February 20, 2004
Learning what to want
Sir Geoffrey Vickers is a figure that I have known about for years, but the extent of my knowledge was that he was seen as an important figure in systems thinking and had written a book called "Freedom in a Rocking Boat". I had tried getting hold of that book a number of times, but without success. By one of those curious roundabout routes I stumbled across an Open University site that had a video and transcript of a short talk he gave in 1978. The snippets there have whetted my appetite to find out more about his thinking, because he strikes me as being one of those nearly lost thinkers who has much to say to us today.
What I find slightly mysterious is that there seems to be a cluster of people working, thinking and writing in the immediate post-war period, whose work is largely out of print and whose thinking is mainly represented by a few a few strong quotes, but little else. Why, I wonder have they almost disappeared when what they had to say is, perhaps, even more pertinent today than it was when they were more well known? I suspect that a little intellectual archaeology would yield results that would seem startlingly modern. Meanwhile here is a snippet from Geoffrey Vickers harvested from the web:Posted by richard at February 20, 2004 2:26 PM