Saturday, December 31, 2011

Another Miracle

A poet friend of mine, David Whyte, told me that Samuel Coleridge almost went mad after seeing the flocking patterns of starlings. Nothing in the scientific, linear world explained it. How could such complex, synchronized, flowing movements happen spontaneously, without apparent direction? Scientists can explain it now. It turns out hugely complex systems can organize themselves with as few as one simple principle - in this case, maintain distance and attitude in relation to the next starling in the pattern.This is true in complex human systems as well: any complex system organizes itself around clear principles of identity. If everyone in the system knows the principles and are committed to abiding by them, the system can self-organize, grow and develop in astounding ways. I like to look at this like Whittier did, when he said, "As for me, I know of nothing else but miracles."

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

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