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The Beauty of Emergent Order

There are two kinds of order: the kind we design and the kind that emerges. The first kind can be interesting: iPhones, skyscrapers and recipes. But the second kind is perhaps more interesting. Old cities, coral reefs, languages, economies, galaxies… these are the orders no one plans, but that fill us with wonder.The famous urbanist Jane Jacobs, contra urban planning, once wrote “There is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality is the dishonest mask of pretended order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served.” There is beauty in professionals lining up behind an illegal taco truck. Should planners forbid the things that make cities wonderful — like an artist living in an old warehouse? An unregulated supper club?

In this 2013 Voice and Exit talk, John Papola says there is not only value to be found in natural interactions among people, but beauty.

Join us for Voice & Exit 2014 to get a glimpse of what human emergence looks like when we move away from coercion, towards peaceful interaction.