warm data

the more i was thinking about big data.. the more suspicious i became of having info that was derived by pulling things out of context and not putting them back into context..t

so not really legit.. ie: ie: science of people/whales..

there is a need for info that holds all the inter relations.. we don’t have a word or a way of being comfortable w deriving info that has to do w that inter relationality..

a term to hold space for that idea.. another kind of info..that would augment/work w existing notions of data.. that these two kinds of info could be friends..

imagine a data (ie:self-talk as data) .. that makes all those others irrelevant.. because we’ve been working on non legit info/data for so long.. ie: science of people/whales..

doesn’t give you the hard/cold facts.. what it gives you is context..

realizing this is a realm of info that matters.. esp when we’re dealing w complexity.. wicked problems..

bateson simple/complex law

bateson safety law

having decontextualized siloed info .. is good.. but it’s not enough..t

what if it’s part of the poison/cancer.. again ie: science of people/whales..


via Nora Bateson:


Recognizing that complex problems are not susceptible to predetermined solutions, the International Bateson Institute has taken up the task of generating a category of information specifically dedicated to description of contextual relational interaction, calling it “Warm Data”.

“Warm Data” can be defined as: Transcontextual information about the interrelationships that integrate a complex system.

Warm Data is a category of information to develop in tandem to existing forms of data.

imagining those existing forms of data are so off.. (ie: science of people/whales..) we need a reset.. of the data and of the people producing/documenting it..

This essay is an exploration of how and why Warm Data is developing as a form of documentation of relational and contextual information. Here the discussion does not go into the ways in which Warm Data are *produced, or **what do with Warm Data in terms of “actions”.

perhaps *produced via self-talk and **what to do with it – use it to connect people.. locally.. daily.. ie: 2 convos.. as infra

even though *good research remains the best (and only) possible way forward as we look for ways to reduce our negative impact on the world around us. Subsequent public confusion and division is resulting in binary argument fueled by information that has been derived without the complexity required to actually make sense of it contextually. The damage is vast.

i don’t think it’s the only way.. and in fact.. i see it as the damage itself.. ie: believing that it’s legit

and yeah.. the damage is vast.. begs we quit going part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake… there’s a nother way

How has it come to this? And how can new patterns of interaction in our societies be encouraged to emerge?

let’s try this: short bp

 if one wants to study the ways in which food impacts our lives, a multifaceted study of ecology, culture, agriculture, economy, cross-generational communication, and media is needed.

perhaps more important/vital.. is getting people back to their natural state first..  then trusting that the energy of 7bn alive people will not only produce less wicked problems.. but will hands down be the best means to solve them

Reductionism, or the habit of isolating information from its context(s), has been good to us, and it has been deadly.

mostly deadly.. because if we’re not ourselves.. any data about us is not going to be legit

The observer matters

that begs we take it to the ginorm/small level.. 7bn individuals.. everyday..

Now perhaps it is time for science in its turn to adopt a parallel course of discovery around what perception and information are.

indeed.. all of us.. as scientists

characteristics of warm data:

1\ Multiple description: This is a way to illustrate processes and contexts of interdependency. Multiple description both blurs the distinctions between contexts, and describes them through difference, comparison and relational perception.

thinking idio-jargon et al.. bateson safety law et al

2. Looking for pattern: We compare findings from one context with findings of similar patterns in other contexts, to generate hybrid information.

imagine.. looking/listening for a matched curiosity

3. Paradox, inconsistency and time: Scientific research premised upon the complexity of a system in relation to its environment will produce paradox and inconsistency, by necessity. In order to keep the complexity intact, results should feature these dilemmas without resolving them.

indeed.. nothing every finished.. as in .. equity: everyone getting a go.. everyday

the bravery to change your mind everyday.. keeping/leading us to antifragility

4. Holism and reductionism: Information derived by zooming out to study context is as important as the information derived by zooming in on detail. These two forms of information are not alike.. They are not concentric nor are they separable; rather they are steeped in interdependency.

zoom dance of our.. networked individualism/interconnectedness

5. Cultural epistemological responsibility: Science and culture are deeply entwined. Development of inquiry that is simultaneously inclusive of multiple generations, cultures, and sectors is useful to keep observers’ frames relevant. Information is only as perceivable as the sensorial limits of the observer. A variety of perceptions lessens blind spots.

this is huge on the need for a mech to listen to all the voices.. everyday.. and trust that as our data.. as it could be..

