A General Prospectus and Overview of the Lewis-Works Framework

A Green Book for Alternative Development

Hugh M. Lewis

1999-2006


Foreword

Abstract

Preface

Introduction to a Brief Synopsis

Meta-system Planning Frameworks

Main Mission and Basic Objectives of the Lewis Works Framework

Current Synopsis of the Lewis Works Framework: Late Summer, 2006, from Sierra Vista, Arizona

Intermediate Synopsis of the Lewis Works Framework: Late Fall, 2003, from Whittier, California

My Original Design Framework: Early Spring, 1999, from Xinyang, China

Conclusions: Meta-systems in Summary Form


Foreword

Update: July 30th, 2009

Have developed a working system in four steps:

1. Metasystem framework development to solve the information-work explosion with teleological application.

a. Lewisworks Framework/Five Subframeworks-Whiteboarding

b. Contextual development around frameworks

c. Strategic Planning & Theoretical-Methodological Development

d. Central resources development

2. Websystem development as primary mechanism for information integration, communication, dissemination and control.

a. Informational Markup

b. Marketing System.

c. Organizational Framework

d. Knowledge System/Distributed-Integrated Programming Development

3. Selective project/product research design development.

a. Heuristic Design & Modeling Framework--Problem definition solution framework

b. Classification System of projects/products

c. Scheduling/Planning system for prioritizing research design development cycles

d. Record keeping system for project/product development

4. Program development around successful product/project development, feeding back to Metasystem framework development (step 1) as well as to other steps (2, 3).

a. Physical production plant and storage/transportation requirements.

b. Human habitational/institutional requirements

c. Human development requirements

d. Alternative Applied Development of Supporting Systems Requirements

These four steps define what needs to be happening, pretty much in parallel, and as a system. There are feedback cycles within each of the four steps as well as between the four steps. I believe these four steps provide the necessary working framework for development of the entire framework.

Have also extended the framework to five main subsystems, including the fifth Human systems, organized along the lines of human systems theory under the rubric of alternative anthropology/ethnoculture.

Idea of slotting human systems theory, in terms of systems levels:

 

Research Frameworks

Applied Design Frameworks

Human Systems Level One

General Theory

Human Ecology and Evolution

Anthropological Construction of Reality

Alternative Intelligence Systems

Alternative Design Systems

Human Systems Level Two

Systems of the Self

Existential Ethnography

Life History

Behavioral Elicitation/Response

Therapeutic Frameworks

Educational Frameworks

Human Development Frameworks

Human Systems Level Three

Extended Social Systems

Ethnocultural Research

Sociogrid Analysis

Social Systems Analysis

Eco-cultural Research

Comparative Research

Metacultural Systems

Habitational Systems

Human Systems Level Four

Human Symbolic Systems

Symbolic Framing

Symbolic Systems

Symbolic Transformation & Symbolic Transactionism

Symbolic Mediation Systems

Human Systems Level Five

Human Language Systems

Symbolic Linguistics

Inter-linguistic Systems

Human Systems Level Six

Human Knowledge/Information Systems

Computational Reaction Elicitation Systems

Computational Modeling & Analysis

Computational Information/Knowledge Systems

Expert Systems

Knowledge Frameworks/Systems

 

This framework is more highly differentiated by focal area of system, even if all systems overlap to some extent.

Differentiation of a human systems framework has been necessary in the articulation of the framework overall, separating it from core problems in the physical and biological metasystems framework, especially.

 

Update: July 5, 2009

The metasystems framework has been gradually but considerably simplified in all areas, compared to its state of development at any point previously, and it is currently focused mainly upon the articulation of primary projects, which have been developed in all main primary areas. The lack of means to logistically articulate and extend frameworks to the secondary level of involvement has remained the primary obstacle to the developmental extension of the framework overall. Political-economic trends of the past decade, and particularly of the past year, have served to consistently hamper and debilitate against such concerted development, or even a collective recognition or representation of a need for such development.

There remains a noteworthy lack of interest in a systems based framework, as well as an indirect resistance to such a generalist approach, and it seems as though a general system framework continues to remain outside the purview of most contemporary scientific thought and activity. On the other hand, recent trends globally and regionally also indicate a stronger need and requirement for the development of such a general system framework as a general, broadbased countermeasure against global circumscription and interference competition for decreasing resources.

Simplification of the metasystems framework has served to provide much greater focus to a few central problem areas in a more open and flexible manner. There are now a core handful of key issues to be dealt with between all the frameworks:

1. Physical Systems: Alternative Solar-Hydrogen Energy Systems

2. Biological Systems: Biospheric Systems

3. Human Systems: Alternative Human Development Frameworks

Recent completion of a key text, Natural Systems Theory (2009) has served to provide a degree of comprehension and integration of a general systems framework not previously achieved, and it points the way to key strategic concerns as well as to a more completely integrated field of inquiry in system theory.

Rather than four frameworks, I've separated the human system framework from physical and biological systems development, and have created a fifth framework for human systems development on the basis of my own professional background in anthropology. In hindsight this was a necessary partition of the metasystem framework to make from the standpoint of functional practice and articulation. Human systems theory and human development requires its own framework for the organization of limited research resources.

The five frameworks remain quasi-independent of one another, and yet mutually supporting, at least in theory. There has been some significant, primary level progress across all five frameworks, particularly in the past four years, even if this has been generally slow and frequently delayed.

Simplication of the overall framework is reflected in vast reduction and simplification of the websystem framework, with the idea of using this as the basis for the articulation of alternative artificial systems. The websystem remains the best single tool and resource for outreach, publication, and communication, and has the greatest potential for program development and organization on a non-local level. The cost effectiveness and the global reach of the websystem, as well as its potential for the development of integrated/distributed artificial systems, makes the websystem the most effective and appropriate resource for development of the overall metasystem framework.

On this tenth anniversary of the framework, I remain dedicated to metasystems development on a personal and professional level, as a central means and purpose of my own life, beyond the responsibility of taking care of my family. It is now far more realistic and achieveable in primary ways than at any time previous.

It is no longer my interest to extend the framework in the world in a secondary manner as a institutional possiility. It is up to other people to choose to do this or not. I have adopted the framework primarily as a personal and professional orientation, almost as a matter of faith, as a kind of orientation that is almost spiritual, but in the manner of being, rather than of believing. Certain post-conventional values seem appropriate to such a framework--minimalism, trancendentalism, green sustainability, nonviolence, symbolic expresssion in art and aesthetic realization, a basic sense of humanism untempered by issues of racial or ethnocultural ideology or ethnocentrism. These are tempered by a common sense approach to everyday life--the need to adapt and accommodate to gain a living, to compromise values to live in a larger world usually not guided by similar values.


Abstract

Alternative development that is systems-based promises a working-organizational revolution that is parallel and comparable to the digital-information revolution that was the result of the implementation of the global Internet. Systems-based efforts at planning and consolidation and integration of resources and implementation strategies that is truly comprehensive and global in scope provides the only true and efficacious basis for achieving such a developmental revolution. Systems integration will proceed in the world in due time, in spite of many numerous set-backs that largely stem from misguided and short-sighted intentions of people without a larger sense or vision of the whole. Systems integration can be made deliberate and rationally goal-driven, put in the service of the advancement of global human civilization, if we seek the ways to make it so. The meta-systems framework represented by Lewis Works has global systems integration as its main mission.


 

Preface

Development and "globalization" of human civilization is inevitable--driven by scientific knowledge and the invention of new technology. The frameworks within Lewis Works are systems based, and anyone with an eye to the human future, whether for profit or otherwise, would be wise to consider the rational aspects of systems thinking. We do not have to continue to be blind-sided by uncoordinated development or by the unintended consequences of our own short-sighted undertakings in the world. Scientific knowledge is systems-based, and the framework of general systems applies to all forms of human knowledge in some form or other. Much of human development has proceeded willy-nilly, by small doses, independently here and there, without an eye or a sense of the larger picture of the forest of human civilization.

Human civilization is a culture historical process--it is cross-cultural, trans-national, inter-social. It crosses all boundaries and applies with equal measure to all peoples. Human civilization is the result of the application of knowledge to the challenges of human adaptation on earth, and now, increasingly, beyond. Human civilization is the disappearing sky-line of a future that is increasingly networked, wireless, and instantaneous. To continue to allow our increasingly anachronistic and obsolete ideas and modalities of thinking to interfere with constructive adaptation in a collective future is not only futile, but ultimately destructive for everyone.

The Lewis Works Framework represents an deliberate effort to extend experimental and exploratory systems and systems based methods and applications in a wider world context. This effort has been consistent for the past seven years, since the Spring of 1999, with a few interruptions due primarily to relocation and interludes due to one thing or another. It was during the early Spring break at the school I was working at in Central China, in the bitter and unprotected cold of February, where we learned to bundle up daily and nightly under multiple layers of clothing, that I first formulated my ideas for such a framework, partly out of frustration with our current situation and my difficult efforts to promote my ethnographic and applied research in spite of communist obfuscation and obstruction, and partly out of a sense of dissatisfaction with what armament and apparatus conventional anthropology had, and implicitly lacked, for dealing with contemporary issues in the real human world.

This effort has been perennially based upon the belief that systems integration and distribution, tied to a general systems worldview, will proceed in a rational manner in the human future. So far, after about six years of articulation, the framework has seen many ups and downs. It has been slow to develop--nearly universal cultural resistance to its ideas and implications and the resulting interference has critically hindered its progress. The work has continued in spite of substantial losses and obstacles. It has been pruned and streamlined and substantially consolidated, which has been to its great advantage, but it remains in essence and basic structure what it originally was from the beginning.

I began articulating and deliberately planning such a framework in the Spring of 1999, while in Central China, and it represents an effort in a relevant form of applied anthropology to get past basic political and cultural issues that I was at the time almost directly dealing with, and that seem almost universally to interfere with alternative development and the opening up of human systems to new possibilities. For the past subsequent six or seven years since our return from China I've been fairly consistent in the continuation of this line of thinking and development. When I returned from China, returning briefly to Wyoming to restart a life,  I made my first somewhat naive efforts through web-system development and organization represented by my original domains of Omniprise.net and AlternativeAnthropology.org. We returned within a short time to LA area in California, where I initiated my first publishing efforts, attempting to use publishing as the basis for building what I referred to as a "jumper" system, or rather a means to boot-strap and jump-start the whole framework. It was at that time that I added my other main domain name--Lewis Micropublishing. We stood on the verge of the new millennium, Jan. 1st, 2000, and there was much in the air-waves about Y2K and the prospects of our global future, bright or dim. It was in anticipation of this, in the late fall of 1999, that I wrote The Third Millennium focusing upon the central issues concerning alternative human development in a global framework.

As a consequence of this I began transcribing most of my earlier manuscripts and publishing them to the worldwide web. I also began digitally printing hard-copy books, hand binding them, in limited runs. I turned by the second year to theoretical development of a Systems framework, extending earlier work that had grown out of Anthropological theory and method and basic problems I'd encountered in the armchair and the field. I wrote my manuscript Natural Systems Theory, and subsequent to this, wrote in a sense a second prospectus attempting to articulate an applied systems framework in the guise of Global Systems. In the spring, continuing writing somewhat prolifically as a consequence of these manuscripts, I wrote a set of grant proposals to the Nasa Institute of Advanced Concepts (NIAC). It was in these proposals that I came to define a stratified or tiered "Metasystems" applied framework. Needless to say, perhaps, these grant proposals did not work out, but it did provide continuity in the development of my thinking on these topics, and it stimulated further effort in many different directions simultaneously. In the summer of 2001, we traveled to Fairbanks, Alaska, where I joined a program in Biology there, with the aim of gaining greater training and retooling professionally, both for employment prospects and with the idea of advancing my framework in a context that might be conducive to some forms of application. Ostensibly, I found Alaska prospective and somewhat socially open in this manner, or so at least it seemed through the limited communications I had had in job searching, etc.

Going to Fairbanks in August of 2001 proved somewhat fortuitous for me in a number of ways. I had joined a university that was combined land, space and sea grant as an institution, and wonderful resources were almost immediately available. I had a vast forest track essentially outside my front door, that faced the bitter North. I would not have had to cross many roads to have walked straight to the North Pole. I loved the daily treks through the boreal forest, and the changing seasons and daylight, in spite of the cold and frozen conditions that persisted a good eight months out of the year. The day of September 11th, 2001, was the first day of my new field ecology course, and I remember the strange sense of meeting the other students at the school gardens, and everyone feeling weird because of the tragic events of the morning.

I wrote in early Winter of 2001 the work Meta-systems by which I was attempting to develop a comprehensive systems based framework, and to link together the new experiences I was having in Alaska. In the Spring of 2002 I wrote a work entitled Digging the Past which dealt primarily with Archaeological systems theory, which was, primarily due to Louis Binford's germinal work, somewhat avant garde especially in the anthropological sciences.

