Montréal, October 15, 1999
... "As with the unifying conjunctio of opportunity and purpose, so with that of quim and cock and so with all.", .... Zeus & Emile
This politically incorrect opening imagery is a representation of the 'field' version of Newton's "as with the order of movement of an apple in fall, so with that of the moon, and so with all". The essential geometric-topological difference is that in the first mentioned imagery, the attractive force or 'dipolar field of opportunity-purpose' seems to emanate from Zen 'yin-space' or 'the void which must be filled', while in Newton's insight on gravity, it is unclear from whence the 'motive force' emanates and while he subsequently formulated gravity in the reciprocal terms of 'matter' rather than 'space', ... implicitly ascribing 'opportunity' and 'purpose' in 'materialist' terms, ... as being the innate properties of 'things' and causal dynamics, ... he was not at all happy  with this 'device' which turned out to be necessary to make his 'mathematical principles' fit together in a clockworks like manner.
The female - male co-engagement geometry seems often to be avoided in 'serious' discussion which seeks understanding of 'how the world works', yet as anthropologists such as Mircea Eliade ('mephistopheles et l'androgyne' ['the two and the one']) have pointed out, ... this enigma of 'the two and the one' is the fundamental question of all time and all cultures, .... the question of; 'how is opposition resolved?'. Nature itself is continually asking and answering that question as environmental container engages with immersed constituent. The female-male co-engagement geometry, ... where opportunity embraces purpose and the two become one, would appear to be the 'mother of all systems'.
In seeking to understand the geometry of conflict resolution, a fundamental philosophical question emerges, ... a question which separates the cultures of the east from the cultures of the west, .... a question which separates aboriginal from whiteman and western child from western adult.
Is the 'two and the one' in nature a 'simultaneous unity and plurality', or is it a 'sequential unity and plurality'. Does it make sense to model opportunity and purpose simply as tangible and distinct things which achieve co-satisfaction sequentially over time, through material-causal dynamics, ... or do we need to model opportunity and purpose as virtual entities which are meaningful even before they tangibly engage one another. The answer to this question is of critical importance to the understanding of complex systems, ... to the understanding of 'the way the world works'.
Is the geometric opportunity possessed by a ball in the game of pool 'meaningful' even before the ball is tangibly activating its 'purpose' as shots are made? Must the fact that the 'shape' of opportunity precludes the pursuit of particular purpose, ... be considered as a 'determinant' of how the game unfolds? Is the game fully determined by the shots made (the causal dynamics) or is there a bigger story here, about the shots 'not-made' because of an awareness of the 'shape' of opportunity and the ability to 'shape' opportunity with purpose. Is there a general principle here which must be accounted for in science?, ... in systems sciences?
If it occurs that the virtual geometry of opportunity and purpose ALWAYS influences the evolution of the 'play', as it does in the game of pool, ... in other words, if we must opt for the 'simultaneous unity and plurality' model of nature, as opposed to its secondary 'child' (which is a contained special case abstraction) of 'sequential unity and plurality', then it must be accounted for in systems sciences.
Thus, the question in the essay "Purposeful People, Causality and Systems Sciences", posed to Russell Ackoff and systems sciences professionals, which was;
* * *"So which is it to be, Russ? .... simultaneous mutual inclusion which keeps space-time intact?, ... or sequential mutual exclusion, a degenerate form or 'special case' which splits apart space and time and drops us back into non-relativistic euclidian space?" * * *
And the response, which came back indirectly (the message was sent indirectly via a mutual friend) from Russ was;
* * * "Unfortunately, I have more commitments than I can meet. I just can't take on a detailed reply to [Emile] although he deserves one. He should publish in Systems Practice and see what reaction, if any, he gets.
