What is Structure LO25624

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@gold.up.ac.za)
Date: 11/13/00

Replying to LO25614 --

Dear Organlearners,

Leo Minnigh <l.d.minnigh@library.tudelft.nl> writes upon my:

>>We have to thank physicists like Herman Weyl for
>>using the word "breaking" together with "symmetry".
>>Do not scold me. I would rather have refered "creative
>> collapse" and for that you can scold me if it will make
>>you feel better ;-)
> :-)
>This paragraph damaged in some way the organisation
>of my mind, due to the arrow of the word 'scolding'.
>Dear At, how could you have written this?! It was never
>in my mind, but you introduced it. Like a sudden blow
>of wind which set the quiet heap of dry autemn leaves
>into a swirling cloud. I was not prepared, things became
>chaotically rearranged for a moment. The organised structure
>disappeared. I was glad that due to some organising
>attractor soon brought structure again in my mind. Is
>this called 'self-organisation'? Antibodies killed the
>body-strange scold-virus.
> :-)

Greetings Leo,

I suspected that you and a few would not only pick up the "scold", but
also become dearranged by it. That is why I added the ;-) But I had a
definite reason for using "scold", and felt sorry for you and the others
even before I clicked on the "send" button. Other than adding the ;-),
what else could I do? I will appreciate your answer on this.

In this topic on "structure" we have seen that many of us had gained in
the past some tacit knowledge on some topic which we eventually managed to
articulate with certain terminology distinctive of the Personal Mastery of
each of us. I, for example, am not even sure that we all had the same
tacit topic in mind with "structure", as I am definitely sure that we did
not use the same terminology to articulate whatever we had in mind.

As for me self, I would avoid standardising our terminology until we all
are as sure as possible that we are writing about the same tacit topic.
Now, to make sure that the tacit topic is the same thing for us, bearing
in mind that even then our understanding of it differs, we will have to
articulate how its ordering with related concepts like, for example, Fred
Nichols did it. As a result a potentially rich picture containing this
topic enfolds itself in the LO-dialogue. But at least one person, very
sensitive to wholeness, has to sit down and actually paint this rich
picture, bearing in mind all the different articulations. As soon as that
person does it, we have in this rich picture (not the person ;-) what I
would like to call a "Humpty Dumpty".

This "Humpty Dumpty" now helps us to understand the difference between
an Ordinary Organisation (OO) and a Learning Organisation (LO). When a
new member arrives in a OO, this member sees the painter as the
"Humpty Dumpty" sitting on the wall. Sooner than later, this new member
takes a pot shot at the painter as "Humpty Dumpty". Consequently the
actual "Humpty Dumpty" breaks into many pieces once again as if having
had fallen off the wall -- and also the painter should that painter not had
the acrobatics of a cat. Other members of the OO see it happen and might
say things like
"Good riddance (for people of the kingdom) of Humpty Dumpty",
"It is a fair punishment for the fool Humpty Dumpty",
"Why worry because all members (people of the kingdom) cannot put
    Humpty Dumpty together again",
"The shattering of Humpty Dumpty is at most a minor casuality".

There are few, if any, "Humpty Dumptys" left over in an OO and even
less members who can and will dare to paint them. The nursery rhyme
of "Humpty Dumpty" applies to a OO. But in the LO there are many
"Humpty Dumptys" and an increasing number of learners who can paint
them. The reason is that "wholeness" is essential to a LO whereas a
OO has little respect for "wholeness", if not actually oblivious to it.

In a LO no member of it will even try to prevent a new member taking a
casual pot shot at a painter of any "Humpty Dumpty". They know it is
something which the new member will spontaneously do because of not having
learned sufficiently about wholeness. They know that wholeness even
entails that they should not try to reverse this spontaneous behaviour of
the new member into the non-spontaneous behaviour of preserving all
"Humpty Dumptys". Since many of them can paint "Humpty Dumptys" self, one
of the closer members will immediately begin to paint a "Humpty Dumpty"
self, not as an exact replica of the broken "Humpty Dumpty" on the same
topic, but as one in its own right, another specimen of the same species.
Actually, if the LO is healthy, many memebers will point to the new comer
a whole bunch (specimens) of "Humpty Dumptys" sitting on the wall (the
topic as species) and that breaking one still leaves all the other "Humpty
Dumptys" intact!

