Spiral dynamics: the matrix effects

In my blogs about critical mass I have put the spiral (see picture 1) as one of the most fundamental forms in nature as well as in social networks of people, for example during an uprising or the makings of an innovation.




Picture 1: a spiral from openness to focus

For example, in an open innovation environment, a broad gala of ideas first flows in: the openness phase (3). Many ideas will fall away, but a few will be further elaborated in projects: the mass phase (2). Ultimately, only a few of these projects will lead to a usable product: the focus phase (1).

An expansion of the spiral, is the torus, consisting of a downward and upward spiral, see image 2. A torus completes the system: energy can freely flow from openness to focus and then through focus towards openness. The latter, the reverse spiral, is the case, for example, when new products (1) lead to new projects (2) and entirely new ideas (3).

double spiral

Picture 2: the torus

Like the spiral, the torus manifests itself not only in social networks but also in many forms in nature (see picture 3): for example in the energy flows of trees, people, apples, hurricanes, the earth and the galaxy respectively.

torus in nature

Picture 3: The torus in nature

From a scientific perspective, there are three types of effects between objects: causal, correlation or quantum. Where the particles, or objects, are close to each other, causal connections will be found more quickly (phase 1, focus). For example, if you type a text, the result is displayed directly on the computer screen. In the mass phase (2) the particles lie a bit further apart and then one finds coherence, or correlation. An example of this is that a project can fail or succeed as a result of a multitude of causes, many of which are not convincingly the decisive success factor, but they do count. In the case of the openness phase, the particles are spread as widely as possible over the entire spectrum so that no coherent insights can be directly detected. Quantum mechanics teaches that they still can be there: non-local connections. A well-known example is that a particle on this side of the world is intertwined with a particle on the other side of the world. In the openness phase, for example, it often happens that people who live independently of each other come to the same idea or the same invention.

As decsribed a spiral can be divided in 3 phases: focus, mass and openness (FMO). A phase consists of a multiplicity of interaction between the mentioned effects and there is also interaction between the phases. As a result, the effects mentioned exist in five phases of a spiral, now including two transitional phases:

Focus x Focus, Focus x Mass, Mass x Mass, Mass x Openness, and Openness x Openness

Therefore the spiral exists actually has 5 types of effects within 5 phases. Logically, a double spiral, the torus, consists of 10 types of effects in 10 phases. It suffices to focus on the 5 species that take place within one spiral. In the case of the torus, the reverse sequence is added again.

The five effects are based on the described, whether or not, combinations of three basic scientific effects: causal, correlation and quantum. Causal is causal, correlation refers to coherence between factors and the whole, and quantum effects are often non-local.

These three effects influence each other: pure focus consists of causal effects, pure mass is based on correlation and pure openness consists of quantum effects. Between focus and mass, and mass and openness, there are 2 transition phases (Focus x Mass and Mass x Openness) where a combination of effects takes place. We have made a matrix of the 5 phases (see picture 4). This can be filled for many situations, in this framework we aim at uprising (‘opstand.net’).

matrix effects spiral

Picture 4: matrix effects spiral dynamics

These concern the possible substantive results of the interaction of the effects associated with each phase.

Note that in this matrix the spiral is classified from small and precise (focus) to large and wide (openness): from increasing an effect, resulting in an event, rolling into inequality, the effect of changing society by revolution, to possibilities to influence history. This is only an enumeration of the last horizontal axis in each submatrix. When studying all the combination of axes, there is much more information about each phase.

Critical mass, the snowball effect, where suddenly major changes take place, often occurs in the transition phase from mass to openness; at one moment, mass is still somewhat intact at the other moment, then suddenly the uprising is bursting out and a revolution is taking place very quickly. In the openness phase the events end up in all directions. In fact, in the openness phase, everything that has been achieved by a revolt, often quickly falls apart again. Then sooner or later there will be a new inverse process from openness to mass and focus, the other side of the torus. Both spirals occur simultaneously in many forms and both directions.

The usefulness of this matrix is ​​to gain insight into the dynamics of spirals by filling them in for different topics of interest.

Drugs deception by pharmacies

‘It is normal for pharmaceutical companies to have profit margins of over 20%. This is relatively high compared to other sectors, and as high as the profit in the software industry. The profit can not be explained by the high risk of investment in specific related R & D processes ‘(COM Report SEO, 2014). The explanation is that pharmaceutical companies often abuse their monopoly position of a specific drug and thereby demand an irreplaceable high price for the drug. ‘To keep expensive drugs affordable, profit margins for pharmaceutical companies should be tied to a maximum. That says Wouter Bos, chairman of the VU medical center in Amsterdam. According to Bos, a profit standard of maximum 10% is necessary because the pharmaceutical industry itself only comes with nonsense solutions’ (FD, 2017). They save on providing cheap, commonly used drugs by the GP to pay new expensive cancer therapies, which cost between 50.00 and 150.000 euros per patient each year.


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The eavesdropping act in Holland: yes or no?

