Stafford Beer

The previous entry’s mention of needing enough variety to make a reasonable selection about which school for Nicole to attend remind me of another interesting subject which I’ve been reading about lately: Stafford Beer.

Beer, who I was not familiar with until just recently, was the founder of managerial cybernetics. Before you turn your attention elsewhere, let me point out that this is not nearly as boring (in my eyes anyway) as you might think. The idea is to take a general systems approach to management of organizations. These could be corporations, polical systems or social networks.

One of the ideas that struck me as I was reading one of his articles was the concept of requisite variety. This is actually an idea that he borrow from W. Ross Asby. The idea is that to effectively control a system there must be a sufficiently large pool of possible choices/operations in order to allow for effective management.

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