LEMKINISM - the process of re-languaging existing paradigms is one of our TEN ASPECTS OF METADESIGN

Cranach Elder Garden Eden

Lemkin Adjusted square-50cm-spacer.jpg Polly Higgins

Raphael Lemkin changed politics by coining the word genocide then Polly Higgins won legal acceptance for the word ecocide

Words make realities shareable

  • If we confuse the 'impossible' with the 'unthinkable' we may deceive ourselves and become passive and pessimistic.
  • For example, if we believe that designing miracles is impossible then we will probably prove ourselves right (and vice versa?).
  • Sometimes, a few people can see new possibilities, to which others are blind.
  • In order to make things thinkable the visionaries may need to create new words for them.
  • By creating new words we can change awareness...
  • Changing awareness can change attitudes...
  • And, by changing attitudes we can change behaviours and, even, paradigms.
  • New words can render new opportunities by turning the ‘unthinkable’ into the possible
  • This whole re-languaging process (i.e. "Lemkinism") is an important metadesign method.

Raphael Lemkin's legacy

Languaging as a metadesign tool

Aphid A square-50cm-spacer.jpg Aphid B square-50cm-spacer.jpg Aphid C square-50cm-spacer.jpg Aphid D

  • The making of taxonomies of living species (i.e. differentiating between/naming/ranking their relations) is important in ecology.
  • A key argument is that we cannot save species unless we can differentiate between those that are extremely similar in appearance.
  • However, there may be ways in which we can reduce biodiversity losses without this (e.g. stop eating fish fingers/fish sticks)
  • This is discussed and developed in John's proposals on languaging biodiversities and keystone synergies.
  • It is also implicit in the Wild New Territories project of Ron Den Daas and Kathy Kenny (see Creativity & Ecomimicry).

Return to glossary
Return to home