We returned in the early Summer of 2002 to Whittier California, where I joined a teaching education program at Azusa Pacific University. I had experienced some social disappointment in Alaska, and my wife, born and raised practically on the equator at sea level, was not very happy with either the Alaskan cold nor the chronic nighttime/sunlight seasons. The teacher's program at Azusa seemed more direct for me, and so I applied myself this year in the main to student teaching and going to classes at night to obtain a California teaching certificate, which I had in hand about a year after I started the program. During this time I largely put on hold the development of my framework, though I did do some writing and extended the framework in several directions, especially during this time on the worldwide web. Surfer traffic through my web-system began increasing dramatically in the springtime of 2003, and I sought to try to take advantage of this as much as possible in the promotion of my framework. I had during this time actually formally organized Lewis Works as an Internet Based business system, providing web-services like hosting, domain registration, and so forth.

It was during this time, in the Winter of 2003 and the Spring of 2004, that I had attempted more practical efforts in the articulation and advancement of my framework. In 2004 I had actually organized three other people, remotely, who expressed an interest in the business aspects of the framework, at least, even if they each seemed to have their own ideas about where the framework should be taken. I also incurred substantial debt as a result of this period--not only did I have two years of student loans to deal with, which rarely covered the cost of my books and other supplies, much less our cost of living, but I also had incurred as a result of the schooling fairly substantial credit card debt. Now, efforts to make the Lewis Works framework into a viable business framework came on top of all this debt, and further sunk us during the year 2004. 

I ended 2004 and began 2005 with a return to writing in basic areas of systems theory, writing several manuscripts including Metascience, Field Theory, and Advanced Systems and an as yet unpublished work Universal Systems. It was during this time, during the year 2004, that I wrote Newsletters and was trying writing forums that published directly to the Internet, in the form of blogs, various content-based websites I had devloped, and on-line newsletters that I published weekly through most of 2004 and early 2005. It was during this time that I composed most of my Systems Essays. 2004-5 did see my first, genuine, hard-copy publications. I published the work Robidoux Chronicles, which came out in late 2004, and I also published that year an article, "Golden Face: Cultural Reciprocity in the Articulation of Mainland Chinese Social Structure" through the Thunderbird International Business Review in the first months of 2006.

The spring of 2005 was a time that saw the untimely death of my mother as the result of an iatrogenic complication to an otherwise fairly common medical procedure she had done. We watched the dissolution of her, should I say, our household, that had been there in place, largely unchanged, for thirty-three years, since I was a young adolescent in 8th grade middle school, the same school my daughter attended in the 8th grade. We had to handle and largely dispose of the physical estate of not only my mom, but also my sister and to a great extent much of our own personal and familial belongings. My Mom's house was put on the market for sale less than two months after her demise, and it sold within two days, before my daughter finished her 9th grade school year. It was at this time as well that I found that the person whom I mainly dealt with for web-space, etc., basically eliminated my entire web-system all at the same time, seeking to somewhat unscrupulously squeeze even more money out of me than he already had.

I had luckily found a temporary teaching position here in Sierra Vista, and that is another story. Developing the school and curriculum preoccupied most of my time in the past year, to the point that almost nothing else was written in the past year. I did work a bit on my Universal Systems manuscript. This year provided me though a way of backing away from the framework I had been so intensively involved in the previous five years, and gave me not only a needed breather but the opportunity basically to rethink and reconstruct the entire framework, almost from scratch. Also, I did recover eventually my web-system, and have in the course of the last year totally reorganized and largely parsed it down to what I consider a much more manageable level of articulation. There was also considerable serendipity in my teaching of high school sciences and in my work at school with development of some very basic aspects of applied meta-systems frameworks--I laid in student-gardens and several thousand feet of drip irrigation systems, etc.

It has only been in the last three months, since June of 2006, that I've found the time and breath to refocus my energies on the development of the framework. I reconsolidated and reorganized my entire web-system, and I subjected all aspects of the framework as it had been developed thus far to systematic efforts at reconsolidation and reorganization. This renewed effort I feel has paid off substantially in a short period of time. The current or contemporary design framework is briefly expostulated below, in synoptic manner. Having watched almost our entire material life dissolve after my mom's tragic demise, I've been given a chance, something like the Phoenix, to rebuild the entire framework almost from scratch. And this has largely been what I've been doing this past year, and especially these last three months, and even more intensively, these last few weeks.

Looking back on it now, the framework as it was originally conceived was too formal and too rigid to be of any value. The framework as it developed in elaborated manner in 2003-4 was too complicated and top-heavy, and still too conceptually oriented, to be of any practical use. The framework as it stands now, as it is being currently developed, is hopefully far more streamlined and functionally oriented, without being burdened by the need to make everything just so explicit as in the second framework, and without the concrete-abstractness of the first framework, and overall it is now far less formally constrained or "top down" than ever, and hopefully it is for the better.

I present these frameworks below in reverse chronological order of their development, the contemporary framework first, followed by the intermediate framework of 2003-4, and finally by the original framework as it was conceived and expounded in early 1999.

The same basic dilemmas that confronted my first framework still confront the current framework, and the same basic problems in articulation and development still exist now as then. Progress has been made over the years. The web-system was slow in development and especially in gaining any real kind of profile on the worldwide web, but it is now fairly well established and fairly secure for the long term. Its basic form is not likely to change substantially. Where I had up to as many as 150 domain names in 2004 to keep track of and develop, not to mention so many affiliate websites, etc, this has now all been parsed down to no more than 20 now, which is more than enough. The interim period saw many other efforts that spun out into open-ended lines of development that brought nothing but cost back to the system.

In hindsight, I can say unequivocally that progress has been made, if sometimes fairly dear. Substantial integration and streamlining of the framework has been achieved. Even more importantly, a great deal has been learned in how to articulate and develop the framework, and perhaps especially, how not to develop it. There is a great deal of knowledge, expertise, understanding and I should say wisdom that is required of the effective and successful articulation of a truly comprehensive meta-systems framework, even if only on a small, immediate and local scale. This capacity of relevant and applied knowledge, to handle and perhaps grab the information revolution by the horns, has grown over the years in myself and in my framework. I would not say it is complete, nor would I say that it came easily and especially not naturally. It came by fits and starts, many set-backs and near complete loss twice. And it is not complete yet, nor perhaps will it ever be complete.

The last few months, in spite of more social loss, has been remarkable for a sense of recovery of my art, writing, and other involvements that tie on one level or another to the articulation and development of a meta-systems framework. It has been a recovery process that has been delayed by our extended sojourn in Southern California, and the constraints and confinements of this context, and it has been one that has been slow and gradual in its recent offing. Also, what I write about in the section below, there is an emerging sense of a newfound intellectual capacity to articulate and integrate things, systems, at the level required for effective functional meta-systems framework.

The work as yet stands as incomplete. As of this writing, I feel like the main obstacle now is not the interference and mean-spirited, self-serving prejudice of so many people in the world, who by and large only seek to take advantage of people and systems of which they are a part, but the main obstacle at this time is largely in the immediate physical contexts, what in my mind any more seems like a fairly straight-forward and easily resolved kind of dilemma. Until this resolution is effected, and if nothing else, in spite of the losses and setbacks of the last seven years, beginning as I did in the damp dungeon of a basement, semi-subterranean hotel room in China, working by the light of a candle, I've learned the supreme value of patience and persistence--a kind of fortitude to keep going no matter what happens or how bad things become, until such a relatively minor and simple resolution is achieved, I'm satisfied to let things continue as they have been. Recovery of things lost, of a sense of things lost, has been slow, but steady and it continues even in this writing.

*****

The remarkable thing about the past seven or so years in which I've been plying my framework in the world, was almost exactly correlated with the time during which I kept on a daily, even hourly basis, a personal journal. At first they were merely cheap Chinese style pocket-sized notebooks--I brought back at least six or seven of these from China. I graduated to a larger cloth-bound three-ring binder and college-ruled note-book paper. I would change out the paper every few months, and put the finished stuff in a large yellow envelope for safe keeping. 

I kept this journal writing up throughout, up until May of 2005, when, watching the material and physical dissolution of our household, not knowing where we would end up next, I threw away most of my saved journal papers, in five or six stuffed manila yellow envelopes. I resumed the journal, however sporadically, this past year here in Arizona, and I actually found one or two of the old stuffed envelopes. In the past three months, I've switched entirely over from the note-book journal to keeping an e-journal, which I change out at the first of every month, and that I will eventually publish on-line in an on-going manner.

Switching to an e-journal has proven, I believe, an important step in the recovery and transition process and it has proven integral to the consolidation and reformulation of the entire framework. There is a sense of cybernetic integration across the board. Writing and publishing digitally is simply far faster and more efficient than writing hard-copy and then still having to transcribe to digital form. Foreshortening the teleology of digital publishing is also important--this document began as an Mac-based word document, and now I'm writing directly onto the html-page that will be soon uploaded to my main consolidated server. I would say this kind of cybernetic integration of the information loop is a part of the larger digital information revolution we've been undergoing, and it has much deeper and farther reaching consequences than we can even scarcely imagine at this time. It is changing not only how we go about doing things, but how we think and think about doing things, in the world.

Thus, such as it is, I present the frameworks below, the most current first, and the previous ones in rough chronological order, afterwards. One will find continuity of basic ideas, and yet basic change in how these ideas are formed and expressed. I commit these words, in digital form, one step away from their final publication and dissemination on the worldwide web, not knowing fully the consequences of their "hermeneutical implicatures" in the larger world.

*****

I've known from the beginning, and have had repeatedly demonstrated to me, that the main obstacle in the development of such a meta-systems framework is the cultural, social and psychological resistance of people. It is not just that people are prejudice, which they mostly are, but that this prejudice is always, without exception, self-serving. In other words, people dump their projective biases upon other people when they have something to gain by the victimization or exploitation of other people. This is often done in a culturally coercive or psychologically compulsive manner, and it seems, most people can't help being smaller than they should be.

But even people who ostensibly demonstrate an open mind or some measure of enlightenment most often have their hidden limits to their psyche and social identity. I would characterize contemporary American culture as being a "culture of denial" and what this means is that people can be expected, especially in committees and groups, to deliberately choose to believe and act in a manner that they believe serves their own kind of narrow self-interest, no matter what the consequences for other people.

It seems therefore that development of a meta-systems framework has a very steep hill to climb before it can gain a sense of legitimacy that would lead to it becoming a self-supported, corporate institutional framework in the world. At this point, I would not even try to render it into a "larger than life" corporate affair, and I think corporate social life and politics in the World are mostly cut-throat and vicious. I tried once to extend it in such a manner, with disastrous results that nearly destroyed not only the framework but my family's own economic security. 

The dilemma of the future of the meta-systems framework is that, if it is to have a real future in the world, it must somehow achieve a corporate institutional status and identity, and be received by many others in the world as not only a good and worthwhile undertaking, but a legitimate and productive one that is worthy of the devotion of people's part energies and attention. One should not hold one's breath waiting for the cultural climate in America to improve to any significant degree--if anything the prognosis for American cultural development is toward increasing denial, authoritarianism, corruption, and interference with genuine efforts at development.

I do not give up on the framework. I believe somewhat naively perhaps that if it is meant to grow larger than my own strange obsession with it, then it will do so in its own good time. I think it is a worthwhile framework to articulate and orchestrate in the world, and it is a very workable framework under the right circumstances. But it must bide its own time to achieve success. It must develop on its own to the point that it "comes of age" in the world regardless of the stormy social climate that swirls around it.

It is clear that the human world can ill afford to continue to propagate or even tolerate extreme or narrow-minded sectarian interests, whether this is Moslem or Christian ,or any other form it may take. Any such orientation will only prove increasingly destructive and regressive in the world of the tomorrow, and will contribute nothing constructive to that world.

 The world is becoming increasingly more integrated with each passing year, and it is globalizing and modernizing and all humans are sharing increasingly in both the fruits and the fallout of technological development. One way or another, whether it is in terms of frameworks like Lewis Works, or it is in the form of the authoritarian policies of some hegemonic state system, the world will have to somehow come to terms with the dilemmas of its own developmental processes. It is hoped that these terms are rational and open-minded and not the other way.

*****

Another dilemma in the development of the framework has been the rapid exponential growth of resources, work and organizational information required in the development of each of the sub-frameworks, and even in smaller components of each of these lesser frameworks. In other words, there is a huge information explosion and bottle-neck in the ability to do, in the length of a day, week, year or even a single life-time, all that is needed to make things work. I've experienced this explosion countless times already and each time I come up against this wall, I'm forced to fall back upon what very restricted resources I have at my command. The intermediate framework below was forced too soon and too much was taken, resulting in general failure of the entire effort. 

