Building Knowledge About the Approaching Future
This essay was written long before 2013, when Plan B first came into existence. It reveals the approach and the frustrations we encountered in dealing with organizational dysfunction on an objective basis. It was before we accepted that it was social behavior blocking our progress not engineering deficiency.
Pragmatic foresight is a rigorous procedure for getting things to work the way you envision in a specified possible future . It is a foolproof, failsafe method for realizing a concept. The term pragmatic foresight is used here interchangeably with the process of engineering as a condition of license. Engineering is the only professional discipline required by society to be competent with the time domain of the future (foresight). This competency is a duty prescribed under the standard of care for “foreseeability” in tort law. Today, the duty of foresight can be met in an objective, incontrovertible, rigorous, self-validating manner (pragmatic) by contemporary engineering practice.
In this endeavor, goals are circumscribed upfront before causes are orchestrated to engender the specified effects. No concept of a better harvest can be realized by continuing present operations. It is objective congruency with the Newtonian group of natural laws. Engineering does not publish a book of Revelations or predict a specific future.
A requisite of pragmatic foresight is idiosyncratic freedom. Hindsight is characterized by homogenized obedience to established analytical procedures. It is the only relationship to ideology safe from institutional punishments. The cognitive load distinction between the two time orientations is likewise critical to understanding. Institutional obedience to procedural norms requires a minimal intellectual investment. In fact low investment of thought is a policed attribute of several organizational levels. “Theirs is not to question why; theirs’ is but to do or die.” The required cognitive investment for engaging pragmatic foresight exceeds that for hindsight by an order of magnitude or more. The commitment to focused knowledge development is so demanding, it is easy to distinguish practitioners of one domain from the other. One talks in terms of his faithfulness to the established procedures; the other talks in terms of goal-seeking practices.
Understanding the advances made in pragmatic foresight that have cleared the bar for objectivity. It requires understanding the functional definition of intelligence. To the realm of pragmatic foresight, the only viable definition of intelligence is “appropriate selection.” This perspective on intelligence was shown by W. Ross Ashby, in 1960, to derive the last great obstacle to pragmatic foresight. When the means to amplify intelligence to levels practical for pragmatic foresight became available, engineering competency made the quantum leap.
The roadblock Ashby described in 1960 was that the indexes of complexity in the foresight realm are astronomical in scale. The field of choice within which the appropriate selection must be made is gigantic beyond human comprehension. Even in systems that appear simple, the number of unique states possible is larger than the number of atoms in the universe. An array of 20 elements by 20 elements is an example of what will combinatorially explode to do it. The human brain can only compute so many states in a day.
Dealing with the cone of the future automatically involves dealing with combinatorial explosions. The great advantage of hindsight is that history made the selection of reality, out of the infinite possibilities, for you. The actual track taken by history, of course, was no more probable than its alternatives. Nevertheless, making an appropriate selection in pragmatic foresight mandates the use of intelligence amplification to deal with the vast regions of future possibilities. Compared to hindsight, the cognitive demands of pragmatic foresight are as absurd in magnitude as the numbers of unique possible states that must be processed.
It is intelligence amplification in great multiples of human capacity, obtained by computer power, which is used to crunch the mathematical physics of system dynamics forward and backward in time. It is natural law that ultimately decides what are possible future scenarios that meet the specification.
Science “needs” institutional approval. Engineers do their duty contemporaneously without concern for outside approval now or in hindsight retroactive. His work has no reputational value outside of the team.
Engineering is the only profession where exploiting IA has pushed the discipline of pragmatic foresight past the tipping point of institutional control. The advance in capability has drastically changed the sociology. Engineering now can be obedient to one master set of laws without exposure to ethical conflicts. Natural is perfectly indifferent, unbiased and without remorse. By placing natural law between himself and the institution, the engineer is insulated from institutional ideology – both good and bad. The institution encounters natural law in like manner as the engineer, deaf to persuasion, instead of a viable system of flesh. Natural law is a tar baby for the institution. The more you attempt to defy it, the tighter it holds you fast to its tree of woe.
Sciences are not licensed because they are under institutional dominion and operate harmoniously within conventional institutional ideology. The work of engineering, in contrast, is critical to societal survival and institutionally uncontrollable. The institutional solution is to quarantine pragmatic foresight and exercise control over the fruits of its efforts by force. That is why engineering was the first profession to be licensed, in Mesopotamia four thousand years ago. A profession can matter to social survival (or not) and a profession can be institutionally compatible (or not).
- Abandon benefits for conformance to institutional ideology
- Very high system knowledge development
- Long term commitment to knowledge development
- Front end first
- The various intellectual and social demands to achieve proficiency in pragmatic foresight are in severe contrast to institutional norms.
The “new” standard of care for pragmatic foresight, first derived and described in engineering detail by W. Ross Ashby in 1965, has been economically practical and placed on PE operational norm status since the early 1990s. This polymath did such a thorough job, no room has yet been found for improvement. The new foresight benchmark of professional conduct is the primordial source of your smartphone.
Pragmatic foresight is not a popularity contest between sets of judgment. It is not an auction to determine whose subjectivity is best qualified for making selections. Scrutable connectivity to natural law is either complete (transparent) or it isn’t. There are no part benefits for part scores. Incomplete connectivity leaves the engineer completely vulnerable to veto by institutional whim. Complete connectivity keeps the engineer in control. Thereby the engineer is compelled to reach the zero subjectivity goal and double check his work. He will not declare institutional sanctuary unless he is positive.
