Gordon Heavyfoot’s Entry

The ACRE Model

As an Economics graduate; a private and public employee on the frontiers of business and government; a career observer of retail, accounting and integrated tax systems; a student of statistics, technology, and civics; as a futurist , artist, and activist – I have an idea for the American Society for Cybernetics and for the world…
I call it the ACRE model, or ACRE. The acronym stands for Abstract, Concrete, Resource, and Environment. These are the classes of variables, I put forward, by which all processes behave and all human decisions are made. I further posit that these classes can be recorded and a comprehensive model of environment and economy, which I view as one in the same, can be developed. With this kind of integrated model, we can begin a new era of decision-making where knowing the unknown and expecting the unexpected are the standard.

Let’s begin with the most basic element, the resource. The resource in the integrated environment model is what physics tells us is matter and energy. Physics, chemistry, and biology tend to focus much on the smallest units of these elements and their smallest composites such as atoms, molecules, and cells. On the other hand, social studies like economics and sociology tend to focus on the grander composites, most specifically, people. Some of these studies do not even focus on a resource component, such as a psychological study of love and trust. Though some part of the component does exist in the anatomy and physiology of a brain, it is commonly studied in the abstract sense of human relationships. (These abstract relationships will be discussed later.) The point is, each science alone is somewhat limited by its focus on its central objects, but as an integrated actor that can be modeled a larger scope of the environment may be analyzed and forecast.

This leads to a discussion of the concrete component. The concrete variable is dependent on the resource variable, in that, a concrete action or behavior is a direct interaction of one resource with another resource. It is the discharge of static electricity between two people; the flowing of water in a river; the cutting of a ripe watermelon. It is the purely physical component of all the interactions of all the resources, all the matter, in an environment. In many ways, we as a people have nearly perfected the method by which we view the environment and classify and understand these types of interactions and have broadly defined such in the physical sciences described above. There do and may always remain some complex phenomena that do shape our existences, but we are largely aware of of the forces that shape our physical lives even though we may not always be conscious of them. A model such as ACRE would further improve human awareness of their environment and allow more informed decision-making and better estimation.

How so? By incorporating human thought, or abstract definitions, in the model, we can establish probabilities and likelihoods that can be input to establish new probabilities, new contingencies. We may be able to answer more complex questions like: If an oil well explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, will a bike rental shop in Mississippi go out of business? While there may be no true instance, physically, of any abstract variables, we can all agree they exist and shape our physical reality. In the pillars of humanity’s largest institutions: religion, government, and commerce; we have integrated our physical existence with abstract realities. It is from these realities that the true basis of human action is formed. Of course, human thought and action is sometimes irrational, illogical, and unpredictable, which can be seen as a hindrance and limitation to the robustness of the model, but it may also be seen as a benefit and an amplifier to the model and its scope.

The final component, the environment, is what we are interested in defining and observing. It is the sum of all resources and their abstract and concrete relationships and interactions. It is the preset of the game, square one, the starting point. It is also the endgame; the finality of all resources and the concrete and abstract interactions and relationships that govern them. That said, it is essentially both the explanatory and response variable of the ACRE model. It is the environment factor that is the feedback in the model, what we can attempt to interpret and modify in recurrence. The environment affects us and we affect the environment. It is the most complex object conceivable – everything. But I believe it can be effectively modeled by involving cybernetic principle, in that, I believe it can be applied universally to solve problems by integrating the world around us with how we think.

How does ACRE relate to the ASC, American Society for Cybernetics? ACRE is my idea. It is something I have been developing for several years through several reconfigurations of my education, employment, and outlook on my future. The model and its proposed applications do not benefit me alone, however, as they aim to improve social welfare and more generally the symbiosis of mankind and Earth on all scales local and global. This is where my idea and the idea of ASC coincide: in the belief that technology and scientific study may improve our understanding of and application of human existence. ACRE is a cybernetic model. I have developed a conceptual database framework and believe I could lead an effort to develop and implement the actual technology as a new tool for people to make decisions. For ASC to embrace my vision and provide a new venue for me to explore its development with like-minded individuals would be in the interest of promoting the field of cybernetics by giving it a more accessible, usable application especially to a younger, technology-driven audience.

And this leads me to my idea for the American Society of Cybernetics: For the purpose of promoting interest in and understanding of cybernetic fields and to increase your membership and fundraising, in so doing, augmenting your ability to influence, you should be finding, attracting, and encouraging, even incentivizing, young thinkers in commercial applications of cybernetics. Any study may be to death drawn on academic blackboards and discussed over over-priced coffee, but the real test of the measure of scientific study is its application and outcomes. A new generation has emerged feeling their academic systems are inadequate and their economic and governmental regulatory regimes are oppressive. When they choose to change and find the wherewithal to do so, it will lead to drastic change with many, many unknown outcomes. What we are now seeing in Egypt and other African nations offers a learning opportunity for our times. The question I pose to the American Society of Cybernetics is: how will you work to inform and guide this young generation in the creation of a more equitable and free world with an appropriate level of artificial organization?

The final thought I will leave my initial contact with the American Society for Cybernetics with is: my idea is to continue to do what you have done. I am positive feedback. You have attracted me, a young thinker and writer, by creating an ideas writing competition. The idea was put forth by your organization and I consented, agreed it was of benefit to my interest: I have the ability to write and share my idea of ACRE, possibly secure an opportunity to meet like-minded individuals at conference, and potentially earn recognition of its ambitious goal and capital to further develop the idea. In turn, I provide the feedback above affirming the ASC’s action. Therefore, the measure of my response will also be a measure of ASC role in instigating my involvement with the organization. Am I, is my idea, what you were hoping to achieve with the inception of the writing competition? Thank you for the opportunity.

Author is elegible for HvF Prize (aged under 35): YES

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