Lessons were learned from these mistakes, and much was learned in the process anyway. The only way I have, and the only real solution to this problem, is a kind of "intelligent" scheme of organization and scheduling, coupled with consolidation, integration and efforts at pruning and streamlining the framework to be as lean and mean as possible. An effort to define an effective solution to this basic problem is what these successive frameworks listed below represent. The latest framework is far more streamlined and workable than the previous frameworks, but even now I'm facing the same fundamental dilemmas of how to organize my time, my other very limited resources, to effect the greatest gain in the overall development of the project, without sacrificing either the integrity of the entire plan nor the quality or capacity of any single component of the framework. It is easy to be blinded from the whole forest by individual trees, especially when there are so many of them and they can be so large.

It is true that in time there will be an increasing amount of routine-operational workload to be performed, and that others must come into the mix if resources are to be effectively given to new and creative projects. Bringing people, even very capable and reliable people, on board would not necessarily solve the basic dilemma of the information/work explosion by the stadial development of the framework as a whole or even in its main parts. Bringing people may further complicate the entire problem, and, even worse, present new problems of control and accountability for the final outcomes. 

The other, related dilemma is also that, whether this framework is profit or non-profit by definition, it must eventually be capable of earning more than its own keep in the world. The tactical and strategic challenge is that its means of generating revenue or income to fuel the system in its development must not present too great of a challenge or consume all the available resources in the process, otherwise it is a self-defeating undertaking.

This is a general dilemma that is not easily or ever completely solved. Its solution will occur when the framework does get of the ground on its own and does achieve some momentum in the real world. The two, the problem and the solution, are two sides of one coin, and this is the coin of complexity. The only solution is what is achievable through cybernetic integration and consolidation of both informational load and work-load. This is a kind of complex, AI-type problem that probably has an infinite number of possible solutions, but no single optimal or most correct answer. Functional streamlining and consolidation have gone considerable distance, especially recently, though efforts to achieve workable, intermediate solutions to this problem are continuous.

*****

The problem of the information bottle-neck being addressed in passing, I do want to offer in lieu of a real formal solution to this problem for meta-systems application and development, a set of practical interim solutions that I've found most effective for at least partially solving these basic problems sets. 

1. First, I have articulated the basic mission and objectives of the Lewis Works framework in the section below (Mission & Objectives). A clear definitive and delimited set of a mission and basic objective is a key first step in any such solution for planning and prioritizing. Our goal is not to make ice cream or to write children's books or to even start a new Internet reseller operation. It is imperative to clearly define in a succinct and explicit manner one's goals and primary objectives to reach those goals.

2. Define a clear and explicit set of operational objectives that reflect one's primary objectives--these operational objectives must be optimized to most sufficiently meet basic requirements and solve basic problems related to the overall articulation of a functional framework and realization of the main mission.

3. Define a handful of basic projects that reflect and embody one's operational objectives, or that are necessary to the realization of these objectives.

4. Define a simple and clear set of working, heuristic rules that serve in the realization of basic project-development cycles. My rules tend to be straight-forward and few:

        a. Clearly define and delimit a specific project that optimally meets one's specific goals.

        b. Define and develop the context in which this project is to be realized.

        b. Do not stop or quit until the project is completed, at least in an initial manner.

        c. Adopt what means are reasonably available for successfully completing a project in a timely way.

        e. For the duration of the project cycle, do not take on other projects that would interfere or compete with the completion of the project.

        f. If a project is completed, or too difficult to complete, revisit a-e above and reevaluate project goals, design, context and means for completion--modify project requirements and specifications if necessary. Step back to get a refreshed overview.

        g. Finally, punctuate project cycles with breaks, breathers, and anti-structure.

5. Periodically revisit problems from 1 to 4 above and reevaluate one's commitments/involvements at each of these levels.

6. Periodically alternate and cycle through the main functional frameworks and objective frameworks between project-cycles. 

7. Keep several different kinds of projects at any one time warming on the back-burner.

8. Maintaining a regularly updated running record and accounting of all projects undertaken.

9. Clearly define and implement schedules for routine-operational tasks that are required in the articulation of any of the frameworks.

10. Define a time-table, allocation table, a flow-chart of alternative pathways, and a working deadline for any specific project set or project development cycle.

Recycling, revisiting and reevaluating is an important part of the overall process. A project development cycle may come in stages and may not be complete, but lead into other subsequent development-cycles.

*****

Elaborating a practical planning framework above brings to bear certain other issues about the framework that are worthy of mention. The framework is a project based one--it will either gain expression through the successful completion and development of basic project cycles, pretty much in each of the main operational areas, or not. There are basic projects in each of the operational areas, and in the four main functional frameworks as these are outlined below , that may be said to be somewhat "prototypical" to the framework as a whole. Many other projects may be undertaken that are spin-offs and mainly the result of the productive operation of the frameworks, having little directly to do with the development of the overall systems framework itself. Prototypical projects may be listed somewhat straightforwardly, though these are not set in stone as of yet. There are proprietary issues that prevent their publication at this time--it would sort of be like the sculptor who pulls the sheet off his latest creation for public viewing before his administered his final strokes of his finishing chisels.

It can be said that a big part of planning is prioritizing projects in order of their relevance and importance, and not allowing what might be thought of as trivial projects to interfere or distract from the development of projects that may be of central relevance to the articulatory development of the system as a whole. It is not always obvious or straight-forward to figure out what is what in this regard.

I can offer a brief synopsis of project planning on a basic level as this has proceeded thus far. I would start out by saying that the Lewis Works framework has been refined to comprise four main functional frameworks, which can be most succinctly defined as a planning framework, a web-based computing framework, an applied scientific framework, and an applied humanities framework. There is considerable overlap and inter-digitation between all four frameworks and thus they are not clearly or distinctly separable from one another. It is to be noted that there occurs in the main applied frameworks a basic C. P. Snow "two cultures" dichotomy, though I would suggest the systems based definitions of these two cultures brings them in many ways closer together than further apart. I further elaborate these four main functional frameworks below. 

Within these four frameworks are arranged about sixteen operational frameworks that are scheduled to follow developmentally from one to the next. At this point we are basically somewhere between the first and second in each of the main areas. Acceleration of development depends upon obtaining a greater resource base, and thus the time frame of the developmental process has been somewhat delayed and postponed. Each of these sixteen "operational" frameworks will also be further elaborated below in terms of their basic project orientations. As was said before, it is not always clear what priorities should be in each area, or between areas, in trading-off especially with very limited resource bases. 

A rule of thumb in this regard which I try to remember is always to "work smart" before I "work hard." Successfully articulating requires a level of comprehensive expertise in so many levels and fields, that it would take a truly universal genius of the stature of Leonardo da Vinci by contemporary measures to be able to have the knowledge necessary to put it all together and articulate it even in a minimal way. Needless to say, attempting to articulate the framework, even nominally, much less plan it out and design its many components, has been a real learning experience. As an addendum to the "work smart, not hard" motto, I would add "quality before quantity" which means--better one good project than ten half-assed and unfinished ones.

I would also say that learning becomes one of the main goals of this framework in its application. The learning curve is so steep in some areas, and the pace of knowledge change so rapid, especially with computing, that attempting to learn all that would be needed in, say, a programming language, can become self-defeating. To our rescue is the idea that basic skill sets, especially systems based methodological skill sets, are readily transferable between knowledge domains. Also of value is that once expertise is acquired in one or more areas, expertise seems more readily gained in other areas. It can be mentioned in passing as well that at a certain level of involvement that is mainly abstract and theoretical, in general systems especially, boundaries between knowledge domains begin giving way and increasing overlap begins occurring. One also seems to develop a basic methodological orientation towards detailed knowledge, the qualities of a professional researcher, which transfer well between knowledge domains.

Work smart, not hard, but work hard also

Quality, not quantity, but more quality is better than less

Less is more, and more is less, unless there is more leftover

Problem solving is a matter of successfully balancing trade-offs

Nothing good or bad happens that is without both cost and benefit--the expectable consequences are always at best a mixed blessing

A good picture may be worth a thousand words, but a good clear statement is worth a thousand pictures

Achieving perfection is not the final goal, but merely avoiding the consequences of imperfection.

*****

I remain basically committed to the realization of such a framework in the world. I still see no finite limit to its possibilities under the right circumstances. I also see no fundamental reasons why such a framework couldn't or shouldn't be developed in the world, as it would, if appropriately orchestrated, obviate what in the long run might amount to a lot of unnecessary reduplication of short-sighted effort. I have perhaps grown a bit wiser and the framework itself has developed into a very workable sense of organization of resources. I do see nearly insuperable human and cultural obstacles that seem for the time being at least to continue to stand in the way of its realization.

The object of this prospectus is to provide the reader with as general and comprehensive overview and as detailed an explanation of the framework, its motivations and rationale, as is possible with the space of a single formally contrived document. It is also to provide myself, the author and creator of the framework, an opportunity to try to back away from the framework, to objectify it as much as possible, and to critically reexamine its fundamental structure and outline in the hope of improving it and working out whatever unresolved issues stand in the way of its greater realization and application in the world. 

I will undoubtedly add a further update to this prospectus down the road as things change and develop. I am more confident than ever before that the framework is not only more doable and workable than ever before, but the world climate is gradually turning toward a more open and conducive orientation as global problems and people problems are catching up with everyone "in the same world boat." Events like 9/11 brought into stark contrast the dangers and risks humanity undertakes by remaining bound to regressive and blind ideologies and sectarian worldviews. It can be said that the Lewis Works framework, and the global meta-systems framework it represents and attempts to articulate, is as completely non-sectarian in orientation as it is scientific in foundation and methodology. As it has been said proverbially--"the best laid plans of mice and men..."


 

Introduction to A Brief Prospectus

 

This work represents the product of five years of planning and more than 25 years of preparatory training and life-experience. It is a culmination of a life-time of experience, education, and deep thought on the issues that are most pressing and important to myself at least in the world--not only today, but yesterday and tomorrow as well. And yet, I do not rest upon my poor laurels and spotty track record to provide legitimacy or a sense of authority to what follows. This work represents a coming together, a culmination, a climax of a diverse range of elements and forces, and as such it stands by itself in the world and represents itself. It is hoped that the issues dealt with in this work will seem somehow important to others in the world as well.

To try to summarize what it all means, it represents the attempt, if not the actual achievement, of devising a truly comprehensive systems approach that is directly applicable to all the major problem sets confronting humankind today.

There is a sense that many projects done independently outside of such a meta-systems framework achieve larger contextual significance somewhat by accident, haphazardly, while everything done within such a framework automatically achieves such larger contextual significance.

It is not unlike the discovery of a loose artifact buried in the ground. If it is not embedded within the original matrix of its deposition, if it was a curious nature-port or manuport carried far from its place of manufacture and utilization, then its informational significance is far less than if the same item is found embedded in the provenience of its origin and primary cultural identity.

It is this issue of contextuality and contextualization that makes the ancient anthropoid fossils so difficult to interpret and so open to wild conjecture. Things done in context have greater significance, greater informational content and import, than things done divorced of any context. And if the context is by definition a grand panorama, then the informational significance of things embedded within it are greater still.

Of course, context is something often slippery to isolate, shifting, transient, dynamic and continuously changing in the background. Contexts come and go just like the things that are contained within them, and if the key to the significance of any thing is found in its relational context, we must understand therefore that the significance of things is always also subject to change, modification and shift depending on the context that we encounter it with. The artifactual background is subject to our own interpretive contexts and the background of our own world from which we derive value and meaning in a real, living, versus a fossilized and archaic sense.

The contextual relativity of meaning and importance, of information and significance, is subject to change both by the things embedded within the context, hence composing that context on a very local level, and the relations of the context itself within larger meta-contextual frameworks--contexts relating to other contexts, etc.

The value of a meta-systems approach can be said to rest primarily in that it provides an objective approach to the entire problem of contextual relativity of significance and value that we bring to our experience of reality, even in our objectification of reality like science or in technological applications. This objectivity does not depend upon a sense of paradigmatic or ideological closure around a core set of ideas, other than the application of a general and natural systems approach that attempts to identify from phenomenally apparent patterns and relationships in isolated and semi-determined structures. The objectivity of science rests upon this systems approach in a methodological and theoretical sense.

A meta-systems perspective can be said to represent a comprehensive scientific perspective on human reality, within which we can find the clear theoretical and methodological unification of the sciences and of their applied spin-offs.

A general systems approach to all the sciences rests primarily in the presupposition that there exists a certain sense of order in the natural world. This order underlies its phenomenal patterning, even if this patterning appears chaotic and haphazard. So far, various scientific disciplines have all achieved great success based upon this presupposition.

From this we may refer to a basic model of a system, any real system that is capable of existing in reality, as a core set of structured relationships involving interaction of variables of some way, which set can be expressed generally by means of one or more differential equations using one or more variables each. There arises a patterning, a dynamic matrix of populations of "points" or values as a consequence of this central or core interaction. This patterning is dynamic and partially determined.

As is usually observed to occur in the structural articulation of the natural world, the patterning of the points that are a consequence of the first set of differential relationships, begin interacting in the formation of their own structured interrelationships. The consequence of this secondary level of structural patterning in systems is the emergence of yet a new set of matrix "populations" that exhibit sometimes an entirely new sense of patterned chaos.

