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The bead game is underdevelopment, however part of the function of the game comes from clicking the forward and back links above and from game players sending in Remarks.
Note to Bob Shaw from Peter Kugler
There is a social responsibility that underlies the life and viability of community theater. The recipe of this 'viability' cannot be prescribed in advance in any simple way. While certain resources are bounded (limited in a conservative sense) there are some resources that are fundamentally open in truly viable systems--these resources have to do with information.
As opening night approaches there is a massive flood of new information that showers each and every agent participating in the process. During this 'information flood' individuals must continually develop strategies for limiting their 'local (in time) exposure' to manageable amounts.
This management involves a balancing of the 'unknown' (uncertainty, such as lighting sound and arena information that goes beyond the written script--the written script is inherently incomplete as a mapping to the real world of physics and geometrical layout) and the 'known' (factual content, such as lines and script cues).
The most important process involves the reduction of uncertainty as the unknown becomes transformed into the known. The unknown has many, many more degrees of freedom than the known--this information transformation is the most central process in any viable system.
The process occurs over a short time frame and usually a small (limited) geometric space. And, this process is governed by a single Global constraint: "THE SHOW MUST GO ON"-- the system must survive or remain alive (viability).
The time scale for this information transformation process is very fast and focuses on the uncertainty component, with small perturbations (additions and subtractions) of information.
I have been involved in many stage productions and believe me this environment provides an experimental ground for the most important aspect for a theory of viable systems. It provides many existence proofs and test cases instead of hypothetical cases and ungrounded speculation.
Well, 'opening night' was the usual rush of excitement and anxiety. Massive amounts of uncertainty (even with the best preparation). It was a great success and the reviews were excellent (two reviewers in the first night audience). Slowly over the last three shown the uncertainty has been reduced to a more manageable level. After three or four more show the uncertainty will become minimal (each night has its own special mix depending on the audience and the castes moods and unexpected events. But, a party mood will begin to emerge with each nights performance--always with a little spice of uncertainty added.
I have a nice analysis of this type of viable system in terms of entailments. It follows from some of Rosen's work and identifies this informational flow with the openness of an entailment element.