April 14, 1998
Here, on the fifth order bootstrap re-entrant into 'The Good, The Bad & The Butterfly', tangible context has just about totally given way to geometry. Like washing a silk undergarment by rubbing it's soiled surface against itself to remove the dirt, context has been rubbed relativistically against context in these five self-enfolding essays in an attempt to expose the translucently fine fabric of the underlying 'logos' or geometry, --- the yin space which domiciles energy and order and sucks all context into being. Just as 'colour' is sucked through a purposeful filter into assertive mode from the integrative latency of white light, tangibility seems to be sucked into being from the integrative latency of pure geometry.
This overall essay has used five orders of self-referential geometrical bootstrapping, pivoting off of the nested relationships amongst contextual phenomena, to arrive at this point of suggesting that energy-order geometry is the mother of all context-phenomena.
Geometry, in this larger, more latent and dynamical sense, has to cover more ground than just 'shapes' and 'trajectories'. In this world of organizations,--- human, biological or astronomical, --- the question of 'purpose' always arises, but purpose would appear to be a 'relative' thing. For instance, in today's business organizations, we are concerned with 'agility', 'adaptability', the 'learning organization' etc. Evolution is about how yang-assertiveness is sculpted by the pull of yin-integrativeness, a holonic geometry in which yang is the inseparable child of yin. Somewhere within this overall system, purpose comes into play. Our current desire for 'agile' organizations, seem to be an emergent awareness that we must cultivate an ability to morph our assertiveness co-resonantly with morphing purpose, and to liberate ourselves from the unnatural cultural inversion whereby we consume and demean yin potentials in our deification of yang results.
This essay attempts to look at organizational evolution from a perspective which is as broad as the encompassing geometry of yin and yang and as deep as the omni-directional pull of a holonic 'becoming' which transcends relative purpose.
If we assume that yin-space is the mother of all assertiveness, then we can also assume a 'conservation of order'; ... i.e. that the latent order of yin-space is all there is, and that yang-assertiveness (emergent and evolving tangibles) is simply a converted form of yin order, much as kinetic energy is a special-case converted form of potential energy. This note will borrow from the geometries of energy and general relativity.
As discussed in the fourth order re-entrant essay, 'Space Sucks' and in 'Complexity and the 'Learning Organization'' (published in *Complexity*, May/June, 1997), there are two attributes of organization which can be used as 'ordering principles', the tangible outputs of the organization, or the latent potentials; the former associating with the manifest yang or assertive or one-to-many geometry, and the latter associating with the latent yin or integrative or many-to-one geometry. In traditional organizations, it has been common to 'manage' (i.e. to induce 'order' into) the operation and evolution of the organization almost entirely on the basis of its tangible and measurable yang aspects.
The shift towards organizational 'agility' represents a shift to using both yang (real) and yin (latent) geometries as ordering schema, and since yin contains yang, we could say, more simply, that the move towards 'agile' organizations represents a shift to yin as the ordering principle. While this is a current management focus at the level of the overall organization, it is common for both the enveloping external (Wall Street) and enfolded internal resources such as teams, departments, and individuals to continue to be managed in terms of yang-only attributes. This inconsistency is setting up dysfunctional, 'bootleg' economies in the marketplace and within the organization in the form of unmanaged tradeoffs between yang and yin; ... e.g. it is common, particularly in non-growth situations, to sacrifice latent potentials (yin) in order to locally maximize real output (yang). The cultivation of latent potentials (yin-integrativeness) goes largely unrewarded, a stance which permeates our cultural and educational philosophy, and has a self-referential transformative effect as it circulates around through Wall Street and the world's capital markets, flowing down through the microcosmic structures of organization and individual. Consequently, yin potentials are often 'consumed' with perceived impunity, in order to churn out ever higher volumes of yang product. An example of this is the MADness referenced in an earlier re-entrant. What is lacking is a management - organizational model which conceives of ALL resources as having both real (yang) and latent (yin) components, as in nature.
As mentioned above, a geometrical model which feels homologous to the yin/yang relationship is 'energy duality' (quantum duality exhibits this same common geometry, as has been previously discussed), with its 'kinetic' (pertaining to the assertive, motive directionality of tangible things) and 'potential' (pertaining to the integrative, latent (pregnant) potentials, --- the intangible potentialities of space and its expectancies, --- i.e. the material tangibles which are waiting to be sucked out of space and into existence by their own yin purpose).
Before heading into the domain of general relativity to explore these geometries further, we can test-drive some of these notions, i.e. how material-directionality (yang) and latent omni-directional (yin) self-referentially engage each other, in our 'standard' thought playground of billiards, and get a feel for how 'purpose' plays together with agility (how organizational evolution engages with a changing field of purpose).
For example, in the game of eight ball, immediately after the break, there is an apparent 'latent' order which is recognized by pool players with respect to the purpose of separating (by sinking) the solid balls (1-7) from the striped balls (9-15). Discussions with professional pool players indicate that if one had a number of different tables, each exhibiting uniquely differing ball configurations after the initial break, and the pool players 'bid' on which table they wanted with respect to the purpose of separating out stripes, or solids, these bids would be very consistent in recognizing the 'best' and 'worst' latent values (table configurations) relative to purpose. The additional insight offered by these seasoned players was that while the bids would spread out significantly between best and worst configurations, there would also be a bid spread associated with the favored types of shots of the players and how these meshed with the latencies in the ball configurations; i.e. some players are strong on bank shots, others on combinations, some prefer corners and some like side pockets etc.
The first point here is that latent order, though unmeasurable, is present in all resource configurations (including the business organization's suite of resources). This is the latent 'yin' or integrative aspect of the system which, in response to a particular purpose, can pull yang-assertive tangibles into existence. Secondly, the 'yin' aspect is certainly qualitatively appraisable by experienced players (and a money value can be assigned to this latency) but it is not quantitatively measurable and is only superficially explainable in linguistic terms since (a) the configuration is subject to deterministic chaos each time a player intervenes with a shot, and (b) the complex systems principle of equifinality suggests that there are many different ways to separate the balls (by sinking them) and no 'best' or optimum way (similar to the bicycle riding example cited previously) This latter statement is equivalent to the fact that the latent 'yin' of the configuration is omni-directional and beyond the relativity associated with a particular purpose, which pulls yang-assertiveness into a purposeful complementarity.
