E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

System of Systems

Gran Canaria - Santa Lucía de Tirajana in the SpringThere are times when one bumps into one of those wonderfully inspiring videos that hits home really well and you just can’t help but quickly rush off to blog about it, because you know that, time and time again, you will be coming back to it to point folks to it as well, so that they can watch it themselves and be equally inspired, if not more! Well, earlier on today, I had one of those wonderful serendipitous knowledge discoveries, as I bumped into one of the latest IBM’s Smarter Planet YouTube videos, that I am sure you are going to enjoy quite a bit, specially, if you are into networks. Welcome to *the* System of Systems!

That’s right, the latest film from the Smarter Planet initiative from IBM is titled “System of Systems” and lasts for a little bit over 4 minutes. It’s one of those hidden treasures that one cannot but feel proud it’s available out there! It features a couple of IBMers (Mike Wing, Irving Wladawsky-Berger and Julia Grace) who, over the course of a few minutes, relate what it is like living as part of a system of systems, i.e. our world, AND how we are finally becoming aware it is there.

My good friend, and fellow colleague, George Faulkner, actually blogged about it briefly earlier on and I just can’t help quoting over here the introduction he has shared across on that blog entry, because it surely will be helping you folks set the stage of what you can expect from the video clip itself. In fact, it is also one of those thought provoking paragraphs that would make you think for a little while… And if you don’t believe me, judge for yourselves:

“If you look at our planet from space, what you see is something like a neural network with the cities as its nodes, and that is as good an image of the planet as a complex system of systems as one could hope for.

With the emergence of the internet in the mid-90’s, the world became one global commons. In the past, we could understand that there was some mysterious unity to the various dimensions of life but we couldn’t understand its dynamics, we couldn’t observe and measure their interactions. We basically operated like the drunk who looks under the streetlight for his keys because that’s where he can see”

Goodness! That’s quite an intro don’t you think? Now, I am not going to spoil it and talk further more about what you will see in the video clip, other than perhaps mention how, throughout the film itself, you will find plenty of connotations about an intelligent, interconnected and integrated system of networks, with plenty of links and implications to the fascinating world of Social Network Analysis, amongst several others. But other than that you will need to watch the video for yourselves. I can assure you that you won’t be bored; quite the opposite, since the adjective thought-provoking keeps coming up time and time again, specially when talking about the interactions between humans and machines. And, I tell you, it surely is!

Thus without much further ado here is the direct link to the YouTube video and here is the embedded code, so you could have a look and start playing it right away:

Exciting times those we live in today, don’t you think? 🙂 Imagine what tomorrow would be like when we finally get a chance to understand how we interact intelligently and sustainably with that system of systems

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  1. What a interesting video!
    I loved it!
    I like very much the idea that we’ve always lived in an system, it was always there, but now we can SEE it.
    that is so real…
    great post, thank you very much!

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