Who… else thinks like I do?

Influences - Correspondents - Reading  - Fields - Bookmarks

Jessie Lydia Henshaw
id (at) synapse9 dot com 
5/23/08, 10/10/31,9/1/13 really needs an update...!   

... What has changed the most in 5 years since the last good update is my extensive involvement in the UN commons movement, Helene Finidori in particular, and the whole group at CAUN, great advances in my ecological systems thinking, through extensive correspondence on systems thinking world, important research papers published, discoveries galore about how silos of thinking and reasoning develop as invisible barriers to communication, and now a remarkable fit found with Pat Thompson's Hestian feminism and home economics, as care for the home as the commons for a living culture, of a family or kind of collective society.   It's such a good match!!    

... All along, since the late 70's in fact, I have found no one actually exploring the same life-cycle of transformative organizational design stages that energy systems display , discussed in "chapters.htm", and "pages.htm".   But in Dec 2016 I came across Dasaratha Rama in a Facebook systems thinking forums I've been frequenting for years. So maybe that is a sign of connections to come!

One could never make a whole list of all the important unbiased explorers of the world or the gifted and insightful individuals connected to your own life experience.   There does seem to be a line one can draw, though, particularly for those who try to 'explain things'.   Some see the object of explanation as perfecting the model in their minds and others seek to guide readers to and display the real complexities of the environmental events that animate our world.   I've been searching a long time and people are finally getting enough of an idea that what I'm talking about are the latter type, for some people to start mentioning some others.   It seems worth mentioning the select few of those who appear to be somewhat 'adept' at it.  

Years ago this page contained lists of people I guessed were heading in the direction of studying the real life of individual events, how they develop and how to watch what becomes of them.   That list went away.   So few searchers seem to even experiment with the idea of making the whole physical process of natural happenings themselves the subject, rather than just trying to perfect our own descriptions.    Now I seem to have another list, of a few who succeeded in failing to be seduced to explain things as only existing in their own minds, a few that at some point just 'left that box behind'.   Even fewer have become somewhat adept at sketching out what they find looking at the world that way.   I guess I now have four.   

Ive just been finding Wendell Berry’s poetry most enjoyable for how he explores many of these very same issues of change and the place of reality.   Jane Jacobs the urban historian does much the same in her portrayal of the life of cities and the intense inconsistency that makes them thrive .   A recent discovery is Walter Lippman the political scientist who beautifully described the cognitive dysfunction of politics.   There's also Malcolm Gladwell, the investigative journalist who very inventively gets big chunks of it too.   Being adept at it seems to involve their all noticing and finding pleasure in 'the twist'.   Every story has a natural twist, the 'dive' you take that if done well 'turns around' or 'turns inside out' in mid-process, and is one of the main things that confounds our attempts to perfect our explanations.

Sources, Other people - [the partial short list] [I found more physics in other places]

Fields of Exploration & Influences...  Everyone reading this is, and knows of numerous other groups and individuals, schools of research and spiritual paths that seek to learn how to be resourceful with understanding our complex personal and community relationships with each other and the earth.    Some of those I've most learned from were the leaders and followers of the appropriate technology movement and various cultural, spiritual & activist movements of that time, and from the number of transformative personal relationships that so much of my own thinking developed as an extension of.    I was also particularly inspired by the deep and pure thinking of Louis Kahn, the global awareness of Kenneth Boulding,  the study of growth and form of D'arcy Thompson, the free thinking genius of Bucky Fuller, and by their quests for understanding pure form and process.    I found their hints very helpful while searching for that myself, much of it focused through the problems and potentials of architectural design that first showed me what was missing from my background in physics.    What made my choice to change direction possible and very productive for me was partly an emersion in phenomenology through living with some friends studying for their Ph D's in philosophy for a few years while I was trying to figure out what to do after graduating from college in 1968.   After I started developing my own 'new theory of physics' in the late 70's I began to find and study other disciplines that were attempting to do the same.   Both popular and research environmental ecology, the dynamic systems models as used by Meadows' to study limits to growth, Bertalanffy and Weinberg's approaches to  general systems theory,  the systems ecology of H.T. Odum, Prigogine's non-equilibrium thermodynamics, and complexity/chaos theory as that came along were all parts of that.   I started my wider readings with micro-climatology of Geiger and later a wide variety of economics and various of 'the worldly philosophers' including many popular books with original theories of social or environmental change.   I didn't read large amounts really, but very widely sampled.    

