Wheatley Dialogue LO10243

jack hirschfeld (jack@his.com)
Sun, 29 Sep 1996 15:44:28 -0400

Replying to LO10224 --

When I think about Julie Beedon's question...

>Yet there must be reason why we break things down into parts -
>easier to understand? easier to coordinate or manage? or do we
>feel that working across the whole is so difficult we will only
>ever end up with the 'lowest common denominator' rather than the
>possibility of whole system synergystic alignment?????

... I am most struck by the use of the pronoun "we". Who is this "we"?
Is it true that "we" break things down into parts?

I am of the mind that the "we" is that fraction of humanity which has been
able to wield power over the rest of humanity during the last five or six
centuries on account of "our" technologies, and that these have been
developed in the context of a reductionist approach to reality-- that is,
the tendency to "break things down into parts". "We" have succeeded, and
"our" culture has prevailed.

The billions of people who think otherwise are "primitive", "aboriginal",
"backward" or at best "underdeveloped". People within "our" culture who
are holistic in their outlook have been "kooky", "fringe element", and
"way out", even sometimes "schizophrenic" and "outlaw", and it is only
within the apparent breakdown of "our" socioeconomic organization that
holism and systems thinking are beginning to gain legitimacy.

My experience has been that this legitimacy often depends on framing the
outlook in scientific forms and language.

When I ask "is it true that 'we' break things down into parts?" I find
myself asking the question in the language of science. Underlying my
question is,
---"Where's the data?"
---"What do we mean when we say this?" and
---"Show me your proof!"

Even attempting to stand apart from the cultural bias, I find it embedded
in the very way I question it.


Jack Hirschfeld Tonight the light of love is in your eyes, jack@his.com but will you still love me tomorrow?

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>