Watts: The world is a marvellous system of wiggles

When we think of our world all too often we think of it, ourselves, and our systems as an ordered thing. We make these maps, in our minds and in the minds of our organisations as places made up of ordered linear, perhaps even hierarchical constructs of straight lines and hard edges. An image we try to understand, but that in no real way reflects the nature of reality.

For reality is far different, it’s dynamic, it shifts, and it’s not straight at all. Much is invisible, and what we see is simply a glimpse of a surface of what may be true. Nature is astounding both in its complexity and in its simplicity. It is one.

Those boundaries we draw or even perhaps feel are in fact just constructs of our mechanical minds in a world craving order from chaos. But what if, Watts asks, those boundaries don’t even exist at all?

‘Reality is a marvellous system of wiggles’. And trying to straighten them out to fit into our need for order simply creates a false map that is no reality at all. (Introduced by Emma Loftus)

family systems theory

Family Systems Theory

A family systems approach argues that in order to understand a family system we must look at the family as a whole. Two families living across the street from each other may each be comprised of a mother, father, and child. Yet it is in their rules of interacting with each other and their collective history that they are understood as uniquely different.

nudge theory

Cass Sunstein on Nudge Theory

In this excerpt from the event, ‘Why Nudge?’, renowned public thinker Cass Sunstein defends his groundbreaking nudge theory.

system of systems

System of systems

With the emergence of the internet in the mid-90’s, the world became one global commons. In the past, we could understand that there was some mysterious unity to the various dimensions of life but we couldn’t understand its dynamics, we couldn’t observe and measure their interactions. We basically operated like the drunk who looks under the streetlight for his keys because that’s where he can see.

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What Aristotle and Joshua Bell can teach us about persuasion

Imagine you are one of the world’s greatest violin players, and you decide to conduct an experiment: play inside a subway station and see if anyone stops to appreciate, when you are stripped of a concert hall and name recognition. Joshua Bell did this, and Conor Neill channels Aristotle to understand why the context mattered.