Design of the Learning Engine

J.  The learning engine (LE) is any system that continually improves on its previous performance.

S. Am I one?

J. You can be one. It involves taking the position that you are one knowing what it means to be one. In the same way if a team, an organisation, or a community decides to be one, it certainly qualifies to be a LE.

S. Besides taking position what more does it involve?

J.  It involves understanding the design of the  LE and using this understanding when the going gets tough.

S. Let us get to know the design in detail

J. Quadrants Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4 of the learning engine are analogous to the four wheels of the car and the eye at the centre (self) is the engine.

The four quadrants are also directional.

Thus

Q1, North West,

Q4, South West,

Q2, North East, and

Q3, South East)

S. Who is the driver?

J. Us, depending on whoever identifies with the system. Q1 and Q 4 are internal to the observer or the driver/s of the LE.  Q2, Q3 are external to the observer. Q 3 is the physical world.   At the centre, where the four quadrants meet is a lighthouse with nine levels. When you climb to the top you get the eagle’s perspective, see everything, have a map of everything. The level 1 has all the maps, level 2 maps of all the simple machines similar to the clock, level 3 the maps of advanced machines with self-regulation, level 4 the maps of the unicellular world, level 5 that of the world of plants, level 6 that of all the animals, level 7 the maps of the individual  human, level 8 that of the organizational and level 9 that of all accumulated learning, meta- systems – religion, science, philosophy etc

The gap is the waste, unrealised potential, road not travelled, blue ocean space, the domain for Metrics.

A Map of Everything

From the top of the lighthouse, we can see where we were, prior to the climb, at the end of the line going up (or down?) from the level of animals in quadrant SE. Now, one knows the light house position (invariant) and the ship’s position (variant)

The direction for the journey can now be set, the compass function – towards bridging the gap between potential and performance. Had there been no gap we would have had a straight line in quadrant SE, a mirror image of NW. The gap is the waste, unrealised potential, road not travelled, blue ocean space, the domain for Metrics, inputs for course correction, to make sure  that the journey is one of improvement rather than speeding towards disaster.

SW is about learning and renewal, the process, improvement and revision of mental models to maps

Quadrant NW is the external social system, history, barriers to transcend, opportunities which conflicts with SW in terms of the challenges to learning and improvement. There are more  P s —-Position , Process and so on.

Perfection, Problems – every single time is a time of crisis. a crisis of the spirit of the time taking its birth, arising from resisting the perfection in us, not a crisis or a problem but the greatest opportunity of the time

Prophets, Peters. Parrots – Christ‘s vision was the foundation for the church and Peter the institution builder. Sans vision institutions become empty drums. In the age of the common Buddha, vision and action go hand in hand. Pyramids and hierarchies collapse. Parroting, rote learning, helps to pass on accumulated learning but is not sufficient to lead to improvement

Programmers, Parents, Pedagogues, Priests, Politicians – Even children are trained/ programmed to be terrorists- parroting. Why not programming for sustained improvements?  The major programming influences, family, religion, politics groom to conform. It  is for the individual to discern between the chaff and the grain in his journey of improvement.

Progress – Many a measure of progress fail to capture net improvements in realising the unrealised potential of the human. What we might think as progress may not be an improvement as suggested in quadrant SW. We might believe us to be above the level of animals as a class, but when it comes to realising potential we fall below them.

Power, Peace – Aggression begets aggression. Authentic power follows from facilitating others to discover their power, voice, potential, anchoring and connecting to peace within for peace outside.

Process – The focus on events, outcome and results need to go hand in hand with process dimensions. The product is in the process. If output and results do not meet expectations and standards, revisit the process.

Position – Taking a position calls for multiple perspectives, variant and invariants, the lighthouse position vs. the positions that the ship takes on its course.

The core at the centre is the engine and the four quadrants the wheels

The learning engine is capable of continually improving on its own performance against all odds creating invincibility

Continual Renewal

Continual learning is the path to continual renewal.

