Essentiality - "quantity-limit" (spareness) LO20541

AM de Lange (
Tue, 2 Feb 1999 13:03:59 +0200

Replying to LO20532 --

Dear Organlearners,

Leo Minnigh <> writes:

>In LO20346, At de Lange gave a description of his fifth
>essentiality: "spareness". Thank you, At. Your
>essentialities become an interesting story.

Thank you Leo. Yes, the story is how they influence our creativity whether
we like it or not. When they influence our creativity constructively
(positively), it emerges into learning.

Take "spareness" for example. Consider money which is a consequence of
this essentiality. Valuable money is scarce. Since it is not laying
around, we have to work for it. The more the learning poured into the
work, the more the money to be obtained.

>To make sure that I have understand this essentiality, I like
>to translate your contribution in my words. I hope you don't
>mind, but this is the best check of understanding.

No, I do not mind. But your method is for me the second best check of
understanding. The best method is to articulate your own tacit knowledge
and then compare it with my contribution. In this way you will discover my
errors and your errors much better.

>First of all, you explained that (because of wholeness) if
>something changes, ...... (snip)

Leo, I had to snip your summary. But I want to draw your attention and
that of fellow learners to the fact that you have used the other
essentialities (like wholeness) to enrich your insight on spareness. Now
what has happened here? You are thinking NON-LINEARLY.

Many commentators on the new science of complexity advocates non-linear
thinking whithout having a clear understanding of what they mean. In the
same breath they say that Newtonian thinking should be avoided because it
is linear. Let us see what is the difference between linear and non-linear

The space in which we live can be represented in three perpendicular
dimensions. Each dimension can be unfolded by making use of a unit
vector. For the three dimensions we have X, Y and Z as unit vectors.
Every point in space can be represented by a vector P which is a
linear combination of the unit vectors X, Y and Z. The formula is
P = xX + yY + zZ
The numbers x, y and z with which the unit vectors X, Y and Z are
multiplied, is called the coordinates of the point P. Because X, Y and
Z are perpendicular, it is not possible to describe any one of them as
a linear combination of the other two. Thus they are called linearly

This mathematical description gives a clue what linear thinking is about.
In linear thinking a number of independant topics (the X, Y, ....) are
required to define the base (dimensions). All other topics (P, Q, ....)
are then presentend as a combination of these topics. However, in
non-linear thinking each topic in the base is already dependant on all the
other topics in the base through some basic (first order) relationship.
Hence, when they are combined to present a complex topic, the combination
introduce a second order relationship. Because this latter relationship
is of a second order and not a first order, it is non-linear.

You have used the other essentialities to summarise spareness. In other
words, the essentialities are not independent. It means that some basic
relationship must already exist between them. What is this relationship?
They all play a role in the production of entropy! Your summary itself is
a second order relationship. Therefore the summary is a non-linear

Leo, one sentence I did not want to snip away because I know your are a
serious student of creativity. It is

>This speed and quantity is limited by upper and a lower bounds.

You have used the words "upper and lower bounds". One of the breakthoughs
in mathematics was when mathematicians succeeded in modeling the theory of
logic by algebra. This algebra is known as Boolean Algebra. The concepts
of lower and upper bounds are essential to Boolean algebra and thus to
logic itself. In other words, spareness played the major role in the
development of logical thinking. Few people realise that logical thinking
is the way to go as far as possible with a few true sentences. Sadly, many
commentators on creativity see logical thinking as the dialectical
counterpart of creative thinking. This leads to the model of the "left and
right half brains" in thinking. However, logic is not opposed to
creativity. Logic is a special kind of creative thinking when you have
very little to think with. This is why logical thinking and reductionistic
thinking are often companions.

>Now I do have some questions. The answers are for me
>necessary to create a richer picture of spareness.

>1. Even our senses are measuring instruments. What will
>do the observation by one person (or many) to the observed
>person? Think of 'controlling' (chief - employee relationships),
>or a full stadion watching a football match?

I am not sure that I understand your question. I think that I have to read
it together with your earlier observation:

>As soon we start to measure speed and quatity, a 'third party'
>is introduced: the measuring instrument. This instrument
>causes extra - sometimes unwanted but unavoidable - changes.

We make use of spareness to reduce the change which the measuring
instrument itself introduces into the system. Why? When we study the
system through measurements, we make several different kinds of
measurements. Reducing each to a minimum, the system will behave almost as
if not being measured. We then take these diffent kinds of measurements as
a representation of the system and then try to figure out how they are
related to each other. When we find a relationship between these
measurments, we assume that this relationship also represents the system.
Obviously, when the measuring instruments have a large influence on the
system, they should actually be considered as part of the system. In this
case the relationship between the measurements represents not only the
system, but also the measuring instruments as part of the system.

There are some important lessons to learn for the social sciences
(humanities). Consider, for example, a questionare. Do not use a battery
of questions to measure one thing -- they will certainly disturb that one
thing. A single question directed to the heart of the matter will give a
less disturbed representation. When measuring many different kinds of
things in the same questionaire, do not exhaust each one independently.
Several follow up questionaires will give a much better representation.

