Ming the Mechanic:
Emerging Order

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Emerging Order2002-06-14 01:04
28 comments
by Flemming Funch

I'm very interested in emerging order in human systems. Meaning, self-organization amongst humans. Or, how a bunch of people might get something useful done, voluntarily, without being forced to do so. I'm most particularly interested in what might emerge amongst people of good will who are fully aware that they're free to make their own choices, and who live within a system that ensures that it remains like that.


History has shown that humans can do a lot of things by being organized. But most organization has so far evolved around the idea of getting a lot of people to do the will of one. Maybe the one is a handful of people, like a board of directors, or a family, or a government, but the principle is the same. Persuade or coerce or bribe or charm a lot of people into acting in a hierarchy as extensions to the will of its rulers.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, if those in charge are fairly wise and benign. And, certainly, it will allow great manpower to be used in a very focused manner. Bridges and dams can be built, national standards can be agreed upon, etc.

But such hierarchical arrangements don't really tap the aggregate intelligence of those who participate in them. The majority of people aren't really doing what they're inspired to do, or what they would like to do, or what they know would be better to do. They do mostly what they have to do, or what they can get away with, in order to receive the payment they've been promised, or to avoid the punishment they would get if they didn't do it. A fairly small percentage of the people in most organizations are highly inspired and working with their own purposes in alignment with the purposes of the organization.

Imagine for a moment that MOST people would be working on exactly what they're called to do, being highly inspired and motivated, using their skills and their wisdom to the fullest, and doing so together with the people they're most aligned with, together creating synergies way beyond what any of them individually could accomplish. Imagine these people choosing this FREELY, following their passions and their excitement, living their dream, doing what is most meaningful and fulfilling to them, and joyfully discovering that there are others who are doing the same, whose activities dovetail remarkably with their own.

It is probably obvious that we can't *force* that to happen. We can maybe create an environment or a social order or a set of principles or an economic arrangement, or all of those, that might make it more likely to happen more often.

It is also quite clear that it won't automatically happen just by removing all rules and announcing that people are free to do what they want.

I don't know what it is that will make it happen. I can guess at some of the components, but I don't know the triggers.

Freedom of movement and great creative diversity is probably required. Like the evolutionary intelligence of nature. Lots of parallel experiments going in many different directions, and the free range of movement to allow those things that work to flourish and those things that don't work to fade away.

The basic environment might look chaotic and its rules might be so open ended that they sound meaningless. Anything goes. Do what you're inspired to do.

But the point is not the chaos. It is not the end point. Maybe the starting point. A nurturing creative chaos that anything can emerge from.

In our current human minds we might think of chaos as just a random mess. But that's rarely what it is. In nature chaos is often just complex phenomena that we don't understand. We then think we understand them once they change state and turn into something simple. But we failed to see the emergent pattern in the chaos.

It might be like a chemical solution where various elements are mixed together in a liquid. One moment it might just be a twirling milky mess, but if we drop just one drop of the right kind of catalyst into it - bing - the whole thing crystalizes into obviously very aligned and organized forms.

As to human systems - groups of people - I'm very curious about how that might happen.

For a group of people to get anything done, they must be aligned somehow. They must arrange themselves so that synergy takes place. If they mostly bump into each other, and only cooperate on some points, they might still get something done, but not a lot. Most companies work well enough to create a profit for their shareholders and a living for their employees, even if the majority of the people are sitting dozing off at the desks and thinking about lunch.

But what if a group of people were aligned as laser light is aligned. Coherency. Instead of just bouncing around and bumping into each other, the photons all go in the same direction. Suddenly it is a hugely different phenomenon.

The thing I'm interested in with people is what is possible when it is voluntary, and when alignment and coherency is found to actually exist, and not just faked or forced.

I'm interested in *discovering* the order that might emerge in a group of people. That's an important distinction. Not what I might think up that I can persuade a bunch of people to go along with. Rather, noticing a potential that is emerging within a group. Nurturing it, allowing it to emerge, celebrating it, riding its wave.

Does that make sense? I want to see the self-organizing coherent order that might emerge. As opposed to somebody trying to force the order, by making up their mind in advance about what it is "supposed" to be and persuading others to carry it out.

The reason I'd like to see that is because I think it is thousands of times more powerful than any hierarchy that is built out of manipulation and coercion and propaganda.

