How 'Science and Rationality' Kill Exceptional Teams
Montréal, November 25, 2000

Researchers into 'community as complex system' such as myself have observed that 'the ground of business is toxic to exceptional teams'.

What do I mean by this?

I mean that overall 'organizational coherency and adaptability', the salient character of exceptional teams, comes into basic conflict with demands for output at multiple levels within an organization (i.e. via constituent and departmental level goals).

Why is this?

While this principle 'resonates' with the experience of those who delve into systems of management, the 'why' of it has been elusive. Only in recent dialogues concerning quantum theory has my understanding of it resolved to a satisfying level for me. What follows is the understanding I now have of it.

First, what is the operative nature of a 'community' and/or a 'team'? It is important to start from a dataset which has not already excluded important behavioural aspects. Paula Underwood's short story; 'My Father and the Lima Beans', reproduced in the footnotes [1], is a database on 'community' which includes the oft-omitted essentials.

What must be invoked at the start, is a bringing to awareness of the manifest observation that in an evolving codynamical situation, 'context' determines 'coherency' or 'whole-and-part harmony' rather than 'content'. That is, as members of a community, we can decide in 'bottom-up' fashion, that bankrobbers will be excluded, ... however, if one of our children gets accidently locked in the vault of a bank, and the owner of the combination has a heart attack and dies, ... the services of a 'safe-cracker' may contribute to community 'harmony'. The general principle seems to be 'to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose'.

Exceptional teams, which seem to excel in all dimensions, productivity, efficiency, effectiveness, self-fulfillment, harmony of the Unum and Pluribus, differ from normal (often dysfunctional) teams in their 'inclusional' rather than 'exclusional' approach, as is indicated in the 'Lima Beans' story; i.e. the operating resource base is diverse, while the operation itself is like an inductive vortex which draws on the resource base according to the evolving context. This brings out several principles of an exceptional team (or community) which differ from normal teams.

1. Context is in the primacy over content.

What is meant by this is that one does not 'optimize' the constituents of the team on a task basis, since many tasks will be encountered by the team, and to optimize the constituents FIRSTLY on the basis of the skills required to do the tasks would require an infinite number of highly specialized constituents.

Said in other words, ... the environment or supersystem in which the 'system' of 'team' or 'community' is immersed is not predictable and induces responses on the part of the system which are often complex and unpredictable in advance. Thus, this evolving 'environmental context' is in the primacy over 'content' and 'content' can not reliably be pre-specified in detail; i.e. content can be generally specified, but one would not want to highly optimize the content (constituents) without knowing the (unknowable) environmental context.

In other words still, the 'environmental inductive field' overrides the 'bottom-up' assertive response of the team, and the team essentially 'references' to its environment. For example, the organizational environment normally 'gives birth' to the team complete with a working space and resources, ... whether the 'organizational environment' is a corporation or 'Mother Nature'.

2. Content is typically 'multiphrenic' (multivalent).

As in the 'Lima Bean' story, individuals are 'multiphrenic' and take on a different character depending on context. If we optimize by 'excluding the less performant' in one context we run into conflict with our optimization requirements in another context, i.e.;

Our team needs strong workers, thus, in this context, we must preferentially select men and exclude women, the latter being 'less performant' in this context.

Our team needs ongoing sustainability and renewal, thus, in this context (delivering new team members), we must preferentially select women and exclude men, the latter being 'less performant'.

3. Inductive-over-assertive management transcends 'assertive-over-inductive'.

Management in the 'Lima Bean' situation is inductive-over-assertive, wherein the environmental context is the inductive field which pulls forth team 'coherency' the team forming like a vortex in fluid flow (e.g. spiralling hurricane) from the diverse base of constituent multiphrenic resources.

Note that this does not say that one should not 'specialize', only that 'specialization' should not be allowed to 'override' the 'inclusionary' approach and lead to the 'exclusion' of the 'less performant' which presumes that the context is established 'from within' rather than being established by unpredictable environmental ('from without') field; i.e. specialization in an exclusionary sense puts 'content over context'.

The use of the word 'transcend' in the above statement of principle (3.), means that we can include any and all practices associated with the 'assertive' such as 'specialization of constituents'. Our 'inductive' aspect, meanwhile, envelopes and takes precedence over our assertive 'explicits' in the same manner as the 'inductive implicits' of landscape (which was 'pulled into place') envelope and take precedence over its 'included' explicit physical features.

* * *

The imagery of the 'Lima Bean' community 'geometrodynamics', then, is where the resource base is ideally diverse and multiphrenic while including highly specialized skills within the multiphrenic constituency, ... and the operational mode is 'inductive over assertive', ... where the constituents are all simultaneously tuning to ('referencing to') the environmental field and allowing assertive structures to 'emerge' as necessary in support of a coherent community response to the environmental field.

This is indeed the mode of operation of exceptional teams I have studied. In one such team, a high tech heavy oil production team in Bakersfield, California (150 people in total, operating several fields and many complex processes such as 'water treatment', sulphur removal, steam generation and distribution into the earth, drilling and completions, production facility construction and maintenance (pipelines etc.), emission controls etc. etc.). This team went into 'exceptional mode' and remained in it for roughly two years until the 'toxic ground of business' poisoned it (as will be described shortly). The exceptional mode was brought in by an 'inversion' from the standard 'assertive-over-inductive' mode to the 'inductive-over-assertive' mode. In the former mode, the professional specializations; e.g. 'production engineer', 'drilling engineer', 'chemical engineer', 'geologist', 'operations manager' etc. etc. were the 'ordering principles' and the team was departmentalized (specialized by skill and by function) with each department responsible for meeting agreed objectives. Thus, prior to 'exceptional mode', this team was assuming 'predictable context' which could be designed and planned in from the 'bottom-up' (inside-outwards).

The flip to acknowledging the primacy of environment context was an effective 'emancipation' of the team and almost everyone was delighted with it (apart from those with 'controlling' personalities). Union workers became equals with Ph.D's in this 'vortical' induction-over-assertion mode. Instruction was made available to ALL team members as to the overall functioning of the operation in all its phases (in a conceptual overview sense) including the financial and management exigencies which they were obligated to comply with. One union leader remarked in a speech to the whole group; "Twenty years ago, this company hired me from the shoulders down, and now they have put my head back on my shoulders, and I am extremely appreciative of this!"

Meeting 'in toto' in an empty aircraft hangar, the team developed a shared view of the 'environmental field' and the 'bottlenecks' in their response to it. Shows of hands were solicited in response to who might be able to assist in overcoming the identified bottlenecks, and this process became the new 'ordering principle' for their organization, an ordering principle which subordinated their specialist skills and formal position designations to the ordering 'inductive pull' which was coming from environment based field-forces (business markets (demand, price), host community (emissions control), family needs (quality time together, vacations)). A system of 'vital statistics' indicators which were continually tracked and displayed on monitors (PC- Network) accessible to all team members, helped them to retain a continuous awareness to the 'shape' of things on a 'whole-and-part harmony' basis.

This shift from content-over-context (assertive-over-inductive) to 'context-over-content' (inductive-over-assertive) was in the same manner as a pool player, who might start off by focusing first on 'shots' (assertive play) and eventually realizing that each assertive movement had a simultaneous, reciprocal transforming influence on 'dynamic opportunity space' which was gating the opportunity for assertive actions for all constituents, ... the (eventually) wise pool player realizing that his assertive skills (shot-making abilities) should not 'come first' but should instead be used to support his 'shape management' skills. In pool lingo, this is termed 'shape-over-shots'. Again, this is not an 'either-or' situation but a transcendent situation since by focusing first on 'managing the shape of opportunity', he can put all his assertive skills to work (and develop some new ones as well). Meanwhile, if he stays with 'shots-over-shape', he will always be exposed to infusing dissonance into 'dynamic opportunity space'.

Thus the team has much to gain and nothing to lose in flipping from 'shots-over-shape' to 'shape over shots' (i.e. from 'assertive-over-inductive' to 'inductive-over-assertive'). This is a very general geometry which is implicit in the 'Lima Beans' story and applies to nature in general (i.e. 'nature' is clearly 'shape-over-shots').

* * *

How does 'the toxic ground of business' come into play?

