to establish and maintain constraints like water limits, geographical 
sprawl, pollution, etc. So, the FIRST part of the plan would be to 
constructively aggregate the extant businesses into some sort of scaffolded 
hierarchy starting with tiny businesses (businesses run by people with ZERO 
spare time, of course), up through boutique businesses (coffee shops, 
breweries, fashion, etc.), up through larger scale businesses, etc. ... all the 
way up to behemoths like LANL or the State of NM.

The second part of the plan would be to adopt some trial (non-local) 
constraints like water limitations and experiment with feeding that back down 
the hierarchy (layer by layer *or* cross-trophically, jumping over layers) and 
then following the effects back up the hierarchy. As trials, there must be 
challenge tests, ways to decide whether to abandon or iteratively modify the 
constraints and their up- and down-ward signaling. So, this second part of the 
plan might *start* by formalizing those tests (in an "agile" style).

Any interference/manipulation by a behemoth like Amazon or CMU would require 
them to *facilitate* the hierarchy, as opposed to *disrupting* it. (As I think 
someone in this thread has already mentioned, but I don't have the bandwidth to 
farm the posts for who said/implied it.) Following co-evolution and 
multi-objective optimization, the constraints have to be at least partially 
*endogenous*. The executive has to be pretty tightly coupled to the rest of the 
system. Any attempts at decoupled, directed evolution of the ecosystem will be 
fragile to disrupting enterprises. But if the disruptions are small/local, then 
the network of feedbacks can adjust, limiting any species collapse in response 
to that disruption.

That's how I would "define the function" of the behemoth.

On 1/14/20 1:03 PM, David Eric Smith wrote:
> I know the members on this list mostly don’t have powers of implementation, 
> but as idle intellectual exercise, if you/we were portfolio managers, or 
> really avant-garde regional planners, what would your design look like to get 
> through critical mass thresholds to tip an interior, water-limited, 
> relatively low-population region into some kind of self-maintaining decent 
> standard of life and opportunity for whoever lived there stably for a long 
> time.  (And how many can that be, in water-limited regions?)  Intel made a 
> significant impact in ABQ, but putting a semiconductor fab in a desert is 
> about as unsustainable a business decision as I can imagine.  What resources 
> exist currently?  If you were designing the institutional ecosystem, and knew 
> you needed some economic social function but couldn’t find an actor to fit 
> it, could you define in somewhat operational terms what that function would 
> need to be, and how much of the remainder of the context could you populate 
> with specific actors and a plan to get them into place?
> 
> I know this is much too loose and long-term to deal with immediate 
> practicalities of interacting wtih the SF city council, but we often speak as 
> if long-term future visioning efforts could in principle yield something 
> useful.

-- 
☣ uǝlƃ
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-- 

Merle Lefkoff, Ph.D.
President, Center for Emergent Diplomacy
emergentdiplomacy.org <http://emergentdiplomacy.org> 

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

merlelefk...@gmail.com <mailto:merlelef...@gmail.com> 
mobile:  (303) 859-5609
skype:  merle.lelfkoff2

twitter: @Merle_Lefkoff

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Meets Fridays 9a-11:30 at cafe at St. John's College
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