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 davidlsmithcontemplativephotography.com and click “Follow” (bottom right corner of the Home page). The postings will show up in your mailbox on Sunday mornings. To […]

Branching

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Wisdom Of The Spheres

There is no chance and anarchy in the universe. All is system and gradation. Every god is there sitting in his sphere. Ralph Waldo Emerson     From atoms to galaxies the sphere is a prominent form because it requires the least amount of energy to form and has the least possible area for the […]

Flow

  “Going with the flow” has become a popular expression, suggesting that the better life strategy is to align with rather than resist what is happening. As guidance for individual behavior, paddling with the “current”—in the context of home, work and relationships—is certainly easier than paddling against it. The image of waving grass brought to […]

Branching

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 […]

Confidence & Trust

  Obviously, guard rails are intended to keep cars from running off the road and to reduce the severity of injuries when they do. Not so obvious is the observation that their presence indicates a lack of trust. Appropriately so. Bad accidents, even death, may have occurred had we trusted—ourselves and “the other guy.” This […]

The Noosphere

Perhaps because satellite dishes look like ears turned skyward, I sometimes imagine lines of light, like ruby laser beams, streaming out of them toward their satellites. If those beams could somehow become visible at night, globally and simultaneously, the resulting web of crisscrossing lines would be dazzling. Building on this reflection, I include the lines […]