Nature is in a process of continual renewal but for the ecological footprints from human interventions. It takes more than a year for nature to renew what we consume in a year and some damages are irreparable.

Learning improves our mental models. The frog in the well forms a model of the world. The eagle on the tree has a different model. When the frog is taken out by the eagle and brought back into the well these two merge together to form a map of the world. The world has not changed but the models of the world have changed. We too had a flat earth model in the not too distant past. With better technology and tools these models have given way to maps with increasing precision. Though maps of the physical world have become more precise the mental models that went with them are not easily discarded.

The eagle represents the big picture and frog, the details. Both are connected just as the Hubble telescope sends us pictures from outer space and the femtoscope helps us see the smallest of the small. The eagle represents the global and frog the local which are but different perspectives of the whole. In a connected world – being GLOCAL – is an imperative. So is the imperative of continual learning, leading to continual renewal. We are frogs in the well of nature

Ref: Idealised Design, Russel L. Ackoff

Designer Lives

Matrix and Matrix Thinking

The sun rises in the east.  The coin has two sides, Change is the only constant. Time runs out, Time is money. Death and Illness are essential. It is true or false, yes or no. It is destiny. Oh my God, what the Devil, Black and White. I need 2000- 3000 calories/day from food. Let us vote for change.  Resources are limited and wants unlimited.  These little programs, cookies, were rejected by the matrix for incorrect logic. The programs reflect the logic of the programmer, the way they are internally organised. These programs were sent back to the recycling facility in Bangalore India. They were bangalored. Programs compete with each other. Every program, good or bad has life and the life-span varies with the quality of the logic. One with better logic prevails over the others. Such programs evolve and coalesce into maps. It appears to us that the sun rises in the east survives over the one which says the sun rises in the east. The one which says the coin has many sides over ‘the coin has two sides’. Resources are unlimited and needs limited take precedence over the old paradigm of scarce resources and unlimited wants. The neo-logic was that the creative intelligence is unbounded, the prime resource which transforms/catalyses the other resources.  The unlimited wants were found to be derivatives of some of the primal survival drive distortions. The realisation was found to have survival value since it appealed to the selfish gene

English > Inglish

COBOL> COPOL (common purpose oriented language)

The logic for the new language was that the syntax of one’s mother tongue went against the purpose of connecting – building bridges. It works like an empty parrot’s cage or the classic golden mouse trap where rats were extinct for a very long time. The syntax of the mother tongue promoted imperialism (read, version Anglo-Saxon). With an emergence of the syntax of viewing the syntax of text which promoted linearity became redundant

The programs are stacked into levels beginning with maps to Meta systems.

Science is a meta- system. So are art and religion. The matrix holds nothing to everything together.

While all programs have life a very small set of programs (+) have material form.

The current version of the matrix has been in existence since 1990 (PME 0). A new skin has been added in the version PME 19, the only improvement in 19 years

The project had begun with a class room discussion during 1981. The case study was ‘IT or MIT’. (MIT, read Misinformation Technology). JJ had taken the position that the critical issue in IT is the issue of standardisation of the observer matrix. Since every observer sees with a different internal matrix the resultant complexity would be unmanageable and IT would turn into MIT. Others stood for the remaining mostly hardcore technological issues. JJ took the position that what they see as hard is really soft and what they see as soft is hard. The entire class went against JJ’s arguments. JJ stuck to his guns and walked out of the discussion. The project had begun.

We see what we choose to focus on. What we choose to focus on is limited by the program which runs us and the positions we take which most likely has nothing to do with the common good. We could be charging full steam towards our own destruction. This possibility no more exists with the emergence of the matrix which has taken over the collective unconscious. Since the year of the matrix, 1990, 5169 Neos have been trained in the matrix. Somewhere in between, the 100th monkey effect took over and the program now exists in everyone. The Neos are conscious of the existence of the matrix. Others are not. Some Neos work as teachers and healers, in food and livelihood security, software engineering, and in medicine.

