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Role of classification schemes
Anti-development biases in classification design
Design considerations: Classification as a political act
Design considerations: Functional pattern
Design considerations: Functional periodicity
Design considerations: Distinguishing functions
Design considerations: Concerns of the international community
Design considerations: Recovering functional emphasis
Implementation: Initial phase
Comment: Flexible open-ended approach
Comment: Dynamic relationship between functions
Comment: Non-linear and oscillatory functional relationships
Comment: Implication of modes of comprehension
Comment: Need for a development 'container'
Comment: Intrinsic uncertainty and paradox
Comment: Individual and social development as mutual models
1. Academic research has not demonstrated that it has much to offer beyond descriptive analysis in response to the current social crisis. Innovation where it has occurred has come from other sectors of society, as in the case of the alternatives movement.
2. Integration initiatives at this time are themselves fragmented and usually mutually hostile in practice. There is considerable confusion about the nature of integration and it is difficult to imagine that integrative processes favoured by one group would be considered to be of much significance by another.
3. In such a context it is appropriate to re-examine some of the options open to a group wishing to further any "integrative" response to the world problematique, in order to avoid concentrating resources on sub-optimum strategies.
4. It is especially important to note the probable destination of any products engendered by such group activity in considering whether the outcome cannot be better designed.
5. This document therefore first considers various constraints on useful integrative initiatives, especially in the light of some of the "nasty" questions which govern the sympathy with which initiatives are perceived.
6. As a result, it is concluded that a viable action at this time is to reformulate the way in which all information relevant to problem response can be ordered to emphasize a variety of integrative dimensions. This is to be contrasted with current information tools which reinforce fragmented, non-developmental initiatives.
7. This approach is carried out with a view to immediate implementation by re-ordering information on the 10,000 internationally-active organizations, the 2,600 world problems with which they are concerned, as well as on 10,000 other elements including multilateral treaties, human values, intellectual disciplines and resources. This information reflects to a great extent the range of forces which are believed, by some, to be of significance at- this time.
8. It is believed that generation of an information instrument of this kind can facilitate the perception of new patterns of relationship between problems and the development of new patterns of interaction between organizations, whether at the global or at the local level. It is particularly relevant to the rapid emergence of the data bank society, which is supposedly equipping itself to come to grips with the world problematique.
9. The design of this new ordering of information is carried out to reflect concerns formulated within GPID. Indeed the ability to embody such concerns is considered an indicator of the relevance of this approach to human and social development.
10. The thrust of this initiative is essentially practical. The failure of fragmented responses to the global problematique over the past decades suggests that it is time to explore high-risk strategies using a wider range of available resources. The narrow view, however well-legitimated by academic and institutional establishments does not appear to be able to generate an adequate response, however capable it is of explaining the reasons for its failure.
In considering what form any integrative product or process should take, it is useful to bear in mind the following dilemmas. These dilemmas constitute constraints on any "straightforward" plan of action. It may well be that they conceal vital clues to a more appropriate mode of action. The list below should not be considered complete or as in any order of importance.
a. There is a persistent hope that, by adopting some favoured plan of action, society could shift itself into some new condition in which all problems and conflicts would be resolved. In effect this may be described as freeing society from historical processes by introducing "timelessness" so that) as in children's fairy tales, people "live happily ever after". The problem is that it seems to be impossible to give content to this condition, or test it, so as to render it realistically attractive as an accessible option. It is even possible that the condition is essentially evanescent.
b. There is a persistent belief that, after new structures and processes have been successfully adopted, their unsatisfactory predecessors permanently disappear. In fact however such unsatisfactory structures and processes merely get shifted (a) out from the centres of implementation towards their peripheries, (b) through educational levels to that at which the more satisfactory modern process is incomprehensible, or (c) into a potential condition from which they can re-emerge at any time, especially as functional analogues. In this sense the past is very much encoded and active in a timeless present and calls for an appropriate response, however seemingly outmoded.
2. The one plan
a. There is a persistent belief, nurtured at great cost by many United Nations conferences, that it is possible to formulate a coherent plan of action, which will appropriately respond to the current global condition.
Whether advanced by an individual or intergovernmental group, such a plan does not escape the charge of constituting a form of conceptual or strategic "imperialism", with all that that implies. As such, it invites countervailing plans which undermine its coherence and divide the resources it was intended to mobilize.
b. There is a well-developed belief, nurtured by grass-roots alternative movements, that the solution to the social planning dilemma lies in "allowing one hundred flowers to bloom". Any necessary integration then emerges from the interaction between these many planned activities. This approach provides no built-in restraint against fragmentation into conditions of semi-chaos which would allow more repressive processes to re emerge. In effect an underlying integrating plan is called for as a context for such uncoordinated initiatives. The difficulty is that such an underlying plan cannot be formulated in a "language" at the same level as those of the individual initiatives (which are effectively self-organizing facets of it). It appears probable that a property of the language required is that it cannot be used without inherent paradox and ambiguity, and thus is unconvincing to those formulating "feet-on-the-ground" initiatives.
3. Resolving disagreement
a. There -is a persistent conviction, nurtured in connection with many international conferences, that agreement can be reached amongst reasonable people, which will provide the necessary basis for fruitful collective action. Where it is achieved, such agreement is essentially superficial, resulting (a) in formal resolutions which are effectively ignored, (b) in treaties which are not implemented, even if the original signatures are ratified to bring them into force, (c) in communique's which are primarily of cosmetic significance for public relations purposes, or (d) in programmes which create a satisfactory impression of activity to all concerned, but without having much significant impact on the underlying problems. The level of agreement between those in professional or alternative groups tends to be of a similar nature. There are essential limitations on the level of collective agreement that can be reached, unless continually supported by an external physical threat (Note that this threat is of value to the integrity of both pro- and anti-nuclear war movements, for example). Maintaining this threat is inconsistent with the objectives of human and social development.
b. There is a persistent conviction, nurtured by revolutionary political and religious doctrines, that a desirable world can only be forged through a (dialectical) process of struggle by which outmoded attitudes are eliminated. Whilst this conviction explains the historical process and ensures active commitment to achieving the desired future, it fails to clarify the possible patterns of order in the present (whilst the disagreement holds), other than in terms of a "no-holds-barred" struggle. Although in the previous case, efforts are vainly made to eliminate disagreement in the present, in neither case are efforts made to accept the reality of patterns of disagreement in the present and work to refine them.
a. There is a persistent belief, nurtured by educators and communicators, that relevant information can be conveyed with mini- distortion into appropriate languages and through the variety of communication networks, electronic or otherwise. In fact, this is only true for the simplest forms of information. Complex arguments are of necessity filtered out, or distorted by simplification, if only because they do not "travel" well outside the special context in which they arise.
b. There is a persistent belief, nurtured by reformers, that "the solution" when simply expressed can be conveyed to all concerned by investing in media space or time or commandeering them. This takes no account of the effects on it if converting the solution into propaganda, and the general resistance to such propaganda, however inspired the message.