Each intervention the player makes in the system can change both the yang aspect, (which is directional and RELATIVE to some purpose such as separating out stripes), as well as the yin aspect which is the unmeasurable but intuitively appraisable latent order in the system. A poor player who manages only the yang aspects (like the manager who is unconcerned with organizational 'agility' or 'evolvability') is exposed to 'running down the wrong road' by consuming his 'yin' (omnidirectional latency) and leaving himself with an unresolvable yang 'knot'; i.e. 'snookering' himself as the game evolves. Thus yin-integrativeness (latent omnidirectional ordering potential) and yang-assertiveness (tangible order) are mutually enfolded within the game, and it is the job of the skilled player to dis-enfold the two (convert yin to yang), understanding that yang is the child of yin (i.e. understanding that the opportunity to sink a ball is born from (is 'self-referential' to) a purposeful manipulation of the latent order in the resource configuration. Clearly, this is a skill which management could use, however, one suspects that the typical corporate business manager, when playing pool, is more likely to attack the obvious ball-sinking opportunities, oblivious to the manner and rate of his yin consumption. From my limited experience, it seems that skilled pool players are more often beer-swilling musicians and/or counter-culture artists who sport tatoos and motorcycle gear more often than business suits.
Billiards, our standard 'playing field' for complex systems thought experiments, needs an adjustment at this level of geometrical reflection. That is, billiards is typically played in a 'bivalent' format; ... i.e. there are just two geometries involved and this makes 'purpose' much more distinct, i.e. there are only stripes and solids. The natural world is 'multivalent' rather than 'bivalent' however, and to make billiards multivalent, we could give the balls some less 'binary' attributes; ... for example their paint could range from glossy to matte, ... they could be imbued more intensively or less with perfume, and they could have hollow centers filled with different-sized ball bearings which let them 'speak' as they rolled, with a higher or lower 'hissing' sound. Now the possible 'purpose' is more multidimensional and both the players and the game have a greater evolutionary potential. For example, suppose the purpose is to bring out an 'art-deco' style of order; this would mean that the players would have to use their sensory (yin-integrative) and shooting (yang-assertive) skills to separate out gloss, odorlessness and bass attributes (perhaps), or suppose the purpose is to bring out a 'gothic' style of order; this would mean that the players would have to use their sensory (yin-integrative) and shooting (yang-assertiveness) skills to separate out matte, perfumy and treble attributes (perhaps) and if the enclosing environment (i.e. the audience around them) was continually demanding changes in the purpose, the players would have to be very 'agile' indeed.
Agility in this definition would equate to being able to sense the yin latencies of the game and intervene assertively in such a way as to preserve yin even as one transformed it to yang (differentiating or separating the balls). The principle of conservation of yin would be very important here as the yin is the latent order of the whole and one can easily drive it out of the subsystem (organization) one is working within (just as companies chase valuable employees into the arms of their competitors in downsizing exercises).
Cultivating agility or evolvability in an organization involves taking a 'relativistic' look at the organizations resources, in which one looks at the 'total order' of the system instead of just the purpose-dependent yang-assertive order. For example, what is the potential for the organization to respond to a shift in purpose from, e.g. making cars in peacetime to making tanks in wartime? (... maybe that's not such a good exemplar, since one wouldn't have to do much more than spray some camouflage paint on some models.).
This brings us back to the geometrical similarity between omni-directional yin-order and potential energy and directional yang-order and kinetic energy and the problem of getting an omnidirectional (relativistic) view of such systems.
Richard Feynmann, in 'Six Not-So-Easy Pieces', speaks to the problem of measuring space-time energy content in general and not just from the point of view of one directionality (purpose). Note that there is no need to understand the variables nor follow the equations in his following quote, the idea is to simply look through to the basic geometry of what he is talking about; ... Feynmann says; "However, the rule that we gave in Eq. 6-3 (i.e. measuring space curvature by excess radius = G*M/3*c**2) is enough to determine completely all the rules of gravitation, PROVIDED THAT IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THIS RULE ABOUT THE CURVATURE OF SPACE APPLIES NOT ONLY FROM ONE MAN'S POINT OF VIEW BUT IS TRUE FOR EVERYBODY (cap's are mine). Somebody riding by a mass of material sees a different mass content because of the kinetic energy he calculates for the motion past him and he must include the mass corresponding to that energy. The theory must be arranged so that everybody --- no matter how he moves --- will, when he draws a sphere, find that the excess radius is G/3*c**2 times the total mass (or, better, G/3*c**4 times the total energy content) insided the sphere. That this law --- law (1) --- should be true in any moving system is one of the great laws of gravitation, called "Einstein's Field Equation"."
The point here is that one must convert the directional component (kinetic energy in this case or yang-order in our case) to its potential energy equivalent (latent yin-order equivalent) and the system can then be assessed for its innate, omnidirectional capabilities. A strong omni-directional capability in an organization warps the space which contains it (one can feel its latent potencies).
In this regard, there is a great line in the film Apollo 13 when the flight director gets fed up with the Grumman engineer's continually parroted assertion that the LEM rocket thrusters were designed to be fired within the moon's gravity field and not in open space (i.e. he was continually restating the purpose-pulled yang-assertiveness of the rocket-thruster resource.), ... the exasperated flight director finally says; "I don't give a damn what they were designed for, I want to know what they are capable of!" And this is indeed the question which organizations must ask in their quest for 'agility' and high performance; ... the problem is, the bulk of organizational measurements and performance appraisals are based on purpose-directed yang-assertiveness (tangible productivity) and skilled yin-cultivators (latent omnidirectional capability cultivators) tend to be transparent and undervalued with respect to the 'company' assessment and rewards programs. And of course, the management hierarchy may be overbalanced in favor of 'yang-warriors' relative to 'yin legacy cultivators' (i.e. it was suggested in retired manager 'wellspring' sessions, documented in a previous essay, that a tendency to such overbalance was on the rise).
At any rate, the geometry point to be taken (in terms of 'space-time order') from the space-time energy and general relativity discussion is simply that the assertive (yang) aspect of systems depends on direction (purpose) and that a more general view of the system is needed, in terms of total latent potentials (yin) in order to effectively manage organizational characterics such as 'agility' or 'evolvability'.