If you come across a neo-doc, s/he is more likely to ask you in his diagnostic foray what your work is or what you do for a living is in sync with your purpose of life. The data shows that this is the MFQ among Neos, what the purpose of the program is.  Another MFQ is about the fabric/quality of community that support our lives or about the quality of relationships outnumbering other questions on smoking,  exercise or number of calories that go into the  system. One is less likely to be asked who your employer is, a question often loaded with the hidden agenda of finding out if he can go ahead with all the diagnostic tests without worrying about your ability to afford

It took eight years for the matrix to fall in place. The cardinal frameworks had to pass the immortality test. The levels and hierarchy were to be assigned.  Example:- Christ is relatively more immortal than Shakespeare.  The matrix went through innumerable tests to pass through all possible contexts, past, present and future.

Successful centenarians work for over ninety years .Many of them have never consulted a doc. For them work is self-expression. These at the other end of the immortality continuum were studied in the formulation phase of the matrix. The single major challenge they faced for further extension of life-spans was the absence of community, as most fellow travellers had taken the exit route. More than anything else it was concluded that the quality of one’s work decides health and life spans and quality follows from the purpose. When one is ready to die for it death will be afraid to approach such.

What are you suggesting?

We are over deterministic in our assumptions and more often than not end up with the wrong diagnosis of our problems. We need a new way of looking, a set of new eyes if we want to craft a new vision

In the matrix trilogy, the Frenchman says, it is my business to know. Yet he wants the eyes of the oracle

The key maker is a meta- programmer. His business is to architect the meta-program, key to all programs, to make keys for all possible variety of programs

The matrix is a perfectly balanced equation

It is our business to know because knowing is doing. Doing without knowing is not doing

Black and White > Grey

Day and Night > Dusk and dawn, the in-between, gaps to fill, to connect

We have a pair of eyes, but we see as one

Ravana had 10 heads and 20 eyes. Still he could not see, avoid defeat or win the heart of Sita

Dritarashstra, the king, was blind, inside and outside. The queen / advisors had eyes but they opted to keep them shut or could not see the conflicts in the making.  They were myopic blinded by their selfishness.

One can have forty heads- levels – thinking hats/positions, take in 40 different/variant perspectives and bring them together into one vision. Each level has infinite elements that form the class. It is for us to choose the specific ones relevant to our specific context/s. When one is ready to die for what one sees others have no option but to come round to what such people see.  Community is in the making when more and more agree to the immortality of the program. Ideas also follow the norm, survival of the fittest.

Nature is not impatient, in a hurry. For nature time does not run out.

Meanwhile the pearl material accretes around the nucleus. The clusters which continually do this progress on the path reducing the waste in the system, a self improving program, the only metrics being how much of the garbage, waste, has been recycled, transformed to organic manure. Non-physical garbage took priority over the physical.

In comparison with the successful centenarians, most of us squander nearly half a century of our lives. The centenarians do not experience any recessions.

Multiply with the billions to visualise the total waste, the unrealised potential. The list could be pretty long. Add poverty, illness, infant mortality, terror strikes, and wars in the name of peace………..

Quality and Quantity is the count. Quantity without quality is waste

We can go on ad nauseum, but if you got it, you got it – explanations are redundant. If you didn’t, ASK

Is this fact or fiction?

It is fact and fiction. Fiction is more powerful than fact.. Myths live on, facts are forgotten. Leverage both, facts and fiction; tell a future story (?)

Matrix thinking is thinking with nature, co -creating……….. No need to go out to fight any wars …………… a home improvement project,

Let the noise die down

The Glass Bead Game

“All the insights, noble thoughts, and works of art that the human race has produced in its creative eras, all that subsequent periods of scholarly study have reduced to concepts and converted into intellectual values the Glass Bead Game player plays like the organist on an organ. And this organ has attained an almost unimaginable perfection; its manuals and pedals range over the entire intellectual cosmos; its stops are almost beyond number.” – Herman Hesse

This organist plays in real time. He is one with all understanding of the past and the future too. He makes perfect music. We work with limited information, knowledge and much less of wisdom. Though we have great faith in our decisions and they are invariably taken with the very best of intentions, most of them turn out to be not very wise.

