26 December 1971
Computer-aided Visualization of Psycho-social Structures
Peace as an evolving balance of conceptual and organizational
- / -
Paper presented at a symposium of the American Association for
the Advancement of Science
(139th Meeting, Philadelphia, December 1971): Value and Knowledge Requirements
for Peace [PDF version]
Comparison of approaches to complexity
Interaction between concepts, organizations and problems
Individual in relationship to complexity
Approach to complexity
Description of interactive graphic display technique
Graphics and communication
Use of information
Relevance to peace
Peace and inequality
Peace and the myth of man the individual
Appendix on research and action possibilities
In this paper the problem of peace is considered to be an ecological problem.
Ecology is the study of the complex interrelationships between organisms and
their environments. To clarify this approach, three major types of social complexity
-- organizational, problem and conceptual -- are briefly reviewed together with
their interactions and their effect on the individual. A practical approach
to handling, generating, and facilitating comprehension of this complexity by
the use of interactive computer graphics is then described in terms of its significance
for a variety of users.
not the intention of this paper to suggest a new theoretical
model to examine the problems of peace but rather to show the relevance
of an existing device to many such enquiries.
In demonstrating this
relevance, it was useful to treat peace as an ecological problem
because of the high tolerance of the ecological approach to complexity
of the order detected in the psycho-social system. The closing
sections comment on the relevance of this approach to value and
knowledge requirements for peace and suggest some practical stepswhich could be taken.
The number of organizations active in any given field or geographical
area is increasing. The growth in the number of independent organizations
has been paralleled by a fragmentation within the larger ones -- leading
to a proliferation of sub-commissions and sub-sections. Accompanying these trends
is an uncharted growth in the variety of forms of organized activity.
These trends of divergence have been partially compensated by an increase in
the inter-connectedness of organizations and efforts at establishing bodies
with coordinating or integrating functions -- but these trends of convergence
also contribute significantly to the complexity. Furthermore, this static organizational
structure provides a framework for forms of dynamic, temporary or ad
hoc organizations which are difficult to track systematically but are nevertheless
a key feature of organizational life - particularly when organizations
can be deliverately based on lags (or temporal "niches") in inter-organizational
The number of fields of knowledge is increasing. This growth has
been paralleled by specialization or fragmentation
within disciplines as they encompass a larger range of concepts. This leads
to a proliferation of sub-specialities and sub-disciplines. Accompanying these
trends is an uncharted growth in the variety of forms of organized
conceptual activity and a multiplication of meanings associated with any given
term. These trends have been partially compensated by increasing recognition
of the interconnected or multidisciplinary nature of many areas
of interest and there have been efforts at establishing integrative overviews
of programs in each discipline and a general systems discipline. These relatively
static features of the body of knowledge are accompanied by the formulation
of unsubstantiated concepts as a basis for immediate action because dynamic
features of the system ("lags") prevent the rapid location and integration
of relevant tested knowledge existing elsewhere -- this increases complexity
particularly when the existence of such temporal niches is deliberately exploited
to generate false concepts. Much damage can be done before compensating processes
can be brought to bear -- it is the "appearance of truth" rather than
"truth" which is significant within the lag time.
The number of recognized problems has risen rapidly, particularly
with the advent of the environment issue. The growth in the number of problems
has been paralleled by a recognition that each major problem needs to be broken
down or fragmented into sub-problems. Accompanying these trends
is an uncharted growth in the variety of problems. These trends of divergence
have been partially compensated by a recognition of interlinkages
between problems and efforts at locating the key or fundamental problem underlying
a whole group. In the final stages, problems become "aggressively interactive"
in that they do not remain docile and static but appear to have a momentum and
initiative of their own. They increase or decrease in importance and manner
of interaction without it being possible to determine the original cause of
the change. The environment becomes turbulent and new short-term problems are
generated in the vortices,
Comparison of approaches to complexity
are other features common to the three types of complexity
1. Interest in the entity -- organization, concept, or problem -- is not
such as to generate a methodology which would encourage systematic
data collection. Samples are collected in terms of predefined categories
but there is no effort to determine how many of each entity there are. Basically
confusion still reigns as to the nature of an organization, a concept and
2. The consequence of (1) is that there are no statistics on the entities
in each case. It is not known how many organizations are currently in existence,
although different agencies may have some such information to facilitate program
activity in their own spheres. Similarly the number of concepts current in
different sectors of society is unknown, as is the number of problems. The
lack of statistics follows naturally from a lack of any systematic lists of
each type of entity -- for example, there is no list of "world problems".
3. The consequence of (1) and (2) is that there is little understanding
of the variety of entities within each type of complexity. Each sector of
society perceives a limited range of relevant entities and rejects others
as of little interest or significance.
4. As a result of (3), the typologies developed reflect the special interests
of the sector of society within which they are generated and tend to be very
crude, ignoring grey areas and hybrid entities.
5. In each case concern is primarily with the "relevant" entity
conceived in isolation from its context. The interest in inter- organizational
relationships has only recently started building up, relationships between
concepts is confined to those within each particular discipline -- inter-disciplinary
and general systems approaches are suspect. Recognition of significant relationships
between problems is governed by agency or departmental short-term program
priorities. It is therefore not possible to determine systematically whether
a particular type of entity or relationship is
present in a given setting.
6. The absence of typologies and a picture of
means that it is not possible to build a picture of the ecological system
in each case. It is not possible to look at the ecological system constituted
by a particular community of organizations of different types.? Nor is it
possible to look at the ecology of a
particular conceptual milieu.8
Again, the ecology of problems is fragmented into convenient administrative
chunks by unintegrated mission-oriented agencies.
7. In each case the deliberate structuring of the approach to the different
types of complexity results in various forms of "exclusive relevance"
or "apartheid". One can speak of: an organizational apartheid which
ignores the developmental requirements of particular types of organizations
 a conceptual apartheid which ignores the significance of particular types
of concept, and of a problem apartheid which ignores the significance of particular
types of problems -- for each organization the only significant problems are
the ones with which it is concerned. There is no framework within which
to consider all problems.
8. The exclusiveness noted in (7) occures at a time when the hierarchical
structures reinforcing it are recognized to be crumbling or at least suspect.
Stable institutions, conceptual systems and problem environments are threatened
with dissolution.2 Nonhierarchical organizational structures are sought.
Hierarchical classification of knowledge and rigid systems of categories are
challenged, and simplistic groupings of problems are rejected. 
9. Despite the trend noted in (8), there is still, in each case, no "rational"
method of locating the most significant entity in response to a given set
of circumstances. The fundamental is embedded in detail, the general in the
particular. A practitioner of one discipline cannot know and is unlikely
to admit that the practitioners of another are better equipped to respond
to a particular problem. The key problem area, and the organizations to
be responsible, must therefore be selected by a process of political barter.
Interaction between concepts, organizations and problems
Common features have been detected in the three types of complexity, but each
type has nevertheless been treated as isolated from the others. This is not
so. Organizational, conceptual and problem systems exist as aspects of one
another. Change in one provokes change in the others. which therefore compounds
the complexity. These different interactions are not simultaneously recognized,
since they are each the concern of different disciplines. New fields of knowledge
are developed in response to new problems, and new organizations are established
to facilitate regular activity with respect to new problems. But new fields
of knowledge result in the detection of new problems, or organizations may be
created to further interest in particular concepts, etc.
It is useful to distinguish an integrative interaction whereby,
for example, inter-conceptual integration legitimates and eventually leads to
inter-organizational integration. Similarly, a disintegrative
interaction exists whereby, for example, decrease in inter-organization coordination
leads to a decrease in the perceived inter-linking of problems. These interrelationships
may be represented by Figure 1. The source of change is therefore very
much a "chicken-and-the-egg" question.
order to derive some measure of aspects of complexity in each case
and the manner in which each aspect of the complexity is related to
others, the following can be distinguished:
- number or population of entities
- variety, diversity or number of species of entities
- fragmentation or extent of within-species diversification
- interconnectedness, or decentralized inter-entity links or cooperation
- order, centralization or presence of hierarchies of dominance
- competition between entities.
Individual in relationship to complexity
Up to this point, it has been convenient to avoid reference to the individual,
but clearly organizations and concepts are the productions of individuals, and
problems are detected by individuals, and it is in terms of the individuals's
powers of comprehension that complexity is defined. In addition, complexity
experienced personally by individuals bears a close resemblance to that noted
for organizations, concepts, and problems.
It is possible to speak of an increase in the number of roles (or equivalent
psychological states) activated by or accessible to an individual. This growth
is paralleled by a fragmentation and specialization of traditional
roles. Accompanying these trends is an uncharted growth in the variety of possible
roles and life-styles. These atomizing and complexifying trends are partially
counter-balanced by efforts at formulating unifying philosophies or more integrated
and mature life-styles.
The individual psycho-system may therefore be added to Figure 1 to give
Figure 2.  The integrative and disintegrative interactions may also
|Figure 1: Indication of interrelationship between
three types of psycho-social entity.