He misinterprets several things I can only mention here without going into in depth. A system is not indivisible in the same sense as a physical or chemical element is. A system can be divided physically and even functionally, but when it is, it loses its defining function. It appears to me, but I could be wrong, that [Emile] does not fully understand teleology--function and purpose. A glance at ON PURPOSEFUL SYSTEMS might help." * * *
Now aiming my question at Russell Ackoff was partly a rhetorical device in reaction to the problem; .... how and with whom IS one to address an issue which underpins a discipline (systems sciences) as opposed to addressing an issue which is 'within' the discipline? My experience is that no-one in the discipline is interested in basic assumptions because only the founders of the discipline set up the basic platforms and most of those who work within the disciplines START from a by-rote assimilation of those initial assumptions and never go through the mental and philosophical gyrations which gave birth to them, as the founders did. This in itself is Goedel's theorem of incompleteness as it applies to disciplinary science, ... "The disciplinary professional who revises the assumptions for all those disciplinary professionals who cannot revise their own assumptions, ... cannot revise his own assumptions but cannot avoid doing so." Their is much traffic over bridges but few of those who travel over them are interested or skilled in bridge-building. This is a basic limitation of transdisciplinary research, ... the notion of after-the-fact aggregation of results, ... as advocated by scientists such as Edward O. Wilson ('Consilience').
Russell Ackoff, now eighty, .... is a platform builder. He is an original thinker who was professor of Systems Sciences at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and left there along with small team of people, to form his own 'systems science school', 'Interact', purportedly because the Wharton School was unable to come to grips with his going beyond causality as a 'necessary and sufficient' principle for explaining systems, and his going beyond the 'closed systems' and 'bottom-up' (organization -out) view of how systems work, to the 'open systems' and 'top-down' (environment-in) view. Ackoff has been described, in the following terms; "Russell Ackoff has probably influenced more managers than any other living person . . Two of his books, 'Scientific Method' (1962) and 'Redesigning the Future' (1974), are the cornerstones of much of the theory and methods for systematic analysis of problems in management and planning. (APA Journal).
So, the 'rhetorical device' was an attempt to engage with 'platform builders' in the domain of systems sciences, ... rather than followers of Ackoff, or Gharajedaghi or Jackson or Flood etc. on a topic which is SO basic that many people appear unable to SEE it.
I appreciated Ackoff's helpful response very much and have keyed into his comment;
"It appears to me, but I could be wrong, that [Emile] does not fully understand teleology--function and purpose. A glance at ON PURPOSEFUL SYSTEMS might help."
I was unable to find a copy of 'On Purposeful Systems' (1972, out of print) but did manage to find a copy of 'Creating the Corporate Future' (1981, out of print) where in a very nicely laid out Chapter One; 'Our Changing Concept of the World', he summarizes the teleology - purpose issues. And here, the difference in assumptions between Ackoff and Emile (who is bootstrapping towards understanding 'environment-system' with the aid of relativity and quantum physics concepts), becomes clear.
The question is, once again;
Must we consider, as a general aspect of 'understanding the way the world works', ... the LATENT GEOMETRY of 'opportunity-purpose' as influencing systems behavior? (i.e. in the manner that the geometric 'shape' of the configuration of billiard balls influences the evolving play of the game of pool beyond the actual shot-making dynamics.)
The significant aspect of this issue is that it takes us BEYOND the domain of 'what is done', ... into the domain of IMAGINATION which governs 'what is not done'. That is, as human beings, our actions are guided by our space-time conception (geometric conception) of the fit between opportunity and purpose. We move towards places where we feel that there is opportunity, ... an 'opening', ... which we can enter into in order to satisfy our purpose.
A real world example of the influence of the geometric 'shape' of 'what is not done' can be imagined in a white-male-oriented corporation, where management positions are 'blocked', as in the game of pool, to blacks and females, ... but are opened up for white males. Now the white males in control positions will tend to describe this game in terms of tangible, causal actions, ... as the poor pool player describes a game of pool. But there is also a story here in the coherency of 'what is not done', ... which never shows up on the databanks of 'what is done'. The skilled pool player knows that 'shape is everything', ... and 'shape' is about how 'opportunity' opens up for 'purpose.'
