I start composing 8am in October 6th, 2017. Using, for the first time a split keyboard and my malware cleaned ASUS computer – which is really slowing me down; keyboard not doing as I hoped in compensating for my severely neuropathic fingers. I will persist for awhile. I am also initiating composing directly on my blog in WordPress, although it lacks the outlining and full character features of WORD or NoteMap. I regret not having attended to my more immediate needs for seafing composing sems.

For two weeks I have been delaying initiating this essay. Primarily because of multiple distractions at family and home, in addition to my body deterioration and accelerating senility. Secondarily, because of the absence of feedback from my audience to my earlier posts and emails.

Earlier this morning, I lay in bed listening to a CD, which I had borrowed from the library, thinking it was a spy novel. Instead it was the memoir of Michael V. Hayden‘s lifetime in USA Intelligence Agencies, including Director of both the NSA and CIA, entitled: Playing to the Edge. As I listened, this morning, there arose a serendipitous insight that here was a powerful exemplar of the interaction of complex systems development within unconscious epistemes. Last night, after I discovered it wasn’t a novel, I had debated whether to continue listening. Then, I only questioned whether Hayden really believed all he was writing about, and whatever he was hiding was for national security (as he admitted in the book’s prologue). [So far, every fourth word I type is mis-spelled and I correct, slowing this process down, considerably. Using a new keyboard so as to accommodate my neuropathic fingers.]

This morning, as I finished the second disc and started the third, I became convinced of Michael Hayden’s deep sincerity and “patriotism”, his strong professional commitment, but masked by an episteme blocking alternative systems-at-play from his attention. I do not believe he gave any serious consideration to “false flag” of “inside job” “conspiracies” about the 911 phenomenon. He was on the “right side” in the battle against “evil”; yet was deeply concerned about the forced choices he had to make between “security” and “liberty”, including limited relevance of the US Constitution and formal bureaucratic processes that handicap “what is right”.

However, what hit me strongest this morning, and drove me to this interface , after warming a cup of old coffee, was the awesome detail of intelligence systems and legal systems explicated, and how the systems needed to be radically changed because of the continuing waves of technological innovation. Hayden is forthright in reporting intelligence failures (but not all, from my analysis). I expect the rest of this book to further illustrate the psychology of epistemes influencing human invention of systems models to “explain experience”. {Hayden on Comey’s firing by Trump.}

It is now three days later. Hayden’s memoir captured my full attention to the very end. Although we inhabit quite different epistemes, I expect we would have positive dialogs. From my reading, I don’t believe Michael is capable of intentional deception, as I am also so “handicapped”.

Person’s can be intentionally deceptive and still believe they possess the truth; as they justify their deception as necessary for the “greater good”. “Anything goes” to fight “evil”.

I won’t attempt a detailed analysis here. Michael’s episteme doesn’t permit his nation to be “bad”, although it can make mistakes, many of which he can identify. Thus, “terrorism” is a real threat that must be comprehended (as a system) and opposed (by all means necessary). He is well aware of the delicate decisions that must be made – from his comprehension of complex cultural/social systems (for which he had experienced a great variety, in his career).

What was also informative, was his “opinion” of those in the US government and press who, he claimed (and I am tempted to believe him) grossly distorted his positions so as to attack their (distorted) views of the the CIA and Intelligence, in general – to justify their own epistemes. Over the years I have carelessly accepted these claims, even when I was well aware of the need for secrecy and even covert actions, in the “real-world”. Too many humans are fake purists. Many persons Michael criticizes I had respected unconditionally. I would need to hear their “side”; but my approach is not to blame anyone. We are all trapped in our systems-within-epistemes. I wonder how Michael Hayden views Donald Trump and the confused GOP, today?

Yet, what is important about Playing to the Edge  is  how it illustrates the contrast between societal systems and hidden epistemes. I wonder how others might so interpret this book?


SYSTEMS as Conceptual Schemes

Systems thinking models reality as having a distinct (and real) separation between a material entity (the system) and its material environment.  A whole “… system of systems of systems …” remains pure metaphor.

Systems thinking can get very complex, involving nested subsystems and components, in networks and holarchies.

I prefer to work with four models: systems, networks, holarchies, ecologies. In this perspective, I restrict “system” to label a network of components (treated as objects with properties), with lawful relationships between components (including subsystems, which can “share” the same components), all embedded in an “environment”. Such “systems” are components of networks, holarchies and ecologies.

That our material reality actually “contains” these distinctions and separations is unknown. These distinctions “exist” in the mind/brains or “wrlds” of each human person; although most persons aren’t so concrete, or don’t consistently apply the “systems perspective”.

That is, a “systems perspective” of reality is a recent innovation within humankind’s emergence. It has not yet spread to the majority, and has mixed applicability among those who claim to be “systems thinkers”.

Many professional “systems scientists and philosophers” are dogmatic in their belief in the material existence of systems and are oblivious to the role of epistemes. Michael Hayden may be an exemplar of this.