Inner Circle -> Whole circle LO12031

Michael McMaster (
Fri, 17 Jan 1997 10:00:16 +0000

Replying to LO11922 --

Rol, my response to "What is the mechanism?" (that has only a few hold
great sway)

Consider that a human being is a "structure of interpretation". Further,
consider that the "structure" is composed of "attractors" which might be
thought of as main themes or principles.

These are either strong or weak attractors depending on their relationship
to the existing conversational environment and the clarity and coherence
of the "set" for that individual.

By now, most regular participants know more or less what I'll respond to
and more or less what my themes will be. (That's right, here is an
interpretation of complexity again.) I know the same of most regulars.

The mechanism is that there are attractors at play which provide a
structure for making sense, meaning and patterns. They are not
"individual" in a strict sense. They are already, always operating in an
existing conversation.

The nature of this phenomenon is that there can only be a few attractors.
There are many potential attractors but only a few can function that way.
The idea of a lot of attractors kind of defeats the idea of attractors.
While they may exist and may be operating, we would see only randomness,
chaos and confusion.

What are the effects? Maybe they are mainly beneficial from a social
point of view even thought they appear to cause us to lose some richness.
They often feel negative from a personal point of view. At least part of
that, I think, is a result of our skewed individualist culture. (We're a
liitle crazy about identity.)

It is possible that we all gain by this phenomenon in that the attractors
and patterns provide a structure for a wide variety of otherwise
"non-attracting" people and ideas to contribute and participate ..... and
even become attractors themselves on certain issues, at certain time and,
later, as they develop into regular sources of attraction.

What to do about it? Maybe enjoy it and encourage the richness to come
out by recognising (publicly) the contribution.

> From: Rol Fessenden <76234.3636@CompuServe.COM>

> Clyde brings up the idea of a defacto 'inner circle' on the LO based on an
> undefined credibility that these people have been given by the rest of the
> group. He says,
> "There are a few people who seem to hold great sway in what this group
> thinks and responds to. This is done by their interest or attention."
> So my questions are, first what is the mechanism by which this happens,
> second, what are the negative consequences, and third, how would we change
> this -- as individual participants, as Clyde feels there is not a
> conscious group conspiracy -- to change this.

Michael McMaster :
"I don't give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity 
but I'd die for the simplicity on the other side of complexity." 
            attributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes 

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>