By 'shape is everything', the skilled pool player means that the geometric configuration of balls and its evolving 'shape' is what takes precedence over the 'shot-making' since where desired shots are 'snookered' (blocked) by the configuration, ... they will not be made, and they will not show up on the 'what is done' (observed, tangible, systems behavior) books, ... which provides the basic data for understanding the system in the classical terms of systems sciences. Professional pool games are won on the basis of what is not done. Here I am speaking of theory in terms of implicit understanding, ... in the sense that Ackoff and Gharajedaghi may actually operate like skilled pool players, ... but may not be precipitating 'the full story' into the theoretical formulation; i.e. they do not appear to be including the 'what is not done' aspects into the theory.
What is going on here?
If you believe, that 'what is not done', due to 'snookering' effects influences system behavior, ... then you are implicitly opting for seeing the world in terms of 'simultaneous unity and plurality'. In other words, you believe that as soon as there is movement, the opportunity-purpose geometry is changed and that this in turn effects the behavior of the system.
At least at the level of humans, .. this indeed appears to be simply 'common sense', right?. But even at the level of an electron, ... the electron knows in advance it cannot occupy a molecular orbital position which is already filled and it does not even 'try'.
Do electrons have IMAGINATION?
Maybe the word 'imagination' is troublesome here. What if we say that an electron can 'feel' both attraction and repulsion, ... would that be better? But in field theory, an electron can 'feel' more than 'attraction' and 'repulsion' which are notions based on the forces being innate in the particles, ... rather than in the field which contains the particles; i.e. in field theory, an electron can 'feel' dipolar rotational forces emanating from the 'ether' which immerses them, so the notions of 'attraction' and 'repulsion' grow in dimensionality to become 'induction' and 'suppression', .... notions which now imply 'shape' relative to the size and form of what is moving and the size and form of the inductive opening.
So the electron can actually 'feel' a pull towards an attractor (can feel 'purpose'), ... and the electron can actually 'feel' a push away from a repulsor or negative attractor (can feel reciprocal purpose). Now taking relativity into account, ... these two 'feelings' have a 'reciprocal' relationship with each other, just as in pool, ... so that the electron, in feeling 'suppression' (the geometric pattern or 'shape' of a repulsor), does not just go about blindly bumping into things and saying 'gee, I'm sorry, I didn't realize this orbital position was already occupied'. The electron is influenced by the opportunity-purpose configuration which 'he' can visualize by means of being able to 'feel' induction and suppression (shaped or configured repulsion). In fact these two 'feelings' are a dipolar 'unity', ... one being the reciprocal of the other.
The electron has the property we can call 'X', which enables it to move about, ... not purposelessly and stupidly bumping into things as causality would have it, ... but moving purposively forward while avoiding blocked passages and avoiding any attempt to slot into occupied equilibrium basins (occupied orbitals). In other words, this property 'X' influences the behavior of the electron so that set of things which 'it doesn't do' implies, by exception, what 'it does do'. In a sense, the electron is like the impressionist painter, who 'comes from' an implicit sense of whole-and-part relationship within which any particular 'part' is a secondary aspect, or abstraction of the negative space imagery which he puts in the primacy. That is, the electron determines 'what it does do' as secondary fallout from the geometric shape of the 'field' in which it is an immersed constituent-participant (it also helps to create the field with its charge and motion so it 'is' the field in an inclusionary sense, as well.).
Now at the level of 'humans', ... we have a name for this property 'X' which enables us to avoid causally (= purposelessly) bumping into things and, instead, pre-selecting paths where we pre-suppose our purpose will engage with opportunity; i.e. 'X' = IMAGINATION.
Now here is where our anthropomorphic pride is hurt, ... because we (of the west) have viewed 'life' and 'human life' in particular, as being fundamentally special and 'above' nature as a whole, in an intrinsic way, rather than simply being due to a complexly evolved enfolding pattern. We have not really assimilated the biological 'clues' such as the fact that we have paramecium like structures inside of our neurons, ... and tetrahymena like peptides acting as emotional transceivers in our bloodstream, ... both ancient one-celled creatures, enfolded in our complex lifeform.
