[OSList] Where angels fear to tread

Jeff Aitken r.jeff.aitken at gmail.com
Tue Nov 16 13:37:04 PST 2021

Also I note that Nora is still very early in the practice of a methodology
that she invented (I think.)

Maybe it's like the first five-ten years of OST as folks were figuring out
what the hell this is all about... : )

And from the lens of an artist and family therapy researcher whose father
was Gregory Bateson. That makes sense to me...


On Tue, Nov 16, 2021, 1:21 PM Jeff Aitken <r.jeff.aitken at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Birgitt. My first guess is that it serves practitioners to be simple,
> while it serves systems scientists to be complicated or complex.
> They are writing about living systems at all scales and making very subtle
> distinctions.
> It may serve us practitioners to have some appreciation for the latter.
> "Your mileage may vary" tho, as a friend says!
> Warmly
> Jeff
> On Tue, Nov 16, 2021, 1:10 PM Birgitt Williams <birgittwilliams at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Jeff..I don't understand why it serves to be so complicated? Why not
>> simply refer to seen and unseen?
>> Birgitt
>> On Tue, Nov 16, 2021, 3:57 PM Jeff Aitken via OSList <
>> oslist at lists.openspacetech.org> wrote:
>>> One more email - I was amiss to mention this new theory by Nora, without
>>> defining the word she is introducing, and she finds occurring in Warm Data
>>> Lab and I think is true in OST too.
>>> It is "a way to describe a life giving process, by which vitality,
>>> healing, and creativity come into being by the coalescence of multiple
>>> unseen factors."
>>> "Aphanipoiesis combines two words from ancient Greek to describe this
>>> way in which life coalesces toward vitality in unseen ways. (Aphanis comes
>>> from a Greek root meaning obscured, unseen, unnoticed; poiesis is from one
>>> meaning to bring forth, to make.)"
>>> Yes it's an academic term, and is presented at a systems science
>>> conference and in a journal article.
>>> Useful for practitioners to think about and to notice in our work?
>>> That's my question for the oslist.
>>> It reminds me of Harrison's definition of "peace" in The Practice of
>>> Peace. With an emphasis on the unseen, internal, very subtle shifts that
>>> take place that are NOT reflected in proceedings and action plans.
>>> Warmly, Jeff.
>>> Reference:
>>> Bateson, N.,(2021). Aphanipoiesis. In Journal of the International
>>> Society for the Systems Sciences, Proceedings of the 64th Annual Meeting of
>>> the ISSS, Virtual (Vol. 1, №1) — under review.
>>> This work was presented at the Annual Biosemiotics Conference June 2021,
>>> the Annual Conference of the International Society of Systems Sciences July
>>> 2021, and the Annual conference of the Institute of General Semantics
>>> September 2021.
>>> On Mon, Nov 15, 2021, 11:16 PM Jeff Aitken <r.jeff.aitken at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> As a refresher or quick intro to the process, Warm Data Lab starts with
>>>> a group of folks and a theme question. But the topics of conversation are
>>>> chosen in advance by sponsor and facilitator. Each breakout table (or area)
>>>> gets a topic written on a sign: which names a context from which to address
>>>> the theme question.
>>>> So if the theme is drug abuse, the chosen wide variety of contexts
>>>> might be: education, prisons, public health, initiation, addiction,
>>>> pharmaceuticals, parenting, ceremony, etc. People go to the breakouts of
>>>> their choice and stay or move as they wish. The law of mobility is used. A
>>>> closing circle might end the event after some number of hours.
>>>> It has some qualities of OST and World Cafe while being different.
>>>> I've only been in one WDL so other folks might improve my description.
>>>> Jeff
>>>> On Mon, Nov 15, 2021, 7:22 PM Jeff Aitken <r.jeff.aitken at gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Where does systemic change take place? I am reflecting on earlier
>>>>> posts about the Warm Data Lab and comparing - contrasting this work with
>>>>> other hosted conversation processes like OST.
>>>>> What seems different - please correct this if it's wrong - is the
>>>>> level of attention paid to the complex ways in which WDL might help bring
>>>>> about change. Looking well beyond action plans and carefully harvested
>>>>> proceedings etc.
>>>>> This may be a fruitful area of inquiry for OST folks. (The subject
>>>>> line here is from a reference in a book by Nora Bateson's late father
>>>>> Gregory.)
>>>>> Nora Bateson just shared a video and long essay, coming out prior to
>>>>> her essay being published soon in a journal. She is introducing a new term
>>>>> "aphanipoiesis" to the conversation of systemic transformation.
>>>>> The essay is here:
>>>>> https://norabateson.medium.com/aphanipoiesis-96d8aed927bc
>>>>> Some teaser paragraphs for us. Can this also be said about OST, but we
>>>>> just don't??
>>>>> "Rewilding the Interior
>>>>> In the words of the Warm Data hosting theory, we tend the “about” so
>>>>> that what is re-configured is in the “within.” It does not really matter
>>>>> what people talk “about” in a Warm Data Lab. There is nothing to capture at
>>>>> that level. What matters is the way the participants are internally sewing
>>>>> together the different conversations and contexts. On a transcript this
>>>>> information is inaccessible.
>>>>> "In the Warm Data processes, communication in explicit form is not
>>>>> held to be the communication of interest. That level of conversation is
>>>>> there as a skeleton, onto which the stories not told reshape the person who
>>>>> did not tell them, the alterations in tone, the re-tilted perception is
>>>>> given free rein to rub memories and stories against each other. One comment
>>>>> that comes up repeatedly is, “Your story changed my story.” Through this
>>>>> “side-by-side-ing,” stories told change stories almost told, and their
>>>>> bearers are able to reshape their impressions in ways that are untamed. By
>>>>> careful tending of the “about” and “within,” the rich world of memory and
>>>>> story re-wilds.
>>>>> "The gaps are where the hope of systemic transformation is waiting. In
>>>>> the Warm Data processes, participants are given a structure to re-stitch,
>>>>> to re-wild, to begin a new abductive process into these gaps. Again, by
>>>>> placing the contexts of life side-by-side in new configurations, the
>>>>> aphanipoietic processes are given room, without conscious purpose or goals
>>>>> or defined outcomes, without scripts or roles or trends — to allow the
>>>>> tender new beginnings of another abductive description to form mutually.
>>>>> "Through this work, I have found I needed this term to embark on a
>>>>> deeper study of the importance of aphanipoiesis. The changes I witness
>>>>> occurring in the Warm Data processes are completely unpredictable and
>>>>> profound. They suggest ever more vividly that there is a real, if unseen,
>>>>> mingling of the body, culture, education, family — and a whole batch of
>>>>> transcontextual experience that is guiding all other actions. It is to this
>>>>> change that I have devoted my efforts toward systemic transformation."
>>>>> Warmly,
>>>>> Jeff
>>>>> Yelamu / San Francisco
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>> OSList mailing list
>>> To post send emails to OSList at lists.openspacetech.org
>>> To unsubscribe send an email to OSList-leave at lists.openspacetech.org
>>> To subscribe or manage your subscription click below:
>>> http://lists.openspacetech.org/listinfo.cgi/oslist-openspacetech.org
>>> Past archives can be viewed here:
>>> http://www.mail-archive.com/oslist@lists.openspacetech.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.openspacetech.org/pipermail/oslist-openspacetech.org/attachments/20211116/c81b5a5b/attachment.html>

More information about the OSList mailing list