6. Aesthetic/mood/rhythm: In any inquiry of life, the aesthetic matters — perhaps above all else. This vital condition of any interrelational context is often ignored in favor of misplaced rationality.

a simple message.. listen to the rhythm

The most serious problems facing us now are not in any particular institution, but rather in the relationship between them.

i don’t know.. i think it goes deeper than that.. i’m seeing institutions as irrelevant.. so looking at what’s between them (unless you’re meaning entropy in a good way) seems like a distraction..

as if we need institutions to exist.. thinking meadows undisturbed ecosystem and aziz let go law


on bateson site:


“Warm Data” is information about the interrelationships that integrate elements of a complex system. It has found the qualitative dynamics and offers another dimension of understanding to what is learned through quantitative data, (cold data). Warm Data will provide leverage in our analysis of other streams of information. The implications for the uses of Warm Data are staggering, and may offer a whole new dimension to the tools of information science we have to work with at present.


In order to interface with any a complex system without disrupting the circuitry of the interdependencies that give it its integrity we must look at the spread of relationships that make the system robust. Using only analysis of statistical data will offer conclusions that can point to actions that are out of sync with the complexity of the situation. Information without interrelationality is likely to lead us toward actions that are misinformed, thereby creating further destructive patterns.

what i had previously gathered on Nora‘s page on warm data:

nora bateson (@NoraBateson) tweeted at 3:04 PM on Tue, Jun 19, 2018:
The #BBCClickRadio program today did a great little segment on #WarmData — and on the use of it to address #immigration less binary description and more complexity. I am so pleased. @GBoddington and @GarethM  Thank you! Perfect! here is more on Warm Data: https://t.co/w20o8khWOc

Warm Data” can be defined as: Transcontextual information about the interrelationships that integrate a complex system.

I was not clear what it was yet, I was only certain of one thing: that a new kind of information was needed to balance the information produced by research that decontextualized its subjects of inquiry. In short, the way in which we make sense of the world has everything to do with the way we behave in it, so I saw a need for another sense-making as a necessary component of shifting behavior. Five years later the International Bateson Institute is now utilizing “Warm Data” in our research and findings on addiction, how systems learn, health and ecology.

self-talk as data

 How has it come to this? And how can new patterns of interaction in our societies be encouraged to emerge?

2 convos.. as infra

The observer matters, and teams of observers matter. Since data are always derived through the particular lens of the researchers, descriptions of their filters of perception are vital information and must not be sterilized out of findings.

actually.. what matters more is that we get the whales out of sea world..

Nora responds to someone on twitter asking about warm data:

nora bateson (@NoraBateson) tweeted at 1:24 PM on Sat, Aug 04, 2018:
Here you go… enjoy! https://t.co/w20o8khWOc https://t.co/5iV4A1uZ5s


data et al


Nora Bateson and Douglas Rushkoff on team human talking warm data:

douglas rushkoff (@rushkoff) tweeted at 5:48 AM on Wed, Oct 10, 2018:
Nora Bateson says to stop looking at things as objects and begin seeing the spaces and connections between them. It’s not too late to bring our species back from the brink… https://t.co/hkDKBxz9KE

[douglas’s monologue was his medium post on ubi/uba]

starts at 14 min

17 min – in order to get this team human thing going we need to address this hold back

18 min – one of the things we’re suffering from.. we’re not responding to complexity very well..

20 min – what are the aspects of our lives that is building this numbness in..t

21 min – we’re carrying a lot of pain and we don’t know what to do.. we need another model.. we need new rules for everything..t

22 min – d: or do we move into no rules..t

imagining 2 rules (2 conversations) as infra

we don’t know how to live in a new way..

23 min – d: how do we go from here to there.. t

model a means to leap in a small/fractal ecosystem.. then leap.. sync matters

so i’ve been playing with this.. warm data.. my dad used to talk about warm ideas ie: the pattern that connects

25 min – how we do research: we pull things out of context and measure them..t

d: you can’t get metrics on something unless you objectivity it..

26 min – that’s ok for ie: airplanes.. but we are destroying ecology and each other..t

mufleh humanity lawwe have seen advances in every aspect of our lives except our humanity – Luma Mufleh

so we pull data out of context.. and we never put it back..

warm data .. is putting it back..t

29 min – problem is in the inbetween of all the relationships..