This process appears to go on ad infinitum in the physical world. A meta-systems framework rests on the realization that we are ourselves a part of that process, and at the same time, we are paradoxically capable of stepping outside of the structure of our own patterning, in a symbolic sense, at least enough to try to comprehend this patterning in some objective manner. The consequence of our capacity to do so in a structured and systematic manner is the creation and realization of new realities that did not hitherto exist, that would never had existed, if we human beings, or some other intelligent life form, did not think them up and do them.

Unlike a human being, a dog can watch a bird fly but will never be vexed by the problem of flight itself, and that is the real difference between a dog and a human.

Needless to say, this entire process is complex at every turn, and we must, if we are to continue to pursue a meta-systemic orientation and worldview, become quite comfortable with the idea of complexity as well as with the actual problem of real complexity in the world.

*****

The primary purpose of this work is to provide a skeletal outline for the structure of the Lewis-Works Framework, and therefore my principal interest is in elaborating certain workable structures for an applied meta-systems framework that I at least tout as constituting an objective, scientific foundation for alternative human development on earth. Embedded within this main purpose is also my taking advantage of the opportunity of such a framework to elucidate in no uncertain terms the theoretical and methodological points and implications of a meta-systems framework in a pure, versus an applied, sense.

This work is first and foremost a prospectus on a new kind of human system that is based on an explicit meta-systems framework. It features comprehensive integration and universal applicability to the full range of problem sets encountered within human systems. Secondly, it is a theoretical and methodological explanation and justification of a meta-systems framework in itself. There is a strange sense to me now that the two agendas go hand-in-hand, and must do so, in the presentation of the meta-system to the world.

It is the larger sense that if we are to step outside of the dialect of our own anthropological relativity, then we must on one hand maintain a symbolic dialogue, at least with ourselves, and then on the other attempt to implement in the real world, in an applied sense, a meaningful sense of order in the world. This is after all what human culture is all about. It is as inescapable as it is inundating of our every experience. It is not only that we symbolize and think about the world in symbolic terms good to think, but we must actually try to apply how and what we think about the world and reshape the world to the terms that suit us, that are "good to do." If it is desirable to achieve a certain consonance between what we do and what we say, between how we think and the way we act, then perhaps we can understand that this may in fact be the very basis of psychological health in the world, however anthropologically relative it may be from a cultural standpoint.

Embedded within the meta-systems framework that I am about to unfold, is the general and applied notion of "meta-culture." The concept of meta-culture may be redefined as the meta-system of human culture, and it points the meta-systems concept back to the human problem in which it was embedded in the first place. The concept of meta-culture and its elaboration achieves its full elaboration and application in division 4 of the Lewis Works Framework, though it resonates across the entire Lewis-Works framework in one form or another.

Applied systems are after-all human engineered and human constructed systems. These systems require planning, deliberation and work in their implementation. The concept of meta-culture therefore brings the entire meta-systems framework back upon itself in this sense.

*****

There would be of course many, and many different kinds, of obstacles to be overcome if something even remotely like a meta-systems framework is to be actually articulated in the world. A principle part of strategizing and strategic implementation of such a framework would therefore consist of devising the means to recognize, mediate and eventually overcome such obstacles in an efficient and timely manner. By and large, most of these kinds of obstacles are extrinsic to the problem of the meta-system itself, which is its own inherent complexity, uncertainty and relativity. Learning how to deal with such problems, and actually dealing with them successfully, is an avoidable part of putting something like a meta-systems framework in motion in the real world in a meaningful manner.

For most people, locked as they most often are in the parameters of their own systems and situations, change that betokens uncertainty can be a real threat, and anything promising change with uncertainty can be expected to meet with negative resistance rather than positive acceptance. This is a natural human response to change that, unfortunately, certain powers that be learn to capitalize upon in the manipulation of the imagination, worldview and collective, social behavior of people.

*****

In dedicating this work I have no one other than myself, my own selfishness, stubbornness and spirited independence of thought and values, to thank for its production. Unfortunately, the sense of isolation, even from my own family members, within which this work was conceived and undertaken, was well nigh complete and about as total as one would unfortunately wish upon anyone. I wish it had been otherwise, and could be otherwise, and I suspect it will have to be otherwise if the framework proposed in these pages is to have any chance of real success. I have no doubt now of either its potential for success or that it might somehow be the "wrong" framework--it may be wrong in small senses of adjustment of this or that part of the larger thing, but as a whole it stands alone and I am confident in its ontological and teleological outcomes.


 

Meta-system Planning Frameworks

A central part of Lewis Works is what can be called a key meta-system planning framework. This planning framework is important to the articulation, coordination and integration of the various functional frameworks. As will be made clear below there is an implicit hierarchy of the articulatory frameworks: four functional frameworks, each divided into four developmentally sequential operational frameworks, and each operational framework consisting of one or more project-problem frameworks. 

Effective planning is a process. It develops in stages, if a project is to develop at all. It does not begin and end at the first stage of a project cycle--it continues through to the very end of project development, and picks up the pieces leftover, reevaluates the entire cycle, and seeks to apply this to future projects. 

There is more opportunity for creative thinking and the creative process in planning than perhaps in any other aspect of involvement with various projects--one would not think this is so but I believe it to be true. To become obsessive over planning is possibly the worst possible thing we can do. There is room for injection of the creative process in the initial stages of goal determination, design proposal, configuration of strategies for project application, etc. There is room at various points along the trajectory of the project for creative thinking and rethinking. Creative thinking is really a form of problem solving when we deal especially with complex problems for which there are no clear or previous answers--we do not apply solutions from previous, perhaps similar problems, but we must come up with a new way, a new design that would work.

There is value in maximizing as much as possible the creative element of planning. Any process that serves to open up planning to creative human involvement and that stimulates creative thinking and spontaneous application to problem definition as well as hypothetical problem solution is of optimum value. Planning is best construed therefore as an on-going process in which the components on the planning table, the agenda, priorities and designs, are constantly shifting--it is a kind of game, and one's opponent is the sum total of all the restrictions, the deadlines, the lack of necessary or available resources, human interference, that serve to induce failure in one's outcomes. Creating a framework, however simple, that would allow one to facilely and periodically approach project development and problem solving from a planning point of view is worthwhile to develop. I typically keep a fold-up table or a desk area for such purposes, equipped with often very simple but effective materials like index cards, poster paper, note-book paper, scratch pads, etc. I also tend to keep a post-it or bulletin board and to use sticky notes in ample amounts, with brief ideas written on each. These in time are discarded, or worked into more permanent documents.

The planning process is also one that centers around a formal or informal design proposal--if one seeks funding for one's project, a design proposal would be part of that project anyway. The project in fact would depend upon the success of such a formal proposal. Often an effective and creative design proposal is a developmental project in and of itself. I spent several years working on a research design proposal for my doctoral work, and had more than one seminar that was primarily involved with research design methods and proposal writing--even the proposal I ended up taking to the field was substantially modified during the work in the field, and in the end, came out better than anyone could have expected, in spite of basic obstructions and frustrations, and bureaucratic limitations and restrictions that just could not be effectively overcome. The research methodologies and design that was rooted in the original proposals, even after being adapted to the fieldwork contexts, were subsequently refined and took a course of their own, around which a new proposal might have been written--planning basically went to a post-proposal stage at this point.

We may say that the entire Lewis Works framework is functionally defined and project-based. Problem solving and planning go hand-in-hand, and it is top-down up to a point, with the caveat that not everything in planning needs or should be made explicit. As a matter of fact, I think it is very true that a good plan should be as implicit as possible, with the capacity to unpack the explanations in detail at any point that it may be required. Only experience and expertise can accomplish this kind of planning effectively. 

At one end of the planning/development cycle, key objectives should at least in theory or hypothetically be tied to relatively formally defined principles, while at the other end of the hands-on application, problems and solutions need to be purely heuristic and practical in definition. At the first end, set-piece planning should prevail, while at the other end a tool-kit with an encounter approach should prevail. And there is reciprocal movement back and forth movement between the two ends, almost continuously or at least intermittently, and there is always an intermediate region  between the two ends where working models, hypothetical solutions and semi-formal methodologies may be applied in a highly variable and modular manner.

Before we can seek to elaborate what might pose as an effective planning framework, we must learn to ask some basic questions, pose and define in a clear sense basic problem, and then be able to operationalize potential solutions to these problems and questions in terms of projects that might be relevant to what a meta-system is supposed to be all about.

1. Our first question is "what is a meta-system" and how does it look in both a formal and in an applied sense?

The kind of definition I seek in this is not necessarily a formal one, but rather one that is functional in explanation of how a meta-system might work.

First, formally, a meta-system in simplest form can be said to be a system of systems. It must be understood that all real systems are contextually defined, and thus exist in some kind meta-systems context--thus, implicitly, a meta-system is the inherent context that defines the boundaries and operational modalities, as well as the developmental paradigm and life-cycle, of a given system. As an example, all living systems exist in what may be called a meta-biotic context of one form or another. No organism or life form can occur in total isolation from such meta-biotic contexts, nor would survive for very long if removed for very long from what can be called its normal meta-biotic context. To look for extra-terrestrial life is to search for such life-forms in potential meta-biotic contexts, realizing that we are more likely to find the meta-biotic context before we find the life form itself bound within it. This in simplified form is what a meta-system may be said to be somewhat formally.

Different kinds of systems of course have different kinds of contexts, and this is what makes them different, but on some level or another, it may be said that all meta-systems contexts are at least in theory connected and structurally unified, however indirectly. We find our experience of the real world to be relatively continuous and not disconnected or intermittent. The sense of episodic patterning or periodicity that is brought to nature are either developmental epi-cycles found in the unfolding patterning of systems at different levels, or they are the residuum of a kind of subjective periodicity of experience that we bring, as human knowers, to the problem of understanding and knowledge. We have our own cycles of waking consciousness and sleep, of alertness and distraction, of focus and relaxation.

The problem remains, how can we redefine a meta-system in a manner that is functionally explicit and operationally, or should I say, methodologically, sufficient. In order to try to answer this question, I will turn to an example worked out in another field of knowledge that had been traditionally plagued, in a methodological and theoretical sense, by this kind of problem. Traditional Americanist Archaeology had been based upon a culture-historical methodological approach to the evidence, largely based upon relative dating techniques including stratigraphic analysis, seriation of style pattern, and identification of ideal-type or index artifacts/fossils. The problem of provenience, or what might be referred to as the meta-system context, in which a particular artifact or fossil was embedded was always recognized as an intrinsic part of the problem. What was lacking was a clear cut methodology that would allow one to systematically compare sites and artifacts from different areas and, in principle, from differing proveniences.

Lack of a clear-cut solution to this problem stood in the way of the theoretical, and in a sense, methodological development of archaeology as a science of the prehistoric past. Development of absolute dating techniques, first Carbon 14 dating, and later other methods, opened the door to the development of new archaeological methodologies that could be based upon systematic reconstructions of sites and artifacts set in some kind of non-relative framework--actual timelines could begin to be constructed for different areas and sites, and these thus compared to one another more accurately and realistically. 

Louis Binford, in the early sixties, inaugurated the break from the strangle hold upon the archaeological mind that was in place for the previous fifty years by the culture historical approach, by proposing that it was the systematic relationships between artifacts and their site-contexts, and the systematic comparison of these relationships between sites and regions, that formed the foundation for a "New" or modern archaeology that was essentially systems based and therefore more fully "scientific" in character.

What was sought thus was site-patterning in relationships occurring between artifacts, and upon higher levels, between sites or site-complexes, that demonstrated functional articulation at sites that would hypothetically result in such a patterning. There was a critical sense of letting the artifact and site patterns speak for themselves, drawing functional inferences from the complexity of their relationships, their frequency distributions, etc, than in attempting to superimpose what amounted to preconceived notions of "cultural traditions" upon the data pattern.

Thus a kind of inductive-hypothetical-deductive approach was proposed, and widely adopted in the course of the following decade, by which archaeologist turned away from their relative frameworks of "cultures" based upon type and style patterns, and looked increasingly at the functional relationships that might hypothetically explain the resulting arrangement of artifacts in context, and the distribution of site-patterns across varying contexts.

In other words, borrowing from this example in Archaeology, we may operationalize a working or functional definition of a meta-systems framework by recommending that we look for the systematic patterning of relationship that occurs between and across varying problem sets, and their possible solutions. In other words, it is not the relative operational differences of a particular problem context that most concerns us, but the structural relationships that possibly occur between varying or similar kinds of problem contexts.

