A comprehensive view of system performance

The perennial human interest in keeping a check on the costs of doing what we do is hardly surprising. In fact, the significance of this as an organising principle extends well beyond our own species: it plays an important role in the processes of biological evolution, where the viability of any organism depends on maintaining a sufficient degree of what we might call “energetic leeway” to weather the range of environmental variation encountered. In the human realm, it manifests in a perhaps more mundane way in the disinclination that people tend to have for working harder than necessary to do what they want to do—if there’s an easier way of satisfying our needs and desires, we tend on the whole to be good at finding it. Continue reading

In memory of Frank Fisher

Frank Fisher passed away peacefully on Tuesday 21 August 2012, in the loving company of his family.

Photo: Rodney Dekker

While I haven’t previously highlighted the centrality of Frank’s influence on my work here at Beyond this Brief Anomaly, the inquiry is inspired by—and, I hope, imbued with—his unique presence and wisdom, his deep kindness and generosity, and his unwavering commitment to response-able being. Continue reading