What I realized in my earlier studies, but hadn't fully assimilated into my awareness, is that mainstream science is 'assertive-over-inductive' and thus scientific theory as applied to management innately imposes an assertive-over-inductive geometry.

Recent dialogues on quantum physics and non-Darwinian-Selection biology have helped me to more fully assimilate this situation.

Mainstream science has tried to capture, in laws and principles, how nature 'asserts itself'. Scientists like Kepler (non-mainstream) pointed out that the coherent organization in the solar system and in nature in general could not be fully characterized in terms of 'assertive behaviour'. In particular, the simultaneous harmony of sun and planets was innately 'inductive', from the 'outside-inwards' in the manner of nested vortices in a 'magnetic river'. Paraphrasing his words, the harmony represented in the solar system was 'volumetric harmony' rather than 'sequential, trajectory-based harmony' [2].

As Henri Poincaré later pointed out, describing the simultaneous harmony of three or more bodies under mutual attraction is innately beyond the capability of the 'assertive' mode of description of mathematical physics due to what has come to be know as 'Chaos Theory'. In Poincare's words; "... it may happen that small differences in the initial conditions produce very great ones in the final phenomena." [3]

What is 'understood' but not stated here is that the traditional scientific mode of description is innately 'assertive', being based on 'what things do' or 'how they assert'. Thus, one often hears this quote from Poincaré, which is simply the 'assertive' form of a far more complete discussion of 'chance' (le hasard) in his original essay, 'Le Hasard'. Poincaré, a bit farther on in the discussion, gives the example of a business man going to work whose pattern of movement may be rather well known (predictable) who passes by a building where a roofer drops a tile which strikes and kills the man (perhaps his hands were slippery because he had something greasy for lunch). In the case where the man walking by is killed, we describe his death as an accident (in terms of chance and probability). However, these two worlds, the world of the roofer and the world of the businessman may never interfere depending on tiny changes in conditions. Poincaré says;

"Toutes les fois que deux mondes, généralement étrangers <78> l'un à l'autre, viennent ainsi à réagir l'un sur l'autre, les lois de cette réactionne peuvent être que très complexes, et, d'autre part, il aurait suffi d'un très petit changement dans les conditions initiales de ces deux mondes pour que la réaction n'eût pas lieu. Qu'il aurait fallu peu de choses pour que l'homme passât une seconde plus tard, ou que le couvreur laissât tomber sa tuile une seconde plus t-t!"

(Every time that two worlds, normally strangers to each other, come into interaction with one another, the laws of this interaction may be very complex, and morever, a very small change in the initial conditions of these two worlds would have sufficed to the end that the interaction had not taken place. Very insubstantial variations would have been necessary to have had the man pass by a second later, or to have had the roofer drop his tile a second earlier.")

The imagery here is that the space which one is immersed in is far from 'non-participating' and meanwhile, the assertive descriptions of science neglect the topography of 'what did not happen' which inductively opened up the corridors of opportunity for what did happen. All of this is 'hidden' in the assertion of 'existence' of a thing, out of the context of ontogenic time. As this simple example of Poincaré's implies, things exist because of their ontogenic corridor of opportunity, ... wherein their fellow constituents of space open up the dynamic opportunity corridor for the thing to move through on its passage from earlier ontogenic times (earlier space-time forms). Each thing is thus related to its environment, its containing space, through ontogenic time. Each moment that a thing persists in existence, it persists by the grace of its containing environment, not just in terms of 'on/off' existence but in terms of the simultaneous harmonic nestings which at all levels depend upon outer-inner codynamical harmony and which ultimately depends upon (references to) the outermost environment, as does a vortex in riverflow.

Returning to Kepler's point about 'volumetric harmony', Kepler maintained that there was an overriding 'inductive influence' which preceded the assertive behaviour of the planets, and that this inductive influence was responsible for the 'whole-and-part' 'container-constituent-codynamical harmony' or 'volumetric harmony' amongst things which could not be explained 'from the inside-outwards' but had to be explained from the 'outside-inwards' which was, in effect, insisting on the need for a 'field theory' which was not innately dependent upon 'the assertive behaviour of matter'.

