A Story of Knowledge, Perception and Design

Montreal, November 29, 1998


This 'simplifying view' is offered in response to a rising awareness of the value of story-telling in the management of knowledge, and provides a perception-based reconciliation of the realms of design, knowledge management and story-telling.

The reconciliation is afforded through the concept of the 'duality' of 'perceptual modes' found in nature as established by physics, whereby we have the alternative options of looking at systems (phenomena) in terms of the quantifiable structure of 'things' and their dynamical transactions, .... and/or, in terms of qualitative relational patterns in the 'space-time field' which contains the phenomena (i.e. in which the system is immersed).

This 'perceptual mode' duality emerges in a different, but relatable way, in each of the three realms of design, knowledge management and story-telling as follows;

(a) ... as Erich Jantsch has pointed out in 'Design for Evolution' (1975), the ordering principles in design differ depending on whether we regard the 'subject' (observer) and 'object' (observed) as interdependent. If we assume interdependency we intuit 'order' in the design process by 'tuning-in' to space-time harmonies (resonances). If, however, we assume 'subject' and 'object' to be distinct and independent, the ordering principle in design is based on making judgements and 'imposing structural order'. This same point is alluded to in different terms, and keyed to the work of Polyani, by Nonaka and Takeuchi in 'The Knowledge Creating Company' (1995);

(b) ... the types of knowledge made available in a system differ on the basis of perceptual mode; i.e. tacit knowledge emerges from perception of subject-object interdependencies while explicit knowledge emanates from the purely objective perceptual view;

(c) ... story-telling also comes in two basic and related forms depending on the perceptual mode, i.e. the 'aha!' story where the listener at some point 'dies to the old story and is 'reborn' to a new and larger story' associates with subject-object interdependency, and the 'hero' story wherein a protagonist overcomes some obstacle (i.e. solves a problem) associates with the purely objective view. In 'zen' terms, we might equate the 'aha!' story to the observer's 'having an empty cup' and the 'hero' story to the observer's having his cup 'full to running over'.

Thus we can think in terms of the two perceptual modes giving rise to complementary alternatives in (a) the ordering principles in design ('tuning-in to harmony' and 'imposing structural judgement'), (b) types of knowledge (tacit and explicit), and (c) types of story ('aha!' stories and 'hero' stories).

As Jantsch (a quantum physicist) pointed out in 'Design for Evolution', such alternatives are born out of the wave-particle duality in nature which affords us (or represents) these two modes of perception, i.e. 'things and motion' perception (a euclidian, exclusionary-logic, particulate and linear time based point of view), and, 'wave and interference' perception (a non-euclidian, inclusionary-logic [intuition], space-time continuum based point of view). While the terms involved may at first glance seem complicated, we don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand them, as Einstein [1] tried to re-assure us, since we are using the underlying notions all of the time, but have lagged in incorporating them into our 'aware' models; e.g. we have excluded them from both the formal scientific knowledge domain and from our everyday vocabulary.

Some metaphorical examples may help to illustrate how the respective alternatives begin to come together in the realms of 'design', 'knowledge' and story telling. A useful overall notion to start with is the 'negative space' notion of the artist; i.e. if we think of 'things' as being analogous to brushstrokes (the 'tangible' aspect), then we can regard information conveyed to the observer by the presence of a brushstroke either in the distinct and unambiguous 'positive space' terms of the tangible brushstroke per se, ... and/or in the indistinct and ambiguous 'negative space' terms of the intangible pattern of relationships set up in the space containing the brushstroke. Faraday pointed out that this alternative presented itself in the case of electricity and magnetism; i.e. we could either think in terms of charged particles and their motion, or in terms of the electro-magnetic fields set up in the space-time which contained the charged particles.


[[** As a sidenote of interest, according to Faraday's way of thinking, the particles were 'secondary' entities ( "For him, fields of force were the primary reality, and 'matter' a secondary or derived phenomenon.", Tweny and Gooding), and the same thought comes out of the general theory of relativity, that 'matter' is secondary to space-warping gravitational field [i.e. there is far more energy latent in space than is constituted by the energy equivalence of matter]. Meanwhile, our use of the 'dual perceptual modes' in nature to reconcile 'design', 'knowledge' and 'story-telling' does not require us to explicitly choose whether matter, or space-time quantum field, belongs in the primacy.**]]


Since 'knowledge' and 'story' would appear more fundamental than 'design', this note will pursue reconciliation of the three realms starting first with knowledge and story, and then bringing in 'design' later.