This line of reasoning, then, .... and actually it is not a 'line of reasoning' as in exclusionary logic, ... but a synthesis of reason, ... as in Einstein and relativity's "bringing a multitude of real and imaginary experiences into connection in the mind" to make sense of them. ... This synthesis of reason leads to the conclusion that "the way the world works" is as a 'simultaneous unity and plurality", ... and this implies that we, and everything else, are part of the whole and the whole is part of us, in a geometric-informational sense, ... that when anything moves, ... our opportunity- purpose potentials are changed, ... just as if we were a billiard ball in the game of pool. And this also implies that each move that we make changes the whole 'reciprocal disposition' or 'shape' of the 'opportunity-purpose field' for everyone and everything else.
Reasoning as above leads us to this 'living nature of which we are a part' view. Now it is natural for us, from such a fundamental viewing, ... to proceed to approximate and simplify from this point, focusing in on our free will and apparent independence, ... but unless we go back and find fault with our reasoning, the 'real' basis for 'the way the world works' will remain this 'living whole-and-part evolutionary dynamic'. In this view, we are not absolutely independent but 'a strand in the web of life' as the aboriginals say of man, ... but we do have this 'free will' and it is really our ability to 'interpret' the geometry we are immersed in and to respond to that interpretation. Now an electron has this geometric 'interpretive capability' as described above, but without many knobs and levers on it. But man, ... being a complexly enfolded psychosomatic network incorporating billions of such mini-interpreters, has the evolved knobs and levers of a complex 'consciousness'.
If we are a 'strand in the web of life', this raises some basic questions about 'subjectivity' and 'objectivity' which will be fundamental to understanding 'systems' and 'how the world works'. This problem of the blurriness between 'subjectivity' and 'objectivity' comes back around to issues of 'relativistic interpretation'. Emile touched on this subject in his letter to the editors of Complexity, entitled 'Comments on 'Chaos, Emergence, and Life', published vol 4, no. 5, May/June 1999. An excerpt from which, follows;
"The manifest 'relativistic' nature of subjectivity and objectivity in complex social systems has been described by Bergson in terms of there being "two profoundly different ways of knowing a thing. ... the first one implies that we move round the object; the second that we enter into it... ", ... by Varela in terms of fractal circularity, ... "Tradition would have it that experience is either a subjective or an objective affair, that the world is there and that we either see it as it is or we see it through our subjectivity. However, when we follow the guiding thread of circularity and its natural history, we may look at that quandary from a different perspective; that of PARTICIPATION and INTERPRETATION where the subject and the object are inseparably meshed.", and by Erwin Schroedinger in terms of there being "... an unavoidable and uncontrollable impression from the side of the SUBJECT onto the OBJECT ... "What remains doubtful to me is only just this: whether it is adequate to term one of the two physically interacting systems the 'subject'. ... FOR THE OBSERVING MIND IS NOT A PHYSICAL SYSTEM, IT CANNOT INTERACT WITH ANY PHYSICAL SYSTEM. And it might be better to reserve the term 'subject' for the observing mind."
The 'subject' as an observing and interpreting mind which is not truly distinguished from the object, then, fits with the synthesis of reason which we have just passed through. This synthesis sees us as 'representatives' of nature who are at the same time part of nature, ... as our extended hand is the representative of our body while being an included part of it. So we do indeed have 'free will' in the sense that our quest for wisdom, ... "Wisdom is understanding the way the world works" (Heraclitus) is a never-ending quest and depends upon our unique personal evolutionary history, our 'shape' or geometry, if you like. Ants may come to understand things that we will never be able to understand because we have a very different shape from ants. Other humans may come to understand things that we cannot because evolutionary history has given them unique skills and implicit knowledge that requires more than one lifetime to even approximately assimilate. So given our unique personal 'geometry' and given the geometry of the rest of the world, ... our 'reciprocal disposition', ... we have endless choices of matching up opportunity and purpose which are all unique to us, ... just us and no-one else, .... this is what gives us 'authenticity and identity' and 'independence of mind'.
