Biotic Energy

Benjamin Moore coined the term to describe the vital energy found within an ecosystem.

He was building on the work of Karl Möbius , recognized by many as the first ecologist. Möbius, working in the late 19th century, developed the first model of an ecological system – that of oyster beds. To described this system, he coined the term biocenosis – complex systems of interdependencies.

These systems are dynamic and, what we now know, are chaotic, in nature, refuting the deterministic linearity of Newtonian models.

This vital energy that Moore was describing is emergent and possibly linked to Whitehead's philosophical models that inspired Alexander.

We ponder these ideas as we think about the wiki – a platform that is, in a sense, a biotope of ideas. A nootope.

We were led down this path by Looking over the Horizon, as Ward is fond of saying.

In a recent call with Ward, we talked again about the idea of a Noosphere and its relationship to the wiki. Afterwords, I followed that thread to the ecosystem of ideas, that which is called a noocenosis , borrowing from the paradigm first proposed by Möbius.

It was from exploring its anticedent, biocenosis, that I learned that these systems are also referred to as biotic communities.

I sensed something deeper, that they were more than the objects and relationships, but the dynamic interaction – that vital energy the held it all together. It was from here that I found Moore and his concept of biotic energy. The connection, for me, to Alexander feels obvious.

We are left to wonder about the realm of ideas that create a garden of wonderment and emergence. Might this garden have a vital energy that can be named – inspired by our passion as meaning makers?

Further, might we think about the wiki as being guided by a sacred intention to create a nootic community, an intention that is a strange attractor from which new emerges from the void?

We have seen what happened when Ward's earlier intention manifested – not as planned, but with a profound impact on others.

We also ponder these thoughts within the context of Tangled Layered Networks.

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