What a week… Physically, I was on the verge of a breakdown. At school, things were very busy, tests to correct, presentations to review, meetings, etc. That combined with running on very low energy, I was yearning for this spring break! 1 week of Off-time! Wahoo! I decided to tone down my CCK11 work a bit. It was all just a bit to much… But, we’re back for some catching up, and work on week 8! I just wanted to start off with expressing the joy and interest this course keeps bringing me. It continues to be intriguing and fascinating! Week 7 turned out to be about Complex Adaptive Systems. Not so easy for me to discuss (also due to the language barrier) but I managed to get a few thoughts out of the facilitator’s discussion and the reading list. An overview of my reflections.
I started out with the Peter Fryer article on Complex Adaptive Systems. Great article that laid down the basics about all things complex and how they interact. Again we are shown how all the things around us interact not in a structured way but rather chaotic and without a vast set of rules. Again, for me, the biological aspect of this theory emerges immensely! Nature as a whole functions perfectly without human rules and regulations. I once read that if you took one kind of insect and would eradicated them, all life on the planet would seize. If you would eradicate all humans, nature would thrive! Off course, our not so ecological mindset will have some part in that, but it also illustrates how we are disconnected from nature. We tend to impose our own structure on the world around us, instead of living according the complex structures that already exist. Ride the tornado, don’t drive it!
Another interesting item was Dr Jean Boulton‘s view on the attributes of a mechanical system. Namely that it cannot learn or evolve, it cannot change. It’s not flexible, and flexibility is just the thing we need as a 21st century skill. The ability to learn and evolve into something better. Knowing how to cope with change in our daily life. Everything changes and evolves so fast, yet our basic systems, like the education system, remain static and isolated. Even Ilya Prigogine’s theory about complex systems recognises that “most systems in the real world are neither isolated, nor moving towards equilibrium, but are constantly changing due to their exchange of energy with the environment.”
Finally, Stephen’s remarque about the deer and the wolves and the whole ecology discussion enlightened me. Very interesting to see how entities in an ecology exist to fulfill the ecology, or rather not! The system or network view on things is interesting. Maybe we should look at education the same way. Instead of trying to create an education system, we should make a learning network where kwonledge can be shared!
While I’m reading and writing this, Eric Dolphy’s “Out to Lunch” is playing. I’m a huge Jazz enthusiast. Trying to “get it”, trying to “understand” jazz, is sometimes hard. Yet, the trick is not to try to analyze the music, but feel it instead. While attending the North Sea Jazz Festival and listening to Wayne Shorter, I suddenly reached a moment of clarity. Shorter’s latter work (Beyond the Sound Barrier) is somewhat more provocative and it took me great effort to “understand” what he was doing. Then I let go of my need to control, to understand and just listened. It was at that moment I got the feeling I knew the music. It was even more than just “understanding”, it felt natural, simpler, challenging. Jazz is often considered as “complex music”, Dolphy’s “Out to Lunch” is no exception, but in letting go, in NOT studying it (in the classical sense), one can discover certain aspects of it that reaches for the stars! I’ll never forget the feeling I got while listening to Wayne Shorter… It was an epiphany.