Tuesday, August 02, 2005

spinning...gears turning...teeth gnashing

In this blog you will notice two type of entries if you look closely. Capital letter entries are more "journalistic" in their intent. lower case entries are more opinion or personal entry pieces.

i am relatively certain i will make it through this next week, but I'm not sure what state I will be in when it is over. i have a couple more days left of family vacation slouching around the house then i head back to the conservative little town in a conservative state in the conservative heartland bible belt to attend a high school class reunion. i would very much like to take a calm and confident nature and appearance with me and maintain it throughut my visit. perhaps i will be able to do it. i actually have to rent a room rather than stay with family or friends so i can get away and decompress by myself when necessary. my mother loves conflict and either sets up crises or spins negativity with her viperous tongue. building and maintaining inner peace is at times difficult when i am there. the dominant culture there is a narrowly defined white, and purportedly christian one. not everyone supports that culture by any means, but it is difficult to even access other viewpoints there. information flow is the problem. but that is changing. there is a wifi equipped coffee shop near the downtown. i have listed this business in a hotspot directory so that its existance is known. this trip i plan to leave cards - notes - etc. in various places with information about how to access alternative media through streaming newscasts via the net as well as sites. that will be fun. i'm trying to figure out how to unfurl a banner from a tall building --- and not get caught --- should be easier than most places as there are no cameras.... however blue-haired (and i don't mean punked out electric blue) old ladies are rampant in that area.) i am thinking i might be able to enlist a couple of partners in "alternative publishing." hehehe. wonder where the recruiting station is there?

seriously though, I don't think most folks understand how difficult it is to access alternative media and information that does not support the status quo in many places in the U.S. the people are by no means closed minded by nature, but there are significant forces that attempt to make these areas effective closed systems. closed systems do not exist. we can increase information flow by encouraging thru-put.

living systems cannot survive indefinitely or even for any great length of time without the flow of energy and information through them.

The salient characteristics of an open system is a self-maintenance based on a process of resources from the environment and interaction with the environment. Katz and Kahn summarize the essential characteristics of an open systems as follows: " The open-system approach begins by identifying and mapping the repeated cycles of inputs, transformation, output and renewed inputs which comprise the organizational patterns. Organizations as a special class of open systems have properties of their own, but they share other properties in common with all open systems. These include the importation of energy from the environment, the through-put or transformation of the imported energy into some product form... the exporting of that product into the environment, and the re-energizing of the system from sources in the environment." "Open systems also share the characteristics of negative entropy, feedback, homeostasis, differentiation, and equifinality. The law of negative entropy states that systems survive and maintain their characteristic internal order only so long as they import from the environment more energy than they expend in the process of transformation and exportation." A system is a functional whole composed of set of subsystems and components, when coupled together, generate a level of organization that is fundamentally different from the level of each individual subsystem. General systems theorists believe that, in spite of the obvious differences among the many kinds of living and nonliving systems, they share very general characteristics and that it is important to discover what these are. The study of systems is by definition concerned with change.

the link/reference from above is cited because it is understandable. few explanations really condense some of the most complex thoughts in recent history in ways that make sense. this one does. the christian fundamentalist right leaning are closed system advocates whether they understand that or not. this is most unfortunate as true spiritual insight as lived by our guides such as the buddha and christ very much spoke in open system terms. the extreme left -- any extreme is leaning toward a closed system view.

open and closed. that is the terminology for the week. open and closed governance. open and closed worship. i will use these terms for a while.

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