Organizational evolution, then, is geometrically relativistic in that we tend to look at it in the context of assertive capabilities relative to the pull of a particular purpose (e.g. sinking stripes or solids) even though purpose itself evolves interdependently with culture. But there are all shades of purpose in nature, and an understanding of the agility, the omni-directional latent yin-integrative capacity of an organization, can only come from seeing the organization's assertive response to the most holonic, complex or 'omnidirectional' of purposes; e.g. in seeing how an organization comes to life and co-resonates with the purpose of supporting life itself, as the Apollo 13 team did when a technical dysfunction threatened the lives of the astronauts.
R.D. Laing's holonic assertion; 'the life that we are reaching out to grasp is the we who are reaching out to grasp it' is the transform which transforms yang-assertiveness back into its yin potentiality, inducing circular flow, and giving us an omnidirectional view of purpose and the fullness of our own latent capabilities, --- something we normally deny ourselves.
To close, the 'Relative Geometry of Evolution' seems to indicate that our awareness of our own latent potentials is part of the answer in our attempt to understand and manage 'agility' in our organizations, ... an awareness which can liberate us from the trance wherein we reduce our view of ourselves by making it relative to the monotonic materialist 'purpose' of a yang-obsessing culture.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our Light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There's no enlightenment about shrinking so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own Light shine,
we can unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
--- Nelson Mandela
1994 Inaugural Speech
(third order fractal footnote to "The Good, The Bad & The Butterfly")
April 9th, 1998
Science is telling us that 'space sucks' both on the astronomical level (i.e. black holes suck in and integrate old stellar material so that new stars can be born) and at the sub-atomic level (new particles are sucked into existence by energy relationships domiciled in 'empty' space.). Meanwhile our culture is pretty much down on the notion of 'sucking' and would much rather go with, .... uh, 'assertiveness'. In fact, the overbalanced yang-assertiveness of our western culture has cultivated an environment which tends to be toxic to yin-integrativeness or 'space-suck'. Only in the realm of music and art is 'negative space' a respected geometry; i.e. 'negative space' being the geometry wherein a suite of enveloping relationships harmoniously pulls positive space into being (i.e. 'positive space' being the yang-assertive brushstrokes or musical notes of the artist).
In relationships, teams, schools and business organizations. we are encouraged to act primarily out of yang assertiveness, and we downplay the value of tuning-in to the pull of the space-time we are immersed in so that we can let it 'shape' us as we help shape the evolving future in a co-resonant partnership.
This third fractal footnote (i.e. third re-entrant in this four part self-referential suite of comments) speaks to the toxicity of our yang-assertiveness-obsessed culture on emergent behaviors which put yin-integrativeness back into a natural primacy.
The initial 'butterfly' essay attempted to expose the incompleteness of bivalent (good/bad) decision processes and how our culture was inverting the natural primacy of multivalent or harmony/dissonance based ordering approaches over bivalent judgement. It was further suggested that a return to a natural decision-making or 'ordering' polarity would require a corresponding reversal of our traditional knowledge management geometry, from the primacy of 'one-to-many' (expert or boss oriented KM) over 'many-to-one' (systems oriented KM) to the reverse.
The first footnote provided a quantum duality, complexity and relativity based reasoning or 'proof' that yin and yang geometries were not only opposite, complementary and mutually enfolded, but that yin-integrativeness was the mother of yang-assertiveness; i.e. that yin and yang geometries were not 'peers' which came into play in a flip/flop fashion, but that yang-assertiveness was a 'special case' of yin-integrativeness (i.e. the limiting case in which time can be viewed as frozen in the present and space as independent from time). Our cultural predisposition to give primacy to yang-assertiveness over yin-integrativeness thus sets us against nature in a rather fundamental way.
The second footnote examined the implicit question; ... how was it possible that we could have sustained over millenia, a method of perceiving, inquiring and acting which not only diverged from natural geometries, but which infused huge amounts of dissonance into our society and environment? The proposed answer to this question is that our psyche is not simply a collection of newtonian 'bins' (e.g. conscious, unconscious and collective unconscious) which contain causal 'answers' to our behavior if only we could dredge them up from the depths and examine them. Instead, our psyche is evolved through sociohistorical 'training' which engenders a suite of 'sociohistorical psychological functions' (SPFs) sitting between our sensory experiential input and our post-conceptual thought processes and thereby inducing 'virtual imagery' of a deeper consciousness operating on a level 'beneath' our conscious cognition. This very different view of the psyche (by Vygotsky) presents the challenge of cleaning up our dysfunctional act more as an excercise in updating SPF read-only-memory (ROM) than as deconvolving causal distortions emanating from submerged psychical sea-chests.
And now, this third footnote seeks to make clear how the notion of 'space-suck' geometry (yin-integrativeness) has been tainted by our culture and made politically incorrect across a broad variety of important contexts. For example, the buddhist tantric tradition utilizes numerous sex koans. 'Enso', the zen circle, appearing as an imperfect circular brush stroke and thereby resembling naturally found geometries, carries the inscription "Enter from here!" ("The circle can symbolize the opening by which all human beings enter the world as well as the Void that demands to be filled."). That is, the idea of space pulling material entities into existence is fundamental to the buddhist tradition. The geometry of sexual union has been said to be 'the ultimate zen koan' whose understanding (in terms of profound meaning) can lead to enlightenment. The 'proof' that yang geometry is a special case of yin geometry, while based in physics, is fully consistent with this tantric symbolism. A corollary to the 'yin-contains-yang' theorem is that patriarchy (male-dominated, control-oriented culture) arises from the yang-over-yin polarity compounded by bivalent thinking. High performance pockets within our culture, however, feature yin-over-yang polarity and multivalent thinking (a co-resonance orientation), a geometry which pervades nature.
Multivalency (one can think of orbit-sharing as in the solar system) in combination with a yin-which-contains-yang yields a mutually enfolded geometry for yin and yang; ... i.e. a geometry wherein the manifest and the latent are mutually enfolded (as in a billiards game where sinking balls and manipulating the latent table configuration are mutually enfolded) and/or where assertiveness and integrativeness are mutually enfolded (as in a musical jam session). Within any given system (or individual), then, yin (integrative) tendencies and yang (assertive) tendencies are always present and can be differentially cultivated as circumstances dictate, with a little help from the butterflies. The multivalent, yin-contains-yang mindset dissolves the bivalent issue of 'which is best', a hierarchy of experts or a web of systems thinkers (or, 'hard KM' or 'soft KM'), since both can be brought into play in a co-resonant, mutually enfolded manner. It is important to note, however, that this only 'works' if the primacy (i.e. polarity) of systems thinker over expert (or soft KM over hard KM) is maintained.