Until the time of relativity and quantum theory, mainstream science was (and still is) 'assertive theory based'.

[[And it was not until 1963 and Lorenz (MIT, meteorology) re-discovered the 'chaos' effect, that Poincaré's much earlier work was 're-discovered', including his now classic 'small difference, great effects' comment; meanwhile the chaos scientists seemed to have been looking for an 'assertive description' and passed by the rest of Poincar‚'s commentary on 'inductive' effects. The ignoring, in assertive description which presumes 'existence in its own right', ... of the ontogenic 'opportunity corridor' experience of all entities which 'wraps back and around' and connects one's ancestors with one's current environment, seems to bring out the truth in Poincaré's comment that; "In the old days when people invented a new function they had something useful in mind. Now, they invent them deliberately just to invalidate our ancestors' reasoning, and that is all they are ever going to get out of them."]]

As Poincaré pointed out, just as Newton looked at Kepler's 'inductive-over-assertive' theory in 'assertive-over-inductive' mode, we always have this option, which is essentially 'reductionist' and excludes the 'volumetric harmony aspects' (simultaneous, reciprocal container-constituent-codynamics).

This 'reduction', in effect, removes the role of time from phenomena in its 'space-time' (volumetric harmony) manifestation in nature, and 'puts it back in' in a simplified 'space-and-time' mode. That is, assertive specification amounts to the splitting apart of space and time so as to 'decouple' the 'participation of space' (einstein) in the physical phenomena and rendering the material constituents 'independent'.

As Poincaré says in "Science and Hypothesis" in the chapter "Hypotheses in Physics", subsection "Origin of Mathematical Physics", ...

"We recognise at the outset that the efforts of scientists have always tended to resolve the complex phenomenon given directly by our experience into a large number of elementary phenomena.

And to do this in three different ways : first, with respect to time. Instead of taking into account the progressive development of a phenomenon as a whole [which would clearly include geometrodynamical or 'ontogenic' continuity into its space-time containing environment], we simply seek to connect each moment with the one immediately preceding. We assert that the present state of the world depends only on the immediate past, without being directly influenced, so to speak, by the memory of a more distant past. Thanks to this postulate, instead of studying directly the whole succession of phenomena, we may confine ourselves to writing down "its differential equation" ; for the laws of Kepler, we substitute the laws of Newton."

The 'imposition' of differential equations thus excises the constituents from their ontogenic origins, making them falsely appear as 'independent', ... independent of their own birthing parentage and ancestry, ... their ontogenic history which connects them and everything with everything else.

We can visualize this in terms of the volumetric harmony manifest in galaxies, the solar system and in terrestrial landscapes, ... this volumetric harmony speaks to the 'living nature' of the purely implicit (relational) landscape within which we are immersed participating constituents. This purely implicit and non-explicitly articulable 'landscape' which we have been calling 'dynamic opportunity space' is none other than 'ontogenic time', the memory of the implicit relational codynamic we call 'life'. Ontogenic time, the inarticulable relational codynamic, the 'evolutionary essence', is what we strip out by the imposition of, in Einstein's terminology, 'the frightening ghosts of inertial reference frame and absolute time' or, in Poincaré's terminology, by the 'substituting of the 'differential equation'- the laws of Newton, for the [volumetric harmony-based] laws of Kepler'.

While Poincaré clearly shows that this substitution of 'absolute time' for 'ontogenic time' (which is bound up in 'space-time' transformation), makes mathematical physics an unnacceptable base for the 'natural sciences' (e.g. evolutionary biology, psychology etc.), ... his message does not appear to 'have carried' and the 'rationality' which is based on this simplifying assumption of 'absolute clockworks time' for the 'space-time continuum based 'ontogenic time', has been pushed well beyonds its innate limits.

Returning to the exceptional teams, then, ... the exceptional team, by flipping into the 'inductive-over-assertive' mode, ... effectively re-institutes 'ontogenic time' and allows itself to reference to its living, containing space-time continuum. In this way, it bypasses the assumption of 'initial conditions' which inevitably lead to 'chaos' since they can never be chosen with sufficient accuracy (i.e. because they don't exist in nature, ... nature which is a continuing space-time ontogeny). What we 'remove, when we remove ontogenic time, the memory of our ancestors (all of the former constituents of space-time) is life itself!

