Overcoming ASIDS-Indigestion

(ASIDS = Acquired System Inquiry Deficiency Syndrome)

Montréal, July 1, 2000


Like many others who have worked for large, transnational corporations (in my case, in petroleum exploration), by the time I 'retired' from this realm, my impression was that the 'system' within which I had been a constituent-participant had gone over the brink and was on the slippery slopes of degeneration with respect to the primacy of community interests over profit-based competitive interests. It seemed as if it had seriously deteriorated on 'my watch' (from 1964 to 1996) with respect to the way the constituency of people making up the business 'community' were treating the human constituents of the business 'community'.

There were a lot of fine words to explain this deterioration which put 'survival of the fittest' into the primacy over the whole-and-part harmony of community and environment, such as a 're-focusing on shareholder value', the need for greater 'agility' and 'increased competition' and all that, but the end result was that large, globalizing business was and is progressively strip-mining its own host environment in order to deliver increased profits to its hosts. This 'cannibalistic' approach raises questions as to the nature of 'community' as in 'business community', and brings to mind the words of T.S. Eliot which would have one reflect on the meaning of 'community';

"When the Stranger says: 'What is the meaning of this city?
Do you huddle close together because you love each other?
What will you answer? 'We all dwell together
To make money from each other? or 'This is a community'?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . T. S. Eliot, Choruses from 'The Rock'

Similarly, Adam Smith, most well known for his 1776 work, 'The Wealth of Nations' on laissez faire economics, had included in his thinking, as expressed in his earlier work 'The Theory of Moral Sentiments', not just 'self-interest' as in the degenerate 'survival of the fittest' situation, but 'self-love' which included an orientation to cultivating opportunity for others as one worked to satisfy one's own aspirations. (Ref. 'The Ownership Solution' by Jeff Gates). Smith observed;

"Man according to the Stoics, ought to regard himself, not as something separated and detached, but as a citizen of the world, a member of the vast commonwealth of nature . . . and to the interest of this great community, he ought at all times to be willing that his own little interest should be sacrificed."

Smith's above observation was made in 1759, a century before Darwin's theory of 'natural selection' or popular interpretations thereof, cast a rather different light on the character and role of 'competition' in the 'natural order' of things.

While the 'social Darwinist' ethic of 'survival of the fittest' (moderated by a vision of 'trickle-down economics') leads directly to linear control hierarchies (see Henri Laborit, 'L'Eloge de la Fuite'), it is not just 'management' within those control hierarchies that might usefully reflect on the nature of 'community', ... the employee pension plans of management and labor, which constitute the larger portion of investment funds, invest aggressively in companies and funds which are central to the strip-mining process. So there seems to be a race underway by all of the constituents in the community to get 'a piece of the action', ... an action which stripmines its host community, ... acquiring the 'most performant' of resources while excluding the 'less performant' in a continuing cycle of perfectionist 'selection' which refines and enriches the included few while it expands and impoverishes the excluded many.

The role of government in this focus on an exclusionary 'natural selection' has not gone unnoticed to the youth of Québec, who are balking as the adult establishment encourages them to join with them in embracing the current dysfunctional system. At 'le Sommet du Québec et de la jeunesse' earlier this year, a summit meeting between youth and the government punctuated by teargas attacks by police on protesting youth, the youth organizations of Québec affirmed that "les "véritables priorités" sont la lutte contre la pauvreté et l'exclusion, ... quoique les priorités d'action du gouvernement soient, de toute evidence, "la compétitivité des entreprises et la compétition entre les jeunes qui mettent hors-jeu les moins performants. " ("the 'true priorities are the battle against poverty and exclusion, ... while the priority actions of the government are manifestly 'the competitiveness of enterprise and competition amongst youth which puts the 'less-performant' out of play").

The youth of Québec said much more; ... they said that they were certain that 'le Sommet du Québec et de la jeunesse'; "is a hypocritical exercise, which is 'rigged', and voiced their demand . . "que le gouvernement s'engagent à léguer une société plus équitable aux générations futures, à éliminer la discrimination systémique envers certains groupes afin de refléter les diverses composantes de la société québécoises dans la cultivation d'une harmonie parmi le tout et la partie." ("that the government engage [with local and global community] so as to bring about a more just society for future generations, to eliminate the systemic discrimination towards certain segments and cultivate a harmony of whole and part amongst the diverse constituencies which make up Québec society")

Their pleas appeared to land on deaf ears, and the model of community as raw resource which can be mined to fuel a global economy based on 'natural selection' continues on in Québec as it does in most parts of the world.

