An introduction to _The Nature of Order_

My work-in-progress attempt of providing a thorough introduction to Alexander’s theory.

The rational / The world / The general

Living structure: a theory of centers

A theory of living structure describing the geometry of beauty and wholeness and their fifteen fundamental properties.

  • Beauty/wholeness is purely encoded in the geometry of things
  • Hierarchy of centers: differentiated regions of space and matter
  • Nature as a role model for consistently creating wholeness
  • 15 fundamental properties
  • A sense of unity: wholeness in color and 11 color properties

Living process: the adaptive process

A process to create living structure.

  • From assembling components to differentiating the whole
  • Structure-preserving transformations
  • 15 properties as structure-preserving transformations
  • Patterns and pattern languages
  • “Do the next right thing” — sequences to conquer complexity
  • Simplicity and nothingness: towards reaching unity

The collapse of meaning: critique on our mechanistic world view

How the lack of shared values in our mechanistic and materialistic world prevents the creation of beauty and wholeness.

  • Descartes “trick” that turned into our model of the world
  • No place for art in science: our meaningless experience
  • How Taylorism replaced our desire for harmony with growth
  • The wrong values: growth, ego and individualism
  • Rediscovering harmony: what we really want need
  • Belonging: a real sense of freedom

The spiritual / Our experience / The personal

Mirror of the self: a deep connection to living structure

We know feel it when we see it.

  • Hardwired for detecting wholeness
  • Observing our capacity to detect wholeness: empirical foundations
  • The mirror-of-the-self test
  • Personal: idiosyncratic or universal?
  • Feeling as a tool for creating wholeness
  • What Alexander means by “feeling”

A new world view bringing back meaning

A post-rationalist world view that incorporates human experience and enables us to share values that will help to rebuild our world.

  • We can’t deny our experience

A new kind of physics: explaining wholeness

Alexander’s attempt to explain the universe by connecting the rational to the spiritual.

  • Merging science and art
  • Physics vs. psychology
  • Alexander’s search for God
  • The Nature of Order as a work of wholeness

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