To extend this with another example borrowed from anthropological research, this time from my own research methodologies that I developed in fieldwork in Malaysia in the mid 1990's, Anthropologist had been using, and often abusing, a concept of Culture, largely implicitly tied to the same culture history framework that had bound traditional Archaeologists, in their ethnographic research. There were many definitions of culture, but culture as a concept lacked a single, paradigmatically unified definition upon which a true "science" of cultural anthropology might be based. In other words, anthropologists as ethnographers were operating with a scientific worldview that lacked a clear-cut or formally, paradigmatically defined theoretical explanation. It was left largely as an inductive field, and even its methods and the objectivity of its supposedly "empirical" methods had come into critical question and rejection by the mid-1980's to early 1990's. A kind of reflexive, post-cultural "anti-anthropology" arose that sought essentially to undermine the credibility and legitimacy of any and all ethnographic texts produced by ethnographers.

It was in this somewhat hostile academic climate that I sought to apply a set of methods in the course of my ethnographic fieldwork that I defined as symbolic framing methodology. At the heart of this methodology was a purely operational and empirical definition of culture as being the patterning of behavioral response that was shared, upon multiple levels, by people having a common background and sociocultural context. The idea being that the more common a socio-cultural context any two individuals had, the more they tended, in the long run and large, to share at different levels of behavioral response and articulation, which patterns could be systematically elicited, recorded and analyzed in a strictly empirical and statistical manner. I received resistance from my own dissertation committee, but I even proposed this then and subsequently as the basis for a new and genuinely systematic cross-cultural approach in anthropology in terms of human behavior, and not in terms of the artifacts, institutions or environments that different groupings of people shared, as had been previously explicated by Charles Murdock and the Human Relations Area Files. Traditional cultural anthropologists/ethnographers could not get past the same basic kinds of classificational, nomenclatural and typological dilemmas in the naming of cultures, styles, and patterns, that the culture historical archaeologists could not get past. The problem was not in the complexity of the patterning of the data, but in their manner and style of thinking about this complexity in terms of systems of typological classification that had not bearing on the explanation of the patterning that was being empirically observed. Such models that were constructed were rationally driven rather than empirically founded.

In applying this second example, drawn from my own research experience, I would assert that we may further operationalize a definition of a meta-system framework in our seeking to understanding any form of complex phenomena by seeking systematic measures of similarity and difference in pattern variation between different event structures, especially in terms of patterns of structural relationships which may be implicit to the patterning, hidden in the complexity of the epiphenomenal variegation of pattern, rather than in a obvious manner. In other words, similar kinds of problems in similar kinds of contexts would have similar kinds of solutions--something that may seem more obvious than it may actually be in reality. Systematic variation between different kinds of contexts, should result in systematic variation of the kinds of systems that articulate in those varying contexts.

I would furthermore assert, from the standpoint of deliberate design modeling of applied meta-system frameworks, that we seek to systematically streamline designs, as biological nature seems to streamline species in functional-ecological adaptation in the course of evolutionary development. In other words, functional streamlining by experimental variation of solutions that lead over time to more optimal solutions is a fundamental process of both natural evolution and human civilization. Once the basic problem of flight had been worked out, the process of streamlining alternative solutions in flight began to be rapidly worked out over less than ten decades. Essentially, for many kinds of modeling solutions, computer generated and modulated simulations may be used to effectively streamline systems far more rapidly and effectively than could previously be accomplished by hand, by trial and error, by testing and trial runs, before computers became sufficiently developed to take on these kinds of complexities. We are now basically designing new biotic-macro-molecules by computer, before these new molecules are actually being mass produced by drug companies. I propose that we are rapidly reaching the point at which almost every systematic applied problem can be essentially solved by computers far faster and more efficiently than by people, as long as the parameters of the problem set are relatively clear-cut and unambiguous. It is not too hard therefore to understand the role of increasing importance that advanced computing technologies will play in the kind of design revolution of the future. 

Computers cannot do it all of course, nor can they be relied upon to do even what they do by themselves, totally without either the preparation nor the post-adaptation by human designers. Humans will long remain the general problem solvers, and in the context of "meta-systems planning" the planners of both grand strategy and the necessary range and combination of tactics to accomplish the strategy. Computers, however advanced, continue to think linearly and purely analytically, while human beings can think non-linearly, dynamically and synthetically. 

This brings us back to our original problem to suggest that in complex problem solving and meta-systems planning, in stating that there will likely always a level of inherent uncertainty of outcomes and of alternative choices, an uncertainty that itself can quickly become astronomically complex, that no computer, no matter how sophisticated, nor no systematic, analytical methodology, can ever hope to fundamentally resolve. It is at this point, sorry to say, that intuition, wisdom, creativity, serendipity, blind luck all come into play in determining ultimately the inherently underdetermined outcomes of any complex, real system. When we reach this point we must fall back on tried and true methods of trial and error, of "aha, eureka" waking experiences percolating mysteriously from the dream states of the sleeping, trouble-ridden human brain, and whatever arsenal of human talent, wisdom, experience and expertise one might be able to bring to bear upon a particular problem set by happenstance.

In other words, to conclude this answer, there is a thing of too much planning and not enough practicing or implementation. Planning must be balanced by systematic and encounter implementation, and planning and implementation go hand-in-hand in the streamlining and solving of complex problems. At this point we can turn to the issue of means-end driven practical planning--sizing up one's means and one's ends, and trying somehow to bridge the difference between the two, either by adjusting one's ends down or extending one's means up.

2. Our second question is what is a project-based, problem solving framework and how can this be implemented to achieve the standards of a meta-system framework, however implicit.

We may say a project is defined by a framework and in turn serves to define a framework, and a problem defines a project and a project also serves to define a problem. Lewis Works is functional, project based approach to the long term, large-scale implementation of applied meta-systems. It proposes to implement and develop a series of projects that are at least in principle or practice tied to the implementation and realization of meta-system frameworks in the world. Projects are designed and intended to address a specific set of key problems that are a function of the effort to develop applied meta-systems frameworks in a deliberate and coordinated manner. Problems themselves are defined in terms of both how they may be operationalized in terms of particular or hypothetical project designs--i.e., solutions--and in terms of how project solutions arise from and articulate in larger contextual frameworks. In other words problems tend to be defined operationally in terms that render them available to some kind of solution, at least hypothetically, through some declarative methodology. In other words, it serves little purpose to define problems so generally or ambiguously that they admit of no particular kind of solution set.

As prototypical projects attempt to offer at least hypothetical solutions to key problems, a project is at least a demonstration of one possible solution, even if it is not the only possible solution or even the best possible solution. Streamlining such projects systematically through their project cycle reiteration allows us to eventually move closer to best-fit type solutions.

Needless to say perhaps, there are different kinds of problem sets and thus different kinds of possible projects and therefore varying kinds of project frameworks. The elucidation of the functional, operational and project-based frameworks below serve to demonstrate the main range of problems that I've been most interested in dealing with in the articulation of a meta-systems framework--one might add or subtract from this list other kinds of problem sets.

Important, critical, from a practical standpoint is the development of the appropriate and effective operating contexts for the articulation and development of project cycles--in other words the right work and research spaces have to be set up and managed effectively in order for such relevant project cycles to be realized. This becomes to some extent a book-keeping and house-hold management problem, though many subsidiary projects may involve directly or indirectly solution to many complex problems that might be associate with the establishment of such frameworks in a real, operational manner.

Just as there are alternating problem-project frameworks, there are also alternative research and design strategies for solving problems, and there are likewise alternative methodologies and methodological designs for accomplishing these strategies. What there categorically is not is a pre-determined prescribed set of methods that are best for any particular kind of problem set. There are methods and strategies that work better in some frameworks than in others, but not in all frameworks unequivocally. Therefore there is no possible "meta-methodology" or meta-system of methods that can be used universally for all kinds of problems or even generally for most problem sets of even a given general kind. When one becomes bound to a particular set of preferred methods, one quickly runs into a fundamental dilemma of superimposing one's own frameworks upon the information at hand, rather than drawing inferences inherent to the patterning of the data itself. Different kinds of methodological strategies and tactics seem to work better for different kinds of problem sets, with varying degrees of relative success. To expect anything more or better than this is to set one up both for eventual failure and for being ideologically blinded by self-fulfilling methodological prophecies.

When we reach this point, human experience, wisdom, skill, and serendipity come into play, alone with intuition, imagination and creative endeavor. Encounter approaches work better at this point than any set-piece methodologies.


 

Main Mission and Primary Objectives of the Lewis Works Framework

 

The main mission of the Lewis Works Framework is to articulate an effective applied meta-systems framework upon as large and extensive a scale as possible, both upon earth and beyond the bonds of earth's gravitational field. A meta-systems framework may be said to be a relatively comprehensive, systems-based design framework that articulates upon key levels and in key areas that affect integration and functioning of human systems and related environmental subsystems and contexts.

The meta-systems framework of Lewis Works is currently defined in four main functional areas of articulation as given in the framework synopsis below: These areas are:

1. Systems-based Planning & Consolidation: Strategic planning frameworks, logistic and business frameworks that serve to coordinate and tie together project involvement in the other areas and to provide overall direction to the framework. In this regard, the question of "what is a meta-system framework?" and "how can this be articulated as part of a larger meta-system framework?" must be kept in mind.

2. Web-based Cybernetic Automation Systems: Cybernetic integration will proceed apace in all areas of future development. The Internet and Worldwide Web create an unprecedented communication and distributed information storage network that can be characterized as truly "scale-free"--the potential is to be able to provide immediately on demand, at the push of a button, any kind or potentially any amount of information, anywhere and at anytime, and at no cost. The implications of this in terms of cybernetic integration and the intelligent automation of systems is yet to be fully realized but are simply astounding and incredible.

3. Applied Structural Meta-Systems within a Global Context: All fields of science and relevant engineering are brought together under the aegis of natural and applied systems theories and methodologies, to create an adaptive technological and productive meta-system that is unprecedented, in a sense offering a kind of 'scale-free' energy exchange/transportation network that promises to deliver "unlimited" energy and appropriate work, any-time and any-place, at least at minimum cost.

4. Anti-structural Production Meta-Systems: The object of this functional framework is the production of cultural meta-systems as a form of human creative expression, promising a similar capacity as the scale-free networks in information and work above, to be able to offer a scale-free network for the articulation of the human imagination and the unconstrained exploration of what can be called "possible realities." This text, this writing, here and now, shares as much a part of this framework, as it does the other frameworks above.

Each of these frameworks define working operational systems that have their own working space and contexts. The primary objectives include developing central projects that provide the basis for the realization of each of these four basic functional frameworks. There is a kind of chain teleology to some of this:

1a. Planning/Consolidation..........b. Consulting/Implementation......c. Coordination/Communication........d.         Integration/Distribution

2a. Web-system ........b. Programming Web Interface.......c. Intelligent Web I/O Systems.......d. Applied Web Intelligence Systems.

3a. Meta-system Modeling.....b. Human Development Systems.....c. Biotic/biotronic Field Systems....d. Infra-structural Systems

4a. Basic Fine Arts Projects......b. Multi-Media Production Systems.....c. Presentation-Demonstration Systems........d. Environmental Design Systems

This defines basically a 4 by 4 grid, or sixteen sets of objectives arranged and prioritized in order. About 1/3 of the first of these objectives have already been met, somewhat less than more. Because each of these objectives constitutes either a separable working framework, or the extension and development of such a framework, there are any number of immediate projects and sub-objectives that come with the realization of the working context or its operational functioning and development. 

In principal at least, each of the four main frameworks, and any of the operational sub-contexts, could be "standalone" in the sense that they could be managed independently and more or less self-sufficiently of the context of the whole. At the same time, the main projects and subprojects initiated within the operational scope of any one of these four functional frameworks tend to be defined within the purview, parameters and larger scope of the meta-system framework as a whole. 

All projects/sub-projects undertaken within each of these operational objective frameworks tend toward justification and rationalization by the framework as a whole or in reference to the particular operational framework it occurs within. All projects/sub-projects accomplish one or more of the following:

1. Functional productive operation of the objective framework contributing to the net gain of the entire framework.

2. Development or management of the objective framework

3. Subsidiary/Peripheral  sub-project toward development of the objective framework context.

To outline this framework briefly:

I. Main Mission: Applied Meta-systems Development

            A. Systems Based Strategic Planning/Consolidation

                         i. Planning/Consolidation Systems

                                a. Project 1

                                            1. Sub-project 1

                                            2. Sub-project 2....

                                b. Project 2....

                         ii. Consulting/Implementation Systems

                                a. Project 1

                                            1. Sub-project 1

                                            2. Sub-project 2....

                                b. Project 2....

                        iii. Coordination/Communication Systems

                                a. Project 1

                                            1. Sub-project 1

                                            2. Sub-project 2....

                                b. Project 2....

                        iv. Integration/Distribution Systems

                                a. Project 1

                                            1. Sub-project 1

                                            2. Sub-project 2....

                                b. Project 2....

            D. Web-Based Cybernetic Automation Systems

                        i. Web Systems Development

                                a. Project 1

                                            1. Sub-project 1

                                            2. Sub-project 2....

                                b. Project 2....

                        ii. Web Programming Interface

                                a. Project 1

                                            1. Sub-project 1

                                            2. Sub-project 2....

                                b. Project 2....

