This weblog explores VISTA and its underlying principles. VISTA is a lever to change the world, to improve healthcare for humanity. It requires its users and programmers to become lifelong students, because its complexity approaches that of medicine itself, which it models and supports. I invite community members to comment so we can improve our understanding and explanation. I invite those new to VISTA to read from the beginning, including those comments, and to ask questions.
Manifesto for Agile Software Development
We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan
That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.This short statement encapsulates how VA revolutionized itself with VISTA, by creating Golden Pairs consisting of programmers and medical practitioners who worked together doing medical-software R&D, letting the discoveries, the experimental evidence from trying things out together, shape the organic and extremely rapid evolution of world-class medical software.
Principles behind the Agile Manifesto
We follow these principles:
Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage.
Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
Working software is the primary measure of progress.
Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount of work not done--is essential.
The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.I encourage everyone interested in helping VA achieve the most from its healthcare software to learn about and spread the Agile Manifesto. This brilliant and concise frame of reference could help VA shape its next generation of IT policies in the most productive directions, to increase our ability to improve healthcare for humanity.
|The new VISTA Onion Diagram, grandchild of Tom Munnecke and George Timson's original diagram.|
|Phospholipids: their shape makes organismic life possible.|
|Micelles: Phospholipids in water form spheres.|
|Vesicles: micelles with water inside and outside.|
|Cell membranes: complex vesicles with proteins.|
|Cells: the geometry of inside & outside creates organisms.|
|Mount Tahoma: 2.9 million to 840,000 years old|
|Biology's Archaic Foundational Categories|
|Water cycles across our tidy boundaries|
|Campion sprouted from 32,000-year-old seed|
|Cowpea Mosaic Virus: alive but not quite an organism|
|DNA: just a molecule|
|Prions: also just a molecule, yet infectious and reproduce|
|Ganges River Delta: measurable, non-organismic life|
Opinions differ on whether viruses are a form of life, or organic structures that interact with living organisms. They have been described as "organisms at the edge of life", since they resemble organisms in that they possess genes and evolve by natural selection, and reproduce by creating multiple copies of themselves through self-assembly. Although they have genes, they do not have a cellular structure, which is often seen as the basic unit of life. Viruses do not have their own metabolism, and require a host cell to make new products. They therefore cannot naturally reproduce outside a host cell – although bacterial species such as rickettsia and chlamydia are considered living organisms despite the same limitation. Accepted forms of life use cell division to reproduce, whereas viruses spontaneously assemble within cells. They differ from autonomous growth of crystals as they inherit genetic mutations while being subject to natural selection. Virus self-assembly within host cells has implications for the study of the origin of life, as it lends further credence to the hypothesis that life could have started as self-assembling organic molecules.In other words, any fool can see that viruses are alive, but likewise we can see they are not organisms, so which is more important to us, that it has the qualities of life, or that it is an organism? If we had a proper definition of life, we would not have to waste a moment on such inane, useless arguments. It is an obvious form of non-organismic life that we have tried to torture to make it fit the Procrustean Bed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procrustes) of our biological categories.
|1) Earth: alive but not an organism|
|2) Organs: not organisms; are they then dead?|
|3) Waterfall, river, ecosystem: dead or alive?|
|4) Staircase: dead?|
|A nudibranch and a sea squirt, both classically alive|
|A buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)|
|The coconut octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus)|
|(See the version of the diagram at the webinar for a larger image.)|
|Verstand's illusion about life: make wholes from parts.|
|Monsters, not people, are made of parts.|
|Life's true structure: integrated centers.|
|Life unfolds new centers, one after another.|
|Our arms and legs form as buds, new centers unfolding.|
|Not a machine, but an ecosystem.|
|All the world's a stage - to us. Mimesis powers Begriff.|
|In his mind, Einstein role-played light.|
|Learning through mimesis (age 2).|
|Verstand sees parts. Begriff sees life.|