Squatter Problem LO19747

Leo Minnigh (L.D.Minnigh@library.tudelft.nl)
Thu, 5 Nov 1998 15:03:15 +0100 (MET)

Reply to Squatter problem LO19720

Dear At, dear LO'ers,

I hardly had repared my personal shock absorbers, or your long mail has
shaken me again. It was as an earthquake like the one that happened a
couple of decennia ago in Anchorage: 8.3 scale of Richter.

But thanks to At, I have better insights now.

It is different than an earthquake, and I have decided to walk my
(thinking) life without shock absorbers, no matter how shaky that might
be. Why have I decided to do so?

Because the vibrating shocks are not as the destructive shocks of an
earthquake. The shocks of life generate their own damping (absorption).
And this absorption concentrates the energy of the system, to releive this
somewhat later and generating (spontaneously) new vibrations. It is like
the oscillator mounted on another oscillator: once the first one is put in
oscillation with its own frequency, its energy flows to the second
oscillator which starts moving and damping down the movement of the first
one. After some time the reverse will happen. And the whole system of
oscillations seems unpredictable in amplitudes and frequencies.

In other words: my message had a damping down effect, but At's one gives
it new impulses for heavy amplitudes. At, I hope that our intermingled
swinging will transfer its energy to others, so the whole clockwork of
this learning organisation will start to swing, oscillating in
unpredictable amplitudes and frequencies.

It is extremely difficult to systemise our dialogue and to give a
structured answer to your message. My contribution will be a sample of
thoughts and questions which came into my mind. I will answer some of my
own questions, but others will be unanswered. I hope that it is creative
enough, that my entropy production keeps this dialogue alive. My first
question to Rick and to the other members of this list: Are At and I
still in the scope of this list? I often have much hesitation to write my
contributions because of the doubt behind this question.

I try to follow the track: squatter - PP (Poverty Problem) - forces,
attractors, rejectors - another sketch of PP- problem analysis -

I do my best to personalise these issues, so that we all 'feel' the heart
of the matter.

Am I a squatter in the LO-list population?
becomes the new born baby a squatter in its environment?
Is a squatter a passive deemster, or an active vampire?
Is a squatter dead or alive?
Is the squatter problem the parasytic mycelium of a guest, finally
killing its host and itself?
Or is there some symbiosis, feeding back between host and guest?
Is there a dynamical equilibrium between squatter (bywoner) and its
Is the whole squatter problem (through history) an oscilating process
(order through fluctuations), or is it structural stability?

(Yes At, I have looked in the marvelous book of Prigogine: "From being to
becoming". I have seen and have felt the entropy production which that
book generates; the book on Path Analysis is still on my reading list).

In my contribution LO19646, I have tried to simplify the very complex
problem of migrating refugees and squatters. I have done this by pointing
to the forces involved, not so much the problems. I thought that this
simplification of pointing to the driving principles, made the analysis of
the complexity of problems somewhat clearer. However, I must admit that it
was also a sort of selfdefence. A selfdefence, because the subject of
poverty, refugees and immigrants is very emotional, at least I feel much
emotions. Emotions which makes me sometimes powerless and creatively

How can I generate new potential energy? By lifting my thoughts from the
ground. One way was to look at the driving principles (rejection,
attraction). An other way is creating distance: observation from a
helicopter or satellite. And At offered us such view. Let's jump in the
helicopter and satellite of At. I will share my views to you as well.

Poverty of what? (slightly discussed earlier: food, money, knowledge)
In physics and chemistry it is generally assumed that richdom moves
towards poverty. But is this so?
If we replace poverty by Joules, is low energy flowing towards the place
of high energy? Is the low temperature moving towards the place of high
Are molecules moving from the low concentration towards high
concentration? Are people moving from the empty place to the overpopulated
Or is it the otherway around?
What is source and what is destination?

These were also the philosophical questions that Heraclitos asked himself
roughly 500 years BP. He was the philosopher of the Panta Rhei thoughts.
>From the recently published Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (ed.
Edward Craig) is the following citation: " His [Heraclitos] great truth is
that 'All things are one', but this unity, far from excluding difference,
opposition and change, actually depends on them, since the universe is in
a continuous state of dynamic equilibrium. Day and night, up and down,
living and dying, heating and cooling - such pairings of apparent
opposites all conform to the everlastingly rational formula (logos) that
unity consists of opposites; remove day, and night goes too, just as a
river will lose its identity if it ceases to flow." It is amasing that
these thoughts are still so actual in modern sciences.

