EPisode #8 emergence from complex systems
Complexity is all around us – in fact if we’re looking for a distinction between complicatED things as opposed to comPLEX things, then it’s that people make things complicated (but linear, and readily described) while the whole of the rest of the web of life makes things that are complex… from a cell to an organ to a human (or animal, or plant) body, to an ecosystem, to our climate, to the entire planetary biosphere… (which is why modern medicine doesn’t get so far when it tries to treat us all as if we were basically clockwork and all they have to do is fix the flywheel…)
Anyway – if we’re going to understand how we tick, if we’re going to understand why the non-linear tipping points of complex systems trend towards infinity quite so fast (think methane hydrates boiling off in the arctic causing runaway global heating) – and particularly if we’re going to get to grips with why and how we might reach a stage where conscious evolution is the next emergent property of the hyper-complex system of human society… We need to understand the basics of complexity.
And when we’ve got our heads around this, it’s useful to have a look at the Levers of Change by which any complex system may be nudged – because the non-linear nature of complex systems means that the ways we might, say, change the trajectory of a jetliner are not the same ways we might influence a complex system. So we look at that, too, with honour given to Donella Meadows for coming up with the twelve point list.
If you want to look more at the work of Donella Meadows, it’s here.
If you want to look at the twelve points specifically, try here.
or an easier read here.
and if you want to look at emergence in more detail, this is useful.
[The music that book-ends the podcasts is created by Caro C and is called ‘Sense Ability’ – you can find it here.]
You may also like these recent podcasts
Musician, artist, maker-of-ceremony and guardian of the ancestors of the land, Carolyn Hillyer talks – and sings – about the three things that take care of this land: a deep honouring of the ancestors, a fierce guardianship, and the absolute heart-felt connection of tribe.
What if our work made our hearts sing every day? What if everyone were paid what they were actually worth? What if the profits went into the community, to build the better world our hearts know is possible? How would that actually work? Let’s find out!
Business as usual has brought us to the edge of extinction. Can we switch off our complacency and turn towards life in time? Raw, honest thoughts from Professor Rupert Read of Extinction Rebellion.
How can we feed our bodies and our souls? Abel Pearson, founder of Glasbren community supported agriculture farm in West Wales shared his connection to the land, his spiritual practice – and his re-visioning of community, food and spirit
If we’re on the edge of chaos, how can we bring all the good ideas together – the right people with the right skills at the right time – and craft an ecosystem of ecosystems to affect radical change? How can we save ourselves from extinction? Humanity Rising offers an answer.
STAY IN TOUCH
For a regular supply of ideas about humanity's next evolutionary step, insights into the thinking behind some of the podcasts, early updates on the guests we'll be having on the show - AND a free Water visualisation that will guide you through a deep immersion in water connection...sign up here.
(NB: This is a free newsletter - it's not joining up to the Membership! That's a nice, subtle pink button on the 'Join Us' page...)