The DC is a tool that enables the user to appreciate the complexity of the decision making process and to improve the outcomes in terms of quality, sustainability and community.

Decision Compass and the Blue Ocean

The DC reduces the search effort involved in managerial problem solving, points to the solution space (blue ocean), accelerates learning and brings the woods and the trees together without missing either of them.

The tool and methodology were evolved in the context of working with very challenging developmental issues and communicating these issues to the stake holders, over two decades.

The Game

The decision compass (DC) is at the apex of a series of frames which together form the First Discipline Framework.

Mastery of the DC frame is achieved through accelerated learning and competency development work shops by simulating a high performance work environment.  The participants work together (play) with specific roles corresponding to the levels and functional expectancies of the DC.

The duration varies from 16 – 40 working hours for an introductory workshop.  The duration varies with the level of participants and the mix of the facilitation team.

Participants: 50 – 60.

The First Discipline Framework is broken into its component frames numbering 60 cards in VIBGYOR. Red cards are six in number and green four. Other colors are ten each.   Red and Green represent governance and sustainability issues and are external to the organization. The organizational groups are positioned at the centre and at the centre of the four quadrants. They change positions anti-clockwise after each round of discussions and presentations.

Time:  16 – 40 hours in 2 to 5 days.

Round  1

Step 1- Pre process metrics

Step 2 The facilitators explain the DC (60 minutes)

Step 3 Each participant picks up a card. In case total number of participants is less than 60, some participants may have more than one card. These participants will perform the additional roles implied by the extra cards. Each participant on his/her own prepares and presents a brief understanding of his /her role. The facilitators supplement clarifications if necessary. As the process picks up extent of facilitation comes down. At the end the learning from round one is summed up and shared (45-60 minutes)

Step 4 Participants group into each color and assume their roles.  They work towards connecting the learning from the exercise and its strategic implications.  Presentations follow at hourly intervals. Further clarifications are provided by the Facilitators at the end of each presentation (4-5 Hours)

Step 5 Post metrics.

Further briefing with organizational data or using data from sample case studies

Round 3

Step 1 The groups work with organization specific / case study related information to demonstrate the application of the model and the implications

Step 2 Summing up

Step 3 Post metrics

More rounds will be required in the case of new recruits. The rounds are repeated till the facilitators are certain that the participants have reached the required level of proficiency as reflected by the metrics, quality of the presentations and proficiency with the language of sustained high performance.

Perfection vs Psychodynamics

Nature is perfect by design. Our understanding is not and we refuse to accept our inherent perfection. This is the barrier to be transcended for the fuller expression of performance.

Psychodynamics is the interaction of conscious or unconscious mental or emotional processes influencing   behaviour and attitudes. The following story explains the problem and also points to the solution space.

The eagle lived on the tree beside a deep well and in the well a community of frogs. None of them had ever been out of the well. Every night the granny frog told her bedtime stories to the young ones in the well. The eagle could hear the stories. One morning when the thermals had begun rising in the air, the eagle swooped into the well, grasped one little frog in its claws and rose up with the thermal. The heights and the fear of death overtook the little one. Then the eagle let go of the frog from the heights above the well. While falling back, the frog had just a glimpse of the world outside. The eagle went back to the tree and waited for the sun to set, to hear the story of the day. What will be the story of the day? Tell us?

We have been collecting these stories for over 19 years now. Initially everyone connects it in their own ways.

Some identify themselves with the eagle and some with the frog and the fear of death. Not many with both, eagle and the frog, the big and the small, telescope and the microscope, Hubble and the Femtoscope, Global and local and the  connections in between, how mental models are formed and revised to become  mental maps – knowledge

How best to continually learn and how an old world of the frog collapses or the new frames come to sit on the older versions of our mind ware.  A new world is born. Yet we are all in that well – of Nature

We will never see all of it, but we can see much more now than any time in the past and ‘there are miles to go before we sleep’.