Subject to 6 conditions of complexity
in Table 1)
Figure 2: Indication of interrelationship between
four types of psycho-social entity
|Table 1/2: Organizational implications of complexity
|Table 1: Interactions between conditions of psycho-socialcomplexity
different groups of entities
|Table 2: Limits in variation of
measures of complexity
for an entity in an ecological niche
Number / Population
Variety / Diversity
Fragmentation within species
Inability to coordinate action
Lack of specialized ability
Inability to act
Overthrown by revolt
The question of personal identity, perceived complexity, fragmentation of the
personality, and the ability to create stable psycho-social relationships (essential
to peace) are all intimately related. R. D. Laing suggests that a firm
sense of one's own autonomous identity is required in order that one may be
related as one human being to another -- otherwise any and every relationship
threatens the individual with loss of identity. Furthermore, the changes in
the relationship between the different aspects of a person's relationships to
himself affect his inter-personal relationships .  Marcuse suggests that
psychological problems therefore turn into political problems, private disorder
reflects more directly the disorder of the whole, and the cure of personal disorder
depends more directly than before on the cure of general disorder.  Lawrence
S. Kubie argues that unless the individual can free himself from internal tyranny
he will restrict the freedom of his society to change. Donald Schon notes
that change in organizations has its impact on the person, because beliefs,
values and the sense of self have their being in social systems. Measures
of complexity for the person can be envisaged and added to Table 1.
1 provides a crude overview of the complexity with which society
and the individual are faced. Increases
or decreases in any measure
cause changes in other parts of the system.
It is doubtful whether
universal agreement could be obtained on the interrelationships, even
if more cells were introduced into the Table.
Since it is man who is directly or indirectly the major cause of change in
the psycho-social environment, his individual actions may be considered the
origin of the dynamic of the system. Faced with the different features of
complexity noted above, he responds in a manner to ensure himself an adequate
behavioural niche. Some idea of the limits by which he is bounded is given
in Table 2. His relationship to these limits may be modified by changes in
his environment to the other measures noted in Table 1.
In carving out and developing an adequate behavioural niche in response to
a changing environment and his own developmental needs, it may be assumed that
each person adapts the condition of his own psycho-social system. These responses
may be creative responses which modify the measures of complexity in his environment
due to the formation of new organizations or concepts. It is not known why
a given individual finds a given niche satisfactory, whereas another is motivated
to seek a "better" one and will refuse to adapt to the existing environment.
The dynamics of change would seem to originate in the individual's rejection
of the conditions represented by a particular combination of measures of complexity
such as those mentioned above. Some combinations of such measures may represent
states in which identity is threatened for the personality type in question.
Complexity may constitute a direct threat to identity. 
It. is possible that there are different strategies by which an individual
can reinforce his identity as he develops. But basically, unless the individual
can be placed in a more commanding positionwith respect to the information to
which he is continuously exposed, he mill adapt or redefine himself and his
habitat in such a way as to eliminate consideration of all information
outside certain tolerance limits -- for with a threat to the stability of his
environment it no longer provides an anchor for personal identity and a system
of values.  He will set up his own "doll's house" model of relevant
actors in his psycho-social environment.
Approach to complexity
idea of complexity in the psycho-social system has been given
above. It is assumed here that the only
useful collective decisions topromote peace must be made on the basis of
some means of ordering
complexity in a systematic manner -- or else run the risk of using
simplistic models inadequate to the situations, on other than a short-
term basis, and possibly counter-productive.
The task to be tackled parallels that in the case of natural environment systems
described by David Pimentel in which there is a multiplicity of inter-specific
"food chains", together with many branches and cross-connections among
food chains making a structure of interactions called "food webs".
The complexity of these food webs is such that no one has yet worked out the
complete pattern of food relationships and interactions in any natural community.
The relationships between 50 species in a given community results in a diagram
"so full of lines that it is difficult to follow" and this only represents
one quarter of the 210 known species in a "simple" community. 
In such a situation a simplistic model used as a guide to the use of pesticides
could be disastrous.
approach advocated to penetrate complexity is to develop uses of
an existing device which could handle and display the multiplicity of
relationships in a manner to facilitate understanding. This is
described in the next section.
In describing the device it is unnecessary to distinguish between the different
types of entity or relationships making up the complexity. In each case the
device is handling entities and relationships. Categorization of these features
should be left to the user and not limit the flexibility with which data can
advantages of this sort of approach have been argued elsewhere.
Whether attention is focussed on organizations, concepts or problems,
or even the components of natural eco-system, it is possible to
distinguish relatively invariant continuing entities but only to the
extent and in the field in which they each maintain two types of
relationships -- internal ones to various sub-systems and structures
and external ones which link them, either as a whole or via a sub-
system, to their surrounds. The entity is in fact a pattern ofrelationships, subject to change but recognizably extended in time.
This way of regarding the objects of our attention helps to resolve the dichotomy
between the Individual and society and many other pseudo- problems resulting
from the tendency, built into language, to regard entities as "things",
rather than systematically related sequences of events. [8,17]
This "loose" approach can be achieved by handling the entities and
relationships as networks which can be processed and represented using graph
theory techniques.  In effect, a non-quantitative topological structure
of the psycho-social system is built up, to which dynamic and quantitative significance
can be added as and when appropriate data becomes available.
Description of interactive graphic display technique
The suggestion has been made above that structuring the relationship between
entities could best be accomplished using graph theory methods. There are four
disadvantages to this approach:
- in matrix form, such structures cannot be visualized.
- graphic relationships are tiresome and time-consuming to draw (and are costly
if budgeted as "art work").
- once drawn, there is a strong resistance to updating them (because of the
previous point) and therefore they quickly become useless.
- when the graph is complex, multidimensional, and carries much information,
it is difficult to draw satisfactorily in two dimensions. The mass of information
cannot be filtered to highlight particular features -- unless yet another
diagram is prepared.
These four difficulties can be overcome by making use of what is known as "interactive
graphics".  This is basically a TV screen attached to a computer.
The user sits at a keyboard in front of the screen and has at his disposal a
light-pen (or some equivalent device) which allows him to point to elements
of a network of entities displayed on the screen and instruct the computer to
manipulate the structure in useful ways. In other words the user can interact
with a representation of the network using the full power of the computer to
take care of the drudgery of:
- drawing in neat lines
- making amendments
- displaying only part of the network so that one is not overloaded with
- storing labels and notes on particular features.
effect the graphics device provides the user with a window or
viewport onto the network of psycho-system entities. Ho can instruct
the computer, via the keyboard, to
1. move the window to give him, effectively, a view onto
a different part of the network -- another conceptual domain.
2. introduce a magnification so that he can examine
(or "zoom in" on) some detailed sections of the network.
3. introduce diminuation so that he can gain an overall view
of the structure of the entity domain in which he is interested.
4. introduce filters so that only certain types of relationships
and entities are displayed -- either he can switch between models or he can
impose restrictions on the relationships displayed within a model, i.e. he
has a hierarchy of filters at his disposal.
5. modify parts of the network displayed to him by inserting or deleting
entities and relationships. Security codes can be arranged so that (a) he
can modify the display for his own immediate use without permanently affecting
the basic store of data, (b) he can permanently modify features of the model
for which he is a member of the responsible body, (c) and so on.
6. supply him with text on features of the network with which
he is unfamiliar. If necessary he can split his viewpoint into two (or more)
parts and have the parts of the network displayed in one (or more) part(s).
He can then use the light-pen to point to each entity or relationship on which
he wants a longer text description (e.g. the justifying argument for an entity
or the mathematical function, if applicable, governing a relationship) and
have it displayed in an adjoining viewport.
7. track along the relationships between one entity and the next
by moving the viewport to focus on each new entity. In this way the user
moves through a representation of "psycho-social space" with each
move, changing the constellation of entities displayed and bringing new entities
and relationships into view.
8. move up or down levels or "ladders of abstraction".
The user can demand that the computer track the display (see point 7) between
levels of abstraction, moving from sub-system to system at each move bringing
into view the psycho-social context of the system displayed.
9. distinguish between entities and relationships on the basis of user-selected
characteristics. The user can have the "relevant" (to him)
entitiesdisplayedwith more prominent symbols and the relevant relationships
with heavier lines.
10. select an alternative form of presentation. Some users may
prefer block diagram flom charts to illustrate the relationship between
entities, other may prefer a matrix display, others may prefer Venn diagrams,
or "Venn spheres" in 3 dimensions, etc. These are all interconvertible
(e.g. the Venn circles are computed taking each network node as a centre and
giving a radius to include all the sub-branches of the network from that node.)
11. copy a particular display currently on the screen. A user
may want to keep a personal record of parts of the network which are of interest
to him. (He can either arrange for a dump onto a tape which can drive a
graph plotter, a microfilm plotter, or copy onto a video-cassette, or obtain
a direct photocopy.)
12. arrange for a simultaneous search through a coded microfilm to provide
appropriate slide images or lengthy text which can in its turn be photocopied.