I was also carefully reading some of the wonderful historians, anthropologists, archeologists, evolutionary biologists, paleontologists and investigative journalists who appreciated change as a environmental learning process like Henry Guerlac, Jane Jacobs, Joe Tainter, Colin Renfrew, Stephen J Gould, Mark Kirschner and Malcolm Gladwell.   It wasn't just their answers that I learned from, but also the echoes of their disappointments and how they kept making better and better mistakes.   I really learned a lot from echoes of free thinkers of all kinds,  what pieces I could hear getting picked up in the media or through conversations, what pieces got misused, what were used in new ways.   The field of network science is a relatively new interest, but clearly has major potential for exposing the detailed design of working complex systems, if applied using the exploratory paradigm as a small minority of people in the field are actively doing.  Another area of great interest is Gestalt learning theory for identifying clearly what the conflict is between mental models and environmental processes.  My main recent fields of greatest interest have been sustainable design methods and  sustainability science, and using them to learn about techniques for environmental intervention and partnerships.    Much of that is directly the work of solving on the ground the problem that scientific models, based on physics, leave out all of what have been my greatest sources of inspiration, nature's individual working parts... !

Science Reading Library (~250 good books as of 10/08)
I learn from how people struggle with a question, because that raises really good ones.  Clear answers are quite hard to come bye in a culture being forced to rethink it's thinking by necessity of finding the old way in deep conflict with its physical world.  

Books that Changed my Thinking
, (by date present copy acquired)

1980   Competitive Strategy Michael E Porter
1982   The General Theory - Of Employment Interest And Money John Maynard Keynes
1985   The Visual Display Of Quantitative Information Edward R Tufte
1985   Newton On The Continent Henry Guerlac
1985   Jean Piaget Margaret A Boden
1985   The Worldly Philosophers Robert L. Heilbroner
1985   The Early Growth Of The European Economy
1990   What Is Mathematics Richard Courant & Herbert Robbins
1998   Wonderful Life Stephen Jay Gould
2000   Scientific Papers And Presentations Martha Davis
2006   The Nature Of Economics Jane Jacobs
2007   Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth R Buckminster Fuller
2007   The Collapse Of Complex Societies Joseph A Tainter
2007   The Plausibility Of Life - Resolving Darwin's Dilemma Marc W Kirschner & John C Gerhart
2007   Archaeology & Language - The Puzzle Of Indo-European Origins Colin Renfrew
2008   The Economy Of Cities Jane Jacobs

Books with unusual depth, (by date present copy acquired)

