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Small Arcs of Larger Circles: Framing through other patterns

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Building on Gregory Bateson’s famous book Towards an Ecology of Mind and her own film on the subject, Nora Bateson here updates our thinking on systems and ecosystems, applying her own insights and those of her team at IBI to education, organisations, complexity, academia, and the way that society organizes itself.

She also introduces two terms:
• ‘symmathesy’ to describe
Kindle Edition, 216 pages
Published October 23rd 2016 by Triarchy Press
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It has been a while, but I really had a wow!-experience with this book. Hence this extensive review, with my apologies for the length.

Nora Bateson is the daughter of the British anthropologist-psychologist-philosopher-systems thinker (etc.) Gregory Bateson (1904-1980), a rather elusive figure who combined many disciplines and focussed very fundamentally on the essence of reality. He is best known for his Mind and Nature, 1979, in which he suggests that there is a global spirit that pe
Jon Freeman
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The most inspiring and nourishing book I have read in a long time. Her depth, warmth, intellect and heart shine through. A worthy addition to the Bateson clan legacy.
George Pór
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It keeps me questions many of my fundamental ways of thinking about the world and the processes changing it.
If I could give this book six stars, or more, I would. This is one of the most important books I have ever read. It exists on many levels and in many registers - it is poetry, it is essays, meditations, (auto)biography, science with a special focus on ecology, but also on communications, as you would expect from a disciple of Gregory Bateson, her father. The book never settles into one mode of speaking, and yet all the modes resonatewith each other and tell the same overall story. I read this as ...more
Jul 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
I tried really hard to like this, I really did. I found out about symmathesy on Nora's blog and it inspired me to buy her book, hoping to find more pristine inspiring material. Instead I found muddled language on such an abstract level that it's just too hard for me to even like it a little bit. Here and there, in a few rare moments, Small Arcs shines in it's insight on complexity theory but it simply falls flat in trying to transfer it's thoughts to the reader. I'm sure it's a subjective thing, ...more
Andrew Carey
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I edited this book.
Of all the many, many books I have worked on, this is the one I am most excited by, most delighted by, most privileged to have worked on, most happy to have on my bookshelves and most eager to give to friends. I would recommend it to absolutely anybody, to a wise (wo)man or a fool, to a cynic or an incurable optimist. I know that some readers find it hard to accept that a 'proper' book can have poetry, talks, stories, autobiography, science, politics, essays, power
Gabriel Eggers
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read this book. Read it slowly, pause to reflect, return to it. Read this book with love and curiosity. It is as far as I can tell the nearest thing to a living breathing creature ever set in seeming static form in ink upon page.
William O'Hanley
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
some very good essays, some not very good essays, and the worst poetry I've ever read
Mats Goffhé
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
Sorry but this does not give me very much. To many muddy thoughts, sometimes expressed in a very cliche and plattitude kind of a way. Maybe it was not a good idea to read this right after reading Steven Pinkers excellent "Enlightenment now", the contrast just becomes too big. When it comes to complexity in human systems, complex adaptive systems etc I get a lot more out from texts by Dave Snowden, Jennifer Garvey Berger and others.
Shawn Andrew
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Nora Bateson picks up where Gregory left us. Sysmathesy

Nora Bateson picks up where Gregory left us. Sysmathesy and Vita. Excellent book. As in steps to an ecology of mind, it requires reading in solitude
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