13. select significance of coordinate axes to order structure
to highlight features of interest in terms of the chosen dimensions.
14. simulate a three-dimendional presentation of the network by
introducing an extra coordinate axis.
15. rotate a three-dimensional structure (about the X or Y axis)
in order to heighten the 3-D effect and obtain a better overall view "around"
16. simulate a four-dimensional presentation of the network by
using various techniques for distinguishing entities and relationships (e.g.
"flashing" relationships at frequencies corresponding to theirimportance
in terms of the fourth dimension.)
17. change the speed at which the magnification from the viewport
is modified as a particular structure is rotated.
18. simulate the consequences of various changes introduced by
the user in terms of his conditions. This is particularly useful for cybernetic
19. perform various graph or network analyses on particular parts
of the network and display the results in a secondary viewport (e.g. the user
might point a light-pen at an entity and request its centrality or request
an indication of the inter-connectedness of a particular domain delimited
with the light-pen.)
This is not the place to do more than outline some of the other present and
future possibilities in this area. Video-cassette copies of syste-structures
can be widely distributed and used for university or public TV documentaries
on complex eco-systems. Microfilm and other plotters can beused to map largo
and complex systems. Colour graphics unitssome up to 150 x 150 cm) are in use
with the possibility of 512 colours (which allows even more information to be
conveyed in one image).  Helmets fitted with display screens give the wearer
the illusion of being able to move physically through computer projected spaces.
Linked graphics terminals allow many users to work simultaneously on the same
area of (semantic) space, thus augmenting the possibilities of face-to-face
The current uses of such devices in chemical laboratories to visualize- atoms
and their relationships are particularly suggestive of radical approaches to
psycho-social system entities and their relationships which merit further study.
For example, all the possible mays of constructing a specified chemical structure,
are visualized given a set of specified passible starting sub-units and restrictions
on ways they can be combined.  This could lead to ways of designing new
institutions from a pool of organizational sub-units and personal skills, particularly
organizations characterized by complex matrices of relationships rather than
simple lines of authority. In another application, the potential field surrounding
different types of atoms is mapped under different conditions and stored. 
This could lead to mays of handling and visualizing psycho-social system entities
in termsof field theories.
Graphics and communication
In order to understand the value of interactive computer graphics, a few basic
principles of communication should be considered. Languages are used to convey
thoughts. Languages may be gestural, verbal, written, notational, or graphic.
The effectiveness of a language depends upon its ability to retain and transfer
meaning and this in turn depends upon the complexity of the language. One can
conceive of a spectrum of "language and medium" from primitive
gestures through to sophisticated computer environments. At each point in the
spectrumthere are disadvantages and advantages for communication. An attempt
has been made to list these out in Figures 3 and 4 .  These should be considered
as very tentative schemas only.
Figures suggest that most of the advantages of the early portion
of the spectrum are combined together in the later portions where interactive graphics is used in various ways.
The question is why do
graphics help to convey more information than words. One reason is
that as concepts become more complex, they do not lend themselves to
easy encapsulation in words and phrases.
Often an explanation in
simple words, whilst theoretically possible, can be achieved only
at the price of such prolixity as to defeat the ends of the explanation.
Many objects, processes, or abstractions can be portrayed for discussion using a few simple graphical symbols much more easily than thecan be described verbally (of the classic example of the spiral
staircase). The other pressure is of
course that many subtle invariant
and relationships currently displayed in statistical tables, are ignored unless they can be represented in meaningful graphical form.
|Figure 3a: Comparison of different methods of communicating concepts
direct and to the point;
|no abstraction possible dramatic impact
personalized, subtle, poetic, imageful, analogy-full, adjusted to
|no permanent record, meanings and models shift from
phrase to phrase
permanent record; words weighed and compared in context; document forms
an intelligible whole
| meaning of words undefined or differ between documents;
definitions become concretized and language dependent; complexity of abstractions
limited by syntax of language; problem of jargon
provides context in physical terms; involving, highly complex, high
information content, high interrelationship
|superficial and unstructured
handles very complex abstractions and relations and a multiplicity of
|loss of intuitive appreciation of the concepts involved;
impenetrable without lengthy initiation; system of notation becomes more
complex than the concepts described; impersonal
Diagram (exhibit charts)
structured to make a specific point
| over-simplification; exageration of some features
at expense of others; processes only displayed statically
complex, new and unredictable relationhips
|experience primarily incommunicable
Diagram (flow charts/ graphs)
portray all detectable interrelationships in precise manner; panoramic
view of system
|visually complex to the point of impenetrability;
processes still conveyed statically; difficult to modify
|Figure 3b: Comparison of different methods of communicating concepts
precise messages; responsive; contents cum be) oriented to suit user
no structured overview; bounded by language modeof program; processes
conveyed as a sequence of isolated messages (or asa qame experience)
very subtle and complex imagery and relationships; process oriented;
integration of visual and audio; psychologically involving
no scientific content; no significant invariants; experience primarily
Interactivegraphics (structured image)
greater user selectivity and control on content and form of presentation;
complex abstractions held on display; processes displayed as flows; dynamic;
enhanced creativity; 2-4 dimensions.
highly structured without the subtle relationships characteristic of
arts; user still centred "outside" the structure "looking
Computer graphics art
generation of new and unpredictable dynamic imagery
no scientific or "real world" predictive value
Interactive graphics (multiterminal )
Interactive graphics (coloured and image)
teams working simultaneously on same ideas; access to each others "semantic
space"; interactive thinking
higher information content; visually more intriguing; closer to artistic
media; more powerful presentation of processes
fundamental distinction remains between artistic use of the display or
surface volume and scientific interest in structure and data base; still
only reflects a portion of the subtleties, of all invariants and processes
known to psychologists, diplomats, etc.
Interactive graphics (3D helmet)
user psychologically centred within the structure
continuous gradation and interaction between scientifically structured
and aesthetically structured display; enhanced creativity; reflectssubtleties
of psycho-logists, diplomata, etc.ableto convert to andfrom a"field
theory"presentation of structures
still only a scaffolding for disciplined thought
current interactive graphics uses include, for example, calculation and analysis of electronic circuits, design of aerodynamic
shapes and other mechanical pieces, design of optical systems and
plasma chambers, simulation of prototype aircraft and rocket flight,
visualization of complex molecules in 3 dimensions, air traffic
control, chemical plant control, factory design and space allocation,
project control, primary, secondary and university education and
In every case above there is some notion of geometry and space, but the geometry
is always the three-dimensional conventional space. There is no reason why
"non-physical spaces" should not be displayed instead and this is
the domain of topology. The argument has been developed by Dean Brown and Joan
It is useful to introduce C. S. Peirce's term "iconic", namely "a
diagram ought to be as iconic as possible, that is, it should represent (logical)
relations be visible relations analogous to them". Iconics is therefore
connected with the degree to which features of the graphics display contribute
towards, or facilitate understanding. Patrick Meredith makes similar points
in discussing the uses of "semantic matrices".  He contends that
grammarians have attended exclusively to the linear arrangement of
words in sentences but that this conventional grammar must now be regarded as
a particular case of a very much more extensive "geometrical syntax",
just as Aristotelian logic turned out to be a special case of a much wider system
of symbolic logic -- and that in the spatial arrangements of entities, their
geometric relations should be correlated with the logical relations between
them. He gives the periodic table of chemical elements as an example of the
richness of the field to be explored. The power of this two-dimensional visual
display in generating systematic references concerning relations between its
constituents indicates the latent potentiality of the mascent geometrical syntax.
There is however a question of "iconicity for whom". A well-known
survey by Anne Rowe (The Making of the Scientist) found a high correlation
between (1) visual imagery and experimental inclination, (2) nonvisual imagery
and preference for theoretical science. Many theoretical scientists prefer
not to use visual imagery -- which may explain their difficulty in communicating
with other sectors of society. Don Fabun draws attention to the possibility
that non-Americans may not find the display of concepts and their relations
by grids or network structures very meaningful. Europeans, and particularly
Orientals, are inclined to attach importance to areas. There does not seem
to be muchextensive work on this guestion cross-culturally or with respect to
different personality types. And yet, it may strongly influence the manner
in which concepts are communicated, particularly if certain personality typos
tend to be associated with certain disciplines.
Progress in understanding is made through the development of mental models
or symbolic notations that permit a simple representation of a mass of complexities
not previously understood. There is nothing new in the use of models to represent
psycho-social abstractions. Jay Forrester, making this same point with respect
to social systems, argues however that every person in his private life and
in his community life uses models for decision-making. The mental image of
the world around one, carried in each individual's head, is a model. One does
not have a family, a business, a city, a government, or a country in his head.
He has only selected concepts and relationships which he uses to
represent the real system. But when the pieces of the system have been assembled,
the mind is nearly useless for anticipating the dynamic behaviour that the system
implies. Here the computer is ideal. It mill trace the interactions of any
specified set of relationships. The mental model is fuzzy. It is
incomplete. It is imprecisely stated. Furthermore, even within one individual,
the mental model changes with time and with the flow of conversation. Even as
a single topic is being discussed, each participant in a conversation is using
a different mental model through which to interpret the subject. And it is
not surprising that consensus leads to actionswhich produce unintended results.