5. The one value
a. There is a persistent belief, nurtured by humanitarians and religious groups, that meaningful change can only be achieved by universal acceptance of the fundamental implications of one value or set of values (eg. love, peace, justice, etc.). Focusing activities to this end fails to distinguish' between superficial adherence to values with which (as with "motherhood") no one need disagree, and violent disagreement over their significance in practice (as in the case of "Peace"). The result therefore tends to favour lip-service to the chosen value with careful avoidance of any further implications.
b. There is a persistent belief, nurtured equally by academics and people-in-the-street, that the fundamental qualities aspirations, and needs of humanity can be satisfactorily encapsulated in suitable words (or shared experiences). This is only successful when a set of implicit values is shared. Once any effort is made to render them explicit or to engage in discussion to improve the value set in any way, the values providing the foundation for the discussion are themselves brought into question, thus jeopardizing the content and any possibility of consensus. The only satisfactory values thus transcend language if they are to be of significance, as recently noted by designer Christopher Alexander in discussing the "quality without a name" as the core experience of "quality of life" (1)
6. Enemies of the people
a. There is a persistent belief, nurtured by many, that the problems of the world are prinarily due to the activities of a well-defined group of entities (e.g. capitalists, communists, multinationals, freemasons, religious obscurantists, trade unions, etc). It is then simply a matter of eliminating the group in question, or re-educating those affected by its activities, in order to bring about the desirable new order. This belief fails to take into account the negative consequences of the activities of those whose actions are effectively "laundered" by clearly defining such scapegoats. By taking the acceptable course of defining the enemy as elsewhere, any responsibility for threatening improvements to one's own actions is safely transformed into reinforcement of actions against such an enemy. Responsibility for counter-acting one's own excesses is thus effectively "delegated" to those groups by whom one is perceived as the enemy
b. There is a persistent belief, nurtured by certain philosophical and religious viewpoints, that the world is perfect as it is. The need to oppose other -groups is then itself the origin of the illusory perception of the world as less than satisfactory. Such viewpoints stress the need for personal transformation and consider other initiatives a waste of effort. This belief effectively denies the possibility of useful collective action directed towards the transformation of the external world. It fails to take into account the way in which people and groups are energized by opposition, although it is through the resulting actions that individual and collective learning takes place.
7. Responsible addressees
a. There is a persistent belief, nurtured by the public information programmes of government-related establishments, that these is an effective authority to which recommendations for social change can (and should) be addressed. Many international campaigns culminate triumphantly with the delivery of some declaration or recommendations to the United Nations, despite the long record of token responses accorded to such initiatives in a context which makes it virtually impossible to act upon them. At this time, there is no body to which proposals for major societal change can be addressed with the expectations of more than token response.
b. There is a persistent belief, nurtured by grass-roots community activists, that (whether or not government can achieve anything) "we the people" can bring about change in our own environments. As a result, some gatherings of activists formulate their proposals using phrases such as "we should do...".
Such groups are often very successful in linking together those who agree to implement the proposed initiative. Their difficulty lies in their relationship with those who disagree with it or are indifferent to it. The very success of the self-selection process endangers the responsible nature of the action which can result. It filters out those with counter-balancing viewpoints, which together take into account a broader range of factors. Such "we's" thus tend to be essentially irresponsible within the larger context.
8. Unfinished proposals
a. There is a persistent belief, nurtured by those favouring a positivist world view of science, that any appropriate proposal can (and should) be supported with a complete rational explanation. In this way the project is essentially pre-planned, definitive, and leaves little to chance. This may to some extent be feasible in a highly controlled society, but the more definitive the plan, the more difficult it is to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. In a less controlled society such an approach leaves very little opportunity for collective learning and growth through feedback and participation. It reinforces a static concept of society which is thus vulnerable to highly discontinuous, disruptive change. Such a conc3pt is increasingly perceived is inadequate to the paradoxical richness of reality as it can be perceived.
b. There is a persistent belief, nurtured by participative change agents, that valid proposals can only arise through ongoing dialogue within the community concerned. In this way, manipulative planning is avoided, and seen to be avoided, and the initiative can be continually adapted to changing circumstances and serendipitous opportunities. The difficulty here is that this approach leaves little opportunity to benefit from collective learning that has not taken place within the community itself or within the memory spare of those not active in the dialogue.
9. Policy significance
a. There is a persistent belief, nurtured by the academic community, that research on social change opportunities is directly relevant to the policy-making community. This is far from being the case and these are in fact few effective communication pathways between the two communities - always excepting studies commissioned to legitimate policies already decided upon. Part of the problem is that policy needs are for practical proposals relating to problems considered politically "visible" within a reasonably short time frame (1-4 years) and especially proposals which lend themselves to favourable media treatment. This is the "fire fighting" approach.
b. There is a persistent belief, nurtured by the policy-making community, that academic research is essentially irrelevant, narrow and impractical. This view is reinforced by the nature of academic studies whose arguments tend to exceed the attention span favoured within (the policy community - as reflected in the relative length of studies within each community. The difficulty is that in this way the policy community is deprived of rapid access to studies which contain a more profound understanding of the phenomena in question. In theory it is precisely such studies whose complexity should enable the diversity of the social environment to be adequately encompassed as a basis for a more appropriate response.
10. Integrated perception
a. These is a persistent belief, nurtured by the mathematically oriented, that problems will at last prove soluble once societal processes can be encompassed in an adequate computer-based world model. Such an objective model of reality can then function as the basis for the ultimate integrated plan. Experience has however demonstrated that such models, whatever their advantages, are essentially partial in their coverage and are primarily tools for the advancement of particular institutionalized value systems. There is no place within them for the individual. Furthermore, they compete with each other for the claim of ultimate adequacy,. thus undermining their value.
b. There is a persistent belief, that the only satisfactory integrated perception of the environment is essentially subjective. Faced with alienating, disintegrative, external constraints, increasing numbers of people seek a transformation of their environment through a change of consciousness. At one extreme, this involves personal growth (body and feelings). At the other, this sense of personally significant integration is accomplished with less effort through drugs of various kinds. The relevance of this is apparent in the use of "soma" in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.
a. There is a persistent belief, nurtured by physicists and epistemologists, that great effort must be made to de-anthropocentrise current understanding of the external world. This is seen as essential to the establishm2nt of a more healthy relationship to the environment. Unfortunately, this initiative results in very sophisticated explanations whose significance is inaccessible to most people.
b. There is a persistent belief, nurtured by popularizers of every kind, that effort must be concentrated at this time in translating human knowledge into terms accessible to the underprivileged. Only knowledge "on a human scale" is thus necessary to man. This belief effectively denies the importance at this time of any argument or description which cannot be readily portrayed in such terms, presumably including much technology and the theories on which it has been developed, but especially the "philosophical" abstractions of the social sciences.
The practical possibilities for integrative initiatives include the following :
These are all "classical" options to ensure an integrated response to any societal condition. However, the previous section could be considered a simplistic demonstration that any form of action undertaken in response to societal conditions is essentially of limited effectiveness. The point to be made is rather that each such form of action has basic strengths and weaknesses. Unchecked action cn the basis of the strengths merely aggravates the current condition. Total reliance on any one form of action creates vulnerability in terms of its weaknesses. The problem is not which form of integrative action to adopt but rather how to interrelate the various forms of action so that they correct for each others weaknesses and restrain each others excesses.
The problem of practical integrative action at this time would seem to lie more in the mind-set which forces institutions to adopt one or more of the above strategies, whilst at the same time denying the significance of the others - especially when they introduce constraints on the favoured form(s) of action.
It is clearly difficult to hope to transform the essentially disintegrative partiality of the elusive mind-set mentioned above. The task takes on a new light, however, if the focus is switched to existing devices which reinforce or legitimate such unbalanced activity.
If the question is asked : within what existing framework are such action possibilities currently juxtaposed, this should identify the device which is reinforcing the inappropriate mind-set. One such framework is the thesaurus or classification scheme used to order the range of human activity. Since there are many such schemes, the problem is likely to lie in the principles by which they are generated, and the lack of relationship between the various forms they themselves take.
