Sunday, May 24, 2015

Korthre Script - A Rihannsu (Romulan) Writing System


This is probably the craziest document I've ever written, but it also has been a lot of fun composing. As there is no 201x Trek-series, some fan contribution is due. Romulan writing has been much phantasized about. In this document I briefly review the factual history of Romulan writing, coming up with a solution to the common two-font problem, and elaborating on a beautiful handwriting system.

If you know additional Rihannsu writing resources I did not cover, feel free to contact me. Credits in image titles and references.


Gwiuu ir-Raal t'Aieme: Korthre Script - A Rihannsu Writing System.pdf

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Networking Social Security: The Effects of Prolonged Uncertainty in Restructuring Programs on Reconstruction of Employees’ Work Experience

Employees at Deutsche Telekom/T-Systems were undergoing prolonged periods (several months) of job insecurity after having preliminarily been selected into groups with quotas for retrenchment during annual waves of mass-layoffs. Prolonged uncertainty, owing to organizational and legal constraints, placed considerable strain on the emotional experience and mental well-being of the employees and limited their perceived options to structure, attributing primarily externally with almost no perception of agency (contingency). Hierarchies have been found as a central element that dominates the individual reconstruction of the workplace experience after being notified of the preliminary selection, limiting both cognitive experience and execution of agency. Advanced epistemological constructions of self (independent-event, homeostatic or morphogenetic thinking) have either been absent, or have been dependent on increased levels of individual social security. Networked, interdependent approaches at social security may alleviate mental well-being on the level of societies.

Mindscape Discrepancy. Structure, Agency, and Attribution in the Light of Job Loss--A Critique


Anaf, Baum, Newman, Ziersch and Jolley (2013) researched the “consequences of job loss for retrenched workers’ mental health,” (p. 1). Drawing from their discussion of mental health consequences in the light of structure and agency theory and starting with a methodological critique, this article discusses their findings in the light of attitude and attribution, developing perspectives on subsequent research.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Buddha, Dharma and Sangha in the Light of Modern Psychology

Buddhism cherishes its Three Jewels, which are keys on the path to enlightenment. They are the Buddha (a particular sublte, centered experience of self), the Sangha (the spiritual community), and the Dharma (the spiritual path and practice together with its knowledge).

Modern Psychology pursues a tripartite model of attitude change, that is mediators that facilitate an internal, cognitive reconstruction (adaption): consistent or favourable evaluation of self, satisfactory relationships with other people, and informational accuracy (know-how). Attitude change is key to changes dealing with emotional facticism, or samsaric roots. Abstract concepts only appear real to us because the invoke the same emotions that are evoked by other phenomena that we have experienced and classified as real at an earlier point in time.

There is a striking similarity between the Buddha Jewel and a favourable evaluation of self. The Buddha Jewel, as an ideal, propagates a completely centered ideal of self that no longer display samsaric roots. There are two relevant samsaric roots: physical matter (i.e. body, biology), thus in Buddhist terms it is favorable to give up identification with the body (and any physical phenomena beyond). Secondly, mental constructs, that most commonly includes concepts of a soul. Being free from both one resides as observer, experiencer, or in terms of acceptance and commitment therapy: as self-as-context. This detached form of observation ensures constistent and favourable evaluations of self that are independent from external circumstances and perceptions.

There is another similarity between the Sangha Jewel and satisfactory relations to others. It is much more likely that people will experience satisfactory relations to people who are on the same path as themselves. As spiritual seekers on a Buddhist path obviously are a minority, positive experience is more likely to be found in a Sangha than in the open public. However, today, with a huge industry of spiritualism, hierarchical thinking has been widely reintroduced into Sanghas, deviating form the Buddhist ideal of sameness in nature of all individuals. These misconstructions of Sangha reintroduce concepts of competition to realms that are supposedly devoid thereof.

Thirdly, the Dharma Jewel and the informational accuracy seeking, the knowledge how a goal can be achieved in a non-contradictory canon, strongly relate to each other. Cognitive progress will only arise from internalization of concepts, each step building upon prior experience. Thus the next step will have to be within the vicinity of the before, in a zone of proximal development (Vygotsky) or a zone of influence (when seen from an external perspective). This strongly suggests consistent syllabi like Buddha's Dharma or modern scientific theories are facilitators in this progress.