Fundamental assumptions differ but are never brought out into the open. 
structured models have to be applied to any serially ordered data
in card files, computer printout or reference books to make sense of
that data. Is there any reason why
these invisible structural models
should not be visible to clarify differences and build a more comprehensive visible model? The greater the
complexity, however, the more
difficult it is to use mental models. 'For example, in discussing his
examination of an electronic circuit diagram, Ivan Sutherland writes:
"Unfortunately, my abstract model tends to fade out when I get a circuit
that is a little bit too complex. I can't remember what is happening in one
place long enough to see what is going to happen somewhere else. My model
evaporates. If I could somehow represent that abstract model in the computer
to see a circuit in animation, my abstraction wouldn't evaporate. I could
take the vague notion that "fades out at the edges" and solidify
it. I could analyze bigger circuits. In all fields there are such abstractions.
We haven't yet made any use of the computer's capability to "firm
up" these abstractions. The scientist of today is limited by
his pencil and paper and mind. He can draw abstractions, or he can tothink
about them. If he draws them, they will be static, and if he just visualizes
them they won't have very good mathematical properties and will fade out.
With a computer, we could give him a great deal more. We
could give him drawings that move, drawings in three or four dimensions which
ho can rotate, and drawings with great mathematical accuracy. We could let
him work with them in a may that he has never been able to do before. I think
that really big gains in the substantive scientific areas are
going to came when somebody invents new abstractions
which can only be represented in computer graphical form." 
The primary function of visual representation is to facilitate understanding.
To understand a concept is to apprehend correctly all the relations which
determine its structure. This means not only grasping the fact that certain
relations hold between certain entities but also seeing that the nature of the
entities permits those relations to hold and that the global character of the
concept determines their occurrence. 
Use of information
implication to this point has been that what is required is more
powerful research insight into the different types of organized
complexity. This is in fact totally
insufficient. Research information systems are used by research workers and tend to be of little
significance, directly or indirectly, to non-research areas -- particularly in the social sciences. How
exclusive should an information
means needs to be found of making the type of information discussed
here directly accessible to the following
- research workers
- education of students, briefing of diplomats, etc. policy-making
- program management. 
Non-research needs tend to be viewed with a certain contempt by research workers,
but this is merely the counterpart to the contempt in which research conclusions
are held by those involved in day-by-day decision-making.  This antipathy
arises from the tendency of researchworkers to focus on problems which decision-makers
consider irrelevant and to publish their results in an incomprehensible form,
and the tendency of decision-makers to use techniques and models which research
workers consider antiquated and to focus on symptoms rather than causes of problems.
even a sophisticated alliance between research and decision-making
is totally insufficient. Students must
be educated about the psycho-
social system -- and this education should be based on the same data
used for research and decision-making and not on antiquated simplifications .
Educating students is educating the (relatively) powerless. Even this complex
of users is inadequate to break the dangerous situation now predicted for the
very near Future (if not in many ways already a reality), namely that
the politician, working in tandem with his technological advisors and program
designers, is increasingly in a position to put forward interpretations of urban
or world "reality", programs to deal with it and evaluations of those
programs as implemented, based on knowledge either unavailable to those who
might challenge him or unavailable at the time that a challenge might be most
In other words, it would be extremely irresponsible to create a sophisticated
tool for a system which will use it to strengthen its own position at the expense
of its environment. As Herman Kahn points out, we now face the sinister situation
in which the world is becoming so complex and changing so rapidly and dangerously
and the need for anticipating problems is so great, that we may be tempted to
sacrifice (or may not be able to afford) democratic political processes. 
Faced with this threat, it might be better to suppress initiatives to produce
such a weapon against the powerless and to bank on the protective advantages
of complexity. This is the dilemma: either one opts for inaction in the belief
that the misuse of science and technology will breed its own compensating mechanisms
and possibly the decay of the system -- or else one banks on the advantages
which would accrue from a wider availability of such a tool.
terms of the second option, there are three other necessary sets of
- public information on system modifications
- public monitoring of system modifications including privacy protection
and participative action
- use by the individual to de-fragment himself.
first two deal with means of updating weak links in the democratic
process. The third concerns private use
by the individual to straights
out or order his own mental models of his environment. There may be
These seven uses should, ideally, be interrelated (see Figure 4) via 2 common
data base and the much discussed data networks. Each requires different techniques
of data presentation, filtering and manipulation for which the visual display
unit is ideally suited. Insights and problems detected in one use should affect
the priorities of other uses The current tendency is however to build separate
information systemsof different levels of sophistication for each use, so
that they are quickly out of phase, incompatible and in many cases inadequate
Figure 4: Interrelationship between different uses
of information, which should ideally be based on a common data-base to
avoid spastic change in society
In such circumstances, developments in each area do not reinforce and counter-balance
one another, rather the psycho-social system evolves in leaps and starts. Information
systems constitute the nervous system of planetary society. The fragmented
approach to their design and use would seem to lead directly to social crises
analoqous to those found in the case of certain disorders of the nervous system,
as though the psycho-social system was some organizational dinosaur suffering
from spastic paralysis and aphasia.34 Integrated and harmonious development
can only be achieved if the information system is designed for multipurpose
use -- and especially by those with resource problems, as in the developing
countries and in the decayed areas of developed countries.
different systems cannot be interrelated, it mould be preferable
as a strategy to make the visual display technique available only as
an idea clarification and concept integration aid, and block its
systematic use for the penetration of organized complexity. (This may
be easy since most organizations have a natural horror of having their
detailed structure exposed to others -- despite their own interest in
that of others.)
Relevance to peace
The interactive graphics technique provides a means of handling complexity.
The question now is: in what way does this contribute specifically to the knowledge
and value requirements for peace. To some "complexity" is a guarantee
of peace. Johan Galtung suggests a general formula for peace based on increasing
the world entropy, i.e. increasing the disorder, messiness, randomness, and
unpredictability by avoiding the clear-cut, the simplistic blue-print and excessive
order.  There is a distinction however between a degree of complexity which
produces overload, and irrational and uncoordinated responses, and that which
requires many known relationships to be taken into account. Complexity may
provide peaceful behavioural niches which act as protective bulkheads. Without
a clearer picture, however, it is impossible to determine whether the protection
is adequate or equivalent to sheltering in dense dry undergrowth from an approaching
problem is how to lower the degree of complexity, but at the same
time to beware of simplistic proposals for change by
those who believe
they have an adequate model of the complexity.
The notion of a peaceful society has come to resemble the mythical, calm "stable
state" noted by Donald Schon which is to be reached after a time of troubles. He suggests that belief in it is a belief in the unchangeability,
the constancy of central aspects of our lives, or belief that we can attain
such a constancy. This belief is institutionalized in every social domain,
in spite of acceptance and approval of change and dynamism. It is a bulwark
against the threat of uncertainty and instability. Given the roulity of
change, the belief is only maintained through tactics of which me are
largely unconscious so that our responses am spasmodic responses of desperation
and largely destructive. He is concerned with developing institutional structures
and ways of knowing for the process of change itself i.e. "beyond the stable
state". Current proposals to institutionalize stability are generally
efforts at restoring the institutional status quo ante which is identified as
the best approximation to the stable state.
problem of peace is therefore not so much one of producing a new
formula for combining existing organizational building blocks. This
could only result in another unsuccessful compromise in a long series.
There is no evidence that the insight is available to design a peaceful
society in which systematic violence is absent. There have been many
proposals, but there is no evidence. We
have no reason to assume
that political societies will prove to be regulable at any level which
me would regard as acceptable. Many
species have perished in ecological
traps of their own devising. We may already have passed the point of
no return on the road to some such abyss.8 As an example, a test experiment could be envisaged in which a "peaceful community" is designed
and set into operation with all the resources and disciplinary skills
available - there is a high probability of failure within one generation or at least the introduction of rules which do violence to the
original values in terms of which the community was designed.
evidence for this one may note the failure rate of communes, the second
generation problem of kibbutzim, the urban disaster constituted by
"planned" communities, and the difficulties associated with
relations in an isolated group of people over time periods exceeding a
few days. The probability of failure
increases with the diversity of
psychological types, interests and cultures represented. Proposers
benefit from the fact that by definition they cannot produce evidence
for the success of their proposal and it is probable that they will
not be there when it bears its fruits.
reason why it is difficult to design a society is that the model
used is by definition not sufficiently complex or detailed to take
account of all the loose ends which will emerge and cause friction
leading to violence. It is difficult to
build up a picture of the
dynamic interactive effects of sub-sections of the model. Most
difficult of all is taking into account the individual as a developing,
creative, and as such essentially unpredictable, entity for which we
know our models are inadequate.