The eavesdropping act

There is an eavesdropping act on the way that allows the tapping of civilians on a large scale. Not only suspects, but also innocent civilians, can be tapped of for security. ‘The act ensures that intelligence services AIVD and MIVD have more powers. At the moment, they can only tap very focused internet traffic: if they know which connection they want to tap into. From January 1, they may also tap into larger volumes of traffic, searching for suspicious patterns’ (NOS, 2017). That’s why it’s called the drag-act. In addition, the data collected may be kept for three years, which got a lot of criticism from the members of the Council of State who are wondering if this is in line with the European Human Rights Convention.


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Linux: Open Source Community

Linux is by far the most used open source software and has the biggest community of builders. The code used to create Linux is free and available to the public to view, edit, and contribute to. The Linux kernel is an operating system kernel created in 1991 by Linus Torvalds. He also created Git, a system to manage the variety of versions of the software source code. This because, although the core pieces of the Linux operating system are generally common, there are many distributions of Linux, which include different software options.

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Like a Rolling Stone

‘How does it feel, how does it feel?
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone’

Rolling Stone is for sale. The magazine was named after Bob Dylan’s song Like a Rolling Stone. Dylan has been on the cover of the magazine many times and gave many interviews what is rare for him. He is known as the man who gave the music content and spirit through his poetic texts. Last year, he still received the Nobel Prize of Literature. Poetry can be interpreted in many ways but many of his songs are considered protest songs. The UltimateClassicRock site provides an overview of his top 10 protest songs.

Five powerful peace quotes and acts

1. John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Imagine all the people, living life in peace.

´Knowing their March 20, 1969 marriage would be a huge press event, John and Yoko decided to use the publicity to promote world peace. They spent their honeymoon in the presidential suite (Room 702) at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel for a week between March 25th and 31st’ (Wikipedia, 2017). The Amsterdam Bed-In was very popular by their fans, and received a great deal of press coverage. Following the event John and Yoko sent oak nuts to the heads of state in various countries around the world with the goal that they would plant them as a symbol of peace.

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Catalonia’s struggle for independence

For centuries, Catalans have rebelled against Spain. In 1640, for example, after a 12-year protest, they lost the battle against the Spanish government. Within the next centuries, Catalonia largely retained its own laws. But gradually the monarchy started to adapt the local laws to the central authority. This led to several civil wars where Catalonia was on the losing side and lost more of its autonomy (Wikipedia, 2017).

In the second half of the 19th century Catalonia became a major industrial center. This fact contributed to the October Revolution of 1934, in which Catalonia declared independence but also this revolt was knocked down. In 1936 the Spanish Civil War broke out: in Catalonia, anarchists came to power and conducted an anti-capitalist revolution. Subsequently, ‘in 1939, the Nationalists won the victory, and the subsequent dictatorship of General Francisco Franco was a major blow to the region. All that was Catalan, or better all that, according to the dictator, was non-Spanish, was strictly prohibited during this period. Violations were heavily punished. After Franco’s death in 1975, Spain ended 36 years of dictatorship. Three years later, the region gained a stronger cultural character and a little more political autonomy’ (Wikpedia, 2017).

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Co-operatives: the shield of Greece

Greece was one of the European countries who faced the hardest consequences of the 2008 financial crises and thereafter had to realize hard reforms to be able to stay in the European Union. In the business sector a great number of small and medium-sized enterprises went bankrupt: hundreds of thousands of businesses have been closed down since 2008.


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Revolutionary Business Management by Ricardo Semler

Semco’s huge growth spurt
Semco is a company made large by Ricardo Semler. Among the activities of the company are Industrial Machine Construction, Semco Ventures (High Tech and Internet Services) and SemcoHR (Human Resources). Annual sales rose by $ 4 million from Ricardo Semler in 1982 to $ 35 million in 1994, with an annual growth that is always over 25 percent and sometimes even 40 percent. The company had 3,000 employees in 2003, compared with 90 in 1982 ‘…’ As of 2003, Semco had annual sales of $ 212 million. In 2010, the company had more than 5000 employees. ” In addition, during the Brazilian hyperinflation, Ricardo Semler also prevented Semco’s bankruptcy in 1990.

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The succes of Mondragon: Spain’s giant co-operative


In 1956 graduates of a local technical college founded Mondragon in the town of Mondragoe. The northern Spanish town now has become a corporation of 100 smaller cooperatives which operates in four areas: finance, industry, retail, and knowledge. In 2013, the corporation posted a total revenue of over €12 billion and about 74.000 employed, making it Spain’s fourth-largest industrial and tenth-largest financial group.

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Social capital problems between the poorest in Mexico

The Recepac network becomes Reocone
This blog is based on my graduation thesis that compares the Mexican Reocone ‘network’ (co-operative) with it predecessor Recepac. Until 1997 Recepac was a national network which included four states in Mexico. The Chiapanecan part of the network (Chiapas ia a Mexican state), with 14 member organisations (coffeeproducers, women- and religious organizations) against four organizations in all of the other states, chose to become independent. The main reason for that was that the Chiapanecan part of the network proved to be the only state with an important contribution in size and impact compared to the four organizations in the other states. All of the 14 organizations of Recepac remained in the later Chipanecan Reocone network, with no change in their main goal to fight their poverty by helping eachother.

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