Classification schemes are of little academic, political or legal significance at the present time. They are portrayed, especially by their creators, as essentially neutral tools of convenience. If true, this would suggest that they have the immense advantage of being transformable without the tremendous opposition which faces other advocated structural changes.
The remainder of this paper explores the significance of classification schemes as practical integrative devices at this time in the light of constraints on the design of an experiment with such a scheme covering information on the international community of organizations and the problems to which they are responding.
Aside from their obvious role in libraries, classification schemes are of less obvious significance in the following settings, all of which are vital to the elaboration of the mind-set from which change initiatives emerge:
Each of these design problems constitutes an essentially arbitrary process of classification, governed by traditional practice and short-term considerations, and unguided by any comprehensive understanding of the selection of human perceptions which are being manipulated in this way.
In each case the design constitutes a world view, in some cases partial, which only remotely reflects current awareness of the dimensions relevant to an integrative concept of human and social development. In some cases, the classification schemes even directly reinforce injustice and infringement of human rights (2).
The "universal" schemes used in libraries and information systems are not related to the practical design problems above and tend to be equally primitive in the quality of the world view which they imply. They are not perceived as an instrument of human and social development in their own right, but as essentially unrelated to such operational concerns - even when specially adapted to documents on those topics (3).
The biases listed below seem to characterize many efforts to classify at this time. The biases have been discussed in detail in a separate paper. These biases are particularly serious where the classification is related to social science concerns.
In the following sections some of these concerns are highlighted and ways of countering them are discussed. They have been discussed in detail in a separate paper (4).
1. The construction of a thesaurus or classification scheme is not a neutral process but a political act, as was well demonstrated by the encyclopaedists in the 18th century. A thesaurus which treats "homelessness" as an aspect of "sociology", and "war" as an aspect of "political science" is taking a strong political position (5). This is also true of an encyclopaedia which omits any entry on "torture" (6). A totally exploitative attitude towards the environment is suggested by an institutional information system concerned solely with "fisheries", "fishing" and "fish processing, production, storage and utilization", but not "fish" as having an important role in planetary ecosystems (7).
2. Classification schemes tend to de nature and neutralize the functional significanc3 of categories, by excising their non-conceptual component. This is clearly seen from the treatment of "homelessness- and "war" in the previous section. Such schemes are concerned with reflection and verbalization as opposed to action, which is thus rendered impotent.
3. The political dangers of classification are not discussed amongst the specialists concerned with the design of international information systems. Aside from their treatment of minorities and the disadvantaged, most of these systems are simply reflections of a western world-view. As such they can only do violence to nonwestern cultures in the present form.
4. Classification schemes tend to encourage "functional empire-building", as may be seen in the treatment of "economics" disciplines in relation to "other social sciences" in the ILO classification of occupations, for example (8). many existing systems are allowed to "bulge" in favour of hyperactive functional development (technology, industry, etc) at the expense of functions which are politically insignificant (religion, ethics, art, etc) at the present time.
5. Positioning, or failing to position, a term in a thesaurus is a political act which contributes to some kind of "functional story". There is no concern for the stories being told in this way or for the political education to which they contribute.
6. The process of embodying a term in a classification scheme has a benumbing effect which tends to render passive the users of the scheme and to deactivate th~3 information included. A means is required to reactivate the information and the users by changing their relationship to the scheme.
7. Designers of a classification scheme necessarily engage in a process which may in part be justifiably labelled as "scheming". The scheme imposes a pattern of perception against which there is very little possibility of appeal. A new approach is required which gives users some power over the process. "Who classifies for me ?" is an important political question.
8. The Functional control of society (or its absence) is implicit in the emphasis and juxtaposition of categories in a classification scheme. This is especially true when the excesses of one function can only be corrected by another. If the latter is absent from the scheme, or unrelated to the former, then the "spastic" processes of arbitrary control are reinforced.
9. There is a need to "liberate" significance nexi from the dominance particular ways of apprehending reality. A spe6ific concern is the politics of term appropriation. For example in French "development" and "cooperation" are virtually unuseable in the political arena, except in rel~3tion to the Third World.
10. The above considerations suggest the need for a politically "aggressive" approach to classification which does not simply accept the result of discipline political activity, empire-building, or blinkered manipulation of other functional domains. A political stance is required with regard to the need to "see things whole".
1. "Subject" categories selected for classification schemes tend to conceal functions by using noun descriptors. It is appropriate to ask whether such static categories facilitate development processes.
2. As suggested by Bohm (9) and Thom (10), a more realistic approach is to use verb "descriptors", thus emphasizing the essentially dynamic processes of development.
3. Descriptors in current use can only adequately express a percentage of the functions with which they are associated. Categories are not completely bounded by available descriptors. Language is essentially incomplete and approximate - as is evident when descriptors from different languages are compared.
4. An integrated pattern of categories is essential if functional integration is in any way a reality. In many classification schemes categories are grouped arbitrarily with little, if any, concern for the relationship between functions.
5. Classification schemes tend to conceal the absence of categories which do not relate to the functional preoccupations of those elaborating the scheme. Such categories are signalled naturally in an integrated pattern.
6. An integrated pattern should lend itself to perception through different "cuts", according to depth of interest and level of complexity tolerated.
7. To contain the complexity and range of differences, the pattern of integration should highlight differences as well as similarities.
1. Categories of "subjects" or functions necessarily emerge in sets (eg. health, education, labour, etc). An apparently isolated function effectively calls for the simultaneous presence of other functions located elsewhere in space (if engenders a process which gives rise to other functions at some later time.
2. General systems theory has demonstrated a certain degree of equivalence between systems characteristic of different levels, whether physically biological, social or conceptual (11, 12). In each such system sets of functions may be distinguished.
3. Recent research in universal classification by Ingetraut Dahlberg (13) has demonstrated the possibility of designing a scheme based on ontical levels (e.g. energy/matter, geosphere, biosphere, socio-sphere, etc) and implementing it (14). This scheme is portrayed in the form, of a matrix in which the rows correspond to the levels [see current ooerational version on-line . The columns are determined by a "systematifier" giving rise to a recurrent pattern. This approach is a major departure from the list structure favoured in most other schemes.
4. An earlier section on "implication dilemmas" highlighted the essential incompatibility between different action strategies. In an earlier paper (15), a detailed exploration was made of sets of mutually incompatible elements. When functions replace one another in time (e.g. centralization by decentralization, theory by praxis, etc), there occurs a form of alternation of mode which has been explored in an earlier paper (16) as an oscillatory phenomenon essential to functional integration. The importance of non-linearity and irrationality is discussed below in terms of the functional significance of alternating between right-hemisphere and left-hemisphere modes of thought.
5. The above points suggest the value of basing a classification scheme on a form of "functional periodicity". One useful guide to reflection on this is the periodic table of chemical elements. This embodies the most sophisticated set of relationships between quantitative and qualitative attributes after over a century of experiment (17). One author, Edward Haskell, has explored possibilities of generalizing this periodic concept to encompass other domains (18).
6. One merit of a structure like the periodic table is that it tells several different "stories". In effect it consists of several overlaid patterns. It is just this multiplicity of interweaving stories which provide the desirable integrative relationships. The pattern as a whole provides a model of society
7. The importance of aiming for a complex pattern is indicated by Ashby's Law (19) concerning the need to provide a control system of adequate complexity if control of the system is to be adequate. This is a basic concept in cybernetics which is relevant to the adequacy of any theory or description.
8. A special advantage of the periodic table concept is that it engenders empty cells for items not yet detected as well as going some way towards predicting their properties. It is thus essentially open to the future in contrast with conventional classification systems which are threatened by every socio-political innovation (e.g. "development" "environment", "energy").