In pragmatic foresight, what you evaluate is the release package – not the individuals. There is no examination for motive, credentials or experience. There is no inquiry as to judgment, intention and the decision track record. The release package contains the essential elements of transparency which, by definition, is always do-it-yourself validation:
- The system description including configuration and parameterization
- The specification of the design-basis scenarios (DBEs)
- The proving ground to run the DBEs with the system
- The mathematical physics of the above tied to natural law primitives.
The design engineer, having reached zero subjectivity, receives confirmation at release when the media, with no controversies and contentions to follow, packs up and leaves. No one is curious about the designer. The level of knowledge and competency he possesses makes everyone else look low IQ and whimsical. Job done.
How does pragmatic foresight employ all manner of ingenuity and judgment in the making, far more than hindsight, and end up with a zero subjectivity deliverable? The answer is systematic error removal. It is the proving ground exercise that identifies errors and validates their remedies.
Before the democratization of intelligence amplification, designers could choose between the high road and the low road to the goal. The low road is selection by engineering judgment, construction, trial, redo and retry – the Langley approach to heavier-than-air flight. The high road entails much more knowledge development directed to reduce the numbers of potentials from which the designer must choose those worthy of prototype investment – The Wright brothers’ wind tunnel experiments for optimum wing shape. As long as money is no constraint, either road can get you there while the user could care less how.
Independent validation can only be done by a resource conversant and competent with the natural laws. The claim of scrutable connectivity to natural law cannot be validated by other means or benchmarks. When the connect is complete and robust, the auditor provides a direct service to the design engineer as a partner. Any errors found by audit are welcomed and repaired on the spot. The design is thereby improved as the audit proceeds so that the end result is always the same – validation. Auditing their design, to find and remove errors, is what design engineers spend most of their time doing in any case – all assistance appreciated. There is no goal of reputational error-free performance.
The way engineering simulations of system dynamics are enabled, today, amounts to a master auditor of expertise with natural law. The requisites of modular modeling for doing dynamics, which are governed by the natural laws of control, creates a workstation-driven procedure. If the requisites of control are not fully met, no more and no less, the model doesn’t “run” at all. It can’t compile an attempt to defy natural law into a simulation that will move through time.
Validating the simulation “runs” with real-world performance data, of a comparable successful design, marks the completion of removing the errors of judgment. Dynamic simulation is the backbone of pragmatic foresight in engineering process. By judicious use of Maxwell’s equations of control, the outcome of one time step in system operations is blended into the batch going through the next time step.
Duty to the mission and attaining the goal is accepting personal responsibility for the future outcome. Assigning responsibility for the tracks of history is an invitation to controversy. Duty to institutional ideology ends there as a duty of means, no matter the stated goal or the consequences of applied ideology.
Intelligence is appropriate selection – picking the one from the very many on a rational, knowledge-informed basis. Although what the public calls intelligence can be defined in no other way than “appropriate selection,” the conditioning of an exclusive hindsight perspective makes the subject of intelligence off limits to discussion. The connection between pragmatic foresight and intelligence, held at a deep level by the public, triggers an automatic negative response to the topic. The public is well aware that pragmatic foresight takes much more “intelligence” than obedience to authority and it doesn’t want to be reminded of its semi-voluntary intellectual captivity. This ubiquitous condition can be tested anywhere at any level. Caution is advised.
The attributes of objectivity and completeness have no other sanctuary from the contentions of judgment than natural law. There is no intermediate stop rule where it can be settled that my judgment is more objective than yours – and therefore more likely to appropriately select to stakeholder benefit. Only natural law has the proven strength to dissolve subjectivity to zero. Natural law is so potent a benchmark of objectivity that all perspectives must be careful to have their act together and natural-law coherent. One shaky connection and the advantages instantly reverse. The assertion of scrutable connectivity better be from solid ground or it becomes a noose around your neck for yanking by your competition. It is a hallmark of natural law, and nothing else, that when the various perspectives in contention each get completely and scrutably connected – their work products are fundamentally the same and interchangeable. There is nothing for look-alikes on the same page to contend.
To attain scrutable connectivity and the benefits of zero subjectivity, pragmatic foresight is executed through algorithms. An algorithm has the necessary and sufficient attributes of natural law itself. The algorithm has perfect indifference and no right or wrong. Algorithms can be inappropriate for particular goal-seeking purposes, but never opaque. The fact that an algorithm is calculable, settles the matter of transparency.
The work of pragmatic foresight, since it is executed and historical, can be analyzed by any science or discipline. The only auditor qualification is competency with the laws of nature. Anything less and the auditor’s competency can be called into question. Natural law cuts in all directions. The auditor does not render an opinion about the quality of the work or the integrity of the workers. The auditor can only grade yes or no on the basis of the algorithms. If no specific flaw can be identified in the connectivity strategy, the grade must be yes. But, if the auditor is competent and does find a flaw, it can be remedied before he can take notes. The audit becomes a service to the practitioner.
The arbiter of merit between hindsight and foresight is the mission. Every goal is best met by one domain primary over the other. If the goal is mass production, go with hindsight. If the goal is “better,” you’re stuck with the foresight package. All stakeholder watchdogs, safeguards and gatekeepers have the same challenge. The standard of care for pragmatic foresight cannot be benchmarked by the methods of good science. The two branches of learning look at time, Janus-like, from opposite directions.
