If we stay with this line of giving appropriate survival information to
a network of community and grassroots networks which I think is right,
then as long as the organized knowledge is good, there might be some
future role that cyberneticians in metaphorum could help with.  But this
caution about official advice is well founded. Most of us think that the
ebst way of saving ourselves is to get beneath something solid..however
the note below re the triangle of life from a rescuer gives pause for




This may save your life one day


       My name is Doug Copp. I am the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager
the American Rescue Team International (ARTI), the world's most
rescue team. The information in this article will save lives in an

       I have crawled inside 875 collapsed buildings, worked with rescue
teams from 60 countries, founded rescue teams in several countries, and
I am
a member of many rescue teams from many countries.

       I was the United Nations expert in Disaster Mitigation for two
years. I have worked at every major disaster in the world since 1985,
for simultaneous disasters.

       The first building I ever crawled inside of was a school in
City during the 1985 earthquake. Every child was under its desk. Every
was crushed to the thickness of their bones. They could have survived by
lying down next to their desks in the aisles. It was obscene,
and I wondered why the children were not in the aisles. I didn't at the
know that the children were told to hide under something.

       Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the
falling upon the objects or furniture inside crushes these objects,
a space or void next to them. This space is what I call the 'triangle of
life'.  The larger the object, the stronger, the less it will compact.
less the object compacts; the larger the void; the greater the
that the person who is using this void for safety will not be injured.

       The next time you watch collapsed buildings, on television, count
the 'triangles' you see formed. They are everywhere. It is the most
shape, you will see, in a collapsed building.


       1) Most everyone who simply 'ducks and covers' WHEN BUILDINGS
COLLAPSE are crushed to death. People who get under objects, like desks
cars, are crushed.

       2) Cats, dogs and babies often naturally curl up in the fetal
position.  You should too in an earthquake. It is a natural
instinct.  You can survive in a smaller void. Get next to an object,
next to
a sofa, next to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but
leave a
void next to it.

       3) Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in
during an earthquake. Wood is flexible and moves with the force of the
earthquake.  If the wooden building does collapse, large survival voids
created.  Also, the wooden building has less concentrated, crushing
Brick buildings will break into individual bricks. Bricks will cause
injuries but less squashed bodies than concrete slabs.

       4) If you are in bed during the night and an earthquake occurs,
simply roll off the bed. A safe void will exist around the bed. Hotels
achieve a much greater survival rate in earthquakes, simply by posting a
sign on the back of the door of every room telling occupants to lie down
the floor, next to the bottom of the bed during an earthquake.

       5) If an earthquake happens and you cannot easily escape by
out the door or window, then lie down and curl up in the fetal position
to a sofa, or large chair.

       6) Most everyone who gets under a doorway when buildings collapse
killed. How? If you stand under a doorway and the doorjamb falls forward
backward you will be crushed by the ceiling above. If the door jam falls
sideways you will be cut in half by the doorway. In either case, you
will be

       7) Never go to the stairs. The stairs have a different 'moment of
frequency' (they swing separately from the main part of the building).
stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump into each other
structural failure of the stairs takes place. The people who get on
before they fail are chopped up by the stair treads - horribly
Even if the building doesn't collapse, stay away from the stairs. The
are a likely part of the building to be damaged. Even if the stairs are
collapsed by the earthquake, they may collapse later when overloaded by
fleeing people. They should always be checked for safety, even when the
of the building is not damaged.

       8) Get near the outer walls of buildings or outside of them if
possible. It is much better to be near the outside of the building
than the interior. The farther inside you are from the outside perimeter
the building the greater the probability that your escape route will be

       9) People inside of their vehicles are crushed when the road
falls in an earthquake and crushes their vehicles; which is exactly what
happened with the slabs between the decks of the Nimitz Freeway. The
of the San Francisco earthquake all stayed inside of their vehicles.
were all killed. They could have easily survived by getting out and
or lying next to their vehicles. Everyone killed would have survived if
had been able to get out of their cars and sit or lie next to them. All
crushed cars had voids 3 feet high next to them, except for the cars
had columns fall directly across them.

       10) I discovered, while crawling inside of collapsed newspaper
offices and other offices with a lot of paper that paper does not
Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper.

       Spread the word and save someone's life... The Entire world is
experiencing natural calamities so be prepared!

       'We are but angels with one wing, it takes two to fly'

       In 1996 we made a film, which proved my survival methodology to
correct. The Turkish Federal Government, City of Istanbul, University of
Istanbul Case Productions and ARTI cooperated to film this practical,
scientific test. We collapsed a school and a home with 20 mannequins
Ten mannequins did 'duck and cover,' and ten mannequins I used in my
'triangle of life' survival method. After the simulated earthquake
we crawled through the rubble and entered the building to film and
the results. The film, in which I practiced my survival techniques under
directly observable, scientific conditions, relevant to building
showed there would have been zero percent survival for those doing duck

       There would likely have been 100 percent survivability for people
using my method of the 'triangle of life.' This film has been seen by
millions of viewers on television in Turkey and the rest of Europe, and
was seen in the USA, Canada and Latin America on the TV program Real TV.



