Servant Leadership

At this time in American history, in addition to a treatment and a vaccine to effectively manage the Covid-19 pandemic, I would argue that what we need most is courageous and moral leadership in the government, corporations, mass media and institutions. My daughter, Jennifer Smith Miller, is a leader in the field of Social and […]

The Aspen: A Model Of Interconnectedness

When I began using a camera creatively, I approached trees and forests mainly as objects to facilitate the development of my aesthetic eye. Recently, Peter Wohllenben’s book The Hidden Life Of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate expanded my appreciation by describing their acute sensory and communication processes. After reading that book I discovered […]


From universe to “nanoverse,” one of nature’s most common structural features is “branching.” Networks of all kinds, physical and intellectual, are grounded in a pattern that chemists refer to as “child” (smaller channels) and “parent” (larger) branches. At the human level we see it in living systems—the brain, arteries and veins, leaves and trees. Branching […]

IX. Quantity vs Quality

This is the 9th posting on the topic of ecology Living systems grow or they die. Individually and collectively, zero growth is not possible. Faced with the current challenge of rapidly increasing and dramatic climate change, there are a variety of options open to us as individuals. Among the obvious, is observing the Earth House […]

VIII. Reframing The Ecological Challenge

(This the 8th posting in the series on ecology) This image is unsettling for me because I’m guilty of using plastic bottles to assuage my preference for carbonated water. This manufacturer responded to my request that they use a container that would decompose, saying their bottles are recyclable. I contacted our local recycling company and […]

II.Deep Ecology

Cultural historian and ecotheologian Thomas Berry distinguished between “shallow” and “deep” ecology. He said the former is based on the belief that big ecological problems can be resolved within an industrial, capitalist society by fighting pollution and resource depletion in order to preserve human health and affluence—basically the aim of the “environmental movement.” Deep ecology, […]

I. Ecosystems

This is the first in an eleven-part 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 an eco-system as “an integrated and interactive system of biological and […]

VIII. Emergent Properties (In Systems)

This is the eighth in a series of postings on whole systems thinking. SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT I invite you to check out my new blog on the ancient Maya. A description follows at the end of this posting. ______________________________________________________________________________ Life is an emergent property—a property that is not present in the parts and originates only when […]

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 […]

XIII. Pattern

This is the 13th posting in the series, “The Aesthetic Dimensions.” The first, posted January 6, 2019, explains the series and deals with “Abstraction.” To follow it (at no cost), go to and click “Follow” (bottom right corner of the Home page). The postings will show up in your mailbox on Sunday mornings. To […]