Knowledge Gardening through Music
patterns of coherence for future African management as an alternative to Project Logic
- / -
A. The Challenge
-- Learning from myth
-- Defining the need
B. Cognitive functions
-- Sacred music
-- 'Singing the world'
-- Musical therapy
-- Music as a weapon
-- Music and song as organizing templates
-- Notation systems.
-- Music of the spheres.
-- Sustaining community through song
-- Web knowledge organization and music
C. Cognitive functions
-- Gardening and flowers
-- Web knowledge organization and flowers
-- Website structure in comparison
with flower organization.
D. Participative involvement
-- Engagement in knowledge organization
-- Moving through patterns
E. Living the present
F. Challenge of benefiting
from insights of musicians, singers and gardeners.
-- In the present
-- Experiencing the moment
-- Composing the world -- the en-choiring mind
-- Re-enchanting conceptual organization
-- Dialogue context -- in Camelot
-- Harmonizing project initiatives
-- Reframing present initatives
-- Back to Africa
This proposal responds to the evidence that strategies to
deliver services and remedial measures are increasingly non-viable. Coping at
every level of society, including that of national and international governance,
is proving increasingly problematic.
Whilst there is indeed still a lot of mileage in conventional
strategic initiatives, the concern here is with the many sectors, and inter-sectoral
domains, where new approaches seem to be called for. Of special concern are
intractable situations, as in Africa, where the western management approach
fails to engage with local cultures. This is a situation described by an African
management researcher, based at an African management institute, as like a 'drop
of water running off a manioc leaf' (Henry Bourgoin, 1984).
It is unfortunate that the challenge of the Internet for Africa
is expressed in terms of a combination of illiteracy and inadequate technology
infrastructure in a response to the 'digital divide' (see Djamen et
al, 1995; Jegede, 1995; and Obijiofor, et al, 2000). This ignores the fact
that use of the Internet in western societies is increasingly spreading to the
functionally illiterate (and may in fact be contributing to such illiteracy),
forcing a shift to visualization techniques that is strongly reinforced by the
perceived inadequacies of text information under conditions of information overload
-- even for the highly literate. It also ignores the possibility that textually
illiterate cultures may be highly 'literate' visually (as in the case
of Australian Aborigines) or aurally -- enabling them to creatively by-pass
the need for textual literacy in adapting to the Internet and in processing
knowledge in ways congenial and valuable to their own culture. It also ignores
the impact of satellite technologies in by-passing the need to wire local communities
through central nodes. There is a tendency to state the challenge in terms which
evoke the same old pattern of dependency on industrialized countries, which
of course have a strong interest in the economic implications. This point has
been aergued in an earlier paper with respect to use of information for policy-making
in developing countries (Judge,
1999). There is a need to at least explore other ways of framing the challenge.
There is therefore a strong case for investing some effort
in quite different approaches, even if they appear inherently risky and unlikely
to succeed according to the Project Logic of conventional western management.
The strange challenges of global governance may only be comprehensible through
other means, as Niels Bohr said of understanding atoms: 'When it comes
to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly
so concerned with describing facts as with creating images.' With respect
to what follows regarding African management, another argument of Bohr might
well apply: "The question which divides us is whether it is crazy enough
to have a chance of being correct." To which Freeman Dyson added: "When a great
innovation appears, it will almost certainly be in a muddled, incomplete and
confusing form. To the discoverer, himself, it will be only half understood;
to everyone else, it will be a mystery. For any speculation which does not at
first glance look crazy, there is no hope!" (Kenneth Brower, The Starship
and the Canoe, 1979)
The following sections therefore explore the possibilities
suggested by a wide range of unusual approaches to framing the cognitive challenge
of organizing collective undertakings and ensuring their sustainability and
coherence. They provide a context for technical arguments in a proposal by a
4-partner consortium led by the Union of International Associations to the Information
Society Technologies program of the European Commission (proposal).
This proposal was oriented towards the extensive web databases of the UIA on
interlinked world problems, strategies, values, and institutions (see http://www.un-intelligible.org/docs/overview.php#orga]
Music -- Playing to the Beast: It
is regrettable that there is so little interest in relating cultural insights
into the role of music to the strategic challenges of the times. It is even
more regrettable in that music is one of the few preoccupations that engage
multitudes of people otherwise largely apathetic to these challenges.
Music has demonstrable and proven capacities to engage the
young, the intellectually challenged, the autistic, and the very old -- across
cultures and levels of society (Blacking, 1995). Ian Cross (1999) explores why
people continue to play whatever they appreciate as music and what role it plays
in cognitive development. The case of musical file exchange, using Napster-type
software, is an interesting reminder of how significant constituencies think.
There is a case for exploring the various myths involving
music to determine what function it was understood to perform in crisis situations.
Particularly intriguing is the case of the Beast whose otherwise uncontrolled
tendencies could only be calmed by musical harmonies -- leading to the possibility
of a more creative and fruitful relationship with it. It might be argued that
civilization has created or evoked its own form of Beast as a challenge to governance
and could well explore new ways of relating to it.
From a musical perspective, why is the Beast so dangerously
out of control? What do musical harmonies bring to the Beast's condition? What
synaptic pathways do they trigger to reinforce the Beast's capacity to control
itself? By what condition is the Beast trapped? The obvious examples, are the
cases of dancing bears and charmed snakes swaying to the music, but perhaps
more interesting isf the use of music in calming some with severe mental and
In armies of the past it might be argued that music was a
way of engaging and controlling unruly soldiers. It provided an indirect form
of discipline, enhancing collective identity, by which all were engaged. It
continues to be used in this way amongst populations engaged in tribal warfare,
with remnants to be heard in sports stadiums. Cynically it might be argued that
society uses music in this way to control a potentially unruly population. For
if music became unavailable, would not many 'take to the streets'?
What experiential pathways are offered to the Beast by music?
Strangely it might be argued that in modern civilization,
as in the past, it is the Beast that could be said to have appropriated music
to some degree. This is well-illustrated by the names of groups and titles of
records (as any web search for Music and Beast illustrates).
What can be learnt from the subtle art of musical accompaniment,
notably for movies?
Magical gardens -- and the Garden of Eden:
It is in such gardens that everything is purportedly in harmony. In a sense
the garden is the manifestation of perfect governance, in which the plants and
animals are effective performers of magical melodies -- they are in tune with
their environment with which they dance.
There are libraries of books on the Garden of Eden and on
utopias of various kinds. Those of greater interest explore the challenge of
the Beast in its various forms to such exemplifications of harmony -- the challenge
of chaos. But in portraying such gardens and their associated utopias there
is usually a break with the many unpleasant features of reality -- banned necessarily
from the Garden of Eden. It is rare to encounter means of traversing the interface
between perfect harmony and the cacophony of the real world. Yet many would
readily agree that music offers vital clues to this, indeed it exemplifies the
There have always been those who have favoured a particular
musical mode as the key to harmony, rejecting other modes as inferior. The chasm
between classical and pop music has long been clear. But avant garde
composers interested in dissonance have endeavoured to reframe this challenge.
The principles of harmony, and the ranges of possible music, are far grander
in scope than the particular musics pleasing to particular groups of individuals
at a moment in time. In this sense the musical challenge parallels that of world
governance, but is perhaps better articulated in technical terms and makes it
more obvious why particular styles might be favoured by particular groups. Indeed
the range of possible musical styles effectively defines the range of constituencies
by which governance is challenged. Simplistic efforts to ensure the dominance
of a particular musical style are as obviously inappropriate as efforts to impose
a particular style of world governance.
What is the cognitive and experiential significance of a Paradise
or of a Music of the Spheres? How might it engage with a world of disharmony
How can knowledge be embodied into song or music -- especially
for use in situations where reference to text is impossible or an indication
of inadequacy? This might be seen as a key question for sustainable community.
It may be a key question for governance of any kind. Even strategic 'fire-fighters' must recognize that if they have to look at a manual in order to put
out the fire then it may well be too late -- and certainly does not inspire
confidence. Most leaders however are now seen to speak from scripts -- because
they have no sense of the coherence of the message they need to communicate.
Given the explosion of information, how can knowledge be packaged in new and
more compact ways that are readily accessible -- and effectively act as templates
through which to respond to complex situations? These new modalities might be
seen as the cognitive equivalent to the see-through information visors of pilot
helmets onto which are dynamically projected vital navigational information.
Examples might include:
- First aid mnemonic songs or chants
- Survival songs or chants
- Negotiation songs or chants (holding options
at different stages in a complex process, as articulated in Getting to
- Enterprise management songs or chants
There is indeed a case for repackaging most knowledge in this way as
an alternative distribution mechanism to costly books or other information media.
Whilst the process raises many questions, there are some valuable aspects to
rote learning, especially if its aesthetic dimensions can be heightened through
song (cf the case of Harold Baum's Biochemists' Songbook designed to
facilitate memorization of biochmeical pathways; or the use of songs to develop
science concepts in chi!ldren http://www.seaworld.org/Songs/songs.html).
Of particular interests is the way in which knowledge can be held in learnt
songs long before the significance or application becomes evident. This might
be considered somewhat like the delayed release systems used to water or fertilize
plants. It is the basis for monastic rote learning and chanting in Buddhist
Sustainable songs could be designed to carry sets of concepts.
Simple variants of a song could carry fundamental concepts, such as the basic
10 concepts of economics, or of electricity, or of sustainable development.
The verses or song structure could be designed to be open to more complex development
(possible through transposition of key, multi-part development, counter-point,
overtones, etc) to carry larger, subtler patterns -- sets of 20, 50, or 100
concepts. The design could allow concepts to be nested according to need. The
creative could be challenged to come up with more powerful songs to hold knowledge
even more effectively -- somewhat along the lines followed by avant garde
composers in developing musical ideas.
Qualification for participation in sustainable community,
might then depend on knowledge of the songs to determine:
- at what level a person could effectively
- what self-discipline the person can apply
Aspects of this already operate in the processes whereby people are (self-)selected
into sustainable dialogue processes, whether face-to-face or electronically
mediated. Knowing the 'language' of the group may be more a question
of knowing the 'song' through which resonant relationships are
sustained. 'Participation' in community or democratic processes may
come to have more of the significance associated with the technical and musical
ability to take 'part' in a polyphonic choral group.
Cognitive functions of music
The function of music as an organizing template for spiritual
experience has long been recognized. There is a form of isomorphism or resonance
between the music favoured by a particular religion and the structure of that
belief system. Music can therefore be selected to reinforce a pattern of belief.
It provides scaffolding for belief and, through the coherence it offers, a comfort
to those of that faith that are in distress.
From this perspective the strong views of the Catholic Church
on particular music, considered anti-thetical to religious belief, are understandable.
Various Pope's have expressed great distress at polyphony and the 'diabolic'
nature of unacceptable chords (diabolus in musica). More recently other
Christian groups have expressed concern at the concsequences of the abuse of
music in general, but especially with regard to Christian worship, arguing that
music itself is being promoted as a mysterious supernatural force that will
produce glorious results (Tricia
As an organizing template, the patterns of music may effectively
hold special knowledge of unique value to a culture -- and to identity within
that culture. It is for this reason that invaders have often sought to suppress
musical expression by the conquered. Some religions have gone as far as to condemn
musical expression in any form. It might be said that some forms of musical
expression are a direct challenge to certain articulations of knowledge -- they
give organizational precision to alternatives and call attention to a larger
Jacques Attali (Noise, 1985), former president of the
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, has gone some way towards
suggesting that western managerial thinking is effectively playing out schemes
of organization articulated in classical western music of the 19th century.
He argues that musical organization is a precursor of social organization. Classical
music thinking is clearly challenged by other styles considered more appealing
by the young or by other cultures. The strength of 19th century compositions
might be said to lie in their degree of organization, namely the complexity
that could be integrated within them. This is not a characteristic of pop music,
except in the case of some forms of polyphony.
What is not clear from this perspective is why no equivalent
managerial sciences have emerged to embody the organizational principles articulated
in the complexities of some classical eastern forms of music. As argued by Mohan
'Music has always been regarded as the most philosophical of all the art
forms, perhaps due to its exciting and invigorating blend of art as well as
science. Indian classical music was referred to as shastriya sangeetham
until the term 'classical' was borrowed from the West. Loosely translated, shastriya
sangeetham means 'scientific music'. However, while the science of the music
stresses conformity, discipline and acoustic accuracy, the beauty of Indian
classical music is the immense freedom that it allows the performer; the freedom
to improvise...' 'Improvization' has only recently become a fashionable
strategic concept for management.
It would seem that the condition of Africa needs more than
is offered by the cognitive framework of the continuing use of Beethoven's Ninth
Symphony in moments of international solemnity. A new kind of holy music is
called for -- perhaps better framed as a "wholly" music, or a music of enwholement.
Many traditional peoples have a relationship to their environment articulated
in part by music and song. Priests in many early religions have engaged in rituals
that involved some understanding of assisting the sun to rise through song,
or ensuring the turn of the seasons. Traces of this persist in the cycle of
Christian rituals. It has become a topic in relation to the expansion of hermeneutics
through visualism in science (see Don Ihde, 1998). Musicians associated with
the green movement have produced conservation songs. For example, Jean Hoem
argues: 'More music than one realizes has been composed as a direct response
to an actual experience of the composer in nature. . . . Music of this kind
has tremendous possibilities for creating environmental awareness and for developing
in young people attitudes of care and concern for the environment. Awareness
and appreciation are the prerequisites for developing an environmental ethic,
and involvement is the key to learning these skills. Such involvement in [music]
can be achieved through (1) listening, (2) performing, and (3) creating.'
