Rol, I love what is developing and we're still on line so I assume
there is some interest and relevance in the topic.
You ask at the end of your last communication, "Is this aligned with
your thoughts?" I tend to think it is in the general direction but
there is still an important gap. The analogy to fields in physics I
think is very aligned but either your physics could use changing or
the analogy breaks down. (Not being a physicist, I can't comment on
> we need an
> iterative process in order for understanding to emerge
It is this emergence that I'm after in my thinking and writing. If,
as you later say,
> understanding where the "processing" is occurring in the process. When I
> think of it in that sense, I am still stuck with the notion of sender and
> receiver as the only places where value or information is added.
I hear you wanting to locate processing, value and information in
physical, identifiable locations. But, isn't it so in physics as
well as things like meaning, patterns, understanding that that what
occurs occurs in the spaces between things? If we say, these things
occur in an individual (receiver or sender) and then look into each
of those, we'll find the same problem: Does it occur in a single
location in the brain or being? Does it occur in a single cell?
Does it occur in a single electron of a cell?.
We will always find that nothing occurs in the solid, physical
location but it actually occurs only when there is space. So might
it not be better to make the fundamental shift in our thinking to
think of things occurring in spaces? If we make that shift, then we
begin to look to creation or design of spaces in which things can
occur and from which things can emerge.
I maintain that emergence is a term of cause and effect and it can
only be applied when we refer to what occurs in spaces.
(An interesting reference for this work is C. Alexander in his work
on Persian Carpets where he explores the nature of centres in
compelling patterns. This work provides wonderful insight on
Senders and receivers, like brains, cells and electrons, are all
necessary components but are not the source or location of the
events, in this interpretation.
> It just seems that the notion of some kind of processor
> is essential, as that is where meaning is identified.
Yes. The meaning "settles" or registers in individuals as
participants and complex entities via complex means - but necessarily
as "senders and receivers". But because it registers and can be
identified their, doesn't mean that is where the phenomenon occurs.
This approach is a little like focussing on the scoreboard in a
basketball game because that's where winning and losing occur -
except where they occur in action is on the court.
I think the following statement you make already significantly
assumes some things and therefor colours your approach:
> Ultimately, _responsibility_ for understanding must reside with these
> sender/receivers. This is my central and only point, and was my answer to
> the question originally posed.
The focus on "ultimate understanding" isn't the only focus for
communication - even in an environment of coordinated action and
responsibility for results. The major purpose of communication, in
my view and interest, is generation of something new - something
which didn't exist in any of the participants before. (I tend to
focus on multi-person communication but the principles apply when
there are only two directly involved.) In this domain, who is
responsible for ultimate understanding is not particularly relevant.
Even who is responsible the occurrence of "generative thinking" is
not particularly relevant. It will emerge from intention and
effectiveness or it won't. (And there are linguistic processes that
make it a sufficiently reliable outcome for business to invest in.)
I'm not sure "responsibility for understanding" can be usefully
(let alone accurately) located in a single individual. When I coach
individuals in communication, I suggest that each person take
independent responsibility for communication and understanding.
That is, if I'm coaching you, I suggest you "be responsible" for
ensuring your own understanding and for ensuring the
understanding of others. My position is that if each person is
doing this, we have the best possible condition. If
others are not doing it, then it is the best possible position I can
Are we becoming more aligned? Is the dialogue developing some useful
new understanding? (This second question is the one that interests
me most and the answer, for me at least, is yes.)
Michael McMaster : Michael@kbddean.demon.co.uk
book cafe site : http://www.vision-nest.com/BTBookCafe
Intelligence is the underlying organisational principle
of the universe. Heraclitus
Michael McMaster <Michael@kbddean.demon.co.uk>
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <firstname.lastname@example.org> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>