When thinking about our senses as measuring instruments, three of them
(see, smell, hear) have no influence on the system by introducing an
irreversible change in the system. Does it mean that measurements, after
all, do not change the system irreversibly? No. They act upon things
emitted by the system, namely light for see, molecules for smell and sound
for hear. In other words, they do not act upon the system at all. But when
our eyes react to light photons, our nose to molecules or our ears to
sound waves, they change these intermediates (unlomos) completely, leaving
nothing behind. Furthermore, these three senses require only minute
amounts of light, molecules or sound. Thus they are wonderful examples of
measuring instruments which leave the system and its integrity intact
while observing it. The other two senses (taste, touch) need a direct
contact with the system. Thus they will introduce an irreversible change
into the system. But again, they are so sensitive that only a slight
change need to be introduced.

The three senses (see, smell, hear) are examples of non-destructive
measuring instruments. Non-destructive measurements play the major and
powerful role in modern physics, chemistry and engineering.

But Leo, I think your question is concerned with secondary changes which
may happen as a result of measurement. Let us think, as you have
suggested, of full stadion of spectators watching a the players in a
soccer match. Let us think about the sense of sight. Because the
spectators do not observe the players, but actually photons of light
reflected from the players, their observation has no primary influence on
the players. But their observations have a significant influence on
themselves. Thus they make all sorts of movements and sounds. These
outcomes have a great secondary influence on the players because it is
these outcomes in the spectators which are observed by the players.
Again, the observations of the players do not have any direct effect on
the spectators. But the observations of the payers have a significant
influence on themselves, leading to changes in their behaviour. Thus,
although the interaction between spectators and palyers are based on
non-destructive measurements, it is the feedback loops based on these
measurements which have such a powerful influence on the outcome of the
game. Should we bring in the facet of imagination, the outcome can be
influenced even more.

It does not mean that the essentiality spareness have no other influence
in the game. Take soccer, for example. Very much of the game depends on
the limitations of every kind of move as well as how quickly the opponents
can equilibrate with such moves to furnish quantitative contra-measures.
For example, a ball passed by a kick travels much faster than a ball
dribbled by a player. But a ball dribbled by a payer can change much
faster in direction than one in free flight. Thus the players have to know
when to kick or to dribble a ball.

>2. Has the twin syndrome as described in the Primer on
>Entropy (LO19987) something to do with "spareness"?

O yes, very much. The twin syndrome is nothing else than two closely
related objects COMPETING for the same external, LIMITED sources of free
energy. It is far more prevalent in nature than merely with some species
of birds like the turkey buzzard. Another example is two or more seedlings
of the same species of plant growing so closely to each other that only
one can survive. But nature usually has an answer. On the one hand nature
provides for so many offsprings in one batch that those who will die off
because of having to compete for the same limited resources have no
influence on maintaining a viable number of specimens. On the other hand
nature limit the number of offspring to one or a few so that they cannot
encroach on each other.

But it is among humans, as a consequence of imagination, where the twin
syndrome can become epidemic. An imagined scarcity of resources as well as
an imagined competition for such resources can create havoc. It is also
important to observe the factors which fires the imagination for scarcity
or competition.

>3. In an earlier private correspondence with At, we discussed
>briefly the parasythical relationships, which sometimes occur
>between two persons. I mentioned then the relationship of the
>famous sculptor Auguste Rodin with Camille Claudel. The
>creativity of Camille was completely exhausted (At called Rodin
>a vampire) by the intense relationship with Rodin. The creativity
>of Camille ended, and she lived for nearly 40 years in
>psychiatric institutions.
>Has this also to do with "spareness"?

Yes, again very much so. And again it has to with free energy, in this
case for artistic creativity. You will remember that I called Rodin a
"free energy vampire". I have explained that we have to recharce our free
energy for creativity at the edge of chaos (far from equilibrium) by
cycling back to creative changes close to equilbrium. We use up a lot of
free energy to produce enough entropy to stay at the edge of chaos like
Rodin. The recharging of our free energy has to happen close to equilbrium
where the entropy production is low. If we spend too much time at the edge
of chaos, or do not function constructively close to equilibrium, we will
use up our own internal free energy resources. It is then when we might
become scavengers or vampires of other people's free energy.

We all have experiences and tacit knowledge of these "free energy
vampires". They use you to produce entropy with your own free energy so
that they can search for order in the manifested chaos. Although they
succeed in turning your own life upside down, driving you crazy, they
seldom find the order which they are seeking. The reason why they do not
find the order is that this order have to emerge within themselves. Their
own entropy production is the sign that they are ready for such an
emergence. Why? The seven essentialities which are necessary for the
emerge, are also necessary for producing the entropy.

Sit back and take stock of the people in your family, work and society who
try to disturb your life so that they might have order themselves. Since
they have become free energy vampires because one or more essentialities
are seriously impaired for them, try to discover those impaired
essentialies. It will help you to lessen their disturbing influence on
your life. For example, say that the wholeness of a free energy vampire is
impaired. When that person try meddle in your life again, resist it,
saying to the effect that wholeness is too important for you to allow such
a meddling in your life. I use the phrase "to the effect" because you will
have to refer indirectly to wholeness in terms of the actual impaired
behaviour of the person such as fragmentations or broken associations.

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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