Conflict denotes the existence of a difference between what has been sensed and what the individual believes it ought to be. Therefore, the response to a conflict, or in other words, the attempt to close the gap, can lead to no less and no more than two distinct behaviours:
We will discuss the former in the next blog post (The Cybernetics of Dispute); the latter, however, is the mechanism of learning in viable systems, and in human beings specifically, that we need to understand since it plays a significant role in the process of mediation.
We, human beings, learn through conflict, and moreover, this is the only driving force behind our learning capabilities. Those of us who look more inwards learn more and adopt new equilibrium states, and those who seldom look inside, rarely change their beliefs, values, and understandings.
Many have observed an apple falling down, and many never perceived a conflict; they were secure in their equilibrium bobbles, believing that this is self-evident: When you release an apple from a height, it will fall down, and that’s all there is to it. The human race needed someone who questioned their own beliefs, curiously looking at the falling apple, astonished and amazed, attempting to understand, since he, indeed, perceived a discomforting difference between what he saw and what he knew. This is the true definition of curiosity, a critical skill of complex systems necessary to secure their viability.
Learning is, in fact, moving from one equilibrium state to the next. The above figure illustrates the fact that the equilibrium state for each person changes as they learn more. Learning changes the equilibrium state, and by doing so, people move from one state to the next. The more curious the individual, the more flexible they are in learning new things and discovering new equilibrium states.
Abstractions and Generalizations — What Every Mediator Should Know
The Myth of Best Practice
The Cybernetics of Dispute
The Cybernetics of Learning
Transformational Process Design for Dispute Resolution
The Cybernetics of Having a Thick Skin!
Don’t Stop Here!
From Conflict to Dispute The overuse and dramatization of the word ‘conflict’ in contemporary media, by employing terms such as armed conflict, countries affected by
Why Cybernetics In classical binary logic, Aristotle’s principle of non-contradiction states that things cannot be ‘A’ and ‘Not A’ at the same time, and therefore, everything can
Basic Notions – Disturbance or Perturbation Adding to the complexity of the example depicted above, should forces change their directions or magnitudes in a way
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