The only possible objective communication platform between pragmatic foresight and institutionally captured hindsight is the demonstration. Institutional ideology prevents any possibility of a gainful dialog. The value systems are grossly incompatible. The foresight practitioner has no one to persuade and nothing to prove. It is counterproductive to expect the domain of foresight dynamics to register on the domain of hindsight analytical practice. The hindsighters view the engineering process as a threat to the security of their organization, while men of the institution appear to engineers as whim-driven irritants. Engineering reasoning is seen as alien gibberish incompatible with institutional ideology. The mismatch in subject matter is compounded by a vast difference in cognitive demands. Men of the institution have no recourse to neutralize the huge knowledge advantage of foresight but to pull rank.
All of the completeness and connectivity problems in objectively and relentlessly going from concept to its realization in application have been solved. All roadblocks and constraints, technological, economic and institutional, have been removed. The loss of institutional potency, relative to foresight, is directly proportional to the dramatic increase in the frequency and severity of corporate office scandals. The true goals of the hierarchy, manifest in what it does, are subjects of the daily news. Invariably, management gets the treasury and the workers lose their jobs and their pensions.
The only benchmark capable of overriding the Establishment conspiracy against the public is natural law. No contrivance of society can challenge the supremacy of the institution. The only power perfectly indifferent to the rule of law is natural law. It is the elephant in the chamber. The goal is to educate the public that the Establishment is attempting to defy natural law at its expense. The insanity of that state of affairs may get action.
Before IA power became the affordable standard, the front end was a hodgepodge of ambiguous statements and management whimsy. This subjective collection was of little concern to engineering because the gauntlet at release was going to be ruled by subjective benchmarks in any case. The engineer could not do anything engineering to prevail over the irrational chain of command. The decision on how to proceed into the future was up to the hindsight-based institution. The brand of sightedness bias is imprinted on the front end. If the goal specification is abstract and ambiguous, the only recourse of the worker bees is conforming to the established institutional ideology and obedience to authority. On the day of reckoning the legitimate defense will be “we were only following orders.”
When the goal is the benchmark for selecting action, the front end work must meet rigid specifications of scope and engineering-unit detail. It is at the start where the institution and the stakeholders get their window for unbridled wishing. In pragmatic foresight, the window does not open again. The front end is driven by those taking on responsibility for zero-subjectivity goal attainment. No work towards a solution begins until the front end specification of system dynamics in application is complete. It is how, exactly, the engineer obtains closure by his wits doing engineering. For example, the contestant in a prize-driven project knows instantly when he has crossed the finish line whether or not he has won the prize. If winning was up to the judgment of the contest authorities, he wouldn’t have taken up the challenge in the first place.
The trend to monitor is public acceptance of new technology. Acclimating to new means for meeting needs builds knowledge that bypasses institutional filtering. New technology informs the public directly about what can be done. While the populace is indifferent as to how the new tools were made available, the level of expectation creeps up. “If you can get men on the moon, why can’t you fix …” Though the flood of technology enabled by pragmatic foresight, the public expectation benchmarks for solving problems goes up and the tolerance for foreseeable damage goes down. Institutionalism is helpless to improve capability at comparable rates. When it comes to system design, hindsight is completely out of its league. Today, invoking the privilege of judgment where pragmatic foresight is appropriate, is professional engineering malpractice. Stakeholders will not be mollified and accept their damage by debates over meaning and finger-pointing.
Engineers have no motive, after attaining zero subjectivity, to communicate the “magic” formula, the standard of care, to the institution. The institution doesn’t ask (or care) and the engineer doesn’t tell. This includes the engineering societies, indistinguishable in kind and function from any other institution. Institutions cannot engage the various matters of pragmatic foresight and retain their identity at the same time. Foresight is seen at all institutional levels as an alien domain, undiscussable, and a disturbance best handled by pretending it doesn’t exist. What is material to the PE is that intelligence amplification power is at his disposal; he can leverage this power to reach zero subjectivity with all the benefits thereto; and retain due diligence control over his professional practice contemporaneously.
Pragmatic foresight is stand-alone transparent from bottom to the top. As natural law is perceived the same from every perspective, history can only be a trace of natural law applied. Ignoring the occult confections of the mind, the attribute of natural-law omnipresence reflects in a historical record composed of affirmations with no contraindications. Acts of faith are unnecessary. This property of natural law allows the validation of a scheme completely and scrutably connected to natural law by any profession, science or discipline proficient with the laws of system dynamics and control.
The perfect indifference of natural law enables another significant advantage to the design engineer coherent with and aligned to natural law – attaining the zero-subjectivity goal. When the engineer has his act together, and he knows well when that is the case, the outside auditor is the one in the vise. The auditor has no choice but to become a supporter of the project. By the time the auditor has absorbed the Everest of knowledge associated with the effort, he already knows he’s trapped. If he should dare disparage the program on the basis of some subjective benchmark, he can only do so by attempting to defy one or more natural laws. His problem is that the design engineer will be able to pinpoint the attempt and thus expose the auditor in professional malpractice. In practice, we have learned, the auditor, knowing that any subsequent auditors will meet the same fate, chooses to become a fan and contributor to the project. Accordingly, audits are warmly encouraged.
The design engineer, invisible and invulnerable to the pull of institutional gravity, is below the radar screen of personalities and morals. The timetable for the transition to complete is unknowable. Many independent change agents are operating at the same time.
