Participatory Inquiry, episode 7: Chaos, Trust & Flow

“In a network, your intuition is a dynamic, mostly self-organising handshake protocol between conscious and subconscious.”

Our conscious minds can process ten bits per second. Our whole mind can process ten million bits per second. Our handshake protocol is hard at work translating back and forth every moment. Or, when not hard at work, constellated, configured differently, enacting a different place — playing, flowing…

“In a network, chaos, trust and flow.”

Our minds performing pattern matching, combining future worries, present mindfulness and past experiences.

enact, perceive, observe, orient, decide, act, re-enact

Enact and Perceive
“We are prone to overestimate how much we understand about the world and to underestimate the role of chance in events.
— Daniel Kahneman

Perceive and Observe
“This is the essence of intuitive heuristics: when faced with a difficult question, we often answer an easier one instead, usually without noticing the substitution.”
— Daniel Kahneman

Observe and Orient
“The confidence that individuals have in their beliefs depends mostly on the quality of the story they can tell about what they see, even if they see little.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow

Social challenges like reading pose intractable conflicts amidst a growing diversity, incommensurability and conflict between tribal, institutional, market-swayed and networks of interest and practice, beliefs and behavior.

Reading books, articles and the situation, can be pursued in ways conducive to level up our social games, from OODA, Observe, Orient, Decide and Act (two fighters in a dog-fight), to POODDEAU, Perceive, Observe, Orient, Design, Decide, Enact, Act and Unfold, a convivial superset to OODA.

With both the premise and our re-orienting ourselves, co-evolving.

Orient and Decide
“Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.”
Daniel Kahneman

Forces & Building Blocks

“We build and maintain an open repository of web crawl data that can be accessed and analyzed by anyone.”

“A difference which makes a difference, and it is able to make a difference because the neural pathways along which it travels and is continually transformed are themselves provided with energy. The pathways are ready to be triggered. We may even say that the question is already implicit in them.”
— Gregory Bateson

The Shortcut, The 21C Challenge: Power
“But the myth of power is, of course, a very powerful myth, and probably most people in this world more or less believe in it. It is a myth, which, if everybody believes in it, becomes to that extent self-validating. But it is still epistemological lunacy and leads inevitably to various sorts of disaster.”

“What is true is that the idea of power corrupts. Power corrupts most rapidly those who believe in it, and it is they who will want it most. Obviously, our democratic system tends to give power to those who hunger for it and gives every opportunity to those who don’t want power to avoid getting it. Not a very satisfactory arrangement if power corrupts those who believe in it and want it.”

“Perhaps there is no such thing as unilateral power. After all, the man “in power” depends on receiving information all the time from outside. He responds to that information just as much as he “causes” things to happen…it is an interaction, and not a lineal situation.”
Gregory Bateson

“We are most of us governed by epistemologies that we know to be wrong.”
— Gregory Bateson

Dynamic Story/Narrative Re-alignment
How network dynamics co-evolve with platform (knowledge) flows and design synthesis, are three literacies still in their infancy.

Cramming living things into boxes
- An overemphasis on design synthesis risks doing away with depth.
- An overemphasis on network dynamics risks amplifying competitive strategies and red queen scenarios.
- An overemphasis on platform flows risks getting too dependent on (too) big data. (Warm Data to the rescue?)

Paths I’m exploring: semiosphere slingshots, navigating our Scylla, Charybdis & Caliban of networks, platforms and design through select, choice use of abductive sensemaking, participatory inquiry, generativity, and story/narrative (re)alignment.

“Information that changes something or somebody — either by becoming grounds for action, or by making an individual (or an institution) capable of different or more effective action.”
— Peter Drucker

Social Learning
“In a network, we scale to thriving community by putting knowledge to convivial use, at the right time, in the right place.”

Applied Social Learning
“In a network, the best place to store knowledge is in other people.”


How to enact applied social learning

Ichigo Ichie
One meeting, one opportunity. Don’t just meet people, be there.

TIMN: Tribe, Institution, Market, Network

Conversations: complex responsive processes

Generative Review

Chaos, Trust & Flow

Strategic Outcome
Ideas co-evolving with Networks, Platforms & Connected Intelligence.

All Together Now: Applying the Above to Governance
In a network, in transition, we need protocols on at least three different meta-levels. One of the meta-levels would be between ritual and the flow of presence. Another protocol would be between metalogue and media. Having those two would make a difference, although there’s many more we could design and use.

A third one which is probably pivotal, simple enough to posit, but hell to design and even worse to implement: a realignment protocol between institutions, markets and commons. All three protocols operate and flow differently through time.

We made it? What happened? We happened
Given our collective task is to hand over thriving, convivial, sustainable societies and communities to our children, seven generations to come, what learning do we need to embrace, in order to entrust a context that will ensure a necessary and sufficient mutuality and learning, informing our protocols, guiding our thinking, whether fast or slow?

Participatory Inquiry, episode 7: Chaos, Structure & Flow



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John Kellden

Cards catalyzing stories, Conversations that mind and matter, Digital communities & immersive productions.