9. It is important to stress that using the periodic table as a guideline does not necessarily imply any link between chemistry and the structure of society. The periodic table is a well-developed guide to understanding complex patterns of qualitative periodicity and is valuable for this rpa3on alone. This said, and to the extent that such schemes say as much about man's ability to organize his concepts as they do about the contents classified (20), it may well be useful to consider such linkages at a later stage. The most fruitful line of exploration could be whether such periodic schemes ire rot special cases of a more general scheme intimately related to man's ability to encode his environments.
10. Two major considerations provided constraints on the initial size of the classification matrix. The first was the loss in significance and comprehensibility if the number of rows or columns exceeded seven to any great extent, is discussed in an earlier paper (21). The second was the facility of using a single digit to denote each column or row in th- matrix as done by Ingetraut Dahlberg (14). This also provided sufficient cells to handle complexity analogous to that of the periodic table. Each cell thus acquired a two digit cod-, with the possibility of using a further two digits to distinguish elements within the cell.
1. Given that much effort has been devoted in the past ( 22) to isolating clusters of "subjects" and that these clusters are still used in modern systems, it is appropriate to assume that they reflect some degree of functional clustering. This exercise should therefore respect such clusters to the extent possible. Doing so has the considerable advantage of making the result more readily acceptable. The main modifications therefore lie in the positioning of clusters relative to one another and in giving greater or lesser weight to some of them. This corresponds to the view discussed above that the difficulties and opportunities lie not within the clusters but in how they are understood to be related.
2. The process of distinguishing and interrelating functions within a framework is one of design. As such it necessarily involves both art and science, right hemisphere and left, and some measure of synthesis resulting in a decision. This process is guided by previous practice and is especially sensitive to constraints. In seeking to generate a Fruitful set of overlaid patterns materials obtained and processed in earlier papers (15, 23) were used as Possible guidelines, as was the structure of the periodic table itself.
3. This paper is based on the assumption that an entirely rational approach would lead to a sterile result. The aim was therefore to interrelate patterns of agreement and disagreement as discussed in an earlier paper (15). The process may be likened to tuning a musical instrument in which the significance of a tone only emerges in its relationship to the other tones. This analogy highlights the significance of harmony and discord between tones. The difficulty is that, given the matrix form, the "strings" take the form of an array of columns and rows. The tuning must thus be achieved in two dimensions to distinguish a tone appropriately The process may also be likened to stretching a rubber sheet (of "seamless significance") over a curved frame in such a way as to eliminate the creases whilst giving equal prominence to each node in the pattern. It is also worth reflecting on the generation of Chladni interference patterns in this context (24).
4. A special effort is made to open up locations for "awkward" topics which tend to be forgotten or grouped in miscellaneous categories. Finding any position for them in conventional schemes is such a relief that there is no desire to open up any discussion about the justification of the pigeon-hole finally used; (Why is it that a list of hard-to-classify topics does not seem to have been published ?). It is the process of fitting in the concept for which there is no natural place which should creatively redefine the significance of the whole pattern.
5. A cluster is not necessarily rejected because it is "fuzzy". The property of being well-defined way well be a characteristic of certain kinds of cluster but not others.
6. Terms located in the cells of the resulting matrix are merely approximations to the concepts or functions to which they refer. The cell as a whole cannot be adequately named. Much of its significance derives from its status within the functional pattern as a whole.
7. A distinction is made between complementary or competing functions at the same level (row) in the matrix. These are alternative modes relating to different content. A different distinction is made between functions of the same type (column) concerned with similar content. These two dimensions open up the possibility of two kinds of functional substitution and development.
8. In distinguishing between levels (rows) a basic departure from conventional classification was made by separating five major groups :
This is done to avoid the trap of denaturing functions by transforming them into the "subjects" of documents and theoretical discussion. The object is not to classify documents. Each term has potential as an "operator" which it is useful to respect.
9. Deliberate efforts were made to avoid the distractions of currently fashionable topics which cause current classification schemes to "bulge". These are considered a reflection of short-term functional imbalance.
10. Deliberate efforts were made to avoid the anthropocentric emphasis in classification schemas, which reinforces a totally exploitative misunderstanding of the interacting forces in the planetary ecosystem in a form of "environmental apartheid". The aim is to ensure a "fair deal" for bugs, plants, and animals, as well as man. Fish are not only to be understood as "fish-able" for man. It is regrettable that plants and animals are converted by classification schemes into pests, foodstuffs, or industrial products. Nutrition, health, habitat., and migration are not just a problem for man. In addition, such narrowness closes off any possibility of interspecies understanding, ignoring such questions as animal education and the intelligence of dolphins and whales, with all that that could imply for their rights with man on the planet in a more enlightened culture.
1. In designing such a scheme, it is important to guide the process by confronting it at each stage with a universe of information of some practical significance. If the classification is to be of relevance to the international community, it must reflect the ongoing concerns of that community, both actual and potential.
2. Several computer programme were developed to extract and sort the significant terms in the English titles of some 10,000 internationally active organizations in the Yearbook of Inter national Organizations (25). This gave rise to some 4,000 terms. The collection was extended by extracting terms from various computer files user] to prepare the Yearbook of World Problems and Human Potential, namely : world problems, multilateral treaties, human values, human development concepts, integrative concepts, intellectual disciplines, economic sector, commodities, and occupations (26). This resulted in a tot-al of 9,000 terms.
3. A further concern was to ensure that the scheme could distinguish in an interesting way the concerns identified by the Goals, Processes and Indicators of Development (GPID) project of the United Nations University13 Human and Social Development Programme. These cover such domains as : needs, rights, ways of life', indicators, etc (27).
1. As has been stressed, conventional classification schemes focus on "subjects". This term covers many "objects" in the material world and the world of ideas. If these subjects are perceived as functions, as advocated here, it should be possible to give greater reality to the functions by clarifying how they are manifested through such special kinds of subject as those noted below. In each case the cells of the matrix should reflect some corresponding element.
2. There should be occupations or professions corresponding to many of the functions. Together they reflect the pattern of human resources in an integrated society.
3. There should be institutions, organizations and groups corresponding to many of the functions. Of special interest is the correspondence with government ministries and agencies, specially as the country develops .
4. There should be types of building (or parts of a town) characteristic of many of the functions, as well as rooms (or parts) of a home.
5. There should be organizational or community roles corresponding to many of the functions.
6. There should be information systems or styles of information processing characteristic of many of the functions.
7. There should be characteristic human needs and satisfiers associated with many of the functions. Together these should reflect an Integrated pattern of human needs.
8. There should be characteristic values associated with many of these functions, and possibly characteristic mind-sets, ways of being or weltanschaungen.
9. There should bc characteristic events, objects, and processes associated with many of the functions. With the processes should be associated characteristic concepts of change.
10. There should be characteristic methods, tools, distinctions and problems associated with many of the functions.
11. There should be characteristic human activities associated with many of the functions. These should correspond to the elements in a time budget analysis.
12. There should be characteristic symbols or rites associated with many of the functions. For certain traditional cultures there should he divinities manifesting appropriate qualities Together these are an important guide to viable functional integration.
13. There should be characteristic images of man associated with many of the functions.
14. There should be characteristic educational processes associated with many of the functions. Together these would make up an integrated educational programme and should correspond to the organization of curricula and sets of university faculties.
15. There should be characteristic decision criteria, constraints, blindspots, biases, strengths and weaknesses associated with many of the functions. In many cases there should also be things which are considered self-evident or inconceivable.
