Journal

Fractals

Reflections on Fractals: The Colour of Infinity movie, part of Living Systems Collaboratory.

Main Ideas

Overall, Fractals seem to be about a pattern “Input –> Output –> Input –> …” Input leads to output that leads to input and it goes on and on to infinity. Universe goes forever if you zoom in and zoom in and zoom in.

Ideas first, applications later. Fractals allow for a better description to observable world. And I feel that the movie was essentially about using fractal geometry as a way of describing data (like a cloud in the sky) in a simple way. Essentially, it gives a simple formula for complexity.

Usefulness of Formulas

Humans these days face so much information overload, so we definitely need some formula to “compress information overload” and navigate complexity of the modern world. 0oo project may have an answer to that with its F(X)Y formula. It seems to me that there are different formulas that all apply in different contexts but all share a desire or purpose to help humans navigate complexity. E.g. Fractal Geometry has its own formula. 0oo has its own formula too. Interesting, isn’t it?

Questions

It was described as “simple possible transformation”. So I wonder, what does that mean? How does that apply to human transformations and societal change?

System for Freedom. How do Fractals apply for thinking of “Order and Chaos together”?

How do Fractals apply for creative projects? And for the way humans design products, services and the human world?

Thoughts

Infinite thinking. It’s easy to justify actions with ‘general principles’. Like ‘oh this is how everything works in universe, so we must use it in human lives, in tech, etc’. But is it always the case? What about unknowns of unknowns? What if you/me/we are wrong? And then it sparks cascades of actions.. Can science be ‘general’ or is it always attached to our ‘social’ lives? Because every-thing influences everything.

Social application. From the movie, it seemed that the application of Fractals was technology. I’d love to see social problems explored with such general principles as Fractals. If fractal geometry allows to compress data so that we can use high quality images easier, what if we imagine how fractal geometry can compress data about social problems and solutions in the world? Or am I missing the point of how valuable fractal geometry is? 🙂

Picture of society. The movie also said fractal geometry allows to have a more accurate picture of the world, like a cloud in the sky. So I wonder. It is cool to get a picture of the cloud. But I’m also so curious about human world aka society that no one has a picture of! Could Fractals be applied to see challenges humans face? And then to come up with solutions?

Communities. When watching a movie, I was wondering: How do Fractals apply to the community development? Well if Fractals are universal principles, then it should apply to community as much as it does for technology, right?

Templating creativity. It’s easy to template with general principles. But what about a human error? Randomness that leads to unexpected results? Creativity needs a random too. Or does it? Or are we simply templating the patterns?

Automation. If Fractals are about set of instructions repeated over and over again, where does such thinking make sense?

My overall thought of usefulness of Fractals is: Everything is interesting if you zoom in deeply enough.

RUTA.iO

Fractals show us nature’s pattern of smaller wholes being reflective of larger wholes in which they are embedded. This is a similar principle to Fuller’s concept of the Trimtab, a small rudder on a larger rudder on a ship, that is the place in a system where the minimum amount of effort causes the maximum effect. What insights can we gain from looking at fractals that can inform how we intervene in systems or otherwise create systems change? How did the film inspired you? How does this connect to your project and your work?

Living Systems Collaboratory

I think it’s about butterfly effects. Small actions accumulate and spark bigger scale change. In the way, I have a quite a clear application of Fractals to one of my projects, SAME.community: Strangers talk between members spark spontaneous cooperations that shape our social habits and contribute to shaping social norms (members repeat “strangers talk” in their circles afterwards).

Virtual Plays

Reflection on Virtual Reality in Theatre talk by Kiira Benzing, part of Living Systems Collaboratory.

I loved the idea of emergent tech that is about social connection, emotional and unique unexpected experiences. Overall, love that tech is about bonding people!

Purpose

Thinking deeper here, does responsibility come here too? Is bonding always good? What happens when bond is just temporary and after immersive experience participants are left in their lonely worlds? How can tech facilitate a lasting bonding between people? Perhaps immersive experiences matched with social networking tech? More on that, how can tech facilitate meaningful connections between diverse people?

The Way

I loved Kiira’s approach on failing publicly as testing new ways of creating and engaging the audience with real-time feedback.

“What if you fail publicly?” Ha!

