Pandangan Penemu Fuzzy terhadap krisis dunia

Di milis BISC (Berkeley Initiative in Soft Computing ), Lotfi A Zadeh (“penemu” Fuzzy) mengirimkan posting mengenai pandangannya yang menarik tentang krisis dunia yang terjadi saat ini. Saya kutip di bawah.

Dear Members of the BISC Group:

We are in the throes of a major crisis. In this connection, I thought you might be interested in what I wrote on a paper published in 1974 (On the analysis of large scale systems, /Systems Approaches and Environment Problems/, H. Gottinger (ed.), 23-37. Gottingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1974). In this paper, I discuss what I called The Crisis of Undercoordination–a crisis which is what is closely related to what we are experiencing today. Subsequently, in a short item entitled “The Crisis of Undercoordination” (1995) I summarized what I wrote in the 1974 paper. Following is what I wrote. My 1974 paper included a discussion of the linguistic approach and the concept of a fuzzy graph–a concept which underlies Mamdani’s algorithm. Should you like to comment on what I wrote please send your comment to the BISC mailing list at Bisc-Group .

Warm regards to all,

Lotfi * *

*The Crisis of Undercoordination*

Lotfi A. Zadeh[*]

Our society is beset with a long list of both major and minor crises: urban decay; drug addiction; crime; illegal immigration; homelessness; unemployment; malfunctioning of the welfare system; problems with health care and transportation systems; underfunded schools and universities; growing national debt; and the struggle for survival of our libraries, museums, orchestras, dance companies and other cultural institutions.

Is there a deeper crisis which underlies—at least to some degree—many of the crises in question? In a paper published in 1974 (On the analysis of large scale systems, /Systems Approaches and Environment Problems/, H. Gottinger (ed.), 23-37. Gottingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1974) which dealt with the analysis of large-scale systems, I suggested that there is such a crisis—a crisis rooted in an imbalance between
interdependence and coordination. In the 1974 paper, I referred to this crisis as the /crisis of undercoordination/. In the intervening years, the degree of imbalance has grown and manifestations of the crisis of undercoordination have become more pronounced. It is important to understand the nature of this crisis and realize that it is a systemic dysfunction which bears on the future of our democratic institutions.

In essence, the crisis of undercoordination has its roots in the constant growth in the degree of interaction and interdependence in all strata of modern society. The growth is brought about by two factors; first, technological progress, which facilitates travel, communication, trade, networking and transfer of material and intellectual resources; and second, the growth in numbers—the numbers of people, houses, automobiles, airliners, TV channels, computers, telephones, buildings, roads and
most other constituents of modern society.

As a result of growth in interdependence, events in Kuwait, Sarajevo, Moscow and Tokyo have a much more pronounced impact on our lives than they did in the past. We all know this, but what is not known as widely is that our experience with the behavior of large-scale systems suggests that unchecked growth in the degree of interdependence—without a countervailing increase in the degree of coordination—eventually leads to instability and catastrophic failures.

A case in point is the catastrophic failure of the electric power distribution system in the Northeast in 1965. In that event, in the absence of coordination, the tripping of local circuit breakers spread unchecked through the whole system. A more recent example is the massive failure of the telephone network in the Washington area in June of 1991. Other examples are the S&L debacle in the US, the bursting of the real estate bubble in Japan, and the financial crisis in Mexico.

A lesson that can be drawn from these and related experiences is that to maintain stability in a large-scale system, growth in interdependence must be accompanied by an increase in the degree of coordination. In the case of societal systems, the balance is achieved without resistance in those cases in which there is a compelling need for safety and stability—as in air traffic control systems. In most societal systems, however, an increase in coordination entails some restrictions on the
freedom of choice, a higher level of taxation and more intrusive intervention on many levels of societal governance. In this connection, it is important to recognize that coordination is not synonymous with regulation. Excessive regulation can coexist with inadequate coordination.

The problem with most democratic societies is that the electorate is unwilling to pay the price for bringing the level of coordination in balance with the level of interdependence. The result is a chronic crisis of undercoordination. In the United States, in particular, the crisis of undercoordination reflects—more so than in most other countries—the deep-seated tradition of distaste for big government, an unwillingness to accept restrictions on the freedom of choice, and resistance to imposition of higher levels of taxation.

The dilemma is that so long as we are unwilling to pay the price of increasing the level of coordination, we are lacking the ability to come to grips with the crises which beset us. The 200 billion dollar deficit which we are running is one measure of our reluctance to pay the price for solving the problems we face. The trouble with democratic societies is that future generations have no vote.

To say that we are experiencing a crisis of undercoordination does not imply that all our problems would be solved by raising the level of coordination to a point where it is in balance with the degree of interdependence. But it does suggest that increasing the level of coordination is a necessary step.

At this juncture, the United States is pressing many countries—especially former members of the Eastern block—to reduce the level of government planning and control and move in the direction of wider privatization and deregulation. The crisis of undercoordination calls into question the correctness of this policy. In the former Soviet Union, we are witnessing a swing from excessive coordination to pronounced undercoordination. Furthermore, privatization has become a means of enrichment for high ranking officials. The climate of pervasive corruption and unbridled quest for money is leading to disillusionment with capitalism and market economy, and is threatening to snuff the growth of democratic institutions.

What is said above should not be interpreted as a rationalization of big government. In essence, what is articulated is the sobering observation that increases in interdependence must necessarily be accompanied by a commensurate increase in coordination. In this context, the key question is: How can interdependence and coordination be brought into balance with a minimum of regulation, control and government intervention. The problems we are faced with cannot be solved without an answer to this question.


Tentang Anto Satriyo Nugroho

My name is Anto Satriyo Nugroho. I am working as research scientist at Center for Information & Communication Technology, Agency for the Assessment & Application of Technology (PTIK-BPPT : Pusat Teknologi Informasi & Komunikasi, Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi). I obtained my doctoral degree (Dr.Eng) from Nagoya Institute of Technology, Japan in 2003. My office is located in Serpong, Tangerang Selatan City. My research is on pattern recognition and image processing with applied field of interests on biometrics identification & development of computer aided diagnosis for Malaria. Should you want to know further information on my academic works, please visit my professional site at
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