So according to Heraclitos, the answers on above questions are not so
important. The important thing is, that source and destination form a
unity in a dynamic state of equilibrium. Hopefully you will recognise a
simmilar reasoning in At's contribution.

At gave a further view on the history of apartheid. Starting with the
immigration of white-coloured colonists (Afrikaners, Boere), migrating
from region to region. A continuous exploration of the interiors of
Southern Africa, and a continuous exploitation of this country. And than
these marvelous 3 decennia of the growth of LO within the communities of
the Afrikaners, with one overriding purpose: save the Afrikaners from PP.
But At, was this the purpose or the result??

Let me explain some other forms of Apartheid, than I will come back to
this question.

The Kruger National Park is a reserve to protect the wildlife against
extinction. The Park could be seen as a form of apartheid or 'thuisland'
(homecountry) for nature. Within this park is a natural LO. Among the rich
fauna living in this park over 30 different species of grass eaters live.
That looks strange: all having the same food. Is there no severe
competition? Has Darwin forgot to visit this Park? Is there no survival of
the fittest? Apparantly not, because these animals live there. As a matter
of fact, these 33 species facilitate each other! The heavy grasseaters
(like elephants, rhino's) facilitate with their eating that the
nutrient-rich new shoots of grass will grow, which is the food for the
smaller animals, which facilitate in the same way the yet smaller ones.
The whole chain of animals range in weight from 3550 kg (elephant) - 2.3
kg (dikdik; a very small deer) and the weight of the successive species in
this chain form a regular formula. For the Kruger Park each species higher
in the weight chain is 1.24 times heavier than its lighter neighbour and
friend. This is only one example of the interesting, though complex
relationships in a natural LO. The bounderies of this park ('thuisland')
are ment to protect this LO from the negative forces from outside. It
works reasonable well (although the boundaries are not desease-proof).
The Indian Reserves in North America are an other example of grand
apartheid (thuisland). Could we recognise the LO-principles here? I really
don't know, I doubt, but maybe our Canadian new member - sorry I forgot
your name, deleted your message too early - could tell us about.
And than the mysterious hint of At: "wars suggesting to them apartheid?".
In some form we may see the remnants of this in Europe: the fortified
castles or cities. These were the birthplaces of the guildes (see

>From these examples we may ask ourselves the question: is apartheid driven
by personal safety, or driven by the exclusion by the outside world? And
the next question is: which driving force will be the most successful to
generate a LO? According to At - if I understand you well - the driving
force in SA was the search for safety and to get rid of the PP. In that
case the answer of At is: to be successful in apartheid, one must create a
LO. Here too, purpose or result form a dynamic unity. And later on in the
message of At, he gave the answer were we can find this unity: within the
mind, spontaneous self learning.

Thus we may conclude that - again in the thoughts of Heraclitos - that
attracting and rejecting, pushing and pulling are so interconnected, that
it seems that these destinctions are useless goals for further

At took us in his helicopter and satellite and showed us the immense
complexity of the currents of massmigration on the Earth's surface.
Possibly there will be another opportunity to say something more on
fractal structures in nature. Now, I will only say that during my study in
geology I was trained in looking at rocks from different distances (from
satellite images to microscopic thin sections of rock). And we saw again
and again repetition of simmilar structures on all these scales. We were
able to interpret complete mountain chains from the study of the
microscopic thin sections.

What I did with my former contribution on the squatter problem, was to
describe only a very small part of a thin section: a simple flow with a
rejector and an attractor.
What do we see from the helicopter of At? Slow running rivers, fast
running rivers, turbulences, spontaneous small whirlpools occurring in the
main stream. We see these whirlpools "floating" in the main stream:
spiralling currents within laminar currents.