I recently realised that feedback loops are essential for all of my projects. I feel some sort of curiosity and urgency about people’s response and it motivates me to produce the works to see the reaction and take the next step then.

It shapes my behaviour too. Instead of planning, I come up with an idea and ask various people about it. For example, I post on Instagram, write a quick blog, post on 0oo, SAME community, share with LSC. I feel it’s essential to have multiple spaces for feedback loops. 1:1 (email, chats), group (calls), 1:strangers (most social media). I wonder how would I incorporate such behaviour even more into my process?

For example, I was sketching about synergy and butterflies came out. So I described it as a social experiment and I started playing with that for real. 🙂 Then I’m thinking how this “Synergy Bubbles” approach fits SAME community too. Perhaps it would make a cool ice-breaker for strangers within the community!

Also, I’m thinking of trying a different way of writing a book and producing each chapter like a music single, and then combing all chapters into an album (a book). The plot is inspired by conversations with various people I met online. I’d like to engage random people to my process too. Hmm.

Stories

I loved Kiira’s comments on transporting people into new worlds through story. Well, that’s the purpose of arts and such a great use of human life (to engage each others in stories!)

I was curious how Kiira spoke about characters (“Are they important for the plot? What their body looks like?”). It helps to polish the story.

“How do we help audience get confidence to get into these worlds? Design for different levels and stages?” That makes me rethink spells (weird peculiar ones or doable ones) and perhaps structure a plot into different types of quests with different moods and spells. Four worlds in one!

Something else caught my attention in the talk. The gods were from traditional Greek myths. So, I’m thinking can we go beyond old stories and introduce something new? In my book, I’m thinking about introducing gods like Universe, Earth, Bacteria, Sprout… Well, pagans would say that’s nothing new though!

Tools

So now stories start on Miro. (I also use Airtable!)

Science in VR

Someone mentioned that Living Systems would suit the medium of VR so well. I agree. Imagine becoming a bacteria and the Earth, and the Universe, how does that feel?

Mind Changes

Reflections on Mansoor Vakili talk on Living Systems Philosophy, part of Living Systems Collaboratory.

Can we imagine that the collaborating networks are the seeds and hubs of the human intellectual network? …and that they have enough potential to internalize, enrich, simplify, and visualize this transformation process, and bring it to the world? How does this connect to your project and your work?

Living Systems Collaboratory

Hmm, yes and no. It’s both. Human networks and human bodies with a mind that moves a collaborative hand.

Hmm, actually, it seems I realised now that solo time is on a feedback loop with a collective time. Both feed one another.

Reflecting in a diary, friending all ways of thinking and feeling from within.

Swimming in the collective time, so that solo time is on a creative energy wave.

Solo Adventures

I feel like a diary is the way to nurture our mind as a non-linear loving portal to experiencing a collective dance of ideas that come on a fast-forward time mode from the ocean of intelligence of humans.

I feel like prototyping is a self-organised (personal) transformation process we all seek. The one that gives space for our mind to self-organise and open up for a creative, non-linear thought.

I feel like being observant is the way, to human mind and the body, to other minds and the bodies, to nature, its beauty with all of its minds and bodies! “Working with the Heart, not the Mind” always feels so much easier and “going out and coming back with a Question!” makes me remember Beautiful Questions.

In my project, MUTANTU book, a character goes from the struggles of perfection, order, solo effort, feeling the Fear to the adventures of a superhero playing with uncertainty, randomness, spontaneous cooperation on creative projects and feeling the Love. My project is a diary too that encourages to be observant to one’s thoughts, others and nature. So it’s kind of “self-organise yourself” type of guidebook with a humorous twist.

Networks

I felt like today’s talk was on Transformation from both sides: from the mind, the body, to the human networks while the mind is also shifting itself and the human network at the same time, because we’re part of one culture.

Solo and Collective in fact coexist! So, I have one more project, a SAME community, that explores questions like I asked today:

How could we spark spontaneous synergy moments and make it a cultural norm?

How can social systems of humans use “fractal-ing”? Say, how would communities behave as fractals?

How do we sync with those who may be invisible in the network?

If transformation happens in mind+brain first, so what mental models do humans need to learn to move into non-linear world? Can we imagine education and work systems adopting these mental models?