In our 'dipolar-strand in the webfield of life' model, ... the 'strand' is a geometric, information field link, ... the geometry as in the game of pool (reciprocal disposition), and our information sensing ability based on being able to 'feel' induction and suppression (repulsion), our uniqueness of view, as a dipolar-strand in the webfield, is based on our unique evolutionary history and our free will is based on our ability to be guided in our movements by allowing ourselves to 'be' an opportunity-purpose dipole within our immersing space-time webfield.
. . .
"Major Tom to Ground Control, ... we are now ready to transition for return from space-time-warp four back into euclidian flatspace." ... "Roger, roger, ... all indicators are 'go', ... commence your dumb-down, ... good luck and ten-four."
The 'warp' you may feel, in entertaining the notion of being 'a strand in the web of life' is a cultural warp. There is nothing unusual to a Buddhist or Native North American about visualising an ant or a rock as one's brother-strands. Nor is such a notion strange to a child who can relate to having a 'pet rock' and animals and insects as 'friends' and 'relatives'. But such notions become strange if one spends a lifetime thinking in terms of the primacy of materialism and causality, ... in terms of every 'thing' being detached and fully independent from the whole, ... and burning this abstract view of things into the brain by incessant 'analysis', .... by breaking things apart and coming to know things in terms of, as Ackoff says; 'down-and-up-again-thinking' rather than 'up-and-down-again-thinking', ... the former seeing things as 'being induced by the enveloping environment' and the latter as stand-alone 'systems-in-themselves'.
The fact is, as is evident from picking up on and pursuing our other thread, ... the 'purpose and teleology' thread of Ackoff and systems science, ... that there are two basically different assumptions on the nature of 'information' between the 'relativity thread' we were just on and the 'systems sciences' thread we are now on. In the relativity thread we INCLUDED in our view of INFORMATION, information which spoke to 'what is not done';i.e. the intangible geometric patterns, ... the 'reciprocal' of tangible movement in relativistic space-time (as in the concept of 'shape' in pool).
In the 'objective teleology' (purpose) of Ackoff, ... system behavior implies purpose. But tangible system behavior does not include 'what is not done', as the original thinker Vygotsky ('father of Russian psychology') pointed out, ... thus by defining our input INFORMATION on the basis of 'behavior', we EXCLUDE the informational component of 'what is not done'. In other words, a behavior-based information input does not capture the fact, in our earlier example, that only white males were put into control positions since 'exclusion' is most often not a 'behavior' but is the reciprocal of behavior. Our judicial system, which is based on establishing 'cause', is almost blind to 'non-causal' influences on system behavior, ... almost blind to what happens as a result of 'what is not done' (apart form blatant cases of negligence and discrimination).
There is a basic difference of geometry in the 'objective teleology' of Ackoff and the 'reciprocal disposition' oriented opportunity-purpose of Einstein's relativity.
Ackoff says; "A teleological system and a deterministic machine are two different aspects of the same thing. These antithetical points of view are synthesized in the concept of reality emerging in the Systems Age."
In mathematical terms, 'antithesis' speaks of a 'reciprocal' geometry, ... an inverted and complementary way of viewing the same ensemble. But there are two types of 'reciprocal' as indicated in the Webster's dictionary;
Reciprocal: "an element, such as Zero in the set of all integers under addition or One in the set of positive integers under multiplication, that leaves any element of the set to which it belongs unchanged when combined with it by a specified operation."
In relativistic curved space-time, ... our constituents are dipolar in the sense that they can roll forwards or backwards around the sphere (positive or negative oscillation). They have, if you like, a simultaneous 'real' AND an 'imaginary' existence. This 'complex' reality which includes an imaginary option is not available in euclidian space where all motion is seen as being of the same type.
Thus the 'whole' of the system in the euclidian view leads to the 'One' , ... the reciprocal of the positive parts (there is nothing else in euclidian space but 'things').
