Replying to LO25593 --
Gavin Ritz <email@example.com> writes:
>Could you please share with me specific extensive
>and intensive factors in an organisational (business
>organisation) setting and give me examples of these
>factors. Something that is measurable in both the
>extensive and intensive factors.
Greetings Gavin and fellow learners,
I will try to comply to your request. But I have to point out to fellow
learners that between your request and the complaince there are obstacles
(both with material and mental dimensions" which we will have to cross
(1) The river of "LEP dancing on LEC"
(2) The mountain of Mensuration.
I have crossed the the "river" so many times that I almost can do it like
saying a rhyme -- please forgive me when my report sounds like a rhyme
too. However, I have done this crossing frequently alone. It is great to
cross it, but doing it alone is not nice. I have also crossed the
"mountain" a couple of times which itself is also great. But doing it
alone is something which I now prefer to avoid.
With respect to the "river", I can inform you fellow learners that it is
the dancing of LEP on LEC which gives raw energy its many forms.
Every form of energy consists of two factors X (extensive) and Y
intensive) such that the product X x Y expresses the amount of that form
of energy. When a system gets scaled, for example divided or doubled,
every form of energy gets scaled too (divided or doubled respectively).
Should we go into that form of energy itself to see what happens to the
complementary factors X and Y, the factor X gets scaled (divided or
doubled respectively) while the factor Y does not get scaled, i.e. Y
remains the same (invariant).
Here is an example. Consider as system a cell for a torch light. This
system has several forms of energy of which the electrical energy which it
can deliver is its asset. Electrical energy can be represented by Q x V
where Q is the electrcal charge (meausred in the unit coulomb) and V is
the electrical potential (measured in the unit volt). Divide the cell
lengthwise along its two poles. The electrical potential V in volts of
half the cell reamins the same whereas the electrical charge Q in coulomb
which it can deliver is now half the original value. Thus the electrical
charge Q is the extensive factor X while the electical potential V is the
intensive factor Y.
Consider a circuit connected to the cell in which there is a resistor R.
The potential difference over the resistor is V(2) - V(1) and the flow of
charge through it is /_\Q = I x /_\t where I is the current and /_\t is
the increase in time. The electrical energy in the resistor converted into
heat is [V(2) - V(1)] x /_\Q. This "difference" x "increment" pair is
proportional to the "entropy production" by a factor 1/T where T is the
absolute temperature . This is why the difference [V(2) - V(1)] is called
an "entropic force" and the increment /_\Q an "entropic flux". I prefer to
use the word "entropic" rather than "thermodynamic" when refering to pairs
such as this one. In fact, what we have here is primarily an
electrochemical transformation of which the thermodynamics is a merely a
I use the electro-chemical cell for a second reason. One of the mental
intricasies in electricity is to distinguish between the flow of positive
and negative charges. When we consider the increment /_\Q as the flow of
positive charge from V(2) to V(1), then both [V(2) - V(1)] > 0 and /_\Q >
0 (both are positive). Thus the product [V(2) - V(1)] x /_\Q > 0, i.e a
positive increase. But when we transform this given situation mentally to
a flow of negative charge from V(1) to V(2), then both [V(1) - V(2)] < 0
and /_\Q < 0 (both are negative). Hence, once again, the product [V(1) -
V(2)] x /_\Q > 0, i.e a positive increase. Thus our mental reversal from
positive to negative, although profound itself, does nothing to the sign
of the "entropy production".
The following information may seem to be an unecessary complication, but
when we come to human organisations and their properties which could be
perceived positively or negatively, perhaps you will appreciate this
In high school I was confused very much by this flow of positive charge in
one direction or flow of negative charge in the opposite direction. I will
be surprise if it is not the same with many of you. In my case it was
because I accepted it by rote learning as "unblemished truth", not
realising that my teacher was actually speaking inconsistently. One day I
decided to put an end to it and try to explain how this is possible. Here
is the metaphoric explanation which I gave to myself. Think of a long row
of chairs, the one behind the other. Fill them up with people sitting on
them, except for the front chair which remains empty.