So what's happened to the old notion of community as an emergent network of cooperation which opens up opportunity for all of its constituents?, ... in the manner of a community of geese who fly together in a 'V' formation because the aerodynamics of the cooperative 'V' formation lowers the average effort required to less than 70% of what it would be otherwise, allowing all individuals to fly faster and farther, ... where the leadership re-forms instantly out of any point on the 'V' when turbulence or interference impacts the current flight direction, ... where each constituent 'honks out encouragement' to his containing constituency (community), and where, if a constituent is sick or injured and forced to break out of the formation, another will always accompany it and assist it until it is ready to rejoin the cooperative constituency.

Our culture does not seem to embrace the 'goose principle', but instead, follows the suspect notion of 'natural selection' and 'survival of the fittest', as measured and secured by the accumulation of wealth and power.

Something is apparently out of joint here, as T.S. Eliot implies, ... do we come together in 'community' in order to cultivate opportunity for each other, or to stripmine our joint community resource pool seen as a poker pot, according to the principle of 'natural selection'?

My 'take' on this, by the time I left the 'business community', was that we were suffering from a serious 'Acquired Systems Inquiry Deficiency Syndrome' (ref. www.goodshare.org/asids.htm). That is, something in our mode of systems inquiry was undermining our ability to effectively inquire into systems. In reflecting on 'ASIDS', I compared this self-debilitating effect to the pre-Pasteur surgeon who, having no concept of 'bacteria', didn't bother to wash his hands and who instead believed in the theory of 'spontaneous infection' emanating from innate localized 'weaknesses' within the patient. Thus his surgical inquiry into what was wrong with his patient, which may have produced complications far worse than the initial complaint, was always attributable to 'spontaneous infection', a type of theorizing reminiscent of the 'epicycles' of Ptolemy, a 'catch-all' which excluded relational interference information and preserved the theoretical status quo.

Problems can always be seen in terms of something defective in the patient (the object of inquiry), rather than in terms of something defective in the system of inquiry itself. The 'loop-the-loops' of Mars, due to the assumption that the earth was the center of the solar system (and universe), was assumed to be due to the properties and behavior of Mars, rather than an artifact of the system of inquiry. Similarly, the diagnosis of mental illnesses, is influenced by referencing behavior to a 'normality' which Laing describes in the following terms; "What we call 'normal' is a product of repression, denial, splitting, projection, introjection and other forms of destructive action on experience. It is radically estranged from the structure of being."

The general pattern here is that there is a failure to recognize that the anomalous behavior one is witnessing, which is seemingly 'out there' in the object of inquiry, can instead be a function of the theoretical lenses which one is using to view the phenomena. If information relative to the lenses themselves is excluded from the inquiry, then a fundamental evolution of the theory will not be possible and applications based on the theory will likely infuse dysfunction into the system. If scientific theory and its applications transform the world which hosts the scientific effort, ... if there is reciprocity between the observer and the object of his inquiry, ... then the scientific theory must take this reciprocity into account it is to lead to an understanding of the way the world works. In essence, science must 'jam' with the object of their inquiry since science is an included feature of the system it is inquiring into. While the general theory of relativity and quantum physics require the inclusion of the observer in the object of his inquiry, ... mainstream science resists an embrace of these relativistic implications and continues to exclude information associated with space-matter reciprocity (i.e. reciprocity between the constituent and his containing constituency).

Now there is a potential obstacle here when the nominal 'experts' who are responsible for explaining how particular phenomena 'work' and whose theory is the basis for the development of techniques to manage these phenomena, are the source of the dysfunction which their theory has them see as emanating solely from the phenomena 'out there'. The science 'expert', supported by his own deficient theory, is wont to see the phenomena as the source of the dysfunction, rather than his theory amplified by management practice based on his theory. In this case, he will automatically and habitually exclude information associated with his theory and theory-based management practice from consideration as he proceeds in his investigation of the source of rising phenomenal complexity. In other words, he will exclude the tools of his inquiry from his inquiry.

For example, many of the followers of Isaac Newton (those of us of the Western culture), are quick to point out the benefits of Newton's laws, making statements such as 'they were good enough to get us to the moon' etc., ... but not so quick to concede the social dysfunction induced by the application of these laws (inertial frames and linear time) in management and regulatory practice, ... dysfunction which arises through the exclusion of critical 'relational' information, without which, the behavior of the phenomena cannot be understood.

For example, Newton's First Law of Motion might more aptly be determined the 'First Law of Ego-Centrism', since it says; "Every body perseveres in its state of rest, of or uniform motion in a straight line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it." In spite of the fact that we are each uniquely immersed within an ongoing evolutionary relativistic co-dynamic, this law has us view the objects of our inquiry as if they are in a state of rest, just because they are at rest relative to us. In effect, this law would have us redefine motion with respect to ourselves, i.e. Newton's first law is equivalent to saying; 'when a body is at rest relative to myself, it is truly at rest', ... and the 'me' in this case can represent the 'individual', the 'culture', the business organization, the nation, the species, or whatever viewpoint we would like to associate with.