Exceptional teams are thus living teams which inevitably catch the eye of management and there follows an attempt to understand the mode of operation of the team, so that its successful practice can be 'replicated' across the organization.

Of course, the 'way the team works' is inevitably cast into the 'assertive' scientific framework and the exceptional results are cast in terms of their emanating from 'exceptional constituents'. The exceptional constituents are classified in terms of 'best practices' and 'high potential employees'. Follow-through action by management includes the promotion of the 'high potential employees' (and recycling in new employees who are forced to assert in such a manner as to sustain prior exceptional results), as well as the imposition across the organization of the 'best practices' formulated in 'assertive terms' (assertive principles and rule structures). The team dies a slow but certain death as the remaining individuals, who realize that the polarity inversion away from assertive-over-inductive was the key difference, ... but who cannot articulate it, ... eventually 'give up' talking about it because they are seen as 'arrogant' and always insisting that they are 'superior' in some way without being able to show how, on the basis of their assertive qualities, 'they' are any better than anyone else's. To scientific management, all issues beyond the assertive (i.e. 'inside-outward' action management), are 'soft' and must not be allowed to take precedence over the assertive.

In a nutshell, then, exceptional teams re-reference to the ontogenic time base (otherwise known as life) which science has replaced with 'clockworks', which effectively 'puts the ancestral head' back on the physical shoulders which have been 'mechanically regulated' by rational, clockworks.

This 'substitution' of clockworks time (absolute time, the same for everyone) for ontogenic time (geometric time or 'living dynamic' corresponding to space-time transformation) gives context to McLuhan's (and David Abram's) point that 'rationality' as infused in the written language and by media technologies (the printing press, radio and television) has 'overbalanced' our senses and taken away the perception of 'immersion' as was given by the oral tradition. The oral tradition, in effect, 'spins a web' around the listener (via story and myth) which allows the listener to enter inside of the continuing space-time ontogeny otherwise know as 'evolution' or 'life'. 'Rationality', technology-leveraged through scientific textbooks, electronic media (radio and television 'reporting'), fragmented university teachings, scientific management practices which pervade business and government and all walks of life, ... and even 'timeline' based history which fragments history into dates and events which are supposed 'causal' and assertive (as opposed to story-based history which is 'inductive-over-assertive' and includes the pull of the environment in inducing assertive response), 'detaches' the listener from his immersion in ontogenic time (life), by its construction based on material things and their assertive behaviour; i.e. by replacing the ontogenic time of Kepler for the clock time of Newton.

Apparently, when we're not 'killing time' ('clock-time', that is), it is killing us!

* * *


My Father and the Lima Beans

Paula Underwood 1(800) 995-3320

[[Paul Underwood is an oral historian with lifelong training in this ancient Native American methodology. She is a descendant of the chief Shenandoah, known and respected by Benjamin Franklin, and also a descendent of Benjamin Franklin.]]

There was something going on in the kitchen. I could hear my mother's voice and the soft query of my father. The tone in his voice caught my ear. There was more to be understood.

I heard my mother's laugh and the rattling of a paper bag, ... something hard going inside, many small things tumbling in. And finally, I heard my father's whistle as he went out the screen door, . . . rattling whatever he had in that paper bag. His way of catching my attention.

'He wants me to come,' I thought. And, even as those words skimmed over the surface of my mind, my feet already carried me through that same screen door, following the music of my father's whistle, the syncopation of the rattle which was a paper bag.

He was already seated on the beaten earth floor of our garage. . . our special place for learning. On the floor in front of him he had begun to set out a circle of lima beans. Lima beans! So that's what h e sought form my mother. Permission for some of our dinner to become one more lesson for an inquiring child.

'What are you doing, Daddy?" I asked, seeing no explanation i could devise.

'Why, I'm building my community, Honeygirl!' And one by one he laid out a circle of lima beans, one of our Three Sacred Sisters, members of his new community.

'This one is a woman who's about 45 years old. She's a real hard worker, but she sure is a nag!' Holding up one bean for me to see, to understand as part of his community, he placed it carefully on the floor.

