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Devising a Paradigm-shifting Device

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Clues to the nature of the 'ultimate device'
Context for use of a new device
Criteria for a paradigm-shifting device
Relevance of new patterns to key areas and disciplines

Reframing the paradgim cage: the underlying challenge
Structure of this document: part of the problem


 So much of what we do in work or play is based on some form of 'programme' or 'set of rules'. The nested list, or tabular/grid structure, of these conceptual devices tends to reinforce very strongly the kinds of thinking which are not working in the interests of society as a whole. It is through such devices that:

The economic system as a whole is made meaningful through input/output charts of analogous form. People use dietary, self-development, training or educational programmes. Their choices are guided by radio, TV and cinema programmes and by transportation schedules. The documents associated with all this activity are accessed or filed through classification systems based on the same logic. Software packages facilitate all these activities with programmes based on pull-down tabular menus - often furnishing results in tabular form. These results can usually only be communicated successfully over e-mail if they avoid any other structural layout.

That this conceptual device is not working well in the process of governance is endlessly articulated in evidence of unemployment, social marginalization, family breakdown, cultural conflicts and the impact of humanity on the environment. It is only too obvious in the pathetic articulation of proposals for peace in intractable situations such as Bosnia, the Middle East, Northern Ireland, and the like. There are repeated calls for 'new thinking' articulated within the same simplistic framework - with the expectation that the creative response will be forthcoming within that framework. Many are in despair at the response of the best and the brightest - or even of those hailed as spiritual leaders. There is little to offer the young that they value.

If we are caught in some kind of vice-like trap, there is merit in exploring the nature of a 'de-vice' which might enable us to free ourselves and get out of its grip. Deviser in French is the process of unscrewing. In this sense, the conceptual process of 'de-vising' may be usefully thought of as 'unscrewing' ourselves from the trap. This cannot be a purely objective exercise. The trapi is of our own making. As policy scientist Geoffrey Vickers once noted: 'A trap is a function of the nature of the trapped'.

The concern here is to explore how we might go about 'devising a device' that would enable any of us, individually or collectively, to shift out of this mode when it proves dysfunctional. It would be presumptuous to aim to specify the device here. The intent is rather to explore how it might be useful to think about the nature of such a device and the insights that need to influence its design. Premature closure is necessarily to be avoided.

Clues to the nature of the 'ultimate device'

The device could have some characteristics that are best recognized from features and qualities of the following:

Context for use of a new device

 Many of the above devices are used in precisely those situations where new thinking is called for and in which it has proved difficult to catalyze its emergence - if only we knew what 'new thinking' was, how to recognize it, and how it could make a difference.

Contexts worth bearing in mind are those in which creativity, and rising above the system, is most difficult. These include:

Criteria for a paradigm-shifting device

Reviewing the clues above, some criteria might include:

But these might well be seen as desirable effects. A sharper focus is required on the characteristics which lead to these outcomes. These might include:

Relevance of new patterns to key areas and disciplines

Curriculum design: The complexities of institutional curriculum design are most rationally resolved through the use of tabular presentations often generated through software packages. Parallel thematic tracks are defined over an educational course period, usually measured in months or years. For the institution, this is vital as a means of allocating teaching and space resources with the aid of appropriate algorithms. For the student, choices can often be freely made, provided that there is no need to be in two places at the same time. There is however little effort to consider in what way the curriculum framework reflects the universe of knowledge, the possibilities of navigating it fruitfully, or any sense of its integration or integrity as a whole. 'Integrative studies' have become essentially meaningless. Education is a process of tunnelling through knowledge space and has little to do with understanding the dimensions of knowledge space. The logic of the grid framework, as the educational medium, becomes the essential educational message. Tunnel vision becomes the key to survival.

 Possibility: What alternative curriculum mapping might offer a different approach? Supposing the tabular presentation could be projected successfully onto a sphere - somewhat similar to lines of latitude or longitude. Or possibly use could be made of Buckminster Fuller's dymaxion grid. Such a presentation would emphasize the completeness of the domain of knowledge and the contiguity or relationship between different styles of knowledge. The issue would then be which zones the institution could 'activate' in its set of course offerings. These might then be 'solid' opportunities, as opposed to the 'potential' opportunities where resources could not currently be allocated at that institution - 'sunken' or 'lost' domains of knowledge. For the student, cognitive navigation and transport between solid zones would then be the issue. For the institution, the allocation of resources would have a different significance. For both, optimizing the relationship between the zones around the sphere would be the key issue. This could even be expressed in conceptual vehicles for viewpoint transportation (Judge***)