Buddha's teachings in many ways appear to be more psychological than spiritual. If one reduces spiritual commerce and religious ritualism, Buddhism appears as a sophisticated, more than 2000 year-old psychological syllabus based on introspection whose findings are astonishingly often confirmed by modern scientific studies.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Loadbalancing WebSphere-Servers with URI-sensitivity and sticky sessions: Apache vs. IBM Edge

Today, most users will probably use hardware-loadbalancers. However, the rising use of virtual server farms does make software-loadbalancing convenient.
     
Some sites disallow the use of hardware-loadbalancers in serverfarm-installations (once traffic passes the outter rim of the installations, it may not leave it again within the same request). Thus, more sophisticated balancing will have to be done within the serverfarm. Using a multitude of worker nodes, it is convenient to have the nodes as similar as possible. In an ideal world, workers are aware of their peers and pass traffic on to their neighbors that can handle them. However, COTS or custom built software may have that kind of sophisticated session handling. A software-balancer on each node that handles all incoming traffic can do this job even if the application can not.

There are two widespread possibilities to do software loadbalancing on AIX: the IBM Caching-Proxy/Edge-Component with Context-Based-Routing, and Apache Webserver. This article compares the two required configurations for Java applications running in WebSphere servers.

Prerequisites

Three jobs need to be implemented and properly coordinated to balance traffic content-aware and session-aware:
  1. A load-balancing component that distributes all non-aware traffic evenly across the nodes
  2. Session-stickiness so sessions maintain on a node once the session has been initiated
  3. Content-awareness that overrides the above so that requests that require particular nodes will be routed there independent from a current session (a new session on a different node will be required).
For Java applications, session-stickiness is best done via JSESSIONID. This is called a passive cookie configuration, because the application server sets the cookies, the load balancer just reads them. The advantage of this method is that you can react on whatever the application server does. If it deletes the cookie, you're back to a  round-robin situation. However, different JVMs use different ways of attaching the node to session cookies. Tomcat appends its node ID separated with a dot ("."). IBM WebSphere servers append their CloneIDs with a colon (":"), and if several WebSphere servers may handle the same request that path may even stack with additional colons as the session passes those nodes. We will not cover that scenario in this article.

In an active cookie configuration on the other hand, the load balancer sets its own cookies, no matter what the application server does. Thus clients usually stay sticky within a whole browser session, if no URI-dependent rerouting is done (or any other span of time you want the cookie to be valid). Conveniently, you can decide on the cookie and its values within the load balancer configuration.

Apache (2.4) Configuration

For apache httpd loadbalancer configuration with URI sensitivity and session stickiness one needs mod_proxy, mod_proxy_balancer and mod_rewrite. Using WebSphere server, you should prepare the CloneIDs of your server instances. This can be done in the WebSphere admin console:

Middleware servers --> <server name> --> Web container --> custom properties.

Add one custom property for each host. This example uses nodes appnode1, appnode2 and appnode3:


Name: HttpSessionCloneId
Value: appnode1
Comment: Second part of JSESSIONID: CloneId

Passive Cookie Configuration


Here is a sample proxy configuration in httpd.conf:

Listen 80
ServerName http://www.ourapp.com
UseCanonicalName=on

<Proxy balancer://mycluster>
    RewriteEngine On

    # Rewrite Requests
    #

    RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING}        ^.*useNode=1.*$
    RewriteRule (.*) http://www1.ourapp.com%{REQUEST_URI} [P,L]

    RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING}        ^.*useNode=2.*$
    RewriteRule (.*) http://www2.ourapp.com%{REQUEST_URI} [P,L]

    RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING}        ^.*useNode=3.*$
    RewriteRule (.*) http://www3.ourapp.com:1234%{REQUEST_URI} [P,L]

    ProxySet stickysession=JSESSIONID stickysessionsep=:

    BalancerMember http://www1.ourapp.com       route=appnode1
    BalancerMember http://www2.ourapp.com       route=appnode2
    BalancerMember http://www3.ourapp.com:1234  route=appnode3
</Proxy>

<Location /balancer-manager>
    SetHandler balancer-manager
    Order deny,allow
    Allow from all # You may want to restrict this to your local subnet
</Location>

ProxyPass /balancer-manager !

