Participatory Inquiry, episode 4: At Home

John Kellden
5 min readMar 21, 2017

In transition, conversations that mind, cultivate and matter.

In which we learn how The Waste Land is related to Guns, Germs & Steel.

… use the cards to explore new perspectives
and gain insight around a chosen question …

Card: Cards
Cards are affordances. Play, insight, solving for
adjacent possible, understanding, story, narrative
(shared understanding), problem space turned
possibility space exploration and collaborative
meaning-making affordances.

Conversations that mind and matter — it’s a thing
A thing can be a group of people gathering together in efforts to make a difference that makes a lasting difference. The conversations can include building a shared and shareable understanding of a patterning that re-aligns.

- Re-aligns with what?
- Ecologies of minds.

Card: Card-Play Conversations
Conversations that mind, cultivate and matter.
Card-play conversations that mind(gathering
small group genius card-play around generative
center questions), cultivate(shared understanding)
and matter(addressing worthwhile dilemmas
with preferable outcomes in mind).

In order to achieve this difference, we use information,
which invariably invokes mind.

Card: Mind
The set of cognitive faculties that
enables an organism to process
information and experience the
world, learn, reason, and generate
emotions. Through this internal
world, we can create meaning
and navigate our existence.

- A dynamic interplay of cognition and consciousness, shaping our perceptions and actions within the world.

- The seat of intentionality, where thoughts and desires converge to drive purposeful action.

- A complex network of neural connections, constantly adapting and evolving in response to stimuli.

- The locus of creativity, where ideas are born, nurtured, and transformed into reality.

- The bridge between individual experience and shared understanding, facilitating communication and empathy.

- The realm of introspection and self-awareness, where we contemplate our existence and strive for personal growth.

- The source of resilience and adaptability, enabling us to navigate the complexities of life and overcome challenges.

“So books are real to me, too; they link me not just with other minds but
with the vision of other minds, what those minds understand and see.
I see their worlds as well as I see my own.”
― Philip K. Dick

Matter: Pattern Anatomy
Each well-intentioned, well-designed pattern, includes:
- context (mutuality, learning)
- problem space (behavior, attention, will, performance)
- forces & building blocks (ecosystemics, cultural and social dynamics, TIMN)
- maps, models, theories (this is a common problem, our near default reduction and representation, remaining stuck inside our obsolete favorite worldviews, our own umwelten)
- solution spaces (conversation)
- play (participation, sensemaking, meaningmaking, decisionmaking)
- story (synthesis, selfhood, service)

Patterns, pattern languages and generative sequences can be fieldtested and used to design processes and build things. The word thing is often important to understand, including how it is different than object.

If we pause the catgifs for a brief spell, if we right in the middle and muddle of our abundance of content, take a moment to look at and see

Participatory Inquiry as a pattern
We can use the above pattern anatomy to better understand it by considering all seven characteristics, including how to engage in conversations that mind and matter, out of which a discourse co-evolving (feedback loops) with our participatory inquiry, towards an ongoing rediscovering how a noun is like a leaf.

Story: We Made It? What Happened? We Happened

- Oh, God, we’re all going to die, aren’t we?
- Well, we might, but every day until we do, we’re going to live.

Pattern: 1922 and 1997
The story I’ve chosen to highlight here and the comparison of historical patterns, takes place over rather a long time.

In 1922, there were three works of art, three books that can be argued,
have been influential in various ways:
- Duino Elegies, Rainer Maria Rilke
- Ulysses, James Joyce
- The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot
In 1933, there was a beginning recovery from the great depression.
In 1945, the ending of the second world war.

In 1997, there were three works of art, three books that can be argued, have made their mark in our cultures and societies:
- The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling
- Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, Jared Diamond
In 2008, there was a reboot of the financial system.
In 2020, the ending of, well, we don’t know that yet.

What patterns do you see?
The important thing here, is not to determine whether the above story and pattern comparison can be validated, but to realize that we are increasingly able to form and compare these and many other patterns, learn from such patterning — and drawing forth new lines (to take a leaf from Paul Klee).

Now and then, throughout history there’s been brave people, explorers, entrepreneurs, innovators, visionaries, cyberneticians, making bold predictions and prophesies, some which turned out to be true, some which didn’t.

Access, Attract, Achieve
With the advent of the web and web search, with an increasing wealth of information available, we are living through a moment in history with unprecedented access.

A difference that makes a lasting difference
We are at a place where a whole lot of people, including ordinary people from all walks of life can share stories towards finding new, slightly different questions out of which exploring different lines of inquiry.

Are We At Home?
Are we at home in the middle and muddle of all this information? What conversations are we engaging in? What stories are we sharing — towards rediscovering what mind, what patterning?

Participatory Inquiry, episode 4: At Home

Alva Pratt

This post, revised here and there, as well as adding the below,
2024 April 29

Cards for Insight: LLM’s
Cards, patterns of play and card-play conversations combine,
facilitating exploring paths between worthwhile dilemmas,
generative center questions and preferable outcomes.

There’s around 500 cards in the source deck, with more than 120k
two-card and 21M three-card combinations. With four-, five- and
six-card combinations mapping to LLM’s, Large Language Models, facilitating human associations(card-play) combining with
AI-assisted annotations(prompts and responses).

Think cards with an underlying pattern language and with an underlying Modular Process Onto-Epistemology forming part of an Online Commonplace, with a searchable Knowledge Repository.



John Kellden

Cards catalyzing stories, Conversations that mind and matter, Digital communities and collaborative narratives