There is a constant battle in my head from all this hard edged engineering, open innovation/complexity stuff and a need to draw on all the softer philosophical stories and ideas to satisfy my inner ‘fluffy bunny’.
If you are interested in only the former then skip this but for some essential bunny fodder I highly recommend a recent piece by Davd P Barash on how Buddhism and ecology both refuse to separate the human and natural worlds – and demand that we act accordingly
A few quotes taken out of context highlight why I think this adds real depth and intrigue to an ecological/ecosystem approach to knowledge and innovation.
The interconnected and interdependent nature of things is the heart of ecology
there isn’t any persistent ‘us’: just a constantly moving pattern of flow
The Buddhist suggestion that an organism’s skin does not separate it from its environment but, rather, joins the two … leads to the fundamental identity of subject and surroundings
‘A duck’s legs, though short, cannot be lengthened without dismay to the duck, and a crane’s legs, though long, cannot be shortened without misery to the crane.’
It [ecology] has been called the ‘subversive science’, since it subverts our egocentric insistence on separateness, and with it, our inclination to ride roughshod over the rest of the natural world.
Brilliant, and my inner fluffy bunny was subversive after all. Please read the original with all its wonderful illustrative stories.
Finally in trying to find the URL for this post I stumbled across this simple tale from the ARC Faiths and Ecology page:
Buddhists in Japan tell a story. The Buddha once received a donation of 500 new robes for his followers. So he considered what to do with the old ones. They would be used for bed-sheets, he decided. And the old sheets would become towels. And the old towels would be used as cleaning rags.
Now write down what you get from that story …