Given this overall more natural 'space suck'-in-the-primacy geometry, how does it check out with our business experience? This is more easily seen if we first calibrate to the analogous geometry in music/art. Brian Eno speaks to the issue of co-resonating with 'space suck' as follows; "I talk to many young painters, because I teach in art schools. I ask them, 'why do you think that what you do ends at the edges of this canvas? Think of the frame [i.e. surrounding spatial dynamics]. What frame are you working in? Not just that bit of wood 'round the edge, but the room you're in the light you're in, the time and place you're in. How can you redesign it? [i.e. coresonate with it]. I would say that to musicians, too. I see them spending a lot of time working on the internal details [assertive aspects] of what they're doing and far less time working on the ways of positioning it in the world [integrative aspects]. by 'positioning it' i don't only mean thinking of ways of getting it to a record company, but thinking of where it could go, and where it fits in the cultural picture --- what else does it relate to?"
A business organization pulled into being by, and desiring to enter into a sustained co-resonance with yin 'space-suck' would seek to fill the natural patterns of need in the community, culture and beyond. Not only is this the antithesis of a yang-assertiveness birth (e.g. 'we have a technology solution that we need to find a problem for, or alternatively, to create an addiction to'), but it is an approach which automatically ensures against a divergence between corporate, social and environmental 'purpose'.
Internally in organizations, high performance creative teams are typically sucked into existence by a polarity-inverting 'get real' trigger, such as the near-disastrous accident on the Apollo 13 team and the ensuing need to bring the astronauts safely home.
Such teams are rarely sustained in this high performance mode since yang-assertiveness (imposition of plans, rules and ideas out of the context of the yin dynamic or 'space-suck') is the cultural norm; i.e. the surrounding sea of toxicity eventually permeates the high performance effort and kills its living aspect. High performance in this organic sense can only occur when the system (team) is 'living' far-from-equilibrium in a homeorhetic state where the yang-assertive aspects of the system allow themselves to be co-resonantly shaped by space-suck dynamics.
These notions of multivalent geometric polarity shed light on the 'limits of language' and give greater meaning to the observations of Ludwig Wittgenstein. That is, linguistic explanation is innately a yang-assertive medium and is thus fundamentally incomplete with respect to conveying 'space-suck' or yin-integrative knowledge. As Larry Prusak (IBM's Chief Knowledge Officer) observes; there's no amount of linguistic explanation that can teach you to be a good hitter in baseball. There's also no amount of linguistic explanation that can teach you how to ride a bicycle. That is, linguistic assertiveness can only provide a ladder to give one a view or be used to tickle one's thinking as to how to get into a co-resonant state with one's environment.
Body language, poetry and music appear to be superior (to assertive language) as carriers of integrative geometry and may thus be used to advantage in space-suck oriented approaches. In fact, in a recent dialogue, a UK based management consultant and web-friend observed that certain points in management presentations might be better conveyed by african drums (his hobby) than by assertive words. This seems particularly apropos since drums denote the potent presence of the enveloping space (silence), and have the effect on mental imagery of backing off the space-time zoomlens from assertive detail and providing a fisheye lens view of the space-time envelope of evolving nature and culture. An assessment of the co-resonance of the business topic within this receding space-time receptacle is thus invited in a far more immediate and compelling manner than with cumbersome linguistic alternatives.
In the sphere of knowledge management, anything which can be captured and stored is necessarily yang-assertive while yin-integrative knowledge is complex (a mutually enfolded mix of the manifest and the latent) and can only be captured experientially (as in riding a bicycle). A culture which embraces the primacy of yang-assertiveness exploits only the manifest (that which can be measured and captured) in its 'ordering processes and this leads directly to one-to-many (assertive) 'expert-' or 'boss-' oriented knowledge management approaches. That is, if one wants to lead from assertions, rather than from 'space-suck' one must evolve a system for highgrading the assertions, and the selecting and 'annointing' of a cadre of seemingly informed or trusted (loyal?) asserters is the obvious way to resolve this need.
To summarize, our western cultural tendency of the last few millenia has been to put yang-assertiveness in the primacy with yin-integrativeness in a supporting role --- an unnatural geometry. Moreover, our culture tends to put bivalent (good/bad) judgements in the primacy of our decision-making processes with multivalent pattern-recognition in a supporting role --- once again, an unnatural geometry. While artists and musicians cultivate an awareness of the natural 'space-suck' dynamics in which we and everything is immersed, and attempt to co-resonate with it, this practice only rarely (as yet?) extends into the world of education, business or politics. This situation tends to be sustained by the negative taint which our non-arts cultural segment attaches to the integrative 'suck' geometry, which may start, but does not stop at variations on the theme of sex and goes far beyond. Whatever the origins of this polarity inversion, in our culture, education, business organizations, the norm is to glorify assertiveness and to demean integrativeness, an unnatural stance which leads straight to dysfunction.
The re-reversing of the yin-yang polarity to its natural state is equivalent to using all three nested levels in erich jantsch's systems perception and inquiry framework; i.e. rational, mythological and evolutionary in an ascending order of primacy. When one views issues from the evolutionary consequence level, it is like standing on one's own shoulders and looking down at oneself being pulled into engagement with the enveloping environment (i.e. an evolutionary consequence view equates to a 'space-suck' perspective). This pattern-recognition based view, which exposes the potential for natural co-resonances between oneself and one's enveloping environment, is rich in 'dramatic irony' in that one can intuit what may transpire in a manner not available to one's 'ground level' mythological role-play view. The following quote by Ortega Y Gassett, forwarded to me by Martine Dodds, highlights this 'dramatic consciousness' as well as the imperative to return to the primacy of yin in shaping our evolution, and thus seems a particularly apropos way to close out this fractal note.
"While the tiger cannot stop being a tiger, man lives in the perpetual danger of being dehumanized...The majority of men perpetually betray this self which is waiting to be...it is thoroughly comprehensible that Pindar summarized his heroic ethics in the well-known imperative: "Become who you are' ... The fate of culture, the destiny of man, depends upon our maintaining this dramatic consciousness ever alive in our inmost being, "
This note includes the essay 'The Good, The Bad & The Butterfly', footnote to the essay, and a footnote to the footnote to the essay, in reverse order. This geometry is similar to the geometry suggested by Ludwig Wittgenstein as a more effective means of presenting a synoptic view via language which is innately 'single-issue-at-a-time'.
