Saturday, January 30, 2016

Peas in a pod: On studying enjoyment in relation to your service/work science system framework, and re educational systems, particularly with WUaS in mind, Some key aspects of "flow: the psychology of optimal experience" based on Csikszentmihalyi's research - This is research that is build-able upon and even operational-izable in terms of coding and in a new service /work system university platform I think

Hi Steve ( and, 

Thanks very much for your email. I'm going to respond with a focus on studying enjoyment in relation to your service/work system framework, and re educational systems, particularly with World University and School in mind. 

In terms of enjoyment and studying this over time (and rigorously online and inter-lingually at a growing all-languages' STEM-oriented wiki CC World University and School, accrediting to offer CC MIT OCW-centric university degrees in all countries' main languages - and with many students, faculty and employees - where the customers may first be governments paying some portion of the $44,000 per student per year to WUaS that it costs to pay tuition to go to MIT or Stanford for example) and your service system as work system framework, I'd return in my thinking to (the long time University of Chicago Professor) Csikszentmihalyi's rigorous research on how enjoyment works (in his 1991 book "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience," for example, and numerous studies in academic journal - where he gives subjects pagers and surveys and he asks them what they are doing in terms of enjoyment when they are paged - and it turns out that it's challenge at the appropriate level that leads to being in the zone), that seems extensible to the web for further research and in new ways. Enjoyment as "flow" experiences, in the work situations you study are explicitly a focus for Csikszentmihalyi, but don't go far enough in my experience, in terms of a very wide variety of qualities of bliss, happiness, etc. 

As a starting place for studying enjoyment within the context of a service/work/education system - and in all countries' languages - Csikszentmihalyi's academic approach could be one important baseline, and an approach we could build into the WUaS AI software. 

But, on a personal note, I noticed that music-making (since I see you play the cello and piano), occasionally possibly as work, may be enjoyable for you as well, as is music-making for me - (and I wonder if this could be understood as an aspect of a service/work system?) - and I'm curious too how to build on music-making model as service system/work system in the context of your framework, for learning and applying what we've learned musically about music-making, to work/service systems in new ways in terms of enjoyment and really great enjoyment (e.g. neurophysiology of bliss in my language). (Improvisational music in particular leads me to highest enjoyment - e.g. Grateful Dead, Raga and JS Bach in some ways - and in what ways could aspects of music that lead to these experiences, further inform a service system, and perhaps apply too to your framework?) 

In terms of Gardner's research on multiple intelligences, I haven't read or seen the literature, for example, where specific kinds of intelligences at a Reed College (for example, where I went to school) or any university, leads to specific kinds of academic majors, and where enjoyment for students who are beginning to enter the service/work system with these academic majors has been studied and written about in the scientific literature, but I will keep my eyes open for this. 

How to apply the "Flow" research to work situations in terms of students and knowledge workers enjoying their work and then grow enjoyment from this is another question I'm interested. How would such enjoyment affect their production/service as knowledge workers? (This literature may be extensive, but I haven't heard of companies being transformed by this). As an anthropologist I'd then explore various companies' cultures where long time employees report enjoying themselves most, and where customers also report great satisfaction, and derive from these companies understandings of company cultures for further approaches to understanding service / work / enjoyment and culture as a system. Stanford, although not perfect, is a model combining (my subjectively) understood enjoyment there both by knowledge workers there and faculty, in my thinking - of excellence and enjoyment, partly thanks to laid back California and even the legacy of the 60s - and the students as customers seem also to enjoy Stanford. And Google is another for-profit (yet IT, Stanford and Burning Man) culture where its 50,000 knowledge/IT workers seem like they're both enjoying work and are being productive.

In terms "of the issue of improving educational outcomes can be addressed based on existing knowledge in the education and psychology communities and without a great deal of attention to service systems," from my Reed College liberal arts' education perspective, the lack of service / work system thinking suggests to me that at least there is some further service systems' work to do (but I think Reed will continue to focus on its liberal arts' approach). In comparison, MIT and Stanford seem to generate much closer ties between education and industry (with budding service systems' thinking) in my subjective experience. 

In terms of "that work systems exist in order to produce product/services for customers," the study of enjoyment of knowledge workers as well as customers seems potentially profitable for companies, but these tradeoffs won't disappear as well. Yet CC WUaS's wiki side, as just one of many examples, may well facilitate eventually "extensive interactive tutorial with a world expert on a topic of interest," given that there are ~2300 CC MIT OCW courses in English and 50-100 courses in 6 other languages, not yet interactive, but WUaS hopes to move in that direction. 

How to build in the study of enjoyment and greatest enjoyment into the software of WUaS itself in all 200 countries' main languages and all 7,938 languages as wiki schools - and in terms of operationalizing a service system / work system as a university employer is a fascinating question. 

Apologies if my reply is a little disorganized as a reply to your helpful response, but I need to focus on editing my 400 page actual / virtual Harbin ethnographic book - - which I'm planning to publish around Valentine's Day. 

I enjoyed your enjoyment in making your excellent ISSIP presentation. Thank you. 

Best regards, 

Steve and All, 

As a follow up, here are some key aspects of "flow: the psychology of optimal experience" based on Csikszentmihalyi's research - This is research that is build-able upon and even operational-izable in terms of coding and in a new service /work system university platform I think.




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