 <> Glitter Graphics


-----Original Message-----
From: Forum dedicated to the work of Stafford Beer
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
[log in to unmask]
Sent: 04 March 2010 07:10
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Chile Quake. Message from Max neef


Hi all. 

This stirs me to at last offer my contribution to the Metaphorum, after
long silence, because apart from Stafford's connection to Chile, as many
Metaphorum members know, my good friend Manfred Max-Neef is also
Chilean.  He lives in Valdivia, which is very much in the heart of where
the destruction is.  


Enrique, do you know Manfred perhaps?  You will surely know about him,
for having contested the 1993 Presidential elections to try to infuse
some sense of reality into the discourse.  Strangely neither Stafford
nor Manfred were aware of each other's work, leaving me in the
extraordinary role of trying to connect them.  Sadly Stafford passed on
before my ambition to get them together in the same room was realised. 


He called me two days ago to reassure me that he and his family were
fine, and asked me to put word to all our mutual friends, some of whom
intersect with the Metaphorum network.  I couldnt resist adding some
commentary, because of the serendipitous coincidence that I discovered.
Charles Darwin, experienced an earthquake in Valdivia as well, which he
reflects upon during his Voyage of the Beagle. 


I reproduce my message to that network below.   I dont know if Stafford
ever visited Valdivia, during his time in Chile, or whether he ever
reflected on the geo-physical systems that collide along the Chilean
coastline, but my closing comment could equally include Stafford,
together with Darwin and Manfred Max-Neef, as rare geniuses shaped by
the tumultuous political, geo-physical environment of Chile.  


On a more serious note, I heard on Aljazeera TV last night (after
sending out the message) that the Chilean Navy has acknowledged it made
a big mistake in cancelling the Tsunami warning.  The spokesperson tried
valiantly to give a coherent explanation, but I couldnt help thinking
that the ensuing deaths from the tsunami that was 'officially' not
supposed to have occurred would have been avoided if Stafford's
contribution had been more deeply entrenched in Chile's governance


Enrique, I would value your thoughts on that, besides any other
thoughts.  Chile is very close to my heart. 


 Hi friends and friends of Manfred.
We recently had a call from Manfred Max-Neef, phoning from Valdivia to
Johannesburg to reassure his friends with whom I have contact in South
Africa and elsewhere who may be concerned about his well-being due to
the earth quake, aftershock and Tsunami that has struck Chile.  
"We are dependent on telephone and word of mouth, because the internet
based communications have been disrupted" he told us.
He asked me to put the word out to his many friends around the world
that he and his family and are so far well.  But there is much suffering
and hardship.  

Chile has experienced several very large earthquakes over recorded
history.  The most severe earthquake in the 20th Century happened in
1960 which devastated the city of Valdivia.   When I visited Manfred in
Valdivia in 1996 there was still evidence of the impact of that
CNN is reporting tonight that the death toll would have been higher had
residents followed the official urgings of government officials for
people to return to their homes, because the region continues to
experience large aftershocks. 
One woman interviewed said "We followed the guidance of our parents and
grandparents instead, who experienced earthquakes before.  If we had
done what the government had told us we would have been dead."
I cant resist commenting that this reliance on indigenous understanding
passed on at the 'human scale' rather than the abstract knowledge passed
down the line of government officials is of course exactly what Manfred
has sought to encourage.  
Taking the advice of that resilient survivor filmed by CNN, I have been
re-reading the reflections of that 'Great great grandparent' of
evolutionary theory Charles Darwin.  
Ironically I discovered that in 1835, Charles Darwin experienced an
earthquake while ashore in Valdivia during his historic Voyage of the
I was fascinated by Darwin's account of his direct experience in

February 20th 1835.  - This day has been memorable in the annals of
Valdivia, for the most severe earthquake experienced by the oldest
inhabitant.  I happened to be on shore, and was lying down in the wood
to rest myself.  It came on suddenly and lasted two minutes... 

(I have a photo of Manfred from my visit with satisfying his need for
idleness after lunch, in much the same posture as Charles Darwin).  
Further into the chapter Darwin reports on the scenes of devastation cum
fascination that he and Captain Fitzroy encountered when sailing further
to the towns of Conception and Talcahouna, again hard hit by the latest
"Both towns presented the most awful yet interesting spectacle I ever
beheld.... for the ruins were so mingled together, and the whole scene
possessed so little the air of a habitable place, that is was scarcely
possible to imagine its former condition." 
And then, later, a comment on the less savoury responses to such
misfortune shown by some members of our human species.  
"Those who had saved any property were obliged to keep a constant watch,
for thieves prowled about, and at each little trembling of the ground,
with one hand they beat their breasts and cried 'misericordia' and then
with the other filched what they could from the ruins" 

