Convergence Bridge

nonsense(posted from Montreal)
s many of you know, I have recently become enamoured of complexity theory, and this has caused me to re-think many of the ideas presented here on How to Save the World. I am blogging today from Montreal, where I have been attending the First Annual Global Colloquium on Complexity and Chaos. The event has catalyzed or emerged some new conceptions about the nature of communications, and specifically blogging, and I have decided, starting tomorrow, to incorporate these thoughts into this online journal. So get ready for some big changes here. Beginning tomorrow:

  • The red, blue, and green system charts and process charts you have become accustomed to on this blog will be discontinued. In their place you will see graphics such as the one above. The lack of borders on these charts indicates the omnipresence of intellectual miasma, and the lack of connections on these charts represents universal uncertainty. All that we can presume to know is that ideas and conceptions have the apparent quality of co-existence and that understanding of their relationship will, with time and contemplative study, gradually emerge.
  • No arrows will appear in any graphics from now on. Such presumptions of causality are, at best, oversimplifications and, at worst, dangerous misinformation.
  • The words question, answer, problem and solution will be scrubbed from posts on this blog. In our world, as a complex system, these concepts are meaningless. There are no answers or solutions, just learnings about ideation, being and nothingness, consciousness and unconsciousness.
  • You will no longer read the words ‘how’ or ‘why’ on this blog. In the absence of causality on the edge of chaos such terms are pretentious. Effective tomorrow the name of this weblog will be Convergence Bridge.
  • The categories feature of this weblog will be discontinued. Since everything is related and the true relationship between the conceptions discussed uncertain, it no longer ‘makes sense’ to have artificial categories. And instead of arguing, as I have in past, in favour of personal taxonomies and ontologies, I will argue, in the first article tomorrow, that there are no taxonomies or ontologies, and that such arbitrary categorizations are fraudulent.
  • I will also eschew the use of the question mark in all posts, since questions imply the existence with reasonable certainty of answers. Instead, I will begin using the ‘degree’ symbol (†), the circle representing the endless pursuit of perfect understanding at points in my discourse where a ‘pause’ for considered thought is called for. Likewise, periods, with their naive implication of order and finality, will be replaced by commas, the perfect symbol of tentativeness and uncertainty,
  • And finally, the absurd words ‘know’, ‘knowledge’ and ‘information’ will no longer appear in my posts. Again, a symbol, the colon, with its gentle suggestion of possible relationship, will be used in place of such anachronisms,†

It is my sincere belief that these changes will allow a higher level of intellectual discourse on these pages: I look forward to our continued journey together:†

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19 Responses to Convergence Bridge

  1. Susan Hales says:

    Let me be the first to say that these changes will be met with ambivalence, at least on my part. Although I see your reasoning and admire your interest in leading us to a new way of thinking and seeing the world, I have, like many I suspect, become comfortable and comforted by your reassuring presence and your blog title, however absolute and inflexible it may seem. Do we now have nothing that we can claim as ultimately good? Worth working towards? Just wondering how much you have become an “institution” to the blogosphere…I’ll be interested in the reactions of others, and learning lessons from the way you accomplish this change. Your decision is both brave and brilliant, and, I expect wise. I’ve long ago adopted the habit of putting three dots at the end of my sentences but will experiment with the new idea as soon as I can figure out where on my keyboard that degree symbol is… ;-)Regards, Susan Hales aka Doublygiftedin lovely, but stormy lower Alabama!

  2. Chris OByrne says:

    Considering what day it is, I am reading everything today with a large grain of salt.

  3. Dale Asberry says:

    Please avoid eschewing your personal taxonomy… they may lack effectiveness at providing answers, but they can help you “map” your discoveries ;-) The static and dynamic are parts of the same thing and foregoing one in favor of the other could lead to imbalancePersonally, I like using the ellipsis… I have more to say and I want to invite conversation – hear other truths (other’s taxonomies, perhaps)You might also try working “smilies” into your conversations… we are more than our thoughts, our emotions are so critically intertwingled with them (I love the word “intertwingled” – it is just so messy!)

  4. otterhound says:

    It appears you had some epiphany at the conference. It would be interesting if you’d share it.

  5. Sandy says:

    Perhaps I should refer my colleagues Bernard and Vivian to begin an investigation into your case? Or perhaps we should just live with the coincidences and accept that untangling cause and effect is hopeless, a la Catherine Vauban….

  6. David Parkinson says:

    :-) I needed that. Composing my farewell email to the colleagues among whom I’ve worked for almost 7 years is turning out to be harder than I had anticipated. Possibly they will read it as a joke, which makes the whole exercise sort of bizarre.

  7. Verkalac says:

    Chaos contains no information, why bother blogging? *April Fools*

  8. Rayne says:

    Heh. Right. The leopard changed his spots today, of all days. ;-)

  9. mscandide says:

    Happy fool, Dave.