'And this is a boy of about 12. He can be a real hard worker, too, but he's into mischeif most of the time!'

And one by one, my father described his community to me. A hunter who understood deer better than corn, an elderly woman who still knew how to bend to any task, two young men just learning how to hunt, a kind young woman who was soon to be married, a young woman who was very beautiful ... and who knew this to be true .... fonder of sitting and letting others admire her than of bending to any task. One by one the complexities of any community, of the community my father gathered, were laid out before me for consideration.

'Now,' my father said when he was done, 'that's my community! Where's yours?'

'Mine? What do you mean mine?' I asked, wondering if I should ask more lima beans of my mother, even less for dinner.

'Well, you can have any of mine. Any you might like. You can take any member of my community you want for your own . . . and build your own community.'

What a thought! Any one I liked . . . build my own community ...

'Well, I don't want the 45 year old woman who nags! There's enough of that in this life. But I'll take the 12 year old boy who gets into mischief. Guess if I can handle my brother I can handle him!'

And one by one I chose, ... or did not choose, ... members of my father's community for my own. I chose every one I thought would get along well, the ones I thought would be nice to live with and left the others behind for my father to deal with. After all, he was older than me, wiser than me as well.

'That it, Honeygirl?' my Father asked?

'Yeah, I think that's all'.

'Looks like a pretty nice group o' folks!' he went on.

'I thought so!' Just think how well we will all get on together.

'Now,' my Father added, 'It's harvest time and there's a lot o' things that need doin'. So let's see how this is going to work. You need two people to walk down the rows o' corn and twist off the heads. Then you need two people behind them to chop down the corn stalks. Over here you need four people ready to start processing the corn.'

One by one my father laid out the tasks that needed doing . . all at the same time.

And I very soon ran out of people!

'Well,' I suggested as the work yet undone stretched out in front of me. 'Maybe I could add that 45 year old woman who's a hard worker, even if she does nag! Maybe I could put her and that 12 year old that gets into mischief together. That way they'd keep each other busy and get a lot of work done!

'And maybe I could add .. '

One by one the members of my father's community found their way into my own, each chosen for some skill lacking in the others, all needed for the vital task of seeing our community through one more long, cold winter!

Still, the woman who knew she was beautiful had not been included. After all, what could someone like that add to a day filled with work?

'Hoo-ee, Honeygirl, looks like your folks is really working hard. Looks like things are gettin done. But you know, they look tired to me. Looks to me like they need something to cheer them up. What could that be?

And then I remembered. The young woman who knew she was beautiful . . . also loved to sing. And it seemed to me maybe not so bad . . . if she sat on a rock . . . near the People . . . sat and sang to them of celebrations and full stomachs and a new Spring greeted by a happy People. If she sat and sang, she could ease their day, help their work, brighten their world.

Perhaps her self-aawareness of beauty was not so bad after all!

And so you see how it was? How one by one each and every member of my father's community found their way into mine .. . for this or that reason, this or that skill, this or that need as yet unmet.

And you see how it is, ... from that day to this . . . I have never had any trouble at all including in my community people I might have found inconvenient, . . once upon a time . . . but saw now as offering any community . . . my community, . . the diversity we may yet need.

* * *

[2] Nov. 25/2000 excerpt from quantum physics dialogue Re: Assertiveness and love

>At 07:24 AM 11/24/00 +0200, you wrote:


>What you say about assertive behaviour is in nutshell what happens
>in this society just now. Why I have not reacted to this point is that it
>is something which I frustratingly experience every day.
>Science is full of aggressive and arrogant alpha male professors;
>the politician wanting to be taken seriously must be assertive and
>aggressive; young career builders must be certain about their goals
>and express their eagerness for competion.


>The word 'love' is extremely rarely heard in the talk produced by
>those who call them decision makers. When the ability to love is lost,
> even the word ceases to be used. It resembles what Damasio tells
>about patient who had lost the ability to experience fear: She had
>also lost ability to draw faces expressing fear although she had
>excellent skills in drawing.