Whereas, in non-euclidian curved space, ... the 'whole' of the system leads to the notion of 'full-empty Zero', ... the sum of all of the positive and negative parts, ... or the sum of all the 'dipolar' parts. This is the reciprocal of Zen and the enfoldment of opposites, ... and it corresponds to a view of 'the way the world works' in relativistic curved space-time where informational units are complex, having both real and imaginary components (as Gabor showed in his 'Theory of Communications).
That is, as can be seen in the game of pool, ... each 'part' (ball) associates with information concerning its material reality, .. . its 'position', ... and also with information concerning its innate geometrical situation with respect to the whole, .. its imaginary relationship to the whole. Furthermore, it is this complex informational aspect with is the mother of the 'real material' component, .. the latter being a lesser thing, as Ackoff has argued in the case of 'causality' being a lesser concept, and contained within, the concept of objective teleology (i.e. as he says, the relationship between an acorn and an oak tree is not causal because an acorn is not a 'necessary and sufficient' condition for 'causing' an oak tree).
While Ackoff persists in building upon a base of euclidian 'things' as his components, ... relativity does not. Relativity expands the conceptual platform (dimensionally) to the complex notion of 'field', ... a geometrical notion of dipolar opportunity-purpose which has both real and imaginary components, ... a notion wherein tangible matter is subordinate to 'field' and represents a way of looking at 'field', ... a non-conflicting but 'incomplete' way of looking at 'the way the world works' which lacks the generality and consistency of 'field'. Relativity has been substantiated by all known observations of 'the way the world works' to date, thus it would seem to be relevant to the systems sciences. How are things perceived in the relativistic terms of the primacy of 'field' over material? Einstein  describes it this way;
"We cannot build physics on the basis of the matter-concept alone. But the division into matter and field is, after the recognition of the equivalence of mass and energy, something artificial and not clearly defined. Could we not reject the concept of matter and build a pure field physics? What impresses our senses as matter is really a great concentration of energy into a comparatively small space. We could regard matter as the regions in space where the field is extremely strong. In this way a new philosophical background could be created. Its final aim would be the explanation of all events in nature by structure laws valid always and everywhere. A thrown stone is, from this point of view, a changing field, where the states of greatest field intensity travel through space with the velocity of the stone. There would be no place, in our new physics, for both field and matter, field being the only reality. This new view is suggested by the great achievements of field physics, by our success in expressing the laws of electricity, magnetism, gravitation in the form of structure laws, and finally by the equivalence of mass and energy."
While we don't yet have the unified field equations in hand, this does not mean, as Vygotsky pointed out, that the notion of 'field' is any less worthy. As he said; "To the biblical "In the beginning was the Word", Goethe makes Faust reply, "In the beginning, was the deed."", ... signifying that 'thought' is a historical development which precedes and mothers the precipation of 'word'.
Similarly, in the historical development of 'field' oriented theory, the implicit models have preceded the mathematical expression of the model since 'field' is innately 'complex', having real and imaginary informational components. The imaginary aspects are handled by the 'phase' relationships between the equations as in Kepler's three laws of planetary motion and Maxwell's equations. This 'complex' informational aspect of field based theory is needed to describe 'material structure and dynamics' in the terms of the space-time which contains them, ... rather than describing them 'in their own right', ... as in classical physics and being thus forced to remove the participative role of space and demote it from its natural (according to relativity) primacy. Replacing what should be the most basic aspect of our reality, ... the 'ether', ...and putting 'material' in the primacy while seeing the containing space in the euclidian convention of a rectangular 'void' which serves as a non-relativistic reference or measuring grid, for describing 'the way the world works' in terms of the primacy of material things and causal dynamics. Gabor's 'The Theory of Communications' shows how the 'complex' informational representation becomes necessary as one shifts from the 'oscillating particle' to the rotation inducing 'field' view of phenomena.
