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This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Throwing Einstein for a Loop -- OK. Humor me with this one.

This link to a Scientific American article is a bit out there for a business oriented blog, but should appeal to those in the TOC community who appreciate it's roots in the physical sciences. It's about physicist Markopoulou Kalamara and her recent connections of the quantum world to Einstein's space and time.
"In this picture, there are no things, only geometric relationships. Space ceases to be a place where objects such as particles bump and jitter and instead becomes a kaleidoscope of ever changing patterns and processes."
hmmm...not details, but dyamics...
"Each spin network resembles a snapshot, a frozen moment in the universe. Off paper, the spin networks evolve and change based on simple mathematical rules and become bigger and more complex, eventually developing into the large-scale space we inhabit.

"By tracing this evolution, Markopoulou Kalamara can explain the structure of spacetime. In particular, she argues that the abstract loops can produce one of the most distinctive features of Einstein's theory-- light cones, regions of spacetime within which light, or anything else, can reach a particular event. Light cones ensure that cause precedes effect."
(Good old cause and effect. This'll put a crimp in the story of those agile or extreme project managers who like to whine about the lack of cause and effect in their world and point to quantum physics as a metaphor.)
"We can understand this concept by gazing upward and knowing that there are countless stars we cannot see because not enough time has passed since the birth of the universe for their light to shine our way; they are beyond our light cone.

"It is not so obvious, though, where light cones fit into the spin networks. Those networks are subject to quantum mechanics. In that wonderland of uncertainty, any network has the potential to evolve into infinite new ones, leaving no trace of a causal history. "We didn't know how, in the language we were working in, to put in the notion of causality" in LQG, Smolin says. Markopoulou Kalamara found that by attaching light cones to the nodes of the networks, their evolution becomes finite and causal structure is preserved.

"But a spin network represents the entire universe, and that creates a big problem. According to the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics, things remain in a limbo of probability until an observer perceives them. But no lonely observer can find himself beyond the bounds of the universe staring back. How, then, can the universe exist? "That's a whole sticky thing," Markopoulou Kalamara says. "Who looks at the universe?" For her, the answer is: we do. The universe contains its own observers on the inside, represented as nodes in the network. Her idea is that to paint the big picture, you don't need one painter; many will do. Specifically, she realized that the same light cones she had used to bring causal structure into quantum spacetime could concretely define each observer's perspective."
I may be stretching it a bit (I did warn you up front), but the whole TOC TP process for buy-in, based on effect-cause-effect logic and on the different perspectives and intuition of the team involved feels like a nice fit here.

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