Budgeting and spreadsheet design: Budgets are the principal tool through which resource allocation is defined. Spreadsheets are the principal computer programming device to facilitate this accounting process. The art of budgeting lies in the compromise between: (a) accounting for resources which were (or will be) allocated or generated if the initiative is to survive, (b) presenting a favourable image of the initiative both to ensure the continuing support of partners, clients and personnel and to attract wider support, and (c) satisfying any fiscal or other authorities. This compromise is often facilitated by maintaining parallel sets of accounts or by creatively concealing assets or liabilities. It is through recognition of increasing need for environmental and social impact statements that some of these neglected dimensions are now acknowledged. However the associated costs are seldom integrated back into spreadsheet design -- the costs of nuclear reactor decommissioning and tobacco products have been striking examples. The case has been made that 'negative' events (like accidents and divorce) contribute positively to GNP, whereas positive events (like having a good time, cultivating a garden, falling in love or self-development) do not. The contribution of housework to GNP has long been denied. In this sense budgets are usually framed narrowly enough to highlight profit and to reinforce any denial of need to include hidden costs and benefits.

Possibility: Consider the possibility that a budget or spreadsheet is effectively a 'window' on a resource exchange surface. If the window is small enough in a spatial and temporal sense, then the assumption can be readily made that the surface is flat. In this case resources entering one window edge are reallocated so as to leave through any of the window edges. Where they come from (possibly as non-renewable resources) or where they go (possibly as long-life pollutants) are of no concern. But as soon as there are resource and negative impact constraints, the window must effectively be expanded. The resource exchange surface can no longer be assumed to be flat and nor can the window. Externals must be internalized. What might a 'multi-dimensional budget' look like? It would no longer be a question of the kind of 'double-entry book-keeping' which can ignore hidden costs and benefits. What might book-keeping and spreadsheets based on 'triple' or 'quadruple' entry look like? Would more fundamental paradigm shifts in significance be signalled only by increments to prime numbers of 'entries'? What would have to be taken into account to balance such books? Suppose the flows across the spreadsheet had to be represented on a 'spreadsphere'. What kind of software would be required and how would it work - as a veritable Lotus 1-2-3, true to its name? Would a spreadsheet approach offer insights providing competitive advantage over spreadsheet-bound competitors? Would it provide unimagined opportunities for reconciling seemingly disparate costs and benefits?

Articulation of values, principles and ethics: From the '10 Commandments' to the 'Universal Declaration of Human Rights', it has been standard practice to present these sets as checklists, occasionaly nested to a limited degree. There is seldom any cross-referencing between the items in these lists. Each is conceived in splendid isolation in the set, without any sense of how each constrains and supports the others in a complementary manner. Many can be usefully thought of as laundry-lists (beliefs to clean up the image of an unpleasant present reality), shopping-lists (top items on our sense of felt need as value consumers) or even as wish-lists (as in ever-hopeful New Year's resolutions). When these are the subjects of negotiation, and 'declarations', the inclusion or exclusion of items is essentially a political horse-trading process -- divorced from any understanding of why particular constituencies may value some principles over others. There is no 'space' in such checklists for minority or poorly represented perspectives (cf 'Asian values'). In contrast with those who articulated the periodic table of chemical elements, there are no free spaces for as yet undiscovered principles. Such articulations are presumptuous in excluding the possibility of future insight and sensitivity - a resistance to evolution which future generations may resent and reject. Ordered in this way, they provide the strongest reinforcement for initiatives in support of each value in isolation, whether or not a given initiative undermines another that promotes a different value in the set. The conceptual fragmentation of lists of values, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ensures that they are inherently unmemorable as a whole - in contrast with poems and songs of similar length.

Possibility: It is worth exploring whether it is appropriate to line up fundamental values like foot-soldiers in some military strategy from centuries past -- facing an enemy force of 'negative values' that is assumed naively to be similarly organized. Rather, like any pantheon of gods, fundamental values may have complex patterns of relationships with each other - in responding to complex networks of problems (or the 'wrathful deities' of Tibetan Buddhism). Is it possible to give some sense of integration or 'globality' to the organization of any set of 'global ethics'? What might this mean? Values could for example be arrayed around a circle - with complementary values appropriately positioned and connected. It is at least one merit of traditional horoscopes that they have discovered the wheel -- whilst much contemporary conceptual endeavour is locked into the simplest tabular representation. Better still, the values could be distributed around a sphere and connected by a multiplicity of relevance pathways. How is one value relevant to another? What is the web of 'checks and balances' between values? How can it be best portrayed and comprehended? What makes the whole memorable? What significance could then be given to different projections of these values onto a two-dimensional surface? What is the merit of an undefined empty centre, whether in a circle or a sphere? Ironically, 'globalization' (whether of trade or values) can only occur around an unoccupied centre -- no emptiness, no globalization.