This transparently ego-centric, ethno-centric, politico-centric, anthropocentric point of view underpins the analytical perspective of the western world. It would have one ignore the fact that we share space-time with multiple constituents with multiple unique realities who are impelled by multiple unique purposes within a relativistic evolutionary codynamic. To assume that everything else is at rest while we plan our own movements in support of our own purpose is to 'play the game' like the poor pool player, who makes his shots without consideration of how he is effecting the landscape of opportunity for the multiple constituents (balls) of the game whose positioning within the codynamic and whose purpose relative to the shape of opportunity are unique. The result of his embrace of Newton's first law, which excludes information relevant to the unique opportunity and purpose experienced by the multiple constituents of space, is that he infuses dissonance into the evolving codynamic, and then identifies such dissonance as a characteristic of the 'system out there', the 'object of his inquiry', rather than recognizing the dysfunction as emanating from his deficient mode of inquiry.

This excluding of information relative to how the observer's theory-based viewing of the object of inquiry effects his response to the system he is inquiring into constitutes a 'systems inquiry deficiency' since, unless he includes such information, he will be unable to achieve the needed expansion of the theoretical paradigm and will continue to revise and adapt his theory so as to explain the artifacts of defects within his theory which he falsely sees as being the true behaviors of the system he is inquiring into.

Thus the pre-Copernican astronomer will revise and refine his earth-centric theory to explain the 'loop-the-loops' of Mars by adding the notion of 'epicycles', seeing the 'loop-the-loops' as behavior emanating solely from the 'system out there' (the motions of the planets), rather than as artifacts of his mode of inquiry.

Thus the surgeon will revise and refine his 'in-situ infection' theory to explain the variations in the rate of infection by postulating rising weaknesses within the physiology of the body of patients, seeing the infections as emanating solely from the 'system out there' (the propensity of the flesh to become inflamed), rather than as artifacts of his mode of inquiry.

Thus the psychiatrist will revise and refine his 'normality referenced' diagnostic theory to explain the rise in the incidence of schizophrenia and depression, seeing the rise as behavior emanating solely from the 'system out there' (the patient's evolving psychological makeup), rather than as artifacts of his mode of inquiry (e.g. artifacts of his statistical 'normality' reference).

And, in the case of ASIDS, the scientist will revise and refine his 'material-causal' theory to explain rising social and environmental dysfunction, seeing the rise as behavior emanating solely from the 'system out there' (the material-causal dynamics), rather than as artifacts of his materialist mode of inquiry.

The geometry of this 'exclusionary' scientific philosophy which preserves and protects existing theory by confusing behaviors which are induced by the inquiry with behaviors solely attributable to the object of inquiry, can be seen more clearly by looking at one of the classic historical cases in point, where experts who were contaminating the phenomena they were investigating and managing, refused to allow the tools of their inquiry to be included in their inquiry, i.e. ... the case of Ignaz Semmelweis and puerperal fever. 'Puerperal fever only became a serious problem when large hospitals providing lying-in facilities were built in cities during the 19th century. Maternal mortality rates from this illness frequently ranged from 20% to 30% and in at least one instance reached 96% for one hospital during one month in 1846.'

* * *

Ignaz Phillip Semmelweis

From the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine:

Many men have been endowed with clear intellects and hearts full of love for their fellow men, with the enthusiasm of humanity, and they have been enabled to achieve some signal service for the human race in their day and generation; but in the whole history of medicine there is only one Semmelweis in the magnitude of his services to Mankind, and in the depths of his sufferings from contemporary jealous stupidity and ingratitude.

The year is 1846. The scene is the Viennese General Hospital, the largest of its kind in the world. Semmelweis gets a job as obstetrical assistant.

Semmelweis notices that three times as many women are dying at the hands of the medical students than at the hands of the midwifery students from puerperal fever, commonly known at the time as, "the black death of the childbed." "In the medical school division the mortality from puerperal fever was so terrifying that this division became notorious," Semmelweis describes. "There were heart rendering scenes when [pregnant] patients knelt down, wringing their hands, to beg for a transfer [to the midwifery division]...."

Why the discrepancy? The food and ventilation was the same in both divisions. If anything, surgical skill was better in the medical school and overcrowding less. The idea at the time was that the excess mortality was due to the emotional strain of being examined by male students, since the midwives were all female. So the elders of the Medical School met in council and proceeded to exclude the foreign students from the hospital on the ground that they were, "rougher in their examination than the Viennese." Death rates didn't change.

