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 100 years Alfred Wegener - ways/means for integrating the
picture picture picture 5 Jan 2012 @ 20:27, by Heiner Benking

Friday Jan 6th, exactly 100 years ago Alfred Wegener broke those days scientific porcelain in Frankfurt by what we call today a paradigm shift, a view which basically changed the way to see the world (years later). In this case the view of what we consider Planet Earth. He did so by combining the knowledge from all fields and not getting stuck in the old fixed and narrow picture sciences. The name of his theory? Continental drift (Kontinentalverschiebung) proposing 40 years before its general acceptance that continents were slowly drifting around the Earth. If you consider how long it takes to reach the people revisit the story Al Gore tells in his film about the Inconvenient Truth that his teacher in the 60th was not ahead of the times.... Well there are many more "inconvenient truths" - not only these days...

I feel we will have to dig right there in our "house of science" this year. I can only recommend to check out also: Wilhelm Ripl in this blog last May who sees us focussing on selected compartment or limited fields of science when we do Climate Sciences, and this impulse for an Institute for Internet and Society where we were try (keeping in mind Humboldt and Ritter) to go beyond pigeonholing and fencing not only of living things, but ideas !
Cousteau remembered he never encountered walls in nature, but in the minds of some people. Proposed here are virtual grids and frames, think about a "meridian" or latitudes, something to find your way even in "vague" areas, think about data-noise and -"fog". See [More] below:

Wegener is for me an "example or raw-model", one who had to fight hard and was not giving in against all the "everybody knows" and tried a knew synthesis, which was pragmatic and helped to see "with new eyes" the obvious. He like Carl Ritter was an integrator of not only geosciences, but history (evolution and systems concepts) not concretely cast into science, but considered only as vague and "fluid" only to be approached by vitalism and such schools.
I recommend to visit also the father of Holism: Jan Christian Smut and with Rupert Ridl on WORLD VIEW COMPOSITIONS !! an activity in an all year summer school opening in the place and sense of Konrad Lorenz many new doors for science, evolution, systems thinking and understanding. Regarding Smuts: only last year I heard him being mentioned publicly by a member of the Royal Society, before we were blackmailed when including him in the Wholeness Seminar in the mid 90ies. Here: Holism - a good starting point. As you can see, times change, but too slowly and often only the words on the surface....

For the Alfred Wegener Foundation's President I did a poster exhibition
(see above 2 exhibition posters with the eco-cube in front) presenting the foundation and its future necessary quests, potentials, and challenges for not only geo-sciences but also sciences in general. Unfortunately again the chieftains did not seem to have read or seen a need a need to respond - again the usual procedure, ignore and not react....
Now 20 years later it is time, high time as we see the Problematique challenging us more exponentially every day.... and respond to what has been presented in the German Chancellery 22 years ago ! to step back and see at least one "whole elephant"((as we say around future search, systems and facilitation)), the shared map, grid or picture (commons) as the image for the scope, width and depth of the Challenges to Sciences and Politics (title) we prepared in a public scientific exhibition with the title GLOBAL CHANGE.

Maybe we were too early - or too radical these days - even pointing with a poster to the work of the UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS position in the center of the German political system in May 1990 !! (as you can imagine the poster did not make it long - given the power of our scientific and policy ivory towers!! and the times of Walls coming down and Chancellors busy with other things....)

What I mean with Global Commons, Common Frames of References, and a Global Covenant I have covered many times elsewhere, but also in this blog: (blow) and maybe see this about diversity of mindsets and how to go beyond labelling and pigeonholing in our thinking and reasoning. See Mindprints !

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