jvworstel and others, how about citations of recent work developing the
concept of messes and wicked messes?
On 06/11/98 at 21:43:31 James Vard Worstell said:
>Judging from comments on sanet lately, I'd say the polarization seems to be
>growing in many circles.
>The true believers on each side reinforce each other-until we get totally
>different perceptions of agricultural history. And each writes off the
>other as hopelessly misinformed. Meanwhile, planes every day spray
>pesticides within smelling distance of my house. What a mess.
>The holistic systems folks even have a technical term for it: a wicked
>mess. "Wickedness," according to King (1993), "occurs when people confer
>immutability on value assumptions and ideological considerations." "Messes"
>(Ackoff, 1974) arise when dynamic complexity is high. These are much less
>puzzles that can be "solved" than they are situations which require new
>syntheses. Messes cannot be solved by solving component problems in
>isolation from one another because there are significant couplings between
>isolated problem symptoms.
>So a wicked mess arises when polarization on assumptions occurs in
>extremely dynamic situations.
>What's the way out of any wicked mess? It starts with recognizing each
>other's assumptions and then realizing that any assumption (like any
>theory) is an inadequate representation of reality. Of course if you are
>totally sure that you are totally right in every respect, then you're stuck
>in your wicked mess for awhile.
>Jim Worstell, Delta Land & Community
>920 Hwy 153, Almyra, AR 72003
>Phone: 870-673-6346 Fax: 870-673-7219
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>> Sent: Wednesday 10 June 1998 6:45 PM
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>> Subject: Pesticide analogies revisited
>> Just a quick point: Up until roughly the 1940s we grew all our food
>> without synthetic chemicals and had agricultural productivity equal to or
>> greater than we currently have. Crop losses due to insects have only
>> increased since we started using pesticides. (studies by Cornell
>> University and USDA) Agriculture has been "organic" for most of human
>> existence. The use of agrichemicals (and other chemicals of other types)
>> and the corresponding exponential rise in cancer have occurred in only
>> past 50-60 years. We did fine without chemicals for millennia. Is it too
>> late to reverse the trend?
>> garden resources of washington
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