Before Lister, before Pasteur, Semmelweis made the connection between the autopsies the medical students were doing and the, "examining finger which introduces the cadaveric particles." In May 1847 he required every medical student to wash his hands with a chlorine solution before making an examination and the death rate plummeted. For the first time in the history of the Vienna Hospital, the mortality rate at the medical school fell below that of the school of midwives.

Publish and Perish

Knighted, no doubt, for the discovery of the century? Hardly. Historians believe his doctrine was unpalatable to colleagues since it implied that the obstetricians were the cause of death. He shared this knowledge with his superiors. From the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine: "The suggestion was unheard of! Indeed, it was sheer impertinence to suggest that the Accoucheur to the Imperial household should carry contagion upon his hands." Semmelweis was summarily dismissed.

So he lectured, he wrote papers; he continued to be ridiculed. Doctors regarded antisepsis as a poor joke. His successor in Vienna publicly stated that the doctrine was, "discredited and universally rejected." Semmelweis wrote a book, The Cause, Nature, and Prevention of Puerperal Fever, expecting it to save thousands of lives, but it was ignored.

So he turned from academics to polemics. He started to publish open letters to midwifery professors. "Your teaching... is based on the dead bodies of... women slaughtered through ignorance. If... you continue to teach your students and midwives that puerperal fever is an ordinary epidemic disease, I proclaim you before God and the world to be an assassin...."

By the summer of 1865 he had taken to the streets of Budapest thrusting circulars into the hands of startled pedestrians. "The peril of childbed fever menaces your life! Beware of doctors for they will kill you.... Unless everything that touches you is washed with soap and water and then chlorine solution, you will die and your child with you!"

Semmelweis, at the age of 47, the father of three young children was committed to an insane asylum in Vienna. He attempted to escape, but was forcibly restrained by several guards, secured in a straight jacket, and confined in a darkened cell. The asylum guards beat him severely.

Quoting from the Bulletin of the History of Medicine, "He was not in the asylum for long. Thirteen days after admission he was dead." From the autopsy report: "It is obvious that these horrible injuries were... the consequences of brutal beating, tying down, trampling underfoot."

* * *

And so it goes.

... "Historians believe his doctrine was unpalatable to colleagues since it implied that the obstetricians were the cause of death."

Now, just try 'selling' a theory to today's scientists which says that scientists are the cause of the complexity that they are studying, that they are authorities on.

Today, the contamination of complex social and environmental phenomena by the application of scientific theory which is supposed to explain and manage it, is rampant. Those who see science and technology as causing more problems that they resolve, due to a blindness to the induced environmental effects of the applications of science, have little voice in the matter, and are often mocked since they are not considered 'expert'. So science continues on as an engine of dysfunction, and the experts seem as resistant as they were in Semmelweis's day to the notion that they are the cause of dysfunction that their theory falsely attributes to 'the natural order of things'.

For example, science tells us that evolution proceeds by the process of natural selection, a competition wherein the 'fittest' survive, and since this is the 'natural order of things', we accept and emulate this pattern within our social dynamics.

Even though history shows us that our false theoretical assumptions can confound our perception, inquiry and response by confusing theoretical artifacts with behaviors attributed to the system (object) of inquiry, new generations of theorists may or may not possess the humility to allow their tools of inquiry to be included in the inquiry. Does our culture allow the political leader or manager to say; ... perhaps the dysfunction that I see 'out there' in the world and which I am trying to manage is coming from the assumptions which underpin my perception inquiry and response to the world.

Not very likely. We are not trained, in our culture, to be equivocal in our JUDGEMENTS as to what constitutes 'good' or 'bad' behavior, and when we see others doing aberrant 'loop-the-loops' in defiance of what we consider 'normal behavior', we are unlikely to consider that these aberrant behaviors may the be artifact of our mode of inquiry.

There is a general but poorly observed scientific principle, formulated by Henri Poincaré which speaks to how fundamental assumptions in the mode of inquiry may lead to exclusion of information crucial to an understanding of the way the world works.

"It is not enough for a theory not to affirm false relations ; it must not conceal true relations"

So here we are in the year 2000, in times when a majority of biologists believe we are, by our own hand, putting ourselves on a course which will bring about our own extinction as a species, ... in times where many believe that science, in solving problems, is infusing the world with still more problems than were solved.

There seem to be a growing number of 'Semmelweis' in the scientific community and in its fringes who are saying that the complexities that science is seeking to understand are the artifacts of the mode of inquiry of science, ... and as in the historical case of Semmelweis, such conjecture is often mocked by the 'scientific authorities'.