                        iii. Intelligent Web I/O Systems

                                a. Project 1

                                            1. Sub-project 1

                                            2. Sub-project 2....

                                b. Project 2....

                        iv. Automated Web-Intelligence Systems

                                a. Project 1

                                            1. Sub-project 1

                                            2. Sub-project 2....

                                b. Project 2....

            C. Applied Structural Meta-Systems

                        i. Modeling Systems

                                a. Project 1

                                            1. Sub-project 1

                                            2. Sub-project 2....

                                b. Project 2....

                        ii. Human Development Systems

                                a. Project 1

                                            1. Sub-project 1

                                            2. Sub-project 2....

                                b. Project 2....

                        iii. Biotic Field Systems

                                a. Project 1

                                            1. Sub-project 1

                                            2. Sub-project 2....

                                b. Project 2....

                        iii. Infra-structural Systems

                                a. Project 1

                                            1. Sub-project 1

                                            2. Sub-project 2....

                                b. Project 2....

            D. Anti-Structural Production Meta-systems

                       i. Basic Fine-Arts Projects

                                a. Project 1

                                            1. Sub-project 1

                                            2. Sub-project 2....

                                b. Project 2....

                        ii. Multi-Media Production Systems

                                a. Project 1

                                            1. Sub-project 1

                                            2. Sub-project 2....

                                b. Project 2....

                        iii. Presentation/Demonstration Systems

                                a. Project 1

                                            1. Sub-project 1

                                            2. Sub-project 2....

                                b. Project 2....

                        iv. Environmental Design Systems

                                a. Project 1

                                            1. Sub-project 1

                                            2. Sub-project 2....

                                b. Project 2....

As mentioned in passing before, each of these functional and operational frameworks has their own set of contexts, resources, spaces and possible schedules for developmental articulation in terms of specific project-development cycles. Project and sub-project development cycles define the nitty-gritty working grindstone of the entire framework. Such projects need to be clearly defined and delimited in scope.


 

Current Synopsis of the Lewis Works Framework

August, 2006, Sierra Vista, Arizona

 

Currently, the Lewis Works framework is divided into four main functional areas. I emphasize functional because the basis of their organization and articulation is non-formal and functional, at least in my own everyday and fairly private world. These four main areas are 1. Planning; 2. Cybernetics; 3. Structural Systems; 4. Anti-structural Systems. Their breakdown is given below:

1. The Planning Framework: Planning and Consolidation Meta-systems

2. The Cybernetic Framework: Web-system and Web-based Computing Meta-systems

3. The Structural Framework: Applied Development Meta-systems

4. The Anti-Structural Framework: Integrated Multi-media Production Meta-usystems

In the course of a day, a week, and a month, I will typically try to address and work in each of these four basic frameworks, and if it comes to scheduling things on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, I will schedule in terms of a 4 by 4 or 4 by 3 framework that will accommodate projects in each of these four functional areas.

These four functional frameworks each have a set of on average four or five web-sites affiliated with each and expressing key dimensions of developmental articulation in each. These websites and their links are given below:

1. Planning and Consolidation Framework:

        Lewis Works (with Blog): Strategic Planning

        Xyztems (with Blog): Consolidation and Peripheral Systems

        LewisBusinessNet: Consolidated Business Support Systems

        MyNewsMedia (with Blog): Communications Framework

2. Web-system and Computing Framework:

        Omniprise.net: Cybernetic Integration

        Lewis-links: Reselling Services

        Hotter-links: Fully integrated Web-services

        Haut-Lynx: Free Website Hosting

        Fleeps: Search Engine

  3. Applied Meta-system Framework:

        Global Metasystems: Applied Meta-system Integration/Consolidation Framework

        Alternative Anthropology (with Blog): Research & Development Framework; Human Development Framework

        Earth-fingers (with Blog): Experimental Meta-systems framework

        Solar-metasystems (with Blog): Applied Infra-structural Development framework

4.  Publishing and Aesthetic Productions Framework:

        Lewis Micropublishing (with Blog): Digital and hard-copy text-based publishing framework.

        Lewis Notes: Direct on-line text-based publishing/writing forum

        MyMicroMedia: Direct on-line digital artifact and graphics based publishing forum

        Lewis Macro Media: Extended graphics and aesthetic production framework; integrated meta-systems based environmental design framework.

        Woozie.net: Affiliate and direct Alternative Anti-structural Systems.

I am adding one or two more domain names to the framework, as time goes by. I've not been in a hurry with this, and I've capped the limit at no more than 20 domain names. My most recent additions were www.mymicromedia.com and www.lewismacromedia.com and I've added back hyphenated domain names, www.earth-fingers.com and www.solar-metasystems.com after somewhat impetuously canceling the non-hyphenated versions of these names before their expiration dates. My next addition will probably be a domain name devoted to providing communications services that will be added to the first framework above.

Besides these main domain-names, I've created fresh and hopefully stable new blogs and other portals connected with many of these domain names and in principal at least, if not entirely in practice, these sub-domain blogs and portals should open up a broader and more user-friendly interface for the various windows of the web-system.

The web-system as it is currently articulated through these seventeen-odd domain names, is not just about the content and services found within these various web-sites, and being developed. The web-system is furthermore about computer-based cybernetic systems with a direction towards increased server-side programming systems and automation that articulates in terms of functional robotic and automaton systems in the world.

The meta-systems framework, furthermore, as a comprehensive framework, is not just about this web-system or the web-sites that express various facets or dimensions of the framework. There are complementary overarching goals and missions connected to each of these main four frameworks that are developmentally expressed. These are summarized in the outline below, that will hopefully become expressed and realized in part through the associated web-sites:

1. Planning & Consolidation Framework: Systems based consulting, strategic systems planning, business integration and consolidation frameworks. The critical question for this functional framework is what is a "meta-systems" planning framework and how can it be usefully applied and articulated.

a. Planning/Consolidation..........

b. Consulting/Implementation......

c. Coordination/Communication........

d. Integration/Distribution.....

2. Web-system Framework: Information/Knowledge integration; Applied Artificial Intelligence and Automated Systems

a. Web-system ........

b. Programming Web Interface.......

c. Intelligent Web I/O Systems......

d. Applied Web Intelligence Systems....

3. Applied Meta-system Framework: Alternative applied meta-systems development upon infra-structural, structural and symbolic levels of articulation in local, regional, global and extra-global contexts.

a. Meta-system Modeling.....

b. Human Development Systems.....

c. Biotic/biotronic Field Systems....

d. Infra-structural Systems....

4. Publication/Production Framework: Production and publication of multi-media texts, artifacts and designs that embody and realize a meta-systems understanding and comprehension of the world.

a. Basic Fine Arts Projects......

b. Multi-Media Production Systems.....

c. Presentation-Demonstration Systems........

d. Environmental Design Systems.....

The overarching framework has its own planning system, which I now consider somewhat proprietary, but it seems so far to serve the interests in the articulation and development of a meta-systems framework fairly well. 

Overall, the goals and missions remain the same for this framework as expressed in the earlier frameworks--it is only vastly more simplified, and in fact, much better integrated, than in the previous frameworks. I will say in passing that the organization of physical space and time in an effective and efficient manner has become far more important to me now than previously, and each of the four frameworks listed above will in time come to have their own set of spaces, equipments, and sense of organization associated to its productive articulation in real world terms, rather than just virtually in terms of the Internet and web-system. I've come to target the development of key demonstration systems and lines of production in each of the frameworks. Though I continue to work with very restricted means, I've always had to deal with these kinds of real world restrictions, and in time I've learned to overcome many of the kinds of challenges these present.

While I remain open and invite people to participate in and take ownership on some level of part if not all of this framework, I no longer at this time seek to expand the framework in terms of partnership or necessarily an "employer-employee" or contractual or even a membership or affiliation framework. I invite affiliation, membership and partnership upon multiple levels, but I've learned the hard way that most people are somewhat less than overly-reliable and integrity driven in their social relations. For the time being at least I'm very satisfied with continuing to articulate and develop this framework on my own, in a fairly private manner. I've learned to deal with the sometimes trying restrictions that have been placed upon our personal and professional lives, and even at times to circumvent and overcome in a creative manner such restrictions.

In closing this brief synoptic overview of the current Lewis Works framework, I will substitute in a basic diagram of energy meta-systems in lieu of the proprietary planning framework that should probably fill in this space if I were to go into any greater and more deadly detail of the framework at this time. This energy diagram provides in clear and too-simple form a basic foundation to meta-system development in our collective global future.


 

Intermediate Synopsis of the Lewis Works Framework

Late Fall, 2003 to Spring 2004, in Whittier, California

 

The entire meta-systems framework concerns the design development of various kinds of applied human systems. Applied systems are defined within the framework of natural systems theory as the consequence and extension of human cultural systems--they are an expression of such cultural systems, and a function of them. Applied systems are those alternative systems that do not fall under the aegis of natural systems theory except indirectly by the application of the principles to such systems. Such systems are essentially working systems in that they are not unlike machines that do work. A machine that works somehow is in fact an applied system. That the machine does not work alone, but is really an extension of the human worker who operates the machine, and essentially performs the labor to make the machine work, should not be lost upon our understanding of applied systems. We can imagine at this time no completely automated process or working system that does not require some degree of human mediation and involvement in the work process. And so far as we now know, the only working systems that exist are those that have been created by and largely for human systems. Human beings have created an entirely new order of real systems that did not previously exist in reality, as far as we know. The success of these systems have ultimately been based upon an at least implicit understanding of the structural order of relations and processes that occur in natural systems, and the creative capacity to manipulate these relations in new ways.

The Lewis-Works framework encompasses a general range of frameworks, separated into five divisions, that are intended to provide comprehensive coverage to all the kinds of working systems that occur, or might possibly occur, within human reality. Each of these divisions involves a set of subsystems that are organized around the articulation of a general kind of applied system. Four general kinds of applied system have been recognized--1) what are considered applied in the literal sense of the term, i.e., real working systems and their extensions, including but not limited to tools, machines, etc.; 2) alternative systems, which are those that are the consequence of experimental research design, and that cover the entire range of natural systems stratification; 3) automated systems, or those systems that fall under the rubric of artificial intelligence, and represent the attempts at cybernetic control of working systems, principally by means of digital computing; and 4) artificial systems, or those systems that are the product of human imagination and creative expression, and that generally involve some form of aesthetic and symbolic organization.

The four key sets of words that are enshrined in the Lewis-Works framework are: applied systems (division 1), alternative systems (division 2), automated systems (division 3) and artificial systems (division 4). The fifth component is that of general systems (division 5) that ties all the other four together and provides the necessary control and feedback structures for the integration of the framework as a whole. Schematically these may be represented thus:

 

 

The five divisions comprise multiple subsystems that are integrated together for the achievement of general meta-systems designs. There is substantial overlap between all of the systems, both in terms of basic areas of research and design, as well as in terms of sharing of common areas of interest, resources, technologies and facilities. A brief descriptive outline of these five divisions is as follows:

Division 1: Applied Meta-systems (represented by Lewis Development Systems) is concerned with the articulatory integration of real working systems into a general working meta-system framework. The subsystems of this framework include a general purpose heuristic modeling system, a multi-purpose design workshop, a materials laboratory, a machining laboratory and multipurpose machine shop, prototyping and related testing facilities, a construction and engineering framework, an earthbound systems framework for the development of alternative agricultural and resource acquisition systems, and a human development systems framework for the creation, organization and mobilization of human resources in appropriate ways. The model of a globally integrated applied meta-system may be thought of as a grand machine with many parts and components, that is capable of performing an endless array of tasks without substantial human mediation or involvement in the actual production processes.

 

Division 1 is considered an extended and applied framework that encompasses eventually all the other areas of the Lewis-Works framework in an integrated manner. It can be said that it is the main set of outcomes as a comprehensive working metasystem of the integration of the Lewis-works framework.

 

Division 2: Alternative Meta-systems (represented by Global Meta-Systems) is involved with the research and design development of applied natural systems that are the extension of understanding and knowledge derived from research in natural systems at their various levels of stratification.

 

Division 3: Automata Meta-systems (represented by Omniprise.net) is intended as a comprehensive web-based informational/knowledge system with automated extensions to real world applied working systems. Its central purpose is as a form of applied artificial intelligence within an integrated, web-based format. Automata systems are really a form of applied abstract system, not unlike applied mathematics and engineering of which they are an extension.

 

Division 4: Artificial meta-systems refers to the capacity for human cultural construction and creation of new symbolic forms. The basis of division four is the development of aesthetic based production systems along with related presentation and recreation systems.

 

The diagram above represents the planned developmental inheritance structure of the Lewis-Works framework, and shows the overall structural integration of the framework from both a formal (conceptual) and functional (organizational & operational) standpoint.


 

My Original Global Systems Design Framework

February, 1999, Xinyang Teacher's College, Henan, China

 

At middle age, it is not for me to count all my losses and to regret my mistakes. Little time remains to achieve those things that are meaningful in life. Indeed, to live a meaningful life is one that counts most. I intend to go into my own business for the remainder of my life--not a conventional business--but one that is satisfactory for me and one that is, at least in principle, in sync with the state of the world and the future state of the world as understand these to be.