For the above reasons, it seems Useful to suggest that peace is an ecological
problem, namely a problem of harmonizing the interrelationships in society between
a developing individual and his evolving environment. It is instructive
to use the insights concerning the less ambiguous natural environment ecology
(with respect to which we are objective), to draw attention to problems and
opportunities in connection with the psycho-social environment ecology within
which we are thoroughly embedded.
is here conceived less as a state and more as a very complex
evolving set of relationships in which the latter bear some harmonious
relationship to one another. The two
key questions are: evolving towhat, and what is harmonious. As in the case of the natural environment, there is no immediate answer to these questions -- there is
insufficient understanding of the relationships and the nature of
psycho-social development. Simplistic
proposals for change and
control may be assumed to bear the same relationship to the failure
of the psycho-social eco-system as do pesticides to the failure of the
natural eco-system. The psycho-social
system will resist "redesign" but
it is as yet impossible to say when the resistance is beneficial and
when it is unfortunate and to be overcome.
general problem of psycho-social ecology may be considered in terms
of the different types of ecology mentioned in an earlier section,
- organizational ecology i.e. the harmonious evolving interrelationships
between organizational units
- conceptual ecology i.e. the harmonious evolving inter-relationships between
theoretical formulations, value and belief systems
- problem ecology i.e. the harmonious evolving inter-relationship between
- psycho-ecology or psycho-dynamics i.e. the harmonious evolving inter-relationships
within a person's psyche.
In each case, if one uses primitive models for a complex eco-system, many discontinuities
will appear. If one organizes or reifies in terms of the primitive models,
then such discontinuities will take the form of violence -- whether physical
or structural. The system will be spastic. 
Peace and inequality
parallel between the natural and the psycho-social ecology is,
of course, debatable, but even if accepted with reservations, it
raises the difficulty of the status and function of violence. In a
natural environment destructive violence is a necessary feature of
inter-specific relationships, and non-destructive conflict is a
necessary feature of intra-specific territorial behaviour. It goes
against all our value systems to suggest that destructive violence
is a natural feature of the psycho-social environment, despite an
almost incredible amount of evidence to the contrary.
argument is that man, as part of the natural environment, is
the only animal to engage in systematic destruction of its own
kind -- and therefore that this is not natural and, in a peaceful
world, should cease. It is possible however that a clearer insight
into psycho-social relationships mill eventually highlight a different
Through progressive alienation from the natural environment, man may have redefined
and substituted his psycho-social environment as a new kind of natural environment.
This environment, as so defined, is perceived as populated by not one but many
psycho-social species -- possibly to provide and canalize the dynamics
of the system. This suggestion of a multiplicity of different species of psycho-
social man also goes completely against all our value systems. "All human
beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights". Again there is
an incredible amount of evidence that the concept of equality is not about to
be considered of great moment. "The hierarchy of industrial roles distributes
authority between our mould-be equal selves at least as unequally, and sometimes
less acceptably, than did the status structure of traditional society.... me
are almost wholly ignorant of human variation, whether biological, psychological,
or cultural, and our entrenched misconceptions of equality prevent us from
using even such knowledge as we have. We are seeing only the first stirrings
of that respect for human difference on which an adequate concept of equality
may some day be based." 
Suppose however that, as a more complex model of the situation, people are
equal in terms of potentiality (and, ideally, before the law) but
unequal in terms of actuality. And furthermore, that the probability
of realizing the full potential decreases with age and the difference between
individuals incseases with age. (To avoid misinterpretation, it is important
to understand that the equality and inequality refers to psycho-social features
which are considered to be totally independent of any superficial racial characteristics.)
It might then be possible to speak of a multiplicity of species, although it
is not yet clear how species might be defined. Perhaps as a very first approximation
to establish probable species differences between two roles,  some measure
of the "non-fruitfulness" of any verbal (or other non-sexual) intercourse
between them couldbe used.
Once verbal intercourse is non-fruitful, inter-specific interaction is possible
in eight modes: neutralism, competition, mutualism, protocooperation, commensalism,
amensalism, parasitism and predation. Some of these may take the form of
destructive violence which is justifiable in terms of the dynamics of the system
of which both parties are members.
The top-dog/under-dog dominance relationship in social systems  could seem
to be another form, cutting across some of the above modes. The pattern of
all modes splits the community of species into levels equivalent to the trophic
levels and food chains in natural eco-systems. The number of successive steps
in a food chain is small being restricted by the ecological efficiency of the
process of energy transfer between each step and by questions of metabolic rate
and body size.
A focus on the specific objective of eliminating violence may be rather
similar in feasibility and value to the attempt to eliminate violence from a
natural eco-system such as a fish pond, a tropical jungle or game covered tropical
grasslands. The only hope of achieving this is to place each animal
in a cage. This eliminates the physical violence by substituting a form of
structural violence. Unless a synthetic food supply is found, one is committed
to undertaking the physical violence as zoo keeper or else the animals will
die or revolt. Maximizing law and order does not eliminate violence, it simply
relocates it in another part of the system.
It would be interesting to compare energy chains in psycho-social systems against
food chains in natural systems and see whether similar relationships hold as
is suggested by R. Margalef.
He suggests that it is possible
to measure the "maturity" of an eco-system as closely related in one
respect to its diversity or complexity and in another to the amount of information
that can be maintained with a definite spending of potential energy. A highly
diversified community has the capacity for carrying a high amount of organizations
or information and requires relatively less energy to maintain it. Of particular
significance for approaches to "peace", is that the necessay energy
to disrupt an eco-system is related to 'its maturity -- anything that keeps
an eco-system oscillating (or "spastic"), retains it in a state of
low maturity. (It would be interesting to compare the crime rate with a measure
of psycho-social system diversity.)
Dominance in social systems provides a situation with a tremendous potential
for structural violence.  But dominance and diversity in natural systems
form an area of complex and often obscure relationships not subject to neat,
unitary formulations. 
A possible relationship to maturity is suggested by the hypothesis that local
species diversity is directly related to the efficiency with which predators
prevent the monopolization of the major environmental requisites by one species.
In testing this, removal of the top carnivore reduced system diversity from
15 to 8 species. 
The problem in applying these insights to psycho-social systems is that top-dogs
and selective violence may help to maintain the maturity of the system and increase
the efficiency of utilization of resources.
This raises the question of what in Geological terms should bo maximized in
psycho-social systems in order to approach the conditions represented by "peace".
At this stage, too little is known about the energetics of such systems for
useful decisions to be taken - plus the fact that change decisions are
within-system mutations of specific entities which must then function in relation
to the ecosystemic community of species. As such they cannot completely control
Peace and the myth of man the individual
The suggestion in the previous section appears to bear some similarity to discredited
theories of social evolution or "Social Darwinism". These theories
mere rejected because of their many racial and class implications. The latter
arose from the implication of "once-an- underdog-always-an-underdog"
because the evolutionary unit was assumed to be the individual. The suggestion
here, however, is that the evolutionary unit is the role in the psycho-social
It is through a multiplicity of roles that an individual may participate simultaneously
at many different levels (as top-dog, under-dog, etc.) in any of the energy
chains in the system. Each role has a certain probability of being activated
at a particular point in time. Only the roles are participants, however, never
the undivided individual. The locus of identity or individuality may be assumed
to be extrasystemic at some hyperspace position at the "centre of gravity"
of the role complex. The integration of roles is currently of such little general
interest that the individual as a whole human being may be considered as
an abstract, if not already mythical, concept.
individuals are fragmented in the psycho-social system into
roles of different levels of sophistication, the dynamic of the psycho-
social system is essentially the projection, aggregation, interaction
and concretization of the inter-role dynamics within each individual.
Each individual develops role species forming an eco-system in which
inter-species conflict at many levels within himself is the norm.
This cannot be eliminated except possibly by evolving each such
system into states about which little is as yet known -- the lion in
the individual can only be made to lie down with the lamb under rather
special circumstances. Nor can it be
bottled up inside the individual
who wants to see a reflection of his internal
violent, in the psycho-social environment -- circuses and television,
whilst feeding the growth of the desire, are in the long run unable
to satisfy and contain it.
It may well be that, until men can individually achieve a "peace
of mind" for themselves, countering their psychological fragmentation and
loss of identity, there will be no peace. The violence which is deplored is
due to healthy attempts, often misguided, to attain such a peace of mind within
an impenetrable and twisted context which forces each man to treat his neighbour
as a throat. The attempts are misguided because practically zero effort is
made to guide the individualin the improvement of the quality of his psychological
life -- to thepoint of ignoring it as 'subjective'. The "quality of life"
aspect of the environment issue, and the social aspects of development, for
example, are confined at governmental level to matters of physical well-being
or else surface for consideration as mental illness. (UNESCO's views on the
non-economic aspects of development, were not incorporated into the program
for the 2nd United Nations Development Decade.)
in the world is therefore not simply a matter of juggling with
the objective features of the psycho-social system -- organizations,
concepts, problems. Unless each
person's psycho-ecology becomes less
spastic and more integrated; all objective measures will be unstable
and of short duration. As the
Constitution of UNESCO puts it "since
wars begin in the minds of man, it is in the minds of men that the
defences of peace must be constructed....a peace based exclusively
upon the political and economic arrangements of governments mould
not be a peace which could secure the unanimous, lasting and sincere
support of the peoples of the world".
conflict will continue to lead to violence to the human
person -- as a necessary controlling process in the psycho-social
system -- for as long as individuals are encouraged or forced to
identify themselves and others with the roles by which they participate
in the sub-system in question. The
dynamics of the psycho-social
system require the destruction of some roles and relationships to
protect and further the growth of others.
