sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Caravan Analysis


The Caravan from Honduras

Living system analysis is useful in many situations. In a living systems analysis, the caravan was a complex living system. Nothing about it looks spontaneous or unorganized. It was well financed and effective as a living system. Its ultimate purpose will not be known until the leaders and backers are identified and questioned. I reached out to friends in the office of the Mexican Secretary of Defence and offered to bring my little group to bear on answering those questions for them, operating ex-officio but with the knowledge and backing of Mexico, on their sovereign territory. I doubt that they'll go for it, but it's worth a try.

Let's talk about the living system for a moment.

The caravan emerged as a living system when it left San Pedro Sula in northern Honduras. There is a history of anti-government unrest and demonstrations in that city. 

In January, anti-government demonstrations in San Pedro Sula were disrupted by the earthquake that month in Honduras. The slow pace of reconstruction appears to be the government’s response to entrenched opposition activity and would explain a lack of jobs and prospects. 

There is a political undercurrent to the caravan that has not been reported. Honduras seems to have exported political agitators. If so, the Tegucigalpa government would have been pleased to facilitate their departure. Their hand may be in some of the funding as may cartel hands. Keep in mind that about 70% of cartel heroin is grown in Honduras (for export to the US and elsewhere). The cartels don't want to see political unrest in Honduras ruin their investment or their cash crops.

The fact that the caravan held together through the journey means that all 20 subsystems of a living system received their share of the information, matter and energy required to sustain the life of the system, the caravan. Inputs of information, matter and energy sustain life in all living systems, from amoebas to the United Nations.

The information requirement for a mobile living system is substantial. People need to be counted, identified and monitored. Special needs must be met. 

The caravan moved purposefully which means that some people were providing guidance and direction and possessed problem-solving authority and resources. No reporters pursued their identities or their motives, but those are key traits of the information processing subsystem of a living system.

It is vital for the leadership to provide information in a living system about the sources of food and water; public health and hygiene; places to camp and find entertainment; the sources of tents, toilet tissue and soap; how and where to obtain essential items and how to allocate them.

Somebody charted the route for the caravan to take and ensured it followed it. 

In terms of matter, a few reporters posted images of the lines of tractor trailer trucks that supported the movement. These apparently contained the supplies, including tents and daily necessities, needed to provide about 2,000 calories per day for each of up to 7,000 people, mostly men.

A key subsystem of a living system is waste extrusion. 7,000 people leave about 3.5 tons of waste every day.

Relative to matter, good walking shoes would be vital for making a long hike, not sneakers or flip-flops, which were common on videos. 

The most important unanswered question about matter is by whom and how was this caravan financed. Some videos showed unidentified individuals passing out cash to caravan members at road stops, but the source of the funds was never reported by open source reporters

Concerning energy, the line of tractor trailers means that access to motor fuels was as essential as food and water. It also suggests that the caravan members relied on motor transport in making the trek.

There has been a lack of responsible reporting on the caravan. One can opine that there may be no responsible reporters left in the media (entirely possible) or on the other hand, the mandarins in the media don't wish the truth to be told. Maybe it's both things, taken together? No matter how it turns out, living system analysis requires that elements of that living system be 'interrogated' to determine how it is being nourished (paid for).

I doubt that the Democrats are behind the caravan. Its arrival in conjunction with the election and with post election spending that will go to the border wall (before the new Congress is seated) does not aid their occasionally stated aim of facilitating illegal immigration to bolster their numbers in elections. It can be argued that the Democrats may have done better in the mid-term where their tepid performance could be said as a partial victory for President Trump, were it not for the caravan and President Trump's concerns about illegal immigration coming home to roost.



Divergent Thoughts

Seven Minutes of Terror?

The news feeds are awash with the Insight Lander's seven minute entry envelope and descent down onto the Martian surface. It worked, so there will not be a lot of work re-engineering on Mars 2020 (the next Mars flight). 

I expect that the drama queens at JPL don't know much about horror and moral terror, or they wouldn't have advertised this event the way that they did.

It got me thinking about what is and what is not heroic. I'm sure that the dweebs at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and I would have different definitions. Could the contraption that they build survive seven minutes without burning up or breaking? Somehow transmutes into 'heroic'. It's all in the eye of the beholder. 

There was a situation many years ago when I was standing on a beach/shingle and things went horribly wrong beyond the surf line. I jumped in the water, swam out, and saved the situation and supplies that were due on shore. While it was in no way heroic, the medical officer and other ranks ashore thought so. None of them were combat swimmers. They recommended me for a gong/Navy Commendation Medal, and I told my CO what happened, and explained that it didn't warrant a medal. He agreed. "You just swam out there, fetched the overboard boatswain, boarded the craft and brought it through the surf." That was it. Not heroic. Just a swim in very cold water. 

I've seen things that I felt were heroic and through my lens, they were superhuman and self sacrificing. John 15:13 "Greater love hath no man than this..." sort of heroic. It makes the terror that the dweebs at their consoles feel look sort of anemic. But that's our modern world. Everybody knows the names of the championship ball team players, but nobody knows the names of service men and women who die every day in service of their nation.

Can you Have Too Many Cinnamon Rolls?

My granddaughter, Olivia Rose (age 2), would tell you, "no". She was apprehended inflagrante delicto, absconding with her AND sister's rolls.

It may be a defective gene, passed down.

I have the same reaction every time that I pass a Cinnabon retail outlet. That I don't act on it the way that Olivia, who I call "Livvie", did is a function of culture and age.

Should Livvie be punished? Who could? 

Sometimes I Ask Myself

What were Vikings really like? We know that the Nordic people went Viking as raiders before the last mini-ice age. Will the Norwegians take to the seas again and raid the English coast again as the ice sheet connects the to Britain in the coming ice age? Some of you might ask 'why'. I ask 'why not'?
During the period 1645–1715, in the middle of the Little Ice Age, there was a period of low solar activity known as the Maunder Minimum. The Spörer Minimum has also been identified with a significant cooling period between 1460 and 1550.
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My friend, John D. (posts here as "Valuism"), from Norway, comments: "What matters is the sun and the Milankovitch cycles. The average time span in between the ice ages, small or big is 10k and we are heading towards the next one." 
John D. has not yet commented on any plans to raid the English, but if he does, I think that I'm in.  John, the English people have disarmed, and it should be easy to take what we want. They have even turned in their pocket knives. I'm sure that they don't guard their military bases for the same reason that they want an unarmed population - somebody might get hurt.