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).
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.
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’).
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.