# About our Mission

As told through excerpts from our Substack:

# Our Purpose

Collectively we are increasingly aware that our orientation towards reality is not optimal. Our beliefs about the nature of reality are in need of a reset. The main fissure is that objective and subjective reality are much closer together than we have been led to believe. Objectivity and subjectivity are not a dualism but rather a spectrum. At their extremes they are paradoxical, but reality is defined by their mixture. We can reframe and resolve many contemporary issues when we realize we are treating some ideas as being more objective than they actually are, and other ideas as much more subjective than is really the case.

We are entering a moment of collective kairos (opens new window). We are starting to understand all the different symptoms of our cultural malaise. What I found in systems engineering is simply one manifestation of the problem. I believe we may yet find the wisdom to act at the moment of kairos and positively reorient society towards a new equilibrium point. The moment is almost upon us, it is not yet passed so whether we make it or not remains to be seen. The purpose of buildonomy is to participate in this moment, acting within my niche of systems engineering. I believe the full potential for engineering to be both deeply personally rewarding and culturally meaningful is much greater than has yet been realized. It is only when we can collectively and dynamically realize relevance, balancing between the two poles of individual genius and collective process that we will unleash the full potential of the creative collective spirit of transformation that engineering represents.

# Some of Our Beliefs

By creating, curating, sharing, and using models, we are implicitly participating in creating collective identity. Models are only relevant if they bind to reality through joining with semantically structured context. Therefore, by collectively creating models, we are binding them to a source of truth related to our organization. The models are relevant insofar as the organization intends to use them. The identity of any organization is isomorphic with the set of models that the organization manipulates. Any organization acts through its models. Models form how the organization senses, interprets, learns, and acts within its cultural niche.

Why is this pedantry and word-smithing important? If we can understand the relationship between model, configuration, and their sources of relevance, then we can start to understand and interact with organizations, and product development in less idiosyncratic ways. We don't need another app to stovepipe off more organizational functions. We need to imbue our capacity for model building and action with a lingua franca that allows us to pull in whatever discipline and whatever automation fits our needs and describe our actions and intentions clearly along the way. When we understand why we hold on to information and why we disseminate it within an organization, not only can we can better communicate the value proposition of our ideas by relating them directly to the collective's sources of relevance, we can also save our organization from ossification and informational cancer by starting to automatically collect the garbage that's choking up our shared information channels.

Excerpted from Sources of Relevance (opens new window)

# About Andrew Lyjak

When I was a kid I wanted to be a garbage man, then an astronaut, then a physicist, then finally I settled on rocket scientist. What do all these have in common? If we ignore the first one, it's pretty clear I've loved exploring since an early age. Even picking up garbage speaks to a certain kind of exploration. Much of what we've learned about social sciences is through looking at what we throw away and what we hoard. I think it's safe to say I've always imagined myself as an explorer in one shape or another, be it of our internal or external worlds. Most of my education was spent training to explore that most external of worlds—outer space—but most of my career has actually been oriented towards our internal worlds. In a way, I have become that garbage man that I initially set out to be.


I feel that something is deeply maladapted about the way we go about working together on collective projects. In a sense, SpaceX and NASA both represent opposing poles on a spectrum of organizational theories. They represent thesis and antithesis to one another. NASA's engineering is most characterized by their artifacts: their standards, requirements, and processes by which they constrain their engineering. SpaceX's engineering is most characterized by their people. What then is their synthesis?

I've had a hard time creating an "elevator pitch" for what my core interests are ever since I really started being an engineer. I've always been most fulfilled as a systems engineer but I've always been dissatisfied with the process and toolbox a traditional systems engineering education promotes. One cannot extract systems engineering into its own discipline, for by its nature systems engineering is the very substrate by which an engineering organization coordinates. If I have to pick sides I agree with the SpaceX approach. The proper ordering of process versus individual is that the individual uses processes as tools, not that individual creativity is fundamentally constrained by process. I just don't believe we have the protocol in place that makes the SpaceX paradigm scale to meet our global challenges. When primacy is placed on the individual it means our collective work must be collaborative, it must be social. It cannot be rigid or tyrannical. This is what it is to engineer, it is to be creative together within our shared social reality.