The reader may find additional insights in the references that follow.


Humans like the idea of two, so that they can go on the quest for the singular … but then they flip to the other one

Dilemma for humans is the choice between two.

At S3, they hated introducing the third, which creates a mess.

Dichotomy, can look at the OED for two-isms. So implicit that people don't like raising it. Complexity is someone adding a third.

Choice is a false choice. Bateson then helped in the difference that makes a difference, which rises above the two. The dichotomoy is then two different things that really aren't different, and don't make a difference.

Warfare starts on trivial choices.

Greek philosophers may not have worried about the choice of two. Chinese philosophers maybe see this better.

West Churchman also like both plus more. In the Methods of Inquiry seminar, Churchman was on empiricism versus rationalism. 515 pages in the book is between the two. Only in brief periods where empiricism and rationalism put together, and they had huge progress. In the seminar, then DLH said that there must be more. Churchman was happy with this, Ackoff wasn't.

People who use four categories are in the dichotomy world, then can't get out of it. Churchman was into odd numbers. Ackoff liked evens. Inactive, reactive, preactive as 3, plus one (interactive)

Computer programming languages in the 1960s and 1970s were binary: 0s or 1s.

The Individual and Groups

More clearly, would be social group … but group alone is punchier.

If we use individuals, readers may think of others.


Conditions of success research project: Better to invest in finding a context, than defining a strategy. Less important to understand who you are, as egocentric. The large and arrogant make context, they don't need to know context.

Environment: one is conditions of the environment (social, physical), and the other was natural.

in the future, the dimension of the natural environment would influence the conditions of success (as construction changes the context).

Does the future matter, or just the present?

Context: what's going on is more important than what you want to do. It becomes anti-arrogant.


Belief that you can solve a problem. You go with one side.

It's a way of making the complex simple.

But then the problem gets worse, and doesn't seem to have a solution.

Happiness is a temporary phenomenon, and then the drugs wear off.

Ozbehkhan: plans as humour.


Can have black-white distinctions. Combining them doesn't guarantee getting to a higher plane. One wins and then other wins.

The challenge is how to get to more, but may end up with less.

Bateson: The difference that makes a difference. People grow up emphasizing differences that are trivial or wrong. How do we find differences that make a difference in the bigger sense, i.e. improve the human condition. Culture as more of a negative than a positive (where culture is code word for changelessness).

Ozbehkhan: scenarios as humour. Foresight as becoming prediction.


Reaching for more may actually result in less.

Georgescu-Roegen: There's no difference between capitalism and socialism. Each eats up nature at the same rate. Both are defective. Have to go through a both phase before getting to more. The most than human beings can do is to economize.

More is a higher plane, with an entirely separate set of constructs.

Dialectic for synthesis, want to have something different than the parts. A doorway to move onto a new resource.

Beyond problem-seeking, people are often driven by a passion to deal or manage with the world. Probably a wicked problem or a mess or complexity. Not a problem, that has a discrete nature.

Ozbehkhan liked problematique better than system of problems, or mess, but you have to be beyond English-speaking. Club of Rome is beyond problems.

More requires negotiation with the self, or the environment. Clarify the presuppositions (Ozbehkhan saw R.G. Collingwood as the master of this, On Metaphysics). When you're involved in a negotiation, ask why they did that. They give a reason, but then ask yes, but why, which takes them deeper. You know when you've reached the fundamental when they say just because. Have to get to the fundamental presupposition, then can negotiate from there.

Collingwood: history is the lie commonly agreed upon. (Don't take it too seriously. Study it intensely). The most famous book is The Idea of History.

Differences that Matter

People prefer the world they know, even if it's bad, rather than an uncertain future.

Cycling between best, both and more. Some want to aspire to more, but more isn't always sustainable.

If you can't get beyond the singular, there isn't much energy for war.

The unfinished suggests hope. This keeps things going, but sometimes you have to ask why should things keep going.

Are best, both and more all the same? Do they raise differences that matter?