Metaphorically, tacit knowledge may be viewed as the knowledge an observer needs when 'swimming within his story', while explicit knowledge may be viewed as the knowledge an observer needs as he sees his story on the screen in front of him, e.g. in terms of his 'running an obstacle course'; ... in the former case, he is 'in trouble', and in the latter, he is 'confronted by a problem'. The two different story types which associate with these two perceptual modes can be referred to as (1) 'evolutionary' --- the observer 'dies to the old story and is reborn to a new and larger story', and (2) 'resolutionary' --- the observer corrects, removes or otherwise overcomes and resolves the 'problem' or series of problems in his unfolding story.

The latter perspective, the 'voyeur hero' perspective (the observer sees himself as detached from the problem and as overcoming it, much as if he were slaying a lion), is by all accounts our western culture's 'default' perspective. Meanwhile the 'reciprocal disposition', or 'immersed darwinist' perspective, requires that the observer perceives the system as if 'sitting on a photon', experiencing the evolutionary unfolding of the phenomena as a 'space-time sharing' 'insider' from an immersed position within the space-time container.


[[** The term 'reciprocal disposition' is used in Einstein's phraseology; i.e., while 'negative space' is fine for the artist, in science and mathematics, the exclusionary logical notion of 'positive' and 'negative' is not big enough to deal with the three dimensional 'inclusionary' notion (i.e. sphere within sphere notion) of distinguishing whether one is observing from 'within the volume' or from 'outside of the volume'.**]]


The above terms, relationships and metaphors should provide a base to move forward into some story-telling examples. On the one hand, we have the photon-riding space-time-pattern-recognizing 'immersed darwinist' who uses tacit knowledge (qualitative pattern recognition) and intuition to transcend 'the trouble he is in' in an 'evolutionary' manner, and on the other hand, we have our dominating voyeur-hero who uses explicit knowledge and judgement to impose some structure and overcome 'obstacles-in-his-path' in a resolutionary (corrective) manner. While the former 'dies to his old story and is reborn to a new and larger story', the latter 'repairs, preserves and fortifies' his existing 'imperialistic' story. Of course we are not constrained to use 'one OR the other' but are free to employ both of these story modes.

In watching films or reading books, we get a different feeling in our gut depending on which story mode is used; i.e. if we watch 'terminator' or 'diehard' type films, we tend to 'use' the story to reinforce our preferred way of looking at the world and what we want to get out of it,... e.g. we are likely to associate with the hero who defeats the villain and gets the girl etc. This traditional (Heraclean or win/lose) mode of story-telling is dominant in the western culture, and particularly so in Hollywood (as opposed to French films). In the alternative type of story, the 'aha!' story, the story 'uses' us, rather than us 'using the story', and it does this by pulling us 'inside' of the story and exposing us to some 'aha!' patterns which make us realize that the story is 'evolving' and that we are no longer in the story that we thought we were in.

That these two modes can be complementary and contradictory at the same time, can be seen in the 'geometry' of films such as 'The Crying Game' where the viewer is exposed to an ensemble of subtle qualitative patterns which he doesn't initially 'tune' into as the story unfolds because he is using his default voyeur-hero mode of story-tracking and using the story to reinforce his favored viewpoint and need.

But while the viewer clings to the voyeur-hero and literal interpretation mode (explicit knowledge mode), associating with the hero character who typically meets and surmounts his challenge and satisfies his need (e.g. seduces the attractive woman) he suddenly receives one solitary and symbolic datapoint, dropped like one sandgrain-too-many on a sandpile at critical repose, which triggers an avalanche of insight; i.e. 'brings a multiplicity of real or imaginary sensory experiences into connection in the mind' [i.e. he sees to his amazement that the 'woman' has the male 'equipment'..... note the importance of the imaginary as well as the real in this 'bringing into connection'].

