Re: [unrev-II] OHS Overview

From: Eric Armstrong (
Date: Tue Nov 21 2000 - 16:09:25 PST

  • Next message: Eric Armstrong: "Re: [unrev-II] OHS Overview"

    I hate to express the negative reaction I am
    experiencing. It is clear that the document
    is accurate, and a lot of thought went into
    it. So what I am about to say is bound to be
    demotivating. For that, I apologize in

    But my personal reaction to the picture
    presented here is that it is about as compelling
    as a wet blanket.

    It has the same difficulty as the colloquium,
    in my view -- it covers way too much ground to
    be a practical recommendation for anything.

    When it begins talking about the "human system",
    in particular, it reflects the colloquium. Like,
    the colloquium, the specific impact on the
    "human system" is never adduced. Three possibilites
    spring to mind:

      * Will the human system go on as before
        unchanged? If so, it scarcely needs

      * Will the human system evolve naturally
        in the new environment? If so, the
        evolution that will take place is worth
        mentioning in a companion piece, but it
        is not an integral part of the system
        that is being proposed. The only significant
        relationship to the human system (as far
        as it leads to acceptance) is what *benefit*
        will the system have on the human system.

      * Is the proposal seriously attempting to
        change human systems simultaneously with
        a change in technology? If so, what is
        going to be different, and why is there
        any reason to believe that the effort
        will be successful? (I suspect that any
        such effort is fore-doomed. I'm willing
        to be convinced otherwise, but have yet
        to see a convincing argument.)

    Analogy: What we really need is a
    transportation system that allows your
    personal auto to become part of a "train".
    That allows efficient, hands-off travel
    while preserving the benefit of autonmous
    travel at your destination. But that
    requires everyone to change everything,
    all at once, and it just ain't gonna happen
    in this lifetime...

    Toffler pointed out that new technologies first
    replace the preexisting models. Only later are
    they expanded into new territories. It seems
    clear to me that a system which provides immediate
    benefits comes into use. The co-evolution that
    occurs in system functionality and human use then
    produces even greater benefits.

    But to speak of the "human system" as anything
    other than a naturally evolving system is to
    defeat the project before it gets started.

    If the evolutionary hypothesis is accepted, then
    the only significant aspect of the system is how
    it will make your life better today -- before you
    change anything at all about the human systems
    you are used to.

    Again, I believe the document you've constructed
    accurately reflects the issues as they have been
    formulated to date. I just believe that the
    particular formulation we've all seen has always
    been, and will continue to be, an "impossible sell".

    Believe it or don't, use it or toss it.
    Them's my thoughts.

    -------------------------- eGroups Sponsor -------------------------~-~>
    It's Easy. It's Fun. Best of All, it's Free!

    Community email addresses:
      Post message:
      List owner:

    Shortcut URL to this page:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Nov 21 2000 - 16:19:46 PST