The Web of Life – A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems (p.303-304)
The flexibility of an ecosystem is a consequence of its multiple feedback loops, which tend to bring the system back into balance whenever ther is a deviation from the norm, due to changing environmental conditions.
VICKi will involve the exploration of multiple feedback loops between movement, media, and ideas.
All ecological fluctuations take place between tolerance limits. There is always the danger that the whole system will collapse when a fluctuation goes beyond those limits and the system can no longer compensate for it. The same is true of human communities. Lack of flexibility manifests itself as stress.
The lack of flexibility in the dance community, to include diverse (sub) cultural values and practices in the performance circuit and in scholarship has alienated a host of supporters, and also kept secret from them the values that could be shared of the existing dance communities.
The principle of flexibility also suggests a corresponding strategy of conflict resolution. In every community there will invariably be contradictions and conflicts, which cannot be resolved in favor of one or the other side. For example, the community will need stability and change, order and freedom, tradition and innovation. Rather than by rigid decisions, these unavoidable conflicts are much better resolved by establishing a dynamic balance.
A diverse ecosystem will be resilient, because it contains many species with overlapping ecological functions that can partially replace one another. When a particular species is destroyed by a severe disturbance so that a link in the network is broken, a diverse community will be able to survive and reorganize itself, because other links in the network can at least partially fulfill the function of the destroyed species.
In human communities ethnic and cultural diversity may play the same role. Diversity means many different relationships, many different approaches to the same problem. A diverse community is a resilient community, capable of adapting to changing situations.
However, diversity is a strategic advantage only if there is a truly vibrant community, sustained by a web of relationships. If the community is frangmented into isolated groups and individuals, diversity can easily become a source of prejudice and friction.
But if the community is aware of the interdependence of all its members, diversity will enrich all the relationships and thus enrich the community as a whole, as well as each individual member. In such a community informationa nd ideas flow freely through the entire network, and the diversity of interpretations and learning styles – even the diversity of mistakes – will enrich the entire community.