ProxyPass /ourapp         balancer://mycluster:/ourapp
ProxyPassReverse /ourapp  balancer://mycluster/ourapp

Step 1: Sending URI requests directly to target hosts

In this example, rewrite rules will send all URIs containing tag/value useNode=1 in their query string to host http://www1.ourapp.com on port 80. Server 3 listens on port 1234 in this example just to make a difference. The RewriteRule option [P] (proxy request) already includes [L] (last request), so this L is redundant and just for the sake of illustration. No further rules are being processed. So any requests that contain the above pattern will never be balanced but proxied prematurely.

Step 2: Balancing the requests

By adding the BalancerMembers and with the ProxyPass statement below, apache httpd will send any requests that do not satisfy one of our RewriteConds through the balancer. It will do so in a round-robin fashion and based on the number of requests already sent, as no other arguments have been specified. There are more modes you may want to check out.

Step 3: Adding sticky sessions

By naming each BalancerMember with route=appnodeX the balancer can decide which route to take. How to make that decision is specified by the stickysession tag in the ProxySet command. Stickysession reacts on cookies. In this example BalancerMembers use cookie JSESSIONID. For use with WebSphere servers, specify stickysessionsep=:

Apache httpd will then only use the part behind a colon to obtain the route. This route is compared with the contents of the route argument in the BalancerMember statement. If the cookie contents after the separator match the value of the route argument, then this BalancerMember is selected. Otherwise the requests are routed via default distribution mechanism. So this configuration satisfies all three above prerequisites.

Setting a server name and using the canonical name can be handy, especially if a balancer is running behind a gateway server that might terminate HTTPS requests, authenticaiton host, maybe even another shared load balancer within a serverfarm setting, or all of the above.

Active Cookie Configuration


An active cookie configuration with WebSphere may look like this. In this case the CloneID does not need to be changed, as it is not used anywhere in this configuration.

Header add Set-Cookie "ROUTEID=.%{BALANCER_WORKER_ROUTE}e; path=/" env=BALANCER_ROUTE_CHANGED
<Proxy balancer://mycluster>
    RewriteEngine On

    # Rewrite Requests
    #
    RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING}        ^.*useNode=1.*$
    RewriteRule (.*) http://www1.ourapp.com%{REQUEST_URI} [P,L,CO=ROUTEID:.appnode2:;]

    RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING}        ^.*useNode=2.*$
    RewriteRule (.*) http://www2.ourapp.com%{REQUEST_URI} [P,L,CO=ROUTEID:.appnode2:;]

    RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING}        ^.*useNode=3.*$
    RewriteRule (.*) http://www3.ourapp.com:1234%{REQUEST_URI} [P,L,CO=ROUTEID:.appnode3:;]

    ProxySet stickysession=ROUTEID

    BalancerMember http://www1.ourapp.com       route=appnode1
    BalancerMember http://www2.ourapp.com       route=appnode2
    BalancerMember http://www3.ourapp.com:1234  route=appnode3
</Proxy>

<Location /balancer-manager>
    SetHandler balancer-manager
    Order deny,allow
    Allow from all # You may want to restrict this to your local subnet
</Location>

ProxyPass /balancer-manager !

ProxyPass /ourapp         balancer://mycluster:/ourapp
ProxyPassReverse /ourapp  balancer://mycluster/ourapp

In this example, we have to set cookies on our own. This is done (in Apache 2.4) with the "CO" option of the RewriteRule statement. Cookies will be valid for the duration of the browser session by default, unless you want to specify otherwise. Also, we deliberately add a leading "." just for the sake of demonstration (and to never obtain an empty ROUTEID cookie via the Header statement). Apache httpd will only use the part after the dot. The rest of the httpd configuration is equal to the passive configuration example. There is no need to set a stickysession-separator as a separator can be chosen deliberately, and apache httpd already uses a dot by default.

