Design In Nature -7-

Chapter Six   “Why Hierarchy Reigns”

I think chapter six will prove to be the most critical chapter as in how the constructal law intersects with animal behavior. Today we find a reinvigoration of the debate over dominance. The last several decades the positive, learning theorists have been arguing there’s no such thing as dominance and taken it to the level of political correctness. Now the clinically minded scientists are pushing back and coming up with various syntheses as they try to account for social fluidity, and so they postulate a hierarchy concerned with control over resources rather than a strict social caste system. This book definitively answers the question from an engineering/mathematical highly scientific point of view. There’s no such thing as dominance. Rather there’s a flow system around which every hierarchal arrangement evolves.

This then returns us to the question, what is going on inside the dog’s mind when it’s posturing over a food bowl in a menacing display, or when it’s going belly up as a bellicose dog approaches? Again, I’m arguing that within every dog’s mind no matter the interaction, there is a flow dynamic, i.e. emotion moving toward a preyful aspect and either meeting with resistance or not. The main objection I’ve encountered over the years to my line of reasoning is that this is too simplistic to account for complexity. This book should put that objection to rest as it definitively shows how the anatomy and physiology of every living organism, the path of a lightning bolt, the branching structure of a tree and bush, the trend of evolution, the organization structure of the U.S. Army or corporation, all subscribe to the same flow pattern. So if the constructal law predicts the organization of structure at every level of activity, then surely what’s going on inside the dog’s mind must reflect this hierarchal architecture as well. YDIYM argues that not only is there a hierarchy of feelings within a group of dogs, but also between dog and owner as well. This hierarchy configures itself like a chorale. No two voices are exactly alike, but they vary according to the same principle of flow (in fact, due to way the animal mind is constructed, even two voices that are exactly the same will differ when in the presence of the other. In other words, the more alike two things are, the more they stress each other until one is forced to flip to the equal but opposite polarity in order for either to experience pure flow. This is the dynamic role that stress plays in the flow system. It may be latent, but it is never dormant.) The members of the choir will sort themselves out until they find the best arrangement that produce the most powerful harmonic sound, an experience of harmony that no one singer can attain on their own. If they don’t, there will be discord and various instincts (which are themselves caricatures or facsimiles of the main channel) will manage the interrupt in order to limit the loss of flow.

Published March 14, 2012 by Kevin Behan
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