heated times LO30463

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@postino.up.ac.za)
Date: 08/11/03

Replying to LO30456 --

Dear Organlearners,

Chris Macrae <wcbn007@easynet.co.uk> wrote:

>In Europe over the last 2 weeks we've witnessed flaming
>breakdowns of probably our 2 largest open virtual communities
>- both with many of thousands of members- one has been kept
>private (as far as that goes) between dozens of moderators and
>one has happened in full dialogue which all its 10000 plus
>members can see

Greetings dear Chris,

Thank you for having introduced a very important topic. For a moment i
thought you will be telling of the heat waves which are striking at

Flaming breakdowns goes much wider than virtual communities. I am thinking
of Zimbabwe, the country just north of our borders. While the country is
disintegrating, the two major political parties are flaming each other
intensely. Each accuses the other of causing the country's disintegration.

During the last decade or so of apartheid, our own parliament also became
to a large extent dysfunctional. The stance of the two major parties was
that the other one is a necessary nuisance. There was little constructive
cooperation between the two parties.

What leads to a flaming breakdown? I can think of a number of things:
(1) Causing parties (divisions) of which only one is acceptable
(2) Imagining the other parties to have offensive or hidden agendas.
(3) Ascribing deliberately false statements and practices to the other parties.
(4) Denying or denigrating the credentials of the other parties.

How can a flaming breakdown be prevented? In terms of the above, bear
the following in mind at all times:-
(1) All viewpoints are necessary to form a holistic opinion.
(2) Ask for actual explanations rather than imagining them.
(3) Make sure of what the other paries have actually said and done.
(4) Avoid being judgemental.

Chris, you have taken them together with
>The lesson is a metacommunity (one where many communities
>are housed in one space but have a lot of opposite needs or
>reasons for debating practice etc) needs open governance
>anchored on anticipating emerging conflicts and resolving them
>early before they compound so much illwill that it will be very
>costly if possible to resolve the whole identity.

The spirit of destructive creativity is like an infectious disease. It can
easily lead to epidemic proportions. So what makes creativity destructive?
A breakdown of one or more of the 7Es (seven essentialities of
creativity):- liveness, sureness, wholeness, fruitfulness, spareness,
otherness and openness.

>The question is: when a metacommunity gets in such a mess, is it
>better to let it die (always realising the majorities can reassemble
>somewhere else if they feel the need or does one try and work
>through the minimum trust principles that need to be restored
>however much flaming will need to go on to establish in the open
>what has been mismanaged opaquely .......(snip)

I will prefer to restore the flaming breakdown for two reasons.
* It will afford everybody involved a valuable learning experience.
* It will create an environment which is again conducive to learning.
But i admit readily that to restore the situation is much easier said than
done. Much hurt has been done during a flaming breakdown and when
such hurt cannot be forgiven, little reconciliation can be achieved. Those
who dished out hurt the most ought to set the example.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <amdelange@postino.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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