paradigms

Synchronize


This video shows 32 metronomes synchronizing on a surface that responds to their oscillation. (They won't synchronize on a rigid surface.)

Christian Huygens noticed in the 1600s that pendulum clocks on the same wall synchronized, because the wall responded to the pendulums.

As long as the springs powering the metronomes don't run down, and the suspension of the table doesn't wear out, the synchronization we witnessed is both irreversible and spontaneous. It's a provocative and visual demonstration of an emergent order, given a flow of energy through the system from the wound-up springs of the metronomes.

The processes of life work like this. But we may have trouble grasping it, and instead default to some kind of conspiracy theory.

Modern science causes desertification

by Jeff Goebel

Note: Jeff Goebel has been facilitating and teaching Holistic Management for many years. His website is http://aboutlistening.com

Simulations

If you don't have a Java-enabled browser (for example, Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or later) you probably can't play here. Most of these simulations are Java applets, requiring your browser to load about 1 megabyte of Java libraries to run the model.

The last battle

NOTE: At the Yakima meeting of the WSU/Kellogg project in January 1997, Allan Savory gave the keynote speech from which the following is excerpted.

I see you--holistic management practitioners--as the leaders in the last battle mankind will ever face. I think the greatest battle is this battle to live within the means of our environment and live in harmony with our environment.

Our human way of making decisions, I am afraid, has not left a good track record. We're all in this together, and we've got to find out.

Biodiversity: where's the beef?

This article first appeared in the Puget Consumer's Coop Sound Consumer.

In a designated wilderness, I met a hiker on the trail. Horseback, I was the natural target of his wrath at seeing a couple of cowpies back down the trail. The sight had ruined his experience of the landscape. From what he had read, and from camping once on an overgrazed streambank, he knew that cows were bad.

The grandfather of the man who owned the cattle had killed the last wolf in the county. He knew that wolves were bad.

The Colville Tribe blazes the trail

NESPELEM, WASHINGTON--The Colville Confederated Tribes are facing the same problems the rest of the world faces: the increasing difficulty of sustaining ways of life on a deteriorating resource base, and the resulting conflict. In response, the Colvilles are changing something so fundamental that most people aren't aware of it. They are changing the way they make decisions.

Big change on the Colville Reservation

In eastern Washington, the Colville Confederated Tribes are facing the same problems the world faces: the increasing difficulty of sustaining ways of life on a deteriorating resource base, and the resulting conflict. In response, the Colvilles are changing something so fundamental that most of us aren't aware of it. They are changing the way they make decisions.

Making decisions

Lennox Louw, who raises cattle near Vryburg, South Africa, believes that being proactive, making a fundamental choice, is a must.

"Most people don't make any decisions, never mind holistically. Just get them to make a decision. Then go on from there."

Growing up on his father's ranch in Namibia, he learned from some Bushmen. "For them it's the whole that's most important, not the parts. There is nothing negative in nature for them. It all has a place. A snake -- they are afraid, and they leave it. They don't try to eliminate it."

Desertification--why most "solutions" fail

According to the U.N., 70% of the world's dryland areas are desertifying. How and why this happens, why most fixes fail. Links to methods that work.

The word desertification was first used in 1949 by the French geographer Andre Aubreville to describe the change in North and equatorial Africa from productive savanna forest, grasslands, and shrublands into unproductive desert. Compared to the 2000 slump in tech stocks or the September 11, 2001 attacks, desertification is not an issue for most North Americans.

Frequently asked questions

So holistic thinking and action is the new way. Have we been doing it wrong all these years, and do we need to throw out everything we've learned?

No. Many people, when they hear about the benefits of managing wholes, sense a criticism of the tools of thought and decision making that they have been trained in or have absorbed. And it is certainly true that the technology and economic prosperity that has been created for much of the world by "mechanical" thinking has enabled growing numbers of people to see the ecosystem and human life in a more holistic way.

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