The three Cs

I recently wrote a post about the potential for systems to be self organising and the way that we compromise this ability by attempting to exercise control over the world around us. In order for systems to become self organising the networks that make them up have to be comprised of healthy cells.

It occurred to me yesterday that in order to become healthy the cells need to be encouraged to work on the following three characteristics.


Wondering why things are the way they are. A willingness to relax their grip on fixed ideas and to consider alternatives. An inclination to tinker. This is what allows kids to adopt new technology so quickly. We have driven curiosity and playfulness out of the workplace in our attempts to be "businesslike" and in the process have compromised our collective ability to adapt and be effective.

Critical thinking

Constantly thinking about where information is coming from, who are its sources, and who has vested interests in its propagation. Working out the likely truth of the things we consume measured against our other experiences and with a healthily sceptical attitude. Considering the consequences of onward sharing of the information we take in.


Adopting a more conversational tone in how we share ideas and discuss the world around us. Avoiding dogma and dogmatic attitudes. Engaging in a to and fro with equals. Recognising that we are conversing with another human being who shares our challenges and is also struggling to make sense of the world. This last principal needs to be applied just as much online as off.

These three Cs are just as important as the traditional three Rs and we should consider teaching them in school.

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