Thanks for the check-up, Jack. I had an inkling of such a comment when I
was writing the original post, but it got lost along the way. I think
that--while I _am_ part of any "system" I am engaging with--the outlook
from "within" the existing system will most often be that I am an
"outsider". I do not have the shared history, experience, or knowledge of
the system when I'm in the kind of situation I was writing about. Thus I
might potentialy fall into that category which Michael McMaster calls an
"intervention". I agree with him and you that our best bet is to craft
what he calls a "developmental" approach and you see as a role in an
already ongoing process. Perhaps we need a new variation of the term and
can aim for an "enter-vention" where we see ourselves (and others do as
well) as entering the existing system and learning with and from it as we
Does that help clarify things or have I just dug the hole deeper?
On Sat, 30 Sep 1995, jack hirschfeld wrote:
> Replying to LO2982 --
> Tobin Quereau surprised me by saying about "intervention":
> >The term can be used, I think, in an appropriate way to
> >indicate that _any_ activity by "outsiders" is, in the beginnning at
> >least, an intervention which will have an affect on the system (though it
> >will eventually be included "in" the system if it persists). Like the
> >classic mobile example, if you pull on one part, the whole system reacts.
> >And it probably does help if we "design" our interventions with some
> >awareness and attention (and input from and with others).
> >So, while it is probably important for all of us to remember we are
> >"intervening" in a system whatever we do, it is helpful to do so in ways
> >that reduce the "dependency" and "outside (or "inside"!) authority"
> >aspects as quickly and thoroughly as we can.
> One of the things I have worked hard to unlearn is the idea that "we" are
> outside any system "we" can be talking about. I also try not to think too
> much in terms of cause and effect. So, I understand when someone tells me
> that the flap of a butterfly's wing can lead to a tornado, but I tend to
> think more that a storm was fixing to happen and the butterfly's part was
> to flap a wing. "We" don't come riding in out of the sunrise and
> intervene in anything. A process is underway, and "our" role is...
> Anyway, that's the way I see it, and I kinda thought Tobin saw it that way
> Jack Hirschfeld When two hearts become one,
> email@example.com who could ask for anything more?
-- Tobin firstname.lastname@example.org