Toward creating a hyperlinked problematique of Warfield's book

Understanding Complexity; Thought and Behavior

Phase One: Discovery/Description

Excerpted by Thomas Mandel IISII





J.N. Warfield

Understanding Complexity; Thought and Behavior


Chapter 1. Four Areas of Complexity
Infrastructure of the Science
Structure-Based Science of Complexity
Applications of the science
Site of the Applications

Chapter 2. The Infrastructure of Science
Thought Leaders

Reasoning through Relationships
Empirical Data and Archival Information Sources

Chapter 3. The Structure-Based Science;
Part 1. Behavioral Pathologies, Individual, Groups, Organizations

Human Attributes

Chapter 4. The Structure-Based Science
Part 2: Laws, Structures, and Metrics

Empirical Evidence

Chapter 5. The Work Program Of Complexity


Chapter 6. The Organization: The Site of Applications
Organization (Budgeted Staff)
Local Infrastructure

Situation Room

Appendix A. Twenty laws of Complexity

Appendix B. Glossary of Complexity

Appendix D. The mathematics of Structure: Associations and Operations
The "Normal" or "Ordinary" Domain
The Domain of Complexity

Appendix D. Discovery and Complexity: A Small Anthology of Problematiques with Interpretations.

Appendix E Demands of Complexity Meet the Killer Assumptions





Appendix A. Twenty laws of Complexity
The Law of Tradic Compatibility
The Law of Requisite Parsimony
The Law of Structural Underconceptualization
The Law of organizational Linguistics
The Law of Vertical Incoherence in Organizations
The Law of Validation
The Law of Diverse Beliefs
The Law of gradation
The Law of Universal Priors
The Law of Inherent Conflict
The Law of Limits
The Law of Requisite Saliency
The Law of Success and Failure
The Law of Uncorrelated Extremes
The Law of Induced Groupthink
The Law of Requisite Variety
The Law of Forced Substitution
The Law of Precluded Resolution
The Law of Triadic Necessity and Sufficiency
The Law of Small Displays

Appendix B. Glossory in Work

"Complexity is that sensation experienced in the human mind when, in observing or considering a system, frustration arises from lack of comprehension of what is being explored. While this definition may be thought surprising, one of its notable attributes is that it allows for the possibility that complexity may be reduced or even eliminated, at least for some human beings, by a process called "learning". " p20.

The Curriculum of Compexity

If the study of complexity mistakenly begins by simply assuming a received language. And if it ignores more than two millennia of thought about thinking, then it will be unlikely to reflect the high quality that is demanded when working with complexity. The subject is inherently difficult, and it does not require compounding the difficulty by ignoring the linguistic perils and possibilities; nor does it benefit from following the current fashions, while ignoring the magnificent history that is available.


Discovery reflects the idea that no one understands the complexity. A period of time devoted to Discovery is required for two reasons: First, to describe the situation and second, to diagnose the situation. While the Description and the Diagnosis are two tangible products of the Discovery component, the processes of arriving at these products are designed to resolve any of the issues related to the behavior pathologies; and also to assist in developing an appropriate object language with which to analysis, describe, and (re)design whatever situation is under observation or consideration. Pg67

Description: best done by groups (8 to 15) because each member has distinctive knowledge that can be affregated with the help of Interactive Management.

Products of Description: A type 1 Problematique, a problems field, an attributes field, and a Type 2 (categories) problematique., the latter being computable from the information contained in the Type 1 problematique, provided a problems field is available to show problems in categories.

Diagnosis best done by an individual who is experienced in using the dibasic aids developed for interpreting the structures produced in Interactive Management Workshops, especially in interpreting the Problematique; provided the individual then shares the diagnosis in an interpretive Session with the group that produced the results, both to check out the interpretation, and to make any needed amendments.

Products of Diagnosis: An analysis and classification of problems from the Type 1 Problematique, based on its structural features; computation of indexes on complexity for comparison with earlier studies, and a comparison of the categories problematique with organizational components to assess who might be doing what in the organization to help resolve the complexity

Resolution can be started, once the Discovery work has produced sufficient understanding to make possible the Design (or redesign) that is required in order to resolve the complexity associated with the problematic situation. Resolution incorporates recognition of the need for resources for the purpose of implementing the design, and that such resources normally are found only in organizations, because of the size and scope of complexity.

Design: best done by groups (8 to 15) because each member has distinctive knowledge that can be aggregated, with the help of Interactive Management.

Products of Design: An options field with one category for each category in the problems fields, at least two independently-developed options profiles by subgroups, a final options profile selection done in plenary session; and a DELTA Chart showing (a) what tasks will be performed in order to implement the design and 9b) who wil perform those tasks.

