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Copyright © 2000 by The Resilience Alliance

The following is the established format for referencing this article:
Tyson, W. 2000. Suspect visions. Response to Mel Kotyk (1999): "No vision = wandering in the wilderness". Conservation Ecology 4(2): r2. [online] URL: http://www.consecol.org/vol4/iss2/resp2/

Response to Mel Kotyk (1999). "No Vision = Wandering in the Wilderness"

Suspect Visions

Wayne Tyson

retired ecosystem restoration consultant

Published: September 18, 2000

The closer we get to crucial distinctions, the more we risk semantic confusion. Mel Kotyk need not, I hope, be sad. My interpretation of Kotyk's (1999) views also may be flawed, but I hope to begin to build some connective tissue here. I believe that Holling is quite right to be suspicious of people with visions.

The semantic confusion lies in the crucial distinction between "a vision" as a fixed focus or agenda, sometimes known in the United States as "tunnel" vision, and the ability to see comprehensively--vision. Holling may have figured out long ago that nine-tenths of the hell being raised in the world is (and long has been) well intentioned. That's why Kotyk's definition of dogmatism rocked me to the core: he describes tunnel vision, arrogant presumption to perfection--well, near perfection.

It is a privilege to have vision. But a having "a" vision requires blinders to screen out the outliers--outliers wherein whole universes of alternatives may lie undiscovered.

For me, the most exciting feature of Conservation Ecology is this feature (vision without a vision) of driving a stake into the heart of presumption. Somewhere in the phenomena (or phenomenon?) we study may lie a universal Rosetta Stone. More than one paper in this journal's short existence has touched upon it. It is compelling to be present at its unearthing.


Responses to this article are invited. If accepted for publication, your response will be hyperlinked to the article. To submit a comment, follow this link. To read comments already accepted, follow this link.


Kotyk, M. 1999. No vision = wandering in the wilderness. Conservation Ecology 3(2): Response 3. [online] URL: http://www.consecol.org/Journal/vol3/iss2/resp3

Address of Correspondent:
Wayne Tyson
Drawer 34069
Hillcrest Station
San Diego, California 92163 USA
Phone: 619-280-2553
Fax: 619-280-4025

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