* * *
Footnote to Footnote to 'The Good, The Bad & The Butterfly'
April 6, 1998
The original essay (appended at bottom) entitled 'The Good, The Bad & The Butterfly' hypothesized that the decision-making process we commonly use in the west infuses our environment with dysfunction because it is based on 'bivalent' 'good' or 'bad' judgements while nature and the complex systems we engage with are 'multivalent' and involve a 'yin' (many-to-one or 'integrative') and 'yang' (one-to-many or 'assertive') geometry. Expressed in terms of 'yin' and 'yang' geometry, the hypothesis is that we are using an 'assertiveness-seeking, integrativeness-following' polarity which is seriously flawed when applied to complex systems (the general case in nature); i.e. it makes (natural) sense to use an 'integrativeness-seeking, assertiveness-following' polarity. Switching to this natural polarity which can cultivate overall harmonies without infusing dysfunction involves reversing our knowledge management geometry (i.e. from a 'one-to-many' to 'many-to-one' orientation) and utilizing pattern recognition supported by 'good'/'bad' judgement (rather than vice versa) for decision-making.
The first footnote to the essay (appended below) provided a hypothetical geometric 'proof' to support the contention that the 'natural' polarity is indeed 'integrativeness-seeking, assertiveness-following'. The essence of the argument was that the integrative principle is the 'mother' of the assertiveness principle (or conversely, the assertiveness principle is the child of the integrative principle). This 'proof' was geometrically bootstrapped from the notions of a non-euclidian space-time continuum and quantum duality. In this view of reality, the 'manifest present' is seen as the surface of a non-euclidian spherical geometry while the past and present are seen as latent order (flow, if you like) within the sphere, which upwell and subduct in a manner similar to plate tectonics on earth.
Upwelling is geometrically represented by commonly colored arrows on the surface of the sphere propagating divergently outwards from a point of emergence (this corresponds to the assertiveness principle). Downwelling or 'subduction' is geometrically represented by multicolored arrows being drawn convergently inward on the surface of the sphere towards a point of subduction (this corresponds to the integrative principle). One must further account for the fact that the opposites of upwelling and subducting (assertiveness and integrativeness) both complement and are mutually enfolded in one another and that this holonic dynamic (self-referential flow) is continually unfolding in an irreversible way.
In this model, the manifest present is the child of this integrativeness and represents the limit (an abstraction which is not strictly attainable according to Heisenberg's principle) where time = the present and where space can be characterized as a collection of material objects surrounded by void and independent of time. In other words, infinite, rectangular euclidian space emerges as a limiting abstraction in the unachievable state where time = the present. This model resonates with the philosophies of Heraclitus ('everything is in flux') and Lao Tzu ('ever desireless, we see the (timeless) mystery, ever-desiring we see the manifest'). One implication of the spherical space, consistent with the view of physicists such as Neils Bohr and with Buddhist and other eastern traditions, is that the material world is an abstraction which is 'sucked into being' by empty space (of course, space is not 'empty' in either the eastern or quantum physics view but is where the master suite of energy relationships and intensity are domiciled).
Now that we have summarized the focus of the essay and the first footnote, we can move on to explain that this particular footnote is to lend further dimensionality (in a synoptic or holographic imaging sense) to the essay and bootstrapped 'proof' by illustrating (geometrically) how this polarity reversal may have originated and been sustained by our western culture.
The first notion to consider in this 'explanation' is the proposition of Vygotsky (Russian psychologist of the early twentieth century); ... an idea which is currently resurgent, that our 'psyche' rather than being made up of 'containers' (e.g. Jung's 'conscious', 'unconscious' and 'collective unconscious') which harbor fully formed ideas that we just have trouble getting to, is instead, to see the psyche simply as a suite of sociohistorically induced psychological functions (SPFs). These can be viewed in a manner similar to the basic system routines in a computer (usually stored in read-only memory or ROM) which operate on a level below the conceptual subject matter which is being considered and which in fact make it possible to consider conceptual subject matter. That is, the SPFs sit between our full sensory perceptions and our post-conceptual thoughts and memories.
As Thomas Kuhn and others have observed, our conceptualization processes incorporate, at a very low level, such things as astronomical or 'space' models; i.e. the Ptolemaic earth-centric model, subsequent Copernican sun-centric model and the current Relativistic (centerless) model. In fact, as Kuhn maintains, these models become 'threads in the far larger fabric of our thought' (i.e. become part of our SPFs). Of course, we are just beginning to try to accommodate the non-euclidian centerless model of space in the fabric of our thoughts, and if Kuhn is correct in his historical analysis, we may infer that it could take us more than a century to implement this latest 'SPF ROM update'.
One of the problems of operating on the reverse (unnatural) assertiveness/integrativeness polarity is that we decouple ourselves from pattern recognition and experience and put our 'faith' (as the philosopher George Berkeley termed it) in the assertive notions of the 'high priests' of the knowledge disciplines. That is, a one-to-many geometry cultivates a hierarchy of 'experts' or 'high priests' whose assertions help to shape our SPFs.
The following thought experiment (forwarded by bill sinclair) describes, geometrically, a scenario in which SPFs are created and sustained in an assertive-seeking, integrativeness-following culture (i.e. a reversed polarity culture).
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Subject: Sound Familiar?
[Don't try this with your own apes.]
Primate Committee Thinking Experiment
Start with a cage containing five apes. In the cage, hang a banana on a string and put stairs under it. Before long, an ape will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the Banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the apes with cold water. After a while, another ape makes an attempt with the same result-all the apes are sprayed with cold water.
Turn off the cold water.
If, later, another ape tries to climb the stairs, the other apes will try to prevent it even though no water sprays them. Now, remove one ape from the cage and replace it with a new one. The New ape sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his horror, all of the other apes attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted. Next, remove another of the original five apes and replace it with a New one.
The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous Newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm. Again, replace a third original ape with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four apes that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest ape.
After replacing the fourth and fifth original apes, all the apes which have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced. Nevertheless, no ape ever again approaches the stairs. Why not? "Because that's the way it's always been around here."
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The geometry in this humorous thought experiment is identical to that cited in the high performance creative teams I have studied. In one of these teams, the team members described the old and dysfunctional way of doing things as 'boss-oriented' (i.e. utilizing one-to-many knowledge management) and the primary ordering principle was characterized as 'that's the way we do things around here'. The team members described their post-transformational mode (polarity-reversed mode ) as 'customer-oriented' (i.e. both 'customer' and 'boss' are intended in a generic sense as; (a) those people with whom one engages and shares knowledge and resources with, and (b) those people who are organizationally 'annointed' as the expert sources of particular types of knowledge.) The knowledge management geometry in the customer-oriented mode is, of course, many-to-one and the ordering principle is 'tuning-in' to the evolutionary consequences of one's actions in the context of the overall process.
