2017/10/19 17:05 Linda Rising, “Patterns and Morality”, Purplsoc

Plenary @RisingLinda #purplsoc Pursuit of Pattern Languages for Societal Change http://www.purplsoc.org/conference2017/

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting,based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted by David Ing.

Introduction by Hajo Neis

  • Univ.-Prof. Hajo Neis, Director of PUARL
  • Message from Christopher Alexander, through
  • First, greetings from the University of Oregon
  • Christopher Alexander is now in a stage of life where it’s difficult to express himself

Purplsoc Hajo Neis

Shifting Patterns: Christopher Alexander und der Eishin campus, just published

  • Published by Park Books
  • Only publication by Christopher Alexander in German language

Introduction of Linda Rising by Peter Baumgartner

  • Independent consultant, living in the United States
  • Ph.D. from Arizona State U., on optic phase design matrix
  • Book on Fearless Change, which was the first book that Peter read on patterns, not coming from the computer science community

[Linda Rising]

Purplsoc Linda Rising

Presentation available on request

Woke up last November, after election in the U.S.

Thought protests were over in the 1970s

  • Marched with 15,000 others in Nashville, a city of only a million
  • Since then, have been in a lot of other protests

Have been looking for patterns on what’s been going on

Alexander said a puzzle:  a pattern is something can be implemented a million different ways without doing it the same way twice

  • Where are the million different ways?
  • What should I do?  How should I implement one of those different ways
  • How can I know?  What is the evidence that it really works?
  • In writing new patterns, not convinced that they’re all in use.

Alexander often references science

  • Would like to see instead some evidence of the science

Twilight Zone episode:  The Monsters are Due on Maple Street

  • They do it by turning people against each other
  • It’s so easy to get them to turn against each other
  • In the episode, a person kills a friend
  • Thought it was interesting, but it couldn’t really happen

Now, neighbour is turning against neighbour

  • Friends turning against each other
  • Asking people:  did you vote for Donald Trump?
  • Tennessee is mostly red state, with Nashville a little blue dot
  • Nobody is listening to anybody

Fearless Change:  when two parties don’t listen to each other, first instinct is to fight

Thinking opponents are missing facts, so all we have to do is provide missing information

We’re not designed to respond to information

  • Reason isn’t a judge that looks at information
  • It’s more like a press secretary
  • Confirmation bias
  • Not proof
  • Then we discount information of others

Cognitive dissonance

Started book as a technical person, didn’t know enough about change

  • Social psychology, influence strategies, evolutionary biology

Between Fearless Change and More Fearless Change was the emergence of behavioral economics

  • Daniel Kahneman, Thinking Fast and Slow
  • Dan Ariely

Now have published Chinese versions of books

The big problem with patterns, having spent 20 years on 2 books, started when she was 55

  • Think we need more evidence
  • We see what we want to see, and then the brain fills in
  • We hate to think about 2 ideas at the same time
  • Science can’t test a million different ways

Christopher Alexander talks about experiments, but don’t think he did many on people

Turned to own pattern language to talk to neighbours, in conflict

  • Stephen Covey says, listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply
  • How do we implement this?
  • Where is the science?

Finding research in morality

  • Jonathan Haidt:  The Righteous Mind
  • Joshua Greene:  Moral Tribes

Moral Foundations Theory from Joshua Greeen:

  • Right:  Loyalty, Authority, Sanctity
  • Left:  Care, Fairness

You have to think about values, what’s important for them, not for you

e.g. increase in military spending

  • Message 1:  Take pride in military that protects us from evil — authority, patriotism
  • Message 2:  In the military, the poor and disadvantaged can achieve equal standing — caring

Have been practicising, trying to adopt the values of the other side

  • Haven’t been successful
  • We’re not only wedded to vision, we’re wedded to values

Is there something that I can prove that make you stop believing?  If no, then no point in continuing discussion


Developing a pattern language on commoning.  Doing, acting, together.  Generative processes.  Generating based on people’s reality.  Depends on how we conceptualize science.  Process philosophy, action research.  The way of generating patterns together?

  • Feeling in the pattern community, as have coauthors and group authors.  Reviewers should give honest feedback.  Authors can take feedback or not.
  • May have groupthink.
  • Better than nothing, but may not sufficient.
  • Would like to see testing.

Empirically investigating morality.  Before waveform analysis, colour was thought to be subjective.  Quality of morality?  Investigative methods?

  • First, look around.
  • Behavioural economics and cognitive neuroscience are measuring things that we though were unmeasureable.
  • Attraction to a younger person.  Feeling it?  If you notice and the other person doesn’t, pupils dilate, even if not conscious.

Definition of science.  Patterns should have some evidence.  Science in the normal definition is too strict.  Social phenomenon.  Complex systems, or systems dynamics to understand more.  Need to create a new type of science.

  • Science is a social construct, the best we have right now.
  • Scientists are human, we’re biased.
  • Hard for scientist to give up a belief.
  • Ideal world:  another section in every pattern, for validation or test

Thomas Kuhn, paradigm.  If following dominant theory, then get funding.  If now there are competing facts, it’s not a problem.  Incorporate facts in bigger theories.  More complexity and risk, will have change.  Can’t confirm with contradictory facts.  Wittgenstein:  it’s not the different facts, it’s the interconnection of facts tying things together.  Have to work on an alternative world on a grassroots level.  Who is responsible?  Who gets peer reviews?  Open data.  Can repeat experiment.

  • Daniel Kahneman got a Nobel prize for saying people aren’t rational decision makers.
  • Now conflict between behavioral economics and classical economists.
  • Max Planck:  science moves forward with the death of scientists

Producing 10 to 20 patterns every year.  Believe that I have found solutions that I want to share.  People have to use them.

  • In the science of medicine, bloodletting was practiced for 1000 years
  • Have another talk:  give agile software development a placebo

Adopt or visualize someone else’s point of view.  Similar with elections in France.  Scared, thought the same thing as U.S. would happen.  Definition of empathy?  Is empathy over and done?  Rosenberg non-violent communications and conflict resolution.

  • Rosenberg’s research shows that we don’t naturally do that, it’s learned skill

Possible to understand the position of someone who supports Trump, and still think Trump is an idiot.  Issue with Chris Alexander’s failure to go through all of the science to validate 253 patterns is one thing.  Problem isn’t with Alexander, but with the adulation of Alexander.  There are other approaches.  There are other more scientifically approaches.  Not complete.  But looking across, can see.

  • Having a conversation with neighbours.
  • Coverage increases over time

#pattern-language, #purplsoc-2017