Let the first person on the second chair move to the front chair and sit
on it.. As the person moves forwards, the property "occupation of a chair"
(the negative sign is also a property) moves forward. Meanwhile the
property "emptiness of a chair" (the positive sign is also a property)
moves backward, opposite to the forward direction. Let the second person
in the third chair move to the second chair, etc. etc. The stationary
chairs are the nuclei and inner electrons of the metal atoms. The moving
persons are the conducting electrons. The negative sign ("occupation")
moves into the one direction while the positive sign ("emptyness") moves
into the opposite direction.
Mensuration is the science of meaurement while metrology is the technology
of measurement. We are inclinded to think that mensuration and metrology
have been know in great detail to humankind for millenia. Far from it.
Only in beginning of the 1800s did scientists begin to develop actively
the disiciplines mensuration and metrology for the physical (material)
world. Before the 1800s less than ten physical quantities were known and
the measurement of each was done with great confusion. It took humankind
many millenia to develop to this stage. For example, for the quantity
length more than fifty units (like inch, feet, yard, furlong, mile,
fathom, ......in Britain alone) were used, each unit for its own
application. A century later, some hundred years ago, close to a hundred
quantities were discovered of which each required a thorough understanding
of its measuring instrument (metrology).
When we think of mensuration and metrology for the mental dimension of
reality, we cannot expect to fall in where we are now with respect to the
material dimension of reality. We have to think ourselves back into
history of material mesurements, perhaps as far back as ancient
Mesopotamia. Before us lies then a mountain to cross which is even higher
(as a result of its greater complexity) than the one which humankind had
crossed for material measurements.
In material measurements we learned how essential it is to bear in mind
topics such a standardisation, continuity, graduation, accuracy,
precision, coherency for orders of magnitude, fundamental/derived, etc.
Only one of these topics (namely precision) is readily contemplated in
mental measurements where it is given many names such as statistical
analysis, repeatability, consistency and sometimes even standardisation.
This shows how far we will have to go just to match material measurements,
what to speak of the greater complexity required to match mental
For example, in material measurements we impose subdivisisons and
superdivisions on the graduation of the unit of a quantity by imposing
linearity and continuity on it. But with Quantum Mechanics we learned that
continuity is restricted and with Relativity Mechanics we learned that
linearity is restricted. Thus, we will have to prepare ourselves to invent
discreet and nonlinear graduations on the unit which we select for
whatever mental quantity.
So, when Gavin asks me to share a specific example and furthermore require
"something that is measurable in both the extensive and intensive
factors", he is actually asking me to cross the mountain of which I tried
to point out its complexity. I did invent myself a discreet and nonlinear
graduation on the unit "sentential truth" which allowed me to discover
empirically that LEP does manifest itself in the abstract world of mind.
But to show you the what, how and why of this graduation, I will have to
take you through far more logic than all which I have written on this list
to the frustration of the majority of fellow learners. I will not share
this graduation with you now for many reasons.
One practical reason is that the ASCII symbols we use in our dialogue
allow me none of the many logical symbols which I will have to use to
connect to the "standard" notations of logic. Another practical reason is
that I will have to connect to specific cases other than logic
(exmplar-studying) to which these logical symbols have adjunction (find
application). This entails that I will have to take your through several
fully fledged courses of a basic science like physics, chemistry or
geology. Should the logic be frustrating to you, this will then be
Why all this frustration? Because of what I call the Law of Requiste
Complexity (Not Ashby's Law of Requiste Variety). I will be requiring from
you fellow learners a requisite level of complexity involving several
fully fledged basic disciplines as well as transdisciplinary thinking in
which the seven essentialities play a crucial role. To expect from you
fellow learners to be at the requisite level or to reach it in one easy
course is the worst possible error which I can make. The only thing which
I can expect, is to volunteer my midwifery for those who want to explore
such a crazy journey I did myself. As for such midwifery, how often was it
rather perceived as a curious boasting of myself?
