20th October 2011 | Draft
Enabling a 12-fold Pattern of Systemic Dialogue for Governance
- / -
Languages of governance
Thinking tools for dialogue
Clues to patterns of dialogue from competing personality typing schemes
Clues to patterns of dialogue from myth and metaphor
Clues to patterns of dialogue from song
Imagining a 12-fold dialogue process
Possible procedures for a 12-fold dialogue process
Annex to Eliciting a 12-fold Pattern of Generic Operational Insights: Recognition of memory constraints on collective strategic comprehension (2011)
The main paper clarifies the need for a 12-fold pattern of cognitive modalities to enable integrative governance. The central argument there is that a pattern of requisite complexity, or cognitive variety, is necessary to ensure sustainability. The constraints on human working memory capacity, comprehension and communicability were emphasized.
The approach presented here focuses on distinguishing 12 readily recognizable dialogue modalities (or "languages"). The challenge is seen as being one of interweaving their use such as to elicit a 12-fold pattern. Some possibilities of thematic "interweaving" were introduced separately (Interweaving Thematic Threads and Learning Pathways: noonautics, magic carpets and wizdomes, 2010).
A checklist of previous explorations of dialogue on this site is presented separately (Documents relating to Dialogue and Transformative Conferencing). This includes Selected Websites on Dialogue (2002). A valuable summary of dialogue reflection is provided in a collaborative exercise (Donnell King, Martha Merrill, Jim Pruitt, Jeanie Sharp, Lorna Williams. Dialogue Digest: a dialogical approach to dialogue, with extensive bibliography). Appropriate to the experiential stressed in relation to the "vehicle" metaphor explored in the main paper, King et al. introduce their own dialogue with:
To learn to ride a bicycle, you can profit from reading about bicycle mechanics and construction, and about the skills involved in riding a bicycle. But to really learn to ride it, you have to ride it.
The question in the main paper, and here, is the nature of the challenges when the "vehicle" needs more "wheels" than a "bicycle".
Languages of governance
The approach is a further development of Typology of 12
complementary dialogue modes essential to sustainable dialogue (1998). This was a tentative adaptation of the work discussed in the main paper by Arthur Young (The Geometry
of Meaning (1978) in the light of his focus on learning/action cycles, separately discussed (Characteristics
of phases in 12-phase learning / action cycles). That articulation had also been adapted to strategies (Typology
of 12 complementary strategies essential to sustainable development).
The approach also draws on separate exercises endeavouring to identify 12 "languages" of governance. This had initially taken the form of a caricatural presentation (12 Complementary Languages for Sustainable Governance, 2003). This was subsequently developed into a more formal presentation (Reframing the Game of Strategic Dilemmas, 2009). A degree of linkage between the two approaches was offered through a diagramatic presentation common to both. The relationship between the two, offering links to supplementary commentary, is provided below (also presented in the main paper).
Fig. 1: Example of a tentative elaboration of a 12-fold array of clusters of complementary options
from a larger variant in Reframing the Game of Strategic Dilemmas -- caricaturing the "languages" of governance
[the two tables on the right provide access to earlier and later interpretations of the " languages"]
Thinking tools for dialogue
The argument here also also draws inspiration from the widely-cited initiatives of Edward de Bono (Six Thinking Hats, 1985; Six Action Shoes, 1991; Six Value Medals, 2005; Six Frames For Thinking About Information, 2008). He has made a strong case for the need for "new thinking" (New Thinking for the New Millennium, 1999)
For the purpose of this exercise, and with apologies to Edward de Bono, the "hats" and "shoes" are distributed in the following table -- echoing the presentation above, but without seeking to resolving questions of correspondences between "hats" and "shoes" -- or with the articulation above. Recognizing the challenge for memory, de Bono has experimented with mnemonic labels in both cases.
|Fig. 2: Juxtaposition of two frameworks of Edward de Bono
Danger and emergency
Emergency action is required
Safety is a prime concern
|Navy formal shoes
what information is available,
what are the facts?
statements of provocation
seeing where a thought goes
Suggesting care, compassion,
and attention to human feelings
and collection of evidence
Purpose of the action is to get information
|Bad points judgment (Black)
logic applied to
identifying flaws or barriers,
Good points judgment (Yellow)
logic applied to
|Purple riding boots
Playing out the role give by virtue
of a position or authority
Stressing leadership and command
Involves practically and pragmatism
Do what is sensible and practical
Using initiative and flexibility
instinctive gut reaction
or statements of emotional feeling
(but not any justification)
thinking about thinking
It should be emphasized that Edward de Bono has articulated these modalities in great detail and carefully suggested the procedures by which they could be used. Such recommendations need to be considered in any further development of the following argument. He also considers how the different modalities can be combined.