16. There should be characteristic social and other indicators associated with many of the functions.
17. There should be characteristic constituents of a system associated with many of the functions.
18. There should be characteristic metaphors associated with many of the functions.
19. There should be characteristic verbs associated with many of the functions, possibly based on such action-oriented suffixes as : "-ization". "-izing", "-ify", "-icizing". (cf. Thom (10))
1. Using the terms extracted by computer as indicated above, a two-digit code has been allocated to each term. This has permitted an initial regrouping of the terms according to the cells of the matrix.
2. The initial regrouping has to be checked. Groups of terms may be switched between cells to improve the balance of the matrix.
3. An additional two digits must now be allocated to each term to permit a more detailed breakdown on the basis of four digits. It is expected that several cycles will be required before the matrix is adequately balanced.
4. The coded terms will then be used via 9 computer programmes, specially funded by the Commonwealth Science Council, to extract international organization names (with addresses), world problems and multilateral treaties. These will be grouped together by "subject". This will provided systematically an overview of activity in each functional sector.
5. The resulting checklist will be sent to international organizations for comment. It is hoped to print the resulting check lists with an introductory comment to each group of functions (28).
1. This activity is funded largely because of the value of the resulting checklists by function or "subject" - not because of the significance of the pattern as a whole. This is a considerable advantage given the design of the computer programme. It means that at any time the term coding can be modified to produce an improved balance within the matrix. It will thus continue to be an essentially experimental system despite its ongoing use in processing current international organization data. In contrast to conventional classification schemes, the investment in this scheme does not "freeze" the coding pattern.
2. Clearly this approach also permits alternative patterns to be explored in parallel, possibly for different purposes. It may be applied as rigidly or as loosely as required.
3. Because of the experimental nature of this approach, it opens up the interesting possibility of exploring the potential of a classification scheme where a non-zero error rate is acceptable. This may well be much more fruitful than where the error rate is required to be zero (29).
4. This approach responds to the requirement that integration itself should not- be closed and final - or else the integration scheme is itself an obstacle to change rather than flowing with it.
5. Given that the scheme is designed to "open up" cells for which there are as yet undetected or poorly defined functions, this predictive possibility should provide valuable feedback an functional integration.
1. As has been repeatedly stressed here, for integrative purposes the functions should not be considered in isolation one from the others. Some functions clearly substitute for one another under some conditions, others compete with each other. It is important to arrive at some understanding of this dynamic pattern.
2. Several analogies may provide useful guidelines to explore these relationships:
3. The computer programme is designed in such a way that co-present terms signifying distinct functions result in the generation of a separate matrix of relationships between functions. From this it should be possible to develop a clearer idea of the frequency pattern of interaction as well as the possibility of relationships not explicitly activated within the international community.
1. The point was made earlier that to be meaningful the pattern must provide for the presence of essentially incompatible functions, namely functions which cannot co-exist passively (e.g. "science" and "religion", "industry" and "environment"). The weakness of existing classification schemes is that they develop a framework which implies that such "subjects" are compatible, thus deactivating /neutralizing the dynamic nature of the relationships. This is one reason for the sterility of such schemes.
2. In order to be hospitable to discontinuity the scheme must somehow encompass the non-rational character of disagreement (15). This implies at least a distinctly non-linear relationship between such functions.
3. The most accessible indication of the possible nature of this relationship is that between right- and left-hemisphere modes (31 and the essential difficulty of integrating them. The functional consequence is an oscillation between the two modes according to the task to be performed.
4. On this basis, it is useful to consider the disposition of functions in the rows or columns of the matrix as involving alternatively a right or left-hemisphere type of mode. The result is that the matrix then takes the form of a "chequer board" of functions. It is this chequer-board effect which could be one vital feature for adequate function integration. The point can be seen as remarkably obvious. Humanity does not function in terms of one mode alone, just as it is difficult to walk on one foot - although this may be what history will see as characteristic of this period.
1. A major defect of existing classification schemes is that there is no concern with how they are comprehended or whether this is of any significance. As has been demonstrated (32, 33) people and groups with similar concerns tend to disagree violently because of temperamental, pre-logical biases. These have been related to the psychology of types. Functional integration can clearly not be envisaged until this essentially human-centred concern is taken into account. It could well be argued that taking it into account is vital to the credibility of any scheme which purports to facilitate human and social development. The question may even be asked whether the existing range of functions does not result from a special form of collective psychological projection patterned by the distinctly favoured modes of comprehension.
2. It could therefore be very fruitful to explore how psychological types are reflected in the classification scheme. The work of C G Jung and his school is very suggestive in this respect (34):
The material on these matters could suggest a much richer understanding of the relationships between functions and the challenge of comprehending them. One of Jung's major points is that a given individual does not have equal comprehension of each of the above modes. Some are repressed. The same could be true with collectivities (e.g. the "science" or "business" communities) with all that that would imply for the dynamics of their relationships and the problems of the development and maturation of such collectivities.
3. It is interesting to note, in the light of the above comments, the basic division between those committed to social change. One group favours a scientific, structured, establishment-planned, rational approach and rejects sloppy, disorganized, spontaneous, person-centred approaches. The other favours such participative, person-oriented, organic, casually-planned approaches "from the heart" and abhors the manipulative impersonality of the "head" approach.
4. The extremes noted in the previous point have dramatic implications for who can work with whom. The challenge is to move beyond such simplistic extremes, as it is in the case of individual maturation. It is not one or the other, but how each can be used in an integrated dynamic pattern whenever appropriate. It is in this sense that there is a special relationship between the structure of the classification scheme required and the nature of individual human development, especially in its "subjective" psychological dimensions.
5. The present need is really for a more meaningful classification scheme with which people can more readily identify in ordering their world view. The interesting difficulty is that it is psychologically necessary to reduce the number of categories to approximately seven to maintain continuity of understanding of the whole (2l) - whence the value there of the single digit number of rows/columns and the coherence of Jung's set of types. But, when it is necessary to encode the "10,000 things" recognized in the environment, the number of categories must be increased considerably - which necessarily results in a fragmentation of integrated awareness. This states the basic dilemma of classification scheme design. It indicates the importance of inter relating patterns of small and large numbers through factors as discussed elsewhere (35, 36). Single digit sets of types, such as advocated by Jung, are principally relevant as dimensions of multi-digit function coding schemes. They provide the necessary weft and warp which creates the comprehensible frame work through which greater degrees of variety can become apparent within an integrated pattern. Examples of such patterns have been collected together in an earlier paper (23).
6. The alienating irrelevance of present classification schemes is apparent when set against the challenge of producing a scheme in which recognition of the attributed code gives the same sense of here-and-now significance as the following;
Like the immense popularity of astrological typing (however illusory), each of these opens the way for a functional response within a (perhaps momentarily) stabilized world view. They introduce the dimension of time in its most positive, liberating sense, whereas conventional "pigeon-hole" classification introduces time in its most negative and repressive sense.
1. The final points above suggest some additional desirable properties of a classification scheme. These essentially qualitative properties are difficult to build into the simple structure of a matrix. The grid pattern can even be considered as a stereotype of alienating technocracy. The defect of the grid pattern is that it suggests no sense of direction of convergence towards a unique location with which the observer can identify as a kind of "home-base" or goal. As such it is a fundamentally anti-developmental form of representation, despite its obvious convenience and efficiency.
