HANDOUT:     Heiner Benking, Germany

1999 Annual Meeting of the International Society for Panetics

Cosmos Club, Washington DC, April 26, 1999

Scale is more than size

it is size with proportions and consequences.

When proportions are no longer in harmony,

or consequences are unanticipated,

we have a problem of scale.

A. Buzacott

Keynote by Johan  Galtung

Panetics and the Practice of Peace and Development

in memoriam for Ralph Siu on the occation of his recent death in Washington.


Section :

Applying Panetics 2 PM:

Contribution Heiner Benking  

This proposal presents a way to communicate and visualise complex issues, proportions and consequences in order to compare alternative actions in their specific context.



Embodying, Visualising, and Sharing Positions and Perspectives

When reflecting on suffering and generations, our common platform of using only monetary units is not enough. Ethics involves Scales and Values and so a wider framework, deeper realms, and more authentic scopes are required to negotiate aspects and consequences. Ralph Siu has outlined in his papers: "OF THE HUMAN BODY" and " A UNIFYING NEO-TAOIST-SCIENTIFIC CONCEPTUALIZATION OF THE HUMAN BEING" what is needed and how comprehensive any framework must be in order to help us to come to shared understanding of what is involved. Rrudolph Krejci wrote in the PANETICS JOURNAL about "Popperís Integrated Universes of Discourse" and so we can outline the worlds we have to include and explore.

The following proposal includes "these worlds" [1] and is based first of all on a "Dialogue Culture" [2] and how to care for listening and empowering alternative voices. By caring where the other is conceptually, which background, timeframe and context, we can try to make the next step, bridging representations, and going beyond the one only system of numbers or standards. I have discussed with Ralph Siu over the Years that we need to build such frameworks for shared reasoning, and that Panetics, by going beyond one system or schema, by also and prominently working with "non-economic" data is a first choice candidate for including wider aspects for more solid decision making.

Panetics, as I understand it, substantiates decisions by adding dimensions and qualia in order to go beyond economic data. Extra views, "currencies," and systems are urgently needed to measure and help compare alternative actions or strategies. As we have shown, with prominent reference to the work of Bob Lamson on Situation Rooms [3], there is a strong need to learn how to embody and visualize in order to gain an understanding of new levels, developments, and justifiable ends.

It is meanwhile widely accepted, that we have to consider the context, the "environment" in order to see and discuss better alternative actions. In review of the modelling and maneuvering in war or situation rooms, it seems appropriate to consider using an extra space, a decision or situation space, to give units of a currency or units of suffering a place, a situation we can see, inspect jointly from different angles and distances, and can remember and record.

Keeping situations and issues in mind is only one thing, to build a physical model is another approach, yet another is to simulate and create artificial and mental models (imaginary scenes). What we are talking here about is the need to bridge the models and in view of modern possibilities to immerse into virtual dynamic models or colaboratory artificial environments of virtual reality (VR) or Cyberspace. We have discussed elsewhere to great extend 1) the need for common frames of references [xxxx], 2) the needs of governance [xxx], and 3) how misleading metaphors and concepts in a modern electornic and telecommunication age can propell us into a chaos of loss of orientation, perspectives and visions (futures).

Decision rooms have to accomodate not only views from "everywhere" keeping in mind context and scale and provide "places" for extreme positions, but they must also allow to share scenarios and alternatives. Such a "calculus" across times and across scales need to make use of "common frames of references", references which need to be mapped into different scales and projections. One way to conceptualize this is to make use of Hellmuth Plessnerís "Ex©zentric Positionality" and embody and model all the different positions or eyes, as we have done in the "House of Eyes" or in order to see the different representations or forms, and translate between them, in the Cognitive Panorama. Ralph Siu wrote, that some historic rulers were concerned about the outcome of their actions, they wanted to compare alternatives under various horizons. We should do so also, but with various currencies and various scales/foci. Only by widening our basis and by making alternatives solid, can we negotiate alternative actions, terrains, and perspectives/scopes. For more see the work of Hans Jonas, from whom we "borrowed" the term "Ethics with Time and Space Horizon" and want to show that such ethics can be embodied and seen from different angles, and in this way avoiding right or wrong. We have learned that African tribes rotated, moved into the neighbours village in order to see with their eyes. What we propose is an embodiment and reflection of different positions and through this compare alternative takes and the motivation and possibly values connected with other origins.