Please, do not get the idea that I am saying that I am better than you. I
have merely the advantage of more than thirty years working my butt off.
So let us assume that we have crossed that mountain and that some of our
actual measuring practices in human organisations came about as a result
of this crossing.
EXAMPLE OF X x Y PAIR
In the majority of organisations which I had contact with, the call for
"meeting the targets" is probably the most frequently heard in them.
Magagement, usually employing a consultancy, expouse a number of targets
for each job description which which members doing that job have to comply
with. In our South African context, when targets are set, most of these
targets have to do with production. Occasionaly the targets will also
involve quality (when ISO certifications become "enforced"). Only seldom
will these targets also involve satisfaction (customer and/or worrkers).
The targets are usually evaluated by a target list for a job and a check
list for each target of that job. Let us assume that when we add
numerically all the expoused job targets together into one total, we get a
quantity which we will call "target" and symbolise by T. The actual
evaluation gives the targets met and by adding all these actual
evaluations together we get the value of of T ("target"). Let us assume
that the evaluations and the adding of them gives as sound value for T as
for any physical quantity according to its mensuration and metrology.
My first question now will be: Is T extensive or intensive? To find the
answer, we will mentally have to scale (like divide or double) that
organisation. Except for the upper level(s) of management, this mental
excercise is easily imaginable. As for these exceptions in the highest
levels, perhaps they are not too important because I seldom observed how
they will allow themselves to be job targeted ;-) Since for every job
(except for the CEO ;-) the number of workers have to be scaled (like
divided or doubled), the jobe velauations will also become scaled so that
the value of T also become scaled (divided or doubled). Thus the quanity
"target" or T is extensive.
My second question now will be: Since T is extensive, is it a factor or is
it the product of two factors, one extensive and the other one intensive?
This question is important because there is a curious "logical pattern"
operating between products of extensive and intensive quantities. The
pattern is as follows (with the truth pattern for binary Boolean logic given
in brackets behind them).
intensive x intensive = intensive (false OR false = false)
intensive x extensive = extensive (false OR true = true)
extensive x intensive = extensive (true OR false = true)
extensive x extensive = extensive (true OR true = true)
This pattern tells us that X x Y will always be extensive like X is
The way in which I presently identify that the extensive quantity is like
a X rather than a X x Y, is to see whether I can identify something
complementary to it WHICH ITSELF is an intensive quantity. The two
quantities X and Y are complementary to each other, but no product X x Y
is complemetary to another product of complementary pairs. Sometimes my
mind search for many moons so that out of desperation I have to conclude
that the extensive quantity is a "extensive x intensive" pair rather than
an extensive factor. I am not happy with this method, but it is the best I
can come up with at present. The reason why I am not happy is that I often
fail to become aware of any [Y(2) - Y(1)]x/_\X dynamics within that
extensive quantity reckoned to be a pair.
So let us try to find the intensive quantity complementary to "target" T.
This complementary entity will have something to do with "target" since
both are connected to the same form of energy. (The extensive X is related
to intensive Y through the extensive product X x Y.) We then seek through
a list of organisational concepts for those which we can associate with
"target". We can even begin to page back in in this very LO-dialogue of
ours past, looking for concepts questioned in contributions One of them is
"commitment" for which the bell of association began to ring a couple of
decades ago for me. Why? Top management were called up to a centuries ago
"commissaries" because they had to check upon the "committing" of those
So let us assume that "commitment" C is complementary to the "target" T.
If this is the case, then we will have at least to prove that should we be
able to measure "commitment" C soundly, it is an intensive quantity. Now
how will we measure the "commitment" C of an organisation? Here I must
admit that there is little available with which I am satisfied. The usual
3 "good|fair|poor" or 5 "excellent|good|fair|poor|bad" questionnaire with
an average is poor at its best. In my opinion it requires a weighting
connected to the kind of job (perhaps weighted with salary).