The Australian Aborigines have a special relationship to their
lands that involves maintaining songlines across the landscape through song.
The land is cared for through song. Topographical features may then be described
as 'sung'. This understanding of the noosphere may be usefully compared
to that based on information highways (Judge,
1996), although absent from a recent study of noopolitics (John Arquilla
and David Ronfeldt, 1999).
Modern variants of this may be seen in the use of hymns or
other songs in morning assembly at schools. Japanese corporations have encouraged
the use of corporation songs to focus and motivate employees of all grades --
to give coherence to their collective effort. Several US businesses specialize
in the composition of customized corporate songs (http://www.renegadecow.com/corporatesongs.htm;
Declared objectives include to: motivate a sales force; help people remember
key points and ideas; inspire personnel; keep clients thinking of the corporation.
This has rarely been extended into other forms of plenary
assembly, with the notable exception of socialist use of the International
and the use of national anthems, whether sung or not. Totalitarian and nazi
regimes have used song to engender and enforce a perspective. A document on
the web in 2000 during the US presidential electoral race, indicates Bush and
Gore as 'singing from the same corporate songbook' funded by 66 corporations.
It is an interesting, but perhaps naïve question, as to why the General Assembly
of the United Nations never finds any reason to burst into song in seeking to
care for the world. But of course this does reflect the practice in national
parliaments in caring for their countries.
The more official or formal modern uses need to be distinguished
from those in which the singers are engaged cognitively in the process to a
higher degree -- presumably the reason for the Japanese use of such song. This
raises the question of how effective is song in focusing collective endeavour
when engaged in voluntarily rather than through obligation or as a facilitated
process. What might be the effect of greater use of music and song in plenary
assemblies of representatives? Especially in Africa?
Of special interest is the use of multi-part songs to reflect
the complex interplay of different, even opposing, perspectives in a larger
comprehensible whole. It is ironic that sub-Saharan peoples are often highly
skilled in this and yet find it dissociated from the 'serious' western-style
decision-making according to which they have been obliged to function. Why is
it that they have effectively been deprived of the assistance of a natural skill
supportive of cognitive complexity in dealing with complex social situations?
Healing through music and song has a very long tradition of
which Marsilio Ficino was a noted exponent at the time of the Renaissance. It
has been extensively explored in recent years (see for example: http://www.westmusic.com/music_therapy_library.asp;
), even as a means of assisting the dying process.
There seem to be few examples of the use of music to 'heal'
societies and to offer a form of remedial therapy to governments in disarray
(for a review of these possibilities published by the European Platform for
Conflict Prevention and Transformation, see Kees Epskamp. Healing Divided
Societies [through visual and performing arts], 1998). However the Spring
2000 issue of Resonance (published by the International Music Council)
has as its theme 'music and peace' which is the thematic programme
of IMC for the year 2000, strongly supported by UNESCO. But although suggestions
for projects are requested, it is unclear in what way they will move beyond
the long-established pattern that fails to address the alternative cognitive
possibilities potentially associated with music in concrete crisis situations
such as Africa. Are there indeed new ways to work with music that might be meaningful
There are undoubtedly songs that helped to focus the national
spirit in times of emergency. The UK was attentive to this during the more harrowing
times of World War II. Song continues to be used as a means of raising the morale
of troops. Whether particular songs can be considered to have performed a healing
function for a (possibly divided) country is unclear, although presumably this
is one function desired of national anthems.
At present any effort at reconciliation is designed to get
the separate parties to the same table and produce and sign a text in appropriate
legal terminology to ensure their agreement is binding. The text is usually
relatively meaningless and unmemorable to those not present.
The possibility that the focus of a reconciliatory gathering
might instead be on the composition of a song (sufficiently complex to hold
and honour the represented differences in a larger set of harmonies) has not
been explored. It is surely worthy of modest effort -- especially as a service
to tribal populations whose preferred mode might be aural rather than verbal
and written. The 'conclusion' of the gathering is then a song, which
should necessarily be valued by the populations whose interests are reflected
in it. The closest approximation to this in the western world is the annual
Eurovision Song Contest -- which serves to some degree to bind people across
frontiers (although totally unrelated to policy decisions). This approach might
have much to recommend it at a time when most declarations are effectively 'unsung
' and designed to be 'unsingable' -- a strange contrast to pop
songs evoking the same themes, but known worldwide.
as a weapon
It is easy to assume that music is unrelated to organizational
operations in the real world and is at best a tool of public relations. However
its value in military style operations has long been recognized. Troops were
accompanied into battle through music, notably with the bagpipes. Music sequences
were also used for signalling purposes during battle (eg sounding the attack,
or the retreat, by bugle). They psyched themselves up for battle with music,
as continues to be the case in modern tribal warfare (for example by the Inkatha
in the inter-ethnic conflicts accompanying the transformation of the apartheid
regime in South Africa).
Music continues to be used to intimidate opposition, as exemplified
by the drumming during Orange Marches in Northern Ireland. It is used in certain
siege-type operations by the US military (as with the psy-ops in Grenada and
Panama) extensively documented on the web. War chants have a long history of
which traces are to be seen in the Haka chant performed by the All Blacks rugby
team prior to a match. They were designed to terrorize the enemy and embolden
the attacking forces (as continues to be the case with sports chants).
Chants have always been used, as one technique, at the community
level to mock those scapegoated by the community. Their power is well understood
in harassment and bullying by the institutionalized, such as in schools or prisons.
Song may also be used in a community to entrain dissenters and to drown out
Questions might be usefully asked about the role of certain
forms of western music in converting other peoples to western ways and away
from their own patterns of behaviour and modes of thought. As such it is in
instrument of cultural imperialism through which other cultural identities are
effectively crushed. Religious authorities have, throughout history (notably
in colonial periods), sought to prohibit songs of a culture -- to ensure susceptibility
to those of the invading colonial or religious power. Shopping-mall music is
an instrument deliberately designed to encourage consumerism.
The destruction of the autoimmune system of up to 25% of Africans
through AIDS may prove to have been a tragic parallel to its memetic precursor,
namely the destruction of the knowledge organization protecting African culture
from invading cultures -- who now proceed to withhold pharmaceutical products
offering some palliative effects.
For those who believe it appropriate, what form does the music
or song take in the 'battle' against drugs or in support of sustainable
development? Protest songs have been significant in reframing certain causes
and in opposing war (as in the case of Vietnam). But it is perhaps the churches
in their militant role 'against the forces of Satan' that have focused
most clearly on the use of music and song as a weapon -- notably one employed
by the 'forces of darkness' . But it is not clear what might be learnt
from their efforts.
and song as organizing templates
From the above it is clear that music has performed a vital
role in motivating collective initiatives and providing coherence to an enterprise.
The question is whether its possibilities have been neglected in relation to
contemporary challenges of reconciliation and sustainable development. Could
music be designed to bridge gaps between opposing parties and embody the larger
significance that they share in ways that joint declarations and legal agreements
have been unable to explore? Could music provide organizing principles relevant
to the operationalization of sustainable development, ensuring its coherence
There are various leads that merit exploration:
1. Mnemonic: Complex organization requires enhanced collective memory. In cultures
with writing, or oriented towards the written mode, text serves this purpose.
In a world of very significant levels of functional illiteracy, even in industrialized
countries, other mnemonic techniques are necessary. Interesting examples include:
How is it that untrained people are able to remember hundreds
of songs whereas the articles of the main legal instruments, supposedly designed
to regulate civilized communities (declarations of human rights, constitutions,
etc), are memorable only to those with a legal bent? Does this not suggest a
potential for holding insight relevant to sustainable development that has been
extremely poorly explored?Exceptionally for such an
institution, an FAO electronic conference on small farmer group associations
(SFGAs) in 1998, faced with the problems of low levels of literacy amongst those
involved in decision-making bodies of such groups, raised the possibility of
reinforcing rules and procedures in verbal ways through developing means for
'ritualizing procedures which can be strengthened by mnemonic devices (songs,
rhymes, etc)' (http://www.fao.org/WAICENT/FAOINFO/SUSTDEV/PPdirect/ppfo0007.htm)
- Biochemical pathways: mnemonic songs (see above)
- Mnemonic chants: attack pattern in the classic Dirty
- Ditties for cooking, and other procedures
2. Work chants: These have long been used as an accompaniment to work, whether by
sailors, field workers, slaves, trainee soldiers in bootcamp, etc.Desdpite the
'two cultures', in German there is a tradition of guildsmen having
other social roles as singers, as exemplified by Wagner's Meistersinger.
3. Jingles: The advertising industry is adept at designing memorable jingles to
entice the mind in ways beyond the capacity of political slogansl. Jingles are
designed to persuade people to a certain pattern of behaviour. Jingles with
a political message have been widely used in Communist China, notably in street
4. Rhythm: It is clear that rhythm engages people in patterns of organization,
especially when it reinforces natural rhythms (Ayensu and Whitfield, 1982).
It is often something they are engaged by voluntarily, although a rhythm may
be forced upon people notably with drums (as in marching, or slave rowing of
triremes). Rhythm may therefore be used to control patterns of movement, although
it is precisely the notion of 'control' that is called into question
when people are enticed into the rhythm voluntarily as in dance. Monastic communities
have explored its use in regulating their daily rhythm, whether using drums
(Zen monasteries) or bells (Christian monasteries). The tradition of using bells
continues in many schools, and has been converted into a simple noise in the
case of factory hooters and whistles. The question is then what function it
might have in regulating sustainable communities in general -- of which monasteries
are a very particular case.
5. Enticement: How are people 'enticed into' music? There are some quite
distinct lines of inquiry:
Are there learnings from this in relation to enticing people
into new patterns of behaviour of a more sustainable form? Why does western
legalese fail so significantly in engaging people into new patterns? Why does
the United Nations continue to invest so heavily and exclusively in a mode that
has such a questionable track record? What exactly is to be learnt from initiatives
such as the Symphony for the United Nations, or its EU equivalents (Chamber
Orchestra of Europe http://www.coeurope.org/;
European Union Youth Orchestra http://euyo.oracle.com/; European Union Baroque
Orchestra http://www.eubo.org.uk/) --
where the setting for the performances is designed for decorative rather than
cognitive effect, and where the performances fail to respond to the multicultural
challenge of musical preferences across classes and cultures? During the time of U Thant (according to Robert Muller), it was informally proposed within the United Nations that Beethoven's Ode to Joy should become the anthem of the UN. When asked his opinion, Pablo Cassals said that as an alternative he would write music for this purpose. The resulting lengthy peice has been rarely if ever performed -- an embarrassment at official greeting ceremonies for visiting UN dignitaries. The Ode to Joy has become accepted as the anthem of the EU however.
- Fairy stories: The process has been explored to some
degree in many folk tales and myths.
- Incense: Religious rituals have used incense as part
of a package of techniques that dispose people to the patterns of organization
offered by music
- Drugs: These are a secular variant on the use of incense.
6. Identity: For some, songs may in some measure carry the identity of:
In a world challenged by territoriality and erosion of individual
and collective identity, is it possible that music and song could be developed
to carry identity in new ways? Is there some equivalent to genetic identity
-- memetic identity?
- a person:
- my themes
- my melodies
- my chords / style
- a group or a community (as with a sports song, a student
song, or a schools song)
- a relationship ('our song')
7. Collective energy: How are collective energies engendered, garnered and gathered in places
where hopes are low?
- Africa (charismatic churches)
- Latin America (Santeria)
- slums (gangs and music)
- bars / joints / hangouts
- young people / discos
8. Theory of harmony: It is curious that so little effort has been
made to explore implications of the theory of harmony to social harmony, as
suggested elsewhere (Judge, 1981;
1993). One unexpected
acknowledgement of this possibility is suggested by the following discussion
of harmonization between legal systems by Esin örücü (2000):
'There is a place for divergence even in a scheme of convergence,
as harmony of differents is more fruitful and beneficial to the world of legal
learning than efforts to standardise. What is the meaning of integration?
Does harmony mean similarity? Is there a dichotomy between harmonisation and
harmony? Harmony is both an objective and an inherent characteristic of any
system. Law subsumes harmonisation. The notion of harmonisation of laws in
the context of comparative law is, however, obscure. Harmonisation as a concept
is a process of bringing about harmony, analogous to that in music. As a method,
harmonisation becomes a goal for law reform. However, harmony presupposes
and preserves diversity. In the analogy to music, components retain their
individuality but form a new and more complex sound. Consonance as the opposite
of discord is a pleasurable combination. Harmony is a relative concept which
can also include dissonance. We can achieve harmony not only by eliminating
diversity but also within diversity.'
The relevance of music to comprehension and dynamic organization
of complex data structures on the web has been explored elsewhere with respect
to the databases of the Union of International Associations (examples
Knowledge tends to be organized through notation systems of some kind. There
is a long history of musical notation of which the western system used for classical
and popular music is the best known (although avant garde composers use
other forms of notation that are of great interest). Organizations in society
also tend to have their structure represented by a graphic notation system,
most commonly the traditional 'organization chart' in hierarchical
form. There is a potentially intriguing relationship to be explored between
conventional musical notation and hierarchical organization charts, even though
the former might be thought of as representing a dynamic and the latter a static
Consider representation of music on a grid of parallel lines (the 'staff')
with a sequence of notes and chords represented -- five parallel lines are used
in the modern form. The height or 'pitch' of the note is indicated
by its height on that grid. Two parallel grids ('staves') are commonly
used to indicate different ranges of notes, with the lower often played by the
left hand and the upper by the right -- although the organ may have a third
(played by the feet). Sequences of notes on a staff may be 'beamed'
together by a horizontal linking bar to make them easier to read. Notes (to
be played simultaneously) can be linked vertically on 'stems' as an
indication of chords, at a particular position in the sequence -- played from
left to right. The sequence of notes is broken into clusters by vertical 'bars'
-- the length of the cluster sequence is the 'measure' determined
by the meter. The meter signature indicates how many beats there will be in
Organizations tend to operate in cycles, whether quarterly, annual or 2-yearly
(like UNESCO) -- with each cycle being the occasion for any reorganization and
reallocation of resources. Some organizations may be better characterized by
weekly (eg some factories) or daily cycles (eg some contractors). Suppose the
organization chart for any one cycle was to be considered like a bar of music.
