Learning and Partisanship LO22523

J.C. Lelie (janlelie@wxs.nl)
Tue, 31 Aug 1999 12:13:58 +0200

Replying to LO22489 --

Good morning At and all you others,

Thank you for your wise response. I always fear your answers - but no
answer i fear most. You said:

> But the reason why I offered Aleksander such bare advice is because I
> think a paradigm shift is here involved. That which you refered to in the
> LO-fieldbook is largely based on a particular paradigm.
> However, when a paradigm shifts, especially the "core of common meaning"
> also changes, influencing the process of conceptualisation of all the
> people involved.

A paradigm, i've been taught, is a kind of "officially accepted core of
common meaning". We (the knowing ones, homo sapiens) try to understand -
get a grip on - reality (or should i use the plural, realities) by
constructing ideas, models, systems, learnings or paradigms about these
realities and negotiate, discuss, dialogue on these constructs. A paradigm
shift doesn't change the phenomena - the things we see, hear, experience,
it just supplies us with a better understanding, a better grip. It is a
shift, a move to another vantage point. The former paradigm is, in my
view, not replaced by a new one, the former remains part of the new one.
For instance, Classical Mechanics was not replaced by Quantum Mechanics
and the theories on Relativity, nor did the theory on relativity change
magnetism or Lorentz forces. Evolution theory didn't change the origin of
species - especially not the origin of birds - or change the complexities
of our eyes or change the findings of paleontologists.

> It is then when we have to fall right back to one or more
> of our five elementary sustainers of creativity:
> dialogue
> exemplar-studying
> game-playing
> problem-solving
> art-expressing

The former, the old, the classical paradigm, i like to label "action ><
reaction", the new one, the next one, the modernal, i like to call
"creation <> recreation" (shall i trademark this >< <> notation?), so i
agree with your introduction of creativity to bridge the gap between the
world we live in and the world we'd like to have.

[Host's Note: Hmm... the ">" is OK, but the opposite character will
confuse most web browsers and some email programs which will think it's a
"tag". I suggest using different characters. I've left the symbols in this
msg as Jan wrote them. ...Rick]

I do believe it is a matter of creating new realities, or better, being
able to live in a number of realities at the same time. The complicating
factor is that "activity >< reactivity" remains in place, is incorporated
in the new and that "creativity <> recreativity" only works in places the
classical paradigm can not reach. Creative solutions - aka resolutions -
are only needed when the ordinary solutions fail. That is the way i use
Systems Thinking: to look into the structure of the action-reaction
solution system and creating a new resolution.

However, even worse, the results, the phenomena, of creative processes
only materialize in the action >< reaction world. Classical Physics always
takes over at our level of experience. Like, taking an example from
physics again, the wave/particle duality only shows up in conflicting
results from different experiments, like diffraction and the
photo-electric effect. So every resolution in the end only leads to a new,
a different action-reaction solution system, i guess.

> During the dramatic paradigm shift of physical science early this century,
> the dialogue failed dismally. It was another sustainer, namely
> exemplar-studying. which pulled the calf out of the well.

I didn't know this.

> I did not dare to offer a second choice to Aleksander and their specific
> situation in the Balkan. The little which I know of their situation,
> suggests the dialogue.

Dialogue, authentic communication, is a useful, a strong tool to, for a
moment, to break habits of reacting according to long held assumptions,
opinions and stereotypes. However, its scope is very small. It is not a
long range gun. And, as you also note, not enough.

> But when it concerns humanity as a whole, I am again not so sure that
> dialoque will bring us far. In this case I think we will have to fall back
> on all five of them. The sustainer game-playing, for example, did wonders
> to the transformation from the old to the new South Africa since so many
> South Africans are sport crazy.

I agree, i'm not a miracle worker myself and instinctively oppose using
any sports metaphores to resolve issues, but i know from experience that
it can be very useful as a tool. The learning is in the resistance.

> >The only thing i have to offer is: "do not take it personally, or,
> >to put it differently: the only choice you have is to choose who
> >you are".
> Please Jan and other fellow learners, do not understand me wrongly in what
> I am now going to say.
> When we view what you (or even I) have offered from far away against all
> reality as background, what we perceive as choices are actually the
> nonlinear, one-to-many mapping of irreversibility. What makes it so
> wonderful, but also complicated, is that we can even choose to accept or
> deny this actuality because it follows from the actuality.
> These choices about choices (once again the "dog is biting its own tail")
> offers no loophole so that we cannot make a choice on it also. The "dog is
> biting its own tail" is a "dog biting its own tail" -- the indispensable
> feedback loop in all living organisms and of cybernetics -- the key
> element to the dialogue without judgement.

Choice is what you choose it to be, so i agree.

> But to come back to the topic "Learning and Partisanship".
> How much is partisanship a consequence of the paradigm "life is a
> one-to-one mapping"? Living in South Africa, first the Old and now the
> NEW, what do you think my answer would be?

Well, thank you, having trouble enough to follow my own thoughts, i'll
decline thinking for you also.
Partisanship, choosing to belong to a party, seems to me on the one hand
a very strong need for people. We want to, we must belong to a parties,
to families, to tribes, to fractions. We're prewired for partisanship,
because it enhances our changes for survival. And we'll find any reason
strong enough to unite against others (other men - because for men this
will increase the chance to find a woman). In the light of the classical
paradigm, it will lead to strife, fighting, strong action-reaction
behaviour. It will solve some problems, like not belonging to a party,
but in the long run ... we're all death.

Listen, partisanship new-style may be choosing to belong to a "creating -
recreating tribe", to belong to a one-to-many relation, like the LO-list.
We use the same mechanism, the same prewired patterns, but now to create
new resolutions. We'll fight for our right to be left right or wrong. Or
the other way around, or no, .. not fight,.. flight! Ah well, what ever
you choose.

Years ago, i read a suggestion by Kurt Vonnegut Jr - the author of
Slaughterhouse 5 and "Breakfast for Champions" -, for more peace and
harmony between people. We should all get - at random - a new, a second
family name, preferably the names of a flower, millions of flower names.
This would be a real, second family, in which the members should be
getting to know each other, support each other, etcetera. So we would all
have family members all over the world. There would be a telephone
directory to search for family members in other cities and countries. I
always like that resolution and now with Internet this wouldn't be a big

Simply generate a list of all the flower names in the world - use also all
the names of Lily-varieties in Albanese, Bantu, Chinese, Dutch, English,
even French, what have you - and distribute these names randomly to form a
million families of say 5000 people each. Using ICQ it wouldn't take long
to locate your new relatives and form new partisanships - excuse me

In flight,

Jan Lelie

(In my case this family name would be fami-lily ;-D).
(Lelie is Dutch for Lily - you'll know that)


Drs J.C. Lelie CPIM (Jan) LOGISENS - Sparring Partner in Logistical Development Mind@Work - est. 1998 - Group Resolution Process Support Tel.: (+ 31) (0)70 3243475 or car: (+ 31)(0)65 4685114 http://www.mindatwork.nl and/or taoSystems: + 31 (0)30 6377973 - Mindatwork@taoNet.nl

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <rkarash@karash.com> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <http://www.learning-org.com>