Re: Unskillful Decisions LO168
Sun, 19 Feb 95 11:58:02

Replying to Unskillful Decisions LO 143 --

Jim Michmerhuizen comments: "It's the end of a path that - for our
purposes - began with Descartes. The central singular "ego" is a
consequence of "cogito ergo sum". It's a logical primitive converted to a
subsisting thing. Each one of us is only allowed, as it were, one of

Autocratic institutions simply project this notion into their social
structure: there can only be a single ego (=ceo or whatever) directing
things [think how ego as center of will/decision relates to ego as center
of intelligence]."

The need for multiple perspectives is very present in our culture. Most
people have heard the tale of the blind men describing the elephant or
something similar. But Jim's ID of "ego" is critical: Very few people,
especially those immersed in dualistic cultures (where things are "right"
or "wrong") can separate their distinctive point of view from what they
"know". We therefore all engage is judgment - just as you are likely
judging my ideas as you read this paragraph - against the criterion of
"my" knowledge which, because it's mine, is superior. (After all, I would
have discarded it in the face of superior knowledge as I will my current
notions if Jack persuades me.) In this sense, it's possible to lead a
bureaucracy and manage distributed intelligence by creating a highly
participative environment. Just because the prevailing notions of
hierarchy are just ideas which are being projected onto messier realities,
we should not assume that hierarchical notions are "incorrect",
"erroneous", or even "destructive". It's often said - even by people who
believe in and drive hierarchical organizations (vide, Jack Welch) - that
hierarchy is the enemy of participation and self-actualization of people
within organizations. Maybe. But maybe the issue is not so much the
structure itself as our unconscious and unstated assumptions about

I'm not sure where I'm going with all this, but where I started was with
the idea of organizational variety which either fosters or hinders the
growth and development of distributed intelligence. I guess what I'm
saying is, we don't really know a lot about it, and there are obstacles to
our finding out which are built into the way we think about things

Jack Hirschfeld         I like a Gershwin tune, how about you?