Potential vs Performance


We take the two panes together so that the contrast helps us to grasp the nature of the problem, like black vs. white a duality. We hold the view that a duality is nothing but a gate to learning.

Without black we cannot make sense of white. When we put it in black and white, we put only the black. White is the context. Meaning is contextual – relative, in comparison.  Same goes for good and bad, true and false, war and peace. In the same way if performance need to be  put in perspective we need to hold potential with performance together and make sense

The potential quadrant is of a conceptual nature whereas the performance quadrant is the tangible physical world as in design of a car and the car.

In the potential quadrant

  1. Ground zero is the meeting point between all quadrants the position of the observer symbolised by the eye/ self.
  2. Level of maps
  3. The level of the clock – all simple machines, a bullet leaving the barrel of a gun
  4. Systems with self – regulation
  5. Level of the unicellular.
  6. Level of the plant
  7. Level of the animal
  8. Level of the individual human
  9. Level of groups, organizations, Community

10.  Meta – all accumulated and potential future knowledge

Potential is emergent from positioning and alignment with all levels.  InRamayana, the journey of Rama, Ravana, the anti- hero has ten heads (nine more heads within) corresponding to all the levels, yet he fails to win the heroine.

In the performance quadrant the gap between potential and performance begins from the level of the human. We can improve, but do not in aggregate terms. The blue ocean space is the collective unrealised potential of the system or in other words, the waste.

Metrics deals with the reduction in waste (pollution, illness, suicides) the measure of net improvements, real progress, the reduction in the gap between potential and performance. The journey is in the right direction if continual renewal / improvement results.

The First Discipline Framework

We are as good as our maps. These maps decide where we end up. The map above is a map of maps that sits on top  of a stack of frames.

We will be looking at the map and the frames step by step.

The map acts as a window to the world both internal and external. The window has four panes

You/Me

Potential                           Perfection

Psychodynamics           Performance

The potential and psychodynamics quadrants refer to the internal. Perfection and performance quadrants refer to the external. The four perspectives together point to the direction to be taken for the improvement process, the journey inwards and outwards.

The scope for improvement is defined by the current performance against potential of the system. Improvement is constrained by gaps in understanding / internal competencies that define the learning requirements to realise such improvements. The roadmap and metrics to narrow the gap between potential  and performance emerges.

Poverty in the world is an artificial creation. It doesn’t belong to human civilization, and we can change that, we can make people come out of poverty and have the real state of affairs. So the only thing we have to do is to redesign our institutions and policies, and there will be no people who will be suffering from poverty.” – Muhammad Yunus

When breakdowns are pervasive it is time to go back to the design. We have many – poverty, the recession, illness, crimes, suicides, terrorism, climate challenge, enough reasons to go back to the basic design, the template/s of nature, the system of systems

The unknown is a rabid dog without its master. When it finds the master it turns into his/her most faithful ally. It is the submerged portion of the ice-berg of our self, personal and collective. The prodigal son returns to his father. It is time to celebrate, being reconnected to the roots. Farther we move away from the basic design and it remains unknown and unconnected, the scale and complexity of our challenges assume gargantuan proportions.

How do we understand the basic design, our collective inheritance, and connect it to our challenges to fix the direction for a life by design – personal and collective?

Quadrant 1 – A conceptual understanding of our personal and collective potential which follows from the basic design

Quadrant 3. The physical world of tangibility, performance and metrics

Quadrant 2. The social system as it exists now

Quadrant 4. The process of continual renewal, learning and improvement

The four quadrants are akin to the four wheels of the car. What drives the car, the process, is the process of the self – personal /community – as the case may be.

Understanding the basic design, Q1

Let us look at the body as a system and try to connect the map. In general it can be any system, small, large, very large or the largest

Back to storytelling

Ravana is a mythical character with 10 heads (from Ramayana, the Indian epic narrates the journey of Rama). Which are these 10 heads?

How can one have 10 heads?