In other words, individuals
are currently obliged to find their identity in what is scheduled for
destruction. Currently this destruction
is often liteally done over
someone's dead body because of the attachment and commitment of the
individual to the role and the organizations which constituted its
habitat. The role, the individual and
his body are perceived as
an amalgam -- any change or evolution must therefore result in violence
to the body.
is particularly important in the case of social structures such as
organizations. These are the concretization
of behaviour patterns and
abstract relationships. Because the
latter are more ambiguous and less
visible, the identification is with the visible (often literally
"concrete") features of the organization. Change is blacked because
the relationships are identified with physical features whose physical
relationships cannot be flexibly or continually developed. Emotion
and energy ideally available for system transformation go into system
If transformations cannot be accomplished "from the outside" by hygienic,
transcendental interference in system processes. The remaining possibility
is to take the psycho-social system seriously and deliberately "evolve"
it -- evolution becomes internalized, conscious and self-directing as suggested
by Julian Huxley.  It ishowever more a question of catalyzing its evolution
as a learning system than of developing it in terms of some central policy.
The catalyzers must go 'meta' with respect to the discovered systems, prodding
them to develop evaluative processes conducive to learning, and linking them
in learning networks. 
problem of this evolution is determining what is to be maximized --
but this in itself is part of the learning process. Biologists have
tried and discarded many definitions of biological progress -- Kenneth
Boulding considers that what evolves in some sort of information or
improbability of structure whether in natural or psycho-social systems.
Perhaps the answer is to be found in a strategy common to development, evolution and permanent revolution39 possibly, following
Margalef's approach, the growth of total maturity (GTM), conceived
in dynamic psycho-social terms, and as a generalization of GNP.
approximate progressively to the most appropriate strategy, peace
must be treated as a four-fold ecological problem -- not a matter of
designing new organizational dinosaurs as memorials to non-critical
problems. (Ashby's Law of Requisite
Variety states that the variety or
complexity of a given situation can only be dominated adequately by
using strategies having at least as great a capacity to generate varietythemselves -- simplistic models do not
have this.) It requires a far
more sophisticated appreciation of the variety and complexity of the
entities in the psycho-social system and their inter-relationships.
This appreciation can only be widely provided by using a more powerful
means of information handling and presentation. The visual display
technique offers a means of supplying a dynamic visual representation
of the knowable complex psycho-social relationships. This representation is intermediate between the abstract and the concrete. Once the
psychological center of gravity is shifted from the concrete to the
visualized relationships, system self-transformation can take place
without physical violence.
multiplicity of species making up the psycho-social system leads
to a multiplicity of value systems -- to the point where each species
may be expected to have its own value system.
The suggestion is that
it should be possible to extract common elements and formulate a set
of universal values -- plus occasionally the implication that this
could be a useful foundation for thinking about a world government.
is undoubtedly no insurmountable difficulty in getting together
people with similar perspectives and producing a set of values. The
problem is whether these are of relevance and significance to those who
did not participate in their formulation or whether they will merely
irritate and stimulate counter value production. Values are formulated
in response to experience which may have been modified in the time
for a new set of values to permeate to the "distant" points of the
One aspect of the thrust for a unified set of values is to provide society
or government with guidelines for decision -- society is seen as a giant rational
"decider" whose decisions are communicated and implemented. This
center-periphery model ignores the insights of those studying social change
which show that: the innovation evolves during the diffusion process; there
is generally a plurality of sources formulating related and reinforcing innovations;
and the innovation must usually be intermeshed with new needs comparable in
force to the dynamic conservatism of the established system.  If organizations
and society are treated as learning systems, the relationships between the formulations
and those who are supposed to subscribe to them becomes much more subtle. In
fact it is more useful to think of the psycho-social system as a value generating
system -- in which values are generated at all points as a result of
experience and interaction with the past values which have diffused to those
fundamental criticism of any attempt to generate a universal
set of values is the implication that this would in some way supply
the answer to society's troubles.
If the psycho-social system is a
value generating system, then any one set (which would be rapidly
institutionalized) would be a stultifying constraint and a block on
creativity -- there would be nothing more to be said, and the evolution
of new values would cease or be viewed as disturbing the status quo.
New circumstances, requiring modified values, would catch the psycho-
social system by surprise -- unless a
"value pool" was available.
Differences, fragmentation and complexity arise within the psycho-
social system to provide behavioural niches which protect variety and
provide resources to keep the system as a whole viable in response
to any crises.
interesting study has been made which indicates the probable
difficulty, if not the impossibility, of arriving at a universal
set of values. W. T. Jones suggests
that at the base of every
personality, there is a set of pre-rational temperamental biases
which are reflected in an individual's (or a society's) aesthetic and
theoretical productions and his value preferences. He suggests the
following (non-exhaustive) list of axes of bias along each of which
individuals will tend to position their value preferences:
1. Order/Disorder: range between a strong preference for fluidity, muddle
and chaos and a strong preference for system, structure and conceptual clarity;
2. Static/Dynamic: range between a strong preference for the changeless
and eternal, and a preference for movement and for explanation in genetic
and process terms;
3. Continuity/Discrete: range between a strong preference for wholeness
or unity, and a preference for discreteness, and plurality or diversity;
4. Innter/Outer: range between a strong preference to "get
inside" the objects of one's experience and experience them as one experiences
oneself, and the preference for a relatively external relation to them;
5. Sharp focus/Soft focus: range between a strong preference for clear
and direct experiences, and a preference for threshhold experiences which
are felt to be saturated with more meaning than is immediately present;
6. This world/Other world: range between a strong preference for belief
in the spatio-temporal world as self-explanatory, and a preference for belief
that it is not self-explanatory. Alternatively a contentement with the here-and-now
as opposed to a focus on other- time and other-place.
7. Spontaneity/Process: range between a strong preference for chance; freedom,
accident or creative evolution, and a preference for explanations subject
to laws and definable processes.
Jones points out that in the long run every particular theory will have
limited appeal. It will structure
experience satisfactorily only for
those whose range of biases is approximately the same as that of the
framer of the theory. This should also
hold for value preferences.
(Such biases may be at the base of choice of lifestyle, discipline
preference, and mode of action -- experimental, methodological,
theoretical -- within a discipline.
They may determine preferences
for the manner -- graphic or otherwise -- in which new information is
presented for optimum understanding.
They may carve up the psycho-
social universe into major sectors within which certain role species
are characteristic -- communication between such sectors is poor and
values travel badly. This feature may
protect essential psycho-social
variety by affecting a role's tolerance to particular combinations of
limits in Table 2.)
In a dynamic psycho-social system, any emergence of invariants which tend to
change the balance of biases represented is likely to excite production of counter-actants.
One reason is that the predominance of one value system may tend to reduce value
diversity which is probably of importantepsycho-social survival value.
The proponents and opponents of a universal set of values, and even of emphasis
on abstractions such as "peace" and "values", are embedded
in homeo- static psycho-social processes.
these circumstances, it mould seem that a significant "within-system"
proposal for a set of values is
1. the maximization of production of new improved values -- by continually
exposing people to weaknesses in existing values. This would ensure refinement
and clarification of the "conventional" values represented by
the terms absence of violence, social justice, etc. and avoid any "hardening-of-the-values".
An ideal society might be one in which value generation was maximized.
2. maximize the rate at which individuals are exposed to situations in which
the consequences of their values are represented so that they can realize
the need for improving them and then be shown alternative versions of such
improvements, etc., until they will accept no further improvement;
3. maximize the dynamic maturity in the psycho-social system namely the
generation of many species of entity with a high degree of interdependence.
A major theme of this paper is that it is not more knowledge of the same type
that is needed, but new types of knowledge. Much of the complexity and information
overload is due to excessive production of unintegrated knowledge. It is useful
to think of researchers producing knowledge which decays rapidly into pellets
of information unless revivified -- knowledge is integration of unrelated bits
of information; documents represent fossilized knowledge, which can be reprocessed.
What is required is knowledge which will help to reduce the decay rate dramatically
and to "revivify" information. The remark of a Fortune editorial that
"because our strength is derived from the fragmented mode of our knowledge
and action, we are relatively helpless when we try to deal intelligently with
such unities as a city, an estaury's ecology or "the quality of life""
(Fortune, February 1970, p. 92) is applicable to the psycho-social system
as a whole.
