Furthest Right

Systemic Confusion

During the recent meeting of International Conference for Systems Engineering news and television broadcasts playing on the conference center televisions were dominated by war reporting.

Alarmingly this suggests that war and conflict is the only thing that remains intentionally sustainable in society. But system engineers do not agree at all that this is the case, or to what degree it is the case, suggesting a bias for visual images over structural understanding.

The theme of the event is: Engineering a Sustainable World

Inspired by the key role Systems Engineering can play in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), targeting Societal Challenges and focusing on highly complex/chaotic systems aligned with the INCOSE Vision 2035 for a better world.

Societal cognitive dissonance reverberates across the airwaves dominating cries for silencing of the guns (which was a UN goal too) but was quickly abandoned after it bent the knee against American regime change policy now proliferating in Ukraine, Russia, Somalia, Sudan and so on and so forth.

Clearly the systemic disconnect is visible for all to see. Astute commentators now observe the outfall of this systemic disconnect via the massive analytical blunder America performed under the Biden administration, which some say is the worst blunder in two centuries while others point to the waning of the US dollar world usage dropping from roughly 75% to 50%. This of course follows on America’s 50% drop in world trade, meaning Biden is not the cause, but merely the expected septic symptom of a bad system which tells us that things went wrong already a long time ago.

Another emergence to address the American systemic disconnect is to say that it was/is caused by a liberal posture or cult, if you will. Based on this realization, conservatives substantially increased their worldwide visibility to where they now have a CPAC conference in Hungary (at the same time as the INCOSE conference but without them realizing it). The world view (of systems) is even wider than that and now include the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) that will hold another conference of 120 countries in Uganda in December.

It is therefore obvious that the American system failed because it did not include a conservative bias and a NAM bias. There may be more biases; I am using that word intentionally because it is a liberal word.

As we all know however, even if we only consider the liberal system, there have been severe problems associated with implementing such liberal systems in Africa. One frustrating example is forever bad roads.  But the journalist managed to record the exact systemic cause for this as being lack of (liberal) project management.

What else reduces the number of kilometres on KCCA AfDB roads?

KCCA management has also budgeted Shs55.3 billion for “project management” and this would cater to supervision of civil works, monitoring and evaluation and technical audit services. The money is also supposed to cater to project implementation support to KCCA, financial audit by the Office of the Auditor General and development of urban design guidelines.

Mr Lukwago insists that most if not all the money under these components should be whittled down to add more kilometres of road to the project. This, he says, is because the people to undertake the services are either KCCA employees who are already paid or the agencies from which they come have already been facilitated to do the work.

The above is pidgin English, but in proper English the KCCA referred to is the Kampala City authority where Mr Lukwago is the mayor. The AFDB is the African Development Bank headquartered in South Africa. The mayor therefore stated on record that project management should be reduced in order to make the road project more successful.

Bad roads became a newspaper issue because 80% of the city’s roads require complete rehabilitation and despite a political focus, cognitive dissonance increases, meaning there is no way back to realism because the various world views currently available allow no alternative. In other words, nobody is telling the mayor about a realistic option. The same can be said to be happening in Chicago for instance.

To understand this better conceptually, Kampala’s middle class is not economically the middle, but politically the middle,. For all systemic intents and purposes this makes the bad road issue unrecoverable, hence the creative term forever-bad-roads.

One could even deduce that the liberal interpretation of a liberal system is non-liberal, or in formal logic 1 AND 0 = 0 or something to that effect and that non-liberal drivers do not equate to conservative outcomes. In other words, liberalism and conservatism are not opposites and never were even though most people make that wrongful assumption.

Fortunately, I have one friend that still participates in the System Engineering fraternity from a semi-academic perspective attending the INCOSE conference and his Afrikaans feedback WhatsApp message is translated as follows IMO:

The important arguments discussed today is as follows:

Expect massive disruption to be caused by new national and international regulations. Companies should re-establish system capabilities to address these changes because more changes are expected going forward. The academic realization of systems has fallen behind world trends, meaning if a company doesn’t keep up, it will become less competitive.  A one-size-fits-all approach does not work anymore, and a systems tool-kit approach has become imperative.

While the opportunity is herewith presented to the reader to draw his own conclusions, it must be kept in mind that there are many conclusions possible.  One spanner in the works discussed around here, is of course Dark Organizations where the road works in Kampala is one example with the mayor not interested in fixing the roads because his next successful election depends on him promising a fix associated with commissions and resulting in (his) political middle-class support for associated breadcrumbs.

But for those interested in realistic solutions, a chaotic world needs more systems capabilities and tool kits, not less. One solution I recently proposed is to use a cybernetic data system approach in surveys to evaluate social requirements, whether liberal or not because it is the only way a sane profit seeking organization can navigate current social storms.

Tags: , ,

Share on FacebookShare on RedditTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn