"rules" and self-organization

Artur Silva arturfsilva at yahoo.com
Wed May 30 10:53:39 PDT 2007

  Interesting point, Ralph.
  It would be interesting to try. Before that, some comments.
  I suspect that this depends on the previous experience of the group. I am sure that at OSONOS or with a company or community used to OST everything would work fine. But with a group used to Future Search probably they would end up with a future search meeting (and one of the participants would spontaneously become an active facilitator).
  The point is that when we are saying that a system self organizes we are saying nothing about how it self organizes... So the question arises: why do people in OST events self organize the way they do? And how they self organize to produce the fantastic results that are often produced?
  Like in other instances of self organization (like the flocking of birds, or pheromone driven ants, etc), I thing that in OST there are micro-rules that allow for a certain macro behavior to emerge.  
  It is true that the facilitator does the less that he/she can. But that is because these small little "rules" are being followed. The invitation, the circle, the law, the relation between major sessions/break out sessions, the posting of issues, etc are among those "rules". The principles and all the other amazing things that we consistently encounter in OST events are the results of self organization bounded by those "micro-rules", that I propose to name “foundations” of OST. 
  Of course this is only my humble attempt to understand OST from a different perspective. But if it is true it can have interesting consequences.


Ralph Copleman <rcopleman at comcast.net> wrote:
    One way to test what is essential (what Artur termed "micro") and what is
not would be to open some space without mentioning either the four
principles or the law of two feet. Or anything else.

If self-organization occurs in os, would not the "space" still "open"
without things we have come to believe are essential? I'm betting it would=
or at least could. Perhaps all we need is a room and a theme and a wall.
Maybe some tea and coffee. 

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