~ *** Making our Way Home *** ~
---> Where to begin; how to proceed
Welcome! Thank you, for your attention and/or interest.
If you're not quite sure what's going on here, you're not alone. This is a work in progress. Complex, collaborative, non-linear, emergent. It's alive; just like you! Now it's a small part of you, and vis a versa.
Please take a moment to center yourself before proceeding.
Perhaps a few moments. Breathe. Relax. Expand. Listen
Good. Here we go; this'll be a trip.
locating co-ordinates...determining worldview angle.....synchronization complete!!
Our world is fantastically dynamic and diverse. Its inhabitants all the more so. All is in flux, all is relative. Straight lines, boundaries, texts, creeds are illusory - you get the point, right?
No absolutes, no ultimate truths; or at least none that conform to 2D written language.
Contrary to cliche wisdom, change is not a constant: it's accelerating, palpably, now, as complex systems become ever more interconnected. No matter which calendar you follow, we are near an inflection point of radical global transformation. Chaos, entropy, disruption, re-invigoration; re-patterning one infinite game. Things are breaking and being born, this is hard, painful, beautiful and terribly uncertain. We live in interesting times, to say the least.
At such times, another tidbit of folk wisdom rings true:
Crisis superimposes Challenge with Opportunity.
The quantity of pent up energy and untapped capacity constrained by current cultural operating systems is an astonishing boon, to say nothing of the latent abundance of natural, ecological systems in which all culture is embedded. We find immense potential at hand, steadily activated as kinetic energy of many forms, some of them destructive. Accessing and channeling that energy wisely, tapping into deep capacity and creativity from a growing field of peers holding coherent awareness to coordinate positive outcomes - this is the present call to action.
To that end, this document attempts to collect and communicate a set of interwoven concepts and patterns from the abstract to the highly practical and personal. It adopts and alters the format of a pattern language to synthesize an additional layer of structure/info showing linkages and groupings, relationship and topology. A pattern atlas is thus a collection of maps showing related and co-incident patterns as generalized insight.
It is a living document, created in the spirit of open source. Its contents and substance are freely available for independent elaboration, reinterpretation, and repurposing. Each such version and variant may be propagated further under the same general ethos and policy - i.e. all derivative works inherit this degree of openness and malleability. Context specific extensions and applications based on the ideas contained within may be compiled and distributed per any author's wishes, in similar spirit of reciprocity and synergy towards enhanced flows and the exchange of creative energy in directions indicated.
We are in this together, but we are none of us here in quite the same way. Again, like life all around, we embody diversity in dynamic unity. Let's work with that, grow from it; weave novel patterns and textures, give and receive fully.
Note on protocol: This 'master' version of the document will have designated maintainer(s) entrusted with the discernment of new additions, updates, clarifications, changes etc. to the current 'release' available through established channels under the original title. Alternative versions must adopt an alternative titling and maintain a reference link to the original source document. The same goes for (meta)maps and graphic elements contained within.
jump to >>> Attribution
Final pointer: throughout the text you'll find occasional 'jump' links (as you see directly above) suggesting alternative pathways to follow, based on major threads and plot lines if you like to jump around or go deeper. Here, it is recommended that you do the conventional thing and proceed to the immediate next section, in order to understand this loopy format better!
Bon voyage...oh wait, almost forgot to mention
Information is relatively useless unless and until we connect up enough of it to make sense of something as knowable. Knowledge is structured information, which is in turn structured data. Compare that relationship to the letters, words, and sentences written here for a simple analogy. Now, toss that analogy out, because it gets us in trouble in a hurry.
Knowledge is non-linear and heterogenous, unlike written text, and it is context dependent to a far greater extent. Thought Leaders since forever ago have conceived of knowledge as a tree, a formal, essential, universal, objective phenomenon. They're definitely wrong, but not entirely. Lots to delve into down this path/sidetrack of epistemology and ontology, check it out. We'll use it to better understand how the world is created, and remade.
Let's see, where were we going with this...lots of directions we could go...oh yeah, exactly! Things are complicated, and we each have or find our own way of grappling with the material at hand. In order to address complex domains of knowledge, let's allow things to get messy. Messier than we're used to in text book format anyhow. That's where the "graph" part comes in, or in more casual terms here, maps of ideas and information.
So, think of this document as a sizable graph or map of ideas, with threads running hither and thither connecting in a variety of ways. Actually, if you've already jumped ahead, you probably will have seen one of the many bonafide concept maps employed as illustration.
This document makes use of the open source and collaborative Metamaps.cc platform for rendering, navigating, and building on such canvasses of ideas. Below is a simple interactive walk-through map to help you get acquainted:
Make sense? Another helpful hint (biomimicry!) is the way memory and cognition functions in the brain, as a web of neurons which, in a sense, represent chunks (more like interference patterns actually) of information linked together via synaptic wiring. These neural webs store and reconstitute knowledge in complex, entangled biological 'graphs' of information. It works amazingly well, mostly, right? Let's try and mirror that.
In fact, digital information systems are likewise tending towards 'graph' storage and distributed processing of large, heterogenous data sets. There's a whole field of study and development around next generation computing and networking that's focused on semantic protocols, linked open data, and distributed architectures to take advantage of just this natural pattern of flexible, organic cognition and communication. It raises more than a few interesting questions and challenges, especially with regard to keeping things secure, efficient, consistent, and equitable in large systems.
jump to >>> Collective Intelligence
Note: it's not just bits and bytes of raw data that are being mixed and mashed in this polylinear paradigm; content itself is increasingly subject to creative tendencies toward non-linear, genre-bending, interactive modes and experiences, e.g. transmedia & increasingly novel interface tech (AR/VR) enabling advanced spatial rendering and manipulation.
Going to wrap this up with one more level of meta-mapping for future reference: the version tree of this document itself. Recall that you're invited to hack, fix, extend, and otherwise customize to your liking and that of your peers. As changes are made or new content added, either to the 'main' branch or offshoots thereof, some kind of record keeping should help to instruct future consumers and contributors what's where and how it got there. Also, it provides for a kind of side-by-side comparison of correlated portions of different versions, allowing anyone to pick and choose at a fine grained level to create a new edition synthesizing from prior work. Picture that graph. Does this help? Version control, as it's called, is one of the hallmarks of open source development. We're going to try and do that here too.
Crap that was heavy duty for an intro! Let's get back on track, loosen up, re-center.
The Beauty Way invocation comes handy times like this (or skip ahead if you fly like that):
Walking In Beauty
Today I will walk out, today everything unnecessary will leave me,
I will be as I was before, I will have a cool breeze over my body.
I will have a light body, I will be happy, nothing will hinder me.
I walk with beauty before me. I walk with beauty behind me.
I walk with beauty below me. I walk with beauty above me.
I walk with beauty around me. My words will be beautiful.
In beauty all day long may I walk.
Through the returning seasons, may I walk.
On the trail marked with pollen may I walk.
With dew about my feet, may I walk.
With beauty before me may I walk.
With beauty behind me may I walk.
With beauty below me may I walk.
With beauty above me may I walk.
With beauty all around may we walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, I walk.
In all ages wandering on trails of beauty, living again, may I walk.
My wor[l]ds become beautiful.