Two of the properties of sound that we have examined from an objective stance, frequency and amplitude, have a fundamental importance to our appreciation of sound and music. In this section I want to look more closely at the subjective interpretation of these two properties of sound. I should stress that I am talking about sine-wave sounds in this section. The complex, non-sinusoidal sounds encountered in music add extra layers of complexity to the relationships I am discussing here.

Ke
Author(s): The Open University

One drawback of the amplitude as I have defined it is that although it allows the relative sizes of sine waves to be compared, it does not give a good idea of what a sine wave can deliver in absolute terms. For instance, a sine wave with an amplitude of 10 volts has twice the amplitude of one with an amplitude of 5 volts. But is a power source that delivers a sine wave with an amplitude of 10 volts as powerful as, say, a 10 volt battery? Could you use it to drive a bulb and get the same illum
Author(s): The Open University

Another important property of a sine wave we need to be able to specify is its amplitude. In essence, the amplitude of a sine wave is its size. Unfortunately there are various ways of defining what is meant by the size of a sine wave, and you are likely to come across many of them in material you look at outside this unit. Before I explain what our definition is, it will help matters if we look at what is meant by the average value of a sine wave.

Figure 16 shows a sinusoidally a
Author(s): The Open University

The speed of sound has a joint relationship with both the wavelength and the frequency of the sound. To see why, recall that at the end of Section 2.5, in connection with the wave produced by a tuning fork, I said â€˜in the time it has taken for the source to go through one cycle of oscillation, the wave h
Author(s): The Open University

There are many more methods that are regarded as systems approaches for managing complexity (e.g. Rosenhead, 1989a; Flood and Carson, 1988; Flood and Jackson, 1991; Mingers and Gill, 1997; Francois, 1997; Flood, 1999; Jackson, 2000). The systems practitioners responsible for developing these come from a varied background, but in the main their experiences are similar to those described for Checkland, Beer, Espejo and the T301 team. All wanted to be able either to take action that stakeholders
Author(s): The Open University

I have already introduced various systems methods. Behind all of these methods, there has generally been a champion, a promoter aided by countless co-workers, students, etc. To paraphrase the French sociologist of technology, Bruno Latour: we are never confronted with a systems method, but with a gamut of weaker and stronger associations; thus understanding what a method is, is the same task as understanding who the people are.

A method, like any social technology, depends on many peopl
Author(s): The Open University

I think for most people, the CSA case study 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, just as the government minister did in Activity 42, you would not d
Author(s): The Open University

Initially, I would like you to notice whether and how your appreciation of the phrase â€˜managing complexityâ€™ has changed since you started the unit. As you work through Section 4 you will encounter a number of ways of thinking about complexity that may be new to you, so it becomes important to record your developing understanding. To help you with this, return to your notes on Author(s): The Open University

As outlined in Table 3, ethics within systemic practice are perceived as operating on multiple levels. Like the systems concept of hierarchy, what we perceive to be good at one level might be bad at another. Because an epistemological position must be chosen, rather than taken as a g
Author(s): The Open University

It is often claimed that the essence of a systems approach is that of seeing the world in a special way. This immediately prompts the question of what is meant by the phrase â€˜seeing the worldâ€™. Because we live so intimately with the world of objects, categories and people and phenomena, we tend to think our own way of seeing the world is the only way, or even of thinking, â€˜Well that is my view because the world is like thatâ€™. Actually, your view is special in several separate ways.
Author(s): The Open University

The last activity was a demanding task. People I asked to do it during the writing of this unit, found it took a lot of concentration but it brought up lots of ideas, feelings and suggestions for action. Most of them were also concerned their rich picture might not be good enough. I imagine you will share some of these reactions. If you share any of these concerns, remember there are lots of ways of drawing a good rich picture and almost all rich pictures can be improved. Improving your rich
Author(s): The Open University

Not much of this unit conforms to the traditional pattern I mentioned earlier â€“ the theory-example-exercise pattern. In particular, you will find you are expected to discover much of it for yourself. Why is this? This is a legitimate question and deserves a full answer. One year, a student at a residential summer school complained I had not taught him properly. I was, he told me, an expert and so why did I not demonstrate how to tackle the problem he was working on and pass my expertise on
Author(s): The Open University

Welcome to T306_2 Managing complexity: a systems approach â€“ introduction. As I write, I experience a sense of excitement. For me, as for you, this is the beginning of the unit. These are the first few sentences I'm writing and so, although I have a good idea of how the unit is going to turn out, the details are by no means clear. Nevertheless, the excitement and anticipation I, and maybe you, are experiencing now is an important ingredient in what will become our experiences of the u
Author(s): The Open University

An innovation that is compatible with the experiences, values and needs of its potential buyers will be adopted more rapidly than one that isn't compatible. For example mobile phones have spread rapidly because they are compatible with social and cultural trends towards faster communications, increased personal mobility and the desirability of high-tech gadgets. However the car seat belt, patented in 1903, wasn't adopted on any significant scale until the 1970s (Author(s): The Open University

Many inventors have said that having the idea for an invention is the easy part. This is often demonstrated by the frequency of examples of simultaneous invention. At one exhibition of inventions I attended there were three separate portable ladders to escape from fires, two systems for using rainwater to flush toilets, two types of portable vehicle wheel clamp, and two methods of reducing red-eye in flash photography. In most cases of technological innovation only one of the competing techno
Author(s): The Open University

There are examples where either technology or the market appears to be more significant in stimulating invention but the majority of innovations involve a creative coupling of technological and market factors. In some respects successful innovation is a case of the survival of the fittest. Failure can come both from not getting the technology right and from misjudging the market. Success is more likely if the focus is not too one-dimensional but rather a balance between technology and market
Author(s): The Open University

Analogy draws on similar situations to provide ideas for invention and design. Alexander Graham Bell used the analogy of the human ear when designing telephone apparatus to receive sound. As mentioned above, his first receivers were much better than his transmitters where the analogy with the ear didn't work as well. When devising their flying machine, the Wright brothers used the analogy of soaring birds twisting their wings to restore balance. They designed the wings of their aircraft to be
Author(s): The Open University

The discovery of new materials, exploration of their properties and the invention of new industrial processes is a huge field of study in its own right. The potential rewards for a company discovering a successful application of a new material are great.

An example of this is shape memory alloys (SMAs). SMAs are mixtures of metals that, after being stress treated, can be deformed significantly but then triggered to return to their original shape. Some display unusual elastic properties
Author(s): The Open University

Even though an invention will have been thoroughly tested before launch it's not possible for a company to test its performance in every situation in which it will be used. Real users are likely to discover how the product might not perform well or how it doesn't meet their needs. Once a company learns about these deficiencies it can address them through redesign. There are a number of incentives to do this: improve the product's performance in order to increase its appeal to larger numbers o
Author(s): The Open University

Some companies have an offensive strategy in which they aim to be first to market with a new product. Such companies can be a major source of new products. This is risky as it requires a large investment in developing the product and cultivating the market before any return can be expected from sales. However it can be the most rewarding strategy, especially if the market can be sustained by continual incremental improvements to the product and the market share defended against competi
Author(s): The Open University