30 min – 17 sustainable goals.. each on siloed..  we can’t solve interdependent complex problems by id ing siloes..

d: but the alt is to solve everything at once

yes..i’m dead serious.. that’s why you need warm data

yes..  everything at once.. not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…..  a nother way.. otherwise miss out on the sync

32 min – unexpected, indirect patterns.. patterning processes that allow something to surface that allows entry point to systemic shift

34 min – where’s the place to catch the rhythm of the child..t

35 min – a process of constant zooming in and zooming out.. is there any thing that lives in one context..t

zoom dance ness

37 min – there’s lots of diff contexts in who you are and they’re changing.. who you are 2 hrs ago and 2 hrs from now.. shifting

38 min – where is the edge of you..t.. it’s such an error (to think there is one)

never just me ness

41 min – everything that happens in a day is part of your world.. what info are you using to do that with.. there’s plenty of opp to make substantial changes in your life by looking at the relations

43 min – this is gonna hurt.. and numbness is not your friend.. best response to this pain is increased sensitivity..  more able to see not only the pain but the connections.. not like it’s going to overwhelm me.. because energy of interconnectedness gives us life.. what i see is life is inherently improvisational and creative

fromm spontaneous law

45 min – we are so backed in .. to systems of systems that are interlocked.. ie: this idea of fixing ed..  ipads and new curric.. still inside employment system..

46 min – so .. what are we going to do

try this: a nother way

47 min – d: we don’t have shared value of what school should be

maybe it’s because school is the problem

48 min – what are we saving for.. a groovier apocalypse..? really bad things happen when we just do our jobs..t

49 min – we can’t adjust.. it’s a double bind.. in order to survive you have to partake in all these systems that are inherently deadly

50 min – convo in 1972 – was this one.. so this idea that we’re going to have incremental change is starting to lose it’s luster.. thinking it’s not the institutions but between them.. the relationships we have to them.. we live in this weird liminal realm..

51 min – instead of trying to fix the school system.. we have to change our relationship to it

rather – question its existence..

if we’re going to respond to the interdependency of our world.. we have to do it w interdependency

52 min – d: (that’) the whole team human journey.. i was trained to think the way to fix things.. was to read alone in my study.. then.. it’s not about me figuring out how to see world.. it’s about only way to see system w a bn sets of eyes.. getting all the perspectives on these problems

perhaps if we go for self-talk as data.. we won’t be creating or obsessing on most of these problems..  we’ll just embrace the systemic ness .. the interconnectedness of us.. ie: meadows undisturbed ecosystem..

53 min – warm data lab – anyone can participate.. group activity that allows people to explore the transcontestual.. interdependency of whatever the question is

how about we explore the interdependency of 7bn curiosities..

55 min – my point is that together they can increase insights.. and start to ask another order of questions

imagining we just jump to 7bn questions/curiosities.. at the start of each day.. and that will happen.. (am thinking the starting in a group w a question thing.. is too incremental.. if indeed it ever gets anywhere out of the silo ness)

d: that’s the hardest part.. ie: co-ops co-op ing w competitors.. how do systems talk to each other

that brings me back to the liminal space.. we’re all there..

56 min – d: people want to show there is no line.. there is no binary

warm data has to come from multi descriptions.. can’t get at complexity unless you have collective..t

begs mech to listen to every voice.. everyday..

ie: tech as it could be..

d: can people diy a warm data lab

not yet.. i’m doing training courses.. simple on surface but a lot of theory in it

to me a red flag – i’m thinking we need a way out/back w no training

58 min – dependent on individual linkings/relinkings.. it happens thru telling each other stories and sharing ideas and being in dialogue in ways you didn’t expect.. it’s w real people.. it’s so localized.. how do those locals share their insights to get that meta happening

59 min – i did a lab in san fran on addiction and then i did another one in jakarta.. insights were so diff but so useful to each other..

let’s take that ginorm small .. w/o a topic/agenda (ie: no leading word like addiction.. rather.. let the leading word come from 7bn people.. everyday)

1:01 – it’s a body of ideas that we’re addicted to

and.. we’re addicted to defining and redefining things.. like .. addiction..

1:02 – d: the domestication of humans.. ie: home ownership is goal of every young family.. look what we do to own that home.. and then there’s 99% who don’t even have a country much less a home

civilization ness

unauthorized home less ness

d: thinking of wicked problems: prison system; hunger;..  is itself problematic because it’s silo ing

1:04 – so… look at the thing surrounding it.. ie: look at ed system.. and ask.. in what way does that make sense to our lives.. then see ed system is repeating pattern.. of siloing.. separating parts.. this deep mechanistic metaphor

rowson mechanical law

1:06 – d: so.. can’t do this as individuals.. best thing to do as individual.. find the others

1:07 – one thing we can do as individuals.. recognize.. it’s a training a practice.. beginning to see yourself in all the contexts.. who are you

a great place to start.. (able to see self.. as not knowing how your body works).. think of how you see others.. allows you to not commit the violence of reductionism on the people around you.. allow them to be complex.. you don’t have to solve for complexity.. you just have to know it’s there.. that’s a huge step forward.. a great act of love.. to allow people you come in contact with to be complex..t


nora bateson (@NoraBateson) tweeted at 1:43 PM on Wed, Oct 10, 2018:
My new article in Kosmos: “Like other animals, the human species is tasked with feeding the next  generations. Life is dependent upon this seemingly simple mandate of  continuance. Feed the babies. Don’t fail.” #food #systemchange #ecology #WarmData


what I would call warm data, the contextual relational information. . to get at the warm data is to look for the relationships between the contexts… the connective tissue. Often, this kind of information is not measurable, or repeatable, and it certainly is not “objective.” The observer matters..t