Now we jump in the satellite of At and we see the devastating spiralling
of hurricane Mitch over Central America. We see the birth of other nuclei
of atmospheric convection currents above the warm waters of the Sargasso
Sea. Whirlpools in the atmosphere which are taken with the passat winds
blowing from ENE to WSW: spiralling currents within laminar currents.

Combinations of seemingly independant centres within a mobile environment,
all in a dynamic equilibrium. Isolated (not closed!) systems with membrane

Hurrican Mitch and the chain of other following hurricanes travelling with
the passat winds. Hurricanes directed by Coreolis forces. Hurricanes which
cannot pass the equator because of these very forces. The hurricanes
travel from the Carribian areas to the north where they are picked up by
the Eastward bound meandering jet stream between the 40 and 50 lattitudes,
hurting western Europe as rain bringing depressions. And so the passat and
jet stream form a giant turbulenc in itself, bounded to the south by the
equatorial membrane.

We see from the satellite all these currents on all scales. Let's zoom in
one of these whirlpools. Something I did in my former contribution. But
with At's satellite view we may change our picture.

At explained us at length the complications we may expect in analysing a
problem like the PP.

We can 'translate' his mathematical approach in the following (mine

In the laminar flow of a simple reaction, all reagents linearly react to
become products. In more complicated reactions, reagents partly follow the
laminar flow directly towards the products, partly they produce
subproducts which are the reagents of subreactions within the laminar
flow. And surprise: it happens that these subreactions form loops in
themselves. It are the whirlpools within the laminar flow. And these
whirlpools (or hurricanes) might be more devastating and powerful than the
laminar flow. Destinction between reagent and product, source and
destination, day and night is there, but one cannot live (does not exist)
without the other. And here we have the LO again, like the grasseaters in
the Kruger Park, like the medieval guilds. Excrements are the nutrient for
grass, which is the food for the animal, etc.

So here we have exactly the problem of movement direction and the forces
responsible for movement (rejection and attraction). Within the whirlpool
one may destinct the causes and results, the force vectors, because within
the whirlpool laminar flow may exist. But these could be opposite to the
force vector of the laminar flow, the jet stream! And things become even
more complicated when we observe these things not from a satellite, but
from a moving position which is part of the whirlpool itself! One becomes
dizzy, the combined perception of self rotation and the rotation of the
outside world (and remember, you are dizzy, standing in a fast running
train (the laminar flow)). Try now what you will see through the windows
of the train.

Maybe it is better not to keep observing all these phenomena, but let's
try to find the clue of PP/squatters/refugees/massmigration.
At suggested the principle cause of it: IGNORANCE. At, may I add in
honournto Heraclitos its counterpart: ARROGENCE. In my own, somewhat
fatalistic view, the laminar flow between ignorence and arrogance will
last forever. It is the jet stream of undisturbed time, from past to
future. But we only get a perception of history if disturbences occur in
this laminar flow. It are the anchor places of our memory, it are the
reference points of the birth of new species during evolution, and the
reference points in the history lessons from school.
And these reference points are the emergencies and immergencies due to
entropy production, the turbulences, whirlpools and hurricanes within the
laminar flow.

How are turbulences evolve?
In a laminar flowing river we could plant a large pole in the stream.
Behind the pole turbulence start spontaneously. Could we plant an obstacle
in the ignorence-arrogance stream?
In the bath tub a spontaneous whirlpool is created by pulling the plug.
Could we create a fast escape route in the ignorence-arrogance bath?
A hurricane's birth occurs above ocean water which is above a critical
temperature. Could we somehow heat up the flow bed of the
ignorence-arrogance stream?

At's recipe is SPONTANEOUS SELF LEARNING. This is the start of the
turbulence in the laminar flow. But my final question to At and all of you
How could we trigger this event? Because in all the above examples some
extra energy must be added to the laminar flow. Are there other means than
words to trigger turbulences in human minds?

My oscillation comes to an end. I hope that the energy that is put into
this contribution will trigger with you new oscillations. So the connected
pendulum of this LO-list keeps swinging.

dr. Leo D. Minnigh
Library Technical University Delft
PO BOX 98, 2600 MG Delft, The Netherlands
Tel.: 31 15 2782226
Let your thoughts meander towards a sea of ideas.


Leo Minnigh <L.D.Minnigh@library.tudelft.nl>

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