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Bits and pieces

Here is a list of some of the things that have been on my mind over the years and that I would like to write about sometime. It is not exhaustive and no doubt other things will be added to this list if I just keep paying attention:

  • from intuition through emotion through language – how this is a continuum of knowledge sources, and how finding words for our feelings enhances our space of possible actions
  • multiple causality – how all really relevant events are never brought about by a single thing but always have many different causes on many different layers that need to come together to produce result
  • on the nature of complexity – that there are two ways by which we can try to understand it, the first being ‘natural unfolding’ where some process of growth allows us to grasp what hidden complexities must have been present in the budding; the second being ‘logical unfolding’ where we reverse engineer the underlying structure of a phenomenon by means of showing how it could have come about from combining  simple elements. This is a language play that somehow is analogous to the mathematical field of topology.
  • on knowledge, how all knowing is grounded in our senses – and that the complexity of feedback loops within our bodies circumscribes the area of what we can know; where the nervous system without doubt is the most important but by no means the only factor.
  • translating historical texts to current situations – what can Moses teach today’s managers on organisational change; what can Machiavelli tell members of parliament on good legislation; what does Homer bring to bear on project management.
  • the ladder of understanding: sensing, emotion, naming, categorizing, modelling, argumenting, predicting, believing-it-is-so / taking for granted
  • on the use of paradox and contradiction as a naming mechanism, and as such an early step on the ladder of understanding
  • on the function of metaphor as a categorization mechanism
  • how the phrase ‘in the beginning was the word’ could be a paradox, or not, depending on what you believe it to be