Clues to patterns of dialogue from competing personality typing schemes
There are of course many approaches to personality typing. It is readily apparent that the set of types identified, typically in the range of 4 to 16, could be understood as characterizing distinct cognitive modes and associated modes of discourse. The concern in this argument is not however with typing individuals, or modes of discourse, but rather with how the modes complement each other in a pattern of requisite complexity -- exemplified by the 12-fold pattern discussed in the main paper (Eliciting a 12-fold Pattern of Generic Operational Insights: Recognition of memory constraints on collective strategic comprehension, 2011).
Of great significance to this argument is the nature of the characteristically bitter discourse between the proponents of different approaches and those with alternative interpretations of any of them -- notably extending to legal action to protect intellectual copyright. It is difficult to avoid associating this condition with the theme of the analysis of James Hillman and Michael Ventura (We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy -- And the World's Getting Worse, 1993).
The insights into personality typing -- despite the implication of self-reflexivity -- do not appear to facilitate such exchanges. Of relevance to consideration of this dynamic is the approach of W. T. Jones (The Romantic Syndrome; toward a new methodology in cultural anthropology and the history of ideas, 1961). He distinguished seven axes of bias characteristic of such discourse -- rendering the intractable positions of the participants predictable, as summarized separately (Axes of Bias in Inter-Cultural Dialogue, 1993). There does not appear to be any effort to "type" the different personality typing schemes within any more general encompassing schema -- or within any one of them.
Independently of such differences, the relevant question is then whether (and how) distinct cognitive modes, as identified in the following typing systems (for example), are understood as interrelated in complex patterns of dialogue.
Psychological types identified by Carl Jung: The eight psychological types (Psychological Types, 1923) are:
- Extraverted sensation
- Introverted sensation
- Extraverted intuition
- Introverted intuition
- Extraverted thinking
- Introverted thinking
- Extraverted feeling
- Introverted feeling
There does not appear to be any discussion of the necessity for all these modalities in a rich pattern of dialogue -- and how that complex pattern might then function as a whole. An analogous process might however be said to be the goal of the individuation of the individual -- notably according to the psychology of Jung. Little is said regarding "collective individuation", with the apparent exception of Gilbert Simondon (L'individuation psychique et collective, 1989).
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): Originally developed by Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers (Isabel Briggs Myers, et al., MBTI Handbook: A Guide to the development and use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator,1998). The MBTI is an extrapolation from the typological theories proposed by Carl Gustav Jung. This resulted in the array of 16 types in the following table (with links to detailed explanation of each). The array is based on 4 dichotomies: Extraversion (E) - Introversion (I); Sensing (S) - Intuition (N); Thinking (T) - Feeling (F); Judgment (J) - Perception (P):
The personality typing is treated as fundamental to the dialogue process by Carolyn Zeisset (The Art of Dialogue: exploring personality differences for more effective communication, 2006). The focus is necessarily on communication between types and not on the larger discourse involving all types. As indicated in the main paper, there is then the fundamental issue of the ability to work with a 16-fold pattern -- beyond the constraints of working human memory.
The MBTI has been the subject of a contested interpreted by David W. Keirsey to produce the Keirsey Temperament Sorter.
Enneagram: This has been used as the basis for an Enneagram of Personality, as developed by Oscar Ichazo and Claudio Naranjo.
A convenient table in Wikipeddia shows the nine types distinguished as derived from Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson (Understanding the Enneagram: the practical guide to personality types, 2000). The nine types distinguished are: reformer, helper, achiever, individualist, investigator, loyalist, enthusiast, challenger, peacemaker.
