|2010-07-09, by John Ringland|
asked on Twitter:
The other responses that I saw focused on profit motives,
incentives, toppling capitalism, etc. These are the usual types of
responses and they arise from an anthropocentric paradigm, which
could be caricatured by the phrase "people rule the world".
They focus on how people can engineer organisations for the benefit
of people without even considering the perspectives of the
organisations themselves and what they want. For example, the comment
And in particular the comment by @mgusek555 caught my attention
IMHO these are rather narrow anthropocentric perspectives on a
very important issue, hence I decided to throw in my two cents worth
in order to present an alternative non-anthropocentric / systemic
perspective. Here are my tweets:
"Does a Corporation have consciousness?" We r orgs
of cells, so do we have consc or do our cells just have a
It's a matter of sub/super system perspectives & the
distinctions we make.
re orgs developing human potential? Do we give priority to
developing the potential of each cell in our bodies?
Or do we formulate and pursue agendas within our own field of
awareness? Would orgs of humans be any different to us in this?
As a hint towards a solution:
What attitudes do we have that nurture the cellular
civilisation within us even if we r oblivious to its existence?
What attitudes could orgs develop that nurture the human
civilisation within them even if they r oblivious to our existence?
To which @VenessaMiemis replied:
i suppose they will have to implement infrastructure that
rewards socially responsible behavior
and i think when ppl r empowered & given responsibility,
it builds empathy, compassion
corp consciousness - corp becomes legal entity, so no human
to blame. employees slaves to an enigma, in a way
I don't think she got my point so I added:
I guess my point was that an org is more than just a
collection of ppl, just as we r more than just a collection of cells
To understand why orgs behave how they do we need to
understand them as bonafide lifeforms at a higher level of
Humans don't live for cells & orgs don't live for humans,
each formulates agendas at its own level of complexity.
Asking orgs to live for us will not work. But we can help
them 2 find a way to live their own lives that also works for us.
An org might think the same about us; "ppl have no free
will only we (orgs) do". To them we are "just cells"
Each of us is a civilisation of 70 trillion cells, our mind
is their culture, our freewill emerges from theirs.
At their own level cells are complex living beings with
complex societies but to us they are just specks.
Similarly we see ourselves as complex living beings with
complex societies but to orgs we are just specks.
Organisms are cellular organisations but it took us 550 mil
yrs to discover this even though cells already knew.
Likewise we know we exist but how long til orgs (on their own
level) discover us & begin to take us into account?
Note: the collectiveMind emerges from but is fundamentally
different to the collective of individuals minds.
Nobody invented society it evolved from family > tribe >
… > empire > nation > corporation etc
Organisations self-organise by the same systemic principles
as organisms do - meta-system transition.
We have a subsystem perspective on orgs, whereas we have a
supersystem perspective on cells. Beware perspective parochialism.
Also, we have egos that believe that they are the doers. But
without the ego doing still happens. Beware egoic delusion.
Did plants invent photo-synthesis? Did corporations invent
solar panels? Did these self-organise? Is there a difference?
only if we assume that we are the sole possessors of
self-reflecivity & choice. This seems unlikely &
anthropocentric to me.
All complex systems possess these to varying degrees, that is
how we come to have them in the first place.
the science behind orgs is simple, that is why "intent"
derived from the one in power will shift org's but we don't know
it will look like, but my hunch is we won't be so "possessed"
by profit, and move towards "value in use" less is more
it's not easy to explain, but it starts with people
organizing organizations not money organizing people...
IMO the science of orgs is complex and barely understood.
System science is only just beginning to grapple with it.
I'm not talking about the art of mngmnt but the science of
how organisations self-organise, perceive, experience & behave.
A comment to @technoshaman & @spirospiliadis:
My point is that it is not just about people. If we wish to
understand we must get beyond that limitation!
People have been trying to manufacture and manipluate orgs
but we are constantly surprised at how they end up behaving. We
could go round...
..this loop again and again until we start to think about it
not just through a narrow anthropocentric lens.
A systemic approach takes all perspectives into account, not
just the human perspective.
i agree, but it starts with people, and many are still
sleeping inside those limitations, what's the hurry?
eg “we r ppl in a wrld, we r the only active entities, &
everything can be understood and manipulated from this perspective”
such ideas lead us to create systems that are badly designed,
out of harmony with surrounding systems & very destructive.
good intentions plus ignorance = danger!
yes b/c your trying to fulfill a need, a means to an end, the
ego has grabbed the ignorance, don't blame the intention
my point if i have one :) is be human, and let the mechanics
serve humanity, enjoy the ride, but learn from it too... cheers
no b/c good intentions cause people to intervene &
ignorance causes them to stuff things up badly.
Point taken :) My point is “we r human and that's that”
blinds us to the systemic reality that we are part of.