Scientists such as Doug Caldwell (University of Saskatchewan microbiologist) and Alan Rayner (University of Bath, U.K. biologist) maintain that our notion of 'natural selection' is a mistaken one, ... that the 'organism is the environment' and that we have been excluding from consideration, the information which shows this reciprocity. Such a revised view of evolution could have profound influence on our social codynamics, but such scientific propositions, which undercut the very basis of the mainstream mode of scientific inquiry (by assuming space-matter reciprocity as in the theory of relativity), are widely mocked by the scientific establishment.

Would we continue to allow individuals and companies to compete on the basis of 'natural selection' and 'survival of the fittest' if such concepts were shown to be hogwash? Or would we refocus, in the manner of the skilled pool player, on the management of opportunity for the diverse constituents of the containing environment, as the new 'relativistic' theory would suggest?

The final portion of this essay represents a stream of consciousness associated with my preparations for presenting these ideas at the 'World Congress of the Systems Sciences' in Toronto, July 16 - 22, 2000 (http://www.isss.org/2000meet/2001anno.htm).

The purpose of the congress is expressed as follows;

"The purpose of the Congress will be to provide a scientific forum for addressing the many challenges that humankind will face in the new century. The theme will be: "Understanding Complexity: The Systems Sciences in the New Millennium."

A discussion of the propositions I will be presenting, within a panel of four, under the rubric 'Indigenous Wisdom and its Lessons for the Systems Sciences' can be found at http://www.goodshare.org/toronto.htm.

The fundamental principle which differs from mainstream science, in the propositions I present, is the same as that which underpins the heretical scientific thought of Caldwell and Rayner, ... that science is, in building its mode of inquiry upon the notion of discrete (fully independent) material entities, excluding relational information essential to an understanding of the way the world works, ... information pertaining to the reciprocal relationship between space and matter as given by the general theory of relativity. Scientific and technological applications, including management techniques, built upon these information excluding principles of mainstream science, are inducing complexity and dysfunction into our containing social and environmental container, which we are attempting to understand using the same mode of inquiry which blindly induced it. Just as we could not explain away the 'loop-the-loops' of Mars with earth-centric theory, we cannot explain away runaway schizophrenia and divisions between the 'more performant' and 'less performant' in our society, unless we begin to see these behaviors as being artifacts of our mode of inquiry.

That is, the congress' goal of 'understanding complexity' would seem to demand, rather than revisions and refinements to the current knowledge base, an abandonment of the practice of information exclusion as emanates from the 'discretist' assumption embraced by mainstream science, which ignores the reciprocal relationships between space and matter.

Scientists and systems scientists must 'wash their hands' so as to remove, in their interventions, practices which destroy container-constituent relational information necessary for the sustaining of volumetrically nested whole-and-part harmonies.

That space-matter reciprocal information excluded from consideration by modern day 'scientific discretism' plays a key role in sustaining whole-and-part codynamical unity in nature is apparent from our unconstrained observations of nature.

If we look at an image of the earth as seen from outer space, and consider the swirling weather patterns which nest within themselves without any intervening boundaries (discrete transitions), neither in space nor in time, on any scale we'd like to look at from micro up to the macro and from the microsecond to the geological era, ... from the inclusively containing space-time of the atmo-sphere to the inclusively containing space-time of the cosmos. If we look at the earth image, ... it is evident that any feature we wish to look at, .... a hurricane, a tornado, a cloud, a low pressure area, a high pressure area etc., ... is in the most general case A FEATURE OF SPACE-TIME rather than AN INDEPENDENT THING. When the feature changes, space-time changes, ... or more generally, we can say, 'when space time changes', its features change. every feature of space-time is, at the same time, and reciprocally, an aspect of the environment containing other features of space time. in other words, every feature of space-time is simultaneously its own containing environment. the CONSTITUENT IS THE CONTAINER.

Science and our western culture have been in the habit of excluding the relational information associated with this simultaneous reciprocity of 'features' and the containing space-time they are features of. We do this by the abstracting of 'features' of space-time into 'things'. What this does is to exclude the information which relates the movements of a 'feature' to its reciprocal transformation of the containing environment, the whole-and-part geometrical positioning information which is associated with 'everyfeature' (otherwise known, in our culture as 'everything').

[[This reciprocity is accounted for in the law of conservation of energy which says that there is a reciprocal tradeoff between 'kinetic energy' (the energy of 'thing-motion') and 'potential energy' (the energy of geometrical positioning within the containing environment), but this geometrical reciprocity is not taken into account in mainstream scientific and cultural 'rational' inquiry except in an 'after-the-fact' book-balancing manner.]]

Thus science and our western culture have been in the habit of constructing views of reality, methods of inquiry and methods of management, on the information-excluding basis of 'things' and their properties and behaviours, out of the context of their simultaneous reciprocity with the containing environment. i.e. when a rock rolls down the mountain, the mountain topography is changed and new opportunities are opened up for other rocks which did not exist before; i.e. the falling rock is part of the environment and as it moves the environment is reciprocally changed for it and all other 'things'.