Engineering has zero interest in managing institutional affairs and is especially adverse to participation in its hierarchy. The practice of engineering has nothing to contribute to institutional process and the manner in which it makes decisions. Foresight has nothing but the artifacts it produces to contribute to the hindsight sciences, trades and disciplines. Training a hindsight individual, ensconced in an institution, in the ways of foresight is creating a berserk.
The only rational mode of communication from the practitioner of pragmatic foresight to the institution will continue to be the silent demonstration of closure at release. That is, the system engineered is set down with the performance specification credentialed at the outset with a means operable by the institution to determine for itself how, dynamically in the same engineering units, the system performs. All other options are without merit. Why would an engineer in possession of his faculties give up his hard-won advantage with zero subjectivity and enter a domain ruled by whim and consensus where any argument he presents can be overruled by a retard pulling rank?
The only context that can fully support both hindsight and foresight together in any combination is the individual human cranium. Any social setting of mutual interaction forces a choice of one context or the other. They can be enjoyed in sequence; they can coexist apart; they cannot be blended. There is no ethical dimension in this affair.
Whenever we wish to make better, more efficient, more productive or engage novelty, only orientation to the future is effective. The procedure is a knowledge and information intense process. Business as usual can only approximate its past.
The intellectual investment to attain competency in pragmatic foresight is so high, experience transforms a practitioner into a votary of the engineering process. It is a tar baby for the brain, where half way measures are seen as ridiculous. The power of the intelligence amplification genie is not available until everything is correctly in place. Partly competent makes no sense.
Engineers, slaves to the gatekeepers of natural law, know that the task of system control, especially to arrange for a self-regulating scheme, requires information from the context within which the system operates. Incompetency in this task is exposed the first time an intrusion enters the system from the outside.
Goal oriented activity is, necessarily, unrestricted in its use of method. Practices from the hindsight category are used in sequence with those in the pragmatic foresight set, as needs be. Institutional process, by contrast, is restricted to hindsight-based practices qualified by precedent as organizationally neutral.
Engineering is not engaged in predicting the actual future. The specific path to be taken from now forward through the cone of the future is of no particular utility. The engineer does create a defined possible future state, by concrete or mathematical physics models, to validate the “what if, …” application dynamics to demonstrate system performance meets the specification.
Engineering is ends-centered, future-oriented synthesis. The fundamental instinct of workmanship, engineers have many reasons to embrace intelligence amplification. Engineering is not a subset of science. It is a fundamentally-incompatible element of a viable institutionalized society.
There is nothing engineers can do intra-discipline to influence institutional decision making. Engineering practice is hierarchy incompatible. Institutionalism has nothing to contribute to engineering and engineering, as a method discipline, has no role in managing hierarchical operations.
- With natural law, whoever gets the leveraging right first, gets the advantage first.
- Transparency is a decision-making algorithm. Uncertainty does not exist in an algorithm.
- Release is a demonstration of performance. It is the only neutral interface between the domain of pragmatic foresight and the institution.
- The foresighter views the hindsighter as a hostile irritant. Institutional man views the foresighter as a gibberish-speaking alien and a clear threat to stability.
- The engineer pictures his novel intellectual configurations and then becomes anxious to manifest them to the senses. It is by demonstration of performance that the engineer measures more or less utility of his contraption. There is no right or wrong to the affair.
- Pragmatic foresight is always goal-directed, transparent and, at release, leached free of subjectivity and contention.
- The goal in engineered systems is self-regulation and not of seeking some idealized maximum.
- Goal-centered engineering does not slow down for discipline borders. Everything is connected to everything else by a series of relationships subsisting between everything in between. They cannot reach the goal and respect the company or the talents of the company servant who first meets a symptom of the problem.
- Pragmatic foresight requires, up front, the formation of stop rules to bound the space inside future’s infinite cone comprising the specification.
- To deal with the vicissitudes of life, the universe of engineering is today an amalgam of Newtonian physics (leakage, friction and lag) and intelligence amplification via electronic computers. Everything that happens is grossly improbable anyway.
The engineer knows that the behavior of any viable operation is a system of interacting improbabilities. For every system, there is a disturbance that will do it in. The toxic issue of probabilities in design, the arena of irrational contention over “meaning,” is circumvented by defining a stop-rule bounded domain within future’s cone. Called the solution phase space, it is located by establishing a set of design-basis scenarios. These are “dots” and not a surface within the cone, but only dots are unambiguous in large circumstances.
Agents of the institution are conditioned with a set of thought blocks and stereotyped responses to deviations that make great regions of solution phase space inaccessible to institutional cognition. The engineer cannot abide any such restriction to goal-seeking activity.
Through the prerogative of sabotage, the payoff for engineering work is determined by management, not the engineers. With pragmatic foresight, complete scrutable connectivity to natural law, the engineer trades his identity in for payoff control. It is the instinct of workmanship writ large. In the past, engineering was stopped short of managerial action at institutional discretion. With pragmatic foresight, institutional discretion has been dissolved by virtue of the process itself.
- The engineer has no public esteem to lose. The first profession, engineers were never accorded professional status by the public.
- Relatedness: everything is what it is because everything else is what it is.
- There is no personal communication between foresight, the designer, and the institution, hindsight, at release.
- The engineer is not concerned with the optimum system states, but a control strategy that will meet the specification. He is, foremost, using a collection of resources to fill a need by a system designed to be the least vulnerable to a malignant future. In a viable system, only one variable can be optimized at a time.
- Arrogance rises from a failure to attain transparency.