Knowledge organization: Access to information is increasingly a matter of specifying keywords in an appropriate syntax in a 'slit' on a Web page. When passed through this slit, as through the letterbox of some kafkaesque knowledge bureaucracy, responses may be received of varying levels of significance. These usually take the form of a long list of documents - often of questionable relevance to the original query. There is little sense of what part of knowledge space is being explored, or of related areas in that space. Where an effort is made to provide this, it tends to take the form of the most simplistic checklist of major topics (science, sport, agriculture, etc) - again without any sense of how these might form an overall pattern. Basically users are limited to the 4-directions, namely to 'broader topic', 'narrower topic', or to 'next topic' or 'previous topic' in a checklist. Users are encouraged to cultivate tunnel vision and information scientists function increasingly as tunnel engineers. Navigating knowledge space has come to resemble the science fiction approach to travelling through wormholes in space-time where only knowledge of the point of departure and the destination is required.

Possibility: Supposing it was possible to navigate through knowledge space by other means. There is already sensitivity to this in use of the term 'thread' on the Internet. Software techniques are offered to people as a way of following through a particular discussion thread. Like footpaths, these have their place in a particular locality, but they do not respond to the need for national and international highways for larger flows of information content. Where is the 'acid rain' highway, or the 'refugee' highway, on the Internet? How might such highways interlink in terms of content rather than data package transfer? Is there some kind of integrative global pattern to such interlinking? How might it be represented to enable people to navigate knowledge space more effectively? Rather than presenting these highways as items on a checklist, can they be represented as routes around a global knowledge sphere? Is there a real cognitive challenge to 'circumnavigating' knowledge represented globally in this way? Would such a representation require that space be reserved for strange, forgotten or marginalized forms of knowledge - a third world of knowledge that remains largely unexplored by those who have had an industrial education? Such a representation would enhance access to cultural diversity beyond the confines of the prevailing paradigm.

Information visualization on computers: Little needs to be said concerning the increasing dependence of administrative, management, communication and scholarly processes on the use of computers, whether for word-processing, scheduling, messaging or accounting. The vast majority of these processes result in the production of lines of text via pull-down menus and checklists -- somewhat analogous to conceptual assemly lines. Although tabular presentations may be used, they are far less common (eg in UN documentation). Non-tabular presentations in the form of structured images (in addition to pictures and icons) are rare, if only because of their inconvenience in document production and communication processes. To the extent that 'the medium is the message' holds, the investment in one and two-dimensional information structures is overwhelming. It is therefore not surprising that conceptual processes of limited dimensionality are strongly reinforced in every domain -- and especially when cost is a factor. So-called graphics packages are primarily oriented towards design in a manner that is divorced from issues of structuring information and concepts. The key programming metaphor of 'windows', which may be split, tiled, cascaded or overlaid, epitomizes the prevalent conceptual style. Active research is however being undertaken on visualization metaphors beyond 'windows'. Consideration is being given to 'walls' and 'rooms'. 'Malls' and 'towns' are being constructed for occupancy on the Web. These initiatives are however still constrained by rectilinear constructs and therefore continue to reinforce compatible forms of thinking and inhibit any others.

Possibility: Accepting the value of rectilinear layouts when the need for 'curvature' of conceptual space cannot be justified, the possibility remains that other layouts may prove more appropriate -- if not essential, where categories interact in a non-linear manner. This is especially important where categories of information are discovered to interact in a manner 'unforeseen' through authorized rectilinear information processing. Examples include: industrial pollutants and deforestation, tobacco and lung cancer, offal supplemented animals feeds and BSE, public perceptions and scientifically proven facts about BSE, and other situations involving 'unproven links'.