Well, 'everybody knows' that we are excluding this information, and what I'd like to do in my presentation is to have Leonard Cohen's song 'everybody knows' (words appended below in [1]) playing in the background (to underscore how our human experience includes this relational information and how science and western rational inquiry (discretist abstraction based inquiry) excludes it.

That the rich get richer and the poor get poorer is a direct manifestation of this reciprocity. the rich get rich by virtue of their access to, and consumption of environmental opportunity, and their consumptive dynamic simultaneously, reciprocally transforms the environmental 'opportunity landscape' constituted by the constituency which we term 'environment', constraining the opportunity of others.

Ronald laing (see [2] below) nicely describes how a culture can become 'stuck' in this dysfunctional discretist 'information excluding' paradigm, .... how a culture can become mired down in an inertia of our own making;

"This group inertia can only be an instrument of mystification if it is taken to be part of the 'natural order of things'. The ideological abuse of such an idea is obvious. It so clearly serves the interests of those whose interest it is to have people believe that the status quo is of the 'natural order', ordained Divinely or by 'natural' laws .

That our culture believes that 'survival of the fittest' (natural selection) is the 'natural order' is a case in point.

As Doug Caldwell suggests, in his refutation of natural selection, 'the environment has a life of its own'. Since the environment is the full constituency of constituents (kinetically independent but positionally interdependent features) which make up the environment and allow it to be seen as a 'landscape of opportunity' based on the geometrical space-time relationships amongst the constituents. , .... notions of evolution based on individual entitities 'in their own right', such as 'natural selection', dumb-down the visualization of evolutionary relational patterns by excluding the information regarding the fact that the relative geometrical positioning of each constituent constitutes a 'landscape of opportunity' which transforms simultaneously with the relative movement of each and any constituent.

The constituent of the environmental constituency is like a pimple (feature) on the surface of the living constituency. (even Darwin conceded that 'groups evolve', thus establishing a generalizeable principle that constituencies can be seen as living, evolving organisms, which leads on to the notion of a living environment.)

The environment is decidedly NOT the simple sum of the constituents because the notion of an independent constituent is an information-excluding abstraction of the natural fact that the constituent is a feature of the living environment. 1 + 1 = 2 may 'add up' in our man-made system of algebra, and, as Poincaré asserts, we can impose this type of logic on our science, but we cannot impose it (with its implication of absolutely independent entities) on nature without excluding the critical information pertaining to the reciprocity between the constituent of space-time (organismic feature) and its containing space-time constituency (living environment). In other words, we cannot apply 1 + 1 = 2 type of logic to our understanding of the way the world works without throwing the baby out with the bath water (i.e. without excluding the space-matter reciprocity information underpinning the way the world works).

But, as a culture, we continue to 'impose' the notion of absolute independence of 'material things' upon our science and as 'everybody knows', there is NOTHING in nature which is independent of its containing environment, thus theoretical constructs which are built upon the notion of independent things and logical operations which only accept 'independent things' necessarily exclude critical geometric information on the way the world works, ... the geometric information of 'reciprocal disposition' (Einstein) of matter and space-time.

Thus, as einstein says in the evolution of physics; "[Relativity] forces us to analyze the role of geometry in the description of the physical world."

And as Poincaré says, in 'Science and Hypothesis', .."Un autre cadre que nous imposons au monde, c'est l'espace. ... celui que nos sens pourraient nous montrer differe absolument de celui du géometre." ("Space is another framework which we impose on the world, ... the space revealed to us by our senses is absolutely different from the space of geometry.") and the 'euclidian space', the abstract geometry which underpins our mainstream science and culture, which views the geometry of space as a non-participant in physical phenomena, is radically different from the reciprocal inner-outer codynamics of our volumetrically immersed sensory experience.

As we look at the imagery of the earth's atmosphere and the land and sea included inside of it ('below it' in euclidian terms) ... the 'biosphere' in which we are included constituent-participants, rather than excluded independent abstractions, ... it is easy to visualize that we are part of the whole of space-time, and that, as Ronald Laing says; "The life I am trying to grasp is the me that is trying to grasp it"

Discretism, the philosophy that the world is composed of independent things immersed in 'empty' space, is a 'perfectionist' abstraction which conflicts with our natural experience and leads to the exclusion of information pertaining to the reciprocal geometry of living features of a living environment.

If we want to understand the way the world works and to bring about a more just and harmonious future for all of its constituents, we need an inclusive information theory which acknowledges that 'the organism is the environment'. Such theory is implicit in 'indigenous wisdom'.

