I'm looking forward to the VistA Expo meeting in Seattle Sep 11-14, 2012. I'll be hosting a screening and discussion of Nora Bateson's film An Ecology of Mind, A Daughter's Portrait of Gregory Bateson. I don't think Nora will make it, but I spent a fair amount of time with her as she was developing the film, so I have some idea of what she was trying to say.
Gregory Bateson was one of the earliest systems theorists, applying cybernetic thinking to social systems. He unabashedly spoke of the whole as a collections of relationships - an ecology of mind - rather than just the sum of the functional parts. I discovered Gregory Bateson's work well after doing my early work with VistA, but I recognized that we were dealing with many of the same issues... and the same problems of communicating. The overwhelming focus today is on the "dots" - with little attention being paid to the connections. Gregory Bateson tried to focus on the connectors. Bateson attended the Macy Conferences of the 1950's that were foundational to modern computing and information systems theory.
Hopefully, this can serve as a springboard for futher discussions about health IT architectures..