FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 23, 2022 — Drs. Derek and Laura Cabrera, along with Elena Cabrera, of Cabrera Research Lab and Cornell University have published a new peer-reviewed article entitled, Distinctions Organize Information in Mind and Nature: Empirical Findings of Identity–Other Distinctions (D) in Cognitive and Material Complexity in the journal Systems.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 4, 2022 — Drs. Derek and Laura Cabrera, along with Elena Cabrera, of Cabrera Research Lab and Cornell University have published a new peer-reviewed article entitled, The “Fish Tank” Experiments: Metacognitive Awareness of Distinctions, Systems, Relationships, and Perspectives (DSRP) Significantly Increases Cognitive Complexity in the journal Systems.
The "Systems Thinking Loop" (or "ST Loop") is where the rubber meets the road for systems thinkers. It is perhaps the most important of all the images because it describes WHAT systems thinking really is and HOW to do it. It is best to digest this image (Systems thinking itself) in three bites (red):
Another System Thinking trope that gets my dander up. Not because it's ill intentioned but because so many well-intentioned people do it. In discussions on systems thinking we often hear, "well, it's all about the context." Or, "what about the environment." Recently, our lab posted this post (and poster).
I am fascinated by how easily humans are manipulated; which is often the result of structural blindspots (bias) that are used against one another. In many ways, the last few years have been a crash course in the ways of manipulation, dishonest debate and dialogue, rhetoric, gaslighting and the like. But we often forget that these manipulations come very slowly, much like the fable of the boiling frog.
This post was adapted from A Literature Review of the Universal and Atomic Elements of Complex Cognition. Researching any of the four DSRP patterns requires some creativity. One way scientists have achieved this is through the creation of "Greebles." Greebles are computer generated 3D figures that are intended to be unfamiliar to participants.
This blog has been partially adapted from A Literature Review of the Universal and Atomic Elements of Complex Cognition. The Systems pattern (5) (the interaction between the elements part and whole) exists in mind and nature. Nature (a.k.a., reality) organizes parts into wholes; so, in order for humans to adequately describe nature, we should, too. Humans naturally systematize things by breaking them down into parts and wholes automatically, which often leads to the creation of "groupings" or what we often erroneously call "categories." However, categories require something else: a Perspective.
This isn't a blog post, but more of a blog-collection. 8 common things that systems thinkers like to say that are bupkis. We call them sacred cows of systems thinking because it is almost blasphemous to disagree with them, even though most have a much bigger bark than bite. Click on the links below (in the right column) to red the blogs on each sacred cow. And, one thing is for sure, dare to challenge any one of these sacred cows 🐮, and you'll take a rash of shit 💩for it. People will come out of the woodwork to defend them with great fanfare and handwaving 👋. But stay steady, the logic of nature 🌱 and science 🔬 eventually win them over, but it can take time ⌛. Ug. 😛 In the list below, click on the links to go to articles on the sacred cow and its scientifically-valid replacement.
When I was a child, my mother would tell me a story of her own childhood. She spoke of how the children would collect tin foil wrappers from gum and cigarette packs and make a foil ball that could be turned in to help the war effort. This was all part of a scrap drive that children and citizens participated in willingly that included gathering grease fat containing glycerine that was used for bombs and metals of all kinds used in bombers (made by an increasingly female workforce that “manned” the factories where B-52 bombers were being made). Everyone pitched in because “our boys” were “over there” fighting.
This blog has been partially adapted from A Literature Review of the Universal and Atomic Elements of Complex Cognition. When you picture things that think, a slime mold probably wouldn't be the first organism to jump to mind. However, research has shown that you don't necessarily need a brain to think; in other words, non-neural organisms can think. Previously, we discussed how chemotaxis is an inherently DSRP-based process which allows bacteria and cells to make distinctions, build systems, recognize relationships, and take perspectives. As research has shown, slime molds can do DSRP too.
There are moments in life when we instinctively know that our life is changing and that a corollary transformation of ourselves is underway. I am sure that every parent remembers with great clarity the moment that the totality of becoming a parent hit them. Never is there such a crystallization of absolute joy and heart stopping fear. The enormity of the responsibility of parenthood weighs on us before a child arrives in our home. Yet, we embrace the joy, face that fear, and take the responsibility head on to do what our instincts tell us to do as biological beings raising our young.
Over the years, different variables/symbols have been used for the same equation. In some cases for good reason, and in other cases solely because, like an English sentence, a mathematical sentence can be read and written in different ways toward the same effect. For example, take the following four equations:
Dogs are our best friends, but we can't talk to them... we have no common language. But, what if you could use the simple rules of DSRP to teach your dog to communicate with you? This blog and the remarkable videos included illustrates how this is possible when we use the underlying stuctures of systems thinking.
This blog is part of a set of blogs under the tag "cognitive jigs." Be sure to checkout the tag to read them as a group and learn how cognitive jigs are at play in our everyday lives. Lists are everywhere from the beginning of our life. Simply put, lists are part-whole arrangements of the Systems rule as used in the DSRP Theory.
I discovered Systems Thinking and Systems Mapping less than three months ago. Well, more precisely, I discovered cabreraresearch.org. Diving deep into Derek and Laura’s insightful tools and generous resources, I realized I had known about Systems Mapping for years. I just didn’t know what it was called. Let me explain.
“Systems Thinking” sounds like such a grandiose thing, requiring complicated tools designed to solve complicated problems. But what if there is more (or less) to it? What follows is a short blow-by-blow account of how I solved a small problem using DSRP (Distinctions, Systems, Relationships, Perspectives).
This post is an excerpt from Chapter 7 of Systems Thinking Made Simple. A New Kind Of Logic There is always an underlying logic implicit in both informal and formal systems thinking methods. Making the logic explicit leads to clarity of thought and deeper understanding of concepts. Logic is any system of principles that guides one’s thinking. It need not be formalized or even conscious. All of us use logic every day without an awareness of what it is or where it came from. Systems thinking as a method also has an underlying logic.
"Leapfrog Leaders" written by Drs. Derek Cabrera, Laura Cabrera and Hise Gibson applies existing knowledge about the elements of systems thinking to a widely used decision making framework called SOT. SOT stands for Strategic, Operational, and Tactical - which are are thought to be the three levels of problem solving. More specifically, this paper offers readers insight into the skills needed at each level of decision making; as well as how to develop them through an understanding and application of the basics of systems thinking and leadership.
Excerpt from the book: Systems Thinking Made Simple, Chapter 8 This blog is part of a set of blogs under the tag "cognitive jigs." Be sure to check out the tag to read them as a group and learn how cognitive jigs are at play in our everyday lives. Graphs are immensely useful in every discipline of knowledge. Understanding DSRP not only reveals the implicit structure of graphs but also allows us to