In summary, this 'footnote of footnote' combined with the essay and prior footnote are aimed at increasing the dimensionality or resolution of the synoptic or holographic view of decision-making processes, their dependency on bivalent and multivalent reasoning and on the polar orientation of many-to-one integrative and one-to-many assertive knowledge management styles.
end of footnote of footnote.
Footnote to 'The Good, The Bad & The Butterfly
April 5, 1998
Since forwarding the short essay, 'The Good, The Bad & The Butterfly' to Michael Lissack for possible inclusion in the "Managing the Complex" Conference discussions (Toronto, April 3-5/98), I have had the feeling that there was something 'more' in the essay than I had been aware of when I wrote it.
This feeling was reinforced in the knowledge that I was 'driven' to write it between midnight and 3:30 in the morning, after imbibing considerable quantities of red wine and scotch and being barely able to stay awake. This is the kind of 'zone' where I am better able to get my 'self' out of the way and let my associative or integrative capacities move into the drivers seat and engender the message in a 'bootstrapped' fashion. In this particular instance, my mind was seeded with many new thoughts from a rich dialogueing session with Martine Dodds who has been looking at philosophy from a systems paradigm point of view.
So, for your possible interest and/or amusement, this footnote presents a web of reasoning which suggests to me that 'The Good, The Bad & The Butterfly' contains a heuristic, bootstrapped, geometric, physics-rooted 'proof' that 'yin', the integrative principle is the mother of 'yang', the assertive principle. That is, it is commonly accepted that 'yin' and 'yang' are opposite, complementary and mutually enfolded, but it is less common to infer a 'natural polarity' or precedence to 'yin' OVER 'yang'. The significance of this natural polarity, if it exists, to geometric orientations in the fields of knowledge management and decision making is pointed out in this footnote and in the appended essay.
If you buy this 'proof' , as I do, then you can view the source of dysfunction in western collaborative structures (organizations, relationships, business etc.) as largely emerging from a sociohistorically induced polarity reversal whereby we counter-naturally orient 'knowledge management' to 'yang' and leave 'yin' to fall in behind, rather than vice versa which is, according to this 'proof', the natural orientation.
First we need some imagery for the physico-geometrical concepts since a 'bootstrapped' 'proof' is innately a 'geometrical' proof.
In your mind, image non-euclidian spherical space as looking like the earth as it undergoes the process of plate tectonics. The surface of the sphere represents the manifest (i.e. the material and tangible) and the interior of the sphere represents the latent potentials (i.e. the hidden order in the system from which the manifest emerges). The manifest is continuously changing since there is a continual upwelling onto the surface of the sphere of new material and a simultaneous (and enfolded) subducting of the old. One can relate this dynamic interplay between latent potentials and emergent tangibles to the 'harmonic' properties of natural systems which require the use of complex numbers in their mathematical treatment. This circular 'geometry' of complex metamorphosis (recycling of real through latent) equates to an energy/information unfolding within a directional (i.e. irreversible) space time continuum and seems to generically characterize natural processes at all scales from astronomical galaxies (which are hypothesized to have black holes at their centers which figure in both the subduction of stars and the birth of new stars), to subatomic 'particle' formation where particles seem to be sucked into existence by a 'space which binds things together' (suite of energy relationships which are beyond particle manifestation).
At any rate the geometry to keep in mind here is simply a sphere, the surface of which is the 'manifest' part of reality which is continually changing due to plate-tectonics like upwelling and subduction.
The geometry of the upwelling is just as you would see it if you put a colored 'tracer' into an upwelling fluid flow (as in a turbulent river) where the color was associated with the point of emergence. We could draw this in plan view as a bunch of same-colored arrows all radiating outward from the point of emergence. This is the geometry of the 'yang' or assertiveness principle. One can think of it as the propagating and differentiating of an emergent unity, or in the terms of sexual geometry as the spewing forth and differentiation of a particular seed. In the domain of knowledge management, this is the familiar 'one-to-many' geometry of the 'expert' or 'high priest' where knowledge is invented and assertively propagated. This information is innately 'colored' or 'source-stamped' with its emergent space-time coordinate and a bit of detective work will take you back to the point of emergence or 'quantum event' which gave it birth. The notion of 'causality' is born by crudely detaching this assertive aspect of the dynamic from the inseparable-in-nature integrative aspect.
For the geometry of the 'one-to-many' assertive upwelling ('yang'), then, one can simply think of commonly colored arrows radiating out from a central point of emergence on the surface of our non-euclidian spherical space.
The geometry of the downwelling or subduction is just as you would see it if you put a different colored 'tracer' on every molecule being sucked in and down into a vortex in a turbulent river. We could draw this in plan view as a bunch of different-colored arrows all converging in towards the point of subduction (integration). This is the geometry of the 'yin' or integrative principle. One can think of it as the integration of a diversity of manifest principles or 'tangibles' back into latency space (the 'space that binds'), or in the terms of sexual geometry as pulling in and integration of a variety of seed. In the domain of knowledge management, this is the familiar 'many-to-one' geometry of the 'systems thinker' who understands how a diversity of components and processes can come together in one unified process and purpose. This integrative type of knowledge since it is 'complex' (i.e. has both real and latent components), transcends the 'real' assertive knowledge we commonly refer to as 'information' and is free from any specific 'coloring' as to source. The notion of 'causality' is meaningless in dealing with this 'integrative' geometry and with issues of origin and ownership associated with this type of knowledge.
For the geometry of the 'many-to-one' integrative subducting ('yin'), then, one can simply think of multi-colored arrows converging inward towards the point of subduction on the surface of our non-euclidian spherical space.
The overall geometric symbology is thus that of a sphere undergoing simultaneous upwelling (same colored arrows radiating outward from emergent points) and subducting (multi-colored arrows converging in towards subduction points), where the surface of the sphere represents the real, tangible manifest and the 'inner space' of the sphere represents the latent order in the system from which all new tangibles emerge. As mentioned, this geometry is commonly found in natural processes of all scales.