Again, although understood as fundamental to the communication between those of different types -- or to facilitating such communication -- there would seem to be little concern with the functioning of the complete pattern of types in a larger discourse involving all of them. Building on insights into the enneagram, an extremely perceptive exception would appear to be the reflection of Anthony Blake (The Supreme Art of Dialogue: structures of meaning, 2009; The Intelligent Enneagram, 1996). After reviewing monalogue, dyalogue, trialogue, tetralogue (pp. 42-46), he notes:
In principle, the series of N-logues can be extended beyond N=5. This has been experienced in traditional modes of collective discourse such as the
Amerindian peoples who use "octalogue, and the western paradigm of the "twelve Knights of the Round Table" (or of astrological houses). (pp. 46)
He notes the development of the 30-person syntegrity model (mentioned below) and its dependence on elaborate technology and then points out that:
Such complex N-logue arrangements require a firm methodology and training to work successfully. In contrast, N-logue of the order of from 1 to 3 can be discovered arising spontaneously arising out of dialogue. The various orders of N-logue represent basic number systems as described in [J. G.] Bennett's method of systematics. Each of them is a valid way of thinking. In an idealised model, a dialogue group would give rise successively to monalogue, dyalogue, trialogue, and so on until everyone is actively involved (passing from audience to participant). Needless to say, in practice the level of N-logue falls as much as it rises, and it is usually the case that higher order N-logues rarely appear. (p. 46)
Integral Dialogue of Spiral Dynamics: There is a complex relationship between Integral Theory (as articulated in the AQAL model) developed by Ken Wilber and Spiral Dynamics as a theory of human development introduced by Don Beck and Chris Cowan (Spiral Dynamics, 1996). The latter distinguishes a set of 8 memes in two "tiers" (as indicated by Wikipedia):
- Tier 1
- Beige: Instinctive / survivalistic / automatic / reflexological: Express self to meet imperative physiological needs through instincts of Homo sapiens.
- Purple: Magical-Animistic: Sacrifice to the ways of the elders and customs as one subsumed in group.
- Red: Egocentric-exploitive power: Express self (impulsively) for what self desires without guilt and to avoid shame.
- Blue: Purposeful/authoritarian: Sacrifice self for reward to come through obedience to rightful authority in purposeful Way.
- Orange: Multiplistic-achievist scientific / strategic: Express self (calculatedly) to reach goals and objectives without rousing the ire of important others.
- Green: Relativistic-personalistic / communitarian/egalitarian: Sacrifice self-interest now in order to gain acceptance and group harmony.
- Tier 2
(assumed to correspond to Orange and Green respectively)
- Yellow: Systemic-integrative: Express self for what self desires, but to avoid harm to others so that all life, not just own life, will benefit.
- Turquoise: Holistic: An integrative system which combines an organism's necessary self-interest with the interests of the communities in which it participates
Numerous references are made to the nature of "integral dialogue" but these are elusive in their articulation of how AQAL and/or Spiral Dynamics is used in the facilitation of dialogue involving all types together -- rather than in the descriptive analysis of individual interactions. The situation is further complicated by the fact that, as a memetic key to the future of human evolution, "Spiral Dynamics" is a registered trademark of the National Values Center, Inc. Whilst potentially relevant to this argument, no further reference is made to this approach. The website of the Integral Review (A Transdisciplinary and Transcultural Journal for New Thought, Research and Praxis) offers a set of Integral Dialog Guidelines.
Clues to patterns of dialogue from myth and metaphor
The main paper offers an extensive list of 12-fold symbols, including those embodied in deities (Sets of symbols adequate to the distinction of complementarity within a 12-fold set, 2011). In the case of Olympian deities, for example, many myths articulate the nature of the distinctive relationships between them. From this a sense of a 12-fold "dialogue ecosystem" becomes apparent -- to a far greater degree than emerges from personality typing. Unfortunately the distinctive character of such "deities" is now primarily reinforced in their use in branding, most notably of fashionable apparel. There is little recollection of their relationships.
What might have been the contrasting roles of the Knights of the Round Table, as discussed by George Trevelyan (Twelve Seats At The Round Table, 1976)?