- For the engineer, the personal choice to keep a firm grip on the canons of the profession, specifying the context for work, is to be labeled a “loose cannon” by the institution.
- Pragmatic foresight is like musical chairs. If you’re left holding the credit when the music stops, you’re out.
- The engineer makes a continuous prognosis of what will unfold in goal-seeking, using feedback from reality to change the prognosis, in a succession of representations.
The engineer can use his expertise and experience bases to correspond as he wishes, without having to seek approval for his choices and actions. Engineering design demands a level of knowledge and cognition far too intense for profitable collaboration with agents confined to institution ideology. Shorn of mysticism and poetry, free of the bedeviling disputation that attends analogy and judgment, he is on his own.
Validation comes from what is robust, dynamic and viable in application reality mirrored in the natural law physics, mathematically expressed in dynamic simulation. Validation by robust homomorphism always requires agility across disciplines. Design engineers, to a man, cannot afford the constraint of respecting discipline boundaries.
- What we call natural laws are conceptual devices by which we organize our empirical knowledge and influence the future. Natural laws make statements about a particular model of the universe.
- The release package is a self-consistent, self-justifying business; it leaves no more to be said.
- The design engineer cannot be blinkered by the conventions of descriptions which already exist.
- There is zero difference between the improbability of a particular future situation and the events of recorded history. The past, that which has happened, is just as accidental and preposterous as any future eventuality. The cone of future possibilities does not change size as it advances forward with time.
- Humpty Dumpty paid words extra and made them mean what he chose. He could not, thereby change the behavior of the things they named.
- You cannot kill the future.
- The scientist deliverable, at best, is advice to the hierarchy. The engineer delivers a specification-meeting system. It is the end of the problem-solving process, not an intermediate step.
- The more you learn about the history of hierarchical sabotage of future think, the more compelling it becomes to bypass the whole sordid process.
- System vulnerabilities only manifest through dynamics. So, the engineer works with the proving ground comparing the outcomes of various decisions, strategies and controls to the specification.
- People who give expression to the tabooed belief are run out of society – by invoking authority.
Pragmatic foresight as engineering process features rigor – a precise formulation of method. The requisite of rigor for engineering is not a feature of institutional modes of thinking. In addition to rationality and coherency, engineering process is the exertion of free will in rigorous choice.
Pragmatic means systems fit for the application experience.
The only viable engineering-institutional interface is the demo. It is the dynamic translation of future-think into the realm of hindsight. The system goes through its paces on the proving ground while the audience witnesses the performance reading the captions below the video picture expressed in the hindsight language it can understand.
The foresight practice domain is centered about goals and goal-seeking activity. Results are taken as reasons to change the procedures. The order of work changes every day; the goal is held constant.
Weather forecasting improves because of engineering process, not the scientific method. Putting the weather map in motion for tomorrow is not discovering new laws of weather, but crunching the voluminous interactions of the applicable laws science has already established. The improvement in weather forecasting, running the maps forward in time, is a convenient measure of advances in the capability of the foresight practice domain.
Hogwarts aside, to realize a concept engineers must work within the box of universal laws governing the trip from now to the desired future – the control of destiny. Assurance through subjective elements, faith, pulling rank – or all the King’s horses and all the King’s men. Natural law is always politically correct and stone deaf to persuasion. Natural law is ultimately transparent.
In foresight, the desired future is codified in concrete terms as a goal, one design basis scenario at a time. When the possible scenarios are run with the system of interest in application, system performance data compared to the specification eliminates all subjective matter of meaning. The desired future usually contains as many scenario conditions to be avoided as those to be encouraged. The system does or does not meet the specification. There is no probability or cushion for interpretation in zero-subjectivity foresight.
For every system in application, there is a disturbance that will defeat it and that principle includes system Earth. To the engineering task, it is never a matter of absolute guarantee for every combination of disturbances but a front-end job for the client and stakeholders to define the design basis scenarios among the possible pathways through future’s advancing cone.
The advent of zero-subjectivity foresight, enabled by unprecedented intelligence amplification capability, has made it imperative for gatekeepers to recognize two standard of care regimes. It is no longer prudent to apply the practices established for hindsight to zero-subjectivity foresight. The first problem with the single standard is that, in the end, it harms stakeholders and the public. Gatekeepers have a duty to “cause no harm.” The second problem with the single standard is that, sooner or later, the legal vanguards of “foreseeability” will find it profitable to leverage zero-subjectivity foresight to tort advantage. The problem presented to the Court, should that epiphany occur, is that the natural law platform cannot lose to any other frame of reference. Natural law cannot be defeated by pulling rank. The problem for subjective oversight is that any negative decision rendered can be analyzed to pinpoint an attempt to defy a natural law. Such attempts are not compatible with public expectations of their professional watchdogs and gatekeepers and can precipitate impeachment proceedings.
What do you say when the proof of attempting to defy a natural law is presented? You didn’t know the laws cited even existed? You thought determination, perseverance and persistence would over come the natural laws? While you may be granted relief for not knowing natural law details, you will not receive mercy for continuing such attempts after being informed. Natural law is like the universality of music. It is too easy to validate the laws. The composition plays the same melody anywhere. The laws prevail during attempts to defy them.