The vertical organization of such a chart tends to have up to 7 levels, although
this is considered a 'deep' hierarchy and 'shallower' ones
are more common -- like 5, for example. The 'highest' positions on
the staff (curiously the same term as in music) are displayed on the top row,
with those under them on successive rows below. Each functional division of
the organization is displayed from left to right across the chart.
During a particular cycle it could be argued that resources are allocated so
that each function is active (or communicating) in a particular way. For example,
the lower three positions on the 'staff' of the first function, the
middle function of the second, and the top two of the third -- if there are
only three functional divisions in the chart. This starts to resemble three
notes within a bar, two of them 'chords'. The possible number of notes
per bar is of the same order as the number of line functions in a hierarchical
organization -- even a government.
Within a hierarchical line of an organization, vertical interaction between
positions may have a resonant dynamic as in a musical chord. It might be argued
that a bar of music is associated with the attention span through which the
music is perceived and, although played sequentially, is experienced as a static
gestalt across which are experienced horizontal resonances. Correspondingly,
although there is no dynamic sequence to the line functions of an organization,
there are also horizontal resonances between them that define a gestalt through
which the organization is perceived within a particular cycle. Both organization
chart and musical bar might be experienced like standing waves.
In this light it is now interesting to look at an organization across a succession
of cycles and compare it with a sequence of bars of music. This could be done
by overlaying onto a single organization chart the developments of that chart
for a number of cycles. The same could be done for a sequence of bars of music,
overlayed onto a single bar. These two forms, best represented on a computer
graphical display, now acquire increasing resemblance, especially if the dynamics
can be retained by using blinking effects as features become active or inactive.
This investigation effectively 'morphs' one into the other.
But what this suggests is that cycles of organization may have strong resemblances
to cycles of music. And what makes for interesting music may also make for functionally
significant organization. If this could be shown to be the case, then possibly
policy cycles could be constructed in the light of musical principles -- according
to the cultural harmonic preferences of those for whom they are intended. It
is possible that the musical preferences of some non-western cultures call for
styles of organization quite different from those favoured by western industrialized
society. A different rhythm may be called for to engage people appropriately.
The disaffection of non-western cultures for western organization may have quite
similar cognitive origins to their indifference to western styles of music.
Also of interest is the significance of parallel sequences
('staves') of notes -- played by the right and left hands, for example.
In the case of organization charts, only the upper 'staff' is evident,
effectively the 'top down' or overt representation of the organization.
Equally relevant to organization dynamics is the pattern of 'bottom up'
or covert dynamics. This might be represented on a second organization chart
-- the kind articulated by consultants to reflect the undeclared communication
pattern known to those who work in or interact with the organization (its 'left-hand'
!). It is the interaction between the two 'staves' that constitutes
the reality of the organization. This relates to the Japanese distinction between
tatemae (overt or stated ) and honne (underlying or unstated)
in any communication, especially in organizations. It is tempting to suggest
that the interplay between governmental and nongovernmental organization
in any situation could usefully be seen in terms of the upper and lower staves.
Music of the spheres
From Pythagoras to the Romantics, music was perceived in western
cultures to have a role that far surpassed its modern status as 'art form'
or 'entertainment'. For those 2,000 years it was no less than an embodiment
of the scientific world; an expression of celestial harmony which reflected
the diversity and complexity of man and the universe.This view has been held,
and continues to be held, in many other cultures. The fundamental cognitive
role of musical frameworks has been explored in studies such as Ernest McClain
(1976). As Antonio de Nicolas (1986) argues: Music is of course organized sound.
It is also structure, sound-form and geometry. Unless we teach and present these
"technologies" as what they are "embodied technologies" that can change our
way of looking at things, hearing, breathing etc., they will always remain cultural
artifacts to be used on weekends or as an escape. These technologies built worlds
and unless the subjects (our children mostly) develop them they (the children)
will be swallowed by the modern digital repetitious and repeated technologies.
We are what we do and what we do is possible because of our embodied technologies
and of these technologies music-epistemology is the language of the primary
(right) brains, not as sound but as structure.
In concluding his review of the role of music as a pattern
of coherent understanding through which the world may be perceived, Jamie James
(1993) argues that at present: 'There are no towering figures in the sphere
of concert-hall music because that is no longer the music that focuses the deepest
imaginative energies of the culture. what we call classical music has become
an elite and self-serving institution, over-whelmingly dedicated to the curatorial
function of preserving musical traditions of the past -- undoubtedly an important
function, yet anything but vital -- and to a much lesser degree serving as handmaiden
to the last wheezing, exhausted remnants of the avant-garde...The forms have
been superseded; the distance between artist and audience has simply become
too great....In pursuing the concept of the musical universe from the first
notes of Western music to the latest electronic screech, we have traced its
gradual passage from vitality to sterility, from substance to form.'. As
such, in the light of Attali's analysis, it is very much a reflection of the
ability of western Project Logic to provide a coherent response to the challenge
of the times.
Attitudes to the modern international conference, at which
the future of humanity is purportedly planned, resemble James description of
audiences in concert halls: 'Plush, upholstered temples were constructed,
where the faithful manifested their reverence by an awestruck attitude unknown
to earlier generations' (p. 233). He denounces the 'psychotic bifurcation'
of civilization as articulated in C P Snow's Two Cultures (1959), in
which 'what passes for a Renaissance man is a biologist who goes to the
opera twice a year, or a poet who uses the laws of planetary motion as a metaphor
for love' (p. xiv). The possibility that musical insights may have much
to offer in reframing understanding of the tensons of modern civilization and
the pursuit of global harmony is simply denied.
James offers the reminder that: 'Anyone who conceives of Pythagoras as
the inventor of a geometric theorem, the formulator of laws of music theory,
and the utterer of cryptic aphorisms will miss the essence of his thought entirely,
for the whole point of what he taught is the interrelatedness of all human knowledge'
(p. 23). This interrelatedness is again emerging as a challenge through information
overload on the web and the technical aspirations for a 'Global Brain'
-- whose nature Peter Russell describes with a musical accompaniment (http://www.peterussell.com/GBVideo.html).
The possibility that its coherent organization and comprehension might be dependent
on musical insights remains to be explored (see Judge,
community through song
'Sustainable community' is a loose term that suggests
desirable processes and indicators but cannot be easily related to anything
in particular. It is perhaps clearest in the sense of surviving beyond short-term
cycles. However it does not preclude the notion of a community existing on subsidies.
This may be quite sustainable if the handouts persist.
Beyond the tangibles of community, there are community intangibles
that can be experienced through collective singing. Examples include what is
experienced and reinforced through work songs (include planting and fishing
songs), military songs, student songs, learning songs (typical of kindergarten),
campfire songs (promoted by youth movements), and religious songs (notably those
of monastic communities). Activists of every kind have developed songs to sustain
their community of belief and initiative (see the 30,000 songs in the Green Book of Songs
The much-reported final singing on the monument to Project Logic -- the Titanic
-- raises interesting questions -- if only as to what song humanity might
sing as it finally extinguished itself.
How is a community nourished and sustained by song? How do
such processes differ from those associated with sustainable community development
of a more tangible kind.? Morning 'assembly' in intentional communities
or certain corporations may serve to 'sound a note', rather as in
the attunement process of an orchestra, to evoke appropriate community coherence
(whether to entrain dissenters, smother dissent, or exceptionally to recognize
A more essential question however relates to the distinction
- ensuring community coherence and identity
(irrespective of its effects on other communities) and
- ensuring the healthy development of that
community in relation to its external environment
The question might be phrased as: How is a community's development
sustained by song? The question might be sharpened in the light of the Club
of Rome's distinction between maintenance learning and evolutionary (or shock)
learning (James Botkin, et al, 1979). In this sense it is especially significant
in connection with learning communities where the challenge is some form of
growth in insight, whether individual or collective? How does song sustain the
development of such a community, especially when other learning supports are
It might for example be argued that spiritual communities
of the past have embedded learning pathways in song to enable insight to emerge
whenever that is possible in subsequent generations. The function of the Rg
Veda could be understood from this perspective -- as a means of sustaining
community of insight despite interruptions by periods of social chaos. The Rg
Veda could be chanted as a dead ritual through to periods when it triggered
insight in a community -- or communities of insight could co-exist with the
majority insensitive to the learnings embedded in such song.
This leads to the question of how learning pathways are embedded
into song and music, in contrast to text. Legal texts successfully embody organization
constitutions that may make provision for the organization's development. Programmed
learning manuals are deliberately designed to enable exploration of such pathways.
Music embodies patterns of structural development in other more direct ways.
A piece of music may be designed around the development of a harmonic theme
that directly engages awareness and memory. This facility is seldom possible
with legal text or programmed learning. The current enthusiasm for multi-media
learning is a recognition of this.
Key sets of concepts can be embodied into songs/chants. Many
religions adopt this practice. But strangely precepts such as the 10 Commandments
are not handled in this way. And yet the multiplication tables may be so handled
when teaching arithmetic, as well as many other mathematical operations (see
It might well be asked to what extent UNESCO has supported this mode of learning
How do monastic communities establish a link between sets
of precepts and the articulation of their constitutional rules to ensure that
their order is sustainable?
Web knowledge organization and music
Whether or not Pythagoras or Ficino discovered any special
association between particular tones and particular categories of knowledge,
it is clearly possibly to make such an association if only as tonal labels in
the light of personal preferences.
It is possible that the poetic originators of the chanted
Rg Veda, and early Sanskrit scholars associated particular tones (or
combinations of tones) with particular categories of knowing. It is the case
that sounds were associated with particular modes of awareness by them, and
in various forms by practitioners of musical therapy throughout the ages. On
this point, Antonio de Nicolas stresses that the Sanskrit
Rishis associated particular tones with particular categories of experience
rather than of "knowledge". We know from neurobiology that the first two intelligence
centers, the reptilian-kinesthetic and the limbic, express themselves only
as vibrations. Their language is "sound" criteria (the fourth and fifth, the
pairs, the cyclic octave etc.). For these experiences to become form they must
pass and be converted as a translation by the right visual neocortex into visible
forms. Theis visual forms may be the end result of an act of creation or it may
become a ritual (a priesthood takes care of that) imposed from the outside on
the unaware individual. Creation disappears and ideology takes over, religion
gives way to idolatry. In view of this, what is the biological function of "sound"
or "visual" criteria in the computer? Are they technologies that the "reader"
can understand -- enabling them to become instruments of creation, or are they
subtle "temptations" from a god-technology to convert infidels to faithful servants
through the ritual of technology? Which one of these two language criteria,
"sound" or "sight", sensitizes the reader more? Whatever the direction of this
discussion the true result is that "sound" criteria for language is the original
criteria of language, while sight criteria is derived and not original. (de
Nicolas, 1978). As he says there:
"Therefore, from a linguistic and cultural perspective,
we have to be aware that we are dealing with a language where tonal and arithmetical
relations establish the epistemological invariances... Language grounded in
music is grounded thereby on context dependency; any tone can have any possible
relation to other tones, and the shift from one tone to another, which alone
makes melody possible, is a shift in perspective which the singer himself embodies.
Any perspective (tone) must be "sacrificed" for a new one to come into being;
the song is a radical activity which requires innovation while maintaining continuity,
and the "world" is the creation of the singer, who shares its dimensions with
the song." (p. 57)
Today users of the Windows operating system are familiar with
the sounds that can be generated by a computer in association with particular
software operations -- to confirm successful completion or warn against some
form of error. These may be reconfigured by the user according to personal preferences
and choices. Windows also offers special 'accessibility' features
for those who are challenged by 'normal' text-based user of a computer.
Increasingly voice recognition software also allows a user to control computer
desktop operations by voice commands.
It is therefore but a short step to combine some of these
initiatives and control a computer using tones and tonal sequences. Many of
the keyboard and mouse functions could be triggered by tones rather than by
voice commands. For someone with modest musical skills the need to be literate
or computer literate could be reframed in terms of providing a tonal framework
through which operations could be triggered. For example it might be quite unnecessary
to have a menu button labelled 'File' or 'Options', when
these functions are known to be triggered by specific sounds. When such a menu
'opens' as a result of the specifc tone, the submenu functions could
be similarly triggered -- indeed these might be directly triggered by a chord
or a simple melody. In effect a user could define 'tonal macros'.
Participants in networked computer games already pass 'sound macros'
between each other.
With further exploration, and very little technical adaptation, features of
this kind could therefore enable people without textual skills to navigate websites.
