Open systems LO19776

Bruce Jones (
Mon, 9 Nov 1998 15:01:23 -0600

Replying to LO19756 --

>I guess I am wondering
>if or when complete openness can be a characteristic of
>a system. I am struggling with how to define a system
>which excludes nothing -- is this a silly conundrum, or
>is this a way for a system to become the "grand system",
>to use At's phrase?

>I agree. What is a truly open system and can it then be
>called a system? If it is truly open, is there order? Can
>you order an open system? Do not the boundaries then

> Not that it is unique in my "dialogues with myself". These questions
> you are now asking, I have been asking myself hunderds of times since I
> have discovered the seventh essentiality of creativity in the middle
> eighties, namely "openness". After more than ten years in this desert, I
> am very happy to meet explorers like you two also.
> By the way, I am learning just as fast and much as all of you, even
> it is not the same things which you learn. No two people in a team, how
> complex that team is, can learn as identical twins identically the same
> thing. There is just tooooooo much diversity in the "grand system"
> (reality) for that to happen in team learning.

Since this dialog opened, I have been doing some internal exploration on
the subject also. I have been trying to relate the concepts of openness
and divisionlessness (no boundary), to the corporate and systems
environment. What I keep coming back to is fundamental Chaos theory.
Even in a chaotic system there is order. By dissolving the boundaries and
allowing free exchange and shared resources chaos is bound to occur. Since
it is human nature to order things, either to understand or to control,
order would reassert boundaries. This would eventually return the system
to its original form where boundaries are required and accepted. The
major difference is the form and ideology of those boundaries. When man
moved from roving family groups, mainly as gatherers, to hunter gatherer
societies he did away with existing boundaries and moved to a new system
where order of a different level of complexity was required. When he then
settled into an agrarian society the old boundaries disappeared and a new
order and new boundaries were formed. And so it has been down through the
ages with each new evolutionary advance, either technological, theological
or societal. Each time old boundaries are dissolved and new ones
established out of the chaos of the change. What makes it important to
understand these changes and develop LO's, education resources and
systemic belief structures, is the rapidity of the changes. Between the
family groups and the hunter-gatherer and the agrarian societies etc., was
time for the changes to evolve and adapt. The rapid changes in todays
social and economic structure does not allow for the assimilation of new
material, methods or ideals before change occurs again. LO's, educators
as a whole and enlightened corporate structures are going to have to
dissolve current lines of demarcation or boundaries and reform new ones
based on future possibilities.

I, personally, feel that we are at the edge of a very large breakdown of
current boundaries and that chaos is about to occur. Out of that chaos
will grow a better and bigger structure. But to aid that evolutionary
step, and prevent a disastrous chaotic period, we have to define and
design and assist the systems and corporations we work with today.

When exploring you are bound to find something new. New land, ideals,
peoples, concepts. As an explorer, how you view a newness and your first
reaction to that newness will determine your success in that new
environment. I look upon this new "land" with awe, excitement, eagerness
and a little fear. I hope that in some small way I can help chart it.

Bruce Jones


"Bruce Jones" <>

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