The arrow of time can be contemplated in geometric primitives of time past (a line), the immediate present (a dot) and time future (a cone). Intellectual activity regarding events in the definitive line of history, including archaeology and autopsy, involves a suite of practices very different from the suite requisite to objectively deal with the infinite cone of the future. The methods of hindsight engender a context that is functionally incompatible with the context necessary for foresight work to take place. To forcibly impose the hindsight context on to foresight practice stops the methodology for dealing with the future dead in its tracks.
As individuals, we must practice the methods of foresight and hindsight in order to remain viable. We cannot sustain ourselves with an exclusive policy of reacting to the vicissitudes of life. When within institutional borders, we must suppress the foresight perspective. As soon as we leave the parking lot, the foresight dimension can be activated once again – so we can find our way home around the traffic.
The significance of foresight to the health, safety and welfare of the public is why, exactly, engineering was the first licensed profession and engineering canon number one is the application of foresight to safeguard the public. In four thousand years, society has found no compelling reason to license the sciences. They are institutionally harmless.
While the distinction between foresight and hindsight is a basic component of every society, legal process based on hindsight was applied to foresight process without objection or difficulty. The matter of tort, where foreseeability is the central legal issue, could rest on generic legal procedures and SoC examinations because the foresight process remained contaminated with subjective elements.
Only when transparency was achieved, was it necessary to have an independent benchmark for foresight – involving no value-laden matters at all. No longer can you examine the man and his methods to judge. Now, for the first time, the turnover package itself must be independently evaluated. A qualified package will be completely scrutable to its natural law foundation and transparent. The package will include a facility for tracing the connections and a proving ground for measuring system performance.
The concept of transparency cannot be defeated by objecting to my attitude. There is no hook of subjectivity to an algorithm. To include anything subjective, including opinion, judgment, meaning, in a specification of transparency is to defeat the purpose. Transparency is the absence of a modifier between the observer and that being observed. It is the core principle of fiber optics.
The amount of knowledge developed by the engineer to get to turnover is of no interest to the user. It makes no difference to the user if the engineer takes the low understanding subjectivity road or the high knowledge objective road. Before IA it was frustrating for a designer to want to take the high road and be foiled by the impossible computational load. So he went judgment, because part way mixtures brought all the plagues of subjectivity anyway. On the low road, experience and judgment are critical success factors. After the democratization of IA, only the high road makes sense. On the high road, knowledge development of the fundamentals driving the system dynamics are premium skills. The name of the designer is not attached to the system.
In conditions of hierarchy leadership in a crisis, it is the reverse. Since the users are employees obedient to authority, it is their individualism that is washed out and the imprint of leaders’ judgment defines the arrangement.
The engineer practitioner has every motive to use his capabilities and knowledge of natural law, augmented by IA to reach the sanctuary. No reason to stop short. IA is only of use to those skilled with control theory. It is the engineering distinguishing difference. It is the “shield” of his “Enterprise.” He can avoid the trauma of sabotage at release.
When the condition is reached, the engineer cannot be unseated by examination against a personal benchmark. He has eliminated himself in the value and evaluation of his product. This is why the media packs up and goes home. The achievement is unequivocal and commentary otherwise inherits the credibility of the Flat Earth Society.
- Engineering is unique among the professions in the ability to validate future performance in application (ends). You can validate the harvest before seeding.
- The need for the front end only manifest when IA allowed doing the DBS. Before IA, goal definition in scenario dynamics was of little help before the big dollars were spent in construction. The low road of judgment was taken by practical necessity.
- Natural law is not some abstract magical stuff confined to the engineering Arcanum. The lawyer and the engineer encounter flux on the same terms.
- Foresight is synthesis and alignment with natural law exhibited in scenario enactment. Scenario performance during the rehearsal is compared to the specification for the actual. No meaning is involved.
The grand distinction is error-removal. There can be no perfect hindsight but there can be perfect foresight. The transparency and perfection is not obtained by perfect practices from the start. In fact, no attempt is made to be tidy in the knowledge-building stage. It is very messy. The power is concentrated in an error removal process so effective and complete, that when the process reveals no more errors – it’s over. The thing to examine is the error removal system used. Mathematical physics and algorithms do the job for foresight. We don’t claim an error-free process. We do claim an infallible error-removal system.
Hindsight operates in the reverse, trying to keep errors out as you go. It has no perfect benchmark to apply after something is produced to locate the errors.
The indifferent invulnerability of natural law is the power transferred to the engineer by achieving complete scrutable connectivity. The absolute shield of the natural law sanctuary should neither be underestimated nor challenged by pulling rank. Any short term victory over the engineer will be long on consequences. While judgment may hold sway in contest with other judgment-based arguments, it fails miserably against a natural law platform. There is no authority-based advantage over a natural law base. The transparent engineering basis can only be unseated on engineering grounds – not legal grounds.
Because of the huge investment in knowledge building and error removal necessary to achieve completeness, no engineer is going to claim the transparency prize without having his act together. As hard as any fraud will run for his life away from any examination based upon the transparency benchmark, the attaining engineer will embrace the validating exercise. There can be no middle ground.
When the designer has met the objectivity criteria, all subjective methods involving emotion and ambition are impotent. You cannot examine a transparent release package using subjective techniques. The reason is that within any objection you may have can be found an attempt by you to defy natural law. Also, subjectivity can never affirm objectivity completeness. The package is never good or bad by collective opinion.
- What happens when subjectivity engages a natural law domain? Subjectivity leaks wealth to objectivity accelerating entropy increase.
- Engineers use no hierarchy to engineer and need no engagement with hierarchy to evaluate probabilities.