The "hidden dimension" which must be faced is that of the degree
of integration of the knowledge used across conventional discipline
boundaries and across boundaries between various modes of thought
and action (e.g. research, policy-making, education, etc.). Just as translations
between natural languages is theoretically impossible but practically
feasible to a satisfactory degree, so the attitude towards the interrelation
of knowledge arising from different disciplinary perspectives should bo viewed
as partially feasible in practice, even if no theoretical framework can legitimate
the momentum of the knowledge producers and their organizational settings makes dramatic change almost impossible. The solution
advocated here is therefore the provision of a device for them which
is structured to facilitate integration of information and enhaces
creativitiy and production of more integrative knowledge. In contrast,
existing information systems encourage fragmentation and the generation
of vast quantities of indigestible information.
such a device, much vital existing information on isolated
entities and processes in the psycho-social system can be "hooked
together" in a manner which facilitates understanding by many
disciplines simultaneously, and can highlight significant areas for
research and action. Such an approach
is vital to avoid clumsy spastic
approaches to rectifying current problems.
War and violence are the
ultimate processes in a spastic society.
difficulty is that our mental models of psycho-social structure
are based on patterns of relationships which are too intimately
identified and associated with (visible) physical and behavioural
structures which do not develop naturally and continually but can
however (almost literally) be labelled.
Means are required to increase
reliance on more subtle and dynamic patterns of relationships for which
more sophisticated methods of display are required.
The world crisis may be viewed as the closing of an ecological trap, in the
multiple sense elaborated here, and as a failure of communication between governments
and governed, between disciplines, between organizations, between generations,
and between psychological states. It is not a matter of improving the technical
means by which new information is generated or transferred from A to B, indeed
it is this which is setting the pace. It is in the processes of interpretation,
integration and comprehension that the problem lies.8 It is useless to step
up the bombardement of the human organism by pellets of information and unrelated,
"useful" but mutually antagonistic concepts unless the pellets are
so organized as to be capable of faster assimilation. 
integation must extend to the systems of interpretation by which
alone communications have meaning and enable human beings to influence
one another -- it is in this domain that coherence and continuity havealmost completely been lost. But in order to re-integrate what is
being so explosively torn apart, it is necessary to look at the psycho-social system in its currently fragmented
state -- this poses much
subtler problems of communication for which the device described here
may be of major significance.
entity in the psycho-social system must be "recognized" as it iscurrently fragmented, because in this
state each fragment has its own
relations with other parts of the system which we must
comprehend. They have emerged into
existence as relative invariants,
for some other part of the system, in response to system conditions
which must be understood before attempting any premature integration
back into "natural wholes" -- and before using models which assume the
existence of such integrated wholes or which deny the significance
of some entities or relationships. In
particular it may be an
advantage to attack the myth of society as a unified whole and the
myth of man the individual -- before establishing well-founded bases
for any such beliefs.
To clarify the two myths, a new "Origin of Species"  is required
to showhow and in what way each psycho-social system species arose and how it
relates to other species. The only unity to be hoped for at this stage is an
eco-systemic unity -- not some Utopian community of man.
A common ecological framework is required for the massive existing programs
of which the United Nations is a focal point namely disarmement, development,
and environment -- but apart from interrelating them the missing program,in
the form of "psycho-cultural development" of the person, needs to
be elaborated. One cannot expect someone suffering from physical starvation,
structural violence, etc. to do much for himself, but nor can one
expect someone suffering from mental and emotional starvation, fragmentation,
etc. to want to do much for anyone else -- we do not know what "information
vitamins"we are chronically deprived of in psycho-systemic terms. The
crisis i a global and multidisciplinary one of "psycho-environmental evolution".
Three other problems of introducing change must be recognized. StaffordBeer
has formulated Le Chatelier's Principle for the psycho-social system which he
considers that would-be leaders and reformers of social systems often fail to
appreciate: social systems do not need to respondto "progressive change"
by defeat or violent reaction. They can simplyadjust their internal equilibrium
very slightly, "accepting" the change, and then offset and contain
all its effects so that the macro- systemic characteristics remain the same.
The other problem he notes is that most of the problems perceived as problems
are in fact bogus problems generated by theories about social progress and the
way society works.  a third problem is that people and organizations tend
to create and detect problems to provide a necessary psycho-social tension to
reinforce identity -- as such there may be a preference for problem solving
activity rather than actually achieving a solutionto the problem.
In the face of this confused, unstable situation in which organization and
concepts are increasingly inadequate to the tasks demanded of them,it is not
some magic centrally developed policy on which society can depend. The systemic
momentum and inertia are too great. People and organizations must turn
to the necessity of knitting together theelements of the organizational
and conceptual not works in which theyparticipate, in order
to respond creatively to the problems they perceive
in terms of their growing eco-systemic sensitivity to their psycho-social
environments.2 Society as a whole therefore depends on a global
and multidisciplinary set of inter-dependent dynamic, self-compensating networks
each responding rapidly to locally perceived problems. The networks need to
be galvanized into a stabilized existence in which their maximum self-transformation
potential is realized.
should however be increasingly with the dynamic
potential of people and organizations to reform networks and configurations of skills appropriate to each new emerging problem and less with
a particular evolving network of relationships.47
device such as that described here could constitute a vital catalyst
to the processes required in this more sophisticated environment.
Perhaps it will only be with such devices that man can "track" the
daily changes in structures in such a psycho-social system and identify
the relative invariants which provide the framework for evolving order.
In value of a visualization approach to serve change agents at all
levels is well summarized by Harold Lasswell:
"Why do we put so much emphasis on audio-visual means of portraying goal,
trend, condition, projection, and alternative? Partly because so many valuable
participants in decision-making have dramatizing imaginations...They are not
enamoured of numbers or of analytic abstractions. They are at their best in
deliberations that encourage contextuality by a varied repertory of means, and
where an immediate sense of time, space, and figure is retained." 
Appendix on research and action possibilities
1. Require inventories of the resources of the psycho-social
system: organizations, concepts, values, problems, roles, life- stylos and
2. Require more sophisticated and comprehensive typologies and taxonomies
of: organizations, concepts, values, problems, roles, lifestyles and psychological
states with particular attention to grey areas and the points where such entities
blur into processes or patterns of relationships.
3. Require attention to the functions performed by each type of entity
as parts of an eco-system relating to many other parts of that system (to
prevent organizational, conceptual or problem "apartheid") i.e.
a focus on the relationships between entities.
4. Require a focus on "hooking together" sub-systems of the psycho-
social system in a manner which makes the result useful to a wide varvariety
of non-research bodies.
5. Require a focus on interdisciplinary relations equivalent to that
on international relations -- in fact both are concerned with the balance
between coordination and decentralization and the associated problems of territorial
security, power and status. The problems of coordination between disciplines
and modes of action increase in significance as the boundaries between nations
decrease in significance. Specifically a systemantic inventory of disciplines
and inter-disciplinary bilateral or multilateral links is required. The significance
and measure of inter-disciplinary integration should be as vital as that of
6. Require a focus on the "maturity" of psycho-social systems as
a guide to the formulation of psycho-social indicators and measures of the
quality of life. This is particularly important in the case of the individual
-- no psycho-social system development can take place without corresponding
maturation of the individuals psycho- social processes.
7. Require a focus on the application of cybernetics to psycho-social
systems and the representations on displays of subtle relative invariants
in dynamic systems. 
8. Require a focus on more powerful means of displaying complex eco-systems
-- with particular regard to the iconicity of the display to persons
with different techniques of visualizing relationships.
9. Require a focus on possible new types of organizations, concepts
and problems likely to be significant in dynamic evolving psycho- social systems.
In other words, what new Forms of relatively invariant entities are probable
vehicles For the evolution of the psycho-social systems.
10. Require a negative inventory of the entities which we need but
do not have, or have but do not know, about i.e. need attentiondrawn to what
is not known as a stimulus to research e.g. organiza- tions needed,
concepts needed, unresolved theoretical problems.
11. Require means of systematically assessing the non-representivity
ofa particular program in terms of the possible mix of knowledge skills, organizations,
and problems appropriate to a program in the domain in question -- in the
light of its known likely effects on other parts o the psycho-social system.
In other words, howcan the relevant Factors or skills ignored be highlighted.
12. Require devices which
(i) catalyze integration of information, Facilitate the generation
of many more alternative integrative theories, and improves the learning
and diffusion process.
(ii) assist the user to switch attention between system and sub- system,
but particularly From the system to which he is in any way committed to
any more comprehensive or alternative system.
(iii) reduce the cost of storing and displaying indirectly relevant links
and structure closer to that of storing and displaying directly relevant
links or structures.
(iv) display and "stabilize" the representation of complex eco-systemic
structures and relationships in a variety of interconvertible forms (e.g.
networks, Venn diagrams, flow charts, etc.) to Facilitate interactions between
different types of user.
(v) permit artists to re-interpret eco-systemic structure displays into
psychologically more meaningful and involving presentations which nevertheless
retain the scientific interrelationships -- as a means of ensuring that
sophisticated ideas "travel" further and benefit from the artist's
skills as a communicator.
