Montréal, October 12, 1999
This essay addresses important changes which are needed in two levels of visualization and management, ... that of the individual, and that of the community (regulatory agency), which will be required for safe passage into the new millenium.
Individual Visualization and Management:
The type of change we are faced with as we go into the third millenium is of an unfamiliar nature to most of us who do not 'work' on a regular basis with 'nonlinear systems' concepts. As John Hiles of "Thinking Tools Inc." says, ... there are several domains of thought which confound the culturally cultivated human mind, ... including the domain of large numbers and the domains of exponential and reciprocal change.
We can fathom what '100 people' mean in terms of our everyday experience, but not what '6 billion people' mean. And we know how to pursue our dog if he gets off the leash (a linear chase) but not how to round up a flock of sheep which scatters in all directions (spatial-exponential), ... not unless we have gone through years of cultivating centuries old technique of working in partnership with a sheep dog. And, similarly, when we play the game of pool, it takes time and practice to be able to 'visualize' the game in the 'reciprocal' terms of the 'shape' of the configuration rather than solely in terms of the shots or 'causal dynamics' themselves.
The type of change we are faced with as we hit Y2K is the 'reciprocal' type of change which arises from 'relativistic' effects, ... and an essential investment in preparation for Y2K is to 'upgrade' one's visualization skills and support capabilities to relativity and quantum physics compliance. This is not as hard as it may sound and this essay attempts to outline the basics.
First, ... a bit of background on 'why reciprocal change'?
Relativistic space-time can be thought of as a 'container' for our actions which is finite and unbounded. The surface of the planet earth is an example of a finite, unbounded, relativistic 'container', ... that is, our actions are 'contained' within this 'sphere of operations'. It's finiteness and unboundedness means that our actions are going to interfere with each other, in the manner that the balls interfere with one another in a game of pool. It is important to note that the game of pool provides an excellent model for relativistic (reciprocal) change as occurs within a finite, unbounded spherical 'container', ... since it's four enclosing 'banks' can be thought of as mirrors opening up on all sides onto a 'virtual sphere', ... giving the balls the possibility of rolling 'virtually' straight ahead and (by hitting all four banks) coming back through the point they started off, as if they had rolled around the outer surface of a sphere.
So, visualizing things 'relativistically', we live in a container where our desired actions 'reciprocally' interfere with everyone else's actions (the reciprocal of 'desired action' gives the 'opportunity shape'). We don't usually take this into account and we just plough ahead and do 'our own thing', ... and this, as we know, can lead to much dysfunction in our surrounding 'environment'.
We are currently managing on the basis of classical 'Newtonian' concepts and have not yet assimilated the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics which will account for the 'reciprocal effects' which more completely characterize 'how the world works'. As we do assimilate these theories, ... our mode of 'visualization' will change in the same way as the mode of visualization of a pool player changes as he develops his skill. That is, he starts out focusing solely on 'making the right shots', ... and he slowly upgrades his visualization and management strategy to the cultivation of 'reciprocal shape' of the configuration, ... and harvesting shot-making opportunities as a secondary aspect. He does not abandon his focus on skilled shot-making but expands his visualization so that he now sees 'shot-making' as a feature contained within a larger topography.
This 'relativistic visualization' is a 'bigger' (dimensionally) way of looking at 'how the world works' since it looks at both 'things' and their reciprocal relationship with space. Whereas, ... in the classical, 'Newtonian' visualization, ... space was infinite (euclidian) and so one did not visualize things as 'bumping into their own containing ensemble' as occurs in the finite curved space-time of the pool game.
The reason for alteratively using the word 'space' and the word 'space-time' is because in the classical approach to visualization (euclidian), we split apart space and time and speak in terms of 'fully independent things' and their sequential (chronological) mechanics (causal dynamics). But, when visualizing things in relativistic curved space-time, as in the pool game, ... it's no longer possible or useful to split apart space and time, ... because interested is focused on 'how things can flow' and this is the sense which the viewing of 'reciprocal shape' provides, ... the sense of which balls are going to have a clear shot at which, ... and which balls are going to be 'snookered', opportunity-wise, with respect to their desired actions, ... questions which deal with space-time 'flow' rather than status.