Leo, I was actually thinking of this "Humpty Dumpty" pathology which is so
detrimental to the emergence of a Learning Organisation -- to shatter the
whole on a topic so that no one in the kingdom can or will put it back
again. How often has it not happned on our LO-dialogue?

>No, it was the same. As a matter of fact, my specialisations
>were 'structural geology' and 'metamorphism'. It is the study
>of rocks that underwent during a long history several and
>different kinds of deformation under various pressures (P)
>and temperatures (T). I started this specialisation, when it
>was so natural to describe not only the present forms,
>structures and minerals of the rock (petrography), but
>also to figure out the explanation of the origin of these
>elements (petrology; this has nothing to do with petroleum).

Now I understand why we have so much in common. When I was a student many
years ago, many of my fellow students were taking geology as a subject. I
had taken too many subjects, otherwise I would have fitted geology in too.
I made time after lectures to read the geology text books of freinds. The
content of these books was interesting, but I was not drawn to it like a
flea to a dog. Five years later, when I had to understand how the C
horizon of a soil (the lowest horizon or the "raw geology" of a soil
profile) contributed to the formation of the B horizon and the A horizon
at top, I had to study these geology books again. Again I found them
interesting, but not compelling. Then, some five years later, sitting in
Zimbabwe, trying to do something else rather than seeking the bottoms of
bottles, I discovered a geology text book in my friends book rack left by
someone unknown.

That night, long after the others had passed out, I was still reading this
text book like a gripping novel. The author wrote it from the viewpoint of
first the morphogenesis ("becoming"), then the morphology ("being").
Suddenly much of the information on "geomorphology" which I still could
remember, began to make incredible sense to me with the "geomorphogenesis"
preceding it. I was at that time already very sensitive to the
"becoming-being" of lifeness and this book was another fine nail in the
coffin of Aristotle's Being of his Metaphysics. I am sorry, but I cannot
remember the title of the book nor its author, except that it was a thick
paperback with a red jacket.

>In short, the geologist tries to unravel the dynamics of history.

(long snip)

>But before writing a complete book on geology, let me
>go back to the dynamics of structures.

Thank you for such a rich picture.

>Any structure - or better, organisation with a structure - has
>a becoming history, a present (dynamic) state, and a future.
>What can I add to all the past dialogues on this list? It is so
>often told that even a present structure, seemingly dead,
>should permanently be active (dynamic) to maintain its

Leo, it is true for me of chemistry, of geology (which is more complex
than chemistry), of microbiology (which is more complex than geology), of
more complexer botany and of zoology which is even more complex. What is
even more profound to me, is that the dynamics becomes "faster richer"
than the statics as we move from lower to higher order complex systems.

>And the amount of free energy is a good indicator for
>these dynamics. While writing this, it also becomes
>clear that (because of free energy) the interplay with
>the surroundings is part of the whole dynamic processes
>that are active inside AND outside the organisation.

Very wise words. To understand an organism and what will become of it in
future, knowledge of its internal organisation alone is hopeless. We also
need to know the organisation of the eco-system in which it lives and how
this internal-external organisation interacts. This knowledge of the
organisation of the eco-system is a "Grand Humpty Dumpty" because it
involves antropology, biology, geology, climate, chemistry and physics,
all blened into a movie rather than a picture. Our physical world is at
the verge of a grand catastrophe because humankind was and still is much
oblivious to this "Grand Humpty Dumpty". Humankind takes pot shot at it
for selfish gains, not realising that it is destroying Gaia as a LO.

As for me, I think that humankind at large will remain oblivious to this
"Grand Humpty Dumpty" in the physical world as long as it keeps on taking
pot shots at the "Humpty Dumptys" of the spiritual world. This is why
there is so little left over of the "Grand Humpty Dumpty" of the spiritual
world, namely love-agape.

As for me, I reckon that if I cannot see among some structures a "Humpty
Dumpty", then I have little understanding of anyone of these structures
and am I inclined to take pot shots at someone else's "Humpty Dumpty" too.

With care 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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