The information-excluding practices of our (mainstream) science and cultural approach to inquiry and management constitute a 'systems inquiry deficiency' which is progressively intensifying as we globalize our management practices.

As in Montréal's international fireworks competition held each summer, there are several different informational schemes by which the displays can be managed which appeal to different sensory preferences amongst the observing audience; i.e. the displays may be managed to produce 'realism' in a single display where the management focus is the material structural geometry of the display, ... or 'impressionism' where the management focus is the reciprocal 'negative space' (in artists terms), the shape of the 'holes' set off by the incandescent material.

Since these displays are set to music, the way that space and time are coordinated can also be distinguished sensorily. In the case of realism, time tends to be related to the spatial pattern in a linear way, with the display being constituted by a sequence of independent displays culminating in the best possible picture postcard snapshot of coloured structure. In the case of the impressionist display, it is possible to sense the continuing space-time form of the holes implied by the incandescent structural pattern, as in a cheese with holes in it, thus one could speak of an 'evolutionary impressionist' mode, ... wherein the evolutionary forms associated with space-time can be sensed as a globular shape rather than in the case of 'evolutionary realism' which sees the display in terms of a series of realist images orchestrated by martial music.

While the space-time globular geometry can be sensed, it cannot be directly spoken about, an epistemological point of interest which is very relevant to the issues of evolution being discussed today (i.e. the hypothesis that the environment evolves gives rise to 'holes-in-cheese' space-time shapes, which can only be spoken about relative to the material structure of the cheese but not in their own right (since our language is based on discussing things as if they existed out of the context of time, and then adding the time back after the fact, ... a 'linear' approach which cannot deal with space(-time) and matter reciprocity). As Bertolt Brecht put this point about the reciprocal interdependence of space-matter; 'What happens to the holes when the cheese is gone?'

That people have the ability to sense and respond to either the realist structure, the impressionist space (i.e. the non-structure which includes the former structural view as an informational subset) and the evolutionist space-time glob (which includes both former views as informational subsets) means that our relative emphasis of each of these informational modes in our perception of reality will impact the transformative effects on our environment induced by our sensing and responding.

As in this example of fireworks displays, if we manage the 'realist structure', we exclude consideration of the informational patterns of 'negative space', ... the impressionist geometry which includes the realist geometry as a secondary aspect. Meanwhile, the artist in each of us can 'see' the impressionist geometry even if we both ignore it and informationally exclude it in our inquiry and management approach. Furthermore, we can sense the implicit 'evolutionary glob forms' in space-time, ... the coalescing rhythms and harmonies of the codynamics of things which emanate from the geometry of space-time relationships amongst things and are thus a property of space-time rather than of things. To inquiry and manage solely on the basis of the structure of things and their dynamics is to exclude these induced implicit informational patterns which we have the ability to sense.

[[Even the electron can, in effect, 'sense' these things, however, the very notion of 'sensory perception' arises from the notion of a 'thing which senses'. Yet relativity says that 'things' are only features of space-time, local turbulent features of field intensity, and as Einstein says; '... the elementary particles of matter are also, in their essence, nothing else than condensations of the electomagnetic field.' 'Sensory perception' is thus the name we give to explain the observed manner in which the 'feature' of space-time moves as if informationally aware of the living environment in which he is a constituent-participant. e.g. the cells in my body seem to be informationally aware of their positioning within their containing space (my body) since they move and respond according to what their containing constituency is doing, ...thus they could, if we were to think of them as 'sensory things' also be said to have 'sensory perception'. Meanwhile, the 'sensory perception' of 'things' can be seen in the reciprocal space-based terms of 'informational fields' and the inductive 'shaping of space'; i.e. in terms of 'the organism is the environment'.]]

In the past, the information we are now scientifically and culturally excluding was able to 'live' in the 'anything goes' spaces of myth, superstition and spiritual faith based society, ... that is, the information of space-matter reciprocity as given by relativity was able to be accounted for within the anything goes (non-rationality limited) domain of myth and non-rational tradition. Within the corporation of former times, the individual usually had more scope to, for example, act so as to simultaneously cultivate opportunity for his fellows, a cooperative ethic that went well beyond the organisation chart to include the host community, suppliers, customers and others. He did not need a rational explanation for such actions, and old style management preferred to 'make the big decisions' and leave the operational stuff to the 'little guy'.