The viewer and the character in the story, are suddenly (and shockingly in this case) reborn into a brand new and larger story; it is larger because it retains and subsumes the old story within the new. It has the same kind of 'enlightenment' geometry as in T.S. Eliot's oft-quoted lines from 'Little Gidding', "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."


[[** As an aside, there is a logical-mathematical dimensionality difference between the two story modes, with the immersion mode giving 'full three dimensions' and the voyeur mode giving a kind of two-and-a-half dimensional view, as if the viewer is always in the very act of stepping inside the story (but never able to actually move into it's interior). This is analagous to the experience of the obstacle course runner during competition, ... he focuses on each obstacle he comes to and ignores (in the moment), the containing superdome and the surrounding crowd of spectators (i.e. he momentarily ignores the space-time he is immersed in). Of course, when the race is run and the crowd is cheering, he once again opens up to a three-dimensional awareness of his 'environmental container', and he is again back inside of his story (in this case, inside of his real-life ontogeny).

In a logical respect, if we imagine the obstacle course runner running across a two-dimensional viewscreen (i.e. voyeur view of a three dimensional subspace), coming from the left (out of the past) and going to the right (into the future) so that a line through his 'center' designates the continually moving 'space-time front' of the present (i.e the 'front' where past meets future), the euclidian notion of independent things (i.e. independent existence of spatially extended objects out of the context of time) allows us to consider past and the future states as 'mutually exclusive' and as related by mechanical-causal interactions of the material constituents. Meanwhile, our human experience clearly informs us that such a simplistic view does not jive with the observed 'geometry of behavior' of objects in 'real-life' three dimensional space-time volumes. For example, the 'geometry of behavior' of subsystems within the earth's sphere of revolution (e.g. venus, mercury and sun) relate in a MUTUALLY INCLUSIVE manner to the 'geometry of behavior' of supersystems within the containing sphere of jupiter (e.g. by Kepler's third law). In fact, we can find no 'geometrical' means within the 'real' three dimensional case to separate space and time as we did in the two-dimensional obstacle-runner approximation, since the two are 'enfolded' in a mutually inclusive manner, in the same manner as realities (i.e. 'geometries of behavior') contained within the revolutionary sphere of the earth are enfolded within larger realities contained within the revolutionary sphere of Jupiter. In this more realistic, 'geometry and experience' view, the notion of past and future can no longer be associated with mutually exclusive 'areas' along a linear time axis, and must be viewed in terms of an outward-growing volume which continually subsumes itself. In material-structural terms, examples include the evolving human zygote or the 'growth rings' of a tree, and in intangible relational-pattern terms, examples include human memory and experience. While the upfront ASSUMPTION of logical mutual exclusivity of things and independent linear time allows us solve 'the problems which confront us' in a 'bottom-up', 'rational' or 'reductionist' manner, an acceptance of logical mutual inclusivity of space-time mandates the use of 'top-down', 'intuitive' reasoning (i.e. 'geometrical-physical theorizing' a la Einstein).

The book 'Flatland' (1884) by Edwin Abbott satirized the fact that our culture has tended to trap us into spending all of our time in two dimensional mode, ... always focused on overcoming obstacles by making judgements on explicit issues 'confronting us', rather than encouraging us to 'become larger than our judgements' and intuitively transcend the ontogenetic 'predicament' we are immersed in. Abbott, a Cambridge lecturer and mathematics teacher, wrote this story sixteen years after Riemann's work on non-euclidian curved space had been published.**]]


Given these preliminaries, we can look at a couple of short 'stories' which illustrate the reconciliation of the realms of story-telling and knowledge-management, in the context of perceptual mode.

Imagine a story about medieval times, about being on a sailing ship which sails on a fixed heading on a 'flat ocean' looking for the 'edge of the world'. One day, one of the bored crew-members carves his initials and the date in a piece of driftwood, and after he's done, throws it overboard. The boat sails on year after year, believing that it is travelling on in a straight line (never seeing a recognizeable landmark) until it is now the children of the original crewmembers who man the boat, their parents having died and been buried at sea. Then one day, one of the crew-members notices an obstacle in their path and as the boat comes up to it and passes it, he nets it out of the water and examines it. He looks at it from a structural point of view (hardness, shape) relative to what damage it might have caused and doesn't tune to the issue of where it might have come from even though they are way out on this seemingly endless oceanic plane (he may have seen many other such flotsam which had no correlation to the nearness of farness of land etc.), and so he throws the piece of wood back overboard.