The CNN report of widespread looting suggests that in 2010 the human
species has still got a lot more evolving to do.
But to end on a hopeful note.
The fact that I have had the privilege to know as a friend a man whom I
regard as every bit an intellectual genius as Darwin, and who has also
contributed I believe, to further understanding the evolutionary path of
the human species, leaves me pondering that there must be something
about the particular geography and geology of Chile that, as much as it
is prone to earthquakes favours the evolution of geniuses like Darwin
and Manfred Max-Neef.  
This is how Darwin reflected upon his experience in 1837.  
 .... A bad earthquake at once destroys our oldest associations: the
earth, the very emblem of solidity, has moved beneath our feet like a
thin crust over a fluid; -- one second of time has created in the mind a
strange idea of insecurity, which hours of reflection would not have
produced. In the forest, as a breeze moved the trees, I felt only the
earth tremble, but saw no other effect." 

I will leave Manfred to add his own reflections of his current
experience when communication lines are up again.  
Warm regards

John G I Clarke
Consultant Social Worker, Development Facilitator, Writer.
Blairgowrie, Johannesburg.
Tel:  + 27 83 608 0944:    Fax 0866842405
Email: [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> 
Post: P.O.Box 2408, Pinegowrie, 2123
Skype: john.gerard.ingram.clarke  
Connecting People.... Managing Ideas.....Choosing Life 



 ----- Original Message ------
 From:Joseph Truss
 Sent:Thursday, March 04, 2010 00:38
 To: [log in to unmask]; 
 Subject:Re: Chile Quake

Dear Enrique,


Thank you for reporting your whereabouts and relative safety in Santiago
as we were immediately worried not knowing where you were. Hopefully all
of your family and loved ones are also safe and accounted for.


I think your idea as it develops with Roger, Russell and others is
worthwhile and deserves Metaphorum's attention. Count me in.  As you
know, Stafford would be at the front of the line leading the charge for
your country and el pueblo he so loved.


If we can get our act together, maybe we can present something about it
at the ISSS conference July 18 -23 in Waterloo, Ontario.  Allenna is
president this year and actively involved with the conference.  She is
travelling now but hopefully will be able to advise us as to the
possibility soon.  


Here is one example of the social network activity going on, I'm sure we
could collaboratively come up with some interesting analyses.



Personally Enrique, if you need other forms of assistance please contact
me directly - I'd be honored to help in any way I can.

Abrazos a mi hermano,


Joe (and Chris)


Joseph Truss
Team Syntegrity International AG/ Metaphorum / Abbey North Drummers




From: russell_c <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Wed, March 3, 2010 5:47:00 AM
Subject: Re: Chile Quake

Dear Enrique

I am also willing to help in any practical way, but perhaps Roger's
questions need clarification first. 

One theme for reflection this forum could be postulating how, in a
possible alternate scenario model, a fully functioning and mature
Cybersyn system in Chile would have functioned in this situation and
what difference it would/could have made. 

1973 may seem a distant past, but with 9 billion people due to be
settled here on earth by 2050, there is surely going to be more need for
coordination systems as natural events like this occur in populated

With the recent destruction in Haiti and now your Chile, there must be
increasing risk in California? Or does the stress relief reduce the risk
elsewhere on the fault line? 

Kind regards


On Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 4:54 PM, Roger Harnden <[log in to unmask]>



I sincerely hope that yourself and those close to you are safe.



I think your invitation on the 'reflexion forum' is extremely
interesting from a cybernetic point of view. But let's be clear what you
mean, rather than jumping to any conclusions.


I take it that this is not a request for aid as such (which is being
addressed for better or worse by others), but a request to use the
'opportunity' (I use the word carefully and with respect for the many
tragic human realities of the situation) to 'experiment' with the
potential of tools such as social networking - in particular to
experiment with the impactl of feedback into the social network (and
thence beyond) to investigate whether this is positive, negative or
neutral in its impact on how human beings approach such matters or
integrate the lessons of such matters into their ongoing social
human-ness. Hence your comment about "how the internet is use beyond as
a comercial and academic tool?"


If my instinct is correct, I conceive a Luc/Russell- type
'story-telling' forum which records the differing perceptions of 'the
world' to such an event, and how or not this perception impacts on the
everyday life (and understandings) of those observers.


Is this the sort for thing you mean, Enrque?......or have I stated the
issue in a too-academic jargon??






On 2 Mar 2010, at 23:51, enrique rivera wrote:

Hello all,


I am writing you from Santiago, Chile, still in shock because of the

I want to ask for your help in this situation, bringing some attention
to this situation. Inestability and chaos are predominating, and social
change is happening in the most sad way. 


The idea is to create a reflexion forum about how society reacts in this
situation (Chilean and global), and how you percibe this from your
different countries. In this sense the social web will be key in order
to capture the information.


All this information will be use to create a thinking frame and a source
to understand from a cybernetic point of view what is happening here
after this natural disaster.


How can organizational cybernetics can help in this situations, and how
the internet is use beyond as a comercial and academic tool?


Also I invite you to read this investigation about the global efect:


Kind regards,



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