One more statment is needed in this configuration. When the server sends requests to BalancerMembers by default distribution rule, a cookie needs to be set. The server indicates this route selection by setting environment variable BALANCER_ROUTE_CHANGED. The actual route is written in BALANCER_WORKER_ROUTE. A Header add Set-Cookie statement is added to the server configuration to set that cookie. Subsequent requests will thus be sent to the same node as long as that cookie is not deleted (for example by evil users in their browser).


IBM Edge Configuration

The same configuration can be done with IBM Edge with content based routing (CBR). This example only provides a passive cookie configuration following the example above (the one the author really has seen in a  working live server configuration ...).

Again, you need to setup your CloneIds in WebSphere configuration as described above for appnode1, appnode2, and appnode3. Secondly, you need to setup a stub in ibmproxy.conf to tell the caching proxy, that hosts the cbr component, to proxy its requests.

proxy     /*    http://www.ourapp.com/*    www.ourapp.com


The actual rewriting is done in the configuration of the cbr component:

# Start executor
#
cbrcontrol set loglevel 5
cbrcontrol executor start
cbrcontrol executor set nfa 10.0.0.1

This sets loglevel to its highest setting, starts an executor, and sets the non-forwarding address of the server to 10.0.0.1. Set this to the interface your proxy runs on. You may want to do this if your first network interface is some admin LAN and you don't want to bind your proxy there.

# Add the cluster
#
cbrcontrol cluster add www.ourapp.com
cbrcontrol cluster set www.ourapp.com proportions 49 50 1 0

The names in this configuration must be real hostnames and addresses, they are not symbolic names. I recommend using the FQDN for your host you want your proxy to be reachable at. The cluster needs a port where your users can reach it. This port needs to be defined in your config next.

# Define a port for the cluster
#
cbrcontrol port add www.ourapp.com@80
cbrcontrol port set www.ourapp.com@80 stickytime 0

In a passive cookie configuration, the stickytime on cluster ports needs to be set to 0 by convention. If you set a stickytime on the cluster port, you will immediately enter a sticky round-robin setting, ignoring cookie configurations, which does not solve the above prerequisites. 

Next, worker bees need to be added. In this example, all worker bees are running on the same host, for example, when.distributing requests between several instances of a JVM that share the same host. You can define the worker bees in /etc/hosts with their IP address, if you don't want to add them to a DNS:

Sample /etc/host entry:
10.0.0.2   www1 www2 www3

Then, define the balanced nodes in your cbr configuration. This example assumes that the WebSphere servers are listening on ports 10000, 10001 and 10002:

# Define the balanced nodes
#
cbrcontrol server add www.ourapp.com@80@www1 address 10.0.0.2 mapport 10000 weight 9 cookievalue appnode1
cbrcontrol server add www.ourapp.com@80@www2 address 10.0.0.2 mapport 10001 weight 9 cookievalue appnode2
cbrcontrol server add www.ourapp.com@80@www2 address 10.0.0.2 mapport 10002 weight 9 cookievalue appnode3

This setting now should already do round robin distribution between the nodes (non-sticky). Now add rules for content based routing:

# Define rules on the cluster
#
cbrcontrol rule add www.ourapp.com@80@rule1 type content pattern "URI=*useNode=1*" priority 1
cbrcontrol rule add www.ourapp.com@80@rule2 type content pattern "URI=*useNode=2*" priority 2
cbrcontrol rule add www.ourapp.com@80@rule3 type content pattern "URI=*useNode=3*" priority 3

The syntax of attribute pattern is proprietary. Please consult IBM WebSphere documentation (see links below). You can basically match against http headers with <headername>=..., wildcard with asterisk (*), and do some Bracketing with (), & and |. As these commands are shell commands, quoting is essential. With these rules, all direct links are sent to their respective hosts once rules are bound to them. However, all URIs that do not match will still be distributed round robin. Therefore, a default rule needs to be added that is always true and implements session stickiness.

cbrcontrol rule add www.ourapp.com@80@rule4 type true priority 4 affinity passivecookie cookiename JSESSIONID

As apache httpd knows about the dot-separator that tomcat uses, IBM EDGE CBR components already know about the colon that WebSphere servers use.