I tried my hand a couple of times of letting students evaluate my own
commitment as a teacher. Based on a simple average it was horrible. Based
on a weighted average (in which the subject mastery of each student
determined the weight) it was glorious. The "moaners" had too little
"weight". But did they not had "little weight" because of me failing in my
commitment to them (rather than the "glorifiers")? Was I not lying to
myself with mathematical trickery?
Although I am not able to measure the "commitment" C to my satisfaction, I
can feel intuitively the level of "commitment" C for most organisations
which I came into contact with as a "good|fair|poor" feeling. It means
that for this quantity "commitment" C I had only three values to test its
reaction upon scaling. This graduation insensitivity gives not much reason
Even for all the scepticism, I have observed many organisations from a
distance and had been involved self in quite a few in which the following
struck me. Organisations usually expand or shrink for many reasons. While
they changed in size, I tried to fathom intuitively how this scaling
changed the "commitment" C of the organisation. (Please bear in mind that
already in 1963 I became first aware of this intensive/extensive
distinction. Few of my lecturers were aware of it and none could explain
to me. Only in 1969 after my encounter with Prigogine and irreversible
thermodynamics one H Callen explained it satisfactorily in his own book.
I am acutely aware of this distinction for more than thirty years and
tried to observe it wherever possible.)
The "commitment" C never changed with such scaling from one to the other
of the three in my intuitive "good|fair|poor" feeling. Thus it had to be
intensive. However, there were often almost a tangible change from one to
another of the three when the top management changed, expecially the
"boss". Since the top management had merely been replaced, this change in
the "good|fair|poor" feeling had nothing to with scaling. The change told
me that it was indeed an intensive quantity of which its value was
intimately connected to the top levels of managemnst rather than the
bottom levels of workers with little management responsibilities. It
brought me deeply under the impression how much "commitment" C had to do
So, given that the "target" T is extensive and the "commitment" C is
intensive and also given that they are complementary to each other, then
the product "target x commitment" or C x T expresses a specific form of
energy. But which form of energy? It took me long time to puzzle this one
out. At the close of the eighties as a result of what happened to myself
in chemistry teaching as well as a result of what happened to the church
of which I am a member and our country (apartheid), I became aware that it
might express the "free energy of mission" of an organisation. I now even
suspect it even stronger to be the case, but I am not able to come closer
to the answer by proper falsification.
Falsification cannot be done at will on organisations because it involves
non-spontaneous practices. This I will never concede to because of my
insights in constructive creativity. Thus I will merely have to be patient
and let organisations falsify this speculation self through their own
spirit of destructive creativity. Some observations saddened me with the
possibility that "target x commitment" may indeed represent the "free
energy of mission".
EXAMPLE OF [Y(2) - Y(1)]x/_\X DYNAMICS
I will now use the "target x commitment" pair T x C to show how the [C(2)
- C(1)] x /_\T > 0 dynamics behave. What we have to look for is two
sections in the organisation with a perceptable (by feeling) difference
in the value of "commitment C". As for myself, I will have to stick to the
3 fold "good|fair|poor" values. Say the one section is C(2) = "good" and
the other section is C(1) = "bad". Because C x T is manifested globally
and locally, the localised effect of C x T is that the value of T(2) =
"large" at C(2) = "good" and T(1) = "small" at C(1) = "bad". In words,
the more (or less) the commitment, the more (or less) the expoused target
This difference [C(2) - C(1)] = "good" minus "bad" will then constitute an
"entropic force". As a result of it, the value of "target" T will begin to
change at one of C(2) and C(1), provided there is not a rheostasis on the
"target" T at any one of them.