How could knowledge space be usefully projected onto a sphere (or a torus, or some other 3D form) so that multiple topic relationships could emphasize both complementarity and unexplored zones? In what ways could any such visualization be usefully transformed into a 2D display on a circle - and with what kinds of 'useful' distortion? In contrast to the ubiquitous rectilinear 'Windows' layout, what might a centro-symmetric 'Mandalas' (or 'Rose Windows') software layout then look like? How could information be controlled and moved meaningfully between zones within such a circle - or around a sphere? An interesting variant on this might be a centro-symmetric 'Origami' package - to allow 'flaps of paper' to be 'lifted' by clicking to reveal underlying surfaces to which different information was linked. The Origami approach would allow information to be opened out like the petals of a lotus - packing and unpacking concepts. Note that work has already been taken in a somewhat similar direction at Xerox PARC.

Also of interest is the possibility of using the clickable image technique to hold large quantities of information (data, files, URLs, etc) by allowing the user to associate them with specific parts of a single image. Instead of the current schizophrenic approach whereby the 'desktop' (left-brain) is decorated with irrelevant background 'wallpaper' (right-brain) - desktop icons could instead be integrated into the features of the image. The desktop becomes a knowledge map instead of what is effectively a classical set of disassociated operational pigeonholes. Not only is the user then free to choose one or more favourite and memorable images for this purpose, but the software could also allow these images to be modified and extended, even morphed, as time goes by, or for certain purposes - without loosing the associative links. The user could choose centro-symmetric, polyhedral structures in 2D or 3D, or might favour flat clickable images. Existing techniques permit such flat images to be mapped around 3D structures that can be explored in virtual reality environments - but retaining the clickable properties of the images remains a challenge.

All these options would provide strong support for other ways of thinking, if and when the user found these to be convenient. As with existing mind-mapping software, they could always be 'reduced' to bulleted lists if it was necessary to communicate with others favouring this mode - and the consequent loss of all non-hierarchical relationships. Of potentially vital importance is that the software can be used to ensure smooth transformation between different visualizations - an essential feature when communicating in a multi-paradigm world.

Building and settlement design: It is rare for modern buildings -- from sheds through houses, community centres, administrative buildings to large complexes - to use anything but the rectilinear form. Urban planning strongly favours a rectilinear grid layout of streets. Building methods have been progressively developed in support of such construction, aided and abetted by architects and tight budgets. Considerable extra costs are incurred when seeking to use other layouts. As a consequence people live, work and play in essentially rectilinear environments. Children are educated in such environments. When ill, attempts are made to heal people in rectilinear structures - even when the illness is not physical. The anti-social are imprisoned within them - with the hope that they will be 'rehabilitated' (a form of paradigm  shift). People retire to and die in such structures. 'Dream-homes', even in isolated areas, are constructed on the same principles, often for cost reasons -- but also because negotiating complex building regulations has been made infinitely easier in the case of standard rectilinear structures requiring no design innovation. Coastal second-home developments throughout the Western world tend to be demonstrations of this profound lack of imagination - reinforcing a standard mode of thinking. The first step in modernizing third world housing and settlements has been to provide assistance in constructing rectilinear structures - replacing traditional structures often based on circular forms. Modern urban slums tend to be models of rectilinearity. Is it to be expected that the emergence of other modes of thinking would be facilitated in such environments - other than through violent rejection of them? Is there a better indicator of the ubiquity of the paradigm within which societal development is frozen?

Possibility: There are many isolated examples of non-rectilinear housing and settlements. Both for architects and builders, they are a creative challenge long lost in the case of rectilinear forms. The challenge is to find ways to encourage governments, whether local, regional or national, to facilitate other forms of construction - whether for living, working or leisure. The obstacles are primarily regulatory (Belgium, for example, once had regulations requiring that architects ensure that each house along a street appear dissimilar). People need to be offered the option of non-rectilinear housing designs in the same way that they are currently offered rectilinear models. Encouragement could be given to the development of non-rectilinear construction techniques, equipment and designs. In the case of existing buildings, encouragement could be given to the development of furnishings and fittings that redefine rectilinear spaces - notably by the extensive use of plants on flat roofs and hanging down wall faces. In the case of the third world, efforts could be made to re-engineer traditional construction techniques - such as circular hut construction.

