I have just finished reading E:CO’s Volume 6 Annual, received at my home today and I cannot refrain from expressing that I think it is a small but wonderful piece of complex issues presentation.
The authors, in my view, grasp many of the essential features of our present worldwide complexification of issues; a situation that does not reduce itself to organizations although indeed comprises their complexification too. Moreover, the Annual Editorial expresses those features in an understandable way, but with precise language. Taken together, both such circumstances should have a very strong positive impact on anyone who reads it, and contribute to their ‘conversion’ towards an attitude that is constructed ‘in complex terms’. I congratulate - and remain grateful to - those who wrote it.
But since desire always escapes ahead of reason (and it is fair for it to do so), here goes a small expression of my desire: Side by side with the acknowledgement of the “epistemological and ontological presuppositons” of complexity thinking, we should also explicitly give proper place to its axiological presuppositions (i.e., the nature of its values and value judgments); not less but equally - and to my mind even more significant than those other presuppositions. Maybe one day we will all come to conclude that the overall importance of complexity theory or complexity thinking to our present (far from just and fair) World has been, after all, the shift in values that it has prompted.
This last statement of mine is by no accident related to the place of that World in which I happened to be born, presently live and have no intention to quit: the Third (‘developing’: are you sure?) World - Havana, Cuba to be precise.
You can be sure that the complex realities of the world about which the Annual Editorial writes so adequately, look very different from Havana than from other places in that same World. In particular, from this perspective, I cannot but strongly endorse E:CO’s (and the Editorial’s) “...vigilance in pursuing a wide diversity of inclusive perspectives that embrace not just so-called First-World but also Developing World issues, insights, and challenges.” The axiological importance of this aim cannot be overstated.
I say this not because I myself have personally benefitted with being part of E:CO’s Subject Editors staff or with the printing in E:CO of some my writings. On the contrary, these circumstances are in themselves part of the proof that the proclaimed “vigilance” is not just words, but deeds. Deeds which comprise: the active participation of several of E:CO’s main editors and of other Staff Members at the 2nd and 3rd Havana Biennial International Complexity Seminars; the printing in the journal of several Seminar materials; the organization of the (co-sponsored by ISCE) Philosophy and Complexity International Workshops at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and (upcoming) at Stellenbosch, South Africa.
All this makes E:CO not just ‘another’ First-World Complexity Journal, not just ‘more-of-the-same’, but an innovative and generative (to use the same adjectives in R. Lewin’s appraisal about the E:CO) initiative, welcomed by many.
I hope that E:CO will always sustain and even increase the stated - and practiced- vigilance towards diversity of perspectives in Complexity Thinking. I am sure this will lead it to a very successful (not necessarily free from nuisances from some quarters) future.
All the best,
Dr. Pedro Sotolongo