[1] In the ISSS -PRIMER Wholeness Seminar you can find the design of how to position and transcend meaning and contexts. For the worlds of discourse see: http://www.newciv.org/ISSS_Primer/seminrva.html

- for some some pieces of the work of Ralph Siu see: http://www.newciv.org/ISSS_Primer/asem16rs.html

(Tao of Science) and introduction to Ralph Siuís publications, and http://www.newciv.org/ISSS_Primer/asem19rs.html

and extract from Vol 10 Unifying Theory of the Human Organism and Behavior.

[2] Dialogue Culture http://www.ceptualinstitute.com/genre/benking/dialogue-culture.htm

and Voices that Mattter: http://newciv.org/cob/members/benking/voicetxt.html

[3] Situation Rooms - Situation Spaces - Scales, Proportions, Patterns, and Consequences in Perspective, World Association for CASE METHOD RESEARCH AND CASE METHOD APPLICATION (WACRA-EUROPE) COMPLEX PROBLEM SOLVING Cognitive Psychological and Methodological Decision Support for Societal Policy Making - 13th International WACRA Conference and 2nd International Conference on Methods for Complex Societal Problems (SMCP) 1996, http://newciv.org/cob/members/benking/sitspace.html

[4] The Optics of Ethics - Scales, Patterns, Scales, Horizons, Proportions, and Consequences in Shared Perspectives, Eco-Philosophy and Environmental Ethics, Section III - World Futures Studies Federation, Nairobi, 1995 http://newciv.org/cob/members/benking/opto.html

- This paper was the second presentation in Nairobi, whereas the first was in the FUTURES AND ECONOMY session and is widely published during the last 5 years: Robust Paths to Global Stability: Tough but Feasible,


[5] Frames of References: http://www.ceptualinstitute.com/genre/benking/melbourne.htm

[6] Capacity to Govern http://www.ceptualinstitute.com/genre/benking/governance.htm#UN

[7] Humane Society or Information War http://www.bfranklin.edu/hubs/global/benking.htm 
Humane or  War is only one of many possible alternative Futrures. Futurists see Futures as stars and invite us to navigate our shared directions, jsut as we serch our paths in the physical world. We have discussed such alternative metaphors and directions in  the "Communicative Society" lecture at the Humboldt University - first lecture in a series, which will take place at the first event  in the year 2000. For more please see:

footnote for [7] from 2002, please also see http://benking.de/ppt/kouvola2001/sld001.htm
where we in cooperation with the Millennium Project (AC/UNU) presented directly after Sept 11, 2001 alternatives and challenges.

footnote 2003: The reference to Ralph Siu in the keynote for the Rudolf Bahro BAHRO Symposium by Johan Galtung is of particular interest. Links to the original text with references will be given when available. The event organized by Lenser and Hosang in 2002 about the outcomes of the ALTERNATIVE by Rudolf Bahro might be also of some concern and will provide some directions. In between pls see: http://www.agrar.hu-berlin.de/wisola/fg/ress/bahro.html#akt and the open - forum open-space dialogues at the symposium, please see the picutures from 2002.





Beyond Dualism .. and FIXED WALLS or BORDERS... NO negotiation possible..

JUDGE !! Tensegitity and ENCYLOPAEDIA...


along and across cultures


along and across aspects and perspectives..


Overview & Orientation or Overclaims & Oversimplifications ?

InterSymp'97 Ė UNESCO Culture of Peace Baden-Baden, August 18-23, 1997

Ad-hoc Discussion Paper and Presentation Outline to be seen as an annex and summary of the paper:

"Understanding and Sharing in a Cognitive Panorama"




I also want to share with you another piece which I received from Godric Bader from the

It is not the critic who counts;

not the man who points out where the strong man stubled

or where the doer of deeds could have done better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena;

whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;

who strives valiantly,

who errs and comes short again and again;

who knows the great enthusiasms;

who at best, knows the triumphs of high achievement,

and who, at worst, if he fails,

at least fails while daring greatly,

so that his palce shall never be with those cold and timid souls,

who know neither victory nort defeat.



I think, such a man, with great enthusiasm, "resilience", and wide perspective was Ralph Siu.

Words - yes words

Make them solid

so that you can pick them up

and throw them

that is the problem. How to make

the intangible real, lifelike,

to press springlike, such vigor

into their sinews.

Those seeds that fall

gently from trees

circling, catching yellow in the sun,

must fall on solid ground and germinate

push up strong leaves,

must carry the weight of roots and years

in their young green-ness


Whoever wants to seriously study the truth of things

should not investigate just one science

Because all parts of science

are interconnected in mutual dependency.