- Structure is a radical change to how you view problems. The structures that align with reality best, serve to illuminate the core problems and their causes.
Planning for future can safely assume progress in foresight technology will continue at a rate far more significant to institutionalism than hindsight technology. More problems will be better solved through pragmatic foresight than exclusive hindsight by hierarchy. More and more systems will be delivered directly to the application, bypassing institutional processes altogether. More and more the damage caused by hindsight procedures used in lieu of pragmatic foresight will violate the legal standard of care and precipitate litigation.
With the prudent scope of institutionalism being eroded by pragmatic foresight, the response will continue to defend business as usual – until collapse. That is, the institution will act foremost to preserve its identity regardless of consequences, including its demise.
Recognizing the natural laws of quantum physics as entirely legitimate, the universe of engineering remains primarily concerned with hard solid separate things that collide with each other and bounce off, that rub against each other and lose energy to heat, that became neatly involved in sequences of events which could be neatly labeled causes and effects.
Engineering views resources as a means to meet a need. The characterization of need precedes the accumulation of resources. Engineers are not fortune tellers. God-given uncertainty of the future is taken as decreed.
Pragmatic foresight lies well outside the framework of possibilities available to hindsight contemplation. The designer is preoccupied with materializing his concept, taking a malignant future into account. The hierarchy can fulfill its function only within the ambience of the range of policies authorized by the institution. The best answer to a disturbance, therefore, is invariably excluded from the collection of plausible policies that the hierarchy is prepared to believe offer acceptable solutions.
Pragmatic foresight feeds on innovation and guesswork and both are encouraged to fill their tanks. The engineering trick is not to eliminate judgment and invention in process but to systematically remove the errors they introduce. When all the errors are out, no one cares what flawed process injected them into the proceedings in the first place. Rigor is not attained by running an error-free shop from day one. The requisite rigor of zero subjectivity is attained by processing the configuration released by the innovators through a powerful battery of error-removal processes. The emphasis is on form over adventitious content. The machinery of error-removal is now so proficient and reliable, the run, break and fix cycle runs continuously as a full partner in the design team. Today, the designer releases his configuration to error removal at a stage much earlier than he would dare a decade ago. He avoids the embarrassment of exposing his bone-headed mistakes by running the removal machinery himself in the privacy of his dungeon. He doesn’t emerge until he knows for sure his lapses and blunders are extracted.
Pragmatic foresight is a cohesive collection of fundamental practices providing a framework for action that has no right or wrong, but is only more or less useful.
Engineering does not shape the future on the basis of prediction. It considers any efforts spent to forecast specific conditions very unprofessional practice. Anyone who engages such wasteful endeavor, obviously has not done their homework on the numbers within the cone. Even small simple systems face astronomical quantities of unique possible situations – equally likely in the future as they were in history. By contrast, picking the numbers in the State Lottery appears as a sure thing. The focus of engineering is to validate application dynamics in a sector of interest of the possible future. Engineering is not what will happen, but how will its system behave should such and such occur. This perspective is often called What-If engineering.
The synthesis corresponding sets of stuff with each other is called a mapping. When operational characteristics also correspond it is called an isomorphism. When mapping involves a many to one correspondence, but the operational correspondence is preserved, the result is a homomorphism. The engineer can’t afford to be blinkered by the conventions of description which already exist.
Systems are characterized by structure, an architecture. Systematic knowledge about the natural laws which animate that architecture is called ‘architectonic.’
The criteria of success – the design basis events and the state boundaries desired during these events is called the objective function. Pragmatic foresight is not concerned with probabilities. No efforts are wasted to predict a specific future state. It is the initialization task of pragmatic foresight to make hierarchical life a misery until it has specified the criteria of success to be applied in creating an objective function.
Hierarchical values are expressed in the complete specification of the scenarios it selects. Because of gross circumstantial ignorance, the specification reflects how the decision-takers envision their conduct when the decision becomes operable. The hierarchy is basically solving a problem it foresees in social dynamics. To engineering practice, however, there is no distinction between fact and value in a particular circumstance. The ‘game’ is being played with natural law, not with people. The Bayes criterion states that nature will play with every one of the strategies open to it with equal probability.
Pragmatic foresight demonstrates rationality in taking decisions. The way system operation is perceived and the way it actually operates are both unfolding in time. The practitioners goal, using artificial experience of the real system dynamics, is convergence – the uncovering of mechanism. Since there are no conclusions, there is no meaning to contend.
Pragmatic foresight is not forecasting from facts but demonstrating possible scenarios on the proving grounds. Systems have no typical behavior. Any attempt to substitute typical behavior for the spectrum of actual behavior is a confection of an observer’s mind.
Natural law is the language engineers must use to exercise their configuration on the proving ground. Thanks to computer-enabled intelligence amplification, it is more practical to engage the mathematical physics than construct prototypes.
The competency of pragmatic foresight is the competency of dealing with system configurations and the dynamics of a system married to its application environment. A system is not something given in nature. It is something defined by a variety of thinking processes within an individual cranium. A system is characterized by coherence, pattern and purpose – acts of mental recognition, and not physical things. Institutions have no facility to treat ‘situations’ as the systems they are. Hindsight is preoccupied with physical contiguity, temporal contiguity, and strong causal connections. The critical importance of relationships is ignored. This lapse builds a formidable barrier to institutional survival.
The proliferation of variety. Reduce the variety, by throwing information away, until anyone can make the selection. The answer will be the same whoever does the measuring.