The business system as I have conceived it comprehends many things. It will require mostly my attention and steady discipline to attend to many things concurrently. This system is an alternative one in the sense that it does not follow strictly conventional capitalist economic practices.

I have, like Benjamin Franklin, decided on a fairly strict daily schedule. Wake up at 7:00 A. M., Writing from 8:00 until about 11:00. Pursuit of combined business and research interests from 12:00 A. M. until about 5 P. M., and then Art from 7:00 P. M. until about 10: 00 P. M.

My interests in writing are to involve the composition of completed works, and then adding these to a growing stack of works which I will concurrently edit and reproduce in multiple copies and bind, in small editions according to my means. As I carry this through, I will build a library and sources of used books, collectible books and begin retailing new books as well. I will gradually increase my binding, printing and publishing capital and slowly expand my market. At some point I may begin a journal or a periodical as well.

My interests in art are similar, and involve the illustration of some of my books, as well as the production of a steady stream of completed paintings and drawings. I will expand it into print making and paper production. I will attempt to similarly expand my art business in framing, retail, supplies, presentation systems, etc. Also I will develop means of photography and 3D imaging and projection systems.

My writing and art lines are basic but supplementary to my main business interests. These are divided into several directions simultaneously--including developing a system of live entertainment, a system of marketing, manufacturing and management, pursuit of a variety of interests in horticultural applications, setting up a research and consulting business and, most importantly, implementation of a basic Design system as the foundation for an expanding business. The Design system has several facets simultaneously but includes as most basic a studio for modeling different projects, lines and systems, a laboratory for exploration of basic applications and inventions in electrical power, engines, and in basic materials for building, manufacturing etc., as well as a shop and fabrication floor for the prototyping and testing of various lines and end-products.

In initial development of the Design system, some kinds of projects seem more basic and fundamental to the overall structuring of the system--these include the design of alternative electrical systems with batteries, wind and solar power, the development of electric motors, electric turbines, design of aircraft and space craft, electric cars and rail systems, the design of alternative building materials, etc. Many other aspects of the overall business system will depend upon the successful implementation and promotion of these basic aspects.

Other lines and systems of the super-system include things that are not central to the overall development, but still vital to its intended goals--these include the development of alternative horticultural practices and extension of a range of horticultural projects, the development of research, educational and human development facilities, the development of financial facilities, recreational and entertainment facilities, development of computer facilities and research and development in artificial and alternative intelligence applications, development of building facilities, recycling and maintenance facilities, shipping and transportation facilities, especially by sea, and development of security facilities.

All of this can be systematically extended. The ultimate goal is the construction of a basic global system, and earth web or network of new population centers situated in what are today peripheral regions of the earth, and that are the hubs of interconnections of a power and transportation grid that spans the globe. The purpose of this web is to provide a sustainable foundation for the earth's human population, by providing a secondary system of energy, transportation and production that is low cost and non-destructive of the earth's environment. This system should revolutionize basic aspects of living, while at the same time insuring humanity a security blanket for the future. It becomes in a sense, a system within a larger system, one that provides the foundation for peaceful integration of the world transcending present political boundaries.

The overall success of the business will be in proportion to my ability to produce a series of main projects as end products as well as any number of spin-offs means-to-end products that will be profitable and as popular as possible.

This is a tall order but I do not believe it to be impossible. I think that the main obstacles, besides the lack of initial capital and resources to kick-start the system, are the structural obstacles that stand between me and my ultimate goal. Also the main limitations are those within me--in what I myself can do in my own time and with my own energy. The external obstacles are rooted in the current ordering of the system, and in the resistance to basic alternation which may compete or threaten this system. This alternative system as I have designed it has been intended to be complementary to the main system, as a supplemental one, and therefore inherently non-competing with the larger system that is its host. The basic relationship is non-parasitic but symbiotic with the larger system.

The internal obstacles entail fostering a basic motivational structure and internalized system of discipline to do the work, even outside of normal reward or identity structures. It is learning to work alone with limited means, for long term goals that are in most ways incongruent with the larger system. Psychologically, I must get off my compulsive one-track mindedness, and to be able to more flexibly switch gears between modes of cognitive operating and response. I must strive to set up and improve an immediate environment that will be conducive to these goals and that will facilitate this. I think it will be enough for me in the future simply to mind my own business, and not to allow other people's business to intrude upon my private affairs.

 

UNIPRISE DESIGN SYSTEMS

(U.D.S.)

 

My design system is to become the basis of my remaining life and relationship with the larger world during my life--my writing and my art are not directly or immediately a part of the larger world. They will become part of the HRM production system. It has become my priority to develop this design system on paper and by means of this computer as much as possible during the remaining four months here. The design system has been developed in six or seven rough notebooks already, and will continue to be thusly developed during the remaining time. In this computer, it is important to devise a more structured outline for the development system, to render a literate, descriptive account of the various aspects of the design system, and to organize a hypercard based program for the internal organization of the business on various levels.

 

This should be of considerable value in the heuristic planning of the Design system, and in its thinking through and formulation in a manner allowing for its eventual presentation in the world and for its strategic role in the world's future. Putting it down in this form should be most useful for carrying it through from the embryonic stage of rough notebooks to a more structured developmental cycle. If I can accomplish most of this during my remaining time here, then I will have accomplished a considerable amount towards the beginning of the Design system.

 

From now on, our finances should be structured into four parts, our basic subsistence and monthly bills, our savings, a special fund for the Design system, and a special bond fund for Mahala--amounting to $50 or $100 per month. This is my first financial arrangement to be made for the sake of my business. On top of this, I will devote my computers and my limited remaining resources to its development as much as possible, as well as all my extra time and energies. Like my writing and my art, it is no longer to be a thing of simple imaginary possibility, but of workable everyday reality. Incidental expenses incurred in art wil be born as part of our normal subsistence costs, and incidental expenses in writing will be drawn off of our savings account.

 

The Design system will from now on subsume my previous involvements in research, anthropology, teaching and in carpentry and computers--knowledge and skills gained from involvement in these areas should lend themselves well to the development of the Design system, and, as it develops, its growth should lend itself to the eventual redevelopment of these areas in a way that is far more significant than could have been achieved otherwise.

 

I am now very excited and happy with the Uniprise system--it gives me a life goal and direction that are independent of the larger system or the status quo of others in it. At the same time, my optimism is fueled by the degree of congruence it has with my previous involvements and directions in life--it represents to me now a natural resolution and culmination of the previous twenty years of experience, one allowing the integration of a diverse set of experiences and skills in a manner that is focused and objective. I am motivated by the sense of future determinancy and relevancy it has, and by the intuitive feel that it is the right thing at the right time. Nothing can or should dissuade me from this. It involves a framework of objectivation which will allow me to work out some basic dilemmas and psychological frustrations that have developed due to my previous prolonged period of separation, sense of social irrelation, discrimination and rejection. It gives me an opportunity for the reintegration of myself and my personality upon a plane not hitherto explored but entirely congruent with myself, at the same time it allows me to proceed through "tertiary reidentification" of my ego as both my own person and as a person of an in the world. It should allow me the common template upon which to restructure my social identity and relationships with others in the world in a way that is objective and yet mutually symbiotic and not personally destructive. People can either except me in these new terms or not--it is not my problem or business. My business is simply the development of the Uniprise system, my problem is the issue of its success and productivity in the world.

I suspect that from here on out the design system will tend to consume the majority of my time and energies--since my time and energies are my best assets at this early stage, and are the strongest resources I will ever have, then it is apropos that they be put mostly towards the development of the design system. The design system as a whole can only fail if I fail it.

The design system has arisen ought of a fundamental disillusionment of the status quo of the current capitalist world system, a lack of faith that anything is really being done by either major governments or major companies of the world to change the basic ways in how things are being done, by the critical insight of a dominant conspiracy and collusion of vested interests internationally to promote and prevent positive changes, and by the pressing and increasingly urgent need to put forward basic changes, or to foster realistic conditions in which such basic changes can be made conducive, indeed, inevitable as natural outcomes of its development. The design system is therefore in its final analysis an alternative system to the current dominant one, one that is fundamentally different than those systems produced by either capitalist or communist organizations in the world today. Being an alternative system, it is naturally to be construed with resistance, even hostile rejection and the effort at its nihilation, especially by vested interests and powers that be whose superior position in the current system would be most threatened. Many changes and conditions could have been induced already in the world that would have improved conditions for humanity on earth, but the current dominant structural systems have built in inertia and resistance to change that has slowed and prevents its structural adaptability to changes. Its basic relationship to both the eco system and to humanity in general is parasitic--it exists in its privileged and sumptuous state at the basic expense and cost of most people and basic resources of the planet earth bleeding these until an adverse and unacceptable state is reached. If fully developed, the Design system should offer the world its first means of global structural integration that supercedes all national differences and boundaries, and yet it should be conducive to an improved atmosphere of tolerance of ethnonational and ethnocultural differences in the world. On the other hand, if nothing systematic is attempted within the next half century, then it is more than likely that the entire World System will collapse in a new dark ages, one that is not like anything before, but would represent a major extinction event in the biological history of the earth.

 

A critical and successful part of the design system can be up front a web-site or set of web sites developed and fully promoted dedicated to eco-cultural consciousness and global values in the world. This is a grass-roots non-profit organization that allows internet users to cast their votes for or against certain basic issues in the world, these results being transmitted and broadcast to major leaders, governments and news organizations of the world. Gaia organization should not be directly connected to the Uniprise system, but might provide a handle for the development of the Uniprise system.

 

I propose initially a set of eight or nine web-sites for such a purpose. The first is a global on-line organization (Gaia) for the purposes of heightening consciousness of the world. The second would be a global market-place (Global Swap Meet) for the exchange of information, things and commodities in a free style barter system. The third is a global newspaper organization (Global Village), to broadcast news from local areas around the globe and exchange points of views, etc. The fourth is a global organization dedicated to human rights and human development in the world, especially the rights of children and women. The fifth site would be called "Third Millenium" and would be dedicated to providing the world an alternative vision of the future and education. The sixth site would be a professional journal promoting an integrated and intellectual view of the world.

 

The initial web-site would become the major focus of my attention during the first year during which the web-organization would achieve its basic structural development. (U.I.S.--Find a name for this web organization that would link it to Uniprise as a Uniprise sub-system. This would constitute in part the foundation of my informational subsystem.) It would be followed in the second year by a shift of my own focus away from the web and onto the initial phases of my Uniprise system, entailing the setting up of the principle basis of the company's later development. I would have to hand general management of the web-organization over to another second-in-command--not Rosie, who can serve better in other capacities--while I assume the initiative in the development of the Uniprise design system. The foundation of this first phase must be laid during the previous year concurrently with the development of the web sites, including basic laboratory research up to and including prototyping and field testing of basic designs. I would build the Uniprise system in a series of four one year cycles of development, or phases, successively adding organizational layers of involvement onto the uniprise system.

 

The first annual phase should encompass both the setting up of the Uniprise Design System in its most basic developmental form, or UDL incubus, the full planning of the entire system including the core designs and areas of the system, and the planning and implementation of the internet system as the incipient and initial starting point of UDS, and as the first systemic structure of a larger informational system. The internet system is something separate but integral to UDS--it is a virtual UDS system. Both systems would complement and reinforce one another. During the first phase of UDS, it would be good to carry a number of basic design lines and projects forward at least up until the fabrication and prototyping stages of development--as many as possible. This should lead to a substantial revision and process of renovation of the entire UDS that would lead to its streamlining and greater effectiveness in the years to come, and to a greater knowledge and understanding of the costs and entailments of implementing the entire structure.

The second annual phase should witness both the extension and development of the UIS system and the extension and development of the core aspects of the UDS system as well as the development of the rudimentary HRM Production system. The third and fourth annual phases should entail the extension and further developmental elaboration of the UIS, UDS and HRM production systems.

By the fifth year, the basic system should be extended and should be ready to go into the second major five year cycle of development that would be scheduled include its global extension and the inauguration of major design projects, particularly the division of the UDS systems into land based (LUDS), marine (MUDS) and space based systems (SUDS) with the inauguration of sea based nautical systems and space based systems.

Scheduling is important to the organizational implementation of the Uniprise system, as it will enforce a series of deadlines and a sequencing of planning stages that will enable it to unfold in a timely and coherent manner. The annual phases are scheduled to begin in September of each year, starting after our return to the United States and relocation to the Midwest.

