From early childhood we’ve all experienced consternation with being shut out of the conversation, say defining circles of friends, that would have been very important to us to feel part of.
There are even exclusive story loops within families, between mom and the kids separate from between dad and the kids, for example. Sometimes it’s very funny, and sometimes very sad, what remains hidden from the adjacent conversation.
Stories that travel in small circles, defining exclusive communities, are actually everywhere, from determining whether we “get the memo” in the office, are “clued in” on what’s hot in fashion or music or ideas, and even whether we share in the “terrible truth” about the other political party, religion, social movement, nationality or race.
Personal and cultural circles are not fixed, of course, but growing and changing their inside stories and how they circulate all the time. Because this is how shared ideas normally develop, within loops, there’s a lot of confusion simply because everyone is left out of most them!
It’s quite fortunate that nature is not nearly as confused by this arrangement as people are.
Nature is organized in much the same way, as local behavioral loops that develop and play out in a common environment. Networks of behavioral loops that grow from small beginnings are what ecosystems are, or volcanic eruptions, weather systems or electric sparks, not to mention living organisms.
It’s what families, businesses, economies and neighborhoods are too. One thing that all the objects of the world we care about have in common is a loose structure of closed behavioral loops that grew from small beginnings. Nature runs on them like local software.
We’re not talking particularly about things having a physical inside and out here, but a behavioral one, like open markets where connections can be made on an anytime/anywhere basis. The parts of two different ‘behavior loops’ can overlap and still remain quite separate, and often do.
Why loops? Well, using a sort of Darwinian explanation, it’s because only loops have the possibility of growth, and only those loops that grow ever get noticed. Sun, soil and rain are absolutely critical to a plant, all being factors that can tip the cascade of events or not, but it’s the seed, the network of loops, that grows.
So why are we all so out of the loop? We’re surrounded by them. The unseen structures of nature are hidden inside them. And we’re all just barely starting to figure it out.
8/28 …oh, yea, and… fourthly, their real chains of connection are mostly untraceable and run backward. They’re open chains of opportunity not closed chains of necessity. That screws up most of human reasoning.
The behavioral loops of nature work like bucket brigades where each person in the chain picks up a bucket from wherever they find it and puts it down where anyone else might pick it up. You’d think this wouldn’t work… and you’d be right, it wouldn’t work to execute any plan.
Nature, fortunately, isn’t following a ‘plan’ but just exploring possibilities.
That’s why everything gets to follow its own plan, and interactions are so resilient and flexible! A little more explanation might be in order, but may not be much help for understanding why complex natural systems work ‘oddly’ in that way.
Human thinking is more comforted by rules for what is necessary. Well, there are some rules for natural systems (all systems come from growth & what grows is their loops) , but you need to start where you always start, with basic unguarded observation, hoping something soaks in.