# Map rules to the nodes
#
cbrcontrol rule useserver www.ourapp.com@80@rule1 appnode1
cbrcontrol rule useserver www.ourapp.com@80@rule2 appnode2
cbrcontrol rule useserver www.ourapp.com@80@rule3 appnode3
cbrcontrol rule useserver www.ourapp.com@80@rule4 appnode1+appnode2+appnode3

Next, it is advisable to start manager and advisor on your cluster for better balancing and to check for non-responding sites. However, advisors are optional.

# start manager and advisor
#
cbrcontrol manager start manager.log 10004
cbrcontrol advisor start http www.ourapp.com@80 advisor_80.log

Now you should be all set. You can check the fire ratios of your rules:

cbrcontrol rule report www.ourapp.com@80@rule1
cbrcontrol rule report www.ourapp.com@80@rule2
cbrcontrol rule report www.ourapp.com@80@rule3
cbrcontrol rule report www.ourapp.com@80@rule4

Some useful links and references:


Good luck!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Science, Buddhism and Causality

Kurt Lewin was brilliant to distinguish systematic from historical causality. When people think of causality today, most of the time they are thinking of cause and effect within some artificial, abstract reference system. That's because their education trained them to think within these reference systems. They work like transparent maps that are superimposed onto perceived phenomena that structure the otherwise chaotic experience below. Those reference systems in modern, scientific terms most commonly share one important property: they reside within Gaussian space with its independent-event models. Within this type of thinking, cause is always linked to an effect, most commonly within a dimensional reference frame.  If a projectile travels in your general direction with a certain speed, you can calculate the time until impact. You're hit because a projectile travels toward you. Even if there are exceptions, the Gaussian assumption guarantees the explanation to hold true for at least a significant amount of cases. What is significant, then, goes by consensus. (Lewin, 1936, ch. 5)

When reading and thinking about classical Ionian and Buddhist philosophies, systematic causality is not very helpful. It is tied into our modern, scientific thinking whose models were not established yet. Apart from "everyday" causality, i.e. that which is apparent to our rudimentary thinking, ancient causal chains were free from the predictive notion of effect. They were retrospective, explanatory models of phenomena that emerge upon each other, where the subsequent phenomenon may arise on these causes non-predictably, but it may not arise without these causes. Probabilities, equal and other distributions were not "scientifically" available yet.

So cause in this sense is retrospective: It is not possible that the latter may be there without the former. Thus, the chain of dependent-origination as translated by Walshe (1987) must be understood in that particular epistemology:

  • Aging and death may not be there without Birth.
  • Birth may not be there without a concept of Becoming (something).
  • Becoming may not be there without a concept of Clinging (to the concept that is the target of Becoming).
  • Clinging may not be there without a concept of Craving (the desire to experience the target of craving).
  • Craving may not be there without Feeling (sensual experience conditions desirable and non-desirable concepts)
  • Feeling may not be there without Contact
  • Contact may not be there without the Six Sense Bases (that which smell, taste, touch, sound, feeling and thought emerge from)
  • The Six Sense-Bases may not be there without Mind-and-Body (the biology and the emerging phenomenon of a mind)
  • Mind-and-Body would not exist without consciousness (there was nothing that could take notice of it as Mind-and-Body)
  • Consciousness would not exist if there were no Karma-formations (a cosmic momentum that drives the evolutionary and autopoietic processes and produces awareness, being conscious of being conscious)
  • Karma-formations were not possible without Ignorance (the illusion that phenomena are something special that need conscious recognition and appraisal; Walshe, 1987, p. 34)

So this causal chain is a cognitive rather than an ontological one, from an introspective first person perspective that does not assume any outside phenomena that exist apart from consciousness thereof. From today's perspective this chain is not deterministic. Only because there is craving, there must not be clinging. Each stage is constructed on the prior one. So this model of the world is perceptional, not a cosmology. This is understandable, as it serves the purpose to deal with and rearrange internal, perceptional phenomena of the mind. Buddha aims at the deconstruction of mental phenomena in the sense of Derrida, who stated that there is no thing outside of context, "Il n'y a pas de hors-texte" (Derrida, 1967, p. 219). All things reside within the the perceptional context of the now. Thus, deconstruction aims at the above-described schemata that are superimposed on the perception of what we project as "outside" world. John Locke distinguishes these two modes of perception as sensation (direct perception) and reflection (internal perception of thoughts; Locke, 1690, Book II, ch. I-5).