A comment to @technoshaman & @spirospiliadis:
Not yet time to sleep – more comments...
each organism begins life as a single zygote, which
multiplies & via autopoesis these cells create the organism.
whilst there are superficial differences between the
different levels of complexity the same systemic principles apply at
all we can do is be open to the "intent" detached
and conscious makes things a whole lot easier and less drama, i
agree with u
Illuminating perspective. So, can there be such a thing as a
soulful organization? (I know @michelleholida thinks so).
re can there be such a thing as a soulful organization? IMHO
certainly but it takes time to evolve to that level of refinement.
at present orgs are unconsciously driven by primal instincts
to feed, fight and proliferate - not yet conscious let alone soulful
who designed the USA? We could ask these Q's ad infinitum.
The underlying issue here is the validity of the egoic discourse
if the ego's beliefs about itself and its role in reality are
accurate then I am wrong, but what if the ego is deluded and
If naïve realism is true then the ego is correct, if NR is
false then the ego is DEEPLY delusional.
[Note: Quantum mechanics
disproves NR beyond all doubt.]
re "u w/dn't claim that it (cell) designed the organism,
w/d you?" If 'design' is "process internal information to
create external forms" yes!
If 'design' is "process internal information to create
external forms whilst an ego deludes itself that it is the doer"
Do you accept that systems can process internal information
to create external forms?
Do you believe that the ego is the whole being, or that its a
cognitive process that identifies with other cognitive processes?
When a decision is made in the mind, is it the ego that
'decides' or does it just identify with the decision process?
I gotta sleep! We can continue this another time if you like
- if not thnx 4 an interesting conversation :) #respect
The next day I found these comments by @ffunch:
Sorry, I was in a real time conversation with @sebpaquet and
@technoshaman. I'll leave a few answers and we can continue later.
A "decision" is probably more often merely
identifying the result of sub-conscious processing than a fully
Systems can generate stuff. Seeds can grow trees. Are seeds
conscious of trees? Was a tree designed? Discovered? I'm not sure.
Re “Was a tree designed?” Yes, by the evolutionary
process via the interaction of organisms within a biological
Ideas are also 'designed' by an evolutionary process via the
interaction of memes within a memetic ecosystem (mind).
BTW here are a few tweets clarifying my thoughts on memes,
memeplexes, minds & collectiveMinds http://bit.ly/c0sg2k
The main difference is that we have an ego that believes that
it is the doer. This causes us to misunderstand the situation.
Some general comments:
Introducing another relevant analogy...
We have discusd the analogy btwn cells and ppl (subsystems),
but what about an analogy btwn ppl and orgs (supersystems)?
An ego is a cognitive process that identifies with cognitive
processes within an organism. Likewise...
A political regime is a cultural process that identifies with
cultural processes within a society.
When either the ego or regime deludes itself that it is the
organism or society, then destructive forces are unleashed.
The ego/regime uses the organism/society as "my body"
that it manipulates in pursuit of its agendas, thus creating inner
When this strife arises as pain, stress, etc the ego/regime
suppresses the problem so that it can continue pursuing its agendas.
Regarding power struggle & end-game:
The power relations between the ego and cells is that of a
totalitarian dictatorship so extreme that cells are conceived of as
The power struggle btwn ppl and orgs will hopefully find a
difrnt balance, but ppl have been trying for thousands of years.
With each failed attempt the problem only gets worse. Because
ppl do not understand orgs but they believe that they do.
If we remain stuck in the egoic paradigm then we will make
the same old mistakes in new ways. A paradigm shift is needed!
This time may be our last chance to break out of the closed
loop of assumptions and finally do something genuinely new.
The systems upon which we depend cannot survive unending
abuse, we either break out of our delusions or we go extinct.
The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity. Jacob
Truth, in its complexity, can't be advanced if our discourse
conforms to a self-reproducing closed loop of hidden assumptions. WD
There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil
(pruning) to one who is striking at the root. Henry David Thoreau
If we question our assumptions to break the loop & expand
the discourse we can learn from our errors & not merely repeat
them in new ways.
Some relevant links:
Quotes from a Survey of the Science and Philosophy of Living
Quotes regarding the illusion of being a person
Simplified Anatomy of the Global Systemic Crisis and How to
Heal Civilisation http://bit.ly/92pTDd
Signs of an Emerging Paradigm Shift http://bit.ly/dfxL4R
#quantumMechanics #naiveRealism #SSE
Naïve Realism, its Ramifications and Overcoming
High altitude map of the systemic context, showing where the
closed loop of limited awareness fits http://bit.ly/cHJ8a4
What I think in simple terms http://bit.ly/cJ2jbb
a brief overview in common language.
Detailed overview of the mathematical science underlying my
Changing How we think for the sake of all
http://bit.ly/cF81Yp An essay
pieced together out of comments made during a conversation on the
Global Mindshift forum.
Discussing naïve realism with the Society for Scientific
Gaian-Ego Hypothesis: Systems Analysis of Organisation, Ego,
Control and Authoritarianism http://bit.ly/apaf8K
What do you think about this issue?
Can we understand the psychology and behaviour of people by
thinking of them as collections of cells?
Can we understand the psychology and behaviour of
organisations by thinking of them as collections of people?
Or do these systems need to be studied at their own level –
the level at which they experience themselves as a single entity in
a world, and at which they formulate their world-views, fears,
desires and agendas?