A computer user of the future might therefore be more like someone whistling
a sequence of tones or simply meloldies. For those with musical skills, this
could be much more rapid than keyboard or mouse operations. It is slightly ironic
that the 'mouse' as first invented by Douglas Engelbart in the 1960s,
was complemented by a 5-key chord Keyset device for the fingers of a hand --
as might be used to play a stringed instrument or flute, notably of a type common
in Africa. The Keyset enabled a process known ironically as "chording" in which
keys could be simultaneously used. Subsequently mouse operations were reduced
to one or two finger 'pick and click', although the more recent 'major
innovations' in 'intelligent mouse technology' have returned
to five buttons. Chording is effectively done with keystroke combinations and
The tonal equivalent to a software 'file manager'
(like Explorer) might work more like playing an instrument such as a harp. 'Touching'
the file label would trigger a sound, just as at present it could supposedly
trigger a verbal label. Passing through a set of files would be like evoking
a sequence of notes from a harp. This sort of understanding would quickly lead
to ways of organizing knowledge in terms of musical frameworks. This mode of
organization might be as impenetrable and incomprehensible to the average western
mind as is, to other cultures, the textual organization that has acquired such
prominence as a result of western dominance.
Future non-western use of a computer might even be perceived
as resembling control of a sheepdog by a shepherd through whistles, or of a
horse by clicks from the rider. People might control their web navigation by
playing notes and chords on an instrument. But even more interesting is the
possibility of tone pattern control in the case of users of 'sung languages'
with a range of pitches (Norwegian, Mandarin Chinese, etc). Nearly a quarter
of the languages of the world are tonal. Many of the languages of South-East
Asia and Africa are indeed tone languages, although the tonal phonemes of most
African languages are based on tone levels rather than the tone contours of
most Southeast Asian languages, so pitched drums are sufficient to represent
them. Such languages use pitch to signal a difference in meaning between words.
These pitch variations are an important part of the language, just as stress
and proper word order are in any language. In these languages, word meanings
or grammatical categories such as tense are dependent on pitch level (more).
There are major typological differences between tone systems, ranging from highly
restricted tone systems such as found in Scandinavian, to systems with 5 distinctive
tone levels, complex contours, and complex patterns of tonal alternations. African
drumming is probably the most sophisticated in the world, often involving long
training from childhood within traditional religious societies. It is suspected
that these drummers can express a lot more than just tonal distinctions. Could
such drumming be used to control collective web navigation?
It is useful to reframe the challenge of 'accessibility'
of computers. Currently this is focused on those who are 'visually'
challenged -- those who have failing vision and individuals with partial vision,
as well as those who are blind. Visual redundancy of auditory clicks and tones
has therefore been designed into accessibility features. Cognitively impaired
individuals have their greatest difficulties in dealing with the software itself,
although layout and labeling of operational controls can also effect their ability
to use computers. Cognitive impairments can take many forms, including retardation,
short- or long-term memory impairments, perceptual differences, learning disabilities,
and language impairments. Of particular concern are computer, information or
transaction systems which are intended for public use. Proper design of these
systems can greatly increase the number of individuals with mild cognitive impairments
who could use the systems.
Reframed however, it might be argued that another kind of
interface (as with synthesizers) would work for the musically skilled but textually
impaired. Indeed it might be argued that current computers are designed essentially
for those who are musically impaired and with little effort to ensure that those
whose higher skills are musical can benefit from them. Has current knowledge
software essentially been organized for those who are effectively tone deaf
and are totally dependent on 'textual accessibility' features?
There is a further twist to the prevailing information design
philosophy with its emphasis on 'vision' -- notably as the basis for
strategy making and global plans. This takes little account of the extent to
which those using this metaphor are actually visually competent, rather than
visually challenged. No one asks whether those articulating or exposed to such
strategic visions can 'see' clearly and are not in need of a 'corrective
lens' for a stategic equivalent of myopia or presbyopia -- athough suggestions
that policy-makers are 'short-sighted' or 'far-sighted'
are not lacking (Judge, 1993). Is it possible that the whole approach to knowledge
systems and strategy is biased by assumptions about the primacy of vision, whilst
denying both the many failings of vision and the skills associated with other
senses such as sound that are possessed by significnt portions of the global
population? In effect is global society permeated by patterns of sensory discrimination
favouring the sighted ('sensism')? Is it any wonder that policy-makers
have trouble 'hearing' the people -- and need special devices for
doing so? Or that we are in danger of developing an essentially 'tasteless'
How would a sound browser on the web work for those with the appropriate skills?
The notion of a 'sound browser' has already been appropriated, as
has that of a 'sound search engine' (http://mmsound.about.com/compute/mmsound/msub23.htm).
At present these are more focused on location of sound through text labels,
not through sound patterns. What might emerge from the constituencies associated
with musical file exchange over the web, using Napster-type software? A group
Sense Internet (http://www.sensei.co.uk/)
uses a homepage that points to the different senses, suggesting an intuitive
recognition that reframing is possible.
From a musical perspective, many of the speculative points made in this paper
with respect to knowledge organization and music (notably on the web) are given
significance and legitimacy by the valuable study by David Rosenboom
C. Cognitive functions of gardening
The resonances between diverse parts, so evident to the ear
in music, are often acknowledged in nature -- whether in wilderness experience
(as promoted by deep ecologists) or in an ordinary garden. Nature can be experienced
as a symphony to the present moment. This is in contrast to preoccupation with
nature as a threat or as an opportunity for exploitation.
The present moment can offer threat. It can be exploited,
but it can also be gardened. The varieties of approach to gardening offer a
useful reminder of the qualities of mind-set that can be brought to bear on
the present. They might include:
- gardening for survival under harsh conditions
- casual gardening for decorative and recreational
- competitive gardening
- specialized gardening (roses, chrysanthemums,
- symbolic, memorial, or ceremonial gardening
- formal gardening (patterned layout, shaped
- designer gardening, carefully planned
- permaculture gardening (mutually supporting
- scientific or educational gardening (botanical and conservation,
herbal pharmacopeia, and arboreta)
- minimal gardening ('let nature takes
- allotment gardening
- landscape gardening
- unplanted (possibly surfaced) yard, with
isolated gardened plots
A distinction can be made between gardening for a variety
of mundane purposes and gardening intended to enhance some other level of meaning.
The kind of discipline and long-term commitment required for an ideal Japanese
garden (characteristic of the ideal Zen monastery), illustrates how a garden
may be used to reinforce other levels of insight and community. Great attention
is paid to the interplay of vistas through the seasons, with the plants and
other features playing off against each other. And ideally the hand, and plan,
of the gardener should be invisible. The garden becomes a meditation interface.
A distinction can also be made between gardening that is designed
to include non-plant species, and gardening designed to exclude all species
not essential to plants (unless they are only minimally disruptive and preferably
decorative, like butterflies or peacocks). Most gardens are of the latter kind
-- necessarily defended by pesticides. Inclusive gardening is especially challenging
and is perhaps exemplified by the sacred groves typical of the Indian sub-continent.
The exclusion of uncontrollable animal species from an ideal garden has connotations
echoing back to the Garden of Eden. It exemplifies the fundamental challenges
of sustainable community development. Most utopias, as well as monastic communities,
achieve their sustainability by designing out 'animal' nature -- an
impossibility in communities of relevance to the real world. The garden-focused
Findhorn Community in Scotland, for example, prohibits pets.
Aside from the standard decorative use of plants to enhance
the prestige of institutional buildings, conference rooms and places of worship,
the relationship of plants to organization of knowledge and community is at
present exemplified in two ways:
- Ironically many databases, menus and systems
of categories make use of a 'tree-structure' metaphor, although
this in no way benefits from insights into the structural variety of plants.
- The Japanese art of flower arrangement (Ikebana)
is an aspect of the bushido discipline that underlies much of the Japanese
approach to strategic thinking. A boardroom flower arrangement may therefore
be used to carry important meanings and insights.
organization and flowers
With the emergence of the knowledge society based on the web,
the explosion of websites has been widely noted. In the immediate future it
is to be expected that no collective initiative, or active individual, will
be without their own website. It may even become the prime affirmation of identity.
The challenge of navigating and comprehending the knowledge implications of
hundreds of millions of websites is only now becoming apparent.
Curiously one of the most useful metaphors through which to
approach this is by recognizing that websites function in relation to one another
like flowering plants in nature -- within 'food webs' within the 'web
of life'. Arrays of websites may be the knowledge gardens of the future
-- prefigured by so-called 'web rings'. Consider:
- Website design focuses on rendering particular
websites comparatively more attractive to users, in order to increase the
number of visitors, to delay their departure, and to ensure that they return.
This resembles very closely what flowers have sought to achieve through natural
- The high degree of competition between websites
to ensure their survival is well mirrored by the relationship between flowering
plants. Websites have to be innovative in developing a unique identity that
ensures that they are recognizably distinct from others. In so doing they
may specialize in response to particular kinds of visitor, as is the case
with flowering plants.
- Increasingly websites are active rather than
passive, meaning that visitors bring information to them (often unwittingly)
and take information from them (if only in the manner in which their choice
of subsequent destinations is determined by options on a given page). Many
flowers are of a design that ensures that insects transfer pollen between
- Increasingly websites are hosted on specialized
servers that may determine those who have access to them or govern the routes
whereby access is achieved. Similarly, particular plant species may only exist
in certain habitats, protectively isolated from potentially competing species
in other habitats.
- Websites exhibit patterns of growth, maturity
and decay that are reminiscent of similar patterns in a flowering plant.
- Websites increasingly have complex internal
structures to hold the relationship between the elements of knowledge to which
they offer access. These structures may vary greatly (flat/deep hierarchy,
meandering, labyrinthine, etc). Flowering plants are often distinguished precisely
by the structural strategies they use.
- Websites have increasingly to protect themselves
against deliberate or inadvertent abuse using a rapidly developing array of
techniques. Flowering plants face a similar challenge and have an analogous
array of defence mechanisms to ward off unwelcome visitors. Plants, like websites,
are subject to the dynamics of predation, parasitism, commensalism, amensalism,
- With the development of new sensory technologies
(eg haptics), will come the association of odour generation. Websites, like
flowers, may then make use of odours to distinguish themselves from other
sites, just as music is starting to be used in this way. Flowers use odours
both to attract and repel.
- As the degree of competition between websites
increases, some kinds of website may well be threatened, endangered, and even
rendered extinct in the same manner as flowering plants.
structure in comparison with flower organization
The key to flowering plant taxonomy, as initiated by
Linneaus, lies in the analysis of the reproductive organs -- especially petal
layout. This lends itself to mathematical description, notably use of Fibonacci
series. Plants may therefore be distinguished and related by variations in these
Websites are also open to the same analytical possibilities.
Many of the simplest are based on a simple tree structure that is reflected
in a menu checklist on the home page. The more complex sites may have many nested
hierarchical levels with corresponding menus. Such hierarchical structures may
also be displayed in centro-symmetric form, as is done with some website mapping
(or with mind-mapping software).
Displayed centro-symmetrically, sets of website menus can
be made to look remarkably like arrays of flowers in which the menu choices
are associated with individual petals. The variety of flowers and their organization
on a flowering plant, expressed mathematically, is a valuable guide to the potential
variety of website structures. This comparison remains to be done. Existing
websites may correspond to the simplest flowers.
From an aesthetic and ergonomic point of view, the ability
to array floral menus attractively on a website may offer new possibilities
in design. Clicking on a 'flower' could open it; clicking on a 'petal'
could access further information (as in any menu). The further possibility that
they may be arrayed in order to carry higher orders of significance (using Ikebana-style
insights) may totally transform certain websites. It should be noted that many
websites now resemble the main drag in an American town in which the main impression
is of hard-sell advertising reflecting a very specific aesthetic. Presumably
this is because the same information transfer concerns predominate in both contexts.
Opening petals offers new centro-symmetric metaphors for organization / exploration
The concern here is with the possibility that the use of biological
metaphors in website design may offer more powerful and meaningful access to
those with other aesthetic and cultural preferences in their navigation and
acquisition of knowledge. It is possible that certain textually non-literate
cultures (including sub-cultures in developed countries) may be able to by-pass
hierarchical menu organization through such interfaces. This could be especially
interesting to those from rural areas, notably indigenous peoples having strong
cognitive bonds to the flora in their environment (cf Darell Posey, 1999).
Industrialized society tends to be highly dependent on structural
organization based on recti-linear patterns, as are typical of urban buildings,
apartment blocks, packaging, etc. These patterns are also applied to the organization
of nature, as in garden and field organization. As noted above, they are also
the basis for the organization of information, whether on websites, or in libraries,
bookshops, or accounting systems. This 'cubic' pattern is to be contrasted
with the far wider range of patterns characteristic of the organization of plants.
Using floral patterns may therefore offer a richer variety of ways to organize
information. It is also possible that the success of any endeavour to manage
the environment, or to ensure sustainable community, may be dependent on the
use of the non-cubic patterns more typical of them. History may prove that the
attempt to use cubic patterning in sustainable development was nonsensical.
D. Participative involvement
in knowledge organization
Gardening in a knowledge society could then take on a whole
new meaning. But its psycho-social significance to the individual might borrow
from the current meanings of gardening. The degree of personal investment in
gardening in modern societies should not be forgotten -- perhaps as a natural
contrast to the invasion of 'cubism'. Website gardening opens new
spaces for people who lack land and resources to garden conventionally. Everybody
can grow 'flowers' -- and breed new variants (http://alife.org/)
They can develop their own knowledge ecosystems -- as implied by the emerging
discipline of knowledge ecology (http://www.knowledgeecology.com/).
Gardeners, and those who love flowers, typically have a strong
personal involvement in their gardens, even if they are of the indoor or window-box
kind. They are engaged by the variety of forms and processes over which they
only have partial control. Care may be called for in ways that contrast with
the care required of cubically patterned artefacts.
