Sunday, April 17, 2005

All Hail Eris!

Yippee! Just found out the Principia Discordia has a home on the web! For those of you who have never encountered Discordianism before...go have a peek....just make sure no one near you is trying to sleep....

I have been reading about conversation and Open Space Technology and the Inviting Organization and Chaordic Organizations. The role of chaos continues to be a topic of intense interest as it relates to all of these ideas, so it is not too surprising, I guess, that I should think back to my old love affair with Eris and the Discordians.

A quick google had me jumping up and down for joy, because not only is the entire text of the Principia now easily accessible for me to torment all my friends with, but there is new material! In the introduction to the 5th edition (I have a dog-eared 4th edition), Kerry Thornley writes:
"An imposition of order creates a chaos deficit, which compounds until it is paid off (by enduring all the outstanding chaos)."

I was excited to read this, because my thinking earlier in the day was following these lines...
In attempting to understand how Open Space Technology works, there are a number of pre-conditions whose presence seems important to its success (also in biological systems) (see the User's non-guide to follow this thinking better) Two of which are high levels of diversity and high levels of complexity--qualities that tend to push systems towards chaos. Combined with this is the idea that the more chaos existing in a system's initial conditions, the higher the order of organization/information/function that emerges. In thinking about why OST works, I began to wonder if it has to do with injecting more chaos into the system...functioning to disrupt/free up existing connections/bonds so that new forms/ways of working/being can emerge. Kerry Thornley's comment seems to support the utililty of this possibility, by linking a deficit of chaos to stasis/stuckness within organizations. This deficit is harmful to the life of the organization as it must ultimately be balanced one way or another--exploding/imploding in unpleasant ways (War) or engaging/inviting (OS practices).

Anyway...still grappling with the basics here, but it sure is fun!

"I tell you: One must still have chaos in one to give birth to a dancing star." Nietzsche


Keira said...

"Hail Eris!

Before I was a Discordian, I was distressed by the inefficiency and inhumanity of organizations. Now I am vindicated by their inefficiency and inhumanity."

ooooh that's so good. If you're not careful you're going to endanger your non-prophet status Wendy.

wendy farmer-o'neil said...

I find it uncanny (harhar) that you honed right in on two of my fave's from that whole more soul-sister thing...

All Hail Discordia!
Wendy the Valourous, Knight of the Quill,
High Dupess,
Church of St. Murphy the Divine (website coming eventually--waiting for the worst possible moment ;))