August 2007 A good programmer working intensively on his own code can hold it in his mind the way a mathematician holds a problem he's working on. Mathematicians don't answer questions by working them out on paper the way schoolchildren are taught to. They do more in their heads: they try to understand a problem space well enough that they can walk around it the way you can walk around the memory of the house you grew up in. At its best programming is the same. You hold the whole program in your head, and you can manipulate it at will.
New online participatory tools like blogs, YouTube, and MySpace can be powerful and valuable – if they mesh with your goals. Colin Delany walks through the benefits and costs of common participatory tools and suggests which are likely to be useful for you. A few years ago, nonprofits and advocacy groups only had a handful of online tools to spread the word about themselves and their issues: if you had a website and an email list, you were pretty well covering the bases.
www.necsi.edu New England Complex Systems Institute 238 Main Street Suite 319, Cambridge, MA 02142 Phone: 617-547-4100 Fax: 617-661-7711 Cite as: Y. Bar-Yam, Complexity rising: From human beings to human civilization, a complexity profile , Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems ( EOLSS UNESCO Publishers, Oxford, UK, 2002); also NECSI Report 1997-12-01 (1997). Download PDF
NBER Working Paper No. 12274 Issued in June 2006 NBER Program(s): CF LS We follow 822 applicants through the process of obtaining a driver’s license in New Delhi, India. To understand how the bureaucracy responds to individual and social needs, participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: bonus, lesson, and comparison groups.
Self-organization is a process where some form of global order or coordination arises out of the local interactions between the components of an initially disordered system. This process is spontaneous: it is not directed or controlled by any agent or subsystem inside or outside of the system; however, the laws followed by the process and its initial conditions may have been chosen or caused by an agent. It is often triggered by random fluctuations that are amplified by positive feedback . The resulting organization is wholly decentralized or distributed over all the components of the system.
A participatory organization is an organization which is built based on people participation rather than their contract obligations. Most current organizations are contract -based. Contracts define a functional structure that holds such an organization together by imposing mutual obligations on people. For example, an employee of a typical organization is obliged to perform a certain function in exchange for some previously agreed compensation. Once established the contract relationship is quite rigid and inflexible.