As noted in the main paper, the mythical approach is echoed to a degree in the recognition of an archetypal set of roles as discussed by Paul Moxnes (Deep Roles: Twelve Primordial Roles of Mind and Organization, Human Relations, 1999):
These "deep roles" have their origin in the roles of the essential family-father, mother, son, and daughter. In groups and organizations, each of these images of family roles will-through the basic defense mechanisms of splitting and projection-be polarized into a good and bad part: The father as God or devil, the mother as queen or witch, the son as crown prince or black sheep, and the daughter as princess or whore. In addition to these eight primary deep roles, there come two secondary ones: the helpers-Shaman and Slave-whose function are to help the family survive spiritually and materially, respectively. The two last deep roles are of a transcendental nature: the hero (winner) and the clown (loser), i.e., the one who has won a good family role, and the one who has lost it-or never gained it. These 12 deep roles are well known from such cultural artifacts as fairy tales and mythology. In groups and organizations, deep roles are attended with power and interest. Those who are attributed a deep role in their organization will have a similar symbolic power as characters in fairy tales and mythology.
This approach is reminiscent of the classic familial metaphors through which the 64 conditions of change, identified in the Chinese I Ching, may be interpreted. The latter encourages exploration of other metaphors of relevance to dialogue (Transformation Metaphors derived experimentally from the Chinese Book of Changes (I Ching) for sustainable dialogue, 1997). More conventional metaphors are noted separately (Complementary Metaphors of Discourse: Towards Transformative Conferencing and Dialogue, 1984).
An appreciation of mythology has been reactivated in widely popular interactive games, most notably Dungeons and Dragons -- and an online version Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach). This departs from traditional wargaming and assigns each player a specific character to play. These characters embark upon imaginary adventures within a fantasy setting. The early role-playing in relationship to the board game version initiated later development of avatars interacting in virtual worlds. Such developments imply a degree of dialogue between characters with quite distinct characteristics.
Although there are few references to "12 roles", it is ironic therefore that most attention (in web documents) is given to the feat of Priyanka Chopra -- an Indian actress and former Miss World -- in portraying 12 distinct characters in the film What's Your Raashee? (2009). This was subsequently cited in the Guinness World Records. Each character depicted has traits related to its respective astrological sign.
Clues to patterns of dialogue from song
As noted in Wikipedia, there are many different voice types used by vocal pedagogists and variously clustered in voice classification systems. These tend to recognize seven different major voice categories. Women are typically divided into three groups: soprano, mezzo-soprano, and contralto. Men are usually divided into four groups: countertenor, tenor, baritone, and bass. When considering the pre-pubescent male voice an eighth term, treble, can be applied. Within each of these major categories there are several sub-categories that identify specific vocal qualities like coloratura facility and vocal weight to differentiate between voices.
Occasionally metaphorical use is made of "song" and "singer" in caricaturing the contribution of particular dialogue participants -- "singing his usual song", etc. Reference may be made in such contexts to a "chorus" -- or even to a supporting "choir" as backup.
The question here is whether the combinations of singers and singing styles have given rise to detectable varieties of song. The manner in which different "voices" contribute to distinctive patterns in song could then be used as a rich source of insight into the possibly harmonious interplay of "voices" in dialogue. Distinguishing "varieties of song" does not however distinguish the number and manner of the participating voices. For example:
- Varieties of song implied in the Book of Psalms (as synonyms of praise): nitsuah (vicrtory), niggun (melody), maskil, mizmar (psalm), shir (song), ashre (happy), tehilla (praise), tefilla (prayer), hodaya (thanksgiving), halleluja
- An effort has been made to elucidate the varieties of song undertaken by choral groups in the Archaic period, paying particular attention to the different statuses of their participants, male and female, and to the relations they may maintain with one another (Claude Calame, Derek Collins and Janice Orion, Choruses of Young Women in Ancient Greece: their morphology, religious role, and social functions. Rowman and Littlefield, 2001)
- A player of the khene in Laos is considered fully qualified when 32 varieties of song can be accompoanied, although 15-18 are acceptable (Terry E. Miller, Sean Williams, The Garland Handbook of Southeast Asian Music, Routledge, 2008)
- Multipart singing: rhetoric of the senses and the emotive construction of community (Jaume Ayats, Anna Costal, Iris Gayete, Joaquim Rabaseda, Polyphonies, Bodies and Rhetoric of Senses: Latin chants in Corsica and the Pyrenees, Transposition: Musique et sciences sociales, 2011, 1)
It is appropriate to note that there is a Research Centre for European Multipart Music which produces a Bibliography on Multipart Singing Practices in Europe. The International Council for Traditional Music Study Group on Multipart Music notes that multipart music represents one of the most fascinating phenomena in numerous local musical cultures in Europe. It has therefore been a favoured object of research for a long time, particularly in the national framework. Regional studies, which extend beyond political boundaries, are, however, rare and sporadic. Since, as a rule, regional and the political boundaries in Europe do not coincide, there was an almost untouched area for research in local musical cultures in Europe.
