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February 28, 2017

A Lifetime of Systems Thinking -- Russell L. Ackoff

 

When one reaches 80, one is considered to be ripe and ready for picking. Picking usually consists of the pickers asking the pickee to reflect back on the wisdom he has gained over his lifetime. This request is based on the false assumption that wisdom increases with age. The pickee is then expected to share with the pickers the bits of wisdom he or she may have accumulated. Unfortunately, my bag of wisbits is empty. Whatever I may have once possessed, I have dissipated in my writings.

Pickers may also falsely assume that the clarity with which one can foresee the future increases with age. The fact is that whatever we can see clearly about the future we will take steps to prevent from happening. As Kenneth Boulding once said, If we saw tomorrow’s newspaper today, tomorrow would never happen. Unfortunately, as you know, I have no interest in forecasting the future, only in creating it by acting appropriately in the present. I am a founding member of the Presentology Society.

I have no interest in forecasting the future, only in creating it by acting appropriately in the present. I am a founding member of the Presentology Society.

I also have no interest in reconstructing the past as I would like it to have been. I learned from it precisely because it wasn’t what I expected, which also explains why I don’t remember it. Furthermore, you cannot learn from my mistakes, only from your own. I want to encourage, not discourage, your making your own.

Now where do these self-indulgent reflections leave me? Not surprisingly, where I want to be: discussing the most important aspect of life, having fun. For me there has never been an amount of money that makes it worth doing something that is not fun. So I’m going to recall the principal sources of the fun that I have experienced.

A Lifetime of Systems Thinking

Posted by ACASA on February 28, 2017 at 03:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)