Why I love SCIM, and what to do about it

Update: SCIM is in English here, and in Spanish here.

SCIM is Vinay Gupta's "six ways to die" on steroids.

It builds from a fundamental approach to catastrophic situations (and developement, and poverty) with - surprise! surprise! - people in the middle.

It's all about death (yucky, I know, but it's at least a good conceptual stiletto):
  • We die, in different numbers, from a small group of causes.
  • We use infrastructure to delay deaths.
  • If we understand infrastructure we can go about our very basic job, which is creating room for people's lives, better.
Of course, it's not all about death. There's also pain, and function.

And there's also groups of people, and organisations, and nation states. They can also "die" if they malfunction or cease to exist. And then people - all that matters, if you ask me - suffer too much, or die too soon.

In comes Vinay's model, a way to quickly and flexibly map complex realities so that we - you, me, anyone - can cut through the chase, find something important that needs doing, and do it. Then go back to sensing, mapping, doing - sensing, mapping, doing - until at least a number of important things are fixed.

Do you think it could help people in Greece? Maybe. Do you think some of them might want to look at this tool? Again, maybe.

By all means, read the whole lot in English or in Spanish (page 11 missing), in less-than-20 easy pages, and make up your own mind.

Now, what next? Thing is, I'd love to see this piece of work translated into 20+ languages.

See, I've helped that happen for other works. It's about using or creating a seed, a format, a way to work - taking the first step ourselves - then maybe helping others multiply it immensely - then watching it explode.

Lazy Power. (Ok, maybe not so lazy. Ever had a hand at translation, yourself?)

So, how do we do that for this specific piece of text (and charts)? Thanks for your precious advice. I'll write updates here or generally on the blog.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. :-)

4 comentarios:

  1. Nice work
    Did you edit the PDF directly or did you have to reconstruct it from scratch?
    I guess the vital step is to provide those who want to help access to the original document. Preferably in open an document format.

  2. I reconstructed, and the Spanish is in OpenOffice/LibreOffice Write format.

    I can post that file as soon as I find it, but mind you, it's in Spanish.

    I've tried http://translate.google.com with some documents from Open Source Ecology, namely, let me look ... Open Source Micro Factory over at http://opensourceecology.org/wiki/Translation#Wiki_Translation_Priorities and specifically http://translate.google.com/toolkit/workbench?did=00002gb62z9vbb4

    So yes, I guess it can be done.

    I have at least a couple of issues:

    - I'd really like to see many translations. Greek, just as an example, would make me glad. But more would make me "gladder".

    - We'd need to look at some way of dealing with "quality" and improving it if/when needed.

    - I haven't solved chart translation. That was painful.

  3. I think chart translation would be easier if there was an empty chart, a chart numbered and a correspondingly numbered list of words to be incorporated in the chart.

    I think you can count on me to do the French translation. But perhaps we should do it in some place in the web where other people could see the progress so we don't duplicate the work?

    PS: Would you mind permitting anonymous comments so I can use my nick? :-)


    1. I've copied the document in English into another gmail-doc so you may translate into French.

      The text for the charts are already in tables. And I've converted at least some of the charts into SVG files, which may make swapping translations easier. In fact, if I manage to streamline the process, it'll be easier for other languages.

      As in other opportunities, thanks!

      Looking into allowing anonymous comments now, sorry!