Monday, August 18, 2008

Randomness: Politcs, GPSI and MetisSD

I'm back from vacation and I have had a lot of time to think about a whole host of issues. It has also been a while since I have posted and a lot has gone on. Russia invaded Georgia, Russia threatens Poland with Nukes due to signing the missle defense system with the US, Obama is now a rock star with no real leadership experience, blah blah...

Oh and according to some, Obama and Polosi are going to cause the annihilation of our country. Out right laughable since the single greatest threat does not come from outside the US, but from within and that threat is the economy of mass consumption that persistently tells the country that we must consume in order to be viable, but forget our consumption has raped the Earth and that climate change threatens the very survival of humanity as a whole; that includes any notion of the nation-state we call the United States of America.

But anyway, enough of that! The GPSI site was approved and the site users are beginning to add content. As soon as I get the thumbs up that the site is ready for the public from the perspective that the content is ready I will go ahead and repost the link.

Along side getting this site completed I have been working on a new project directly related to the food systems research. The project has been tentatively named MetisSD which is a web based system dynamics application that provides a causal loop diagram application, an equation builder for stocks and flows as well as an interface to pattern languages that are intended to support the testing of various policy interventions or more specifically, the application of patterns to address the forces that emerge within the systems being modeled.

Right now, the main thing I have been working on is the construction of a database and the equation builder interface. From those two pieces all else follows. As soon as I have some I will post some screen shots of the interface that I'm working on as well.

The other thing I have been working on is the development of a mental model that will serve as the foundation for the numerical or SD model. This part is proving to be much more complex and the range of variables and dimensions tells of the huge undertaking that this project is shaping up to be, but then again it is sorely needed. I will be posting some ideas on this mental model in the next couple of weeks after a few more meetings with some colleagues on the topic but we are making progress.

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