To me it is the difference between whether it happens in the real world or just in somebody's head. The old way is that a few people make a plan and then persuade many people to act as if they agreed with it, even if they didn't. Its a "supposed-to" kind of organization. A lot of things need to be glossed over to make it look like it fits.

The alignments I find exciting are those that happen in the real world. I.e. where things actually are aligned, where the pieces actually fit together, and they obviously work better that way. I.e. people loving what they're doing and having great results together, without needing any guards at the door, or any prospects of unemployment.

So, I'm very supportive of Open Space and creative diversity. I will protest whenever anybody tries to monopolize an open space or tries to enforce the way they in particular think things are *supposed* to be. But I'd LOVE to find out what the whole group is about, what hidden magic is about to emerge. And if everybody finds out that they're all aligned, that would be absolutely fabulous. And if various pockets of people find that they're aligned and that they can take action together, that is fabulous too.

So, NO to coerced conformist order, and YES to free emerging order. The former spells violence, the latter spells peace.

But we aren't there yet. We haven't learned to find and trust the way nature works within ourselves. So most structures that appear to be sort of working now are of the hierarchical kind, and the open space kind of structures are mostly looking sort of chaotic. I think the perceptions will change. The Internet is our greatest example of voluntary self-organization, and we're only just beginning to imagine what might be next.


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28 comments

14 Jun 2002 @ 04:48 by shawa : Exactly.
Do you know about the Fun Principle ? People being as they are, they will follow the principle of most excitement,(see the popular success of *Star Wars* and *The Lord of the Rings* and even *Harry Potter*) and that is not necessarily bad. Now for the above - and how it happens - I say: be open to the fact that it may be happening ALREADY. Just be open to this fact, don´t close the door. Closing the door, conceptually speaking, is the surest way that it will NOT happen (for the person closing the door). I would rather deceive myself while having fun (which is what we do anyway), than be a puritan who never tries anything. (No offense meant to anyone).  


14 Jun 2002 @ 04:52 by istvan : Cohabitation
As i stated in my bios one of my main interests is to search for a formula of a User Friendly Society. I think we have to look at, after knowing our own needs and desires for balanced living, at how the phenomena of family and merriage itself is functioning. Here the point is on functional, meaning it works for the mutual benefit of all participants in spite of the inherent limitations of the phisical realities versus the unlimited possibilities of the mental scape of imagination.
If i would set up a website for creating a user friendly society it perhaps would sound like this: Mutuallybeneficialcohabitationalarrangementforthehappinessofallparticipants.org  



14 Jun 2002 @ 04:57 by ming : Happening
Heheh, yeah, one might very well try too hard to make something emerge, when, of course, it is really happening with or without me, and probably already is.  


14 Jun 2002 @ 05:00 by ming : Userfriendly
That's a very catchy website, zendancer. And if you're interested, I happen to be the owner of {link:http://www.idontknowwhattodowithmyself.com/|idontknowwhattodowithmyself.com} and {link:http://www.supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.org/|supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.org}. I just don't quite know what to put on them.  


14 Jun 2002 @ 08:02 by bushman : By nature.
To, add to this info, I hang out and used to have my tent at this place here in Sedona called Hawkeye RV park. Basicly it started as a place to hook up your RV, but because of our location on the map, many people from other countrys and just people that where passing through on a road trip, lots of hitchhiking hippy too, lol. One thing that has happened over the years is that some people stayed, like myself, if you ever want to understand how a community gets started you need to see how Hawkeye evolved , because from the outside Hawkeye looks more like a hippy camp but all partake in in the life there, this RV park is now the only source in Sedona to get temp help, its quit the example of what you seem to want to know on how communitys just happen, well best thing is to just go there and get to know them as I do, a place where the elders of the park sit and make decisions around a fire, listening to the others around the fire and of course not chooseing dark over light or visaversa. Like I said at first I was seeing a bunch of druged out hippys and drunks, and affter living there for 3 months in a tent, I found a community of caring people instead. It just happens ming, if its strong and viable it will just emerge on its own, just like the RV park. Its realy cool watching the hawkeye community grow, all the little kids running around in the forest, swimming in the creek, all it takes is earth and people in serch of a better life. They want to setup a small store , and they already do a trade thing with clothing and books to read, even when someone gets a good video, it gets passed around to everyone, before its returned, all that they do there just happened on its own.  


