Fitness Landscapes of the earth (II) LO27444

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 10/23/01

Replying to LO27418 --

Dear Organlearners,

Winfired Dressler <> writes:

>The continental crust, the sea level and the oceanic
>crust. I have allowed myself to follow the writings
>and links, thank you Leo and At for those. Now I
>am searching for analogies that may help me to gain
>some of the treasures hidden in this thread.

Greetings dear Winfried,

Thank you for the thanks. I have to stress that I cannot express my own
thanks for the opporunity to explore a library such as the one of our
university or the Internet as fast becoming like the Alexandrian
BIBLIOTHECA of the future. I feel deeply sorry for the some 40 million
(99%) of South Africans who do not have these opportunities.

The honour has to go to Leo for he did bring in masterfully the geological
chair. Should he not have been for so many years also an ardent student of
creativity, I think that perhaps he would not have succeed.

As for myself, I am not a geologist. I am but a "dwaaldenker". I have
explained in a recent contribution "To meander and to err" what this
"dwaal" means. The "denker" means thinker. See if you can come up with a
German word and its English equivalent.

What a beautiful language is my mother tongue Afrikaans not. The word
"dwaaldenker" is not in any of my dictionaries. Yet Afrikaans allow me the
frredom to create such a word to articulate exactly what I mean. Should
language be considered as an organisation, then there was a period in
which Afrikaans was actually a LO. I was graced as a child to share the
last years of this fantastic period. I cannot pinpoint the end, but I
think it ended sometime during my study at university. The rigidity of
apartheid destroyed the creativity of Afrikaans.

>The first analogy which struck me was my
>personal reaction to the material presented:
>Some of it is clear, impressive knowledge that
>can be learnt about our earth today - the heights
>of the mountains, many probably not yet climbed.
>Then the costal line, the way how the knowledge
>was gained through research and learning, waves
>clashing against rocks, eroding them.

I think it is very important to stress that we should never confuse a
subject with its object. For example, zoology is a subject of which
animals are the object to become studied. Geology is a subject of which
the abiotic earth is its object to become studied. What we find in
libraries or in Internet are subjects, not objects. The study of these
subjects are immensely helpful. But we also need close encounters with
these objects self.. The study of these objects has been requisite to the
development of their subjects. Likewise it remains requisite to our own
authentic learning.

Allow me to get something off my heart, even should it open a can of

The lack of a similar clear distinction (not separation) in many of the
behavioural sciences or humanities troubles me. For example, when will we
have a name for the subject of which the object are all the possible human
organisations on earth through all ages? We cannot use the name organology
because that is already in use for a branch of study in biology.

I even think that we have to avoid the root "organ" in the name
organisation since organisation is a universal phenomenon of which humans
deliberately make use. To call it Operational Research, Business
Administration, Managerial Science or System Science will also not do
since each focus on a facet of organisations. These facets will eventually
become main branches of this science to be named.

Perhaps the best word we can work from is institute. It refers to any
human organisation set up deliberately for a special purpose. It comes
from the Latin "instituo"=(to)set-up. But how we will decline it to mean
"science of institutions" I do not know.

When I think of education, we have a similar situation, if not worse. I
personally think of education as the object and not the subject. Didatics
(teaching), pedagogics (child learning), andrology (adult learning) and
training are some of the many names which emerged by studing facets of

I decided to get the above off my heart because you write:

>Thirdly some deep resonance, some of which
>I can feel but not articulate, tacit, silence, yet
>vivid constant becoming - the oceanic crust.

I agree deeply with you when you write:

>The second analogy is organizational structure:
>formal organization corresponds to the continental
>crust, informal organization to the oceanic crust.
>What is interesting here for me is that every member
>of an organization reaches into both crusts, thus
>reflect the whole organization.

In my opinion most of the organisational crises here in South Africa stem
from managers oblivious to this "Polanyi distinction". Once the begin to
change the formal organisation in a manner inconciderate to the informal
organisation, the fat is in the fire.

>The third analogy is the most difficult to express
>for me. Either you can follow it by your own
>experience or it will tell you nothing. There are
>two composers whose music I love most. They
>are Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert.

You have expressed yourself superbly according to Goethe's standards. For
many years he tried to explain with words what his concept "Steigerung"
means. Then he realised how futile that is -- to use a metaphor, the sea
will alwys cover the oceanic crust. Since then his accurate advice was:
"If you really want to understand what I mean, then you will have to do
what I do."