1970   Great Essays Of Science ed. Martin Gardner
1970   The Restless Atom Alfred Romer
1978   The Image Kenneth Boulding
1980   Social Change And History Robert A. Nisbet
1980   The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions Thomas S Kuhn
1985   The Basic Works Of Aristotle ed. Richard McKeon
1990   Chaos James Gleick
1995   Complexity - Life At The Edge Of Chaos Roger Lewin
1995   Beyond The Limits Donella & Dennis Meadows & Jorgen Randers
2003   Human Diversity Richard Lewontin
2005   Complexity - Life At The Edge Of Chaos Roger Lewin
2005   Imperial Hubris Michael Scheuer
2005   The Tipping Point Malcolm Gladwell
2006   Linked - The New Science Of Networks Albert-Laszlo Barabasi
2006   Blink - The Power Of Thinking Without Thinking Malcolm Gladwell
2006   The Logic Of Scientific Discovery Karl Popper
2006   Overshoot - The Ecological Basis Of Revolutionary Change William R Catton Jr.
2006   Growth And Development - Ecosystems Phenomenology Robert E Ulanowicz
2006   General Systems Theory Ludwig Von Bertalanffy
2006   An Introduction To General Systems Theory Gerald M Weinberg
2006   Ishmael Daniel Quin
2007   The Great Mother Erich Neumann
2007   Collapse - How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed Jared Diamond
2007   Linked - The New Science Of Networks  
2007   The World Without Us Alan Weisman
2007   Pattern Language Christopher Alexander
2007   The Learner's Path - For Recovering Knowers Brian Hinken - Pegasus
2007   Scientific Progress - The Economics Of Research Nicholas Rescher
2007   Limits Of Growth Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, Dennis Meadows 
2007   Vital Signs 2007-2008 Worldwatch Institute
2007   On Population Thomas Robert Malthus
2008   The Revenge Of Gaia James Lovelock
2008   Unruly Complexity Peter J Taylor
2008   The Psychology Of Problem Solving  
2008   Life Itself Robert Rosen
2008   Public Opinion Walter Lippman
2008   A Reconstruction Of Economics Kenneth Boulding
2008   Peak Everything Richard Heinberg
2008   On The Limits Of Scientific Knowledge ed. John Casti & Anders Karlquist
2008   Reinventing Collapse - The Soviet Example Dmitry Orlov
2008   The Black Swan - The Impact Of The Highly Improbable Nassim Nicholas Taleb
2008   The Bridge At The Edge Of The World James Gustave Speth
2008   The Ecology Of Commerce Paul Hawken

Books with unusual spiritual value (by date present copy acquired)

1985   The Prophet Kahlil Gibran
1995   Views From The Real World Gurdjieff
2003   R.I.P. - Memorial Wall Art Cooper & Sciorra
2006   The Trouble With Islam Today Irshad Manji
2006   A Thousand Years Of Nonlinear History Manuel De Landa
2006   The Chalice & The Blade Riane Eisler
2006   The Fear Of The Feminine Erich Neumann
2006   The Real Frank Zappa Book Frank Zappa W/ Peter Occhiogrosso
2007   Touching - Body Therapy Deldon Anne McNeely
2007   The Last Harvest John Burroughs
2008   The Sorcerer's Apprentice Walt Disney
2008   Light At The Edge Of The World Wade Davis
2008   The Selected Poems Of Wendell Berry Wendell Berry
2008   Nature And The Human Soul Bill Plotkin

Books with unusually telling documentary (by date present copy acquired)

2002   The Mismeasure Of Man Stephen Jay Gould
2002   The Panda's Thumb Stephen Jay Gould
2003   Random Family Adrian Nicole Leblanc
2003   Wild Cowboys Robert Jackall
2005   A Thread Across The Ocean John Steele Gordon
2006   Guns, Germs And Steel Jared Diamond
2006   Natural Disasters - Acts Of God Or Man Anders Wijkman
2006   The Ascent Of Man J Bronowski
2006   On Growth And Form D'arcy Thompson
2006   On Growth And Form - Complete Edition D'arcy Thompson
2006   At The Dawn Of Modernity David Levine
2006   Edge City Joel Garreau
2006   Rubicon - The Last Years Of The Roman Republic Tom Holland
2007   Endless Forms Most Beautiful Sean B Carroll
2007   Civilization Of The Middle Ages Norman F Cantor
2008   Shadow Cities Robert Neuwirth

Others valued for content or vision (by date present copy acquired)