The Options Field shows the wide variety of possible options and the categories in which those options lie (these being the same categories as found earlier in the Problems Field)

Implementation: best done by the organization (whatever components that are required) following the Interpretation Session with the group that produced the results, both to check out the interpretation, and to make any needed amendments.

Infrastructure: It is particularly vital, in most applications, that the host organization create an infrastructure that is appropriate as a learning means for person in the organization who were not present during the IM work, but who need to understand what was done by the participants in order to make their own contributions to implementation,

Problematique: A graphical portrayal, constructed to rigorous specifications, of a particular aspect of complexity which arises in a problematic situation.

All products of the Work Program of Complexity are constructed as described in the Handbook of Interactive Management (Warfield and Cardenas, 1994).

Thought Leaders Numerous research studies have shown that several behavioral pathologies interfere with the possible resolution of complexity. Curiously, most of those studies rest in isolation from one another. Perhaps that accounts for the neglect of their findings in many circumstance where their insights are needed. The resolution of complexity relies on an integrated understanding of these pathologies. A careful design of a system for resolving complexity is required to be responsive to the collective pathologies, and to find ways to circumvent their mutually reinforcing effects. P31

Structural Incompetence; The definition of structural incompetence is; "the concept that describes the situation found in an organization by a program manager who is so constrained that he cannot apply his knowledge to resolve an issue, but instead must go along with a decision that inevitably appears to be a consequence of incompetence

1. The attribute defined carefully by Irving Janis. "how groups, especially when under external pressure, will profess to promote decisions on courses of action that are often totally st odds with what the individual members of the group believe. 2. A slang expression used by the uninformed to represent anything that a group produces which appears to have involved thought.
can be predictably induced in groups by the behavior of individuals who apply pressure on groups to produce results under a time limit; wherever complexity is paramount.
Symptoms see Page 149

language is a vital part of all communication; not merely scienctfic communication. But the quality of the natural language, which evolves constantly, and which incorporates many ambiguities, is not adequate for scientific language. So, according to I.M. Bochenski (Bochenski, 1970) Gottfried Leibnitz offered the studied point of view that if scientists want to communicate with one another, they wil have to design a specialized language in order to do so.
Language Design see page 8


Structural Incompetence; The definition of structural incompetence is; "the concept that describes the situation found in an organization by a program manager who is so constrained that he cannot apply his knowledge to resolve an issue, but instead must go along with a decision that inevitably appears to be a consequence of incompetence

Killer Assumptions
A condition of unjustified belief which, if held, will greatly inhibit the likelihood that human beings can resolve complexity

Killer assumptions about complexity

      Site: in the system being observed
      Scale: Human power independent of it
      History: Irrelevant in a high-tech society
      Need: Irrelevant, just go to "guru's"
      Source: "Prestigious" source is sufficient
      Normal: They are sufficient
      Research Finds They are too "soft" to be relevant to management of technological organizations
Knowledge Integration:  
      just aggregate multiple disciplines
Types of Relationships: 
      Requires no special considerations
      Representational: Adequacy of prose
      Extensive applicability of physical science
      No need for dedicated space
      Natural Language adequacy
      Designed for normal activity
      Same as technology
Academic Terminology: 
      No need for academic precision
Executive Decisions
      Executive Capacity: Adequate





Thought Leaders About Language: Second Order Thought

Thought Leader Charles Sanders Peirce
"One singular deception of this sort, which often occurs, is to mistake the sensation produced by our own unclearness of thought for a character of the object we are thining. Instead of perceiving that the obscurity is purely subjective, we fancy that we contemplate a quality of the object which is essentially mysterious" (Peirce)

In summary. Complexity is that sensation experienced in the human mind when, in observing or considering a system, frustration arises from lack of comprehension of what is being explored.

Thought Leader Frank Harary
In the 1965 work, Harary et al span several branches of mathematics to present the analytical basis for the mathematic of modeling, the mathematics of structure. Taking that mathematics as a basis, John Warfield augmented it with the corresponding synthesis scheme, so that where Harary's approach analyzes structural models, and shows how they are presentable symbolically, Warfield's approach offers the algorithmic basis for model construction: i.e., for construction of structural models that show patterns of understanding (Warfield 1976)

Thought Leader Augustus De Morgan
He was the first logician to present a logic of relations

Thought Leader Aristotle
Aristotle saw logic as a means to the attainment of knowledge (as did Peirce, who did not se it a a final determinant, but highly contributory to understanding). He insisted on rigorous scientific procedure, and contributed to standard philosophic method by his invention of the syllogism. His innovation in developing categories contributed to the thought process which he fostered.