Also of potential relevance is the work of the International Research Center for Traditional Polyphony, which recognizes that polyphony is one of the less comprehended phenomena of musical thinking -- as might be said to be the case with respect to "polyphony" in dialogue. The center's work is brought to a focus through international symposia on polyphony (Tbilisi: 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010) and the published collections of their proceedings regarding various countries of the world. Multipart singing and harmonic concepts are basic traits of many African musical traditions and have been observed by Western travelers since the earliest periods of contact. The relevant question is the potential influence of that insight on organization and dialogue (Knowledge Gardening through Music: patterns of coherence for future African management as an alternative to Project Logic, 2000).
One indication of interest is a "ritual of diplomacy". performed by Australian Aborigines to establish or re-establish friendly relations with neighbouring communities (Stephen Wild, Rom: an Aboriginal ritual of diplomacy, 1986). This involves presenting them with elaborately-decorated totemic poles. The entire process of making, binding, and decorating the poles can extend over weeks and involves successive sessions of song and dance which culminate in a presentation ceremony. The ritual has been performed in the Australian capital, Canberra.
The possibilities are also evident in certain styles of multi-person poetic improvisation (Strategic Jousting through Poetic Wrestling: aesthetic reframing of the clash of civilizations, 2009; Strategic Dialogue through Poetic Improvisation: web resources and bibliography, 2009).
There is every possibility that "encoded" into the range of possible patterns of multipart singing (or its poetic equivalent) are vital clues to the manner in which dialogue can be organized -- or can self-organize. Their potential is now becoming apparent through introduction of psychoacoustics and visualization into the process of musical analysis (Werner A. Deutsch and Franz Födermayr, Visualization of Multi-Part Music (Acoustics and Perception), 1997). Such singing has the merit of being comprehensible to the ear and, in the case of Europe, is potentially suggestive of patterns of dialogue of relevance to the emergence of any form of consensual "polyphony" in the current period of strategic crisis for the "European project". (A Singable Earth Charter, EU Constitution or Global Ethic? 2006; Structuring Mnemonic Encoding of Development Plans and Ethical Charters using Musical Leitmotivs, 2001). Faciliation of popular experimentation with such possibilities is now being enabled by widely accessible software enabling people to constitute multipart sound tracks -- for example by merging ten tracks, considered outstanding, into one all-encompassing melody.
It is appropriate to note the extent to which audio-equipment, computers and software have long anticipated many of the technical issues which could inspire consideration of possibilities of relevance to dialogue. Multitrack recording is a method of sound recording that allows for the separate recording of multiple sound sources to create a cohesive whole. Multitracking became possible with the idea of simultaneously recording different audio channels to separate discrete "tracks" on the same tape -- allowing playback to be synchronized. Many kinds of multitrack recording software are available for amateurs and professionals (see comparison). For example, MixPad allows users of personakl computers to mix 100+ tracks at once. Professional analog recording studios may use a computer to synchronize multiple 24-track machines, effectively multiplying the number of available tracks into the hundreds. The instruments and singers' voices are recorded as individual files on the computer's hard drive, and function as tracks as per traditional multitracking. Effects such as reverb, chorus, and delays can be applied by the computer software.
The issue is precisely what relevance the technology could have to mixing "political voices" expressing "contrasting" views in a dialogue process -- or at a conference. There is no difficulty in recording interventions on separate tracks. The question calling for exploration is how to mix them and synchronize them, or position them appropriately in a sequence. Clearly the approach would allow "voices" to be variously combined, isolated and separated for subsequent playback once they have been positioned on distinct tracks.