Ruta.io

Nothing is ever complete, just a fusion of linear and non-linear thinking, curiosity and conversation, bridging in general.

Perfect for the end of the year.

The Natural Ways

Reflections on “Symbiotic Earth” movie, part of Living Systems Collaboratory.

Symbiosis to me is a co-creation process between humans but also a deep sense of connection with all living world. We’re part of nature. I am. We are.

Life as Process

This film makes me think differently! I previously noticed that everything around me and inside me is alive. But now, a deeper dimension has been added. Like a feeling of being home. Like a feeling of being heard. Like a feeling of listening and noticing. Like a feeling of being together. Evolving together. I have this quote from the movie on my desk “What is Life? A process! Life creates more life. A live thinking planet. Life on Earth regulates its environment. Environment modules Beings, and Beings module Environment”. Like a dance of interactions. Really easy way to live! I mean, really. Just interactions. A natural way of being.

Communities

I loved seeing the world through the micro lens so much. “Cell makes more life. Cell as a community.” It made me think, how would we live if we see a “Human as a Community” and “Humanity as Organism”? Hearing that 3 events during evolution sparked all species on Earth from 4 bacterias was a WOW moment. Where do we go from there? Because life is a process, it keeps evolving. So what’s next?

Truth?

Also I could not believe how some ideas that are in textbooks are not true. Why we believe that genes define our lives (the movie says it’s a Cell that runs the show)? Why we believe that everything is dead (and not a living process=Life)? Why we believe in selfish genes (and not Interdependence and evolving together)? The point on Thought Collectives and how scientific facts change based on culture and that many theories used are Metaphors, not Facts make me say LOL. What else can I say. Overall, I loved the approach in the movie on “I had to change my world-view” and “truth doesn’t exist”. And how a film maker followed a rabbit-hole, questions, interviews, puzzles, trying to create a new world-view for himself and showing this process in the movie. My style!

Leaps

Finally, I loved the example of some beings go through transformation twice – like a caterpillar and the larva in the sea. It shows how little we know about evolution and how much is there to explore.

Eco-Thinking

I’m already integrating the learnings into my creative process. How I create my project MUTANTU is a dance of interactions (like this movie, like collabrarians, like my notes on stickies adding on top of each other). I’m thinking, how could any of my projects be part of larger ecosystems? And how each of my projects could connect with other projects of mine and others? I call it eco-thinking!

Feedback

One of my new habits I’m seeing evolving is, I often question “what is the easiest way for me to move forward with a project or a seed?” Often the answer is in the conversation, a call, an email, a question described on 0oo.li, a feedback loop, a reflection. Like life is a process creating more life, I see how thoughts are a process creating more thoughts that eventually get composted or turn into projects. Overall, the more feedback loops, the faster the project evolves. Idea ping pongs, that’s how I call it. I also encourage people in my ecosystem to make something, showcase it for feedback. Ping-pong. Ping-pong. Ping-pong.

Mutants

If bacteria are community-forming organisms, then what can humans learn from bacterias, so that humanity acts as one organism?

Like blue-greens capture energy to make food, humans (can) capture creative energy to make ideas and projects that shape our culture.

What environment bacterias need? And humans?

Then, like waste is food, ideas are food.

Also, if each body part has different (stable) populations of bacterias, how does that apply to a human-made world run by human creativity?

Dream Worlds

Reflections on “Speculative Design”, talk by John Crawford, part of Living Systems Collaboratory.

My main take-away is: Trust my imagination and go explore widely and wildly! Create those worlds. Then invite others into those worlds. Ah, if I tune into Living Systems mindset, I’ll add: Create the worlds in parts and invite others to contribute to those worlds as we go!

Speculative Design

Overall, I loved the sound of Speculative Design (SD). I have to admit, sometimes the names of frameworks keep me away from exploring them, but I found SD inviting. While I play with design tools daily, I can see how design is very structural process and often it limits me, and puts me in the box (of using the frameworks). While SD sounded like a playground where ideas (and questions of course!) breed free!

“SD takes a one step further and into science fiction, it tries not to predict future but speculate it (how these ideas will develop in future?). The art of impossible, putting us into a world that we can experience together, SD is about not communicating idea but exploring a theme/constellation/possible scenarios” 

John Crawford

How inviting this is? It really triggers me to explore SD further! And I know that for me it’s easy to “communicate the idea”. So it feels like an inviting challenge to tune into a different channel and “explore constellations”! Hmm.