>Instead of the word 'love' I encounter the word 'decision maker'
>everywhere. World is full of assertive decision makers and they
>enjoy astronomical salaries: the side incomes of the leader of
>Nokia in year corresponds to the budget of Sibelius Academy!
>Somehow the assertive mode is the only respected mode in
>the modern society.

"... this also has been my common experience, and it has made me reflect on our assumptions in describing the way the world works.

that is, as we set out to describe 'the way the world works', we must have some terms and tools for such a description. our description of the world will be very different depending on whether we (without declaring so), think of the world as 'asserting itself' or whether we think of the world as being pulled into being by some inductive field such as 'love'.

assertion is a 'one-to-many' outwelling which wants to 'spread its seed', while induction is a 'many-to-one' inwelling which wants to bring everyone together harmoniously and creatively.

so as we set out to describe the world, the terms and tools (including mathematical tools) we choose will depend upon the relationship between inductiveness and assertiveness as to the basic nature of the way the world works.

for example, kepler's laws put inductiveness over assertiveness and he saw the sun as an inductive focus or 'eye' as in the 'eye of a hurrican'e, ... and made the clear assocation with 'love', as this excerpt from 'harmonies of the world make clear;

". . . still it is not easy for dwellers on the earth to conjecture what sort of sight is present in the sun, what eyes there are, or what other instinct there is for perceiving those angles even without eyes and for evaluating the harmonies of the movements entering into the antechamber of the mind by whatever doorway, and finally what mind there is in the sun. None the less, however those things may be, this composition of the six primary spheres around the sun, cherishing it with their perpetual revolutions and as it were adoring it (just as, separately, four moons accompany the globe of Jupiter, two Saturn, but a single moon by its circuit encompasses, cherishes, fosters the Earth and us its inhabitants, and ministers to us) and this special business of the harmonies, which is a most clear footprint of the highest providence over solar affairs, now being added to that consideration [324] wrings from me the following confession: not only does light go out from the sun into the whole world, as from the focus or eye of the world, as life and heat from the heart, as every movement from the King and mover [queen comment comes later], but conversely also by royal law these returns, so to speak, of every lovely harmony are collected in the sun from every province in the world, nay, the forms of movements by twos flow together and are bound into one harmony by the work of some mind, and are as it were coined money from silver and gold bullion; finally, the curia, palace, and praetorium or throne-room of the whole realm of nature are in the sun, whatsoever chancellors, palatines, prefects the Creator has given to nature; for them, whether created immediately from the beginning or to be transported hither at some time, has He made ready those seats."

that kepler believed that one could not explain the solar system in terms of 'assertiveness' (bottom-up thinking or 'inside-outwards assertion) and saw the system as being determined 'inductively' from the 'outside-inwards' (under the influence of the vortex of the sun) is unambigously declared in his following statement;

"Therefore with everything reduced to one view, I concluded rightly [287] that the true journeys of the planets through the ether should be dismissed, and that we should turn our eyes to the apparent diurnal arcs, according as they are all apparent, from one definite and marked place in the world --- namely, from the solar body itself, the source of movement of all the planets: and we must see, not how far away from the sun any one of the planets is, nor how much space it traverses in one day (for that is something for ratiocination and astronomy, not for instinct), but how great an angle the diurnal movement of each planet subtends in the solar body, or how great an arc it seems to traverse in one commen circle described around the sun, such as the ecliptic, in order that these appearances, which were conveyed to the solar body by virtue of light, may be able to flow, together with the light, in a straight line into creatures, which are partakers of this instinct, as in Book IV we said the figure of the heavens flowed into the foetus by virtue of the rays."

it is clear to me that most scientists today do not understand this fundamental point, that it is impossible to explain the solar system in 'assertive-over-inductive' terms. they miss it just as newton missed it, and when one delves in to the geometry of the solar system too closely, coming from one's 'assertive-over-inductive' assumptions, one gets a shock, as can be seen in the discussion on 'tycho's illusion' at

[[meanwhile, the implications that inductiveness-over-assertiveness (relativity) explain everything is strongly resisted by the gatekeepers in this discussion and they have rejected my commentaries twice, labelling them as 'incomprehensible'. ]]

