What Is The Operating System Of Dayton, Ohio?

According to Wikipedia: An operating system (OS) is a set of system software programs in a computer that regulate the ways application software programs use the computer hardware and the ways that users control the computer.

It is interesting to think in terms of systems. Every person has a body, and the body is a system. How to manage the human system so that an individual enjoys the optimum output of health and vitality is a central question of medicine and education. We are far from understanding what the human OS actually is, or how it works, what it is that regulates our ways and makes us who we are.

It’s interesting to attempt to see society as a system and to take the viewpoint of an anthropologist and attempt to understand how the operating system of our society actually works. W. Edwards Deming, the “quality” genius, liked to ask a CEO, whether, or not, his or her company was a “system.” Sure, he said, you have meetings, and goals, and quotas, and people running around, and phones ringing, but, Are You A System? Or are you simply a collection of individual profit centers?

Dayton, Ohio, I’d say, also fails Deming’s definition of “system.” Dayton stays as it is because of inertia, and because a lot of stake holders, individual profit centers, like the way things are. And Dayton is no different from Kettering and every other area.  Our public school organization, I’d say, also fails Deming’s definition of “system,” and again, is a collection of individual profit centers, resistant to change.

If our region will ever grow into its potential, we are in need of huge transformations and transformation is usually powerfully resisted by the status quo. The need to transform our system of public education is a powerful example of the need for system reform, and also a powerful example of how individual profit centers in the status quo resist transformation.

Our challenge is to find a way to get a powerful Operating System called democracy to become functional. But, to have democracy, you must have community — and that’s the hard part. Just like the fact that the OS for a computer has no meaning unless it is functional in a computer, democracy has no meaning unless it is rooted in community. And community is lacking. Here in Kettering, I am continually shocked how tiny the group is that shows up to League of Women Voters “meet the candidates” public meetings — and those who do show up are not the “community,” but friends and family of the candidates.  It’s a good question:  Where is the Kettering community?

Creating authentic community is the challenge.

Luckily this huge obstacle — the lack of community — is more overcomable here in 2010 than in any previous time. We have powerful and inexpensive tools of technology needed to educate ourselves and to social network and effectively work together. We simply need leadership and a vision of what is possible.

The OS in DaytonOS suggests a grandiose thought — that this little web-site might help vitalize the operating system called democracy in the Dayton region. I’m working on a plan for DaytonOS for this fall season, and I will report soon.

See:  How Can The System Known As The United States Be Made To Work To Provide “Liberty and Justice For All”?

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4 Responses to What Is The Operating System Of Dayton, Ohio?

  1. nightfly says:

    I think Dayton’s OS should be based on Mac OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard. It’s clean, stable, easy to use, hard-to-corrupt and gorgeously graphical. Right now Dayton is running maybe Windows 3.1 or maybe just plain DOS. Ugly, hard-to-understand, clunky, behind-the-times, easy to corrupt. Good idea to use the computer OS as an analogy for designing and running a city. I think you should expand this idea.

  2. Mike Bock says:

    Yes, the more advanced the OS, in the computer analogy, the more harmonious and productive is the system. The OS in a computer is all about autocratic control, a system appropriate for a machine. The best OS for a human society, I’m proposing, is authentic representational democracy. Our system is failing because its OS doesn’t match its supposed purpose — liberty and justice for all — our current OS is oligarchic elitism.

  3. David Esrati says:

    And finally- DaytonOS admits it has a great name-
    It also means “Official Statement”

    and- when I first presented the name- no one liked it…
    Too bad Mike killed the logo.

  4. Mike Bock says:

    David, Sorry. A post about the OS in the name, DaytonOS, should have credited the creator of the name. I wasn’t there at its creation, but I knew that you were the brains behind the name choice, and, in this post, I should have thanked you. So, Thanks. I didn’t realize that originally no one liked the name.

    I’m going to figure out how to post my picture with comments, as you do.

    DaytonOS now has 2999 posts — many of them yours, accumulated from when your site was syndicated here. At the rate I post, I would need 10 years, or more, to accumulate so many.

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