On travel …

February 18, 2017

So its late at night after a longish drive up from the Arms Park and I’m about to embark on a series of flights that will get me into Wellington late afternoon on Monday. I’m without my beloved, battered and much travelled Rimowa suitcase which is for significant refurbishment. I’ve got the new MacBook Pro and I’ve treated myself to a new Tumi case that will carry the Pro along with cables and the current academic reading, a novel and other bibs and bobs. Now its the second set of repairs on the Rimowa and its a quality design. I funded a new case on Kickstarter but its not in the same league as far as design is concerned. Tradition and experience are as much a part of quality as a bright idea or two. Tumi the same, there is a pocket for my wallet proofed against scanning and a series of pockets and features which evidence that experience. Given that I travel over 200 days a year little things like robust and well designed luggage are part of life as are the associated rituals of packing and unpacking. I’ve also found that its more economical to buy quality as with that comes the ability to repair (or in Tumi’s case a life time guarantee) which over a long life time saves money. But the real value is the design.

In one sense this is a follow up post to yesterday’s polemic against the tyranny of the explicit. The desire to remove the tacit element from knowledge is up there with the failure to value experience. Human systems acquire tacit knowledge and capability over time which cannot simply be created from scratch. The same is true for individuals. Yes from time to time the travel gets a little much. I know that for the next week I will be on 13, 9 and 7 hour time differences with every hour filled. That means the email backlog will get worse and I will spend time trying to sleep when I am wide awake, and trying not to fall asleep when I am with people. But to be honest the variety of the stimulus, the meeting of old friends and new, the different physical spaces and the war stories that go with travel have addictive quality. Mark Twain famously said”

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

Gaining perspective, seeing things in different ways, finding people who appear alien but turn out to have much in common. All of this is part of the rich tapestry of life.

The illustration is from Cook’s map of New Zealand, produced with the aid of the first Harrison Clock – the story of Longitude

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The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.

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