Simply too complex for words LO28301

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 04/24/02

Replying to LO28286 --

Dear Organlearners,

Fred Nickols <> writes in reply to Andrew:

>I don't know if At "embraces" complexity or not; I
>suspect he does. At strikes me as someone who
>strives to understand just about everything in deeply
>knowing ways. Me?

Greetings dear Fred and Andrew,

Since my childhood I have been interested in many things in the same
period of time. I went deeply into those which fascinated me and some I
did only explore superficially.

But after I discovered the 7Es (seven essentialities of creativity) my
whole mental live changed completely. I am still interested in many things
and continually add a new interest. But you are right, I go deeper into
all things as much as time allows me to.

I wish I had another life because my need for learning languages and about
languages (ancient and present) is increasing steadily.

>I've been content to develop a workable, workmanlike
>knowledge in just three areas: people, organizations and
>systems. All three fascinate me, all three have been
>central to my life at work and all three have been critical
>components of my career (and, yes, I'm drawing a
>distinction between "life at work" and "career").

With me it was somewhat different, but something of it was very much the
same. I have worked with many non-human things like electronics, soils,
plants and animals. I have also worked with learners (pupils, students and
teachers) since 1972. I began to learn that when something goes wrong with
a non-human thing or with a learner, the cause(s) in the vast majority of
cases was to be found in your "three areas: people, organizations and
systems". So I began to focus gradually on something which I may
articulate as the "human factor".

>So, no, I don't embrace complexity; neither do I
>gleefully dive into it and or swim (or wallow around)
>in it. I try to get that slippery, amorphous,
>boundaryless beast into a box as quickly as I can
>and get on with the task at hand.

As I said before, I avoid using definitions. But the closest I would come
to define complexity is that it is all the perceptions (those that we know
of by information as well as the rest) of all humans of all times. This
beast I would never try to put into a box because whoever tried to put
some living human (body or mind) in a box, usually made a strategic error.
That is why Polanyi in his book The Tacit Dimension divides it into three
"parts". He does not even give these three "parts" a name.

On page 1 (right hand side) he begins with the heading "Tacit Knowing"
which he ends at p25. He skips p26 to start on p27 (right hand side) with
the heading "Emergence" which he ends at p52. On p53 he begins with the
heading "A Society of Explorers" which he ends on p92. It is a small book
(A5). But it is written with such an immense sense of purpose that it
gives me the goose flesh, still even now after 20 years. Note that he
spend almost as much on paper on "part" three as on the previous two
"parts" together. Why?

Tacit Knowing makes humankind the Explorer.

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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