..... meanwhile, isaac newton, was convinced that the way the world worked was 'assertive-over-inductive' and he was fully satisfied with describing the solar system in terms of two-planet pairs which kepler had already said was not 'the big story', ... as is evident in this thirteenth footnote to my rejected-as-incomprehensible comment on tycho's illusion;

* * *

13. In his original untranslated words in 'Harmonice Mundi' (1619), Kepler says;

"Nun aber tragen zur Vervollkommnung der Welt mehr die Gesamtharmonien aller Planeten bei als die einzelnen Harmonien bei je zwei und die Paare von Harmonien bei je zwei benachbarten Planeten. Denn die Harmonie ist gewissermaßen ein Band der Vereinigung. Es liegt aber eine weitergehende Vereinigung vor, wenn alle Planeten miteinander eine Harmonie bilden, als wenn immer je zwei für sich in doppelter Weise harmonieren. Im Widerstreit dieser Harmonien mußte daher von den beiden Harmoniereihen, die die Planetenpaare miteinander bilden, die eine oder andere nachgeben, damit die Gesamtharmonien aller bestehen konnte."

13a. Translation: "Now, the 'harmony-of-the-whole of all the planets contributes more to the perfection of the world than the single harmonies by twos and the pairs of harmonies by the twos of neighbouring planets. For harmony is, so to speak, a volume [containerful] of unity. A deeper unity yet is presented, when all the planets form a harmony with each another, as when just two at a time harmonize in a bivalent manner. In the interference of these harmonies deriving from the dual harmonic line-ups, which the pairs of planets form with each another, the one or the other must give way (yield), so that the harmony-of-the- whole can prevail."


... meanwhile, newton was trying to recast all of history into the 'assertive-over-inductive' mode, as the following citation from 'Let Newton Be' (a 300 year commemorative on newton);

"Voltaire had claimed the same intellectual qualities we so much admire and find awe-inspiring in the Principia are equally reflected in his theological and biblical work. Recent historical researches do not confirm that judgement. In his 'Isaac Newton, historian' (1963), Frank Manuel showed that much of Newton's biblical work was focused on the study of the ancient Near East, in order to demonstrate that biblical prophecy could retrospectively be seen to have predicted the future course of history in minute detail. Newton wished to make Israel the fountain of all the knowledge and wisdom that had flowed to the Mesopotamians and Egyptians. In order to do so he was forced to twist astronomical and other evidence in a very arbitrary way. When compared with the sophisticated historical and philological methods developed for the study of the Bible by the Catholic scholars of his own time, Newton's work seems dated and mediocre --- as Voltaire must have recognized."

...apparently, these ... "same intellectual qualities we so much admire and find awe-inspiring in the Principia", the qualities of assertive 'authority' over inductive 'love' continue to dominate our scientific thinking to the point that the 'gatekeepers' of our scientific worldview will not even allow them to be published in the official media. judging by your comments on your home page, you seem to have run into this gatekeeper's rejection as well.

* * *

[3] Henri Poincaré, "Science and Method" (collected essays), 1908 (originally from the article 'Le Hasard' published in 'Le Revue du mois' in 1907)

"Une cause très petite, qui nous échappe, détermine un effet considérable que nous ne pouvons pas ne pas voir, et alors nous disons que cet effect est dû au hasard. Si nous connaissions exactement les lois de la nature et la situation de l'universe à l'instant initial, nous pourrions prédire exactement la situation de ce même universe à un instan ultérieur. Mais, lors même que les lois naturelles n'auraient plus de secret pour nous, nour ne pourrons connaître la situation initiale qu'approximativement. Si cela nous permet de prévoir la situation ultérieure avec la même approximation, c'est tous ce qu'il nous faut, nous disons que le phénomène a été prévu, qu'il est régi par des lois ; mais il n'en est pas toujours ainsi, il peut arriver que de petites différences dans les conditions initiales en engendrent de très grandes dans les phénomènes finaux ; une petite erreur sur les premières produirent une <69> erreur énorme sur les derniers. La prédiction devient impossible et nous avons le phénomène fortuit."

"A very small cause which escapes our notice determines a considerable effect that we cannot fail to see, and then we say that the 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 latter. Prediction becomes impossible, and we have the fortuitous phenomenon."

Return to Index of Essays