Philosophical Overview of Pattern Research,
Freeorder, Open Network, and Open Society

Pattern Research

We expect the emergence of a world fit for explorers.
We provide tools that help explorers build and inhabit such a world.
We find tools, we invent them, we describe them, we teach the use of them.

Concepts and Conjectures

Tools are things of thought and matter used to increase the power, precision, and scope of deliberate action, including things as various as mathematical concepts, poetic imagery, philosophical and economic concepts, machines, habitats, business structures, negotiation strategies, communications technologies, industrial parks, shopping malls, and free zones.

Explorers are seekers, question askers, answer listeners, conjecture framers and testers, pattern finders, song makers.

Without reverence, awe and wonder, life is pointless. This is something the explorer knows, though e may never give it words.

Resonance is the expectation of magic. It opens the spirit for reverence.

Magic is fusion, in real doing, of wonder, sensitivity, intensity, and integrity.

Quest is an aesthetics governed pattern of explorations chosen in expectation that they will increase the density of magic, and so intensify resonance.

When magic is absent, resonance is improbable.

Being comprises all aspects of the universe which lie beyond our awareness but which affect our awareness.

Without respect for Being, magic is improbable.

Respect for Being is signified by the asking of questions that permit the recipient to say "NO" - and to be heard.

The life of the explorer is made of cycles of conjecture and refutation, bringing successes, failures, and new questions.

A master explorer has learned to live a life dense with magic and is likely to live in resonance.

An apprentice explorer knows that resonance quest is a craft to be learned and is determined to learn it.

The quest of each explorer evolves a resonance image, a pattern of patterns by which new ventures can be chosen.

Being yields unexpected events in variety and number.

Explorers provoke Being while seeking to avoid the fatal unexpected.

Theories are tools for provoking Being, and all theories are conjectures.

Conjectures imply actions which may produce the unexpected. Severe tests of theories reveal errors before we do things that could prove fatal.

Good tests kill flawed theories; we remain alive to guess again. (Karl Popper)

Freeorder is a balance among designed and spontaneous orders conducive to quest. Such balances are found within individuals, among individuals, and in non-living systems.

A designed order appears when an actor places elements in relation to one another according to a known pattern. Designed orders are essential to human life.

A spontaneous order appears when elements fall into place without the intention of a designer. Spontaneous orders are essential to human life.

Some essential spontaneous orders are the results of human action, but not of human design. Examples: language, law, markets, science. (F. A. Hayek)

The concept of freeorder is useful to those who wish to catalyze the emergence of a world fit for explorers.

If the world is to be made good for all of us we must value and serve the explorer in ourselves and in every other person.

A world saving effort that does not treasure the explorer in each of us will fail.

If resonance is the end, freeorder is a means.

A master explorer seeks to increase freeorder within every aspect of self and world.

Freeorder generators, or forges, are ventures in the provision of tools to serve the emergence of freeorder. Forges are convivial places which engage tool makers in vortices of conversation. They attract vortex spinners.

Open network names a freeorder comprised of and arising from all aspects of the world in which an explorer of sovereign spirit may rejoice. It is a process, and an image; it is a spontaneous order, not an organization, and it can neither be owned nor controlled. No one invented it. It is ancient, and it serves us better than we know.

Freeorder generators provide open network stations which become gateways into the continually evolving open network.

Open network stations are kept as contentless as possible: no one is expected to believe anything in particular in order to use them, and no attempt is made to induce belief, although tools may be offered which change those who use them.

Open network stations are looms whose users bring thread of astonishing variety.

Weavers think about these threads and try to see patterns and make connections which will be of value to the explorers who brought them.

Weavers follow two rules: 1) be useful, 2) don't be boring.

Pattern Research is a freeorder generator. We have provided an open network station in Denver, Colorado since 1975.

Builders of freeorder generators have the opportunity to serve well and to be served well. (Robert Greenleaf)

Freeorder generators can be created in sufficient variety and number to bring about the emergence of a global open society.

Open Society names a world fit for explorers.

A world fit for explorers is better for non-explorers than is a world unfit for explorers.

Ventures that serve explorers make the road to Open Society.

Leif Smith, August 12, 1995

Pattern Research
PO Box 9100
Denver, Colorado 80209, USA,
303.778.0880, fax: 303.722.2680

Copyright © 1995, Pattern Research, All rights reserved. Permission is given to view, copy, print, and distribute this document. Please tell people it was written by Leif Smith, and include the contact information given above (or corrected, if you know it has been changed).