1964   Unified Calculus And Analytic Geometry Earl D Rainville
1969   The Wizard Of The Dome Sidney Rosen
1970   The Origins Of Scientific Thought Giortio De Santillanna
1970   The Open Mind J. Robert Oppenheimer
1980   Smoke Streams - Visualizing Air Flow C Townsend Ludington
1980   Greek Revival Architecture Talbot Hamlin
1980   Macroeconomics Robert J Gordon
1985   Aristotle's Categories And De Interpretatione ed. J L Ackrill
1985   Mechanisms Of Intelligence - Ross Ashby's Writings ed. Roger Conant
1985   Lightweight Structures In Nature Ussr Sci Research Museum Of Architecture
1985   Arcosanti - An Urban Laboratory Paolo Soleri
1985   Louis I Kahn Romaldo Giurgola
1985   Designs D'architectes Galerie Nina Dausset
1985   Principles Of Color Faber Birren
1985   Handbook Of Mathematical Functions ed. M. Fogiel
1985   Introduction To Fluid Mechanics Fox & McDonald
1985   The Zero Sum Society Lester Thurow
1985   Manias, Panics And Crashes Charles P Kindleberger
1985   Wage Labour And Capital Karl Marx
1985   Genesis Of Capital Karl Marx
1985   Causal Explanation An Model Building In History Economics Peter McClelland
1985   The Subservice Science - An Ecology Of Man Paul Shepard
1985   THE Development Of Economic Thought ed. H.W. Spiegel
1985   Phases Of Capitalist Development Angus Maddison
1985   The Economists Leonard Silk
1985   Micromotives And Macrobehavior Thomas C Schelling
1985   The Passive Solar Design Guide Mazria
1985   The Solar Energy Handbook Kreider And Kreith
1985   Heat Transfer J P Holman
1990   Math & Magic Royal Vale Heath
1990   Puzzles And Pastimes ed. Philip Haber
1990   Statistical Adjustment Of Data W Edwards Deming
1990   Approximation Of Functions Theodore J Rivlin
1990   Theoretical Biology And Complexity Robert Rosen
1990   Mathematical Modeling Techniques Rutherford Aris
1990   Elements Of Physics Or Natural Philosophy Neil Arnott - 1841
1990   Greek Science Benjamin Farrington
1990   The Evolution Of Physics Albert Einstein & Leopold Infeld
1990   The Autobiography Of Science ed. Forest Ray Moulton & Justus J Schifferes
1990   The Chicago School Of Architecture Carl W Condit
1990   Frank Lloyd Wright ed. Edgar Kaufmann & Ben Raeburn
1990   The Art Of Landscape Architecture Dennis Drabelle
1990   Design America Dennis Drabelle
1990   The Art Of City Design Dennis Drabelle
1990   From Commas To Cathedrals Phyllis Lehmann Mcintosh
1990   Chicago Carl W Condit
1990   Flow Control Mohamed Gad-El-Hak
1990   Principles Of Physics F. Bueche
1990   Fundamentals Of Physics Henry Semat
1990   Mathematical Statistics And Data Analysis John Rice
1990   Heat, Thermodynamics, And Statistical Physics Franzo H Crawford
1990   Understanding Thermodynamics H C Van Ness
1990   Fundamental Laws Of Physics F Woodbridge Constant
1990   Fundamental Principles Of Physics F Woodbridge Constant
1990   1942 World Atlas Rand McNally Premier Edition
1993   World Almanac Pharos Books
1995   The Machinery Of Life David S Goodsell
1995   Unraveling DNA Maxim D. Frank-Kamenetskii
1995   Exploring Complexity Gregoire Nicolis & Ilya Prigogine
1995   Elementary Stability And Bifurcation Theory Gerard Loos & Daniel D Joseph
1995   Turbulence Control By Passive Means E Coustols
1995   Fractals & Scaling In Finance Benoit B Mandelbrot
1995   Fractals - A User's Guide For The Natural Sciences Harold M Hastings & George Sugihara
1995   Speakable And Unspeakable In Quantum Mechanics J S Bell
1995   Metaphysics And Measurement Alexandre Koyre
1995   Cellular Automata And Complexity Stephen Wolfram
1995   The Origins Of Order Stewart Kauffman
1995   Websters New Universal Unabridged Websters
1995   Jmp Start Statistics John Sall & Ann Lehman
1995   Applied General Systems Theory John P Van Gigch
2000   Population Dynamics Naomi Cappuccino
2000   Stephen A Forbes & The Rise Of American Ecology Robert A Croker
2000   Earthsearch - A Kid's Geography Museum John Cassidy
2000   The End Of Certainty Ilya Prigogine
2000   Invariants For Pattern Recognition ed. Marcos A Rodrigues (W/ Ph Essay)
2000   Time Series Analysis Hamilton
2003   Investigations Stuart Kauffman
2005   The Complete New Yorker New Yorker Magazing
2005   Unit Roots, Cointegration & Structural Change G S Maddala, In-Moo Kim
2006   A Different Universe Robert B Laughlin
2006   Finite And Infinite Games James P Carse
2006   World On Fire Amy Chua
2006   State Of The World Firefly
2006   The Origins And History Of Consciousness Erich Neumann
2006   The Theory Of Everything Stephen W Hawking
