X. Ecosystems

This is the 10th and final posting on whole systems thinking. It is also the first in a new series on ecology. The word “ecology,” comes from the Greek oikos “household.” Ecology then is the study of the “Earth Household.” In The System’s View of Life: A Unifying Vision, Fritjof Capra and Pier Luigi Luise define […]

IX. Order (Whole Systems Context)

This is the 9th in a series of postings on whole systems thinking. In nature and in the world of man-made objects, geometric order evidences the interrelatedness of all things. Using the above image as a model, humanity may be said to consist of a single string within the spacetime continuum. Rather than forming a […]

I. Whole systems Thinking — Introduction

This is the first in a series of blogs on the subject of whole systems thinking. Each week, after the topic is introduced, I’ll offer a contemplation that relates to the headline photograph and text.  Historically, patterns observed in nature were discussed and documented in China five thousand years ago, before being articulated by Lao […]

Order

  In nature and in the world of man-made objects, geometric order evidences the interrelatedness of all things. Using the above image as a model, humanity may be said to consist of a single string within the spacetime continuum. Rather than forming a straight line—the way we experience time—the process of human evolution has been […]

Change

This image has special meaning for me. I was in high school, a new member of the camera club, wandering the streets of downtown Cincinnati at night looking for photographs. A building had recently been demolished at the corner of 5th and Plum Streets and, unlike today where such places are fenced in, I was […]

Legacy

  PLEASE NOTE: MY EMAIL ADDRESS HAS CHANGED TO: smithdl@fuse.net What do we leave behind? Does it matter? These are questions that comes to mind as I contemplate this image. Without any pretense or intention, a bird left behind not only a feather, but also the potential for a human being’s aesthetic enjoyment and growth—and […]

Vibration And Form

  Energy is vibration. It’s largely invisible, but when energy takes a form it’s always geometrical, prescribed by the fundamental laws of physics including gravity and the three Laws of Thermodynamics: 1. Conservation of Energy: Energy cannot be created or destroyed, just changed. 2. Entropy: Matter dissipates; disintegrates. Entropy either stays the same or gets […]

Entropy

  Because the rust is so prominent in this image, giving the appearance of a “bleeding” or disintegrating stairway, I see it as an excellent illustration of entropy—matter in the process of dissipation, reverting back to heat energy. Everything disintegrates. Dust to dust. Iron rusts, computers fail, bones break, noise disrupts communication, relationships fail, businesses […]

Presence And The Present Moment

  In this image I observe and celebrate the aesthetic of the present moment, happenings and combinations of elements that once existed and are gone. In this instance, the patterns and textures lasted perhaps a day at most before being lost to the incoming tide. It’s the story of impermanence, of risings and fallings, comings […]

System’s Confidence And Trust

  How about a little snow in order to better appreciate the summer temperatures? Obviously, guard rails are intended to keep cars from running off the road—and to reduce the severity of an accident when they do. Not so obvious is the observation that their presence indicates a lack of trust. Appropriately so. Bad accidents, […]