Peer Learning Network

Posts tagged ‘Bifurcation’

A Letter about Complexity

Dear Dibyendu,

Thank you for sharing the challenges of Complexity you’ve encountered in your work. I greatly appreciate your observations. To further my independent studies in Systems Thinking I’ve picked up a tool called Pattern Dynamics. The pattern language contains an eloquent set of symbols which are multifaceted, and overlapping in ways that reveal the interconnected dynamics of systems. It also places a strong emphasis on sustainability.

What you said about our need for a balanced view of complexity that includes both humanities and science made me think of Pattern Dynamics. Tim Winton, the founder of PD, suggests it’s important we notice how culture shapes our understandings, beliefs, and values because they’re ultimately what create meaning in our social systems. So when you speak of humanities and science both playing an equal role in Complexity, I believe you are correct.  Especially because both will be needed if we are to adapt to environmental shifts.

I thought it would be prudent to begin applying Pattern Dynamics to a post you shared on Complexity. You made it clear that Complexity is not a single body of knowledge like Physics or Economics or Philosophy, yet it often slants to the ‘scientific’ approach through the stringent application of Mathematics. As you’ve pointed out, these rigorous scientific experiments tend to select variables, or parameters which only behave as expected under specified conditions.



Infinite Recursion – The Depths of Creativity

The Infinite Recursion of Clay – Jon David Gemma

Pattern Dynamics informs us that Creativity is about “novel adaptations and the emergence of new forms of organisation within a system.” In our group’s investigation of metacognition, Glistening Deepwater suggests we inquire “how does the way I am looking at ____ make it look the way it does?

Michael Gaio filled in the blank with “metacognition” itself, which we noted triggers an infinite recursion. Gaio sees recursion as the foundation for cognition, leading toward “the eventual ergodic quality of transposition of one thing to another”.  If I understand correctly, in the Wikipedia entry on ergodic theory, the ergodic describes how a “system that evolves for a long time ‘forgets’ its initial state.”

Such a state change seems akin to Bifurcation, which is said to “generate new forms of order out of breakdown.”  Zaq Moser describes his experience of infinite recursion leading to what he quotes as being a “break through” into a “dream space”. Josh Deveraux, creatively utilizes what he calls “iterating seeds,” to more expediently compress the complexity of “all emergent particulars.” John Kellden describes what he experiences as “spiral awareness morphing into toroidal service and back again.”

By looking at group’s discussion of metacognition through the lens of Pattern Dynamics, I noticed a variety of Patterns of Creativity: Seed, Bifurcation, Adaptation, Growth, Emergence, Evolution, and Elegance.  I wonder if any of the other members identified patterns, and if so, what?

Glistening Deepwater encourages us to keep evolving beyond self reinforcing delusions, by asking “what else is possible?”  I suspect metacognitive adaptation will become ever more accessible as we continue to ask such questions and engage without limiting our Creativity.