Of great potential relevance is the argument of Marc Leman (Embodied Music Cognition and Mediation Technology, 2007). As described in the summary of the book:
Digital media handles music as encoded physical energy, but humans consider music in terms of beliefs, intentions, interpretations, experiences, evaluations, and significations. In this book, drawing on work in computer science, psychology, brain science, and musicology, Marc Leman proposes an embodied cognition approach to music research that will help bridge this gap. Assuming that the body plays a central role in all musical activities, and basing his approach on a hypothesis about the relationship between musical experience (mind) and sound energy (matter), Leman proposes that the human body is a biologically designed mediator that transfers physical energy to a mental level-engaging experiences, values, and intentions-and, reversing the process, transfers mental representation into material form. He suggests that this idea of the body as mediator offers a promising framework for thinking about music mediation technology. Leman argues that, under certain conditions, the natural mediator (the body) can be extended with artificial technology-based mediators. He explores the necessary conditions and analyzes ways in which they can be studied. Leman outlines his theory of embodied music cognition, introducing a model that describes the relationship between a human subject and its environment, analyzing the coupling of action and perception, and exploring different degrees of the body's engagement with music. He then examines possible applications in two core areas: interaction with music instruments and music search and retrieval in a database or digital library. The embodied music cognition approach, Leman argues, can help us develop tools that integrate artistic expression and contemporary technology.
Imagining a 12-fold dialogue process
There is a great degree of irony to the fact that it would appear that it is popular culture that is experimenting with patterns of interaction between distinct roles (Playfully Changing the Prevailing Climate of Opinion, 2005). Professional approaches to dialogue and personality typing would seem to be systematically reinforcing restrictive imposition of categories and interactions -- without being able to "see the wood for the trees". The situation might be caricatured as effectively encouraging people to "die-a-log rather than "living like a forest".
Any discussion of a 12-fold dialogue process must necessarily note the effort to elaborate such a process on the basis of extensive analysis by management cybernetician Stafford Beer (Beyond Dispute: The Invention of Team Syntegrity, 1994). This gave rise to the trademarked Syntegration process which highlights the central function a polyhedral configuration of roles or issues based on the icosahedron (with 12 vertices). This development was initially stimulated by experiments with participants at the Silver Anniversary International Meeting (London, 1979) of the Society for General Systems Research (SGSR) with the theme Improving the Human Condition: Quality and Stability in Social Systems. The process is described separately (Metaconferencing: discovering people / viewpoint networks in conferences, 1980).
Careful consideration should also be given to the efforts of those designing dialogue processes in the light of considerable experience of the past challenges in this arena in relation to the global problematique. A notable example is the effort of Alexander (Aleco) Christakis who enabled, through the Institute for 21st Century Agoras, a computer-enhanced process of structured dialogue (Architecture of Structured Dialogic Design (SDD or SDDP); The Architecture of Structured Dialogic Design Science; What is the SDD process?).
This process has been further elaborated in collaboration with others (Kenneth C. Bausch and Alexander Christakis, Co-laboratories of Democracy: how people harness their collective wisdom to create the future, 2006; Alexander Christakis and T. R. Flanagan, The Talking Point: creating an environment for exploring complex meaning, 2009). Together these collaborators have adapted the approach separately (Thomas R. Flanagan and Kenneth C. Bausch, A Democratic Approach to Sustainable Futures: a workbook for addressing the global problematique, 2011).
Possible procedures for a 12-fold dialogue process
In exploring patterns of dialogue more capable of engaging with the complexity of contemporary challenges, the following might be borne in mind:
- Deriving insight for the worldwide engagement in role-playing and online gaming, possibly through tracking interactions within and between guilds (especially if records are retained on online gaming servers)
- Considering the process of avatar selection and development by individuals (notably when several avatars are used by the same individual) and constraints on the number of distinct characters in viable games
- Envisaging the possibility of simulating (as "thought experiments") the emergence of N-fold dialogue processes (such as might be the case with 12-fold patterns). Using the periodic table metaphor, these might fruitfully be recognized as "islands of stability".
