Evolving Organisational and Conceptual Systems

A fascinating feature of contemporary organisational systems, and at all scales of magnitude, is the various ways in which they subscribe to a simplistic mechanical and linear model of ontology and operation. It is as though, while everyone and everywhere is more than happy to commercially and politically exploit the Post-Newtonian and Post-Industrial Revolution technologies that modern concepts of matter and energy have brought with them, the psychological and conceptual principles that inform modern organisational systems find themselves still solidly bound by 19th Century models of command and control hierarchy and libear cause and effect.

If there is one thing that we could (and should) take on board from the revolution in physics and technology, it is that there is no final staging point or closure to any of these organisational structures and systems we inhabit. There exists a certain profoundly rich conceptual vocabulary that is informed by the probabilistic, counter-intuitive mysteries of quantum mechanics and the warped and malleable spacetime of relativistic physics. Our most advanced, and most succesful, theories concerning the structure and nature of reality lie dormant in our conceptual toolbox while organisations and bureaucracies everywhere stumble around in the dark and foggy entropy of their own making.

The key problem and distributed inertia or cultural inhibition to a successful incorporation and uptake of the conceptual models of theoretical physics into our organisational systems is not at base an issue of complexity or incomprehensibility – the core concepts are not as difficult to understand as many think, it only takes a little adaptive imagination and creativity. The enigmatic (and exasperating) reason that our organisations, our bureaucracies and our governments are unable to open their rusty toolboxes and dusty mechanisms to a future inflected by the power and utility of contemporary physics and mathematical logic is primarily psychological in nature. Having already doubled-down on an anchronistic fallacy of parochial control and ego-centric fantasy, it has become inadmissible to consider any future other than that so thoroughly (and catastrophically) defined by a cultural and cognitive practice of simplistic and utterly unsophisticated linearity and imposed order.

There is no best way, there are only better ways and as it stands – the critical task of this current generation is to drag humanity out of the psychological and organisational doldrums and level up our conceptual skills. Intelligence is always already to some extent collaborative and builds on a shared history; aptitude is contextual and adaptation in any accelerating cultural and technological context is oblugatory; survival of nations and of civilisations relies as much on knowing when to let go of concepts and self-representations that are out of date as much as knowing what to retain. We are a world awash in the potential degrees of freedom provided by physics and technology and we are, simultaneously, everywhere in the chains of useless conceptual tools, fools and fallacies.

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