At the centre is the self, the observer in us – a compass – purpose of the compass is to fix the position in relation to some  reference points prior to starting the journey. Let us take this dialogue as a journey to illustrate the issue

The second head is having a map/plan as to the direction of the journey. In this case let us say we want to understand the basic design. It could as well be designing the future.

The third head is the clock. One needs to keep some measure of the progress, keep counting, have some tools, technology, etc to go on the journey. Without tools where would we be? We could at best walk 20 miles a day and that would be the limit of our potential to travel for a day. In the last one decade, our internal landscapes have broadened much more than in any time during recorded history.

The thermostat. With every step that I take I need to check back with the starting position – reflect –to make sure that the step is in the right direction and correct myself if i have gone wrong

Level of the cell, the basic unit of the body, a virus or bacteria, a higher level system than a clock, or thermostat, beginning of life as we understand it . (There is no beginning/end as such since we are talking about a continuum)

Plant – the plant world

Animal – All the animals

Human – the individual human

Community- organisations, teams

Learning / Knowledge. Learning is equated with improvement, accumulated wisdom. Our collective wisdom has evolved through our understanding of all these levels through history and various disciplines. The journey is towards more of it in sufficient measure so that we are not victims of the unknown. There will be unknowables and room for surprises and miracles so that life does not fall into monotony and meaningless repetition, eternal recurrence.
We need all the ten heads to be fully functional. Think of it as a ladder with 10 steps. Take away any one, potential is a myth. Being positioned /anchored is to place the ladder on firm ground and go up to take the eagle’s perspective. Another way to visualise it, is to see it as a lighthouse with ten levels each level corresponding to the steps of the ladder. The lighthouse does not change its position, but the sailing vessels do have to if they are not to perish. “ Dasavataram “ stands for the ten avatars of Vishnu, the ten stages of evolution of the human.http://www.scribd.com/doc/2310279/Dasavatharam.It is also the title of a recent movie by Kamal Hassan, the south Indian actor, who acts in ten different roles, avatars. Ramayana is the epic journey of Rama. (Ayanam is journey). The anti hero – is Ravana (An Asura) with ten heads who abducts Sita (the feminine) wife of Rama (masculine, an avatar of Vishnu). The choice is between turning into a 10 headed monster or to the truly human positioned to realise the design, the higher unrealised human potential. One needs to take a conscious choice to by the design than against it. Knowing is the design is a required condition. Who wants to grow into a monster intentionally? Not even Hitler would!.

Quadrant 3 is the performance quadrant. In an ideal situation we would have had a straight line beginning from the centre and going to the opposite corner. This is the fall of man which we often view, as ‘Progress’. One can now see the gap between potential and performance – the waste in the system, the unrealised potential, the root cause of all breakdowns.

To illustrate at the personal level, what is the potential vs performance of the body? Since we are all selfish this would be more appealing.

I knew somebody from age 75 till he died at the age of 100 years, 6 months and 15 days. Life-expectancy in the context in which he lived is 74 years. There is a gap of 26 years when one compares his performance against what is considered to be normal. He was abnormal in a positive sense because he achieved many times more than the normal individual and was healthy and cheerful, till the very last. But for an accident towards the end, he never had to go the doctor or take medicines. Other than the last few weeks he continued to work.
Why is it that there is such variance? If we visualise a future society with 100 yrs as the norm, there is a waste of 25 years. Why do such variances occur and how do you explain the gap between potential and performance?

The problem is not with the potential of the body or the design, but with our understanding of the design. First problem is the knowledge hole, much more serious than the ozone hole! The human potential is something like an iceberg. We see only a small part of it. What is hidden is much more than what is revealed, far beyond all that is known to us, beyond all those who are in the Guinness book, all the great ones who have passed away or the person whom I was referring to, who lived a meaningful life for 100 years . Nothing about the past gives us any clues to this unrealised potential other than perhaps the myths. There is plenty of room for miracles to happen because a miracle is something which is unexplainable by the known laws of nature. What we know of nature is so fragmented that it does more harm than good and precedence will not take us to Mars.