2. At best the matrix is meaningful in relation to one half of the functions, namely those associated with left-hemisphere comprehension. Essentially it "freezes" the "objective" world, whilst neglecting or denying the significance of "subjective" interaction with it, although it is the latter which is responsive to qualitative conditions. Even by ensuring the simultaneous presence of incompatible functional alternates, the stasis effect of the left-hemisphere framework still ensures only a limited value for the scheme.
3. Going to the other extreme, right-hemisphere thinking would advocate use of particular images to which people can relate (e.g. starving child or sunny beach posters), or possibly symbols (e.g. as for each UN "year"), or a person (e.g. Mère Thérèse). Such forms, whilst valuable in themselves for "mobilizing" people in the short-term, are completely unable to convey any sense of structure or pattern within which the symbolized concerns are related to the other concerns of the international community. Nor are they able to provide any balanced ordering of the sub-concerns which together make up that which is represented by the image.
4. Once again there is a dilemma, namely the choice between the limitations of "flatland" (37) and the problems of focused fascination. Can the dilemma be seen in a fruitful light to provide a way beyond this sterile dichotomy which engenders such "spastic" international activity?
5. In both cases it would seem that it is a question of how attention is channelled, focused or manipulated. In the matrix case, attention is forced along well-defined pathways and easily becomes exhausted because it is not regenerated in any way. There is little possibility for creative interaction, and increasing orientation to proceduralism. In the image case, attention is excited and attracted, but is not offered any channels through which the enthusiasm can be discharged in an orderly, constructive manner. The initial enthusiasm therefore decays quickly into indifference, apathy or cynicism, or is transformed into dogma. Both extremes are therefore attention "traps": "prisons", or even "cemeteries", whatever their limited merits. It is possible to alleviate this imprisoning effect by seeking some form of synthesis between the two modes.
6. In the case of the left-hemisphere mode, curvature may be introduced into the matrix through a third dimension. The value of this has been argued in earlier papers (35,36,38). It ensures a sense of focus and introduces the observer into the scheme. This step may also be justified in terms of the implications of quantum logic for classification (9,39,40,41) and the related essential problem of the inadequacy of particular conceptual languages (42) to "contain" the complexity of experience.
7. In the case of the right-hemisphere mode, complementary images may be grouped into sets, as has been done Very successfully in many traditional cultures with divinities governing complementary qualities and powers (23). Note the advantage of personalizing these powers in order to permit an individual relationship to them. It is curious that UN symbol posters are never juxtaposed in this way to constitute a set of complementary images, rather than the current practice of emphasizing politically-timebound, fragmented concerns.
8. The seemingly obvious next step is to relate the curved left-hemisphere pattern of functions to the sets of right-hemisphere images in order to synthesize the two modes. If this could be successfully done it would be the ideal "container" for human and social development. Attention would be appropriately regenerated and focused to that end. As described here, however, this step constitutes a further trap and an even more effective prison. Examples of initiatives in this direction can be seen in efforts to build a "world city" or a "world centre" in which the architecture, imagery and organized information would reflect and reinforce a unified world view (43,44,45). This in fact over-emphasizes the left-hemisphere mode. The right-hemisphere mode is to be found over-emphasized in the proposed design of certain process-oriented (utopian) communities. None of these initiatives "liberates" attention sufficiently to constitute a "container" for effective human and social development, whatever their merits for some people in the short-term.
1. The synthesis outlined in the previous point is basically sterile. This is because the advocated juxtaposition of the two modes results in an essentially mechanical, static "compromise", The "logical" nature of the step proposed is precisely what identifies it as a left-hemisphere linear extrapolation, even though it is supposedly encompassing incompatibles. It seems that once again it is necessary to find a way of introducing a non-logical dimension if the sterility is to be avoided.
2. It is not sufficient to call upon the excellent arguments of theoretical physicists such as Bohm ( 9) concerning wholeness and the implications of uncertainty. This remains a left hemisphere approach, resulting in an explanation with which the observer is faced and by which he is neutralized. The arguments are important however as a way of shifting the discussion out of an expectancy of linear extrapolations and predictability, even in the psycho-social domain.
3. Switching to the basically right-hemisphere approach, there is much material on the integration of the two modes, but only in a form considered academically acceptable to psycho analysts influenced by Jung. This material forms part of the heritage of many cultures. Its value lies in the fact that it encodes the experiential process of personal development and transformation, which should make it highly relevant to the further exploration of human development. Its weakness is that it has nothing to say about social development. Furthermore its incredible richness makes it a fascinating trap in its own right. Its experiential nature makes it especially suspect in the light of any left-hemisphere perception.
4. These two seemingly blocked avenues of approach clarify the basic dilemma. It would seem that both have vital strengths and dangerous weaknesses. As pointed out earlier, the only way to move further forward is to be highly suspicious of both and to alternate between them, counter-balancing one by the other, since one or the other must necessarily be used.
5. Of great interest in the right-hemisphere material are the guarded attempts to define the essentially paradoxical nature of the outwardly incomprehensible possibility of creatively transcending the limitations of the two basic modes. This is typified by Zen literature and the associated practices (46). These claim the merit of deliberately avoiding the traps of proliferating sets of symbols characteristic of other cultures. Such sets of symbols tend to create the impression that transcendence is possible through them rather than through identifying with the awareness from which they emanate as a set. The disadvantage of the Zen approach is that it is so individualistic and paradoxical as to be virtually inapplicable to social transformation.
6. Of great interest for the left-hemisphere approach is the implication of the current challenge of plasma physics in relation to fusion reactors for power generation. A plasma is an electrical conducting medium consisting of positive and negative charges forming a neutrally charged distribution of matter. A plasma is unique in the way it interacts with itself, with electric and magnetic fields, and with its environment. [If the states of matter are defined in terms of relationship to the environment, plasma is the fifth state. The others are: solid, liquid, gas, and reacting elements (e.g. in fire). 99% of the matter in the universe is in the plasma state.]
Its properties depend on the collective behaviour of the constituent particles, as distinct from the individual. If plasmas could be confined under certain conditions for a long enough period of time in a fusion reactor, mankind's energy problems would be resolved. The difficulty is that plasmas are unique in their instability and in their tendency to revert to ordinary combinations of matter and energy. "The problems that have to be solved to achieve successful magnetic confinement are both scientific and technological in nature. The scientific problem is to find those particular configurations of magnetic fields, and values of plasma parameters which, when scaled up to fusion reactor size, would ensure a viable net power yield from the reactor. Technologically, the problems are how to create the required high-intensity magnetic fields, how to heat the plasma towards fusion temperatures, at the same time protecting it from contamination by heavier atomic impurities (which would quench the reaction)" (47). If individual attention/consciousness or world opinion is considered as a "plasma", the problems of human and social development and integration are well-modelled by the fusion problem.
7. In the right-hemisphere approach, an interesting parallel to the fluid behaviour of plasma is to be found in the important taoist concept of "ch'i" (or ki), which as an essentially intangible form of "energy" defies all exercises in definition. It is by identification with ch'i that an individual develops a way of alternating appropriately between the two modes without the normal discontinuity of awareness. With a background in biochemistry and management, R G H Siu notes (*):
"Energy is the essential stuff for structural integrity and mechanical and chemical processes, while 'i is the essential stuff for pattern perpetuity and thinking and feeling. While energy-metabolism accounts for the vigor of health in the physical sense, ch'i-metabolism accounts for the well-being of the person in the psychic sense. A smoothly operating cross-feed exists between energy and ch'i in the normal and serene human being" (48, pp. 261-262). In the East, many of the martial arts are explicitly concerned with practices for controlling the movement of "ki", as in aikido for example (49). This is also the case with the pattern of widely practised exercise movements called t'ai ch'i (50). Siu continues: "If one wishes he may carry the analogy further. He may postulate such laws as the conservation of ch'i, which would read: the totality of ch'i is a constant; it is neither created nor destroyed; it is only transformed. Comparable psychological formulations come readily to mind, such as: ch'i gradients, as a basis for explaining dominance, power, and influence, which would be analogous to thermodynamic gradients; matching ch'i impedance, as a basis for explaining harmonious social operations, which would be analogous to electrical requi rements in circuit designs..." (48, pp. 270-271).