The science of control was first called cybernetics by Norbert Wiener in 1947. It is how engineers coax a system to regulate itself to behave as intended, especially in circumstances never identified. Like the action of the flyball governor, the goal is to bring the system under control in the very act of going out of control.
If an organism (institution as organism) is to adapt to unforeseen circumstances, it cannot rely on the rules provided by the designer. Shannon’s 10th derives the proof that enough “channel capacity” must be available in the control loops to match the capacity of the system to make an erroneous response. Unless this capacity is used to feed in fresh information about the disturbances from without, the ability to provide adaptive countermeasures must steadily decline. To arbitrarily isolate the system from its environment, is to bleed off viability. Closed systems cannot survive.
The entire thrust of pragmatic foresight, using engineering process, is to generate the dynamics information required to provide self-regulation effective for the application. The engineer knows that attempts to regulate the system fully by intervention from the outside and headed for failure. Too little is known about the relationships between the system and its environment to make a volitional act of interference from the outside certain to produce the required effect. Viable systems cannot be regulated entirely from the outside. On the inside, viable systems cannot be entirely regulated by rules (hindsight) The engineer also knows his system, released to the vicissitudes of the application, can be married to a control system inherently capable of responses not envisaged in detail.
This alchemy cannot be performed without the necessary and sufficient knowledge of system dynamics. The magic invoked is to engineer a benchmark reference of what is expected that moves in step with the operational reality. The system is trained to recognize when something is not where it ought to be according to the benchmark. A moving benchmark of anticipated states replaces a high variety decision saddled with a time lag, by a decision of variety two.
It is not the solution that occupies the concern of the engineer. It is the synthesis and formulation of the appropriate proving grounds within which alone it is possible to arrive at the solution. The veteran practitioner knows by the time he validates the virtual proving ground for testing the system to failure, scrutable connectivity to natural law, dozens of candidate configurations will be clamoring for the honors. The essential task of the engineer is not to invent answers, but to fight them off without mercy until the problem domain has been mapped and animated.
The compelling purpose of pragmatic foresight is to deliver a viable system. The engineer intends that his system will be fit for application service. It is not an ornament. Viable systems are self-regulating and deliver acceptable performance in upset conditions no designer could have foreseen. Whatever, the requisite competency is the same interdisciplinary science of controlling system dynamics in the application environment. Only variety can destroy variety. This benchmark for selecting action is oriented in an opposite direction to the institutional closed-system ideology. It recognizes that the system viability relies fundamentally on ecological interactions with the application environment. It will be obvious, of course, after hindsight flows. Not all the great natural laws that contribute flux on the same scale humans directly experience are discussable and therefore obvious. Nature is indivisible. The system belongs to its environment.
- Shannon’s 10th – the channel capacity must be sufficiently large as to resolve the ambiguity in the signals transmitted. The variety in the control box must be greater than the variety in the situation box.
- If any system is to meet operational specifications under disturbances not foreseen by the designer, it must behave ‘equifinally.’ That is, there must be multiple ways to maintain stability in different working conditions. Closed systems, such as the institution, cannot provide this functionality.
- Killing off errors until none are left.
- Must understand the connection of natural law to the “natural” movement of the system.
The viability of the system cannot be discussed timelessly. The predetermined standard is prospective, not retrospective. The self-regulating system must be capable of automatic correction of small and large deviation potentials alike. To detect the gestation of upset, the system state benchmark is incessantly moved forward in step with operating time. The difference between the projected state benchmark and the actual obtained when the clocks match defines what counts as an exception. This facility provides warning signals at an early stage of large loss potential, when remedy is quick and effective. Every engineer knows self-regulation cannot be obtained by a set of rules. The question of how his system should be organized is settled by designing it to organize itself. Organization is more akin to available information than available power.
The property of self-organization is the structural adjustment to a set of disturbances within the context of a set of compelling purposes. It renders the system robust against disturbance. The institution considers the property a consequence of casting spells, since hindsight cannot imagine itself ever specifying that many rules of action. Self-organization is not obtained by an attempt to program nature, but by leveraging the laws of nature first set to action fourteen billion years ago. All this requires is competency with building the requisite knowledge to determine goal-seeking activity. The degree of control exerted is proportional to the logarithm of the amount of relevant information available to the system.
When viability is designed-in, the improbabilities of the future are no more improbable than the improbabilities of the past, and are in any case moving continuously to probable states. The big difference in pragmatic foresight is that, locally, these probable states are computable to benchmark quality. This moving reference standard of expected states is essential to select particular patterns of output that are survival-worthy. It is the engineer’s scheme to impart a directional scheme to adaptation, to bring about a responsive mutation in the time available. There are, by a very wide margin, far too many states in future’s cone to support the hindsight strategy of blundering about. There is nothing like enough time.
- The engineered system release package is far more potent than the propositional assumptions put forward in the contentions for possession of meaning.
- With natural law, the engineer avoids the problems of a contradictory language
- “God bless the squire and his relations, and keep us in our proper stations.”
- You cannot deny the fact of foresight and refuse a demonstration at the same time. It reveals the bias.
- Pragmatic foresight is the only route to transparency. No amount of hindsight, no matter how fresh and voluminous, can backfit transparent transactions.
- Self-regulation requires reliable data, composed and processed for use at those moments alone when the system trajectory calls for a decision.
- Qualities in control, e.g., intelligence amplification, emerge from quantitative procedures to which no human brain has access.