What is now to be heuristically 'proved' by 'bootstrapping' with this geometry is that there is a natural 'polarity' associated with these mutually enfolded 'one-to-many' and 'many-to-one' processes. The idea of mutual enfoldment of the one within the other and vice versa is more common than the idea of a natural precedence and polarity.
Returning to ideas of quantum physics and general relativity, we know that space and time are not independent and therefore cannot be separated (Heisenberg's uncertainty principle) and that our observations of general relativity in nature cannot be satisfied by a rectangular, euclidian space, but require a non-euclidian space-time continuum of which a spherical geometry (used in the above) is one solution. Considering the overall geometry and its fractal or 'holonic' dynamic as described, it is clear that the manifest is born as a special case (in the limit where time = the present) out of the latent order in the system. That is, the integrative principle or the 'space that binds' is the mother of the assertive principle. This of course, is consistent with buddhist and other eastern myth of 'the void that demands to be filled' etc. and also with the comments of physicists such as Neils Bohr, "Isolated material particles are abstractions, their properties being definable and observable only through their interactions with other systems."
Thus, we can 'bootstrap' the conclusion that, not only are the assertive (one-to-many) and integrative (many-to-one) principles mutually enfolded (i.e. as given by quantum duality and complementarity) but the integrative principle is the 'mother' of the assertive principle. What is intended by 'bootstrapping' is that given the existence of these geometries and geometrical dynamics, we can use them as the basis for developing reasoned explanations as to their behavior.
The implications of the integrative 'many-to-one' principle being the 'mother' of the assertive 'one-to-many' principle are profound. Here's a couple as applied to the domain of knowledge management and 'managing the complex'.
1. Organizations who think and reward firstly in terms of 'one-to-many' causality and material production will tend to starve out the 'many-to-one' source of sustainability and life in the organization. This is apparent in that employees who use their systems thinking (integrative or 'many-to-one') skills to cultivate latent order (i.e. 'invisible' and 'unmeasurable' order) in the system are often penalized rewards and promotion-wise because their efforts are at the expense of assertive type productivity. This one-sided reinvestment appears to be a source of dysfunction in our western culture as a whole, both within corporations and the investment markets, not to mention educational institutes and government.
2. Both education and management in the west is based on the 'one-to-many' assertive principle in which emergent knowledge is taken out of the context of the full assertive-integrative dynamic and disseminated through a hierarchy of teachers or managers-as-high-priests. I use the term 'high priests' since once knowledge is extracted from it's situational context in which we can experience it directly, and generalized in terms of rules, roles and scripts, one has to take it 'on faith'. In wellspring sessions i have participated in with young people and with employed professionals, there is a chronic complaint that those in power insisted on using their generalized rule-based knowledge to override the situational reality, thus nullifying the powerful potential contributions of employees (students) pattern recognition and complex experience.
As advocated by people such as Maria Montessori and A. S. Neill ('Summerhill School'), Jules Henry ('Culture Against Man') and many others, the re-orienting of education to the 'many-to-one' integrative principle, and allowing the 'one-to-many' assertive principle to fall in behind in supportive mode (i.e. to reverse our cultural knowledge management polarity) would unleash the full power of our pattern recognition skills and complex experience base. Members of high performance teams, as is mentioned in the essay below and in other essays on organizational dysfunction and performance [e.g.  'Complexity and the Learning Organization', *Complexity*, May/June, 1997] both advocate and practice a reversal of knowledge management orientation from 'one-to-many' to 'many-to-one'.
In summary, the following essay, 'The Good, The Bad & The Butterfly' implicitly contains a heuristic, geometric, bootstrapped, physics-based 'proof' of the precedence of the integrative principle over the assertive principle and points to a natural 'polarity' for knowledge-management and decision-making geometries; i.e. a polarity in which the orientation is primarily 'many-to-one' and 'one-to-many' only in a 'consequent' sense. It seems clear that this natural polarity, which is the reverse of normal practice in the west, can not only improve our problem-solving ability but lead to greater harmonies within and amongst our social, corporate and environmental systems.
. end of footnote.
The Good, The Bad & The Butterfly
March 26, 1998
Which would you prefer ... an expenses paid one way trip from Moscow to Siberia or London to New York? ....... and if the latter was routed via the Titanic?
Which would you prefer ... to have your children educated by a Hell's Angels biker or by a minister of the Church of England? ....... and if the latter was a paedophile?
Which would you prefer ... to have a house in Oklahoma overlooking a dust bowl or a house in California overlooking the pacific? ..... and if the latter was in a mudslide path?
We are continually faced with options and it is our cultural habitude to assess and prioritize our options on a subjective basis in which we assess the relative 'goodness' and/or 'badness' of the options. This practice is so familiar to us that we tend to think that the way we do it is the only way to do it.
The point of this note is to demonstrate otherwise.
Most decisions involve complex systems, the general case in nature, and all such systems are exposed to 'deterministic chaos' and 'the butterfly effect'. Deterministic chaos is, in Henri Poincare's words;
"A very small cause which escapes our notice determines a considerable effect that we cannot fail to see, and then we say that that effect is due to chance. If we knew exactly the laws of nature and the situation of the universe at the initial moment, we could predict exactly the situation of that same universe at a succeeding moment. But even if it were the case that the natural laws had no longer any secret for us, we could still only know the initial situation APPROXIMATELY. If that enabled us to predict the succeeding situation WITH THE SAME APPROXIMATION, that is all we require, and we should say that the phenomenon had been predicted, that it is governed by laws. But it is not always so; it may happen that small differences in the initial conditions produce very great ones in the final phenomena. A small error in the former will produce an enormous error in the later [i.e. the 'butterfly effect']. Prediction becomes impossible, and we have the fortuitous phenomenon [i.e. 'deterministic chaos']."
Apparently, when dealing with complex systems, things can change radically over time and thus our initial assessment of 'good' and 'bad' can look very different at a later time.