It is interesting that this book should be published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press normally associated with left-hemisphere approaches. But although Siu has written a subsequent book on management, there is apparently little attention in the East to the significance of ch'i at the societal level.
8. Returning to the left-hemisphere approach and the point of departure, the problem is how to design a suitable "container" for development using the pattern of functions. Using the plasma model as a guide, the problem can then be defined as using the configuration of functions to contain individual or collective attention. From the plasma case it is clear that the functions should serve a variety of purposes in enhancing attention (the will-to-change?), in focusing it, but especially in counter-acting ever-present instabilities. These lead to "degeneration" of the attention if it is not effectively insulated from the surfaces of the "container". The model suggests that these surfaces are intimately related with the functions them selves. This confirms the difficulty of the problem. It is already well-recognized that no one function provides the desirable solution and each of them is dangerous to society or the individual if unchecked. But the current work on plasma confinement suggests that advances can be made by "bouncing" the plasma around within the configuration of a magnetic cavity. This would indicate that the problem is really one of allowing the attention to be constrained by all the functions simultaneously but without allowing attachment to any one of them. It is thus not just a simple problem of oscillation between two functional modes but between enough modes to constitute a container (at least in a three-dimensional configuration).
9. Switching to the right-hemisphere approach, in discussing ch'i Siu notes that: "The conventional theories of physics and chemistry have not been successful in clarifying the intrinsicalness of life and the specificity of biological responses" (48, p. 259). The same may be said of sociology and psychology and in relation to the specificity of responses to significance.
Architect Christopher Alexander attempts to clarify the nature of this here-and-now livingness as follows: "There is a central quality which is the root criterion of life and spirit in a man, a town, a building or a wilderness. This quality is objective and precise, but it cannot be named. The search which we make for this quality, in our own lives, is the central search of any person, and the crux of any individual person's story. It is the search for those moments and situations when we are most alive... The more living patterns there are in a place - a room, a building, or a town - the more it comes to life as an entirety, the more it glows, the more it has that self-maintaining fire which is this quality without a name ... This quality in buildings and in towns cannot be made, but only generated, indirectly, by the ordinary actions of the people, just as a flower cannot be made, but only generated from the seed" (1, pp. IX-XI). The question he confronts most admirably is how to enable individuals and groups to work with a "pattern language" (51) to build an effective container for the "quality without a name (The patterns would seem to reflect life in the same way as magnetic mirrors reflect plasma). It is regrettable that he is primarily concerned with social patterns related to buildings and not also with the less tangible psycho-social patterns in their own right.
10. In both the plasma example and Alexander's "quality without a name", it is significant that the configuration of definable patterns engenders a central space with special characteristics. Siu cites Lao Tzu with regard to this "empty" space:
"Thirty spokes unite in one nave and on that which is nonexistent (the hole in the nave) depends the wheel's utility .... Therefore, existence renders actual but nonexistence renders useful". (48, p 266).
But the wheel only works effectively when the compression in a particular spoke is appropriately distributed around the pattern of spokes as a whole. This is also true in both the plasma case and in Alexander's living environment. It is relating this empty central space to human and social development which is the current challenge. It is for this reason that R Aitkin's work on "q-holes" in organizations is of special interest ( 52, 539 54).
11. The essential weakness of attempting to describe the needed container is that it places an illusory emphasis on a static configuration, when in fact any static characteristics it may have are probably only as significant as in the case of "standing wave" phenomena. It is the dynamics of how the container works that needs to be better understood. This is also the problem in the plasma case, Alexander's concern, and in Aitkin's q-holes.
1. The previous section has pursued a line of argument to a point at which, whatever its merit as explanation, the significance is in danger of being lost to many. As pointed out by Feyerabend (55), there is a need to make arguments accessible by avoiding abstractions and approaching the individual human scale to the extent possible. Centering the argument in this way is possible, but only by using the human-centred imagery which is the material of psychoanalysis.
2. The last section attempted to maintain the relevance to social development. The argument can be taken further by accepting a bias in favour of human development. The whole problem of containing plasma and relating to ch'i is encompassed by the concern in the Chinese cultural tradition with the "circulation of the light" as reviewed by Jung (56). Thus a traditional text on meditation reads: "When the light is made to move in a circle, all the energies of heaven and earth, of the light and the task, are crystallized. That is what is termed seed-like thinking, or purification of the energy, or purification of the idea. When one begins to apply this magic it is as if, in the middle of being, there were non-being. When in the course of time the work is completed, and beyond the body there is a body, it is as if, in the middle of non-being, there were being" (56, p 3l). In this and related texts the parallel to the plasma is quite striking. Such a link between physical reality and meditative awareness has been noted by F Capra (57).
3. The problem frustrating human development is the inadequacy of the response to opposing tendencies or contradictions. Some of which were reviewed in an earlier section. Methods similar to the "circulation of the light" in different cultures respond to this problem. The explanation of the response is necessarily unsatisfactory because the "intrinsicalness" of life, as mentioned by Siu, is essentially experiential. "Light" in this context is very closely related to ch'i life and time. Siu illustrated this by examples from music and photosynthesis: "Man is the most versatile in terms of the diversification and depth of temporal ramifications .... In the case of man, however, something new is created upon the rendition of certain combinations and sequences of sound .... Man has transformed something related to time into a heretofore nonexistent entity - a poem, a song, a symphony. We identify this time-related X as ch'i. We suggest that living systems possess some unique capability of Marshalling ch'i .... In our musings on the metabolism of ch'i, light would be looked upon as containing both energy and a time substance.
A given quantity of light would consist of certain units of energy and stretches of time-substance. The energy-component would be fixed in the dextrose molecule in photosynthesis, the time substance in a temporal matrix .... Just as the dextrose molecule can be assimilated so that energy fixed therein can be processed in varying bits and pieces to be utilized for inanimate work, so can the temporal matrix be assimilated so that ch'i fixed therein can be transformed in varying stretches and compositions to be utilized for animate purposes". (48, pp. 261-262)
4. This harmonious relation to opposites can be effectively repre sented in dance and movement as in the case of t'ai ch'i reported by psychoanalyst June Singer: "When Chung-liang dances, the circular process of life is made manifest .... Change is the only constant, from one movement to another, from initiation to completion, to rest, to initiation again. The energy never stops, never pauses, never appears to be blocked. The circu lation of the light, a goal sought in Chinese philosophy, takes place before my eyes. It takes place in the body of this man .... Although in continuous movement, the body is always in balance; the balance is always asymmetrical, so that at any moment the design formed by the body is in the process of turning into its opposite" (58, pp. 212-213). It is noteworthy that the interaction between this dancer and theoretical physicists resulted in a most remarkable description of the current frontiers of understanding of reality and how they are to be approached (59). But the weakness of dance as a mode is that, once again, it is essentially right-hemisphere and as such a trap, preventing further advance.