- Designing new types of social networking processes to elicit N-fold dialogue processes, as previously suggested using more primitive facilities (Group Questing or Twelving: Proposal for a large-scale small-group development process, 1976)
- Distinguishing the tendency to use and/or impose "authorized" labels for personality types or categories (and their interpretation) from the possibility of individual articulation of experientially sensed qualitative distinctions (irrespective of the naivety of any such attribution)
- Acknowledging experience in dialogue mode-switching, as suggested both by the articulated processes of Edward de Bono and by the fictional account in the cult novel by Luke Rhinehart (The Dice Man, 1971) and its sequels.
- Encouraging the expression of distinct dialogue roles and modalities -- but through a process that draws them into a larger pattern of recognizably requisite variety through which they are affirmed and appropriately challenged
- Recognizing the tendency to reject, ignore, suppress, or edit out modalities that "do not fit" -- effectively rendering "hiding" them (as with the compactification in "curled up dimensions" in the Calabi-Yau manifolds as a result of symmetry breaking, discussed in the main paper under Engaging with the symmetry of "bloodless categories"). Such polarized strategic discourse is most evident in the dysfunctionality exemplified by the relationship between the World Economic Forum and the World Social Forum (All Blacks of Davos vs All Greens of Porto Alegre: reframing global strategic discord through polyphony? 2007)
- Recognizing that the challenging shift is to move beyond polarized dialogue ("right-left", "good guys-bad guys", "us-them"), and even out of the comfort zone of working memory capacity, as originally highlighted by George Miller (The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two, Psychological Review, 1956) -- and by subsequent research.
- Exploring ways to facilitate comprehension of larger patterns as a whole, such as the 12-fold
In the light of these considerations, one "open" approach might be as follows:
- Build up a set of possible dialogue "roles" -- whether on cards, board, or their electronic equivalent -- by any combination of the following:
- Inviting a group to suggest (creatively) as wide a spectrum of roles as are held to be meaningful
- Selecting from characters of mythology, notably as presented in the manuals of Dungeons and Dragons. This is a process usefully to be understood in terms of the Susantha Goonatilake (Toward a Global Science: mining civilizational knowledge, 1999) as previously discussed (Enhancing the Quality of Knowing through Integration of East-West metaphors, 2000). Within this mining metaphor, the process might be compared to identifying and refining "ores" to extract "elements"
- Using "standard" dialogue modalities such as those suggested by Fig. 1 (above), or perhaps "provoked" by reaction to any limited disparate set such as:
||care / compassion
||symbolic / PR / celebration
|belief / hope / prayer
||analytical / criticism
||warning / doom
|technology ("fix it")
||strategic / political
||aesthetic / drama
||wisdom -- all knowing
||blame / judgment / justice
- Using a standard set of personality types or roles, derived from one (or all) of the personality typing initiatives (including astrology)
- Taking attentive account of cognitive modalities and roles highlighted in fiction and drama (Taxonomies of Dramatic Situations, 2009)
- Using a set of cards (or a wiki) specially built up from a "library" of dialogue roles, enriched by any of the above
- Decide on a preferred number of distinct role modalities for the dialogue
-- a process which might be compared metaphorically with building up a periodic table of elements with a view to its subsequent "tuning" (Tuning a Periodic Table of Religions, Epistemologies and Spirituality: including the sciences and other belief systems, 2007)
- Recognizing that a challenge is to incorporate into the dynamics the greatest variety -- for "higher level" interactions (in online gaming terms)
- Consider the degree of variety embodied in 12-fold systems, if only as a source of mnemonically patterned metaphors (Checklist of 12-fold Principles, Plans, Symbols and Concepts, 2011)
- Cluster the selected roles into groups according to the number selected
- Recognizing that it is the choice of those identifying with a particular cluster how they interpret the labelled roles included within that cluster
- Recognizing that roles labelled with the same term may be interpreted differently and therefore clustered according to that interpretation (treating the verbal label as secondary to the interpretation)
- Recognizing the psychosocial implications of the process in that it is a quest for where each modality "fits" in the emergent dialogue pattern or ecosystem
- Consider the status of roles not selected into any cluster -- the roles not chosen and to be excluded from the dialogue
- Recognizing that by excluding them in this way they are indeed effectively "hidden" from the subsequent dialogue process -- potentially operating in "stealth mode" and "under the cognitive radar" of the dialogue process (effectively as with the compactification in "curled up dimensions" in the Calabi-Yau manifolds as a result of symmetry breaking)
- Consider how self-reflexivity is to be elicited in the subsequent dialogue process
The focus here, following from the main paper, is on the probable necessity for a 12-fold pattern of dialogue to encompass the complexity of the turbulent challenges of the times.
