The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Where's Steve Been?

Where's Steve Been?

I've had a flood of questions about where I've been and what I've been up to the last few weeks. Well, I've been working on a slew of projects, traveled to Los Angeles to take meetings, work, and see friends. Then back to Atlanta, and then up to Boston to speak at a Complexity conference--3 1/2 hour panel on Science Fiction and Complexity. A chance to hang out with some genuinely brilliant people, as well as get in a bit of play with a martial arts master who is also a consultant for Military Intelligence. What incredible fun.

I'll be diving into this in the days to come, but I just wanted to give you a head's up, and to ask a few questions.

You see, Complexity theory has several aspects, but one way of looking at it is that it deals with

1) Emergent qualities--the way individual pieces combine to create a whole very different from the sum of the parts.

2) Interconnectedness. The various ways organizations and organisms can be considered systems, and understood best by studying individual parts, and their relationships.

Both of the above statements are of course two versions of the same thing, but I find it best to examine something both top-down and bottom up. Or outside-in and inside-out.

Because several of my current projects involve such complexity, both thematically and operationally, I'm going to be maintaining these new relationships and asking lots of questions of people who are, frankly, smarter than yours truly. No false modesty here: I ADORE smart people, and there is no greater pleasure than allowing myself to be stimulated thereby.

So...until next time, here are some questions and thoughts for you:

1) Your web of relationships will determine your success and health in life. If you average the 20% of your friends and associates with whom you spend 80% of your time, what result do you get in terms of emotional health? Financial success? Physical fitness?

2) How would you define the component pieces of your most critical discipline? How do you define and organize them? Do you disassemble (mentally, at least) these pieces, inspect and polish them regularly? Do you analyze the way more successful people organize, define and refine their time, resources, associations, emotions, values, actions, and energies?

Just a little to think about. My head is buzzing right now. More soon!


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