Rhizome takes it name from plants such as bamboo, aspen, or ginger that spread via a connected underground root system. As metaphor, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari used rhizome to refer to a non-hierarchal form of organization. I have extended this metaphor, refering to rhizome as an alternative mode of human organization consisting of a network of minimally self-sufficient nodes that leverage non-hierarchal coordination of economic activity. The two keys concepts in my formulation of rhizome are 1) minimal self-sufficiency, which eliminates the dependencies that accrete hierarchy, and 2) loose and dynamic networking that uses the "small worlds" theory of network information processing to allow rhizome to overcome information processing burdens that normally overburden hierarchies.
Rhizome operates as the central metaphor of this blog, connecting the diverse themes of energy & peak oil (arguing that a rhizomatic organization is the most practicable solution to low-energy social coordination), geopolitics & terrorism (as emergent non-state actors tend to embody many of rhizome's organizational principles), to philosophy (arguing that rhizomatic organization is more compatible with humanity's genetic ontogeny than the currently dominant hierarchal mode).
Several posts that elaborate on the application of rhizome to human systems include:
1. Problem of Growth. A capstone formulation of why our societal structure is unsustainable, how rhizome presents a solution, and how to implement it.
2. Envisioning a Hamlet Economy. Big-picture concpetion of how a rhizome economy will function.
3. Creating Resiliency and Stability in Horticulture. A more detailed analysis of how to implement a hybrid-horticultural scheme at the level of the rhizome node.
4. Rhizome & Central Place Theory. In response to a comment, a more detailed discussion of how rhizome can grow amidst existing hierarchal structures.
5. Rhizome Network Defense. A review of a Cambridge team's analysis of potential tacticts to defend rhizome structures against hierarchy.
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