  10. Jon Husband says:

    Yay even if it is April Fool’s day (and I hope it’s not pertinent in this case) !! You have a wealth of insight, analysis and knowledge to offer and share, and the delivery could (imo) be opened to experimentation via questions, dotted lines without arrows .. but you could also consider keeping some basic markers, such as categories (but then again, you could just tag all the content and make it even mere effectively searchable or somehow intertwingled).I’ve probably been duped .. but then again I KNOW I’m naive and a dilettante ;-)

  11. Not on topic, but what do you think of:

  12. Derek says:

    so what would be an appropriate new title? (oops sorry about the quesrion mark) ‘To change the world’ or maybe that assumes too much. how about ‘the world’. hmmm. kind of restricts one’s focus. maybe just ‘the’

  13. Noah Fields says:

    Watch yourself. Impracticality runs rampant in the blogosphere. “How to Save the World” is something more concrete than “Convergence Bridge”. People come here for practical advice. Stop moving away from that. Man I hope this is an April Fools. You’re the only blog I read now.

  14. Dave Pollard says:

    YES YES YES IT’S AN APRIL FOOL’S JOKE. The fact that so many people seriously thought I’d stop using periods and start using the ‘degree’ symbol indicates either I’m a better writer than I thought, or a worse one. Happy April Fool’s Day everyone. [I was actually in Montreal doing some innovation consulting work.]

  15. April Fools Day always messes with my head. No matter how many fake news stories I read, or jokes people try to pull, I sometimes always manage to forget what day it is.I got through a few bullet points, thought; “Oh my, now he’s really lost his mind” before finally glancing at the date. Curse you April Fools Day! The world is messed up enough without your help.More sleep and less late night reading would probably help as well. Curse you too, for being so interesting and keeping me from my bed with your various articles of insight. *Sigh.

  16. Tes says:

    I too forgot it was April Fool’s … so I gave your latest 3 blogs, especially the last, some serious thought. (I’d love to have the time to read all your stuff in a more timely fashion, but I just can’t keep up.) Anyway, what struck a chord with me was the “tone” or “mood” of doom in your latest post. I work for a large corporation that is being swallowed up right now by a gargantuan corporation, so I relate to and concur with your observation that corporations are anti-democratic beings unconcerned with workers or the environment. I also concur that trying to organize people to achieve an objective is pretty much futile … I spend all day doing it, I come home spent, and I show up the next day millimeters away from where I left off. What I feel good about and what motivates me is that connections do happen, albeit serendipitously (connections = forward movement) … which validates your complexity theory (ie, complexity inhibits methodical change) so the key is to think not about leveraging organization to effect change but about igniting fuel (ie, aspects of things) to create energy (ie, a force with a life of its own) which force connections to occur. Generally speaking, people are receptive to change but need a spark of some magnitude to move. Regarding Terry Schiavo, the media was an accelerant that energized people to act … to talk, to protest, to execute their own living wills (how else would we have known about her? why else would we have given her plight any thought?). So, how can the internet be employed (like the media has been) to ignite energy? How can ideas conveyed via the internet become stuffed animals that actually touch people (ie, serendipitous connections), igniting people to act, such that a tipping point can be reached and the earth moved?º

  17. dave davison says:

    Dave: glad that I waited ( waded) through the comments to realize, as I had suspected, that no one as ontologically valuable as Dave Pollard would dissolve into chaos – April Fool indeed!I find your visualizations set the tone for reading further – as long as some of the material may be, you continue to capture my attention – It is handy to have a “friend” who brings thoughtful daily bread to the tableNow back to Saving the World!!

  18. Mike says:

    “Not on topic, but what do you think of:”Well, I think it *sucks bigtime*. There’s a flash intro, the homepage is flash, and when I clicked a link (no status bar link info, since it’s flash) it started downloading a pdf. wtf is that? This is ‘Tomorrow’s Company’??!?!? god help us. View source shows just the f’in’ blobject, no rss feed in site. The site’s locked up even tighter than (which, of course, you can’t, it’s domain-as-oxymoron). These people have a lot of control issues to work through. When marketing people try to promote liberal causes, we have to tell them: “You can’t. It’s just not within your psyche. It’s alien to your very nature. Take a hint from Bill Hicks if you wanna make the world a better place.”

  19. Cheers Mike for the Bill Hicks’ online experience and discovery… Such cynical and humanist humor is all about life philosophy. He makes me think of 2 great french humorists: Pierre Desproges and Guy Bedos.Concerning chaos, it just looks fine to me, as well as ontologies. Beauty, chaos and order are about physics, metaphysics and political economics. It reveals ourselves. It’s about life, nature, religion, philosophy and science. Dave changes his mind. Why bother? He doesn’t want to stand on certainties. He’s in peace with himself, sometimes. What’s wrong with it? He prefers relativity. His mind wants to stretch time and space. He burns calories and produces energy. He cries when he feels like. He’s alive, he laughs at Bill Hicks. He goes for a shit every day. He has a dream :) Is there anything new out there?

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