Working with complexity, not against it: Emergence in real life and everyday conversations | Synthesis

Featuring me daring to disagree with Mycroft. Well, kinda. I think he’s guilty of wanting to remind us of an underpinning taken-for-granted thing, that all conversations are emergent, rather than me actually disagreeing.

Yes they are but there also ARE (“more than one thing can be true at once” say I frequently) several key different types of conversation, (in addition to the tediously misunderstood and over-familiar ‘dialogue’), which we ignore at our peril.

I’m thinking of the sort of managerial conversation in which your boss gets an update in the corridor, for example, or the ‘Prince Charles meets a pleb’ conversation. Both feature a big power imbalance, both are scripted by the more powerful person, both are still emergent, for sure (witness the cheeky chappy subversion of many a Royal encounter), but surely we must take account of these special contexts/factors/what-you-will?

It is for this reason that I’m not happy to blandly assert  emergence without talking about context.  So yes, Mycroft, as far as it goes, which isn’t far enough for me. Baby, bathwater kinda.



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