However another level of involvement is evoked by the macro-pattern
of a garden or a landscape. This can be usefully explored through the relationship
between the mandala-type form (eg the labyrinth in western culture) and its
much-studied meditational significance as an integrative learning tool. This
pattern is much used as a basis for gardens, or even ideal cities, that are
intended to hold some higher level of significance. This centro-symmetric ordering
may be thought of as at the interface between cubic patterns and the organic
patterns of a natural landscape that evoke a less disciplined response than
the mandala structure of any garden. It is this response that is the focus of
deep ecology. The discipline of permaculture may also be considered in this
context as an effort to embody more non-cubic patterning into horticulture to
ensure its sustainability.
In the emerging discipline of knowledge visualization, there
is a strong movement towards centro-symmetric structures. Although this tends
to be applied to specific sectors, it is clear that the inter-sectoral patterning
that is major feature of mandala type organization is nevertheless a concern.
A valuable collection of web-related examples can be viewed in the Atlas
of Cybergeography (http://www.cybergeography.org/atlas/atlas.html]
Historians of knowledge organization may be amazed at the
manner in which modern civilization was constrained by the tabular organization
of computer applications and desktops. Whether Windows, Apple or Linux, the
sole option for information organization is the recti-linear pattern. It may
even be said that it was Windows' 'panes' that underlay the 'pains'
of modern society !
This is especially curious since that cathode ray tube basic
to pre-LCD computer monitors has to have the electron beam specially constrained
to travel in a recti-linear pattern. It is only monitors for the radar systems
typical of air-traffic and missile control that use a centro-symmetric pattern.
It might have been thought that this pattern was more isomorphic with that of
cognitive organization and the formation of gestalts. Even though the eye of
an individual 'scans' the environment, the manner in which it does
this approximates more closely the radar scanner than a raster scanner.
Relatively little would be required to allow people to explore
the value to them of centro-symmetric desktop displays -- a circular desktop.
The desktop organization package The Brain (http://www.thebrain.com/),
is a significant step in a direction that may be vital to reducing the computer
literacy gap for many. Such desktop organization may also prove to be a vital
tool for more appropriate organization of knowledge in support of sustainable
development of communities (as with spreadsheets, file-managers, web bookmarks).
The need to input linear text could be associated with the type of textbox facility
characteristic of graphics programs in which the text is an occasional attribute
of the graphic -- rather than as in conventional word processors where the graphic
is an occasional attribute of the text. It will be interesting to determine
the degree to which the 3D desktops now under test address some of these concerns
(see http://www.clockwise3d.com; http://research.microsoft.com/ui/TaskGallery/index.htm;
The schizophrenia of modern civilization, as seen from the
desktop platform, is evident from the contrast between the aesthetic emphasis
associated with many screen savers (when the computer user is inactive or 'meditative')
and the recit-linear focus (when the user is working). The gardening metaphor,
with floral 'menus', might be the basis for a new approach to desktop
Moving through patterns
There is presumably an art to moving through the patterns
through which the world can be perceived to be organized at any moment. Patterns
offer bridges to other perspectives. But any pattern can easily become a trap
from which it is difficult to detach in order to move to another (see Judge,
2000). They mirror habits and addictions.
An intriguing way of understanding this is in terms of the
brachiating ancestors of the human species. Their pattern framework was the
forest of branches through which they ran and swung, attaching and detaching
from points of support within the framework.. This suggests the ways in which
one can swing around and through a framework conceptually and existentially.
Contemporary conceptual systems on the cubic model may even be thought of like
'monkey bars' in a cage around which the mind can clamber -- provided
it always has the required points of attachment.
But from this perspective, the major evolutionary breakthrough
occurred when the monkeys 'came down from the trees'. Their challenge
was shifting to the new pattern of moving over, and surviving on, the ground.
This would give them the ability to move from one tree cluster to the next.
The contemporary conceptual challenge of interdisciplinary,
or inter-sectoral, dialogue is precisely that -- namely how to move freely between
conceptual patterns or frameworks rather than simply within them. In
this sense intellectuals are faced with the same challenge as our brachiating
ancestors -- how to come down out of the trees. The conceptual 'trees'
are of across the intertwined hierarchies of concepts that are so characteristic
of any current organization of categories, whether in library catalogues, web
menus, legislation and regulations, or the content organization of books and
papers. This suggests another way of understanding the challenge of gardening
Ability to move within and between patterns can also be thought
of in terms of the motor organs available. In the case of animals, it is primarily
the number and kind of limbs and how they are used. Do the limbs connect effectively
with elements of the pattern to permit traction or suspension? In the conceptual
case, these 'limbs' can perhaps be understood in terms of Jung's basic
categories: sensation, thought, intuition, and emotion -- although some animals
have more extensive configurations of limbs. Each of these functions like a
psychological limb that can attach to part of a pattern for security -- or reaches
towards another to pull or push the person's centre of focus elsewhere.
In Jung's terms, some of these functional 'limbs'
tend to operate ineffectually and in a poorly coordinated manner in a given
individual. Movement dependent on all of them together is then handicapped.
For some, like children, 'getting on one's feet' or 'crawling'
around a pattern may be a real challenge, let alone the need for all four limbs
to be fully functional in order to get to another pattern. There will presumably
always be patterns -- or transits between patterns -- for which the available
limbs are inadequate. Hence the need for appropriate training and 'body-building'.
This suggests another way of understanding how a person navigates
through a web of knowledge:
- Thought: enables the logical connections from website to
triggers another mode of navigation with which many browser users are familiar;
browser navigation is considered inadequate unless it ensures intuitive use
(rather than reference to Help manuals)
may determine another pattern of movement, notably influenced by the aesthetics
of the site or the affective response it engenders (sympathy, repugnance,
etc), or the feeling associated with flow through a particular site
- Sensation: is a well-recognized trigger, especially for
those intrigued by new web animations or the sensational offerings of some
This anthropocentric perspective can
also be usefully challenged however. Different species have different ways of
engaging with their environments. It might be fruitful to consider that the
relationship of an identity to a knowledge environment evolves through some
parallel to phylogeny. Not only does ontogeny parallel phylogeny, but cognitive
organization may parallel both of them. With respect to a particular knowledge
environment, a person may therefore function like a lizard, or a worm, or a
bird, or a fox -- and may be challenged to evolve onwards from that condition.
The belief in reincarnation that holds that bad karma may ensure return in some
such 'lower' form might be reflecting aspects of this understanding.
Navigation of a web of knowledge might usefully be explored
in this light. Do some people 'fly' or 'glide' through the
web, whilst others 'swim' or 'surf' through it, and others
again 'worm' their way through? Are other modes being effectively
evolved, possibly corresponding to 'higher' modes of organization
for which there are no biological parallels?
E. Living the present moment
In the present
Music and song are vehicles for experiencing and enhancing
the present moment. They may offer resonances to regretted past, or longed-for
future, experiences, but it is above all the coherence of the present experience
that they enable uniquely. This contrasts with written text where the present
is de-emphasized in favour of past or future time, or distant places. Words,
whether spoken or read, may celebrate the moment, as in poetry or romantic discourse,
but typically they would then be labelled as 'like music to the ears'.
The present moment is however highly congested. Not surprisingly
the experiential 'traffic' tends to be as busy as in the busiest of
urban centres. A lot is happening and this is a challenge to attention pulled
in every direction. It evokes awareness to ensure survival. Music may be used
as an accompaniment to this experience. It may be played at high volume to drown
out other experience or to provide a coherent background in preference to alternative
experiences that might otherwise intrude chaotically.
It is its ability to attune awareness to non-linear order
that contrasts most with alternative experiences. The latter, like vehicles
passing by on congested streets, pull the attention elsewhere but offer little
meaning in the present. Music catalyzes the integration of experience in the
present. Whether through rhythm or rhyme, recurring melodic sequences, or other
musical devices, it holds a pattern connecting diversity, and plays with its
development. In this sense it might be compared to a transparent, experiential
space (or diving) helmet ensuring breathable air in a hostile environment.
But music may be used to displace any other experience, like
a drug. Then the helmet becomes opaque and the external world is completely
shut out. A distinction should therefore be made between music used in this
way to disengage, and the non-linear enhancement music can offer to the ability
to integrate experience of an otherwise chaotically challenging external environment
-- with which one is engaged.
Music, in this sense, is then a catalyst and scaffolding for
a different mode of awareness. It is this integrative mode of awareness that
is vital to sustainable community development, for it is music that demonstrates
how the diverse features of community life can play off against each other.
It is this interplay in the moment, as between musical instruments, which sustains
a larger meaning and its development. Furthermore it demonstrates how these
features of experience may be consciously played in the present moment with
active participation. Community, as a theoretical system or model, is then experienced
as a form of symphony that evokes participation. In this mode it engages living
energy, whereas a community model, if it engages anything, can only engage the
Experiencing the moment
It is possible that the present moment is the next frontier
for exploration. Most disciplines and activities of daily life distract from
the present -- like taxis offering a free ride elsewhere, to an alternative
reality where yet more free rides will be available. And yet the present moment
is omnipresent and is the sustaining coherence that holds together the fabric
of experience. How does an individual get into inhabiting the present? How does
The conventional, reified world can be understood as a subset/sub-experience
of a more flexible frame in which 'objects' explicate and implicate.
We explicate or 'existify' in anticipation of movement:
- like a monkey reaching for a branch which
is brought into existence by reaching/anticipation (as if)
- laying down track to ride on
- physics and observation
What 'exists' when we are not aware of it and how?
Just as second hand objects are amusingly described as 'pre-loved',
it is intriguing that we may well be faced with experience of the 'pre-sent':
- by whom, what, how, why
- projection over one's shoulders (Plato's
- believing the projection and not how one
was complicit in the sending process
The pre-sent may therefore be experienced as having been composed.
Life may be experienced as a composition (Mary Catherine Bateson. Composing
a Life) or an imposition. Recomposing it may seem challenging or inappropriate
-- especially for a community.
Composing the world -- the en-choiring mind
The challenges of knowledge society are most often thought
of in terms of 'acquisition' of knowledge, or its 'dissemination'
to appropriate 'targets'. Understanding is often described in terms
of 'grasping' knowledge. These terms all derive from metaphoric frameworks
that may be dangerously simplistic or irrelevant to more fruitful or intriguing
ways of relating to knowledge.
Is the acquisition and grasping of knowledge territory the
only way? Do others have to be targeted to achieve this? Is one necessarily
destined to seek to impose one's own pattern of order on others in some memetic
replication of the genetic drive to reproduce one's chromosomal pattern as widely
If cognitive development is indeed to be understood as patterned
in some way on urban development, then such metaphors may be appropriate. The
information highways will be designed and built through the mind-sets that designed
highways for automobiles. It is then to be expected that Chicago's of the mind
should emerge, complete with conceptual gridlock in their knowledge traffic.
This is the challenge of linear thinking and its efforts to exclude any more
organic or richer approach.
The dilemma of the conventional approach is evident in the
challenge that it poses for those who have been successful in their acquisition
strategy, as well as for those who have not. The latter are undernourished in
vital ways, and the former are faced with existential problems most obviously
evident in the dysfunctionality of their progeny. The 'gap' bodes
ill for both.
What might be the flavours of a different way of relating
to knowledge? It could have some of the qualities of 'dancing' with
it, 'courting' it, 'singing' to it (or with it), 'making
love' with it (see Judge,
1996). It could have some of those associated with experiences in which
nature holds many advantages, as known most respectfully by lone yachtsmen,
mountaineers, and explorers of deserts, wildernesses, and polar icecaps. It
might have some of those known to farmers and gardeners in endeavouring to derive
their sustenance from the land.
Rather than imposing order on reality and on others,
it is then more a question of composing order with reality and others
in the light of the insights continually derived from interaction with them.
The challenge is then to compose the world with whatever is active in it. In contrast with that of the "inquiring mind", this might be usefully summarized as the essential activity of an "en-choiring mind".
Re-enchanting conceptual organization
The Renaissance was also a period when the roles of the arts
and the nascent sciences were integrated in ways that were subsequently rejected
in the development of both. In particular scientific development rejects the
aesthetic characteristics of cognitive development. But aesthetic descriptors
are frequently used to describe such development after the fact ( 'elegant',
'beautiful' theories) even though such expressions have no cognitive
meaning within science. Is this a form of unconscious nostalgia for what scientific
disciplines and methodologies have designed out, a sneaky exercise in appropriating
the preoccupations of non-scientific disciplines, or a desperate public relations
effort to entice into science those that value aesthetic qualities?
The development of social organization has followed a similar
pattern, exemplified by its articulation in legalese and project management
procedures. It is little wonder that questions are being asked as to why young
people experience both science and governance as boring.
How might it be possible to get life back into evolving (conceptual)
organization -- to 'reanimate' it?
- the dynamic interplay between the parts of
- like the human body
- mutation and transformation
Religions successfully built aesthetic dimensions into their
architecture and behavioural patterns. This is notably the case with cathedral
and temple design. Can it be said that the temples of science and governance
enchant in the same way? What does an architectural comparison between the United
Nations building in New York (or Geneva) and a cathedral suggest in terms of
ability to offer a sense of coherence in the face of complexity?
F. Challenge of benefiting from insights of musicians, singers and gardeners
Although the previous sections point to the considerable merit
of insights from music, there is a major challenge in obtaining such insights
in practice. This challenge is associated with the understandable attachment
of musicians and lovers of music to:
- actual performance of music (or song) rather
than reflection on it
- appreciation of particular types of music
(or song) and disparagement of other forms
- preference for particular styles of music
(or song) within the type appreciated
- preference for particular composers or interpreters
This is especially awkward in deriving insights from a given
musician or singer who is necessarily very sensitive to the possibility of performance
(in extenso) by themselves or of their composition during any exploration
of the relevance of music to organization or community.
