flock of birds LO21925

Leo Minnigh (L.D.Minnigh@library.tudelft.nl)
Wed, 16 Jun 1999 16:34:12 +0200 (MET DST)

Replying to LO21868 --

Replying to LO21868

Dear Winfried (Deijmann), dear LO'ers,

Your contribution on this issue was beautiful. You have described your
training excercises very vivd and visual. I was able to create a well
image and picture of them.

I have a question. You mentioned the presence of two types distances: 91)
physical, and (2) mental:

>Keeping the right distance is essential for good communication and
>'Keeping distance' has a vissible physical component but also a mental
>invissible component; let us label this mental invissible component as
>attitude. Keeping distance needs an awareness and a sense for 'distance
>towards' or for the 'in between'. Most people are unaware of (some of)
>their thriving attitudes, because of that it can happen that they, as a
>habit, come in too close on somebody or they keep too far away,
>and/or mentally, without sensing the inner reaction of the other

I wonder if there is a direct relation between these two distances. I can
imagine that two persons not very font of eachother (negative attitude)
will keep also a large physical distance between them, wheras two lovers
will minimise their physical distance as small as possible.

Therefore, I don't know what you mean with 'the right distance'.

In your excersise of walking along a circle line I may explain my former
question. If the number of people and the seize of the circle is somewhat
in balance, one could expect that the 'right distance' will be roughly
equal between all the individuals. They like to find the highest level of
order. But what happens if the seize of the circle is twice as big? Will
be the distances between the persons grow twice as well, or is the human
circle broken at some place, to keep the distances betwee the persons as
the original 'right distance'?

Birds do have enough space to experiment what the 'right distance'is. This
distance is roughly the same everywhere in the flock. The natural
behaviour of human beings seems the same: if some people are put in a huge
room, they certainly will not fill the complete space; no they will form a
group, leaving a lot of empty space. So I rackon that in the large circle
experiment, the group will break-up.

In the same experiment, wher you let the persons walk backward along the
circle line, is the distance similar to the distance when walking ahead?
In my mental picture of your excercise, I see that the distance will be
smaller. Is that true? I don't know why I imagine this picture. Probably,
because the step size during backward walking is usually smaller than when
forward walking.
If I try to place myself imaginary in such backward walking group, I think
I will keep the distance with my frontal naighbour as constant as
possible, hoping that the one back to me will do the same.

And my final question referring also to my tentative proposed 'right
distance' of three feet, is that also your experience? I mean, is the
'right distance' probably also related to the rate of mobility of the
group. Three feet is roughly the distance required to make a step.

Thank you again for your great description. It is pity that we are not
able to feel the effects of your training sessions in this e-mail

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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