Thought Leader George Boole
Boole presented a system of logic that encourages the representation of propositions by variables, so that a variable x might represent the proposition "this coin is a dime." By invoking the idea off a collection of propositions, it became possible with Boolean algebra to construct a collection of propositions, each of which could become represented by a particular variable.

Thought Leader Peter Abelard
According to Bochenski (1970), Peter Abelard first stated the concept of the syllogism in a single statement in each of the following ways:
"Whatever implies the antecedent (implies) also the consequent."
Whatever follows from the consequent (follows) also from the antecedent."

Gottfried Leibnitz
Leibnitz recognized the need for design of language just for scientists to communicate with one another.

Thought Leader David Hilbert
Hilbert conceived the idea of "metalanguage", a concept that plays a foundational role in today's computer science, and one that formalized in language the idea f Lebnitz that scientists would have to develop languages of their own, if they were going to be able to communicate effectively.


Behaviorial Pathologies: Individual, Group, and Organization (Page 33-6)

Behaviorial Pathologies: Individual,
Thought Leader Robert F. Bales
Bales work shows clearly that individuals can disrupt the kinds of group work that promote success by activating negative behavior in the Social-Emotiona area.

Thought Leader Kenneth Boulding
Boulding has described the propensity of leaders (a) to accept and propagate uncritically ideas and concept that diminish productivity, (b) to allocate importance in spurious ways across possible options and (c) to suppress or at least to avoid incorporating valuable additions into the prevailing culture, defying those who have worked hard to make such additions available.

Thought Leader Michel Foucault
Foucault asks that received doctrine not be uncritically accepted; and asks that a greater sensitivity be developed to the importance of uncovering the origins of belief and the trajectory of that belief through time, to determine where it may have gone astray and may require reconstruction in the light of new discoveries, Foucault would not expand disciplines by addition, but rather by integration and subtraction.

Thought Leader George Miller
Miller's experiments indicate that individuals cannot rely only on mental activity to inquire into relationships among large sets of variables. If learning about complexity is a goal, external adjuncts to learning are necessary to supplement mental activity.

Thought Leader Herbert A. Simon
A central conclusion of Simon's work could be that the construction of symbolic categories to replace more numerous individual members is critical in advancing human understanding.

Thought Leader Sir Geoffrey Vickers
Among Vickers views were these: (a) the language of science is constantly being downgraded by individuals who use words to suit their own ends. Instead of maintaining a sense of community by respecting the integrity of scientific language, (b) representatives of the physical sciences are prone to make major errors by overlooking the human aspects of human systems, and (c) it is helpful to think of an "appreciative system", when looking toward major decisions.



Thought Leaders on Group Behavioral Pathologies

Thought Leader Graham Allison
Graham Allison shoed how the "Groupthink" pathology was heavily evidenced in policymaking that produced the decision to go ahead with the "Bay of Pigs Invasion. He showed further that this pathology could survive at the highest levels of government, and that it could be induced by executive pressure to reach a decision.

Thought Leader Irving Janis
Janis described how groups, especially when under external pressure, will profess to promoter decisions on course of action that are often toatyy at odds with what the individual members of the group believe.

Thought Leader Harold Dwight Lasswell
Recommended the Lasswell Triad: (a) situation room, tailored to serve group needs for information and comfort; (b) a prelegislature, developing policy concepts in depth before the political process began (to minimize false starts and effects of lack of knowledge) and (c) the social planetarium, or use of real estate to educate with large, sequentially-spaced displays, as a follow-up to high-quality exploration of an issue.

Thought Leader B.W. Tuckman
Tuckman reviewed a large number of studies of groups in action. He concluded tht there is a typical pattern that characterizes group work. This pattern, he indicated, consists of these four stages
Forming, getting to know one another
Storming, striving to get their own views into the discussion
Norming, arrangements are reached for proceeding
Performing. Members contribute to the task

Thought Leaders on Organizational Behavioral Pathologies

Thought Leader Chris Argyris
One Track Behavior
Disconnect Between Announced and Actual Behavior

Thought Leader Anthony Downs
Rational Procedure as Goal
Self-Interest as Motivaton
Social Influence as Highly Determining

Thought Leader Harold Dwight Lasswell
By informing all members of the relevant organization of the major activities going on in the organization and of the interconnections among them, every viewer is placed in a position to assess and act on the shared information.

Thought Leader Herbert A. Simon
His recognition of "satisficing" as a standard organizational practice helped reveal the fact that organizations do not search systematically for ways to resolve their organizational problems, but, rather, simply take the first seemingly viable avenue that appears.