To the extent that music has been successfully associated
with major intergovernmental institutions (eg the UN or EU Symphony Orchestras),
its potential value in reframing the organization of institutions, knowledge,
or belief systems, is completely obscured by the commitment of all involved
to the process of performance of a carefully selected program of pieces and
to the see-and-be-seen social processes that go with such presentations. This
set-up guarantees that no insight can be drawn from music or song to reframe
community or knowledge organization. For example, no such insight transfer has
been identified in relation to the current challenges of reform of the UN or
EU institutions. The cognitive separation between music and its potentially
wider organizational relevance is institutionalized to a degree reminiscent
of that in split personalities -- exemplified in C P Snow's The Two Cultures
An illustration of a major contrast to this schizophrenic approach is a recent
1999 TV broadcast by the London Business School with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Business executives were called upon to conduct the orchestra according to widely
contrasting styles to obtain musical feedback on organizational implications
for communication and control. The focus was not on completing a performance
but on learning from performance. The learning processed was not captured by
the imperatives and priorities of musicians but exemplified the learnings catalyzed
by music. Ironically the dynamics of the experiment resembled those of the 'master
classes' through which musical insights are typically shared amongst experienced
musicians -- in contrast with any finished performance necessarily performed
in its entirety within a program. The requirements of such an experiment are
necessarily alien to many musicians and music lovers. Intriguingly, the London
Symphony Orchestra, riding the crest of recent artistic and organizational successes,
as a self-governing symphony orchestra now confronts the challenge of engendering
a culture in which, in the words of the managing director, "everyone in the
orchestra is constantly thinking, how can we make this better?" and has been
the subject of a Harvard Business School case study (see J. Richard Hackman,
et al, 2000).
In a far more modest experiment, the author has twice collaborated
in joint presentations to large international gatherings with a colleague, Tim
Casswell, gifted both musically and in group dynamics:
- World Congress towards Spiritual Concord
(Alma Ata, 1992): Using musical devices (consonance, dissonance, etc) to illustrate
how dissonance could be embedded within harmony to render the latter less
bland. This is a key issue in moving beyond superficial agreement to forms
based on higher orders of consensus.
- Club of Budapest (Budapest, 1996): Alternating pieces of a verbal presentation
with peices of a song to demonstrate their complementarity in the transmission
It is appropriate to note that insights from jazz improvization
are used in workshops for business executives (cf John Kao: Jamming : The
Art and Discipline of Business Creativity, 1997, now extended into a website
http://www.jamming.com/). Such initiatives are to be completely contrasted with the use of
music and song for the 'interior decoration' of a conference process,
to grace an occasion. It is noteworthy that two international bodies that have
a constitutional mandate for integration of the arts, namely the World Academy
of Art and Science and the Club of Budapest, have been unable to move beyond
the decorative phase.
Clearly, despite these experiments, there is a musical challenge
in developing the interface between musicians and those who would learn from
them -- rather than simply be passively entranced by their worldview. A related
challenge has been articulated by the author with respect to insights from statesmen-poets
into poetry and policy-making (see https://www.laetusinpraesens.org/docs/poetry/poetpolh.php). More has been achieved in the establishing the relevance of the
visual arts to scientific creativity (see Gyorgy Kepes: Language of Vision).
These arguments could also be applied to the challenge of
obtaining insights from gardeners, horticulturists, and those concerned with
the cognitive insights of indigenous cultures embedded in nature. (Darrell Posey,
Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity, 1999)
context -- in Camelot or Eden
The term 'dialogue' is increasingly applied to situations in which
it is hoped that new ways of interacting will lead to new patterns of organization
to deal with the more intractable problems of society. Statesmen dialogue at
summits. The Hannover Expo 2000 had a series of 'global dialogues'.
Inter-faith gatherings stress the importance of dialogue. Academics have always
been inspired by the dialogues recorded by Plato. Presumably when extraterrestrials
finally arrive, we will dialogue with them.
Unfortunately 'dialogue' as currently practiced differs in few respects
from people just talking at each other in groups from prepared and unchangeable
positions. It has become a public relations term to disguise inability to achieve
more through the interaction process. Group facilitators have not been of much
assistance because, like chefs, they tend to focus on their own proprietary
dialogue recipe and have little taste for those of others. Academic dialogues,
as supposedly characterized by the university common room, are renowned for
their sterility. Academic study of dialogue has generated few practical insights.
The dialogue archetype continues to be nourished by ideals of how dialogue
might work in the Garden of Eden, or Camelot, or utopian communities. Its nature
is hinted at in fiction, notably Herman Hesse's Glass Bead Game.
Dialogue is a precursor and catalyst of group organization. It sustains the
life of such communities. Gardening and music offer accessible insights into
the nature of harmony in dialogue as practical echoes of the archetypal memory.
They help to focus attention on the moment-by-moment dynamics of dialogue exchanges.
They offer a richer template than that which has emerged through decades of
applied social sciences and the study of reconciliation processes and conflict
resolution. Ironically, perhaps, it is the Renaissance figure Marsilio Ficino whose insights at the origins of European humanism
might be most relevant to the dialogue crisis of modern times. He endeavoured
to embody in the moment the harmonic attributes of nature and music as a means
of healing. Whilst his writings are available (and a website http://www.prismanet.com/ficino/
for an International Marsilio Ficino Committee), his practice of dialogue in
the moment has necessarily been lost.
The limitations of the current focus on the use of 'organizers'
as essential tools to structure interaction amongst busy people need to be recognized.
The next generation Attention User Interface from Microsoft acknowledges
the pressures on how attention is organized in the moment. This is especially
important in dialogue where the whole process of how significant insight is
detected and organized is vital. How is the mind to be 'tuned' to
cluster knowledge appropriately? Who does the tuning? How might this be done,
or abused (cf Goebbels) ? How does a dialogue participant create 'bonding
sites' into which other insights can link (as in molecular bonding)? How
do patterns emerge in dialogue into which insights can be fitted, as do participants
in collective singing? The visual equivalent is to be seen in the Chladni patterns
of filings on a vibrated plate, and the more recent work on crowd patterning
(Dirk Helbing et al., 1998).
The many past development decades have admirably demonstrated the inability
to coordinate development initiatives amongst different agencies, especially
in situations of humanitarian crisis. The same is proving true with respect
to environmental initiatives and indeed in any global program to deliver or
catalyze remedial measures. This failure is necessarily disguised by efforts
at upbeat reporting in order not to discourage further worthy initiatives.
The question worth exploring is whether there is a 'higher' discipline than the Project Logic that has been the principal
tool in support of development initiative. Is it likely that these same techniques
will still be used at the end of the 21st century, or will more appropriate
ones be found? If this is possible, what form might they take? How might they
shift beyond grid-thinking to some other pattern as exemplified by music or
gardening (and perhaps by the work of Christopher Alexander or Edward de Bono)?
How might public information promoting such initiatives shift beyond simplistic
slogans (the conceptual equivalent of musical jingles) to melodic themes anticipated
by engaged pop songs? Why are global declarations unsung, unsingable and unmemorable?
Some music enchants some people, as with IMF and World Bank plans -- some does
not, and that is an essential point of departure for future harmonization of
How could 'financial cycles' for a project be organized
musically as a composition? What might 'fine tuning' a project come
to mean? What might be meant by the 'practicing' of 'parts'
in the field? What are the efficiencies of high order 'elegance' in
self-organizing flow? What might be important in the choice of 'rhythm'
of project phases and reporting cycles?
Should Project Logic be understood as the 'differential
calculus' of organization -- a 'digital approach' inhibiting
any ability to 'take' naturally in a sustainable community that resonates
to 'analogue' approaches? Can a farm be run sustainably using Project
Logic, when so much attention has to be given to cycles, and cycles within cycles,
as in music and gardening?
If there is another way of exchanging: insights / infeels
/ insmells / intouches to be discovered, would the present approach to dialogue
within a Project Logic context be seen in those terms as invasive and jarring,
like a form of 'kiss of death', 'dead hand', or 'halitosis'
? Is it useful to seek to convince those inhibited in this way by their embedding
in Project Logic -- rather than simply switching to a new mode to demonstrate
In the light of the explorations above it is useful to take
a new look at the features of the Project Logic scene at the beginning of the
Conferences are set up as, and claimed to be, serious events through which
the crises of the times can be navigated. But commentary on theme by critics,
the media and participants suggests that they can be seen in another light.
Even the G8 summit is viewed as a 'show' -- with that of 2000 estimated
to have cost US$70-100 million per participant. Others are described as a 'dance',
a 'circus' or even as a 'jungle' or a 'zoo'. Perhaps
then there is a case for integrating rather denying such perceptions. Conferences
might be usefully seen as 'soap operas', 'morality plays'
or 'songfests' -- especially when participants gather each year to
repeat the same recommendations and affirmations -- effectively rehearsing their
'goode olde song'. Participants may voice a 'chorus of protest',
The challenge is not to see this cynically ('Nero fiddling while Rome
burns'), but rather as an opportunity to improve the quality of the dance,
show, opera, or song. Given that so much effort is expended on the decorative
features of such events, perhaps their dramatic and aesthetic qualities should
be integrated into the substance. If the principal focus of media attention
at such events is on the encounter of bemused statesmen with children singing
and dance troupes, perhaps there is a case for exploring how the cognitive significance
of such performance could usefully reframe the cognitive frameworks of the event.
This would be consistent with the emerging 'edutainment' focus of
the media (http://www.edutainment.com.au/).
Even the dynamics of parliaments could benefit from being articulated and explained
in dramatic or dance terms. This would be an improvement on the ways in which
they are caricatured in cartoons and puppet shows -- as 'legislainment'.
Declarations and global plans are also taken very seriously. But as noted above,
they are absolute disasters in terms of aesthetics and popular appeal. There
is a need to review how they are articulated from poetic and musical perspectives.
Introducing aesthetic dimensions may ensure that they are able to hold complex
checks and balances in a more comprehensible and credible manner. Agenda
21 should be patterned on the ecosystem it purports to manage, rather than
exemplifying the grid-thinking which is destroying that ecosystem. If it is
a paen to restoring balance on Earth, then it should be as singable as the great
epics like the Mahabarata, the Kalevala, or the Ring
cycle of Wagner. The 100-odd Leitmotivs (cf Deryck Cooke's 192 examples, including
variations) used in the latter suggest a way of encoding an array of dynamically
related issues that need to be collectively comprehended - perhaps a kind of
The Leitmotivs are easily remembered melodic elements associated either with
a character or object in the opera, or with a specific emotion or feeling. They
are used to illustrate and represent a variety of characters, symbolic objects
and themes of easily recognizable melodic, rhythmic or harmonic identity. The
melodic fragments acquire symbolic meaning in the music-dramas and serve a structural
purpose. Extended symphonic passages are built up on them and they are combined,
contrasted and superimposed, one on another, in a manner to suggest the development
sections of symphonies. Their relevance in popular culture is explored in a
powerful comparison with their use in the Star Wars film series (Kristian
Evensen, 1999). [These points regarding Wagner were made to the author by
Nadia McLaren]. Such a "pattern language" is consistent with that developed
by Christopher Alexander as a participative design tool, and subsequently adapted
as a guide for computer programming. There is a case for associating a Leitmotiv
with each article of a charter or global plan as a way of ensuring its memorability
and, through exploring relationships between them, rendering comprehensible
the systemic relationships between its parts. The recently formulated UN Earth
Charter could thus acquire a memorable musical articulation.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights should resonate in peoples
hearts rather than appeal only to those who enjoy legalese or the slogans derived
therefrom. To the extent that plans address the darker side of humanity, those
functions should be factored into dramatic presentations that render credible
and coherent the dynamics of the plans -- especially since the implementers
of such plans are themselves viewed with increasing suspicion as open, to dubious
temptations. How many kinds of 'dance' are evident in the dynamics
of a parliament? Should the United Nations Charter be formulated in epic form
as a major cultural artefact of modern civilization? Why should the 'communiqués'
of global summits not be as significant to the peoples for whom they are purportedly
conceived as the 'hit' songs that people take up with such enthusiasm?
Why do such communiqués exemplify imaginative failure and unmemorability
to such a high degree?
Much is made of new 'models' and 'paradigms' as the basis
for new approaches to the conditions of the disadvantaged. These tend to be
articulated in forms that exemplify grid-thinking. As suggested here, there
is a case for representing the dimensions of models in musical form as melodies
or even as flowering plants. Ironically formal conferences tend to be swamped
in flower displays whose cognitive relationship to the content of the event
is as cut off from its roots as are the flowers on display. What can be learnt
from ikebana in this context?
The organizations convening meetings, and through which plans
are implemented, are also taken very seriously as the principal vehicle for
remedial strategies. They are acclaimed as symbols of hope and vehicles for
the highest values of humanity. Many agencies within the UN system even use
logos and symbols from the Greek pantheon, as do many other intergovernmental
programmes. Their headquarters are treated like the temples in Rome -- complete
with priesthoods and ritual ceremonies. However, it would be useful to accept
that all is not well on Mount Olympus. As in the mythical context, the gods
relate poorly to each other and often quarrel -- with great hostility. These
dynamics are also part of the symbolic life of humanity and need to be presented
as such -- if there is to be any possibility of rendering them healthier. The
pretence that such dynamics are totally incidental, rather than systematically
undermining every effort at articulating an integrated approach to the planetary
condition, is totally irresponsible.
It should be emphasized that the argument here is not for
music or gardening as such, but rather for the cognitive frameworks through
which music and gardening sustain communities, and are appreciated by them.
It is for the wisdom embodied in these modes of understanding.