Clearly, the crewman was in the mode of the dominating voyeur-hero who uses explicit knowledge and judgement to overcome 'obstacles-in-his-path' in a resolutionary manner; i.e. he was in the mode of 'things and motion', choice and judgement and the imposing of structure. But, had he been in the photon- riding- space- time- pattern- recognizing- immersed- darwinist- who- uses- tacit- knowledge- (qualitative pattern recognition) and- intuition- to- overcome- 'the- trouble- he- is- in-' in- an- 'evolutionary'- manner- mode, on the other hand, he might have looked upon both himself and this piece of wood as partners in shared-space and mentally explored and compared their respective space-time histories (ontogenies) in the same way one might mentally ask what a redwood tree could tell you if it could talk. In this mode, he would be looking at the piece of wood for signs of where it had come from and travelled, and what it had experienced along the way; i.e. in his mental visualizing, he would be seeing himself and the piece of wood as immersed within a co-evolutional environmental container (a la the aboriginal 'web-of-life' view).

This 'immersed darwinist' relational view puts subject, object and containing environment into a state of mutual 'plasticity' in the mind. This is the perceptual mode and state which Einstein credits with his discovery of relativity, and without which he said his discovery would have been impossible. Had the boat crew member spotted the initials and date on the piece of wood, he would have experienced a shocking revelation; i.e. that their trajectory was no more 'straight' than the cross-dresser in 'The Crying Game'.

The process which converts one's two-dimensional view into a three-dimensional view, through 'bringing a multiplicity of real or imaginary sensory experiences into connection in the mind' is congruent with the process of holography. In looking at things two-dimensionally, we leave out the space-time phase information [3] needed to unify the objects within the context of an evolving space-time continuum. The perception of 'mythic dimensionality' is often stimulated by symbolism associated with 'social myth' (see Jantsch, 'Design for Evolution', Chapter 11 'Of Models and Myths'), thus the social myth of 'making our mark' as embodied in the initials and date carved into the piece of wood would have elicited an 'evolutionary perspective' from the crew member. (as Jantsch says; "In an 'evolutionary' view, the focus is on the unfolding of wholeness through a morphogenetic chain, utilizing energy in manifold ways through positive feedback. Accordingly, the evolutionary view emphasizes internal or coordinative factors of evolution.").

Symbology appears to elicit 'reciprocal disposition' imagery or 'negative space' resonances in one's 'minds eye', thus the carved time and date may engender in the mind a swirling and unfolding story of connective space-time ontogenies which re-orders one's recollective experience and facilitates seeing it in a new light which is more comprehensive than the old.

The business scene can be similarly looked at in terms of these two story-telling modes, the 'immersed darwinist' mode and the 'voyeur hero' mode. For example, the 'voyeur hero' groundsman on a commercial complex may be confronted with the problem that the grass won't grow in certain areas, and he will attack it in 'resolutionary' mode via explicit knowledge, ... trying out new and more robust types of turf or grass seed, better quality topsoil, .reduced watering, installing signs and fences to keep people off of the injured areas. However, perhaps it will happen that enough people trample certain areas to the extent that in the darkened and trampled area, the symbol of 'path' comes into his mind which shifts him into 'immersed darwinist' or 'evolutionary' mode in which he begins to think in the 'larger story' terms of putting the reciprocal 'spaces' (the positive space of pathways and reciprocal negative space of interpathway grassy ground) into greater harmony. This will lead him into collaborative discussions with the staff in the traffic flow department to jointly evolve more harmonious positive space paths and negative space grounds designs. It is human nature, that the groundman may well stay in 'voyeur-hero' mode to the point he feels like shooting those who would continue to re-open the 'wounds' in the grass he is trying to resolve.