Thus reflection is the target of the chain of deconstruction that is done by bracketing mental constructions to understand their nature and thus transcend them. Buddha  explains these stages to his disciple Ananda in the Mahâparinibbâna Sutta that describes Buddha's last days:


  1. Realize, that everyday consciousness produces internal perception of external forms that are limited and judged beuatiful or ugly.
  2. Realize that there is judged internal perception of external forms, but the external forms are really unlimited.
  3. Giving up internal forms, one sees external forms that still appear to be limited and judged.
  4. Giving up notions of limitation, one realizes that external phenomena are not limited but everything is expresison of one context, however there is still judgment of the perception. This stage creates the awarenes of an observer of observation.
  5. -7. When the perception of forms are given up there is still the perception of colours that makes a difference (blue, yellow and red).
     8.  One transcends the perception of colors and realizes everthing is light ("white")

Thus, the final realization is one of a blank slate of light, the consciousness where every phenomenon appears in (Walshe, 1987, pp. 248-249). As with the above causal chains: Every realization is only possible if the stage before has been established as a foundation where further realization may form upon. Thus, an early notion of causality is explanatory, retrospective and non-empirical. Modern notions of cause and effect are limited to homogenistic, hierarchical and independent-event epistemologies. The early chains of causation were describing complex effects that are heterogenous and reside outside of these models. Maybe the drive to judge and model arises from a preference of many people for predictability over ambiguity. However, it is the chaos and ambiguity that brought them forward in the first place. Pondering this predictability, many people are concerned with next lives, past lives and afterlife. So from a perceptional point of view Buddha is not wrong when he emphasizes that this mental deconstruction is good for people in "all of their lives". Very likely concepts of past and subsequent lifes will fade once this deconstruction has been made. Of course, there is a human tendency to reintroduce them at any time.



References

Derrida, J. (1967). De la grammatologie. Prais, FR: Minuit.

Lewin, K. (1936). Principles of topological psychology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Locke, J. (1690). An essay concerning humane understanding, Volume 1 MDCXC. London: Eliz. Holt.

Walshe, M. (1987). The long discourses of the Buddha: A translation of the Digha Nikaya. Boston, MA: Wisdom Publications.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Four Definitions of Agile

According to Maruyama (1980), human thinking progresses in four roughly generalizable categories, in this particular order: hierarchical, independent-event, homeostatic and morphogenetic. These epistemologies can be roughly mapped to an understanding of oneself and one's environment as has been done in the Cynefin model. Chaotic environments call for morphogenesis, complex environments go along with maintaining homeostasis, in complicated envirnoments independent-event models can be drawn, and in simple environments hierarchical models prevail. Thus, although hierarchical thinking is at the beginning of understanding, it may only be applied to those environments where simple understanding has been established. Each of these four epistemologies has its own definition and understanding of the concept agile, expressed in its respective cognitive context:


1. Hierarchical: Agility is seen in terms of non-looped control theory where steering is possible. Agility, from the point of view of the person who steers, is seen in the ease of the steering process. The prevailing metaphor is the military. Steering is simplified, if the underlying ressources are more tightly coupled with the one who steers and at the same time follow his commands in an easier fashion, so the helmsman can produce his own result more effortlessly. Particularly, this understanding of agile includes:
    • Subordinates follow commands with less resistance.
    • Subordinates work faster.
    • Reprioritization can be done as seen fit.
    • New jobs can be thrown in at any time.
    • Status can be obtained at any time and flows back from self-driven systems whenever it is needed.
    • Subordinates read the wishes from their superior's lips.