Media programming: Like it or not, what is disseminated through the media now fulfils the function of traditional story-telling and entertainment. It is by this means that our collective imagination is nourished. In the case of hardcopy, for the media consumer, access is provided through rectilinear arrays of periodicals and books in newsagents, bookstores or libraries. Videos and CDs are obtained by navigating through a similar array. Radio and television programme schedules are similarly organized - although viewers may simply zap through an array of TV channel numbers if they have more than one. Consumers are of course assisted in their choice by the manner in which arrays are labelled ('sport', 'country and western', 'fantasy', 'opera', etc). They can of course make a trial choice (sampling at a music store, leafing through a book or periodical, or channel surfing). There is however little effort to assist learning processes associated with this navigational process by matching the consumer's taste 'profile' with items in the array. Unless the consumer knows in advance, from publicity or word-of-mouth, the process of choosing is challenging (if not totally discouraging) for those endeavouring to step outside the parts of the array with which they have some habitual familiarity.

Possibility: Profiling techniques are of course extensively used by academics to ensure they are informed of new papers relevant to their area of interest. Direct mail advertisers are extremely interested in developing customer profiles automatically to improve sales possibilities. There is even a website at which people can name examples of music they like as a means of building a profile through which they can be informed of similar kinds of music of which they may not have heard. The question is how a consumer can be empowered to make more meaningful and informed media choices. This implies recognition of the consumer as a learner -- a sensitivity to both what has been learnt by that person and their tastes and interests governing openness to any further learning. Techniques are required to offer choices across categories in any rectilinear array. This can best be imagined as a network associating disparate elements in the array on the basis of non-linear criteria - associating a type of music to particular foods, for example, or a data structure to a textile weave. The easiest way of building up such associative-learning networks, to assist 'newcomers' to a particular area of taste, is by relying on the associations of earlier explorers. In the case of academic papers, extensive use is made of citation analysis for example. Much could be achieved in opening cultural space by developing a means for registering what associations to other artefacts are triggered in people enthused by one cultural artefact - and repeating this exercise for many such artefacts. This could completely change the way people select books, movies, poems, music, etc. The evolving cultural network - as a collective learning enterprise - then becomes the paradigm of choice rather than timid or crude explorations of the essentially meaningless arrays developed within the prevailing paradigm.

Personal relationships: Subtly the same rectilinear logic has infiltrated the complexities of personal relationships. Each person can be too conveniently seen as the centre of a cube. For example, through the upper face pass relationships to the parental generation and beyond; through the lower to one's children or grandchildren. Through the right face pass relationships to one's elder siblings; through the left to one's younger siblings. Through the forward face pass one's work relationships; through the back to one's friends. This basic frame could of course be complexified using several interconnected cubes, like rooms in a house, each corresponding to basic roles: family, work, leisure, community, etc. Legislation focuses heavily on relationships recognized in this way for tax or other reasons. Relationships emerging outside this pattern are a challenge, whether as bonds to significant others, to mentors, to protegés, to team-mates, to like-minded acquaintances, or to those evoking compassion, admiration, competitiveness or even enmity. The cubic model offers little understanding of how to orchestrate all these harmoniously. Through its over-simplicity it inhibits richer patterns of relationship and helps to lock peoples thinking into the underlying paradigm.

Possibility: With the extensive work of sociologists and anthropologists on kinship networks, it is strange that a rich typology of personal relationships and types has not emerged. It is acknowledged that roles described in literature and cinema may serve as models - even for the most perverted relationships. It is accepted that people should encounter these by chance without any sense of context or alternatives. Sex education gives almost no attention to the variety of subtle relationships that may give physical sex any lasting significance. Alienated by the cubic model, individual explorations of relationships in sects, political groups, or gangs, for example, are then cause for anxiety. Just as gardeners and environmental enthusiasts have recourse to a vast literature, including even the most exotic species, it would seem possible to offer people descriptive literature and education on the range of relationships they might explore. Just as a strong case has been made for 'permaculture' as a sustainable gardening technique, so a case could be made for a form of 'psycho-social permaculture' through which people could cultivate sustainable fulfilling relationships. This approach emphasizes the interdependence of complex networks of relationships of many kinds. It is a significant shift from conventional approaches to gardening and horticulture. It evokes a new style of thinking.

Scheduling and planning: The complexities of modern society are managed and navigated through scheduling and planning. This may range from national '5-year' plans, through corporate plans, production schedules, pension plans, mortgage repayment schedules, transportation schedules, to personal agendas. As noted above, these may call for sophisticated scheduling software - possibly incorporated into personal computer 'organizers'. It has become a status symbol to be 'not free' for weeks or months ahead. Whilst this scheduling logic clearly has its value, it should also be clear what it precludes and inhibits. It is designed to eliminate uncertainty and therefore it also severely inhibits spontaneity. Conferences are pre-planned (often many months in advance), pre-scripted and may even be rehearsed to refine a tight schedule. The unforeseen can only then be threatening, disruptive and unwelcome - and may only be manageable as an emergency or crisis. The emergence of alternatives is blocked and designed out. The sophistication of modern scheduling is therefore a prime tool in ensuring the continuing sway of the rectilinear paradigm. It is ironic that governance at the highest level is currently accused of being in a state of permanent 'crisis management'.