14 Jun 2002 @ 08:21 by istvan : Talking about domains
Those are good domains and once seing them in an article about unusual domain names, i wondered who owned them.
The first one would be wery useful to do research, would be good for a list of all the insane things we do just to keep our sanity at acceptable levels. The second one definitely should go to research on channeling.
At one time i found it so much fun to make up domain names that i ended up owning 63 of them. I newer did develop any of them and did not aquire the art of webpage design, but i still own about 19 of them hoping to cooperatively set up domains for example: GMOresearch.com,zeroemissioncars.com,biohazardmonitor.com,electionreform.com,zeroemissionauto.com etc. One of my domains, purebreeder.com have been appraised for $75,000 and if i made any effort at marketing and selling, it this town would have a center for new civilisation, where people could come and share information about the state of life and at night could come and dance their egos to oblivion,at so called Zendance Disco.  



14 Jun 2002 @ 08:29 by istvan : Bushman is right.
Once the basic needs are taken care of communities develop and trive on their own accord(vibrational level). I have lived in several souch communes and glad of it
This is not unlike nature dvelops ecosystems.All future communities should be sustainable ecosystems with humans just one of the ingredient.  



14 Jun 2002 @ 15:47 by bushman : Its not really
Hawkeye is more of a hybrid commune maybe, basicly it's several groups that formed as well, maybe clicks is a better word, maybe clans, lol. Anyway, not all of them get along either, since I seen them boot 2 people out. So it's not all roses, but you got the hippys the cowboys the keep to yourself people the tourists that come from all over, runaway rainbow kids that live on the road with only a backpack. Hawkeye is way more than just a commune, in that theres something for the individual and more of a place for all types of people to come together, it's like a gathering place, even if your visit lasts a day, you will meet someone new everyday that your there. To me it's alot like the NCN in it's manifestations of how the mind of man is seeking a better way to have both the spiritual and the technology working together. Sireously ming you should one day study the Hawkaidians. You would trip on the similaritys with the NCN. Ive lived here now for over 3 years, 10 years ago or so if I had come here I'd of seen a god forsaken place. Nothing but rocks ready to crush you if you bumped them the wronge way, mosquitos and no seeumms, wild animals starving, I would of seen a harsh life here. But In my awakening I must of learned something. That our perceptions are what creates all. I see this as pardise and so it is. Hmm, live in caves and drive to work, lol. Thing is we could run our stuff on water if we want, they make permanently greesed berings so we could not totaly stop useing oil but we would use a whole lot less, its so simple to do alot of this stuff without sucking the planet dry of all it's resources. Anyone can buy a hydride tank. I mention this because theres this guy at hawkeye that is a solar wind nut, lol. But just him being there with his gizmos and not pluged in has got the rest all getting solar and other devices, so it's about being the roll modle and being able to show the others just how it's done when you have little income. We have this ability, ming you convert your car to run on water and show your neighbors how it works, trust me it would be like lighting a match in this bone dry place I live in, lol.  


15 Jun 2002 @ 14:51 by ming : Inspiring
to hear about Hawkeye, Bushman. Yes, I think we can learn from that, and maybe NCN here is more like it than we think. A bunch of old hippies and cowboys, who might not always get along, but who might still manifest meaningful community.  


15 Jun 2002 @ 15:47 by bushman : Not might.
We are.  


16 Jun 2002 @ 22:30 by dandrion : inspiring
I find this article inspiring. Pregnant with rich imaginations.
The seed has reached the ground. It just need nourishment to sprout of its own.
Thanks for posting.  



23 Jun 2002 @ 05:21 by jazzolog : Joining Hands
An emerging that warmed my optimism this morning was to read this congratulations from one site to another on the other's win in the recent Webby Awards for this year. Let's adopt this kind of outlook!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AlterNet Headlines
Brief summaries of leading stories from AlterNet -- the independent news and syndication service -- for June 21, 2002. http://www.alternet.org

------------------------------------------------------------
Congratulations to our partners at Tolerance.org on their Webby Award for best activist Web site! (Sure, AlterNet was nominated in the same category, but we're thrilled to see the Webby go to a site that encourages people to fight hate and promote tolerance.) Giving her required five-word acceptance speech at the ceremony, Tolerance.org producer Ashley Day urged the audience to "Examine Your Hidden Bias!" Visit http://www.tolerance.org/ to see how.
--------------------------------------------------------------


 



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go to a gainbow gathering and you will see jus the kind of thing you discribed no leaders almost no rules (the rules at a gathering are common sence for thousands of poeple living in the woods ) all the work is done by volenters any is welcome  


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