Is that so?

Essential as closure is to life itself, closure in models can be lethal to lives guided by them. For instance, the conventional economic model which represents the flow of exchange value as a closed circle is

totally abstracted from the “environment” within which the money economy is actually embedded – there are no connections between the money flows and biophysical reality.… Worse, the implied simple, reversible, mechanistic behavior of the economy is inconsistent with the connectivity, irreversibility, and positive feedback dynamics of complex energy, information, and eco-systems, the systems with which the economy interacts in the real world.

— William E. Rees (2002)

When such a simplistically closed model operates in collusion with imperious demands for ‘growth,’ the result is accelerated degradation of the planet – a result neither predicted by the model nor intended by its users.

Likewise, a belief system that is not open to alternatives is closed to learning.

Two diverse descriptions are always better than one.

Bateson (1979, 157)

We have to learn what we can, but remain mindful that our knowledge not close the circle, closing out the void, so that we forget that what we do not know remains boundless, without limit or bottom, and that what we know may have to share the quality of being known with what denies it. What is seen with one eye has no depth.

— Ursula Le Guin, Always Coming Home, 29

Certainty closes down one’s mind and heart.

— Robert Theobald (1992, 60)

Certainty is immunity to dialogue, just as death is immunity to experience.

— gnox

Stay us wherefore in our search for righteousness, O Sustainer, what time we rise and when we take up to toothpick and before we lump down upown our leatherbed and in the night and at the fading of the stars! For a nod to the nabir is better than a wink to the wabsanti.

FW2, 4-5

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