Possibility: In its purest form, scheduling logic is only natural to those who value the rational above all else. As the challenges of multi-cultural negotiations have demonstrated, Americans may have major difficulty in scheduling 'effective' meetings with Portuguese or Arabs, for example. Different cultures have very different ways of managing use of time - and of subverting rational schedules. It has been assumed that for the sake of efficiency, it is increasing the respect for such schedules that is the only valid option. But there may be great merit in exploring ways of building on the strengths of other ways of managing time, especially where these allow for spontaneity and the exploration of unforeseen opportunities. How could such thinking be built into conference organization -- so that emerging insights can immediately be explored, rather than postponed to the next conference a year or more away? How could spontaneous openings be built into personal organizer software and schedulers? Some cultures are skilled at what amounts to multi-tasking use of a time period - doing business in a sauna, accompanied by friends gathered to discuss art, on the occasion of someone's birthday celebration, for example. How could such multi-tasking tracks be designed into organizer software to reflect the healthy complementarity between diverse interests? Can such multi-track scheduling be used to hold social and learning dimensions complementary to actions required to get a job done 'efficiently'?

Reframing the paradigm cage: the underlying challenge

If we are in a paradigmatic trap, how can this be usefully visualized? As noted in the case of personal relationships, the trap bears some resemblance to a cubic cage. There are categories 'above', like parents and superiors. Those 'below' could include children and those we consider inferiors (or possibly trying to rise above, to reject, or to deny). There are those on the 'right', whether politically or in terms of moral rectitude; and those on the 'left' representing unexplored, even sinister, alternatives. In 'front' are the categories to which we respond as work challenges or as windows of opportunity for moving 'forward'; whereas 'behind' are those corresponding to the context we have come from (our background), on which we may rely, but from which we are endeavouring to move away or distinguish ourselves.

Variations of these directional interpretations could be associated with each of the domains explored above. Many efforts to categorize or explain the present condition of humanity make use of a standard grid of cartesian coordinates -- defining options in the four resulting quadrants. Usually the bottom, left is reserved for the obviously negative, to be rejected; the top, right is reserved for the favoured combination; the other two are attributed to extremes, the unbalanced alternatives (Schylla and Charybdis) between which we must navigate. Missing from such a  4-fold  representation of the trap (lying 'perpendicular' to the page), is the context of the explanation (the broader picture, offering a perspective on alternatives -- 'above') and perspectives that have been rejected, denied, excluded or treated as inferior ('down'). The 4-fold map is like a compass that can guide navigators north, south, east and west over a cognitive flatland, but offers no information on 'up' and 'down'.

The 'flavour' of the trap can become more evident by seeing each of these 6 directions like a bar on a cage. This would correspond to the constraints on our ability to get out of the cage and to move successfully in any particular direction -- without pulling the rest of the cage along. The 6 ways are effectively barred. The question is how to reframe the trap from this perspective.

One approach is to imagine cutting through one particular bar. It now appears to offer an escape from the cage -- or at least movement into a neighbouring cell in the array. But all that this achieves is to change the conditions of the trap as a whole, possibly for better or for worse. It remains a cell. It is worth reflecting on the Chinese I Ching as a mapping of the conditions resulting from sawing through one or more of the 6 bars of a cell. The 64 hexagrams in that scheme (each depicted as 6 bars, whole or broken) describe the qualitative experience of decision-making conditions in which one or more of the categorical bars is 'cut'.

Structure of this document: part of the problem

Produced through a conventional word-processor and presented on the Web, this document is a reflection of the paradigm-shifting challenge it purports to discuss.

It could perhaps have been more fruitfully presented by linking its elements to clickable features on a single image. The relationships between the parts is not articulated in the ways required by the arguments in those parts.


(to be completed)

Sci Fi Encyc

Glass Bead Game

Game Players of Zan

Lateral Thinking

Transfomation game

Lifestyle design

Mind experiment

Forms of Presentation


Art of navigation



Katherine G paper


Graphis ?

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