The model is about understanding the design in nature. The second step is to use this design to check whether the performance matches the design. It doesn’t. The gap between potential and performance as shown in Q 3, helps us to visualise this gap. How do we connect to that potential in us that is hidden, connecting to an infinite source of power ( at the time when we face an energy challenge) change course for good to the totally positive, never to return to the road by default. The moment of truth! The alignment needs be right for the car to move. The known and the unknown, conscious and the unconscious, are to be in alignment if the full potential is to emerge, If not they work at loggerheads. The unknown is our enemy which fights/plots against our own selves. Dreams and myths offer a bridge to the unconscious. During the time of Hippocrates, the patients had to dream that they are healed prior to the physician commencing his medication

In Quadrant 3 the potential performance gap begins from the level of animals. What we see as a rise in the line from the diagonal is a fall, the great fall of man turning himself to the sub- animal in spite of our “ progress’ which goes into the sorry state of affairs that we have created for ourselves. For animals there is hardly any gap between potential and performance but from the level of the human there exists this gap. Human is the only species that can improve itself, the unique differentiator about humanness. And when we don’t improve as a species, we turn sub-animal. It is not that we don’t want to improve, but there has to be a method by which we differentiate between real improvements and pseudo achievements

Q 3 is the physical world, the tangible and material

Quadrant 2 deals with the external world, the accumulated wisdom or ignorance of the social system which influences the self and the barriers created by the external world in realising one’s higher potential

In the last post, ‘Beyond the Waves’ , we were discussing the four different worlds , the eco-system people, farming communities, the industrial world and a post modern knowledge community in the making. There are lessons to be integrated from all the four worlds to create a more desirable future. The first world lives or used to live in harmony with nature living off on nature without hurting sustainability. Agriculture in the developed world has become industrialised. Farming communities in developing countries, though not industrialised to the same extent, are compelled to compete with industrialised agriculture. Industrialisation brought about major shifts in the way we think because the tools we use influence our thinking and leads to behavioural modifications. With emergence of connectivity and communications, paving the way for the emergence of global community, the possibility of another paradigm shift is emerging

However the dominant thinking, the mental models of our opinion makers – politicians, economists, engineers, medical professionals – essentially follow the machine logic.

It is not an unfounded fear that in some distant future, robots or artificial intelligence will take over humans. It has already done so because we are driven by the machine logic, a product of industrialisation, as our prevalent paradigm, the internal map. Are we turning into Pavlovs dogs ?

The machine logic is focused on entropy. No machine can regenerate itself, reproduce itself or make a copy of it. It is not a self –regulating system though advanced machines have some limited capacities to self regulate. Economists visualise the economy as an engine and the allopath sees the body as a machine.

The biologist has a better model guided by the bio-logic, in stark contrast to the machine logic. The bio-logic is about creating order, increasing self regulation as we move up through the different classes of beings. That humans do not often self-regulate does not mean that there is no potential. Entrenched habits block this potential form emergence and conscious choice is a pre-requisite to self – regulation. The cell, the basic unit of life, is negentropic with increasing order and evolution. 200 years since Darwin, the biologist does not influence our thinking to the extent that other more fashionable professions do, the engineers, managers, economists, or those in the medical profession. These are essentially derived disciplines emerging out of our progress in knowledge and there will always be a lag between new understanding and such understanding influencing mainstream thinking. One has to take position against the limits of mainstream thinking, the burden of normality, if one has to move beyond the average, a perceived normality rather than true normality.

The cardinal illness is a thought disorder and other problems are derived ones from this fundamental distortion, the original sin?
Quadrant 2 More Ps

Q2 comes in between, the blocks/barriers to transcend to narrow the gap between potential (Q1) and performance (Q3)

Nature is perfect, beyond improvement. Nurture follows from history, institutions, assumptions, habits and positions. All of these together create the knowledge hole, barriers to realising the unrealised bur realisable potential, personal and collective.  This is the learning imperative, the syllabus for graduation from the school of life.

