Emergence

We continue to speak as though we “came into this world.” But we did not come “into” this world; we have come “out” of it—as leaves come out of a tree, we have come out of the universe. As leaves are organically parts of the tree, we are organically part of the universe. Thomas King […]

Soil: Literally And Symbolically The “Ground”

Soils are “living” systems—a combination of ground minerals and organic matter that began to form in the Cambrian Explosion (550 mya) after a mass extinction of life-forms between the Permian and Triassic geologic periods. Today, soils are to the land what plankton are to the oceans—the bottom or ground of the food chain. On average, […]

VI. Equifinality

  This is the 6th  in a series of postings on the theme of whole systems thinking. The whole system’s principle of “equifinality,” a term coined by the father of systems theory, Ludwig von Bertalanffy, holds that in open systems, for those that have external interactions, a given end state can be reached by many […]

XVII. Shape / Geometry

  A shape is an enclosed space, a two-dimensional form that has length and width. In many instances in photographs, it’s the element that first catches the eye to reveal the subject’s identity. Students learning to draw begin with the fundamental shapes—circles, rectangles, triangles, and ovals. From these, all forms can be drawn by adding […]

Lifecycles

  When I was in high school, the authors of biology and chemistry textbooks considered independent motion as the defining characteristic of life. If it moved on its own accord, it was alive—organic. Viewed under a microscope, cells and bacteria move. Minerals do not. Water moves, but it was not considered to be “alive,” except […]

Equifinality

  The whole system’s principle of “equifinality,” a term coined by the father of systems theory, Ludwig von Bertalanffy, holds that in open systems, those that have external interactions, a given end state can be reached by many potential means. To lock on to a single pathway, observation or solution can overlook a simpler or […]

Lifecycles

  When I was in high school, the authors of biology and chemistry textbooks considered independent motion as the defining characteristic of life. If it moved on its own accord, it was alive—organic. Viewed under a microscope, cells and bacteria move. Minerals do not. Water moves, but it was not considered to be “alive,” except […]

Equifinality

  The principle of “equifinality,” a term coined by the father of systems theory, Ludwig von Bertalanffy essentially holds that in open systems, those that have external interactions, a given end state can be reached by many potential means. To lock on to a single pathway, observation or solution can overlook a simpler or better […]