The condition of Africa in 2000, after many 'development decades',
exemplifies the total failure of Project Logic and the hopes invested in it
by arrogant western institutions and their supporting academic disciplines.
Not only is the failure patent, but the conceptual vacuum regarding new remedial
initiatives with some chance of future success is only too obvious. Many have
simply given up -- as they have to a lesser degree with respect to the disadvantaged
in their own cultures. Worse still, there is the suspicion that western economic
logic only 'works' when the pool of disadvantaged is constantly replenished.
It is difficult to distinguish between this logic and Pyramid Selling
or Ponzi Schemes (see http://www.moneypages.com/syndicate/stocks/sec/ponzi.html),
except in terms of scale. Africa is the ideal sucker for such a process. The
projects that it has had to receive have more often than not been as damaging
to local cultures as 'projectiles'.
African cultures have been encouraged, required, or forced to adopt western
institutional models, conceptual frameworks, and management procedures -- if
they are to be considered serious, or appropriately rewarded by assistance or
investment. A variety of western consumer products have been 'pushed'
at them to ensure an addiction that bears a strong resemblance to that associated
with the substance abuse condemned in western societies. This addiction severely
handicaps any capacity to explore other approaches, which are naturally quickly
ridiculed by those pushing western products.
In western terms, where do the 'competitive' advantages of African
cultures lie? Should they all be expected to shine at western games, even though
some do? Should articulation of their advantages in other areas be disparaged
as treated with condescension?
The argument here is that there is a case for exploring dimensions of African
cultures that hold cognitive frameworks and processes distinct from those of
western cultures (as argued extensively by Darrell Posey et al, 1999). The issue
is what modes of organization and management emerge naturally from these? What
conceptual advantages do they offer in the emerging knowledge society? This
case has been made, and partially accepted, in the case of alternative health
products -- if only for lack of resources to import western pharmaceutical products.
It is curious that African American studies do not appear to explore the insights
of musical harmony as a basis for new modes of social organization.
As with the natural rainforests, African 'cultural rainforests' may
well hold vital insights for the future of humanity. Only they may know how
to 'sing the songs' through which disaster can be effectively faced
-- as their cultural response to slavery illustrated. A western equivalent would
be the preservation of Irish cognitive skills through Celtic songs, despite
efforts to suppress them by the Catholic Church and the English. Given
the conceptual gridlock at the international level regarding the challenges
of global governance, who is say that the African understanding of music may
not in fact hold a vital key to the emerging challenges of governance? The key
to a harmonious future might indeed be musical -- especially since it is only
music that has elaborated a rich theory of 'harmony'.
The key may lie in the ability to relate to a myriad of diverse forms,
as in the rainforests, at a time when the western world is reducing the species
in its natural environment to a handful -- and legislating against their diversity
within the European Union. Or the key may lie in the kinds of understanding
of 'global' that emerge from an intimate relationship with basket
weaving (see Judge, 1980).
As the rise and fall of individual European cultures have shown, the
competitive advantage of African cultures may lie in a subtle attitude quite
unrelated to western definitions of useful knowledge. It may prove to be the
case that the cultural genius of Africa lies in a different and richer understanding
of relationships. These insights may be poorly carried by the western conceptual
schemes presented to them as the royal road to civilization. If 'vision'
is the key to western dominance of the future, and the Africans are considered
'blind' by the west, it is worth recalling the tale concerning 'the
land of the blind where the one-eyed man was king'. The polarized, 'one-eyed'
visions of society may yet disrupt any efforts towards a coherent future. But
there is an untold story about the 'land of the tone deaf' where surely
the 'man whose sang out of tune' might have been king. In terms of
the future challenges of governance, it is western culture that may be shown
to be 'tone deaf', and 'singing out of tune'. The time of
Africans may come.
The fundamental sin in Africa has been maintaining the illusion of the relevance
of western management. The World Bank and the IMF, unlike the Pentagon, never
have a 'Plan B'. They are totally dependent on a 'Plan A'
-- whose flaws they deny. The Bank's Global Knowledge Partnership
fails to take account of perspectives alien to western patterns of thought --
or pays lip service to them in cynically pushing more of the same under a new
The 'digital divide' is designed to frame a new pattern of
dependency valuable to the telecommunications industries of industrialized countries.
Africans can reframe this challenge to their own advantage, avoiding this dependency
(Judge, 1999). Africans
can bypass the digital divide by focussing on software interfaces that empower
them in their ability to organize knowledge in new ways sustained by their own
cultural frameworks. An interesting example is the Indigenous Information Centre
of the South Australia Museum that uses a CD-ROM with a visual interface to
facilitate interrogation by Aborigines with limited literacy skills (see http://www.samuseum.sa.gov.au/media/aacg_infoctr.htm)
-- it is very successfully used by families motivated to update historical information.
It is the inability of western mindsets to resonate with these new forms that
will be to the advantage of Africa -- as illustrated by the disadvantage westerner's
experience in response to the African talent for dance at every level of society.
The western-oriented may 'surf' the web now, but Africans may 'dance'
and 'sing' it in the future, perhaps collectively as much as individually.
Coherent knowledge organization of web information may be evoked through a form
of 'drumming' process reflected in patterning of visual information
on large screens. Text may become quite secondary to the integration and coherence
offered to other senses.
Who knows, but the intriguing experiments with artificial languages based
on musical tones, such as Solresol, may be a basis for reflection on an African
policy language. Solresol, or "Langue Musicale Universelle", was invented at
the beginning of the 19th century by Jean Francois Sudre, a music master who
realized that the seven-note diatonic scale could provide elemental symbols
for a universal language. The words in Solresol consist of sequences of notes.
Sudre planned to use seven words of one note, 49 words of two notes, 336 words
of three notes, 2268 words of four notes, and 9072 words of five notes [more].
Steven Speilberg's film Close Encounters of a Third Kind drew renewed
attention to this approach. There are a suprising number of experiments in artifical
or constructed language design -- some of which might be focused on management-related
issues (see http://www.sys.uea.ac.uk/~jrk/conlang.html).
In this respect, the admission of the director of an elite management school
in the West that all they did was 'teach a new language' bears some
reflection. Several NGOs have made conscious use of languaging to focus their
development efforts, notably the Hunger Project and the Institute of Cultural
Affairs. These efforts have been the subject of research under the direction
of David L Cooperrider through the Weatherhead School of Management
Western management and politics accepts that in governance the 'right-hand'
may not know what the 'left-hand' is doing -- and the actions of the
two may be poorly integrated and even undermine each other, as in adversarial
decision-making. Any skill in music requires that the hands 'play together'
and this harmonious integration may prove to be the basis of a new style of
policy-making and management.
The breakthrough for Africa may come through a new alliance
between musicians, computer software specialists, people skilled in alternative
knowledge frameworks, and others concerned with their relevance to new styles
of management and organization. The world may yet see song in the plenary assemblies
of the Organization of African Unity -- and the national parliaments of Africa
-- conditioning wall screen computer visualizations of unusual aesthetic design.
The rest of the world will be left to wonder how musical integration in harmony
with African aesthetics enables an articulation of policy that engenders unusual
forms of coherent action, down to the local level, that are incomprehensible
within the cognitive frameworks of western cultures.
African culture, having changed the culture of the world over the past centuries
as a result of its musical response to slavery, may yet offer the world a new
and more appropriate form of music to articulate the challenges of humanity
-- as a quarter of its population falls victim to the AIDS epidemic. .
Scene and heard: Ugandan dancehall
(as reported by John
McDonnell. Guardian Music Blog, 5 January 2009)
A dancehall collective called Fire Base Crew, have set up a
breakaway republic, the Ghetto Republic of Uganja, in one of the slums
in Uganda's capital, Kampala.
The republic has a
full cabinet of appointed members: Bobi Wine (who is the leader of
the crew) is the president, the vice president is an artist called
Buchaman, they also have a prime minister, a defence minister, a minister
for disaster preparedness, a minister of agriculture (whose crop of
choice, unsurprisingly, is cannabis) and many more.
The whole concept may appear trivial, but these musicians have much
more influence on local people than politicians could ever wish for.
The following references have been augmented by selected items (annotated)
from the bibliography of the International Community for Auditory Display [text]
John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt. The Emergence of Noopolitik: Toward An American
Information Strategy. Rand Corp., 1999 [text]
Gonzalo Alcalde and Francisco R. Sagasti. Development Coooperation in a Fractured
Global Order : An Arduous Transition. International Development Research Center,
Jacques Attali. Noise: The Political Economy of Music. Univ of Minnesota Press,
1985 (Theory and History of Literature, Vol 16)
Edward S Ayensu and Paul Whitfield. The Rhythms of Life. Book Club
J. A. Ballas. Delivery of Information Through Sound. In Auditory Display: Sonification,
Audification, and Auditory Interfaces, edited by G. Kramer. Santa Fe Institute
Studies in the Sciences of Complexity, Proc. Vol. XVIII. Reading, MA: Addison
Stephen Barrass. Auditory Information Design, PhD Thesis, Australian National
University. 1995 [text]
Harold Baum. Biochemists' Songbook. Taylor and Francis, 1995, 2e ed.
Joachim-Ernst Berendt. The World Is Sound : Nada Brahma music and the landscape
of consciousness. Inner Traditions Intl, 1991
J Blacking. Music, Culture and Experience. University of Chicago Press.
H Bortoft. The Wholeness of Nature: Goethe's Way towards a Science of Conscious
Participation in Nature. Lindisfarne Press, 1996
James W. Botkin, Mahdi Elmandjra, Mircea Malitza. No
Limits to Learning : Bridging the Human Gap. Pergamon, 1979 ('A
Report to the Club of Rome')
Henry Bourgoin. L'Afrique Malade du Management. Paris, Editions Jean Picollec,
1984 (Collection Perspective 2000).
Stephen A. Brewster. Providing a structured method for integrating non-speech
audio into human-computer interfaces, PhD Thesis, University of York, UK. 1994
J S Brown. Seeing Different: Insights on Innovation. Cambridge,
MA: Harvard Business Review Book, 1988
Marjorie K.M. Chan. Tone and Melody in Catnonese. Berkeley
Linguistic Society, Proceedings of the Thirteenth Annual Meeting. 1987. Pp.
John Miller Chernoff . African Rhythm and Sensibility. University of Chicago
Manfred Clynes (Ed). Music, Mind, and Brain: The Neuropsychology of Music.
Plenum, 1982. (A collection of papers based on the conference on Physical
and Neuropsychological Foundation of Music which was in Ossiach (wherever that
is!) in 1980. It covers topics such as the nature of the language of music,
how the brain organises musical experience, perception of sound and rhythm,
and how computers can help contribute to a better understanding of musical processes.)
D Childre and B. Cryer. From Chaos to Coherence: Advancing
Emotional and Organizational Intelligence Through Inner Quality Management.
Butterworth Heinemann, 1999.
Comitato Internazionale Marsilio Ficino. Bibliografia Ficiniana. [text]
Deryck Cooke. An Introduction to Der Ring des Nibelungen. CD
Ian Cross. Is music the most important thing we ever did ? Music, development
and evolution. In: Music, Mind and Science, Ed. Suk Won Yi, Seoul: Seoul National
University Press, 1999 [text]
Alain Danielou. Music and the Power of Sound : the influence of tuning and
interval on consciousness. Inner Traditions Intl, 1995
Christian de Laet. The Only Thing We Have: a framework
for environmental policies. Port Moresby, 1978
Antonio de Nicolas. Meditations through the Rg Veda. Boulder,
Antonio de Nicolas. Powers of Imagining. State University
of New York Press, 1986
Max Deutscher. Subjecting and Objecting: an essay in objectivity. University of Queensland
Jean-Yves Djamen, Dunia Ramazani and Stephane Soteg. Electronic networking
in Africa: emergence towards the Internet. FID News Bulletin, 45(7/8):
W. J. Dowling and D. L. Harwood. Music Cognition. San Diego: Academic Press,
1986. (A general text providing an abundance of information concerning the physical
characteristics of musical sound and the processes involved in its perception.
Topics covered include basic acoustics, physiology of hearing, music perception
(e.g., timbre, consonance/dissonance, etc.), melodic organization, temporal
organization, emotion and meaning, and cultural context of musical experience;
abundant references to research in each of these areas are provided for further
Aleksandra Dulic and Kenneth Newby. HeteroForm Organization and the Cinema
of Braided Processes. 2003 [text]
Kees Epskamp. Healing Divided Societies [through visual and performing arts].
Comparative Studies in Arts and Art Education in Global Perspective, 1998? [text]
B. Evans. Correlating Sonic and Graphic Materials in Scientific Visualization.
In: Extracting Meaning from Complex Data: Processing, Display, Interaction,
edited by E. J. Farrel, Vol. 1259, 154--162. SPIE, 1990. (Evans generated variable-pitch
domain sonifications from a mathematical abstraction similar to that which generates
fractal Julia Sets. He notes, in an analogy to cartographic color selection,
that selection of a pitch domain may affect the aesthetic and informative quality
of a "sonic map." He sonifies the mathematical model with quarter-tone (24 pitches
per octave), chromatic (12 pitches per octave), diatonic (7 pitches per octave),
and hexatonic (6 pitches per octave) scales. Informal results reveal that the
quarter-tone scale better reflects the actual event, though the diatonic and
hexatonic scales, which were more pleasing to listeners, sonified the process
with less detail.)
Kritian Evensen. The Star Wars series and Wagner's Ring: Structural,
thematic and musical connections. 1999 [text]
Andreas Fuglesang. About Understanding : ideas and observations
on cross-cultural communication. Uppsala, Dag Hammarskjold Foundation, 1982.