Being from and of nature we are complete and whole (by design) but we seldom take such a position. We take the position that we are incomplete, sinners and wait for the second coming of the prophet, to be redeemed.

What we see depends on where we stand, our position. The individual, organisation, community or society at large could be positioned for improvement or otherwise. Some take the informed choice, goes by the design and others take the road by default. The two options are by design or by destiny and the answers could be yes, no and yes and no. There is enough room for dialogue

Positioning is the first step to progress or continuous improvement whether personal, organisational, community/ communities. Clashes arise from the differing positions and finding common ground is essential to bring in peace. Power comes in between, sometimes genuine and authentic and at other times, distortions of power that arise from the primary distortion in the meaning of power. (Hitler vs. Gandhi)

Nature is always in process, of continual renewal. The ecological footprints of human interventions block renewal and we come to suffer from our own actions. It takes more than a year for nature to renew what we consume in a year and some damages are irreparable.

The body is in the process of continual renewal which depends on what we pay attention to. Pay attention to entropy, decay is the result. From completeness arise completeness, growth from acceptance, being to becoming.

Programming – socialisation- of the individual thorough its institutions of politics, religion (priests) , education (pedagogues) parents,   influences progress.   To the better or the worse depends on the position one takes.

Peters and Parrots – the effectiveness would depend on the vision with which they are driven. Rote learning is parroting not real. Real learning leads to real improvements. Sometimes parroting helps. But for parroting we wouldn’t have any myths, folklore, culture. We would have lost our roots and become impoverished,

Problems could be perceived as problems or as opportunities.  Complexity is a challenge to those who enjoy it and a puzzle for those who are perplexed by it.   The solution focus would accelerate progress and the opposite to compounding of the problems.

Quadrant 4 addressing the learning imperative

The eagle lives on the tree near a deep well in which lives a community of frogs. None of them had ever been out of the well. The granny frog has her bedtime story telling session. The eagle could hear the stories. On a sunny day when the thermals had begun rising, the eagle swooped into the well, grasped one little frog in its claws and rose up with the thermal. The heights and the fear of death overtook the little one. The eagle let go of the frog from the heights above the well.

During the fall back into the well, the frog had just a glimpse of the world outside. The eagle returned to the tree, waited for the sun to set and to hear the story of the day. What will be the story of the day?

We have been collecting these stories since 1990. Initially everyone connects it in their own ways. Some identified themselves with the eagle and some with the frog and the fear of death.

Not many with both, eagle and the frog

The big and the small

The telescope and the microscope, Hubble and the Femtoscope

Global,  local and the connections in between

How mental models are formed, revised and improved to mental maps

How best to continually learn, not to stop with any of the new maps

How an old world of the frog has collapsed, how a new world is born

That we are all in that well – of Nature and that we will never see all of it

But we can see much more now, than it used to be

Continual learning is the path to continual renewal.

Learning improves our mental models. The frog in the well forms a model of the world. The eagle on the tree has a different model. When the frog is taken out by the eagle and brought back into the well these two merge to form a map of the world. The world has not changed but the models of the world have changed.

We were inhabitants of a flatland in a not too distant past. With better technology and tools these models have given way to maps with increasing precision. Though maps of the physical world have become more precise the mental models that go with them are not easily discarded. The eagle represents the big picture and frog, the details. Both are connected just as the Hubble telescope sends us pictures from outer space and the femtoscope helps us see the smallest of the small. The eagle represents the global and frog the local which are but different perspectives of the whole. In a connected world, being GLOCAL is an imperative. So is the imperative of continual learning, leading to continual renewal

With a little facilitation everyone comes to share the common ground, the foundation, for a Taj Mahal, an ashram or a lighthouse to be built.  We have looked at the four wheels of the learning engine. We now need to move to the centre, the observer and driver of the learning engine and what drives her. It is also time to move away from orbiting, repetition, to join the dynamic conscious evolutionary spiral of continuous improvement /renewal

More: The Picture of Philosophy