So one could say that this 'upgrade' in visualization will support our graduating from management based on 'causal dynamics' and 'status' (relative to fixed goals) to management based on 'purposive dynamics' (cultivating evolutionary 'shape' and 'flow potential' (interference patterns), within which the former management practice becomes a supportive subset. That is, the new visualization and management actually 'contains' the old visualization and management as a 'special case', ... the case where we consider only 'cause' as we make our moves, and ignore the reciprocal effects of our moves on the 'opportunity landscape'.
[**Note: On a mathematical level, we can see that euclidian (flat, or rectangular) space is the special case of curved space where the curvature goes to zero. And in the quantum duality probabilities, we can see that the probabilities of looking at things in terms of interference (P_interference = (p1 + p2 + . . .)**2 = p1**2 + p2**2 + . . . + 2*pi*pj) 'contains' the probabilities of looking at things in terms of particulate, causal dynamics (P_causality = p1**2 + p2**2 + . . .). Just as in the game of pool, one can simply visualize and manage things on the basis of the probabilities of what you can do with each ball (in real life, with each local task) out of the context of the containing whole in which your action is immersed, ... or you can account for the reciprocal interference geometries relative to your containing environment at the same time, which in the lingo of pool means that you manage 'shape' first and 'shots' in the context of 'shape'.]
Visualizing and managing on the basis of 'shape' (which contains 'shots') means that we are focusing on and managing the 'opportunity landscape', .... to try to get it to look like the reciprocal of our 'desired actions', ... rather than just doing our local 'thing' (just making our local 'shots'). Going into Y2K, ... the Y2K glitsch can be seen in terms of getting corrupted information which leads us inadvertently into making the 'wrong shots'.
This could be likened to playing pool on a video monitor where joy stick apparatus was out of whack with the display information, and everytime we made a shot which looked like it was well lined up on the video monitor, the feedback from our actions would come back showing a screw up, ... and while the video monitor would update with these unanticipated results, ... we'd continue to get bad results on the next shot, ... and the people (balls) around us effected by the dissonance we produced would get angry and ask us to make 'corrective shots', which we would try to move forward and act upon, ... with the same unanticipated result, ... not having the ability, within our own management realm, ... to correct the flawed relational interfacing between our joy-stick causation and the configuration on the video monitor display.
The basic problem here is that we assume the configuration we are immersed within and this works fine when it is in a stable equilibrium. So, when our visualization and management is based on local shot-making out of the context of the 'opportunity landscape' (and how it is transforming), ... we are critically dependent upon 'ceteris paribus', ... on the relativistic landscape which envelopes us remaining stable.
In systems which manages causal dynamics, ... we have to worry about both the integrity of the controls and also the dynamical state of the system. For example, if we are managing our 'desired movements' of a train on a complex railway grid on the basis of established controls, ... 'rules of the road' and responding to red and green signal lights etc., ... without a view of the overall 'reciprocal' landscape of open track opportunity (i.e. if we are managing on the basis of local 'shots'), .. getting to our destination depends not only upon all of the signals and human responses 'working' but also to the current dynamics of the system,... the position and momentum of all of the components. That is, we must also consider the 'phase characteristics' of the system.
When informational glitsches infuse a complex system based on local 'shot-making' (causal management), ... for example, when one light goes wrong for a brief period and only one train gets on a section of track which it shouldn't be on, the potential for trouble is localized and rapidly resolvable even though significant damage could result. If, on the other hand, ... the signals become generally unreliable and the situation persists to the point that many trains are on sections of railgrid that they shouldn't be on (that a configuration is developing which no-one is monitoring), ... the notion of 'fixing the problem' in terms of 'fixing the controls' is insufficient since the system is now full of dangerous 'phase-based' latencies, and one is forced to revert to a visualization of the entire 'relative' 'opportunity landscape', position, momentum, phase and all, ... and start afresh from there.
Imagine for a moment that you are the train driver. As you approach a signal, ... not only do you not know if the signal is telling you the 'truth', ... if a train coming the opposite way has been allowed onto this section of track by another faulty signal, or one which was briefly faulty and is now fixed, ... the uncertainty is compounded by the loss in 'phase lock'. Repairs to the information system are not sufficient because the seeds of problems, ... the infusion of unaccounted-for phase perturbations, ... was sown during the time the system was faulty. All prior assumptions and plans , such as having a printout that says to 'proceed into zone 3 at 11:45', are voided by the phase perturbation, .. even though the system has now been repaired.
As a driver in this situation, ... what would you now most like to have?
How about a real-time view looking down on the whole 'opportunity landscape' which includes your train as well as all the others?
