Expressing human experience. LO24233

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 03/22/00

Dear Organlearners,

Greetings to you all.

Yesterday was a public holiday in South Africa. It is called
Human Rights Day. It commemorates the Sharpville massacre
40 years ago. Black people were killed because they protested
against the "pass book" which they must have to enter a "white
area". That bloody day was an important milestone in the
dismanteling of apartheid some 30 years later.

We now have a new constitution with a Bill of Rights (BR) in
it. Any BR was heavily resisted by the voters in power during the
apartheid era. Their reason was that $human responsibilities$
are more basic than $human rights$ and that humans need rather
a "bill of responsibilities".

One human right in the BR is the $freedom of expression$. In
this $freedom of expression$ two concepts are connected to form
one compound concept, namely $freedom$ and $expression$.
However, each of $freedom$ and $expression$ is self a very
complex concept.

Let us have a LO-dialogue on the $expression$ part.

We will soon do some Systems Thinking which may become too
complex for some of you fellow learners. If this will be the case,
then simply try to answer the question:
        How do I express my experiences?
Think of any experience and any possible expression. You answer
may be a simple as one stroke in the painting of a picture which
requires many strokes, but every stroke is essential to make a
rich picture.

Let us now pursue some Systems Thinking.

Connecting $freedom$ and $expression$ is known in chemistry
as an "addition reaction". Disconnecting them is known as an
"elimination" reaction. I am now going to disconnect them by
eliminating the $freedom$ part. Then I will transform the remainder
from the being (noun) $expression$ into the becoming (verb)
$expressing$. Finally I will add this becoming to another becoming,
namely $experiencing$, using the $human$ as commutator. The
result is the complex becoming "expressing human experiencing".

This $expressing human experiencing$ may very well appear
strange to you. So let us thoughts meander on each of its
parts. Think of the $human$ in the middle as the system. The
$experiencing$ on the right means that things enter the system
to "form experiences". The $expressing$ on the left means that
things leave the system to "form expressions". Both sides mean
that the human is an open system because some things go into
the system while other things come out of it. All this can be
represented by the diagram
   ==experiencing==> human ==expressing==>
where something like "==experiencing==>" symbolises a

Think of a jig-saw puzzle as the metaphor which I will use to
explain what we will be doing. I will supply some pieces of the
puzzle, but not all of them. I may also supply some pieces which
do not belong to this puzzle. We then will have to fit this puzzle
together by means of a LO-dialogue. I will now introduce the
pieces by way of questions.

The first important question is:- What is the boundary of the
system? Should we indicate the boundary by square brackets
[ ], where will we put them? There are at least two extreme
possibilities with a couple more between them:
   ==experiencing==> [human] ==expressing==>
   [ ==experiencing==> human ==expressing==> ]
Which diagram do you fellow learners prefer as the better?

The second important question is: Of what nature is the
commutation (relation) between the two becomings? There are
many possibilities which we can arrange into some groups:
casual, causative, teleological
inductive, deductive, abductive
immediately, time lag
implicit, explicit,
reversible, irreversible,
many-to-one, one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-many
physical, spiritual.
Add some more groups according to your own insights. None,
one, more or all from a group may apply. None, one, more or all
these groups may apply. Which possibilities will you select to
describe the picture in your mind? How will you arrange them to
present your picture?

The third important question is:- What feedback loops are there,
if any? One feedback loop, should it exist, may be represented
in the lower diagram as:
__ [ ==experiencing==> human ==expressing==> ]__
(I hope it comes out right!)
This is a remote feedback loop because it runs outside the system
in the environment. Another feedback loop might run inside the
system so that one possible diagram will be
   [ ==experiencing==> __ human __ ==expressing==> ]
What patterns, if any, are in these possible feedback loops?
Are these loops simple becomings, or are some of them
complex becomings with one or more commutators in them?
If there are commutators in them, how about the role of other
humans as commutators? How about other forms of life as

A fourth important question is:- How is this becoming of the
system sustained? Perhaps no sustaination is ever required.
Perhaps the system can sustain itself indefinitely without
requiring anything else. Perhaps the system use generative
adjoints (like happiness and curiosity) which is generated by
itself. Perhaps the system has to be sustained by the environment.
Perhaps the sustaination is provided by a symbiosis between the
system and the environment. Perhaps God has to be part of
sustaining this compound becoming.

A fifth important question is:- Is there any constructive
evolution and/or destructive degradation possible in this
compound becoming? If there are any such changes (reducing
or complexifying) to the patterns in this compound becoming,
are any patterns essential to such changes in the patterns
of the becoming itself? What about the seven essentialities?

I think that I have created enough pieces for the jig-saw puzzle
so that you can become aware that it is indeed a very complex

I have been contemplating the past few weeks the possibility
that we are in dire need of a completely new mode of expression.
By that I mean that "languages" (natural like English and Zulu,
technical like mathematics and HTML, artistic like painting,
sculpturing and music) are not any more capable, singularly
or collectively, to express what we experience. I write "not any
more" because I mean that in the past they might have been
sufficient, but that they are not sufficient any more. Perhaps we
humans have made self the world so complex that it now is out
of our reach. In other words, humankind's own creations are now
preventing humankind to express its experiences sufficiently.

What may this completely new mode of expression be?

I am deeply aware, as Pasteur might say, that this innovation
will require vast preparation. For example, it took 300 years
of science in three major subjects and many innovations to
become sufficiently prepared to discover the chemical structure
of the DNA molecule of heredity. Perhaps it will take us only
30 years to discover this new mode at the rate which new
innovations are accelerating. The fitting of this puzzle to form
a meaningful picture will afford us some of the preparation.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <> 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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