Rhythm in Communication LO23775

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@gold.up.ac.za)
Date: 01/17/00

Replying to LO23744 --

Dear Organlearners,

Bruno Soares <bmartins.soares@mail.EUnet.pt> writes:

>Maybe we can just control direction of content and rhythm of form.
>Content is «what» and form is «how», right?
>But how would this apply to the still photograph of the person
>from the chair?
>Damn! I feel like I'm going too fast and missing the point.

Greetings Bruno,

Perhaps we miss the point because we do not understand how the physical
brain and the abstract mind are related to each other.

Many people think that the brain becomes active when a thought in mind
emerges, almost like a car coming into motion when the accelerator pedal
is stepped in -- provided it is in gear!

But what happens when the engine is not turning at all and then the pedal
is stepped in? Nothing -- even with the gear engaged! What happens when
the engine is idling erractically and then the pedal is stepped in? The
engine usually stalls rather than responding positively.

One crucial point to understand in the model of the car is that by
changing the position of the accelerator pedal, a change is brought about
in the present action of the engine provided there is such an action.
Another crucial point is that the car will only begin to move or change
its regular speed when the engine is engaged to a gear and hence to the
wheels with an intact driving shaft.

Should we use this model, insufficient as it is, to trace the relationship
between the brain and the mind, we need to think about the "engine" and
"gears" of the brain and how they eventually are related to the "action of
the mind". Since the advent of the computer, many scientists think of the
neurons with their electrical switching as the brain's "engine". They
subsequently think of the mind as the "software" making use of the network
of firing neurons as the "hardware". The "gears" then is the effective
"rewiring" of some of the "hardware" by the "software" just as an
executing file on a computer does.

However, both the car and the computer are models taken from the material
world to which the brain belongs. We can also use other kinds of models
taken from the same material world like a living organism. The important
question here to ask is why at all the engine is running, the neurons are
making electrical impulses and the organism is living. Science has now
developed to such a point that it is possible to explain the action of all
these physical models in terms of entropy production (irreversible

It is also possible to use models from the abstract world to which the
mind belongs. For example, we may use a system of logic or a system of
cognition to model the way in which the mind is working. Again the
important question here to ask is why each of these systems has a definite
behaviour. Unfortunately, despite the efforts of many philosophers, we do
not have an explanation common to all these systems. This is because we do
not have (yet?) established beyond doubts a pattern pervading all of the
abstract world as in the case of the material world.

What important features should this pervading pattern have? Bruno, I
think that you have pointed out a most important one. When we look at a
still photograph of a person sitting not upright, but with the butt making
partial contact, the torso slanted, the arms streched in a protective
fashion, etc., our minds immediately interpret the picture as that of a
person "falling from a chair". We do not interpret it as a person "sitting
in a chair, even in in a most unusual fashion" -- something which may be
accomplished by avoiding weight like in outer space!

What our minds did, were to create for that static picture at least one of
two other pictures, one belonging to the past (person sitting upright) and
one belonging to the future (person lying prostrate). In other words,
what our minds did was to extend an eternally static picture into a
temporal dynamic one.

Just like human minds have created languages in terms of nouns and verbs.
Nouns -- static pictures on a rock -- how far are we from this humble

This introduction of dynamics is done by our mind. Hence the answer to the
following question is vitally important. Did our brain also introduced the
dynamics, or do our brains have an innate dynamics (like an idling engine)
which is merely altered (like reving the engine) by observing the
eternally static picture? This alternation then results in the emergence
of the picture(s) in another time slot(s) -- the past and/or the future.
Should the brains have an innate dynamics, then the pattern which we use
to explanate this innate dynamics should also have a clear distinction
between the past, present and future of time.

Entropy production is the combination of entropy and time, thus pointing
to the past, present and future of entropy.

But the topic of this dialogue points to another question of which the
answer is also vitally important -- rhythm! Why do rhythmic events in
nature occur at all? Why does quantum mechanics with its phenomenal
success depend on the wave equation for harmonic motions. Why do harmonic
waves occur at all? How do we superimpose more complex rhythms, sometimes
seemingly even chaotic, on a simple harmonic motion? It is all the result
of a feedback on a change which otherwise seems to be open and without any
restraint. Rhythm in its confusing complexity and dazzling beauty is the
result of many and not one feedback mechanisms.

Oh, what brings forth the one-to-many-mapping?

Herein I find the Learning Organisation again of profound importance.
Authentic learning requires feedback. Just try to program a CBT lesson by
using a programming language like C rather than a "dedicated through
simplication" lesson authoring system to experience how much feedback is
involved in learning. Introducing feedback to any computer program
increases immensely the probability of the program to fail (like "hanging
up"). Despite all the many feedback mechanisms which a Learning
Individual (LI) makes use of, they eventually culminate in one feedback
pattern. Eventhough complex for one person this monadicity (oneness) leads
to learning which has a rather monotonous rhythm, a sort of "linear

What is wholeness if it has monadicity, but not associativity?

To escape that monotonous rhythm, the LI has to connect EFECTIVELY to many
other feedback mechanisms acting outside the learner. It is in the
organisation as LO in which the LI connects effectively with all the other
LIs (members of that organisation), thus becoming part of many other
feedback mechanisms of the same kind. This is the LO discipline of Team
Learning. Peter Senge calls the complex rhythm which now emerges from the
monotonous rhythm the "dance of change".

The art of the LO is not trying to sit on the LO chair of human
organisations. We must picture ourselves as falling from that chair of
organisations with only humans as its members! We must extend by creative
collapses the idea of the LO to a "deep LO". The story of the Damara, the
dog and the herd of goats (LO23734) is a "deep LO". An ecosystem is a
profound example of a "deep LO". In all of them we must open ourselves to
their rhythms and try to fathom the network of feedback mechanisms
responsible for their rhythms.

When the fundamental pattern which we use to explain how our mind and
brain (or better, neurological system) work does not have an innate
feedback mechanism itself resulting in a principal rhythm, then it has
little value to me. To use one model to explain any amplification and a
different, unconnected model to explain the control of such amplification
by feedback, is for me like dealing with a person with a split

The entropy of the universe has to increase minimally towards a maximum.
This "minimal" is the feedback mechanism of entropy production.

If caring is a feedback mechanism, then how and why? What rhythm does
caring result into?

Love is the pinnacle of all feedback mechanisms. What is love without

With caring and best wishes


At de Lange <amdelange@gold.up.ac.za> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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