2006   Development In Evolution, Complexity And Change In Biology Stanley N Salthe
2006   Making Things Work Yaneer Bar-Yam
2006   The Wisdom Of The Crowds James Surowiecki
2006   Irrational Exhuberance Robert J Shiller
2006   Cybernetics Norbert Weiner
2006   Dynamics Of Complex Systems Yaneer Bar-Yam
2006   Emergence - From Chaos To Order John Holland
2006   Freakonomics Steven D Levitt & Stephen J Dubner
2006   The Death And Life Of Great American Cities Jane Jacobs
2006   Earth Democracy Vandana Shiva
2006   Beyond Growth Herman Daly
2006   Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them Al Franken
2007   State Of The World - 2007 Worldwatch Institute
2007   Nature And The Marketplace Geoffrey Heal
2007   Power Shift Alvin Toffler
2007   Future Shock Alvin Toffler
2007   The Third Wave Alvin Toffler
2007   Small Worlds - Dynamic Networks Duncan J Watts
2007   The Origin Of Wealth Eric D Beinhocker
2007   The Shock Of The Old - Technology & History Since 1900 David Edgerton
2007   The Change Handbook Peggy Holman
2007   Facilitators Guide To Participatory Decision-Making Sam Kaner
2007   The Facilitators Fieldbook Tom Justice & David W Jamieson
2007   Grunch* Of Giants  (*Gross Universe Cash Heist) R. Buckminster Fuller
2007   An Introduction To R W N Venables, D M Smith
2007   Statistics And Computing - Statistics With R Peter Dalgaard
2007   The Future Of Life Edward O Wilson
2007   Mathematics In Nature John A Adam
2007   The Reinchantment Of The World Morris Berman
2007   The Blank Slate - Of Human Nature Steven Pinker
2007   Against Method Paul Feyerabend
2007   Farewell To Reason Paul Feyerabend
2007   Environment Power And Society Howard T Odum
2007   Two's Company Three Is Complexity Neil Johnson
2007   Sustaining Our Social And Natural Capital ed. Roger Attwater & John Merson
2007   Network Analysis - Methodological Foundations ed. Ulrik Brandes, Thomas Erlebach
2007   Nature's Services ed. Gretchen C Daily
2007   Emergence - The Connected Lives Of [Life] Steven Johnson
2007   The Paradox Of Choice Barry Schwartz
2007   Shoveling Fuel For A Runaway Train Brian Czech
2007   Systems Thinking Basics Virginia Anderson - Pegasus
2007   Systems Archetype Basics Daniel H Kim - Pegasus
2007   Parkinson's Law C Northcote Parkinson
2007   Complications -[In Medicine]  Atul Gawande
2007   Supply-Side Sustainability T F H Allen & Joseph A Tainter
2007   The Up Side Of Down Thomas Homer-Dixon
2007   Cradle To Cradle William McDonough W/ Michael Braungart
2007   The Production And Distribution Of Knowledge In The US Fritz Machlup
2007   The Stages Of Economic Growth W W Rostow
2007   Unpopular Essays Bertrand Russell
2007   The Law Of Delay C Northcote Parkinson
2007   Stalemate In Technology Gerhard O Mensch
2007   The Logic Of Failure Deitrich Dorner
2007   Poverty And Progress Richard G Wilkinson
2008   The Metaphysical Club Louis Menand
2008   Barriers & Bridges To The Renewal Of Ecosystems ed. Lance H Gunderson, C S Holling Stephen S Light
2008   Sustainable Design Daniel E Williams
2008   The Structure And Dynamics Of Networks Mark Newman, Albert-Laslo Barabasi, Duncan J Watts
2008   Leadership By Design E Grady Bogue
2008   Plan B 3.0 - Mobilizing To Save Civilization Lester R Brown
2008   Ecology, The Ascendent Perspective Robert Ulanowicz
2008   Mind And Nature - A Necessary Unity Gregory Bateson
2008   Pandora's Hope  Bruno Latour
2008   State Of The World - 2008 Worldwatch Institute
2008   After Collapse - The Regeneration Of Complex Societies ed. Glenn M Schwartz & John J Nichols
2008   The Way Of Ignorance Wendell Berry
2008   The Ages Of Gaia James Lovelock
2008   When Genius Failed Roger Lowenstein
2008   Laws Of Form G Spencer-Brown
2008   Essays On Life Itself Robert Rosen
2008   Deep Economy Bill McKibben
2008   Evolution In Changing Environments Richard Levins
2008   I Am A Strange Loop Douglas Hofstader
2008   Spaces Of Global Capitalism Daved Harvey
2008   America Beyond Capitalism Gar Alperovitz
2008   The Soul Capitalism William Greider
2008   Stepst To An Ecology Of Mind Gregory Bateson
2008   The Background Of Ecology - Concept & Theory Robert P Mcintosh
2008   Angels Fear - Toward An Epistemology Of The Sacred Gregory Bateson & Mary Catherine Bateson
2008   Fixing Climate Wallace S Broecker W/ Robert Kunzig
2008   Collected Poems Wendell Berry
2008   World Systems Analysis Immanuel Wallerstein
2008   Hot Flat & Crowded Thomas L Friedman
2008   Energy In Nature And Society Vaclav Smil
2008   Global Catastrophes And Trends - Next 50 Years Vaclav Smil