It is however useful to reflect on patterns of dialogue which do not embody the checks and balances of a 12-fold pattern. As suggested by Anthony Blake, most N-logues tend to operate within the comfort zones of N less than 5 (at most) -- consistent with the constraints of human working memory capacity, as originally highlighted by George Miller (The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two, Psychological Review, 1956).
Further clues are offered by the articulation by Paul Moxnes (Deep Roles: Twelve Primordial Roles of Mind and Organization, Human Relations, 1999), which can be understood as noting six covert "shadowy" roles -- complementing the six more appreciated as the overt "positive" roles associated with "family values". This suggests that failure to integrate such additional roles -- as a further six dialogue modalities -- results in their expression in dysfunctional dynamics (well-recognized in "dysfunctional families"). According to one framework, these may be understood as emerging from the "collective unconscious" -- through "portals" offered by the modalities missing from the overt dialogue.
The emergent modalities can also be understood as "schisms" breaking away from an inadequately understood sense of unity -- the "hymn sheet" from which it is assumed that all should want to sing. Two-part singing can be understood as embodying a degree of schismatic formation, three-part a lesser degree, and so on. Schisms clearly mark the failure of conventional dialogue aspiring to oversimplistic harmony, as separately explored (Distinguishing Levels of Declarations of Principles, 1980; Coherent Patterns of Schism Formation, Bifurcation and Disagreement, 2001; Sustainable Dialogue as a Necessary Template for Sustainable Global Community, 1995)
This conclusion is even more clearly evident in the clues offered by multipart singing and polyphony. Limiting such song to only a few "voices" effectively results in the other "voices" being expressed in other songs -- or in this case in other patterns of dialogue elsewhere. The possibility of integrating these separate patterns is seldom even envisaged. In current society this is exemplified by the "voices" gathered within the Anthem of Europe, Beethoven's Ode to Joy (1823), in contrast with those expressed in the Eurovision Song Contest. The contrast is even further emphasized by the winner in 2006, elected overwhelmingly through a record Europe-wide popular "democratic process"
(Lordi's song Hard Rock Hallelujah). That contrast is highlighted by the following images.
At the time of writing, it might be said that civil unrest, exemplified worldwide by the Occupy Wall Street movement, is a consequence of a failure to integrate the "songs" and their "lyrics" in a richer pattern of dialogue. "Sub-dialogues" effectively "design each other out". as exemplified by the relationship between the World Economic Forum and the World Social Forum (All Blacks of Davos vs All Greens of Porto Alegre: reframing global strategic discord through polyphony? 2007) .
A richer pattern of multipart dialogue is required -- capable of engendering a A Singable Earth Charter, EU Constitution or Global Ethic (2006).
|Contrasting caricatures of "harmonization"
(Beethoven's Ode to Joy)
Song Contest Winner (Athens, 2006)
(Lordi's song Hard Rock Hallelujah)
|Does global governance need a "hymn sheet" of larger scope?
|David Graeber "What Did We Actually Do Right?"
On the Unexpected Success and Spread of Occupy Wall Street (Naked Capitalism, 19 October 2011):
At the time I was inspired mainly by what Marisa Holmes, another brilliant organizer of the original occupation, had discovered in her work as a video documentarian, doing one-on-one interviews of fellow campers during the first two nights at Zucotti Square. Over and over she heard the same story: "I did everything I was supposed to! I worked hard, studied hard, got into college. Now I'm unemployed, with no prospects, and $50 to $80,000.00 in debt."
These were kids who played by the rules, and were rewarded by a future of constant harassment, of being told they were worthless deadbeats by agents of those very financial institutions who -- after having spectacularly failed to play by the rules, and crashing the world economy as a result, were saved and coddled by the government in all the ways that ordinary Americans such as themselves, equally spectacularly, were not.
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