In high performance, creative teams [4], the emphasis on 'geneticheskii', Lev Vygotsky's ('Thought and Language') term for approaching an understanding of systems behaviors in terms of ontogenetic development history, appears always to be manifest. For example, in a high performance heavy oil production team studied in the 1995 timeframe, the team totally redesigned their local information technology infrastructure to provide everyone on the team with a continuing real-time morphogenetic view of the operations which included themselves (their engagements with the system) in the 'picture'.

Technology was pulled into a support-of-overall-purpose mode here, rather than being used as 'voyeur hero' weaponry in the causal imposition of structure, via a relatively inexpensive low tech solution of networked PC's which supplemented the primary social collaboration aspect of bringing everyone inside of a unifying story. The oral portion of the story-telling initiative was accommodated by collaborative show & tells which encompassed all aspects of the operation and their mutual interdependencies, including drilling operations, geologic mapping, steam injection, water treatment, sulphur removal, emissions control, finance and administration, transportation (pipeline systems), customer (refinery) operations etc. Hourly union workers enthusiastically joined together with professionals [one union leader referred to this as 'putting our heads back on our shoulders after working for years 'from the shoulders down''] to achieve this morphogenetic story view, which was supplemented by the continuous display of real-time cost and revenue drivers expressed in 'people story' terms (i.e. in juxtaposed terms of system inputs in terms of the hourly or daily etc. 'inputs' of the team members along with key outputs) graphed in a historical context which revealed emergent patterns of coherency.

The displayed information and story-telling which went on did not constitute a quantitatively 'engineered system', but instead was to expose qualitative patterns which could be 'brought into connection in the mind' by any team-member or combination of team-members so that opportunities for being 'reborn into a new and larger story' were cultivated. The results in terms of production enhancement, cost reduction and personal and team self-actualization were outstanding over the two years or so the team remained intact and 'alive', ... the moreso considering that the 'voyeur-hero' route had been intensively applied to squeeze the maximum out of these operations prior to the 'immersed-darwinist' breakthrough results.

One of the discouraging notes is the rarity with which such teams come into being (they cannot be 'manufactured') and if and when they do, the short lifecycles which prevail, since their 'emergent behavior' and 'co-evolutionary' characteristics can only fluorish in the presence of high levels of honesty, trust, sharing and strength (a willingness to ride together on a photon swarm, rather than impose structure) on the part of all members. The sustaining of these qualities appears to be in radical conflict with organizational environments plagued by continuing merger, acquisition and downsizing 'MADness'.

. . .

In summary, the realms of 'design', 'knowledge management' and 'story-telling' appear to be mutually reconciled through consideration of the 'duality' principle in nature, as established by physics. Collaborative social systems (e.g. teams or companies) tend to put either 'design for evolution' or 'design for resolution' into the primacy. The western cultural default appears to be to put 'design for resolution' into a primacy over 'design for evolution' whereas high performance creative teams seem to inevitably manifest the primacy of 'design for evolution' over 'design for resolution'. The latter represents a natural 'polarity' in the same sense that three dimensional approaches should be in a primacy over two-dimensional approaches and that curved space methods should be in a primacy over flat space methods, since the latter elements in the pairings represent 'special cases' of the former (e.g. euclidian flat space is the case where the non-euclidian curved space curvature is zero).

Per the discussion above, 'design for evolution' is where the team is a photon-riding space-time-pattern-recognizing ('immersed darwinist') posse who use tacit knowledge (qualitative pattern recognition) and intuition to collaboratively transcend 'the trouble we are in' in an 'evolutionary' manner. And 'design for resolution' is where the individuals on the team are dominating voyeur-heros who use explicit knowledge and judgement to impose structure on the phenomena and overcome 'obstacles-in-the-path' in a resolutionary (corrective) manner. While the former teams recursively 'die to their old story and are reborn to a new and larger story', the latter individuals 'repair, preserve and fortify' their existing 'imperialistic' stories.

Most importantly, while it is natural and necessary to use both of these 'design processes', there has been a tendency to put the 'design for resolution' into an unnatural primacy over the 'design for evolution'. The point has been made clear by Kepler in his master work 'Harmonies of the World' and implicitly reinforced by Faraday, Einstein and others, that to be consistent with nature (and to remain in harmony with nature), we must put the 'design for evolution' in a primacy over the 'design for resolution'. This natural 'polarity' emerges from the fact that the 'design for resolution' is a particular substory of 'design for evolution' wherein the 'radius of the story volume' is held constant; i.e. the story dimensions are forcibly constrained.