5. Some of the dimensions of the trap constituted by right-hemisphere, person-centred expression are avoided by the philosophy underlying the performance of the traditional Rg Veda hymns in India. The performer seeks ways to avoid being locked into any particular mode of expression, although the performance necessarily involves the spontaneous selection of one mode amongst several. Adopting that mode for a period of time is seen as a necessary sacrifice or limitation of options in order to make use of a particular comprehensible language which will be abandoned as soon as the task is completed. This affirms the essential inadequacy of any given mode. The performer then effectively withdraws to an empty centre from which another mode will be chosen through which to continue the performance. This process is seen as a model of an appropriate response to daily life, as well as of a succession of incarnations (42, 60).
6. The previous points suggest a way to communicate possibilities of human development, especially in a semi-literate society. In both cases left-hemisphere structural significance is effectively encoded on to right-hemisphere expression. Considered in these terms, much of the cultural material of psychoanalysis takes on a new significance for development. The problem with this approach is the continuing danger of responding to the material solely as a code (a left-hemisphere trap) or solely as an aesthetic experience (a right-hemisphere trap). There is a further danger, as illustrated by June Singer's work on androgyny as a goal of development (58), which provides a valuable overview of such material from many cultures. Care must be taken in giving content to the synthesis of these two modes for, once again, this synthesis is primarily significant in terms of its dynamics and not in terms of any mechanical juxtaposition of attributes (especially as in hermaphroditism or bisexuality). The synthesis of opposites as encoded by the androgyne is not sexless, and therefore sterile, but rather the essence of fecundity and creativity. Even if it is primarily intra-psychic, it is very doubtful whether the androgynous condition is a accessible as June Singer claims, although the future may be able to distinguish usefully the degrees of androgyneity.
7. An essential characteristic of the androgynous synthesis is that it can only be expressed, discussed and comprehended through the ongoing interaction of opposites, as effectively encoded by the relationships between the two sexes. Expressing the dilemma of the opposites in terms of the male/female relationship certainly has the advantage of making its complexity "accessible". It also draws attention to how little has been accomplished in moving creatively beyond this polarity. Given present inadequacy in handling male/female relationships (as indicated by divorce rates, discrimination, etc), it is highly probable that this inadequacy rein forces the pattern of sub-optimum responses in other domains, in which polarities must be handled. It is also significant that the major product of this relationship as presently conceived, namely children, is what ensures the major pressure on planetary resources through the population explosion. It is also significant that it is this very relationship which provides one of the major motivating forces for individuals on which much merchandising is directly based.
8. The relevance of the above argument is based on the assumption that the male/female relationship can be understood as encoding other polar relationships. This is a source of major difficulty because the dynamics of the male/female relationship are so "fascinating" to the participants that they do not encourage reflection or generalization. This suggests that they tend to be perceived through the right-hemisphere thus making the argument into a circular one precluding any transcendent synthesis. Nevertheless much cultural material of psycho-analytical significance is encoded onto the male/female relationship and its products, suggesting the possibility of such a development under certain conditions presumably triggered by traumas.
9. It would seem that there is a vital link to be established between the understanding of human and social development and the understanding of male/female relationships as exemplified by sexuality. The links between sexuality, population increase and war are fairly evident as a "negative" self-correcting cycle. It is the corresponding "positive" developmental cycle which is unclear and it is interesting how easily the validity of this area of concern is rejected as irrelevant. It is politically highly sensitive. In fact it is appropriate to note that any psycho-cultural phenomena involving alternation or oscillation is rejected, "frozen" into one of its modes, or characterized by tic discontinuity (as in the switch in power between political factions following elections or revolution). A significant exception is the "good-guy/bad-guy" technique employed by teams of interrogators.
10. The same, inflexible attitude is characteristic of certain traditional religious practices in support of human development. In many religions the relationship between polarities by-passes the male/female relationship and is encoded into the individual, especially into a highly disciplined approach to the breathing cycle of inspiration/expiration. Within such a framework, obstacles to individual development are seen as encoded into irregularities in the breathing cycle. This approach is claimed as of great value to human development (e.g. in yoga). The price of success is however the obligation to freeze the dynamics of the individual's male/female relationships in society. In this sense the monastic tradition, for example, is unable to encode any creative understanding of male/female relationships in society.
The previous point indicates that there is a high price to pay if polarities are to be usefully encoded onto the individual. Since few are tempted to pay that price, it is appropriate to look for ways of encoding polarities into a left-hemisphere presentation of the range of functions operating in society. Hence the interest in classification schemes. In parallel there is value in using the environment, as perceived in the right-hemisphere mode, as a way of encoding the polarities of human and social relationships (61).
1. The previous points bring the argument to a close by reaffirming that mankind is faced with the well-defined problem of how to handle the dynamics of opposition/attraction. The nature of the problem can be encoded onto many substrates, each with their special advantages and disadvantages. But, seemingly because of a subconscious desire to avoid recognizing the nature of the problem, there is a marked tendency to avoid any approach which attempts to respond to the oscillations by which it is characterized. It is assumed that the problem is in some way static, but it would seem that it is essentially dynamic and continually oscillating between different phases.
2. An adequate response to the problem will only emerge when there is greater individual and collective understanding of how to "dance" with it. Achieving this will engender the transformative energy required at this time. Aspects of the understanding required are, as one might have expected, neatly projected into the different domains of human action. For example, the design of electric dynamos,, martial art philosophy, or dance itself, all suggest ways of making creative use of alternating phases of attraction and opposition. It is seemingly necessary to constantly change the nature of the relationship and to use opposition and attraction without being overwhelmed by them. The present tendency of trying to "merge" with allies and "eliminate" opponents is totally inappropriate because it destroys the configuration within which individual and social energy are generated. Human and social development are not linear. They involve oscillation in a way which is not yet clearly understood. [As its title suggests, Itzhak Bentov's "Stalking the Wild Pendulum" (62), explores this area. It offers an interesting synthesis of subjective experience, modern physics and traditional philosophy.]
3. The previous point suggests that the present trend in pursuit of "alternative models" can only be of limited value. The point is not simply to discover some magical alternative model of value to development but of limited appeal. It is rather to discover "models of alternation" (or oscillation) to contain the development process in relation to different alternatives which may be periodically adopted. Institutions could useful consider the value of an alternation policy (e.g. centralization/decentralization), rather than having it forcefully imposed upon them periodically by their environment or pursuing a schizophrenic policy using departments with alternative approaches which are impossible to reconcile. Each alternative becomes a boundary condition. The challenge is to use a configuration of such alternative models in such a way as to constitute a "container" for the development process. How many "sides" does it need? [)It is worth recalling the breakthrough in organic synthesis resulting from Kekulé's famous discovery of the circular bond configuration for the benzene molecule, and the notion of oscillation inherent in its stability. The molecule is now conceived as a resonance hybrid - somf~thing analogous could be considered the "Holy Grail" of the development quest.]
4. A clearer understanding is required of what needs to be "contained" to focus energy for development. What is it that moves (like a bouncing ball) between the alternatives and is partially represented by attention, fashion, and currents of opinion? What is the optimal pattern of movement and how can this pattern of movement become self -organizing? How many "move ments" are there? What shapes might the container usefully take to facilitate development: spheroid, toroid, ovoid, etc?
5. This approach offers a very creative opportunity for classification research as a way of giving very precise form to the container. It clarifies how reality is effectively encoded in society. To be successful and to avoid dysfunctional codes, there is a need to break away from the present static concepts and emphasize the relationships between major classes as functions. It is vital to recognize that classification is a political act with policy implications. There is a need to be able to answer, for each term, the question: "What is the political implication of its position in (or absence from) the classification scheme?" Absence of certain clusters of functions should clarify the extent of functional bias in "integrated" programmes.
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