What's a difference that matter?

Parmenidies and Heraclitus: There are no changes that make a difference? Parmenides excludes change as valuable, so why think about it? Permanence is what matters. This leads to an anti-nature attitude, no respect for natural processes. Argue that 90% of humans are with Parmenides, and can accommodate the change.

The trouble with change is that it can be disloyal. (Can't remember citation). It supports the enemies as well as you. An ideology is loyal, and secure, you can rest and be comfortable. An idea or aesthetic notation can be disloyalty. So it's important to ignore ideas and aesthetic notions. (This of art versus ideology, Ernst Fisher? If you're doing battle with ideologies, then art is your best weapon).

The majority of scientists embrace changelessness. Only great scientists go beyond that. Science is less fluid than the arts. Science fixes the fluid, otherwise how could you write a book about what you know?

Long story of the Faustian problem. The pathway to evil wasn't the quest to have money and the woman, but to have knowledge. Evil offered knowledge. Science was a partner in the process of offering humans knowledge. Science became the handmaiden of evil. That's why many of the results of science are used to further evil. (Hericlitian Fire, humans shouldn't know about DNA. Similar with the atomic bomb)

Adam and Eve, the snake was the pathway to more. The man had no interest in knowledge, because God didn't like the workings of the snake. The snake led to learning things that you shouldn't know. Old Testament is rigourous about science as bad; the New Testament waffles on this.

Women are attracted to the snake. Men aren't attracted to the snake, but are attracted to the woman.

The arts as differences that matter? Is there a downside? Is increased knowledge a downside? We presume more knowledge, which is closer to the truth, which has been believed to be a good. Carl Sagan didn't believe that truth was a good. Interesting scientists have difficulty with science as truth. Truth is partial, it's always analytic.

Science as the enemy, in an interpretation of religion versus science. Science has become a religion, so it's actually a fight between two religions. Science isn't now a pursuit of knowledge. What scientists get funded to do?

Differences that matter as better than the distinction of problem seeking versus problem solving (in architecture).

Can an individual make a difference, or does it require that the group make the difference? Asian view is more gradient, Western view is more animosity.

2×2 matrix of individuals and groups who can make a difference.

In the west, we talk about individuals that make a difference, rarely a group. In the east, it's the group that make the difference, and individuals that stand out aren't that crucial. Individuals can be trivial, they come and go. The group that believe in an individual, seem to matter and can make the difference.

In the west, we rely on heroes and spokespeople. In the east, they don't but then, they're bound by culture, which becomes a jail. That which you can do, and that which you can't.

Changelessness and culture as synonymous.

The Human Project: does it matter? What is it? Can have an individual and groups within the same system.

Difference that matter depend on the time frame. Short term and long term. Results (short term) and consequences (as results of results). A new field on consequential management, as a result of achieving all of those results? Never take a job that someone has done well.

Millennials don't have a sense of history. But Collingwood said that history is the lie commonly agreed upon, i.e. it's fluid. Collingwood described Wittgenstein as insane. Ozbehkhan had classes from both, Collingwood was his mentor. Ozbehkhan had MBA students reading The Idea of History. The same concern with in the 1970s, but then rude experience teaches history. The problem with boomers is that they never had rude experiences. The parents who live through life had rude experiences.

If you've been through war, you want a different reality of the world. War isn't just worthless, it's horrible. So, they're much more open to change.

Due for rude experiences, as learning endeavours. The Toyota way says that annual reports shouldn't be about accomplishments, tell us about your mistakes, and we'll give you more authority. Trist worked with Volvo, then Toyota took a lot from Volvo.

Exit, voice and loyalty. If an individual wants to make change in a group that doesn't, the choices are to exit or just go along with the group.

Some individuals see the group as important. Can the individual change the group, with respect? The individual then has to diminish himself/herself, with a smaller role. The group then becomes stronger, more powerful, more in-charge. The people who matter are those who have a special value for the social group.

  • manuscript/endnotes.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/08/12 20:22
  • by daviding