* * *

[1] The following quote, excerpted from Einstein's 'Geometry and Experience' presentation to the Prussian Academy of Sciences on January 27, 1921 speaks to the 'curved space' perception and inquiry mode, and the notion of looking at both 'objects' and their 'reciprocal disposition' in curved space. Einstein's closing words in the presentation were; "My only aim today has been to show that the human faculty of visualization is by no means bound to capitulate to non-Euclidian geometry."

"First of all, an observation of epistemological nature. A geometrical-physical theory as such is incapable of being directly pictured, being merely a system of concepts. But these concepts serve the purpose of bringing a multiplicity of real or imaginary sensory experiences into connection in the mind. To 'visualise' a theory, or bring it home to one's mind, therefore means to give a representation to that abundance of experiences for which the theory supplies the schematic arrangement. In the present case we have to ask ourselves how we can represent that relation of solid bodies with respect to their reciprocal disposition (contact) which corresponds to the theory of a finite universe. There is really nothing new in what I have to say about this; but innumerable questions addressed to me prove that the requirements of those who thirst for knowledge of these matters have not yet been completely satisfied. So, will the initiated please pardon me, if part of what I shall bring forward has long been known?"

[2] Daniel Schacter, Harvard pyschologist, expert on memory and author of 'Searching for Memory: The Brain, The Mind and the Past'' speaks to the different nature of 'implicit' (tacit) and 'explicit' memory, and notes that memory has two different perceptual modes; the 'field' mode where we see ourselves within the remembered scene, and the 'observer' mode where we see the scene in literal terms as if we were looking out through our eyes at it. We have the ability to remember events in either mode, however, the 'field' mode [i.e. corresponding to 'immersed darwinist' mode in realtime problem inquiry] has been found by memory researchers to be associated with substantially more emotional content than is the 'observer' mode [i.e. corresponding to 'voyeur-hero' mode in realtime problem inquiry]. As Schacter points out; "This means that an important part of your recollective experience --- whether or not you see yourself as a participant in a remembered event --- is, to a large extent, constructed or invented."

The emotional implications as cited by Schacter agree with findings from interviews with high performance team members, who have stated that while they experienced far greater levels of self-fulfillment in 'immersed darwinist' mode, the emotional anxiety was higher as well. This anxiety was not necessarily seen as undesirable however, and was described in terms of 'being more exposed'. Examples were given in terms of the difference between executing a play in ice hockey versus executing a play in american football. Whereas in the former, the players tend to make a mad rush down the ice whilst trying to tune-in, on the fly, to co-resonances within the flow; i.e. to positive co-resonances emanating from the space-time dynamics of one's team-mates and resonant 'reciprocal disposition' opportunities (space-time coherencies opening up holes in the opposing team's defense), football tended to put engineered-in-advance actions [voyeur-hero structural actions] into the primacy, and while the teammember could say in the football type of scenario, that 'I did my job well' even if the team effort failed, ... there was no such comforting fallback position in the ice hockey type of scenario. The process in forming a high performance team, of getting members to 'let go' of this 'poseur' type fallback position associated with 'voyeur-hero' mode and instead 'just winging it' was termed by one of high performance team 'cultivators' ('leader' seems already too strong a word relative to one who would conjure up the needed emergent behaviors), "converting the chickens to pigs", referring to the joke about the difference between membership and commitment having a geometry congruent to the respective contribution of a chicken and pig to a bacon-and-egg breakfast.

