Home Concepts Organizational Theory Journey to Irony II: The Lands of Gamma and Delta

Journey to Irony II: The Lands of Gamma and Delta

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What else have I learned from my brief stay in Delta? First, if asked to describe the status of Delta in an analysis of white-water environments, I would conclude that Delta is composed of the entire white-water system. All four sub-sectors are present and interplay in this land. I have seen rapid movement, cyclical movement, chaotic movement and places and times of quietude and peace. Quite clearly, Delta is a complex, unpredictable and inconsistent system in which all of its parts (sub-sectors) are intimately intertwined.

Turbulence is wholistic – the subsystems can’t possibly be understood or engaged separately. Everything in the system is interdependent. This might be one of the most important ways to think about Richard Rorty’s Irony: inconsistencies are inherent in any turbulent system and contingency thought and action are requisite to successful navigation of this turbulent environment. It is fully appropriate and justifiable for us to hold multiple truths that are inconsistent, for these truths arise from our observation of and participation in sub-systems that operate in quite different ways.

One other important factor is operating. As I noted previously, we know that any system will become turbulent (and increasingly turbulent) when pushed to operate faster. This seems to be the case in our 21dt Century world. Because a turbulent system is holistic and accelerating, we choose to ignore or isolate one of our inconsistent truth at the risk of not really understanding what is happening in this turbulent system – and as a result choose to act in a manner that is counter-productive or even destructive. Perhaps, this is the ultimate “exquisite truth.”

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