Poincare not only won the original 'Oscar' (2500 Swedish Kronor from King Oscar II in 1889 when Poincare was 35) for proving that the solar system was innately unstable (implied by the discovery of deterministic chaos and the butterfly effect), he also raised our awareness of the nature of the implicit and substantial approximations we routinely make in order to simplify the process of generalization and decision making. As it turns out, we still don't like to admit to the instability of the solar system, and most CEO's, if asked, would plead ignorance as to the nature of these Poincarian assumptions they implicitly make in decision processes which they use on an everyday basis. Perhaps these approximations are not so important since things seem to have worked out pretty well up to this point in ti.... wait a minute, ... can we truly say that things have worked out well? There is worldwide concern for a growing divergence between corporate and social purpose, and there is a MADness in business which drives corporations to Merge, Acquire, and Downsize on the basis of highly simplified, topside rationales. Studies show that the promised shareholder value is rarely secured from these MAD strategies while stakeholders such as employees and the host community are also heavy losers. Many corporations afflicted with this madness continue to show 'good numbers' only by going back to the MAD well again again, robbing peter to pay paul in a kind of quasi endless 'deficit financing' frenzy. In the end, incestuous interbreeding and organizational reshuffling launders out trackable unit identities and renders the assessment of merit or demerit of such strategies an impossibility.
Simplified and generalized topside approaches to business management are clearly a case of 'damn the butterflies, full speed ahead!
Unfortunately, the butterflies are emerging as the big winners, as is manifest in the global growth of environmental and social problems.
Business decision making processes are suffering from a fundamental flaw in the systems perception and inquiry approaches used to support decisions. This flaw relates to the outdated perceptions that space and time are independent of one another, and that space is 'euclidian' (i.e. space is infinite and center-referenced). That is, we assume incorrectly that we can locate, measure and assess material objects independent of time. The error in these assumptions, (taught in the west for the past 2300 years and assumed as 'the way it is') was uncovered by Minkowski (Einstein's geometry teacher) in 1908 and reinforced by Einstein's work on general relativity. Meanwhile, the more modern and accurate concept; i.e. a non-euclidian 'space-time continuum', has been largely ignored in decision-making processes since few decision-makers are aware that their decision processes are based on the arbitrary and abstract concepts of space-time independence and euclidian geometry. We have grown up assuming that these are not assumptions at all but simply 'the way things are'.
The inconsistencies associated with this perceptual problem are 'laundered out' via three commonly made approximations, as Poincare has shown; (a) Homogeneity. Here we assume, for example, that all Church of England ministers are more or less the same. (b) Relative independence of remote parts. Here we assume, for example, that what is going on in the icefields of greenland and the currents off labrador have now't to do with 'trippin' from London (Southhampton) to New York. (c) Simplicity of the elementary fact. Here we assume that we can assess the structural integrity of a structure or system from 'the bottom up'.
The fact is that 'butterflies' can transform good options to bad one's and vice versa in very short order. In fact, 'butterflies' make a mockery of the 'bivalent' concept of 'good' and 'bad'. From a modern science point of view, 'Yin-Yang Rules! and it is precisely because of the butterflies. Lao Tzu said it, Buddha said it, Nietzsche said it, but western decision makers don't seem to have heard it yet.
That's fine, you may say, but since the complexity you are speaking of is basically unpredictable, we shall in any case have to resort to our subjective judgement of what's 'good' and what's 'bad' as the basis for our decision making.
The world is a multivalent realm where 'good'/'bad' bivalency is an unnatural abstraction or 'simplification' if you prefer. And our sensory equipment is fully capable of dealing with multivalency (e.g. harmony and discord), not in a quantitatively predictive sense, but certainly in a qualitative sense. If we want to avoid using the Poincare approximations which imply an obsolete and erroneous view of the world we live in, we must bring to bear our skills for space-time pattern recognition. Pattern recognition is beginning to be taught in business schools and has large implications in the way we 'manage knowledge'. Pattern recognition is a technique which inevitably emerges in high performance creative teams and becomes the mainstay of their decision making approach. One of the immediate implications of shifting to pattern recognition is that information systems must function in a reverse to normal manner so as to give individuals a good view of the space-time region surrounding their center of activity and thus an opportunity to recognize patterns which bear on performance improvement. Currently, most information systems extract information from individuals and collate and integrate it in an up-the-hierarchy manner.
In the evolution of high performance teams, one of the first things that occurs is that all team members are given an overview of what goes on in the broad space-time region around them. In terms of expertise and knowledge, this is a 'many to one' rather than a 'one to many' requirement. That is, each team member must develop skills in understanding how the many components and processes in a system come together to support a unified process. This is commonly called 'systems thinking' and is fundamentally distinct from the more traditional 'expert' or 'academic' orientation which relates to a 'one to many' knowledge management philosophy. This inversion of the knowledge management geometry opens the door to the application of our most powerful sensory capability; i.e. 'pattern recognition'. And this in turn radically reduces dependency on the implicit assumptions of homogeneity, relative independence of remote parts and simplicity of the elementary fact. The shift to pattern recognition, 'systems thinking' and reverse knowledge management geometries significantly raise the quality of decisions in high performance, creative organizations. More than this, since this mode continually references decisions and operations to a connective web of space-time patterns, harmonies between corporate, social and environmental systems are cultivated in a natural and involuntary manner.
In summary, decision makers in business and most organizational structures are largely unaware of the fact that the decision-making process they are using depends in an important way on obsolete concepts of the independence of space and time and euclidian space, rather than on the more modern and accurate concept of a non-euclidian space-time continuum. As Poincare observed, we have become so familiar with the approximative notions of homogeneity, relative independence of remote parts and simplicity of the elementary fact, that we have come to believe that that is just 'the way things are'. In Poincare's words; " ... let us clearly understand that while these laws [approximations] are imposed on 'our' science [decision-making], ... they are not imposed on Nature."
But the difference between assuming or not assuming that a system complies with the Poincare assumptions equates to the difference between embracing the notions of 'good' and 'bad' ... or ... 'yin' and 'yang', in the decision-making framework.
The good, the bad and the butterfly, taken together, yield the geometry of 'yin and yang' since butterfly effects can rapidly convert the 'good' options of a London-New York trip, a minister-teacher, and a beach house in california, to 'bad' options, and similarly the 'bad' options of Moscow-Siberia trip, a hells angels teacher and a house in an oklahoma dustbowl, to 'good' ones, in a relative sense. Once the Poincare assumptions are retracted and the concepts of space-time independence and euclidian space are updated with the more reality-consistent concept of non-euclidian space-time, the door is opened to recognizing the 'seeds of good' in any bad option and the 'seeds of bad' in any good option and thus to shift to patterns rather than options as a basis for decision-making.
This improved view of reality and decision making is rendered practical, as is apparent in studies of high performance teams, by the inversion of knowledge management practice from a 'one to many' (expert) to a 'many to one' (systems) orientation and by the cultivation of pattern recognition skills at all levels of the organization.
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