Artists as Inventors

Another take-away is about celebrating art! “Artists are inventors of future” – oh, this is so wild to think/feel/live in tech worlds I often hang out. I really find such a perspective liberating. My inner child is awake, thank you! Oh, also, I agree so much on John’s point that design solves problems and art is not about “solving”, it goes beyond that. My favourite comment was John’s point on “art adds a new layer to design, it’s not about solving problems, but finding new questions, deeper ways of thinking, …” I may not consider myself an artist (well, I never went to the art school!), but such definition speaks to my heart. Yes indeed! Finding new questions! Oh, how much I love such a mental gym.

What else I took from the talk, I loved the emotion and the buzz within comments section of Youtube! Q&A is a way more molding/bonding than a screenshare. More Q&As! Why not. Q&A on emergent media was cool. “We’re inventing the medium when we use the tool” – love this. Such an invitation. 

Prototyping

Oh, I just noticed I did not relfect much on Prototyping yet. So let me try. Prototyping is super easy for me. I’m a fast thinker and imagine quickly. Trusting my explorations is what I need to push myself more… Trust deep dives. While going back to prototyping, I see it as a canvas to build on, for me it starts with a chat in the woods (“imagine this!”), then a A4 paper sheet, simple sketch, I show it to someone, then I move onto WordPress (I LOVE prototyping with websites because it allows me to add on and add on, like polishing you know?), and then again I show it to someone, get feedback, update, the cycle continues. Maybe that’s what John meant with “iterative approach is cyclical”?

I wonder though, how to push the limits in the prototyping? How to make failure desirable? Because here lies true learning. How to make and showcase too early on purpose? What an interesting exercise is that! Hmm. I’ll think about it. Maybe I’ll even do it. 🙂 

Living Systems

Lastly, I loved John responding on “Living Systems Principles influencing design”. I thought about it these days when I read Lynn Margulis thinking. You can see what’s on my mind here.

Here is my chat-poem of today:

dream big, zoom in

dream big, zoom in

dream big, zoom in

= seed

Ruta.io

On Life

Reflections on “Living Systems” talk by Mansoor Vakili, part of Living Systems Collaboratory.

Interesting view on linear and non-linear world. I haven’t thought about such a separation (“linear” and “non-linear”) before, I even did not think about such names before. And here I wonder if this separation is necessary? Or perhaps the root cause is an imbalance between linear and non-linear thinking? Between masculine and feminine? Between logical and creative? I like the idea of co-existence striving for existence for all types of being. I think that these days we’re overusing the logical thinking, but perhaps that mixed with a creative logic would play a nice symphony?

Hub

Overall, from the talk, I love the idea of Earth as a cognitive system! I imagine it breathing through winds, and it totally shapes perspective. I’m curious about the minimum effort as a natural way of being too. In my work, I explore an idea of how humans go through personal transformation and shift their thinking from linear to non-linear, in particular, from destructive to caring. I love the idea of self-healing living system which a human body is! Here I would add and say not “a brain as a hub” but “a brain-heart-gut as a hub”. Especially, the bacterias in our gut. The deep universes yet to be discovered! And hey, what is the role of bacterias in this paradigm shift?

Energy

In the talk was also said that “Universe is made of energy” – in my work, I use this as a metaphor that Universe is a comic character. Going back to Masoor’s writings where he talks about Earth achieving its selfawareness goal and human being part of this process now, I wonder, what about beyond Earth, what about the Universe itself? The Universe as energy and its higher goal to survive? ..

Relationships and Values

Overall, coming back to the talk itself, I love seeing relationships and values in linear and non-linear thinking. That’s what I’m also exploring through my storyline (my project is a comic book!). I wonder, is this list completed? What other values and relationships of nonlinear world we could add to this list?

I’m still amazed how a human, being an example of a living system, is behaving the opposite to other systems. Masoor says it’s because we’re stuck in a linear perception mode. But I creatively think that the Earth made humans as an experiment, as an error, and we turned out to be not so smart, just an average, so here we’re – a species worth laughing about!