Organizing retrospective 13

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
I postponed my review of Future Fit by Giles Hutchins and read The Battle for the Life and Beaty of the Earth by Christopher Alexander instead. I think that Alexander’s notion of living structures is related to my interest in living organizations. I also think that deeper generative orders for organizing are related to life itself.

During the week, I have found a treasure trove of articles on life in Cosmos and History.1 One of the most interesting articles is Towards a Science of Life as Creative Organisms by Norm Hirst.2 Hirst spent 50 years studying the nature of life itself!3 Another interesting article is Arran Gare’s Approaches to the Question, ‘What is Life?’: Reconciling Theoretical Biology with Philosophical Biology4

Philosophical biology emerged under the influence of Edmund Husserl and phenomenology, while theoretical biology emerged with Niels Bohr. Bohr inspired a number of physicists to turn their attention to biology in an attempt to understand what is unique about life.

One of the most thorough efforts in exposing the deeper assumptions in science, including quantum theory, has been done by theoretical biologist Robert Rosen. Rosen wrote:

”It is my contention that mathematics took a disastrous
wrong turn some time in the sixth century B.C.”5

”… the machine metaphor is not just a little wrong;
it is entirely wrong and must be discarded.”6

  • I will continue reading the articles I found in Cosmos and History.
  • I need to finish my reading of Robert Rosen’s Essays on Life Itself.
  • As mentioned previously, I need to write a review of Future Fit by Giles Hutchins.
  • I also plan to review Christopher Alexander’s The Battle for the Life and Beaty of the Earth by Christopher Alexander.

The battle for life in organizations is a struggle between worldviews. It’s a battle for a worldview and a way of organizing which cares for life and the well-being of the whole.

What was good? What can be improved?
In terms of pattern languages, Simon Robinson had this comment and provided this article by Rob Hopkins on rethinking transition as a pattern language.

I am very glad for this contact inquiry from Skye Hirst. Yes, I’d love to talk!

Notes:
1 Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy is a peer-reviewed open-access journal. The Journal serves those who see philosophy’s vocation in questioning and challenging prevailing assumptions about ourselves and our place in the world, developing new ways of thinking about physical existence, life, humanity and society.
2 Norman Fred Hirst, Towards a Science of Life as Creative Organisms, Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 4, No 1-2 (2008).
3 See History of The Autognomics Institute (accessed 2016-10-30).
4 Arran Gare, Approaches to the Question, ‘What is Life?’: Reconciling Theoretical Biology with Philosophical Biology, Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 4, No 1-2 (2008).
5 Robert Rosen, Essays on Life Itself (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999), p. 63.
6 Robert Rosen, Life Itself: A Comprehenesive Inquiry into the Nature, Origin, and Fabrication of Life (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991), p. 113.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

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