Questions of emergence

To our good friends–

The past few days my thinking has been going toward the idea of emergence: what does it mean in human interaction?

We OS people see the magic, but people are afraid of magick (which they think is what we mean). They think it is not replicable. The fact is it is replicable, but the precise outcomes are not predictable. That there will be outcomes is sure. Or is it?

But is it predictable that the outcomes will be good?

It seems to me that if you have good heads and good hearts going in, the results will be good. As my friend Philip Thomas says, let’s examine the alternative: have we been getting good results with what we have been trying?

So it is worth our while to try something new to see if we can do better. And we ought to do better because A. we have more brains brought to bear, and B. the people who implement are the people who come up with the plan so it is more likely to be implemented, and C. implemented according to plan. Is that true?

But we also need to account for the magic, the emergence, yes?

Something unpredictable does happen. If it were predictable and obvious we’d be doing it already, given that we are not brain dead. If it were predictable and obvious we could read the book and follow the recipe and we’d have a perfect soufflĂ© every time, yes?

Is it indeed unpredictability we are after?

That scares us because we…what? Because we don’t trust the people. Why do we lack trust?

Because we have never given people their heads let alone their hearts? We don’t know them?

The first time I had a Tootsie-Roll Pop, when I got to the center I thought it was rotten and I threw it out. I did not know. Later, I found out it was simply another kind of sweet.

So what is emergence? What do we know about it? What can we yet learn? What is the edge of our unknowing?

:- Doug.

Published in: Conversations | on January 11th, 2007 | No Comments »

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