 

UDS--Uniprise Design System: URDL

Uniprise Design Laboratories

I. UIS--Uniprise Information System: MAINS

Internet Service Agency

Alternative Network System

Integrated List Processing Systems

Integrated Communication Systems

Intermediate Intelligent Inteface Systems

Alternative Intelligent Systems

Automated Robotic Systems

II. UAPS--Uniprise Energy System: HEWMINES

Hydrogen Production

Hydrogen Turbines

Alternative Power Systems

Gravity-Pressure Balance Systems

Cycloidal Thermal Systems

Clockwork Mechanical Cumulator Systems

UTS--Uniprise Transportation System: LUDS; MUDS; SUDS

Cheetah

Mule

Squid

Dolphin

Sparrow-Arrow

III. UEGS--Uniprise Gaia Systems: MECS

Horticultural Systems

Silvicultural Systems

Piscicultural Systems

Mixed Agricultural-Animal Systems

Conservational Systems

IV. UFS--Uniprise Fabrications System: CANFITS

Fabrication Systems--Natural/Artificial

Structural Systems

Construction Systems

Technological Systems

V. URS--Uniprise Recycling Systems: CRSIS

Storage Systems

Recycling Systems

Conservation Systems

VI. UMS--Uniprise Management Systems:HRM Productions

4M Systems

Everyday Living Systems

VII. UPDS--Presentation Design Systems

Play Systems

VIII. UHDS--Human Development Systems

IX. UIFS--Multiple Investment Financial Opportunity Structures: MIFOS

X. UDFS--Uniprise Defense Force Systems

 

The Uniprise System is based upon a bilateral strategy--the first being a kicker system of designs comprised under the general working concepts of MAINS (Mixed Alternative Intelligent Network Systems); HEWMINES (Hydrogen-Electric-Water-Mixed Integration Network Energy Systems); MECS (Mixed Ecocultural Conservation Systems); CANFITS (Composite Artifical/Natural Fabrication Integrated Technology Systems); CRSIS (Conservation-Recycling-Storage Integration Systems); HRM Production Systems; MIFOS (Multiple Investment Financial Opportunity Structures)

 

URDL

 

I. MAINS

 

II. HEWMINES: The HEWMINES system describes a hydrogen based alternative fuel system that is augmented by a coordinated system of alternative power electric generation system, and series of mechanical power accumulators. At the heart of the HEWMINES system is a hydrogen-steam turbine for a variety of applications (CHEETAH, DOPHIN, SQUID, SPARROW, ARROW, MULE), a number of alternative sources of electrical power accumulation, a system of mechanical power accumulation reconvertible to water storage (pump) or electrical energy, and a circular bypass system (EEL)that allows unused electrical energy during low usage periods to be converted to other energy systems. Methane would be employed widely as a supplementary fuel system.

 

A number of novel integrated alternative power generation systems are involved in this design, including TULIP, ATLAS, CERES, CLOCKWORK and CYCLOPS systems, and a combined TITAN system. The combination of these systems promises the enlarged efficient output of electrical energy and reconversion of this energy form to other forms of power, at lower cost and greater abundance than currently achieved, relying on natural-based systems of power generation and primarily on water and hydrogen, two of the most abundant compounds occurring on earth. Very little pollution is incidental from this system, except for thermal release, which can to some extent be reduced by the recycling of heated waste water and from increasing efficiency of systems of energy production. The implementation of these alternative power generation systems is less destructive of the natural habitats, and can be accomplished with a constructive effect on the natural environment through careful planning and coordination with MECS, MANSIS and CRSIS systems.

The power system will be more evenly distributed and not dependent on major sources of power. The distribution, collection and redistribution of energy throughout the entire network is central to the efficient operation of the system--the total potential capacity of the system always substantially greater than the current peak demands by the system itself or by the host system, allowing for greater circulation of energy than otherwise would be available. Relative cheapness of installation of these power facilities would make this possible and profitable to achieve.

At the heart of the Alternative Energy Systems as well as in the overall design system is the concept of mixed systems and hybrid systems as being the main thrust of future development--no single pure system of which most systems in existence are relatively so, are incapable of achieving the kinds of results that are necessary to push forward development.

 

LUDS; MUDS; SUDS

 

III. MECS: The concept of Ecoculture entails the emphasis and elaboration of the basic interdependent relationship between natural earth and human systems such that these relations are symbiotic and non-parasitic upon one another. The concept of ecoculture is also extendable to include common knowledge, symbolic, philosophical, ideological and scientific knowledge that focuses upon an understanding, valuation and promotion of such natural-artificial symbiosis. Ecocultural systems entail a kind of natural-based, human mediated production system that is inherently nonexclusive and polycultural in production.

The MECS system should be construed as a single integrated network of ecocultural systems and designs that tie together immediate, local and regional areas devoted to such systems, and incorporating even housing and building designs as part of the larger MECS network.

 

At the heart of the MECS ecocultural conception is the idea of the mixed polycultural system as representing the production and management of a plethora of cohabiting species of flora and fauna across a mosaic range of environments and eco-niches, both natural and artificially developed. Thus, we cannot speak of a pure monocultural system or a single type of production system, we cannot talk of pisciculture, silviculture, horticulture, agriculture, arboriculture or husbandry without imagining a combination of these different kinds of activities within overlapping and shared spaces. The question and central problem is the productive and beneficial arrangement and organization of these mixed systems in a manner that is non-destructive for humans, for the environment or for the species of life involved in these systems.

 

IV: CANFITS; The basis of CANFITS is manifold. The first objective is to develop a range of basic and complex composite materials derived from both natural and artificial synthesis, and a means of fabrication of these materials into useful products. This objective occurs in five stages--from the derivation of basic materials in refining to the production of basic products used in composite assembly, such composite assembly and complex composite assembly, and then the design production of specific products from this range of material and the organization of these into larger systems. Another objective is to develop a fully integrated system of composite building materials that allow the rapid assembly and dissassembly of building structures, as well as modular system that allows for a wide range of variation of basic building design using these prefabricated composite materials. A third objective is to develop a special industrial/craft tool technology for the production of these materials and their assembled products, and production companies for this purpose. A final objective is to promote through the integration of natural and artificial products a full range of unique variation in building and product design. In the CANFITS conception, there is no material that cannot be used and developed, and no thing cannot be fabricated and varied in design. In the development of CANFITS, the idea of producing the "ideal" or archetypal type of standard type of material or a basic type of product is a central guiding notion--the idea of a perfect fabric, a perfect cement or brick, a perfect beam, a perfect glass, plastic, etc.

 

CRSIS: The crisis System

 

HRM Productions

 

MIFOS

 

A broad and succinct description of the general integrated super-system.

 

Global Websites

 

The first phase of my implementation of my design system will be to set up a set of websites, and through these, and organizational infrastructure for fostering consciousness and social conditioning for alternation that would make

possible the context for development of alternative systems design. These websites are based on certain hypothesis about the world wide web. It is now available in most countries, many people have access to it. Individual profile on the web is relatively low and annonymous. The web could be a forum for democratic ideas and voting. This could become a major game player in the world. If you can provide a voice for people, an identity, a vote, a sense of their needs in a global profile, then you would become very attractive.

A global newspaper, the Global Village, which is set up in form just like a regular newspaper and which reports the news from major continents around the globe, in different languages.

 

An Outline for Writing

 

These represent in rough outline form works I would like to complete before too many more years fly by. Lord knows I've squandered away too much time in peripatetic wonderings and in quibbling over nonsense with my neurotic wife. It is up to me now to find the discipline and foster the context that would be conducive to the completing of as much of this as possible and any other work as well, as soon as possible. It is up to me to configure works in as best a manner as I can, making revisions as I go. I must take my previous works and substantively revise many of them to make them workable and worthwhile in a copied form. I must proceed rapidly with one work at a time--hopefully finishing one per month or at most one every two months, while at the same time out-putting printed and bound copies of one or two works a month as well.

It would be good in each of these areas to develop a new style and approach to writing. Should also consider Drama writing as an alternative, especially if a context for its theatrical or stage production can be developed.

Fiction Stories--some old, some new, a new venture, more interesting, should receive priority over fictional types of writing:

American Stories

2035

A Room in China

Dream Journey

Essays--A variety of essays on a variety of topics--hopefull that can be grouped under thematic arrangement--maybe a single collection of essays.

Anthropological

Philosophical

Humanological

Scientific

Ecological

        Anthropological--several years backlogged here--a great deal of time can bespent on this of nominal real value in the world, though intrinsically worthwhile--especially if new research and research designs can beformulated and carried out, and especially if in congruence with my

Design business.

Research Methods

Humanology

Human Development

Alternative Intelligence

Research Here-Chinese

Workbook

Rosie's Journal

Poetry--one at a time. This one is well on the way.

Times and Places

Other Miscellaneous--one new, one old and unfinished, perhaps never to be finished except posthumously

Third Millennium

Autobiography

This outline will continuously change, but I will keep it as a permanent reference and record of my writing and writing work. I doubt that while I'm here in China I will have the real context for the full development or completion of any of these works, but I can lay a foundation for several of them while here, and have outlines and frameworks for many of them ready to go. These are my goals and they give me a sense of direction in which to work in my writing that would allow all my efforts in this regard to pay off for us in the not too distant future.

For some reason which I haven't quite figured out, I've found this place mostly distractive and destructive of my efforts to write consistently or well. The context here is not good--it is a single living space for the family, there are many daily intrusions and interruptions. I have no access to libraries or to previous works of my own which might facilitate literary context. Beyond the occasional impassioned letter I write to different people, I have thrived mostly in my "notebooks" which represent primarily "thought-experiments" of a kind I had not done in almost twenty years. Between my notebooks and the few poems I've written while here, I feel as if I've come full circle in my writing, somewhat regressed even to my first days as a writer--perhaps a mixed blessing, both good and bad. Also, my teaching schedule over the previous five or six months, from almost the first week of our arrival here, was quite hectic and with hardly a breather between classes and numerous group meetings and individuals calling upon us.

I have decided to keep my research here and especially my teaching, in secondary importance and to restructure my relationship here as much as possible to benefit my spare-time activities in writing, art, and in developing my design system. Thus I will draw a fairly rigid boundary between teaching and private activities in space and time--minimizing m y teaching and meeting schedule as much as possible. This is all coming very soon, but not too soon for us all.

Part of the problem here is that it's been so cold, uncomfortable and inconvenient to really focus on the writing as a full-time, involved project. I have been doing a great deal of introspection and retrospection of my life lately, in a literate form especially--I guess I've needed to do this in order to objectify some of my feelings and to help try to keep all my thoughts, ideas and attitudes in "one bag" so to speak. This place knocked us off our balance from the very first day, and has only served to keep us off balance--only the last two weeks has afforded us any kind of window in a minimally undisturbed context in order to put our lives back together again in a minimal since. As long as we are here, we will not feel comfortable, nor at home--we are camping out in a zero-star hotel room, waiting for our turn to leave. We put up with rats, lack of food, lack of diversion, and repetitious, never-ending monotony on a day-in-day out basis. This place too has been a waking up in my life--a 41-year-old male menopause. I am bound and determined not to lead my next twenty or thirty years in the way I've led the past 20 or 30 years, not at all. I feel, for what it may be worth in the long run, that I've reached the half-way point, not only here in our sojourn to "old China" but in my life as well--as indeed it is a halfway point and also the peak after which everything following should be "down-hill". My time has become my most valuable asset, as long as I can get my act together and keep it together from here on out--this is all I really need to worry about after all. If I concern myself with this simply and successfully, everything else will take care of itself, especially with Rosie's help.


 

Conclusions: Meta-systems in Summary Form

This is a work without any sense of a clear beginning, as every day is a new beginning and the start seems always to be receding upon our collective horizon, but it is a framework that can have a clear sense of an end.

In hindsight, development of a meta-systems framework has been far more circuitous, delayed and problematic than I would ever have imagined that cold month of February in China seven years ago. Progress has been slow, and in some regard, nil. But as roundabout as things may have been there is greater hope, confidence and optimism now than what accompanied my lonely self back there in China.

To summarize, I need to re-ask a starting question that may have been taken for granted from the beginning. What is a "meta-system framework?" I would answer with the following list of main points:

1. It is global in scope, local in orientation.

2. It is stratified and articulates upon multiple levels simultaneously.

3. It is cybernetically integrative and distributive. They potentially connect everything together.

4. It is comprehensive and as such, potentially all encompassing. They are potentially nonexclusive.

5. It is scientific, systems based, non-sectarian in foundation and orientation.

6. It is based upon human development at all levels and the human capacity to construct or create a sense of culture and civilization that overcomes and transcends the boundaries set upon the human condition by their natural state.

7. It is functionally and teleologically appropriate, especially in the structure of the long run.

8. It creates its own context, and as a framework for structural articulation, it creates its own sense of history, social legitimacy, developmental direction and momentum.

9. Meta-systems are not only good to think, however complex, but good to do.

10. Meta-systems empower people at all levels, in all ways, in a non-violent and non-destructive manner.

*****

However much has been done, that much more remains to be done. However incomplete the framework, it is increasingly more completed than ever before. Seven years ago it was simply a fantastic hallucination, a delusion of a global plan not based upon coercive power. Now, it is less a plan than a practice that is rapidly developing.