leon morenas wrote:

 > radical constructivism that has been strengthened by second order
 > cybernetics. Niklas Luhmann is one of the chief people that helps look
 > critically at Complexity and a good source for "theodicy" is
 > 'Observing Complexity' by Rasch and Wolfe.

leon, thanks for the references. i didn't look at urban simulations for
a long time. how much do these theories owe to Biological Cognition? it
is difficult for me to judge the liminality between Self Organization
(which is probably what is referred to, throughout) and Autopoesis in
using some of the sociological texts. i notice the relation between
concepts in hard sciences and computation is sometimes an analogic one,
so there is the risk of substituting a specialized concept for a more
generic idea, and this leads to obfuscation and cumbersomeness in
practice. this is my observation of architectural computing research i
have to review, for example.

so i am skeptical about these claims, and out of my depth -- only
participated in one radical constructivist design studio.

 > I think that my listing of the above models show that they are chiefly
 > directed at usability.  As to me hammering peanuts worth of research,
 > I am lost as to how I should respond and in what light?

i m aware of models and prototypes which are usually cumbersome to use,
your criticism in mind. are they also deployed in planning departments?
i.e., are they used in what Gita would call 'Dynamic Planning'
processes? how do they compare with more classical (say, frameworks)
ideas of planning? it is not clear to me as to how these models are
chiefly directed at usability. i was thinking of simple applications
like e-mail, and the amount of work it takes to make them usable in
practice (you could look at the evolution, the work at IBM in
representing threaded asynchronous communications; the evolution of
single page applications, for example, the whole evolution that results
in an actually usable - AJAX - application such as google). simulation
software like opendx are a pain to install, even, so i am not sure about
the usability aspect regardless of researcher claims!

 > These impressions are my own, in much as the same way you might choose
 > not to agree with me.

your impressions count. one is evaluating publications stuff in a broad
context. the question is, how do commercial concerns (even by a
university press) influence the dissemination of competent research. i
am looking at journal and peer-reviewed conference proceedings
publication issues in specific, as the publications officer of some CAAD

- anand (apologies about delayed reply, took some time getting the
books, and i am sure you didn't want me to consult wikipedia :-))