Inner Circle -> Whole circle LO12050

JC Howell (
Sat, 18 Jan 1997 01:31:51 +0000

Replying to LO12031 --

In LO12031 Michael McMaster wrote:

> 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.


I am curious as to what you mean in this passage. Please elaborate.

At first reading this could be construed as an acknowledgement of the
"inner circle" that I mentioned previously along with a defense of that
situation. It could also be construed as simply an explanation of what

If the former is an accurate description, does that mean that you think
the existence of such a structure is natural and necessary in order to
bring out the depth and richness you describe?

Is the presence of "attractor people" a requirements in order for a
non-attractor to post meaningfully and have any reasonable chance of being
acknowledged? (sounds kind of like a justification for the existence of
the "elite.")

If "attractor people" have not established a thread, or do not choose to
respond to a post, does this mean that that particular post or short
thread is unimportant, or at least less important, in the overall scheme
of this group?

If this is the case, are the rest of the group, then, dependent upon the
"attractor people" for validation of their worth (or, at least, the worth
of their contribution[s])?

Or is this passage your description of what you have observed here (and

An interesting point: Sherri is not a super regular contributor.
However, I have come to see her posts as always worth the effort of
reading. Her one post has spawned one of the most dynamic, lengthy, and
exciting thread in a long time. Is Sherri an "attractor person?"


Clyde Howell

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