2. Independent-Event: Agility is compared to viscosity in an equally distributed environment. Being agile in this epistemology means to show a tendency towards the mean, thus a lack of agility is blamed on people's insising to be different or unique. The prevailing metaphor is the steam engine. High potential translates to high velocity, thus agility has to do with speed. Particularly, this understanding of agile includes:
    • The Gaussian end-tails of anything eliminate themselves and magically revert to the mean.
    • People who deviate from the norm work their ass off to conform to standard.
    • Self-optimizing process frameworks excel, delivering high gloss auto-documentation to those who are in authority.
    • Everybody concentrates on what is most important in a joint effort at any time.
    • The output of the engine is always routed into the most important task that is defined by management.
    • If a subject needs to be penetrated, its viscosity becomes liquid, and if energies need to be concentrated, they become hard like a crystal.
    • High potential translates to high velocity, just as the steam engine does.
    • There is no environment, our model simply has a couple of blind spots left.
    • Everything leaves without traces left behind.

3. Homeostatic: Agility is seen as the capability to maintain an equilibrium. Those who are agile can perform the necessary actions so they can never be thrown off balance, no matter what influences from the environment are hitting on them. The prevailing metaphors are organisms. Thus, agility is rated in terms of survival of the individual, its immunity, which enables conservative strategies. Stable trends emerge as eigen-values. Particularly, this understanding of agile includes:
    • Redundancies magically eradicate any malfunction.
    • Subsystems function so robust and self-repairing they are virtually unbreakable, and rendundancies are available wherever that is not possible.
    • Any environmental perturbation will immediately be compensated and equilibrium regained.
    • Maintaining an equilibrial steady-state is the highest ideal.
    • Everything immediately drifts towards an organic optimum. 
    • People work like organs: Internally with perfect cohesion, externally with seamless collaboration.
    • Cells that die are instantly replaced (apoptosis and regrowth).
    • Heroes never fail.
    • To direct all the organism, a small group of highly intelligent, exceptional managers orchestrate these organs. A notion of agility is felt, if the organism as a whole complies to the managers' intended strategy.

4. Morphogenetic: Agility is seen as the ability to change and adapt, along with a shift from "agility as velocity" to "agility as rapid learning". Change and failure are necessary for learning. Change and deviation create the necessary variations upon which new possibilities emerge. Learning means to find out which alternatives are able to survive, on a cultural rather than individual perspective. Thus change and deviations are cherished, and failure marks the necessary boundary of that which works. If that what does not work has been eliminated, whatever is left does work and its combinations yield the material for subsequent attempts. Processes are usually combinations of closed and open causal-loops. Trends form as non-equilibrial steady-states that are stable for a certain span of time and subsequently may fundamentally rearrange. Particularly, this understanding of agile includes:
    • Change is cherished, as it creates opportunities.
    • Failure is necessary, as it constantly re-evaluates the boundary of that which does work.
    • Heroes fail more often than everybody else, but get back up one more time than they fail.
    • More learning steps in a shorter time guarantee survival.
    • Constant communication of individual players is necessary.
    • Teams form temporary as topics dictate the need.
    • Everybody can orient themselves in an automagical way.
    • Every contribution is equally valued, cherished and important.
    • Things and issues inherently manage themselves.
    • There is no directive, command, control, restraining process or organistic pressure to comply.
    • What are managers?
    • A harmony of diversity flourishes in the Garden of Eden.

Apparently, in any particular organization, there will be people of all these epistemologies. Their mutual definitions of agile vastly differ. The more pressure one exerts on one particular organization, the more a regression towards the hierarchial end can be expected, as it is the easiest available strategy of thinking. Maintaining morphogenetic strategies even in times of high strain is a skill that has to be trained. It does not come natural for human instincts that are biologically rooted in anxiety driven fight or flight reflexes. Mindfulness meditation may help develop the mind to be able to keep one's composure even in highly turbulent and volatile environments, to be able to see clearly through the fog.

Live long and prosper
Dana


References

Maruyama, M. (1980). Mindscapes and science theories. Current Anthropology, 21(5), 589- 608.