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1 Dividing the planet

A good globe can set you back quite a lot of money. Of course, I don't mean the little moulded plastic planets or the globes you can blow up as if the world were a beach ball, but the decent sized ones that sit solidly on turned wooden bases and quietly emanate authority from the corner of a room. Yet these days, it hardly seems worthwhile making such an investment. Countries appear to change their colour, their shape or their name with remarkable rapidity.

It has become a cliché to po
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Introduction

The course uses the example of climate change to highlight the dynamic and volatile character of the planet, and how globalisation links together, in often unequal ways, people and places across the world. The course focuses on the potentially momentous impact of global environmental change on Pacific Islands like Tuvalu. It introduces students to geographical ways of thinking about the world.

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course Author(s): The Open University

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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • recognise the interaction of human and physical processes in the making of environments and the understanding of environmental issues

  • understand coastal regions as dynamic and contested environments

  • consider the contested nature of coastal management policies using the case study of managed retreat.


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Conclusion

This free course provided an introduction to studying the arts and humanities. It took you through a series of exercises designed to develop your approach to study and learning at a distance and helped to improve your confidence as an independent learner. 


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2.1.1 Preparation

Prepare to watch the video in just the same way as you would prepare to study written material. You will need to have a suitable environment in which you should be relatively undisturbed and able to concentrate for the full length of each video extract. You will need to be able to take some notes as you watch – it is easy to forget the key points if you leave note taking until the video is finished, and it will be important to record your immediate reactions to some of the images.

I
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Introduction

This course interrogates the idea of a globalised world by showing how inequalities in access to material wealth and expectations of lifestyle, which have been created historically between the US and Mexico, produces border tensions as Mexicans seek entry to the US to do jobs that resident American citizens will not undertake for the wages offered. It is particularly relevant currently in the context of debates about free trade and movement of workforce to where they could find work, and tha
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3.1 The steps to systems modelling

Systems modelling in practice usually involves six broad steps, within each of which there may be many subsidiary steps and some checking and revision. There is also likely to be iteration back to the earlier steps, as issues which call for changes in earlier decisions are uncovered.

Nevertheless, in my experience, the following six steps are likely to cover the basics.

  1. Identify the system of interest, in particular specify the system boundary a
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Keep on learning

Study another free course

There are more than 800 courses on OpenLearn for you to
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4.5 Methodologies associated with information technology

I recently undertook an exercise in a company that manufactures various types of agricultural machinery. I was happily using the term ‘system’ in its general sense when a senior manager stated ‘In this organization we use the word “system” to mean a computer system, for other types of procedure or activity we use “process”.’ This is a commonly encountered distinction and the evolution of computer systems, and particularly software, has been an important contributor to systems
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Stage 2: The situation analysed

The first step is to develop a picture (called in soft systems terminology a rich picture) that encapsulates all the elements that people think are involved in the problem. Once the rich picture has been drawn, the analyst will attempt to extract ‘issues’ and key tasks.

Issues are areas of contention within the problem situation. Key tasks are the essential jobs that must be undertaken within the problem situation.

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1.3 Example 1 The Workcenter that didn't

Autodesk Inc. is the world's largest supplier of design and engineering software. It currently markets over thirty products but is most famous for its AutoCAD® two- and three-dimensional design and drafting software. The company is the market leader in this type of application, with over 4 million customers worldwide.

The Autodesk story began in 1982 with a group of programmers, centred on San Francisco, writing code for design software in their spare time. The group demonstrated a cob
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References

Ackoff, R.L. (1974a) ‘The systems revolution’, Long Range Planning, vol. 7, pp.2–5.
Ackoff, R.L. (1974b) Redesigning the Future, New York, Wiley.
Ackoff, R.L. (1981) Creating the Corporate Future, New York, Wiley.
Ackoff, R.L. (1995) ‘Whole-ing the parts and righting the wrongs’, Systems Research,
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6.5 Appreciating some implications for practice

I think for most people, the National Health Service would be experienced as a complex situation. If so this would be a good example of perceived complexity. Remember though, if you engaged with it as if it were a difficulty you would not describe the situation as one of perceived complexity. I could not call it a complex system unless I had tried to make sense of it using systems thinking and found, or formulated, a system of interest within it. This means I would have to have a stake in the
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3.2 Making sense of the metaphor

The metaphor of the juggler keeping the four balls in the air is a powerful way for me to think about what I do when I try to be effective in my practice. It matches with my experience: it takes concentration and skill to do it well. But metaphors conceal features of experience, as well as calling them to attention. The juggler metaphor conceals that the four elements of effective practice often seem to be related. I cannot juggle them as if they were independent of each other. I can imagine
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1.1.1 Learning by experience

It's a familiar idea but it implies two activities: learning and experiencing. Both activities need to happen if I am to say that learning from experience has happened. Experiencing seems to have two components. The first is the quality of attention that allows me to notice the experience and its components. The second is memory. Calling experience to mind allows me to examine the experience and to think about it in ways that were not possible at the time. Learning is what I take away from th
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8.4.1 Open-loop control

Open-loop is the crudest way of controlling etch depth. It relies on ensuring that every aspect of the process that can affect the rate of progress of the etch is kept under tight control. This can add up to a sizeable list. Table 5 shows just some parameters that affect both wet and dry etching.

Whethe
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8.3.4 Etchants and protectants: sulphur hexafluoride/oxygen plasma etching of siliconL

A high etch rate requires a highly reactive etchant, forming a gaseous reaction product that we don't have to remove in a separate process. We have considered chlorine and bromine as etchants, but the reactivity series for simple radicals is F > O > Cl > N > Br > H, so we would prefer to use fluorine or oxygen.

Oxides are almost always solids, with the notable exception of carbon dioxide. This makes O2 the plasma etchant of choice for carbon compounds, as the rapid etch selec
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8.2 Wet etches: acids and bases

The simplest etches use a liquid solvent that converts the material into a soluble compound or a gas. Unfortunately, most materials used in micro-devices have few soluble compounds, so some very aggressive chemicals are needed to attack them. Here is a list of some of the most commonly used ones:

  • Hydrofluoric acid (chemical formula HF) is used to convert silicon dioxide into water-soluble H2SiF6 (plus some hydrogen and water). It
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3.5.1 Contact mode

Contact mode produces images with the highest resolution. This is because when the probe tip is as close as it can be to the surface, the influence of atoms other than the one directly under the probe tip is relatively small. This is a simple geometrical effect – if the tip were withdrawn a large distance from the surface, a large number of atoms would be at a very similar distance from the tip, and therefore would have a similar contribution to the overall force. In contact mode, the repul
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3.3 The scanning tunnelling microscope

The first scanning probe microscope, the scanning tunnelling microscope (STM), was invented by Heinrich Rohrer and Gerd Binnig in 1981, and used the quantum-mechanical effect of electron tunnelling (in which electrons ‘tunnel’ through an energy barrier that classical physics would suggest is too high to cross). In this instance, the energy barrier is the tendency of the metal of the probe tip to want to hang on to its electrons. In effect, as you try to remove an electron from the surface
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