[3] The missing 'space-time phase' information required to transform a two-dimensional explicit view (i.e. photographic style view) into a full three dimensional view is nicely described in the following excerpt from the presentation speech by Eric Ingelstam of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, at the ceremony which awarded Denis Gabor, in 1971, his Nobel prize for holography. The key point of analogy to the 'boat and flotsam' story is made in Ingelstam's sentence; "The phase depends upon from which direction the wave is coming and how far it has travelled from the object to be imaged." That is, when the boat crewman gets the information as to where and when (the space-time origin) the piece of wood came from and brings it into connection with other information and experience in his possession (e.g. the fact that the boat has been travelling along a constant heading for years), he is compelled to 'die to his old flatspace story' and be 'reborn into a new and larger spherical space story'. As a sidenote of interest, Gabor did his work on holography in the 1948 - 1951 period but the significance of it wasn't recognized until 1971. It seems that the principles of holography are still poorly recognized and utilized, perhaps since one has to be in 'immersed darwinist' mode rather than 'voyeur-hero' mode to 'bring them into connection in one's mind', and our cultural default remains heavily weighted towards the latter perceptual mode. In any case, the excerpt from Ingelstam's statement is as follows;

"Physicists and technologists are working continuously to improve and broaden the methods and instruments which give us knowledge about waves which lie outside our direct perception capacity. The electron microscope resolves structures which are a thousand times smaller than the wavelength of visible light. The photographic plate preserves for us a picture of a fleeting moment, which perhaps we may make use of over a long time period for measurements, or it transforms a wave-field of heat rays, X rays, or electron rays to a visible image.

And yet, important information about the object is missing in a photographic mage. This is a problem which has been a key one for Dennis Gabor during his work on information theory. Because the image reproduces only the effect of the intensity of the incident wave-field, not its nature. The other characteristic quantity of the waves, phase, is lost and thereby the three dimensional geometry. The phase depends upon from which direction the wave is coming and how far it has travelled from the object to be imaged.

Gabor found the solution to the problem of how one can retain a wave-field with its phase on a photographic plate. A part of the wave-field, upon which the object has not had an effect, namely a reference wave, is allowed to fall on the plate together with the wave-field from the object. These two fields are superimposed upon one another, they interfere, and give the strongest illumination where they have the same phase, the weakest where they extinguish each other by having the opposite phase.


[[** Without looking for a 'one-to-one' analogy here, we can say at a minimum that the 'piece of wood', by having initials and a timestamp carved into it, embodied 'implicit' information which went well beyond the 'explicit' and 'objective'. That is, the carved initials and timestamp constituted space-time phase information which allowed the driftwood netting crewman to 'bring into connection in his mind a multitude of real and imaginary experiences' so as to bring unified 'order' to them in the form of a new and more comprehensive 'geometric-physical theory' (aka 'story'). In the case of the flotsam story then, we are also looking at 'split' wave fields (space-time trajectories) wherein the original wave representing the crew's flat-earth story is divided into two parts; i.e. the modified flat earth crew-member-carver's story as seen through the incident (to the netting crewman) 'driftwood wave', and the uninterfered with 'reference wave' represented by the flat earth story of the crew member who nets the driftwood. As the 'netting' crewmember superimposes the two 'stories', they interfere in such a way that the 'flat earth' aspect of the story is extinguished, and the notion of circles and a spherical earth emerges. **]]


Gabor called this plate a hologram, from the Greek holos, which means whole or complete, since the plate contains the whole information. This information is stored in the plate in a coded form. When the hologram is irradiated only with the reference wave, this wave is deflected in the hologram structure, and the original object's field is reconstructed. The result is a three dimensional image.

Gabor originally thought of using the principle to make an electron microscope image in two steps: first to register an object's field with electron rays in a hologram, and then to reconstruct this with visible light to make a three dimensional image with high resolution. But suitable electron sources for this were not available, and also for other technical reasons the idea could not be tested. However, through successful experiments with light Gabor could show that the principle was correct. In three papers from 1948 to 1951 he attained an exact analysis of the method, and his equations, even today, contain all the necessary information. "

[4] Previously, I have discussed this 'evolutionary' (aka 'ontogenetic' or 'morphogenetic') mode of team inquiry in terms of 'metamorphosis' or complex (real plus latent/imaginary) order in team value development. Several essays on these topics can be found at http://rampages.onramp.net/~emlumley (e.g. at /complex.htm /kepnewt.htm /houston.htm). The essay "Complexity and the 'Learning Organization'" in *Complexity*, Volume 2, Number 5 also speaks to the 'design for evolution' mode (without using this term) in the context of 'complex' ordering principles in teams. The above note, however, seeks to provide a more concise reconciliation of perceptual, knowledge, story-telling and design concepts..

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