However, the encroachment of narrow, non-relativistic information-excluding rationality is progressively eliminating the ground within which relativistic information was included and acted upon, and is producing a new ground which is toxic to relativistic information because it is incapable of supporting space-matter reciprocity concepts (the inertial reference frames and linear time concepts associated with euclidian space are innately inadequate for the job). Thus the tolerance of superstition, myth and spirituality provided a 'smokescreen' within which the sensing and responsing to 'evolutionary impressionism' could be undertaken. Such looser management structures failed to make 'water-tight' the information-exclusion character of scientific rationalism, and thus constituted a 'safety valve' for relieving the aberrant tensions emanating from unmoderated rational inquiry and response. Meanwhile, these 'holes' in the western exclusionary system of inquiry are being plugged, and schizophrenia is rising commensurately. Globalization of business, which as 'everybody knows' is made blind to its own induced transformation of its containing space by its 'natural selection' ethic, is a prime propagator of aberrant exclusionary thinking.

It is this continued purging of the non-rational in our society, ... an ethnoscientific cleansing based on narrow principles of rationalist materialism, which is at the same time purging our ability to sense and respond on a relational basis. This 'cleansing' of the non-rational is rationalized on the basis that it is the non-rational which is responsible for rising complexity and dysfunction in our society. Our exclusion of information which would point to our mode of inquiry as the source of rising complexity and dysfunction constitutes an intensification of our Acquired Systems Inquiry Deficiency Syndrome.

The entrenched resistance to change as documented in the case of Ignaz Semmelweis appears to be 'with us' once again. This time, however, scientific inquiry which excludes information pertaining to the interdependence of the mode of inquiry on the object of inquiry is at the same time, a huge liberator of dysfunctional economic forces. Inquiry which excludes the reciprocity between material kinetics and the environmental container hosting the material kinetics empowers businesses to compete for 'natural selection' without having to account for the reciprocal effects of their movements on their containing environment. That is, business is empowered by mainstream scientific theory to operate like the poor pool player, to seek immediate profits without considering how one's 'shots' infuse disadvantage into the opportunity landscape which hosts the business operations. The Semmelweis's of today are thus not only up against what the Royal Society of Medicine termed "contemporary jealous stupidity and ingratitude", they are up against the entrenched hierarchical force of a global economy.

Meanwhile, the fact that our society is excluding from consideration vital information on container-constituent relationships and aesthetics in its degenerate scramble to be 'naturally selected' is something 'everybody knows', ... ... that's how it goes.

* * *

[1] 'Everybody Knows', by Leonard Cohen

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded,
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows the war is over,
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed,
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes, .... everybody knows.

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking,
Everybody knows the Captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling,
Like their father or their dog just died
Everybody talking to their pockets,
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
and a long stem rose, .... everybody knows.

Everybody knows that you love me baby,
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you've been faithful,
Ah,, give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you've been discreet,
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes, ..... and everybody knows.

Everybody knows, .... everybody knows
That's how it goes, .... everybody knows.
Everybody knows, .... everybody knows
That's how it goes, .... everybody knows.

And everybody knows that its now or never,
Everybody knows that it's me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever,
Ah,, when you've done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten:
Old Black Joe's still picking cotton
For your ribb'ns and bows, .... and everbody knows.

And everybody knows that the Plague is coming,
Everybody knows that it's moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman ---
Just a shining artifact of the past
Everbody knows the scene is dead
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose, ..... what everybody knows.

And everybody knows that you're in trouble,
Everybody knows what you've been through
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary,
Ah,, to the beach at Malibu
Everybody knows it's comin apart:
Take one last look at this sacred heart
Before it blows, ... and everybody knows.

Everybody knows, .... everybody knows
That's how it goes, .... everybody knows.
Everybody knows, .... everybody knows
That's how it goes, .... everybody knows.

[2] a comment on the socially excluded geometry of relativity by R. D. Laing, from pp.80-1 / Ch.4 - The Politics of Experience. [1967]

"The specifically human feature of human groupings can be exploited to turn them into the semblance of non-human systems. ....All those people who seek to control the behaviour of large numbers of other people work on the experiences of those other people. Once people can be induced to experience a situation in a similar way, they can be expected to behave in similar ways. Induce people all to want the same thing, hate the same things, feel the same threat, then their behaviour is already captive - you have acquired your consumers or your cannon-fodder. Induce a common perception of Negroes as subhuman, or the Whites as vicious and effete, and behaviour can be concerted accordingly.....The inertia of human groups, however, which appear as the very negation of praxis, is in fact the product of praxis and nothing else. This group inertia can only be an instrument of mystification if it is taken to be part of the 'natural order of things'. The ideological abuse of such an idea is obvious. It so clearly serves the interests of those whose interest it is to have people believe that the status quo is of the 'natural order', ordained Divinely or by 'natural' laws. ...The group becomes a machine - and it is forgotten that it is a man-made machine in which the machine is the very men who make it. It is quite unlike a machine made by men, which can have an existence of its own. The group is men themselves arranging themselves in patterns, strata, assuming and assigning different powers, functions, roles, rights, obligations and so on."

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