> If this colossus is not properly managed it will quickly foul its nest and
> stifle in its own waste products. I spent a number of years with the
> engineers that manage the animal, and have great respect for the systems
> which they have in place. However, because of money, personnel, and other
> resource constraints, the lack of grooming has lately become quite
> noticeable, and litter is a tremendous problem. By the way, the majority
> of its citizens are BORN litterbugs. It is time, I think, that LO
> concepts be introduced to the keepers of my complex animal before
> deterioration sets in too badly. I am struggling to gain their attention
> in this regard but bureacracies move slowly.
> Dear OL enthusiast, what about your complex animal? Is it being managed
> well? Using LO concepts and systems engineering methodologies?
Keith, your connection of Eugene Marais' work 'The soul of the ant' and
your city had me breathless for some time. It is probably because we both
have had connection with Marais' work and thus are able to draw the
parallels. The soul goes beyond the individual.
It would be a pity if our other organlearners fail to recognise the
importance of your contribution. We in South Africa, during the era of
apartheid, had such well kept complex animals. I think you will agree with
me that it was one of the goals of apartheid to ensure such well kept
complex animals, although the eyes of many of us were closed to the other
evils of apartheid.
Now that apartheid has ended, we suddenly discover the immense
vulnerability of these complex animals. We are experiencing how they
slowly decompose. It frightens us. A few of us believe that the solution
lies in collective (organisational) learning. But many more believe that
better times will only come when all have reached the bottom of the
drenches. Unfortunately, the majority has no vision of better times.
What worries me, and I also think you, is the perception of many people in
first world countries that their complex animals are not vulnerable at
all. How could it be since they run smoothly like well kept machines,
I wish I could reach out to their souls, getting the message across that
this perception is false. Telling them about our experiences or Eugene
Marais will not help much. Maybe it will work better if I command them to
imagine worst scenarios. (It did help in getting the basic design of the
internet, did it not.)
Imagine what will happen to your complex animal when suddenly
1 you are plunged into a war, having to fight an enemy
which has superior weapon of which the functioning is
2 you are plunged into an international monetary
depression, battling with the majority of businesses and
industries having to close down,
3 you are plunged into an epidemic by a new deadly, infectious
disease of the mind, making people brutal, arrogant and
disrespectfull for a lengthy period before deatg sets in.
Make sure that you assume in your imagination that it is not possible to
move to another city or even emmigrate to another country. Take your own
body as metaphor and carefully trace the functioning of your complex
animal under these circumstances.
Thank you very much Keith for reminding us of the soul of our environment.
At de Lange
Gold Fields Computer Centre for Education
University of Pretoria
Pretoria, South Africa
"Mnr AM de Lange" <AMDELANGE@gold.up.ac.za>
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <email@example.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>