(vi) hold models and data in a way which permits people to "get inside"
them so that they provide a meaningful thinking and creativity support
(vii) individuals can use to put their thoughts and beliefs on a topic
in order and locate areas where mure integrative concept; would be useful.
1. Anthony Judge. Visualization of the
organizational network. International
Associations, May 1970. 7. [text]
2. Donald A. Schon. Beyond the Stable State, public and private learning in
a changing society. Temple Smith, 1971.
3. For example, from 1950 to 1970 the number of international bodies increased
from 718 to 2538 (United Nations 28, intergovernmental 214; international non-profit
2296; plus 2718 multinational corporation: This will give 10,455 international
bodies in 2000).
4. Peter Drucker. The Age of Discontinuity;
guidelines to our
changing society. Harper and Row, 1968.
5. For a discussion of the social functions of
concepts and beliefs
see Ernest Gellner. Concepts and
society. In: D. Emmet and
A. MacIntyre (Ed.). Sociological Theory and Philosophical Analysis.
Macmillan, 1970, pp. 115-149.
6. Erich Jantsch (Ed.) Perspectives of
Planning. Paris, OECD, 1969. Paris, OECD, 1969 (Proceedings of the OECD working symposium on long-range forecasting and planning. Bellagio, Italy, 1968)
7. R. A. Rosenthal and R. S. Weiss. Problems of organizational feed-
back processes. In: R. A. Bauer (Ed.).
M.I.T., 1966, pp. 302-340.
8. Geoffrey Vickers. Value Systems and Social Process. London,
(Has three chapters on
the "ecology of ideas."
He considers the analogy legitimate though not exact to speak
of man's interpretative or appreciative system as an ecological
system "even though the laws which order and develop a population
of ideas (conflicting,competing and mutually supporting) in
communicating minds are different from those which order and
develop in populations of monkeys in a rain forest or of insetcs
under a paving stone" (p. 12) and, in the same context, "Every
field of activity, politics, lam, and not least science, like
every society, has its own stability to guard." (p. 482))
9. Anthony Judge. Organizational apartheid. International Associations
21, October 1969, pp. 451-456. [text]
10. Anthony Judge. Discrimination and fragmentation in the 1970s; from apartheid
to schizophrenia. International Associations, 23, February 1971, pp. 89-102. [text]
11. Russell L. Ackoff. Systems, organizations, and interdisciplinary research.
General Systems Yearbook, SGSR, 5, 1960, pp. 1-8.
12. R.D. Laing.
The Divided Self; a study of
sanity and madness.
London, Tavistock, 1960.
13. Herbert Marcuse. Eros
14. L.S. Kubie.
The nature of psychological change and its relation
to cultural change. In: Benn Rothblatt (Ed.). Changing
Perspectives on Man. University of
Chicago Press, 1968.
15. G. E. Hutchinsen.
American Naturalist, 93, 145, 1959 (describes a "fundamental ecological niche").
16. David Pimentel. Complexity of ecological systems and problems in their
study and management. In: K.E.F. Webb (Ed.) Systems Analysis in Ecology.
Academic, 1966, pp. 15-30.
David Bohm. The Special Theory of
Benjamin, 1965 (Appendix on physics and perception).
Harary. Graph Theory. Addison-Wesley, 1969;
C. Flament. Applications of graph
theory to group structure.
Prentice-Hall, 1963; L. R.
Ford Jr and D.R. Fulkerson. Flows in Networks. Princeton
University Press, 1962.
19. This term is used widely to cover both the more common "alpha- scopes",
which can display letters and numbers on predetermined lines, and the "vector
displays" with light-pen facility, which can also generate lines and curves.
It is the latter device which is discussed here. See: Ivan Sutherland. Computer
displays. Scientific American, 222, June 1970, pp. 56-8. Interactive graphics
in data processing. IBM Systems Journal, 7, 3 and 4, 1968, whole double issue.
Computer Graphics 1970; an international symposium. Brunei U., 1970,3v. Michael
S. Wolfberg. An interactive graph theory system. Moore School of Electrical
Engineering Report 69-25, University of Pennsylvania, 1969.
20. Philip Hendren. Computer graphics in color for design and communication
in architecture and urban design. In: Computer Graphics 70 (above)
Augmenting Human Intellect,
a conceptual framework. Stanford
Research Institute, 1962.
22. E. J. Corey and W. Todd Wipke. Computer-assisted design of complex
organic syntheses. Science, 166, 10
October 1969, pp. 178-192.
23. A. C. Wahl, et al. BISON; a new instrument for the experimentalist. International
J. of Quantum Chemistry, Symposiu no. 3, part 2, 1970, pp. 499-512.
Figure 3 was inspired by a similar tentative effort by Colin Cherry
to relate communication equipment (radio, TV, press, etc.) to
psycho-social qualitities. See: World Communication, threat or
promise? Wiley, 1971, pp. 53.
25. Dean Brown and Joan Lewis. The process of conceptualization; some fundamental
principles of learning useful in teaching with or without the participation
of computers. Educational Policy Research Center, Stanford Research Institute,
Menlo, Park, California, 1968, pp. 16-18.
26. Charles S. Peirce. Collected Papers; edited by C. Hartshorne and P. Weiss.
Harvard University, 1933, vol. iv. cited by: A. Battersby. The Application
of iconic principles to the design of a problem solving system for psychological
research and of value for management training. In: Computer Graphics '70. Brunei
27. G. Patrick Meredith. Semantic matrices. In: Proceedings of the International
Conference on Scientific Information, Washington, 1958. Washington, National
Academy of Sciences/National Research Council, 1959.
28. Jay W. Forrester. World Dynamics. Wright-Allen Press, 1971.
29. Ivan Sutherland. Computer graphics. Datamation, May 1966, pp. 22-27.
30. The information Functions of research, development, policy-makingand administration
must go hand-in-hand according to: Ad Hoc Group on Scientific and Technical
Information. Information for a changing society. Paris, OECD, 1971.
Yehezkel Dror. Analytical
approaches and applied social science;.
Trans-action, November 1969, p. 4, reporting on the practical
utility of propositions in Berelson and Steiner's Human Behavior
(an inventory of scientific Findings.
1964, 712 p.),
Found that these mere insufficient for a brief article.
32. Donald N. Michael. On Coping with Complexity: planning and politics. Daedalus,
Fall 1968, pp. 1179-1185.
33. H. Kahn and J. Wiener. Faustian powers and human choices. In: W.R.
Ewald (Ed.)- Environment and Change. Indiana University Press, 1968.
34. Stafford Beer. Managing modern complexity.
In: The Management of Information and Knowledge.
Committee on Science and
Astronautics, U.S. House of Representatives, 1970, pp. 41-62
(suggests that we now have a "spastic" society).
35. Johan Galtung. Theories of
Peace; a synthetic approach to peace
thinking. Oslo, International Peace
Research Institute, 1967,
36. A. S. Boughey (Ed.). Contemporary Readings in Ecology. Belmont, Dickanson,
37. R. Margalef. On certain unifying principles in ecology. In no. 36 (suggests
application of ecological principles to societissusing diversification of roles).
38. E. P. Odum.
Fundamentals of Ecology.
Philadelphia, Saunders, 1959(Note there is little agreement among the
12 current definitions
of biological competition -- A. Milne.
Definition of competitionamong animals. In: Mechanisms in Biological Competition.
Cambridge University Press, 1961, pp. 40-61).
39. Johan Galtung. Feudal systems,
structural violence and the
structural theory of
revolutions. Oslo, International Peace
Research Institute, 1969.
40. R. Whittaker. Dominance and diversity in land plant communities.
In no. 36.
41. R. T. Paine. Food web complexity
and species diversity. In no. 36.42. J. Phillipson. Ecological
Energetics. London, Edward Arnold, 1966
43. J. W. Burrow (Ed.). The Origin of
by means of natural
selection by Charles Darwin. London,
Penguin edition, 1970
(Editor discusses rejection of Social Darwinism)
44. Julian Huxley. Evolution as a process. In: Hulxey, Hardy and Ford
(Ed.). Evolution as a Process, London, Alien and Unwin, 1954.
45. Kenneth Boulding. Revolution and development. In: Benn Rothblatt (Ed.).
Changing Perspectives on Man. Chicago University Press, 1968, pp.207-226.
46. W. T. Jones. The Romantic Syndrome; toward a new method in cultural anthropology
and history of ideas. The Hague,Martinus Nijhof, 1961.
47. Anthony Judge:
- Wanted, new types of social entity; the role of the potential
association. International Associations, 23, 1971, 3, pp. 148-152 [text]
- World network of organizations. International Associations, 24,
1972, 1. [text]
48. Harold D. Lasswell. The transition toward more sophisticated procedures.
In: Davis B. Bobrow and J.L. Schinartz (Ed.). Computers and the Policy-making
Community; applications to international relations. Prentice-Hall, 1968, p.