One possibility is the following. When the organisation has a constuctrive
(progressive, positive spirit) the change in "target" T begin to flow
positively from C(2) to C(1). The commitment C(2) retains its value "good"
and its target T(2) = "large" by its local homeostasis. This local
homeostasis is more than often the outcome of a natural leader with
leadership at T(2) x C(2). On the other hand, the commitment C(1) begins
to increase from "bad" to "fair" as a result of "target" T(1) increasing
from "small" to "medium". Thus not only is [C(2) - C(1)] > 0 (the
commitment difference is positive), but also is /_\T > 0 (the target
increment is positive). Consequently even the product [C(2) - C(1)] x /_\T
> 0. It means that the organisation produces entropy with constructive
manifestations. Members begin to evolve spiritually by emergences and
digestions. Everyone is smiling.
But here is also the other possibility. Should you get confused here,
please study again the section on the flow of electrical current and the
metaphor of the people moving and the chairs at rest. When the
organisation has a destuctrive (retrogressive, negative spirit) the change
in "target" T begin to flow negatively from C(1) to C(2). The commitment
C(2) looses its value from "good" to "fair" while its "target" T(2)
decreases from "large" to "medium". Now it is the commitment C(1) which
stays at its same old "bad" with the target "target" T(1) also staying at
"small". This is usually the rsult of an opportunist intimidating the
rest at T(1) x C(1) in a homeostasis. Here the homeostasis is "bad" rather
than good. Thus not only is [C(1) - C(2)] < 0 (the commitment difference
is negative), but also /_\T < 0 (the target increment is negative).
Consequently the product [C(2) - C(1)] x /_\T > 0. It means that the
organisation produces entropy once again, but now with destructive
manifestations. Members begin to degrade spiritually by immergences and
ablations. Everyone is grimacing.
I know that the above seems to be so "imaginative" and "complex" that it
is too "fantastic" to even contemplate. But I have succeeded in observing
this complex picture in action too many times not to make it off as
"irrelevant" myself. However, since Gavin asked me to give an example, I
tried to comply to his request, whether the example is too "complex",
"fantastic" and thus "irrelevant" or not.
Gavin may reinterpret this picture dialectically by his theory of
algedonic signals and adaptation. This is likely since the 3 fold
"good|fair|poor" values for C and "large|medium|small" for T which I have
used, are desribed by words -- antonyms with dialectical meanings.
However, should I have used numerical values, there will be nothing to
suggest that 3 and 1 are dialectical to each other, except at the
evaluation stage where we coin "good" = 3 and "bad" = 1. And it is exactly
this dialectics in the evaluation of C which makes me so dissatisfied with
this kind of questionnare. The "spirit" of the organisation, constructive
or destructive, makes it worthless. A person with a constructive (or
destructive) mentality will evaluate another person high (or respectively
low). When the whole organisation is burdened with a destructive spirit,
the quantifying of the [Y(2) - Y(1)]x/_\X dynamics amounts to adding
insult to injury.
I hope that this one example of a X x Y pair in organisations will sustain
your own creativity, I can offer a few more, but in the one above my
understanding is the clearest because the majority of my own experiences
had been with this example. Should this example not strike you, then seek
according to the majority of your own experiences an example which will
speak clearer to you.
Where will we seek the origin of this destructive spirit? Many years ago I
was inclined to blame the top management. Then came a period in which I
blamed the rotten sections for this destructive spirit. But finally I came
to the insight that I am also to blame once I begin to blame others. This
problem of getting rid of a destructive spirit cannot be solved by seeking
blame and sacrificing a scape goat. It has to be transformed into a
constructive spririt. Every member of the organisation has to participate
in it, not by force, but by inner conviction. This conviction emerges by
authentic learning. It leads to the knowledge of constructive creativity
and what it entails. It leads to the wisdom that an Organisation has to
emerge into a LO so as to optimise this authentic learning.
But how to convince people of this benefit of the LO?
Only experiencing a LO as a member of it is convincing enough for me.
PS. Should my thoughts, spelling and grammer fade off at the end, forgive
me because I had to create this contribution in one session. My "free
energy" is now nearly drained. I know that I should read this contribution
over and improve on it, but my excitement of getting it out to you gets
the better hold on me.
With care and best wishes
At de Lange <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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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