This is the essential finding of quantum physics, ... that the tools of inquiry must be included in the inquiry, ... the drivers must see themselves in their own inquiry. And it is also the essential finding of relativity in that in curved space-time where the ensemble of things interferes with its own constituents, one must manage 'relativistically', ... on the basis of the reciprocal disposition or 'interference pattern'. Managing on the basis of causal dynamics or 'thing-behaviors', out of the context of the reciprocal relationship with the containing 'ensemble of things' is innately insufficient.
As the quantum physicist Henry Stapp (Berkeley) says; "That [the quantum view of experience being the basic reality] was precisely the key move of Bohr and Heisenberg et. al., namely to recognize that science was actually about our knowledge, which is imbedded in our experience, and hence that the correct way to formulate physical theory was as a useful tool for making predictions about our experiences."
In other words, ... what the driver wants from the science and management system is a way to predict his experience. His knowledge of signalling systems and the rules of the road supports this purpose ONLY WHEN the containing landscape in which he is immersed is stable in a clockworks (phase-lock) sense, ... but when the gearworks type of management, wherein everyone trusts in and depends upon the phase-lock stability of their containing landscape, ... a feature which frees them up to focus on their own local shotmaking, .... when this phase-lock goes out of whack as in a Y2K scenario, ... then there is no way to independently 'fix' one's own operation and the efforts of individual operators acting on their own to restore coherency are rendered impotent.
To be rendered helpless as an individual is not a good feeling and may lead to precipitous and ill-founded actions which backfire and further degenerate into panic, frustration and anger, ... causing disorder which quickly exponentiates in a multi-element self-referential system landscape.
Exceptional, high performance teams develop visualization and management skills which are, in effect, 'quantum physics and relativity compliant', .... that is, they shift to visualization and management based on 'reciprocal disposition' or 'interference patterns' within which 'causal dynamics' are addressed on a subordinate or 'contained' basis (which they indeed are, in mathematical sense), ... just as in the case of the skilled pool player. Instead of using the 'science' of management in a by-rote 'knowledge of local shot-making' mode, ... their science includes the tools of inquiry in the inquiry which means that it is operating on an 'experiential' rather than 'knowledge' basis, ... 'knowledge being the precipitate of experience'.
With access to a real-time picture of the overall landscape within which he is a participating constituent, ... the train driver can effectively transcend the limitations of Goedel's theorem. Goedel's theorem would say; "the driver of the train who compensates for the faulty behaviors of all those drivers who cannot compensate for their own faulty behaviors cannot compensate for his own faulty behavior yet cannot avoid doing so" (to avoid failure of the system). With the real-time landscape view in hand, however, ... the drivers can go into a 'coresonant' or 'coevolutional' mode of operation based on reciprocal disposition patterns, ... transcending the limitations of finite systems of logic as spoken to in Goedel's theorem.
Clearly, ... as an individual on his own, one cannot develop this real-time view of the overall landscape from which to manage by, ... there must be agreement, open sharing and cooperation. However, this is the approach which is needed when systems breakdowns are of a severity that the normal referencing conventions are no longer trustworthy and one must deal with the raw 'relativity' of the natural world. It is dangerous and ultimately futile to move forward independently without having a view of the landscape in which one is immersed when reference frameworks break down.
Community Visualization and Management (Regulation):
As part of the 'upgrading' of visualization and management skills to relativity and quantum physics compliant status, ... it is important to be aware of another important source of 'incompleteness' in western visualization and management systems, in addition to the one just described by Goedel's theorem.
Western management approach is predominantly based on 'negative feedback' as exemplified in 'control hierarchies', and important incompletenesses arise here with respect to quantum physics and relativity, ... which lead to real practical problems.
