Sarah Sheard's Thoughts and Theories

Monday, June 19, 2006

First Post

Sarah Sheard has decided to update herself and get with the blog flow.

First of all: WHICH Sarah Sheard am I? No, not the Canadian author, though I have conversed with her and she's delightful. No, not the dragon boat racer, nor the recruiter, nor the twenty-something other blogger... I am the systems engineering geek, well enough covered on the web that you can probably find me... except that mostly what you find is me in my old job, thus:

Second of all: WHERE am I? I have left my previous employment with "The Consortium" (Sounds like Sci-Fi, I know) and have started my own company...for details, see I am not happy with my current web site and am soliciting help and advice for improving it, by the way. My skills however lie elsewhere, neither in programming nor in giving specific requirements so that someone else who does only programming can fulfill my requirements. I need someone who has a good grasp of what I want to actually help, make recommendations, do some things and show me, and take initiative. You know how to contact me if you're the person I'm looking for.

Third: What am I trying to do? Many things!

1) Introduce the worlds of systems engineering and the complex systems sciences, including chaos, complexity theory, and research into complex systems and how they act. If you have read books by Strogatz, Barabasi, Bar-Yam, Holland, Waldrop, Watts, Buchanan, and Lewin, that's what I mean by Complex Systems Sciences. I have a drawing of what I call the "Complexity Quagmire" that I make available to those who are interested.

2) Build up my new business. Note please that this is second in priority, not first. I find myself in the extremely happy position of having work fall on me, and being able to turn down a lot of work that is usually associated with the 40+ papers I published during my first ten years in INCOSE (the International Council on Systems Engineering, that is stuff I'm still interested in somewhat, but not as much as #1. See, for example, #3 below.

3) Other professional interests. Systems engineering improvement, systems engineering curriculum development and training, process improvement, the importance of paying attention to security in software-intensive systems, definitions and value of systems engineering and how to make it valuable to you, whether you are the government or a small project or business.

4) Interests other than professional: Being a mom (2 older teens), music (violin, temporarily on hold while I get #2 above going), folkdancing, work with gifted children, languages (Spanish, French, a bit of Japanese, a few words of numerous others, and even teaching ESL), trying to keep myself fit, health care (enough to know about celiac and other interesting syndromes), sewing and a few other crafts, group psychology, watching TV you wouldn't predict I'd watch, and anything that smacks of being truly and deliciously odd.

That's plenty for a first post. I'd be thrilled to have comments, suggestions, help with the blog, recommendations on my website, anyone interested in joining any of my alien interests, etc.


  • Oh goodie! I get to leave the first comment on Sarah Sheard's new blog! Let me just say, people, that I know Sarah well and she is deeply, deeply weird. In a good way. I know this because she is married to my equally weird brother and they have two doubly weird kids. Thoughts and theories? This ought to be good!

    By Blogger Margaret, at 6:25 PM  

  • Margaret, do I know a Margaret? Oh THAT Margaret, the Ranchera!
    HI! (Waves from the libral east)

    By Blogger SarahSheard, at 7:53 PM  

  • Sarah,

    I do not agree with Margaret, IMHO you and your blog are pretty neat!!!

    Complexity theory or not!

    Congratulations on your first blog!

    Now get back to the gym!


    By Blogger rc2006, at 7:55 AM  

  • Hi from the heart of Texas! Ah, but you DO agree with me, RC2006. Deeply, deeply weird = pretty neat. It's complex!

    By Blogger Margaret, at 5:32 PM  

  • How many kinds of thrilled can I possibly be? You probably know, but the question was rhetorical. I'll be checking in here as often as *life* allows! I have to figure out how to email your "Life Skills" page to the Queen of Teenage Angst. Good on ya, Sarah!

    By Anonymous Susan, at 7:51 PM  

  • Ahhhhhhh, Sarah!!!!!
    Wonderful! ... as to be expected! :) 'Bout time you shared your ideas with an even broader audience! ... hmmmmm,.... perhaps to be turned into a book someday? ... "Stream of Consciousness" with Sarah. :) Love it!!!


    By Anonymous Gay, at 4:03 PM  

  • Hey this is starting to sound like a fan club, I love it! Can I get all of you to dance like the chorus girls in "Little Shop of Horrors"? That would be my fantasy anyway, having people like that to narrate my life.

    OK, I have unusual fantasies. No one ever calls me normal.


    (At least, no one ever calls me normal twice!)

    By Blogger SarahSheard, at 3:02 PM  

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