I did a lot of correspondence in 2008, though only a few of these correspondents of that time.   It was an influential time leading up to and from the first financial collapse, discovering how completely people don't understand each other, I guess you could say... and finding lots of help understanding why, but no help getting through in the end except to finally get over my ten year writing block and start producing the best papers of my life in 2010:

Tom Prugh
Dick Osborn
Richard Sears
Arran Gare
Wayne Trusty
Dmitry Orlov
Jessica Whiteside
Stephen Uzzo
Jennifer Dunne
Kurt Richardson
Glen E. P. Ropella
Don Begley
Hugh Trenchard
Gus Koehler
Jochen Fromm
Marcus G. Daniels
Russell Standish
Robert Holmes
Steve Smith
Roger Critchlow
Pamela McCorduck
Nassim Taleb
Ernest E. Hamsag
William Rees
Philip Sutton
Stanley N. Salthe
Don McNeil
Eric Pianka;
Chris Clugston
Rowan Wolf
Aleks Jakulin
Benoit Richard
Carey King
Ric Moore
Mike Greenberg
David Hales
Leo Hartman
Yaneer Bar-Yam
Jim Crutchfield
Sergei Maslov
John James
Katy Borner
Steve Kurtz
Dan Ariely
Bernard Scott
Jack Alpert
Norman Church
Anthony Judge
Don Chisholm
David Delaney
Helmut Lubbers
Mary de la Valette
Adam Sacks
John Croft
Nick Arguimbau
Peter Salonius
Igor Waltritsch
Joel Hubbard
Richard Douthwaite
Britt-Marie Lindström
Birgitte Rasine
Brian Bloom
Charles A. Hall
Jack Cohen
John Sterman
David Pimentel
Warren Olney
Vaclav Smil
Elinor Ostrom
Peter Bartelmus
Gus Koehler
Roger A Pielke
Bernard Lietaer
Nicholas S. Thompson
Loet Leydesdorff
Mary Wood
Chris Lucas
Thomas Homer-Dixon
Julian Darley
Bill McKibben
Steve Max
Chris Martenson
Dan Ariely
Lowry Pei
Mike Nickerson
Paul Chefurka
Tim Allen
Joseph A Tainter
Robert Ulanowicz
Barry lehrman
Fiona Cousins
Kira Gould
Allison Friedman
Chuck Pezeshki
Pliny Fisk
Saul Griffith
Steve Baer
Peter Baston