The incompleteness can be seen if one compares the eastern practice of 'positive modelling' with western practice of 'suppression' within social systems. As Youqin Wang (Stanford) suggests, ... the eastern tradition is to induce the desired result (e.g. as in the Zen 'void which must be filled') and this is approached by stress on harmonious stories which can be modelled after. In the case of parent child relationships, Wang notes that the Chinese literature, by contrast with western literature, is replete with stories about filial love, a reciprocal teaching/learning device relative to the suppressive western Oedipus Rex myth; ... as Wang says; "The message of the story of Oedipus is a negative injunction: Do not do what Oedipus did! Do not commit parricide or incest! The message of these Chinese stories, on the other hand, is a positive one: Follow the examples of the filial sons! Be a filial son to your parents!" ... "The positive exemplar, when effective, inspires its audience, thus controlling primitive desires. Similarly, the negative example serves as a warning, thus repressing these impulses. "
The notions of 'induction' (inward pull) and 'suppression' (outward push) are important in physics when one gets into 'field' theory, since they are the space-time (four-dimensional or curved space-time) counterparts of 'attraction' and 'repulsion'. The notions of 'attraction' and 'repulsion' are linear and incomplete in that they cannot adequately and directly handle concepts such as convergence and divergence. That is they arise from the notion that 'attraction and repulsion' are properties of 'things' rather than of 'space' ('field'). Newton complained of these limitations in very clear and strong terms, as has been frequently mentioned in this essay series.
Visually, one can 'see' that managing by induction is 'many-to-one' like the pied piper seducing scattered constituents into converging towards a particular point, ... while managing by suppression is 'one-to-many' dispersive approach like the tough guy who threatens anyone who steps out of line with violence. A familar example will serve to point out the 'incompleteness' in the western approach.
In the execution of Karla Faye Tucker, Governor George Bush represent the western viewpoint which argues that tough law enforcement is a deterrent to crime. In essence, this says the following;
1. Intangible 'field' effects determine tangible behavior. In this case, the notion is one of using 'suppressive field effects' to control undesired tangible behaviors.
Karla Faye's supporters tried to invoke the notion of 'intangible field effects' in their arguments saying that the social environment in which Karla Faye was immersed as a child 'induced' her anti-social behavior, and that further inductive effects had induced a transformation in her which was now determining her very different behavior patterns, i.e.;
2. Intangible 'field' effects determine tangible behavior. In this case the notion is one of using 'inductive field effects' to encourage 'desired' tangible behaviors.
Governor Bush supports those advocating that judgement should be based exclusively on 'cause and effect'. Taken together, the features of this management approach correspond to the poor pool player's approach, ... in focusing only on shot-making, ... and ignoring the reciprocal disposition 'shape' which contains and engenders the shot-making. In terms of 'field theory', the Bush approach is effectively saying;
3. While we accept the importance of intangible 'field effects' in determining behavior, ... we will exclude consideration of 'inductive field effects' in our crime management approach and utilize a negative feedback loop which restricts visualization to real tangible cause-and-effect and which uses a combination of 'behavior elimination' and 'suppressive field effects' to manage the system. If crime continues to rise, ... rather than considering inductive field effects, ... we shall intensive our elimination and suppressive field effect approach.
The problem with the suppression based approach in 3. is that in relativistic curved space-time, ... field effects simultaneously spawn reciprocal field effects. Visualized in terms of billiard balls rolling on the outer surface of a sphere, ... if the balls are diverging in one region, they are at the same time converging in another, .... suppressive field effects simultaneously imply inductive field effects.
In other words, ... in relativistic curved space-time, there is an innate incompleteness in managing on the basis of suppression (punitive field). This can be visualized in terms of pushing things out and away but not having any influence on where they go or what they bump into, particularly when 'push comes to shove'.
Meanwhile, ... managing on the basis of induction (encouraged purpose) 'contains' the 'suppressive' approach as a special case, .... the case where encouragement of harmonious behavior 'flips' to its reciprocal of discouragement of dissonant behavior, ... since induction emanates from the containing field while suppression emanates from a particular agent within the containing field. That is, as in the eastern view, induction can be seen as the 'yin-pull' of the containing space while suppression can be seen as the 'yang push' emanating from a constituent (punitive agent) within the space. The curved space ensemble of all agents is the 'mother' of any of its particular constituent agents such as the punitive agent setting up the suppressive field.
Thus, there is an innate incompleteness in visualizing social regulatory systems in terms of negative feedback which, ... while acknowledging the intangible behavior-shaping effects of 'field', ... operate only in a suppressive field effect mode, ... and ignore inductive field effects. Such an approach is not compliant with relativity and quantum mechanics which recognize a simultaneous reciprocal relationship between inductive and suppressive field effects.
Underlying the Bush approach to management is the basic assumption of euclidian space and linear time. These assumptions lead to the flawed view that causal dynamics are necessary and sufficient for explaining system behavior and that 'things' can be assumed to be fixed and unchanging for the purposes of system regulation.
