Affiliation

Freelance Consultant and Researcher, USA

Biography

Born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1947, I earned a Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Maryland 30 years later. Over the next 15 years, I taught English in colleges, wrote speeches in two large corporations and two government agencies, and ran my own public relations firm. When I left one of those corporations, Verizon, in 1993, I started working on my first book, "Corporate DNA," published in 1998. During that time, I became involved in the community studying how to apply complexity theory to human phenomena. In the last 15 years, I have published in a variety of publications, co-edited "Dance to the Music of Story" with David Boje, and am presently finishing my book with Dmitri Bondarenko, a Moscow anthropologist, for Emergent Publications. I live in Philadelphia with my wife, Martha Aleo, and our feline housemate, Plumpton Meowovich.

baskinman47{at}yahoo.com

Articles

Storied spaces: The human equivalent of complex adaptive systems
Volume: 10, Issue 2

New notes from Stellenbosch
Volume: 9, Issue 1-2

A Review of Complexity in World Politics: Concepts and Methods of a New Paradigm written by Neil E. Harrison reviewed by Ken Baskin published by State University of New York Press ISBN 9780791468074 (2006)
Volume: 9, Issue 3

Guest editors' introduction
Volume: 7, Issue 3-4

The role of complexity studies in the emerging “processual” worldview
Volume: 20, Issue 1
As writers including Heinz Pagels to Lee Smolin have noted, a new scientific paradigm is emerging to take the place the linear model of Descartes and Newton. This paper explores Complexity Theory studies the patterns that emerge as phenomena evolve in the world suggested by that new paradigm. The co-authors refer to the new paradigm as "processual", because it depicts a world composed fundamentally of processes that flow through each other to create systemic causality, rather than the Newtonian image of a clock-like world of cause-and-effect. The paper relates how the co-authors used Complexity Theory to understand this emergent worldview as they wrote *The Axial Ages of World History*. In doing so, they discovered a way of understanding world history as extremely "thick" and multi-dimensional, less like a machine than an ecosystem. Complexity Theory, they conclude, stands as a gateway to such an understanding of disciplines from psychology to organizational development.

Complexity and the Dilemma of the Two Worlds
Volume: 5, Issue 1

Corporate DNA
Volume: 2, Issue 1

Complexity, stories and knowing
Volume: 7, Issue 2
In this article, the author argues that storytelling is a biological imperative for human beings, the psychological mechanism by which they can capture the coherent perceptions of an unknowably complex world required for survival. After examining how internal story creation reduces the world’s complexity to a state in which people can effectively choose actions, the article explores how acting on such internal stories helps create a spiral of experience, storying, acting and confirmation or contradiction of storying in experience, leading to knowledge. As experience confirms the predictions of storying, a person’s knowledge becomes stronger and stronger. Over time, stories evolve from antenarrative (what might have happened) to narrative (what did happen), and then to myth (the nature of reality). The article concludes with some thoughts on the implications of this theory of the relationship between storying and cognition.

Chaos and complexity
Volume: 6, Issue 4

And miles to go before we sleep
Volume: 6, Issue 3

A Review of "The Emergence of Leadership: Linking Self-Organization and Ethics"
Volume: 8, Issue 4

First Impressions: A Review "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking"
Volume: 7, Issue 1

A review of "Leadership Can Be Taught: A Bold Approach for a Complex World"
Volume: 8, Issue 2