In this same vein of 'in the beginning was the deed' (historical dynamic or thought), Michael Gorman  observes that; ".... James Clerk Maxwell referred to Faraday as a "mathematician of a very high order" (Gooding, 1994, p. 4), even though Faraday rarely used equations. But Faraday did use what he called a 'rough geometrical method', a kind of mental modeling [aka 'bootstrapping']. . . . As Maxwell noted, Faraday provided "a method of building up an exact mental image of the thing we are reasoning about" (Gooding, 1994, p. 21). Kepler provided us with an example of a scientist who translated the results of his own mental modeling into equations. In Faraday's case, the equations were developed by James Clerk Maxwell, whose mathematical discovery played a critical role in the development of Einstein's theory of special relativity. "
In summary, .... and in response to Russell Ackoff's suggestion that Emile look into the issue of 'Purpose' and 'Teleology', ... it does indeed appear as if there is a major 'incompleteness' in the systems sciences as they are commonly understood today, in that the mainstream theory does not comprehend the essential dipolarity of nature, ... of the living relativistic space in which we are constituent-participants. Thus the notion of a 'system' as the reciprocal of its constituent parts is incomplete in that it sees 'space' as inert and non-participative; i.e. 'euclidian', rather than as a participative curved space-time continuum as in relativity, the principles and relationship between these two views being manifest in the game of pool, .... the euclidian view being a 'shot' oriented view and the relativistic view being a 'shape' oriented view in which the shots are an abstracted way of visualizing 'the way the game works', .... and these two views being more generally manifest in comparing the notions of 'particles' and 'field', .... the euclidian view being a 'particle' (material thing) oriented view and the relativistic view being a 'field shape' oriented view in which the material particles are an abstracted view of 'the way the world works'.
In seeking to understand 'community as complex system' , ... one can start from the observation that the organizational practice of ignoring the coherent patterns of 'what is not done' associates with dysfunction, while addressing the coherent patterns of 'what is not done' associates with high performance. In agreement with Ackoff's suggestion that it is easier to start from the implicit answer and work back to the question formulation (the words or equations), which is also the process recommended by Vygotsky, Kepler, Faraday and Einstein, ... observations of team process, bootstrapped backwards, ... lead to the necessity that 'field' is in a primacy over 'material dynamics' and that nature is innately dipolar and information innately complex. In this mode of perceiving, inquiring and responding, ... which is essentially the implicit model of the natural born child, the aboriginals and the east, opportunity and purpose represent a simultaneous, co-determing dipolar 'field' which dynamically co-relates part-to-whole and whole-to-part.
* * *
 Isaac Newton, in a letter to Bentley, in which he tries to 'distance' himself from the notion of gravity being the innate property of matter;
"It is inconceivable, that inanimate brute matter should, without the mediation of something else, which is not material, operate upon, and affect other matter without mutual contact; as it must do, if gravitation, in the sense of Epicurus, be essential and inherent in it. And this is one reason, why I desired you would not ascribe innate gravity to me. That gravity should be innate, inherent, and essential to matter, so that one body may act upon another, at a distance through a vacuum, without the mediation of anything else, by and through which their action and force may be conveyed from one to another, is to me so great an absurdity, that I believe no man who has in philosophical matters a competent faculty of thinking, can ever fall into it."
 Einstein, Albert and Infeld, Leopold, 'The Evolution of Physics', 1938, Simon & Schuster.
Summary of Section III of IV, ... 'Field, Relativity';
"A new concept appears in physics, the most important invention since Newton's time: the field. It needed great scientific imagination to realize that it is into the charges nor the particles but the field in the space between the charges and the particles which is essential for the description of physical phenomena. The field concept proves most successful and leads to the formulation of Maxwell's equations describing the structure of the electromagnetic field and governing the electric as well as the optical phenomena.
The theory of relativity arises from the field problems. The contradictions and inconsistencies of the old theories force us to ascribe new properties to the time-space continuum, to the scene of all events in our physical world.
