Isn’t this stunning. It’s the seed end of a tromboncino, a cross section slice. The seeds are not developed yet. I was about to cook it, but couldn’t resist a photo first.
When you are primed to notice something, you see it everywhere. I wonder whether we see patterns everywhere because we are a pattern-seeking animal, or whether patterns really are everywhere, the whole universe reflected in a tromboncino slice, or a seashell or a weather map? Whether finding patterns allows us to impose some artificial order on the infinite scale of wonder in the universe, or whether we find patterns beautiful because we recognise some truth about the universe in them?
David Holmgren’s 7th permaculture principle is “design from patterns to details”. It means that once you “learn” an ecosystem well enough, once you have observed it enough, you start to notice that although every instance is unique, there are bigger patterns operating. You start to think in systems theory, rather than classic, one way, cause and effect.
And systems theory is, I think, the next great “Enlightenment” that will change our view of the world as thoroughly and profoundly as the last enlightenment did. The last enlightenment brought us the scientific method. I love science. I believe science is the best way we currently have to understand reality, and from there, the meaning of life. But permaculture is a branch of systems theory, that says that the picture is bigger than the scientific method can manage. In the real world, there are no constants. There are no side effects. Variables change and multiply, every action has not just an equal an opposite reaction but an infinite number of roll on effects. Everything is connected sounds all cosmic until you reflect that it’s a simple, obvious, statement of fact. Applied science gives way to applied art.
Nothing like a tromboncino to make one all philosophic!