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In summary, social systems and their material support systems continue to complexify as we go into the third millenium. The 'Y2K problem' raises the possibility of partial collapse of the complex network of logistical and social systems. Just as in Darwin's theory of evolution, ... we must concern ourselves with the enfolding of material and behavioral aspects of the system; i.e. since the production and supply of goods and services are interwoven with the cultivation and supply of social behaviors, ... the management processes must also be interwoven.
In classical linear (Newtonian) theory, we have focused on 'what we do', ... the 'causal dynamics', ... out of the context of the interference patterns (reciprocal disposition) of the containing environment in which we are immersed. Thus, over time, we have built very complicated systems 'from the bottom up' which can only work provided the many hidden and undocumented interdependencies continue to operate in the phase-locked manner in which we are accustomed to them operating. For example, there are many small businesses which supply important technologies (e.g. control system components) to critical industries (electricity, petroleum, nuclear, medical) whose products involve the assembly of components coming from suppliers all over the world. Such businesses have evolved 'on top of' the existing component supply patterns and thus have evolved dependencies upon a supply network, many of whose properties are 'hidden' to them and the availability of product and service taken for granted.
The knowledge and skill base of such businesses thus 'starts' from their assumptions on the 'opportunity landscape' in which they are immersed. Today's businesses (and our domestic systems) are generally in this state of depending upon assumptions concerning the supporting and containing landscape, rather than having been designed for co-adaptation.
In areas of severe collapse, ... should these occur in Y2K, ... the notion of 'repair' is innately inadequate because of the enfolding of mechanical systems responses and social behaviors. That is, there may no longer be a stable landscape to 'stand upon' and repair and rebuild the system, due to social-logistics-coupled induced behavior 'transients' running through the system.
What will stand in the way of a return to whole-and-part systemic harmony are (a) the linear theory based practice wherein individuals visualize and manage on the basis of local causal dynamics out of the context of reciprocal effects of their actions on the opportunity landscape in which they are immersed constituent-participants, and (b) the linear theory based practice wherein collective (community) control systems operate on the basis of negative feedback (suppression of undesired behaviors) out of the context of reciprocal effects of these actions (induced behavioral alteration) on the opportunity landscape in which these regulatory agencies are immersed constituent-participants.
An essential investment begs to be made, ... on the part of individuals and regulatory agencies (in the general sense) to upgrade visualization and management skills from their classical linear theory to relativity and quantum physics compliance. This upgrade can be seen, ... geometrically, ... in terms of the upgrade from visualizing and managing the game of pool, ... from a 'poor-player' focus on localized (in space and time) shot-making (causal dynamics) to a skilled-player dual focus which puts the visualization and management of evolving reciprocal disposition effects (opportunity landscape) into the primacy. Causal dynamics, instead of being keyed to directly, are then viewed as a subsidiary feature within the context of the opportunity landscape.
Similarly, in the domain of social regulatory systems, ... the needed upgrade is from negative feedback (suppression) to positive feedback (induction) within which negative feedback plays a subsidiary 'backup' role. In this context, one must regard education and justice as a unified system. Clearly the positive feedback approach must cultivate behaviours which support the making available of information for 'opportunity landscape viewing' and for empowering and encouraging people to shift away from managing on the basis of local 'shot-making', to instead, managing on the basis of the 'opportunity landscape' which comprehends within it, the local shot-making aspect.
What these upgrades reflect, in terms of physics, is a recognition of the primacy of the influence of intangible, geometrical 'field effects' over the behavior of individual material constituents in the system, ... and relativistic, curved space self-referentiality, wherein causal actions and field effect manipulation have simultaneous reciprocal effects on the 'opportunity landscape' within which the causal agents and suppressive sources are immersed participant-constituents.
It is also important to recognize that from a systems view, the material systems behavior and the social systems behaviors are inseparably co-enfolded. As has been noted, ... there will be no way on the basis of observing systems behaviors, to distinguish between the effects of such things as public 'panic action' from the effects of tangible systems faults. A glitsch which causes a 'run on the bank' will in general include genuine cases of withdrawal of capital to keep other systems afloat. To assume unnecessary panic and freeze withdrawals may aggravate system collapses.
The combination of 'referencing' individual management effort directly to the real-time 'opportunity landscape' and orienting regulatory management effort to positive feedback while demoting negative feedback (punition and suppression) to a backup role, represents an approach which can avoid the dysfunction-infusing effects of standard linear theory by incorporating relativity and quantum physics understanding.
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