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Doc Martin's Blog: Stream of Thought

Tuesday, September 09, 2003
> More on Beer (Stafford)
Chile's forgotten socialist Internet. In the 1970s, Chile's Allende socialist government contracted with a British garage-inventor to erect an egalatarian nationwide data-network.
For the next two years, as subordinates searched for these amid the food shortages, and the local press compared him to Orson Welles and Socrates, Beer worked in Chile in frenetic bursts, returning every few months to England, where a British team was also labouring over Cybersyn. What this collaboration produced was startling: a new communications system reaching the whole spindly length of Chile, from the deserts of the north to the icy grasslands of the south, carrying daily information about the output of individual factories, about the flow of important raw materials, about rates of absenteeism and other economic problems.

Until now, obtaining and processing such valuable information - even in richer, more stable countries - had taken governments at least six months. But Project Cybersyn found ways round the technical obstacles. In a forgotten warehouse, 500 telex machines were discovered which had been bought by the previous Chilean government but left unused because nobody knew what to do with them. These were distributed to factories, and linked to two control rooms in Santiago. There a small staff gathered the economic statistics as they arrived, officially at five o'clock every afternoon, and boiled them down using a single precious computer into a briefing that was dropped off daily at La Moneda, the presidential palace.



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I am interested in many things, not all that can be covered here! My philosophy might be thought of as "distilling the essence of culture and creating meaningful institutions". I (Martin Hall) am the founder and director of Systems, Value & Organizations, as well as a resarcher, consultant, and mentor. My background is varied being interested in creating a more effective world and creating meaningful institutions for the people that live in it. I believe that better understanding of values and culture, along with understanding of how the systems in the world affect us are central tools to this mission. He is a technologist, researcher, writer, educator, husband, father, friend, mentor and mentee. I like wine, travel, blogging, writing (other than blogging), food, etc. My family includes my wife (Carol), my three kids (boy (Grant), and twin girls (Paige & Rachel)) and two dogs (Buster & Brownie). For a more in depth look at my background, here is my resume. Here is a list of some of my publications. You can send me an e-mail at: martin@sysval.org.

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Last update: 11/30/2003; 4:56:15 PM.