>Although I cannot expect anybody to listen,
>I am lucky to have learnt enough so that I can
>try many of their piano pieces. I have always
>felt their music to be complementary. The
>"Steigerung" of Beethoven - - within his pieces
>and also within the evolution of his pieces - reminds
>me now of the continental crust, while the flow of
>Schubert, who died so young reminds me of the
>oceanic crust.

I love your description because it becomes so close to my own feelings
about expressing "Steigerung" in another way than by natural and technical
langauge. Yet I think somewhat different. Beethoven's older compositions
acts as the continental crust for his later compositions as oceanic crust.
The sea level is reached round about 1802. His works before 1802 had been
created with the assurance that he is the greatest living composer, having
diseminated all the masters before him. He presented them though his own
works as the continental crust.

But after his death a testement written in 1802 was found among his
writings. This is an extract of what he wrote:

. But how humiliated I have felt if somebody standing
. beside me heard the sound of a flute in the distance
. and I heard nothing, or if somebody heard a shepherd
. sing and again I heard nothing - Such experiences
. almost made me despair, and I was on the point of
. putting an end to my life - The only thing that held me
. back was my art. For indeed it seemed impossible to
. leave this world before I had produced all the works
. that I felt urged to compose.

Yes, this gaint among the greatest artists contemplated suicide. He knew
he was stone deaf -- the greatest handicap imaginable to any composer. But
the bravery of this man knew no bounds. He did the brave thing in his
deepest moment of doubt. He continued to compose so as to stun the world
by setting example of what creativity involves.

For me Beethoven's piano sonatas tell me about his identity while all his
other compositions (like songs, symphonies and concertos) form the context
which determines the categoricity of that identity. In his sonatas his
creativity is most astounding because here he feel himself free not to
honour past masters. Yes, even though reputed as the foremost musical
revolutionary, he dignified the muscial system throughout his career. But
in these paino sonatas he questioned exploringly, challenged
systematically and stretched bravely every compositional principle his
great predecessors had handed down.

This is then how I see the "hypsograph" of his 32 sonatas.

1795-1800: Drawing the continental crust of classical composers.
Thirteen Sonatas: Op.2 nos.1, 2, 3; Op.7; Op.10 nos.1, 2, 3;
Op.13 ("Pathetique"); Op.14 nos.1, 2; Op.22
(plus Op.49 nos.1, 2)

1801-02: Moving out to the low lands near the ocean
Seven Sonatas: Op.26 ("Funeral March"), Op.27 nos.1,
2 ("Moonlight"); Op.28; Op.31 nos.1, 2 ("Tempest"), 3

1803-04: Post-Heiligenstadt -- entering the oceanic crust.
Three Sonatas: Op.53 ("Waldstein"), Op.54,
Op.57 ("Appassionata")

1809: Moving deeper towards the mid-oceanic ridges
Three Sonatas: Op.78, Op.79, Op.81a ("Les Adieux")

1814-22: Exploring transcendence along the oceanic ridges
Six Sonatas: Op.90, Op.101, Op.106 ("Hammerklavier"),
Op.109, Op.110, Op.111

I would have called Op. 31 no. 1 "Sobriety" because it cautions the
adventurer to be sober wehn exploring. It reminds me of walking from
enigmatic "Brandberg" through the proper Namib desert to the Skeleton
Coast -- a day's journey for those fit enough. Then in Op. 31 no. 2
("Tempest") he describes the occasionally terrible storms coming in from
the Atlantic itself, responsible for the name Skeleton Coast.

>Just compare the most popular symphonies of both:
>The ninth of Beethoven ending with the choir "Freude
>schoener Goetterfunken" (for an even more dense
>"Steigerung" I perfer the choir fantasy for piano,
>orchestra and choir) and the eighth of Schubert,
>the unfinished. The name tells it all. But listen to them!

When I need rejuvenation in times of low spiritual free energy, the fantsy
is best. When I need consolation in times of deep disillusion, his violin
concerto is best. As for Schubert, he had been given merely time to draw
the continental crust!

>Of course, the information you can read here through
>my writings is just a bit of continental crust... ;-). I am
>responding to the 27394th wave of our dialogue.
>Let us be connected in a deeper sense.

The same here -- the 27418th wave -- yes, let us become what you have

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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