Thursday, August 30, 2012

Otto Laske and OOO

In my short but intense participation with Commons' Yahoo forum* I always appreciated Otto Laske's perspective, since he generally questioned the rigidity of developmental paradigms while simultaneously supporting them. So I'm pleased to see Laske has a piece in the August issue of ILR here. The following is a brief excerpt consonant with the IPS OOO thread and posted therein, hopefully to generate discussion.

"In a nutshell: I am saying that concepts, ordinarily considered only as tools for constructing the social and physical world, or even only as tools for 'getting things done,' and worse, as external labels for 'things,' are actually life-determining and –directing entities."

* Documented in this thread, which continued to explore the issues raised therein.

After reading the piece I find that I'm just not interested any longer in the exploration of levels or phases of development. What that means about me in terms of those levels I do not know. And more importantly, I do not care.

Balder: I think it probably means "overkill" -- a topic that has just been explored and debated too much, or with disproportionate intensity in Integral circles.  I don't think it means that development is an unimportant factor in life, just that you're (understandably) sick and tired of discussing it!

Me: I thought with the quote I selected that he'd go toward something like Bryant's objects but not so much. A couple of points I appreciated though.

"Context-bound thinking, although it is able to describe a 'big picture' of things, does not manage to perceive the space or gap between things it describes in terms of their structure."

"While C[ontext] and P[rocess] are 'opposites,' they also mutually and intrinsically define each other and the whole they are part of."

"Thinking in terms of R[elationship] thought forms is a combination of being part of a totality and finding this totality to be in motion, with the result that my being a part of a larger whole constantly changes its meaning for me."

"Making use of process thought forms, I can begin to see related things as being 'the other' of each other. I am unpacking what I sense is negativity, otherness."

These are themes we've explored at length in the forum.

"I also begin to become aware of 'constitutive”'relationships that logically precede me and into which [I] 'am being entered.'"

Here is where he approaches something like my first quote, something like a hyperobject or cultural meme, an object in itself to which we are but a part and which shapes and controls us in ways we are not in the least aware. (Unless of course we are INTEGRAL!) But he never follows this trail.

"Thinking/living in terms of transformational systems (T)....we are nearing the point where, through thinking, one can integrate multiple, mutually interdependent, perspectives, not just in breadth (as in integral thinking), but in depth. This means that we discard all formalistic thinking, even thinking 'in quadrants.'"

Another them of the forum, that many aspects of kennililngus are themselves quite formal and in little boxes that are catologed but not interrelated. Which of course I find more than a bit ironic, since he too is really into putting things in little boxes with his charts.

On practical wisdom: "There is no practical wisdom in general, there is only the idiosyncratic wisdom of a particular person." And here we finally get to a suobject's distinctive individuality, despite its relationships. But again, he doesn't go there. He compares it to the "familiar stranger" but I much prefer Morton's strange stranger on this one. I'd even suggest that onticology is a step beyond (or outside?) what he has documented.

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