[Proposal] Cosmos Café - Unpacking Pattern Language

Proposals are percolating brews brewing, waiting for the right time-space for an introduction to our ever-growing, always-pulsating Cosmos Café menu and calendar. Give the proposal a like if you think it would be a good addition to the list of Cosmic brews. The reading for this Café proposed by @care_save.

In your time zone: TBD
ZOOM video conference: Launch Meeting - Zoom

From Wikipedia page on Pattern Language:

A pattern language is a method of describing good design practices or patterns of useful organization within a field of expertise. The term was coined by architect Christopher Alexander and popularized by his 1977 book A Pattern Language .

Reading / Watching / Listening


Seed Questions

  • Q1
  • Q2

Context, Backstory, and Related topics

  • Other relevant links or topics, e.g., leading up to this talk
  • Links to additional reading, viewing, listening

Agenda items

  • Coordinating upcoming sessions
  • Tech questions
  • Other procedural issues
  • Meta / reflections on Café practice itself

I have done quite a bit of work in relation to Alexander’s ideas over the years. You are aware, of course, that computer scientists co-opted his ideas in order to develop « pattern templates » for computer programming, so his ideas have had broad applicability, not always in intended directions, however. If the timing works, I will try to attend.


I’d be interested in this discussion, and agree with your suggestion elsewhere, if it would enable people with a specific interest in this topic to attend, we could play with the time, even stack this with some other kind of dialogue, perhaps involving some applied pattern languaging—a meta-languaging—that results in some concrete altering of the whole.

We each have our personality, styles, concerns, and ways of speaking/writing—but what are the meta-patterns that emerge from our interactions, and how are these embedded in our digital-bleeding-into-analog environment?

I think it would be interesting to engage this piece in a reflexive kind of way, talk about how we’re talking about it, and why. Then do something with the results. How might such an exploration ripple through the system?


I would be interested in this, @Douggins. Would you please update me when the date is set? I took part in a group reading his _Nature of Order _ a few years ago. We kept group reading blogs, which can still be viewed here:

Christopher Alexander – Magellan Courses (Navigation menu to individual posts within this discussion to the side)

From an email I sent to @care_save, which Marco is referring to :

So I just threw this out there…! As a proposal, it may gain a few hearts of interest or may spark a conversation.

I will leave it up to you to create a better intro for this topic. I understand Cafe times are difficult for you to attend so perhaps this can be one of our Thursday discussions or a special topic at some other time? Marco mentioned elsewhere about designating Thursdays as having specific topics…perhaps we can find a place for this one.

So far, this topic has gained much interest, collected a fine amount of snow! And as noted by others, the Café time slot might not be ideal. I will leave the decision for the “right” time up to Caroline (who proposed the topic and who I would like to give first dibs at time management). And if she choses to pass, we can work with those interested. This idea originally came from Caroline sharing the article above, which is written by one of her Good, Good friends, and I decided to place it as a Cafe proposal. I was surprised to see so many of you interested. We will make a discussion happen one way or another!

See also this thread:

1 Like

Hello! Thank you so much @Douggins for proffering this to people’s consciousnesses, and for the interest shown by all on this thread! I haven’t been on InfiniteConversations in a hot minute, so I appreciate your patiences. :pray:

I’m very interested in getting this on the calendar for some point in February or March. Ditto for the conversation on Horizontal Management. @Douggins shall we confer about cafe availability? My own personal availability is greatest on Thursdays or Fridays, would it be acceptable to set up a cafe on one of those dates?


My own two-cents, if I may: I see the Café more as a format than an institution … or perhaps we should just be institutionalized – it doesn’t matter. There is nothing I can see that speaks against having a Café (session) any night of the week. Since I’m a regular on Tuesdays (as that works best with my availability) I would like to think of a Thursday or any-other-day Café as in addition to rather than instead of. Naturally, should I have the opportunity to check in whenever it is, I would do so, should the topic be of interest to me (which this one is); otherwise, there’s always the recording and post-Café discussion forum to get involved.


This has/these have been my thoughts all along @achronon! Ideally, we can set-up, participate/record and enjoy at our leisure and on our own time. Given a little more time, I think the website will be arranged in such a manner to make this a simpler possibility.

My first thoughts for this Pattern Language are to reach out to those “atypical” temporal folks, who cannot regularly attend on Tuesday and see when and if Thursday/Friday will work out. Perhaps you can set up a Doodle poll or just lay out your available times Caroline, for others to see and respond to? Similar to our later Aurobindo discussions, set in one half of the day + the other half to meet individual and international needs, this and any Cafe can be distributed as we see fit. I think, once we set a Thursday or Friday time (what works best for you @grannyjan, @hfester, @Geoffreyjen_Edwards, @care_save? any others I have left off the list?), then the regularly set Cafe can follow suit with the same or similar reading, before or after the alternatively scheduled Cafe.


Those interested in Alexander’s concept of pattern language might also be interested to know how this was one big influence on PatternDynamics, developed by Tim Winton. PatternDynamics combines the patterns of nature with the power of language, to produce a pattern language that has numerous applications for the complex systems we live and work in. I wrote a short intro here:

Over on the Integral Review channel, there is a deep dive interview with Tim about the intersection of PatternDynamics and integral post-metaphysical spirituality.