The relativity theory develops in two steps. The first step leads to what is known as the special theory of relativity, applied only to inertial co-ordinate systems, that is, to systems in which the law of inertia, as formulated by Newton, is valid. The special theory of relativity is based on two fundamental assumptions: physical laws are the same in all co-ordinate systems moving uniformly, relative to each other; the velocity of light always has the same value. From these assumptions, fully confirmed by experiment, the properties of moving rods and clocks, their changes in length and rhythm depending on velocity, are deduced. The theory of relativity changes the laws of mechanics. The old laws are invalid if the velocity of the moving particle approaches that of light. The new laws for a moving body as reformulated by the relativity theory are splendidly confirmed by experiment. A further consequence of the (special) theory of relativity is the connection between mass and energy. Mass is energy and energy has mass. The two conservation laws of mass and energy are combined by the relativity theory into one, the conservation law of mass-energy.
The general theory of relativity gives a still deeper analysis of the time-space continuum. The validity of the theory is no longer restricted to inertial co-ordinate systems. The theory attacks the problem of gravitation and formulates new structure laws for the gravitational field. It forces us to analyze the role played by geometry in the description of the physical world. It regards the fact that gravitational and inertial mass are equal, as essential and not merely accidental, as in classical mechanics. They stand the test of experiment well wherever comparison is possible. But the strength of the theory lies in its inner consistency and the simplicity of its fundamental assumptions.
The theory of relativity stresses the importance of the field concept in physics. But we have not yet succeeded in formulating a pure field physics. For the present we must still assume the existence of both: field and matter."
 Excerpt from 'Transforming Nature' (A book in progress by Michael Gorman) at http://repo-nt.tcc.virginia.edu/book/chap1/chapter1.htm
As Michael Gorman says in his book on discovery, ... Kepler would never have bought into Newton's making gravity a property of 'things' since Kepler believed that "the Universe adorned things with harmony" (i.e. the containing field was in the primacy in determining dynamical patterns of motion), and when the same 'materialist' idea started to be applied to electricity, ... since attraction and repulsion also followed an inverse square law, Faraday went against the popular view and came out on the side of the 'container';
"This viewpoint [attraction being a property of matter] had its critics, among them Michael Faraday, who rejected both the primacy of matter and the notion that electricity operated 'at a distance'. The examples of Faraday's problem-solving processes described in this section are distilled from detailed, fine-grained cognitive studies by Tweney (Tweney, 1989a) and Gooding (Gooding, 1990a). "For him [Faraday], fields of force were the primary reality, and 'matter' a secondary or derived phenomenon. To understand his creative life, then, we must acknowledge his position as a revolutionary, as someone who demonstrates the practicality of a world view completely different from the prevailing one, and who does this, not by metaphysical argument, but by a series of compelling experimental demonstrations of such conceptual force that they could not be ignored" (Tweney, 1989a, pp. 94-5).
On August 29, 1831, Faraday found that a transient current was generated in one coil of wire wound around an iron ring when a battery was connected to, or disconnected from, a second coil wound around the same ring. This experiment did not appear 'out of the blue'. Faraday was engaged in a variety of experiments directed at transient effects. Faraday's electromagnetic experiments were part of a larger 'network of enterprises', a term coined by Howard Gruber (Gruber, 1981) to explain the way in which Darwin's diverse research interests connected, and also the motivations for his work. Darwin's work on topics like barnacles and pigeon breeding facilitated the development of his theory of evolution. Similarly, Faraday's efforts to take a variety of transient effects and make them visible were all part of his network of enterprises.
.... James Clerk Maxwell referred to Faraday as a "mathematician of a very high order" (Gooding, 1994, p. 4), even though Faraday rarely used equations. But Faraday did use what he called a 'rough geometrical method', a kind of mental modeling. . . . As Maxwell noted, Faraday provided "a method of building up an exact mental image of the thing we are reasoning about" (Gooding, 1994, p. 21). Kepler provided us with an example of a scientist who translated the results of his own mental modeling into equations. In Faraday's case, the equations were developed by James Clerk Maxwell, whose mathematical discovery played a critical role in the development of Einstein's theory of special relativity. "
 Lumley, Ted, 'Complexity and the 'Learning Organization'', *Complexity*, Journal associated with the Santa Fe Institute, vol.2, no. 5, 1997
Return to '98/'99 Update Page and Index of Essays