Adaptation

One of Darwin’s principles of evolution became popularized in the phrase “survival of the fittest.” The problem with memorable slogans like this is that they simplify complex phenomena. In this instance, Darwin’s observations were correct, but his interpretation missed the mark. Scientists now understand that “fitness” does not necessarily mean physical or mental robustness as […]

Daisy Flower: Reminder To Stay Positive

Depending on the species, daisies can be white with a yellow center, purple with a brownish center, red with a yellow center, orange with a yellow center, pink with a yellow center, yellow with a dark red center or blue with a green center. Part of the sunflower family and more than 4000 years old, […]

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, […]

VII. Part-Whole Relationship

This is the 7th in a series of postings on whole systems thinking. Systems thinking involves a shift of perspective from parts to whole. The properties of a whole cannot be reduced to its parts because none of them have the capacity of the whole. A wristwatch keeps time and a smartphone has many functions […]

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 […]

Presentation

  Many years before I was introduced to the Ancient Maya, a little book by Erving Goffman entitled, “The Presentation Of Self In Everyday Life,” set me on the path of becoming an armchair anthropologist. Actually, it may have been his insights that sparked my later interest in the Maya, in part because their kings […]

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 […]

Cultivation

  When I photographed these orderly rows of young corn extending to the horizon, I was thinking about the farmer and his work, evidenced by the tractor tracks and the amount of time, money and energy it took to plant this enormous field. Reflecting on the image now, I appreciate the contribution of all growers and […]

Presentation

  Many years before I was introduced to the ancient Maya, a little book by Erving Goffman entitled, “The Presentation Of Self In Everyday Life,” set me on the path of becoming an armchair anthropologist. Actually, it may have been his insights that sparked my later interest in the Maya, in part because their kings […]

Transition

  As we transition into Autumn, rather than post a series of images—as I did through the summer months—I’ll return to the original format of posting a single image with a brief, associated contemplation. As stated on the home page, the purpose of this blog is to, by way of demonstration, encourage you to use […]