Every so often I suddenly see a new set of connections ... a network that hitherto has totally escaped my attention. The walking/jogging/biking trails that criss-cross my neighborhood didn't exist for me — until I started using one of them, which led me to another, then yet another, fanning out for dozens of miles across the county. Rivers were merely blue lines on a map, and their tributary streams were just excuses for little scenic bridges — until a geology lecture explained how water carves the landscape, how creeks carry away the contents of valleys. Scientific publications were isolated flashes of creative insight — until I learned to crawl the linkage graph back through cross-references and inverse citation databases, and saw the foundations of current discoveries.

And most recently, my eyes were abruptly opened to a microcosm of society, the bureaucracy within which I work. It was just a hierarchical org chart to me — until, after serving there for over 20 years, I realized abruptly that what really makes things function are not the chains of command but rather the delicate web of friendships, personal obligations, collaborative relationships, small favors, and other interpersonal connections.

All invisible, and all essential ....

(see GlobalWisdom (22 Jul 1999), ExpandingContexts (15 Oct 1999), ScienceVersusStampCollecting (20 Jun 2000), ZenGeology (9 May 2001), ...)

TopicSociety - TopicOrganizations - 2002-12-08

(correlates: HiStory, DestinationMind, NotTwoNotTenNotOneThird, ...)