Lathardus Goggins II. African Centered Education [text]
Helen Gould. The Arts : Contribution to Peace in Northern Ireland. Creative
J. Richard Hackman, Erin Lehman, Adam Galinsky. The London Symphony Orchestra.
Harvard Business School Publishing, 2000, 22 p. (Case Study 494034)
Dirk Helbing and Tamàs Vicsek. Optimal self-organization. New Journal of
Physics 1, 13.1-13.17 (1999).
Dirk Helbing and M. Treiber. Jams, waves, and clusters. Science 282,
Dirk Helbing and B. A. Huberman. Coherent moving states in highway traffic.
Nature 396, 738-740 (1998).
Drew W Hempel. Epicenters of Justice; music theory, sound-current nondualism
and radical ecology. St >Paul MN, Paddlefish First!, 2000 [text]
Kathleen Marie Higgins. Music and the Ten Thousand Things:
Musical Metaphysics in China: Aesthetics in the Age of the Transformer [text]
Margot Higgins. Conversing in Tones: Research Links Perfect
Pitch and Tonal Language. National Geographic, 7 August 2000 [text]
Jean C Hoem. Music and the Environment. The Conservationist,
(25, 4) 4-5/71, p.2-4. [text]
Peter Huebner. Tension in classical Music [text);
Harmony and Disharmony [text]
Don Ihde. Singing the World: Language and Perception. In: Expanding Hermeneutics:
Visualism in Science (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1998)
International Community for Auditory Display. Sonification Report: Status of
the field and research agenda (prepared for the National Science Foundation).
D. Jameson. Sonnet: Audio-Enhanced Monitoring and Debugging. In Auditory Display:
Sonification, Audification, and Auditory Interfaces, edited by G. Kramer. Santa
Fe Institute Studies in the Sciences of Complexity, Proc. Vol. XVIII. Reading,
MA: Addison Wesley, 1994. (Describes a visual programming language for attaching
run-time actions to running programs. The run-time actions allow highly controlable
sounds to be attached both to programs and to data. Examples include differentiating
among different sorting algorithms by their auditory characteristics as well
as tracking trends in variables over time.)
Olugbemiro Jegede. From talking drums to electronic networking: Africa's snailmobile
through the cyberspace. FID News Bulletin, 45 (7/8): 218-224
Anthony Judge. Structuring mnemonic encoding of development plans and ethical
charters using musical leitmotivs. 2001 [text]
Anthony Judge. Metaphoric Entrapment in Time: avoiding the trap of Project
Logic. 2000 [text]
Anthony Judge. Coherent Policy-making Beyond the Information Barrier: Circumventing
dependence on access, classification, penetration, dissemination, property,
surveillance, interpretation, disinformation, and credibility (Originally submitted
in response to a call for proposals by the World Bank's InfoDev program in September
Anthony Judge. Paradigm-shifting through Transposition of Key: a metaphoric
illustration of unexplored possibilities for the future. 1999 [text]
Anthony Judge. Sacralization of Hyperlink Geometry, 1997 [text]
Anthony Judge. From Information Highways to Songlines of
the Noosphere: Global configuration of hypertext pathways as a prerequisite
for meaningful collective transformation, 1996 [text]
Anthony Judge. Envisaging the art of navigating conceptual
complexity 1995 [text]
Anthony Judge. Poetry-making and Policy-making: arranging
a marriage between Beauty and the Beast 1993 [text) and Proposal for an Exploratory International Conference [
Anthony Judge. Metaphor and the Language of Futures In: Futures
Apr 1993, pp. 275-288.
Anthony Judge. Aesthetics of Governance in the Year 2490 (Paper for the session
on Governance at the 11th World Conference of the World Futures Studies Federation,
Budapest, May 1990) [text]
Anthony Judge. African Languages and African Styles of Organization: beyond
Eurocentrism and the Western organizational model. (Colloquium on the 'Identity
of Associations and the Participation of INGOs in Africa in the Concet of a
New World Order'). 1984 [text]
Anthony Judge. The Future of Comprehension: conceptual
birdcages and functional basket-weaving. 1982 [text]
Anthony Judge. Gardening Sustainable Psycommunities: Recognizing the psycho-social
integrities of the future (Report on the international conference on 'Eco-villages
and Sustainable Communities: models for 21st Century living', Findhorn,
October 1995, organized under the auspices of UNESCO [text]
Anthony Judge. Some Clues to Social Harmony from Music. 1993 [text]
Anthony Judge. Liberation of Integration, Universality and Concord: through
pattern, oscillation, harmony and embodiment 1981 [text]
Anthony Judge. The Future of Comprehension: conceptual birdcages and functional
basket weaving. 1980 [text]
John Kao. Jamming : the art and discipline of business creativity,
1997 (now extended into a website http://www.jamming.com/]
Gyorgy Kepes. Language of Vision, Dover, 1995 (and earlier works; founder of
MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies text]
G. Kramer (Ed). Auditory Display: Sonification, Audification, and Auditory
Interfaces. Santa Fe Institute Studies in the Sciences of Complexity, Proc.
Vol. XVIII. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1994. (Collection of 21 papers, defining
the state of auditory display research at the time of its publication. It includes
an extensive introductory chapter, foreword by A. Bregman, annotated bibliography,
audio CD of sound examples, resources appendix, and informal comments by several
Mohan Krishnamoorthy.Carnatic Music: Shastriya Sangeetam. 1997 [text]
Alan Lomax. Song structure and social structure. In: M.C. Albrecht,
J.H. Barnett and M. Griff (Eds.) The Sociology of Art and Literature.
Ernest G. McClain . Myth of Invariance: the origins of the gods, mathematics
and music from the Rg Veda. Shambhala, 1976 (see summary]
Matthew G. Kirschenbaum. Truth, Beauty, and the User Interface: Notes on the
aesthetics of information 1998 [text]
Magoroh Maruyama. Mindscapes, social patterns and future development of scientific
theory types. Cybernetica, (1980), 23, 1, pp. 5-25.
D. L. Mansur, M. M. Blattner, and K. I. Joy. "Sound-Graphs: A Numerical Data
Analysis Method for the Blind." In Proceedings of the 18th Annual Hawaiian International
Conference on System Science, held January 1985 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Los Alamitos,
CA: IEEE Computer Society Press, 1984. Also in J. Med. Sys. 9 (1985): 163--174.
Thomas Moore. The Planets Within: the astrological psychology. Lindisfarne
Books, 1990 (an interpretation of the work of Marsilio Ficino)
Levi Obijiofor, Sohail Inayatullah, Tony Stevenson. Impact of New Information
and communication Technologies (ISTs) on Socio-economic and Educational Development
of Africa and the Asia-Pacific. Journal of Futures Studies, May 2000,
Esin örücü. Critical Comparartive Law: Considering Paradoxes for Legal Systems
in Transition. EJCL Netherlands Comparative Law Association, Vol. 4.1 June 2000
Darrell A. Posey (Editor). Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity: a
complementary contribution to Global Biodiversity Assessment, Intermediate Technology,
1999 (for the United Nations Environment Programme)
D. A. E. Rabenhorst, E. J. Farrell, D. H. Jameson, T. D. Linton, and J. A.
Mandelman. Complementary Visualization and Sonification of Multidimensional
Data. In: Extracting Meaning from Complex Data: Processing, Display, Interaction,
edited by E. J. Farrel, Vol. 1259, 147--153. SPIE, 1990. (Data enhancement is
only the first level of auditory data representation. Utilization of the auditory
channel to present unseen data is represented in this paper. The goal of these
researchers was to use sound in a manner that "is intuitive enough and readily
learnable enough to be effective as an additional sensory input to a mental
David Rosenboom. Propositional music: on emergent properties in morphogenesis
and the evolution of music. In: John Zorn (Ed). Arcana: Musicians on Music.
Granary Books, 2000, pp. 203-232 (earlier versions in Leonardo
(30:4, 1997) and Leonardo Music Journal (7, 1997)).
Dane Rudhyar. Dissonant Harmony: a new principle of musical and social organization
Keith Rowley-Yugen. "Singing the World:": Bridging Disparities via the Phenomenon
of Music [text]
C. Scaletti and A. B. Craig. Using Sound to Extract Meaning from Complex Data.
In: Extracting Meaning from Complex Data: Processing, Display, Interaction,
edited by E. J. Farrel, Vol. 1259, 147--153. SPIE, 1990. (Because sound is an
inherently time-variable phenomena, Scaletti and Craig concentrated their ADR
work on the representation of time-varying data mapped to animated graphics
and sound. Examples discussed include sonifications of forest fire data, Los
Angeles pollution levels, and swinging pendula.)
R. M. Schafer. The Tuning of the World. Knopf, 1977. (Describes studies
of the acoustic environment undertaken in the World Soundscape Project including
historical changes in the acoustic environment, cross-cultural studies of listening
preferences and sound interpretation, and studies of references to sound in
Claus Otto Scharmer. Ästhetik als Kategorie strategischer
Führung. Stuttgart: Urachhausverlag, 1991.
Peter Senge, A. Kleiner, C. Roberts, R. Ross, G. Roth, and
B. Smith (Eds.). The Dance of Change: A Fieldbook for Sustaining Momentum in
a Learning Organization. Doubleday Currency, 1999
John Shepherd and Peter Wicke. Music and Cultural Theory. Cambridge, Polity
Press, 1997. [review]
S Smith, G. Grinstein, and R. M. Pickett. Global Geometric, Sound, and Color
Controls for the Visualization of Scientific Data. In: Proceedings of the SPIE/SPSE
Conference on Electronic Imaging, Vol. 1459, 192--206. San Jose, CA: SPIE, 1991.
(The authors argue that users should be able to fine-tune visual and auditory
data displays to achieve the optimal presentation of their data. They gives
examples of how this can be done with the "iconographic" display techniques
they developed. The accompanying video gives one brief sound example.)
Godwin Sogolo. Foundations of African Philosophy: a definitive analysis of
conceptual issues in African thought. Ibadan University Press, 1993
F. Terenzi. Design and Realization of an Integrated System for the Composition
of Musical Scores and for the Numerical Synthesis of Sound (Special Application
for Translation of Radiation from Galaxies into Sound Using Computer Music Procedures).
Unpublished manuscript, Physics Department, University of Milan, 1988. (Describes
audification of radio astronomy data and musical use of the results)
E. Terhardt.. Gestalt Principles and Music Perception. In: Auditory Processing
of Complex Sounds, edited by W. A. Yost and C. S. Watson. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence
Erlbaum, 1987. (Identifies contours and categorized representations of sensory
objects as the focus of gestalt perception. The theory presented is known as
Hierarchical Processing of Categories (HPC) in which perception is organized
on hierarchical layers, each of which are concerned only with categorizing or
recategorizing. The most peripheral level corresponds to analytic listening
and spectral pitch, analogous to primary visual contours, whereas synthetic
forms are secondary, including virtual pitch. The multiple levels of perception
associated with Western Tonal music are considered within the context of HPC.)
Tricia Tillin.Will music be used as a tool of the New Order? Cross+Word:
Christian Resource of Scripture Studies plus the Work of Research and Discernment
Ministries. 1997? [text]
John Ungerleider. Music and Poetry Build Bi-communal Peace Culture in Cyprus.
School for International Training, Vermont, USA [text]
Union of International Associations. Cultivating Knowledge Ecosystems: Adapting
visual arts and music to sustain new patterns of knowledge work in community
(Gardening Knowledge): Submitted to Information Society Technologies program
of the European Commission, 13 September 1999; refused 19 April 2000) (proposal]
R. Walker. The Effects of Culture, Environment, Age, and Musical Training on
Choices of Visual Metaphors for Sound. Percep. and Psycho. 42 (1987): 491--502.
(Reports on studies of choices of visual metaphors for sound parameters. In
the sound domain he looked at frequency, waveform, amplitude, and duration)
W. H. Warren, R. R. Verbrugge. Auditory Perception of Breaking and Bouncing
Events: A Case Study in Ecological Acoustics. J. Exp. Psych. 10 (1984): 704--712.
(Seminal study of everyday listening which used analysis and synthesis of events
to link acoustical information to event perception).
C. R. Weber. Sonic Enhancement of Map Information: Experiments Using Harmonic
Intervals." Unpublished dissertation, Department of Geography, State University
of New York at Buffalo, 1993. (Reporting a relationship among aural variables
that is analogous to the hierarchy of visual variables presented by Bertin (1983).
Pitch supersedes both texture (consonance) and color (scale position))
Trevor Wishart. Complexity and Beauty in Music: Some Complications, 1997 [text]
Judith Wright. ***
World Bank. World Development Report: Knowledge for Africa.
1998/99 Background Papers [text]
Frances Yates. The Art of Memory. University of Chicago Press, 1974
E. S. Yeung. Pattern Recognition by Audio Representation of Multivariate Analytical
Data. Anal. Chem. 52 (1980): 1120--1123. (Audible display for experimental data
from analytical chemistry, designed to incorporate auditory parameters exhibiting
continuity in scaling and relative independence from each other. His display
consisted of data vectors, each dimension of which corresponded to the detected
levels of various metals in a given sample, with one vector per sample. The
analysis task involved classifying a given vector as belonging to one of four
sets, after having been trained with vectors from those four sets. Although
Yeung did not compare the performance of his subjects using the auditory display
with that of any other display, he noted that all of his subjects achieved the
98% correct classification rate after (at most) two training sessions.)
Lawrence M. Zbikowski. Metaphor and Music Theory: Reflections from Cognitive
Science.Music Theory Online, Volume 4, Number 1 January [text]