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Self-organised order

But as important was our reflection on geese. Just a couple of facts are interesting. Pink foots are the archetypal goose for flying in a skein (the V shaped formation, which is, however, usually a bit lopsided). The lead bird is not an alpha, or a male. They just take it in turn to do the hard work, which the leading bird does. They work cooperatively, readily swapping roles, frequently.

And if for any reason a bird needs to drop out of the skein and go to the ground two others group in the skein drop out with it, staying with it until it can return or it is clear it cannot survive. Again, community is apparent.

The conclusion from that discussion was that the Tories have a lot to learn from pink foot geese. They seem to have so much better a sense of society than that party does.

There’s no Commissar, no Fat Controller, no government, just the little platoons getting on with it. You know, very Burkean conservative.

10 thoughts on “Self-organised order”

  1. I see it’s just been announced that Sharon White (she is black, so some strong cultural appropriation there) will step down at the end of her 5 year term and not seek reappointment as CEO of John Lewis, the business structured as a sort of partnership. Which other 2 JLP geese will drop out to tend to her?

  2. I wonder how the geese would feel if some fat potato came along and told them he considered that their nest was too big for their needs and demanded 40% of it to be spent on his pet projects

  3. “The lead bird is not an alpha, or a male …. the Tories have a lot to learn from pink foot geese”. Ah yes, I had forgotten, it is only the Tories that are always led by a male…

  4. There’s no Commissar, no Fat Controller, no government, just the little platoons getting on with it.

    It’s evolved, imprinted behaviour. Nothing to do with “community”, nor with Burkean conservatism.
    Bad analogies all around.

  5. PJF both analogies, but since an analogy is comparing two different things, Tim’s is a good one. Richard Murphy is not really a potato, as you perhpas haven’t noticed.

  6. There are other examples used to justify the need for a fat controller. I’ve read comments that since the wagons trains crossing the American west would elect a captain and the pioneers would all cooperate with each other is proof that the people need to be managed from the top down, ignoring that the cooperation was voluntary and that there were so many wagon trains that if people didn’t like one they could join another. I suppose most any team sports provides the opportunity for the same argument.

  7. Sounds like those geese are part of the same extended family, and the survival adaptations mentioned are eliminative Darwinian. Those not doing these V-rotations and dropping back things are less likely to have surviving grandchicks.
    I wonder if the behaviours of the geese would change if some non-family members were introduced, especially during bad times.

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