It is called Warm Data because it is information that has its relational nest included.

it is a good habit to notice and respect the way food knits together a community. Modern living has done vast harm to these processes and relationships, but they are not gone, only reorganized. Look carefully. There is poetry in breakfast. It is a vital ingredient..t

Everything my eye falls upon in my living room is made possible by exploitation. I cannot put any of it back..t

I cannot fix it. But I had better not deny it. No matter the difficulty, I welcome the tangled mess; bring it forward into my perception.. t Let me grasp it with as much contextual and transcontextual description as I can muster. To welcome the complexity now is to meet it, to know it is bigger than originally anticipated and coming faster than the experts predicted.

I will not shy away from the trouble it takes to heal from the inside out.. Responding to food emergency with emergence requires attending to the many relational processes that result in a future in which babies can be fed. That is the opposite of the word “consume.”..t


#warmdata: transcontextual information about the interrelationships that integrate a complex system: @NoraBateson
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/mgorbis/status/1113849770227843072


Kevindoylejones (@Kevindoylejones) tweeted at 5:30 AM – 1 Jun 2019 :
@indy_johar @solarpunk_girl What if we imagined we could design a solution to this wicked problem? It would need to start with #warmdata that @NoraBateson is the maven for, imho. (http://twitter.com/Kevindoylejones/status/1134784363797917697?s=17)

on indy’s tweet of collective intelligence.. direct response to this via indy:

Agree totally – challenge of enabling also many to many machine human ecological – hybrid intelligences / wisdoms

so warm data.. indeed – (from above): warm data has to come from multi descriptions.. can’t get at complexity unless you have collective..

begs mech to listen to every voice.. everyday..

ie: tech as it could be..


nora bateson (@NoraBateson) tweeted at 10:23 AM – 12 Jul 2019 :
To do what needs to be done now will require that the notion of authority be remade into mutual caring, mutual learning, & mutual respect. The patterns of relating will need to change between parents & kids, teachers & students, doctors & patients, etc. #Complexity #WarmData (http://twitter.com/NoraBateson/status/1149715818080374784?s=17)

labeling is killing us.. there’s a nother way .. via cure ios ity

Heather Marsh‘s identitarians

us & them

binary ness

bateson reductionism law


nora bateson (@NoraBateson) tweeted at 7:18 AM on Sat, Aug 10, 2019:
Warm Data Lab Host Certification in Australia !!
Sydney: Sept 2019, sold out
Melbourne:Nov 4-8, 2019 just listed
Perth: Nov 11-15, going fast
Perth: https://t.co/LPbiEI4BKp
Melbourne: https://t.co/eA27JcDC3w

perhaps.. thinking we have to train.. is a sign we’re not going/getting/being deep/warm enough..?


George Pór (@technoshaman) tweeted at 6:45 AM on Sat, Sep 14, 2019:
#WarmData Lab lunch in Rome 14-Sept-2019 https://t.co/i1dEmtazIL

George Pór (@technoshaman) tweeted at 9:56 AM on Sat, Sep 14, 2019:
celebration of certification in the #warmdata lab training with @NoraBateson  ~ just now… https://t.co/MtrL8fdAUV

certification? training?..

bateson measuring as managing law.. et al


@EskoKilpi @janhoglund << What we would really need is a relational mindset emphasizing interdependence and connectivity >>

What ‘Warm Data’ is all about cc: @NoraBateson

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/jonhusband/status/1189166956236152832

@EskoKilpi: Our moral structures have been based on individualism emphasizing self-fulfillment, self-actualization and “fixing yourself”. What we would really need is a relational mindset emphasizing interdependence and connectivity

we need both/and.. simultaneous.. everyday.. ie: 2 convers as infra to augment our interconnectedness


nora bateson (@NoraBateson) tweeted at 6:19 AM on Sun, Dec 01, 2019:
This is what a warm data lab does…
I found it more acceptable to describe in poem form. Prose kept making the image concrete where it needed to be alive. #WarmData #WarmDataLab https://t.co/Wz6v8cweu4


a thickening of the unsaid integrity.. starting in small fringes that link and recircuit.. finding unfound mixtures

re-soaking the past.. marinating memories until their softness is sticky vitality..

like the richness of soil.. the ensembling is teeming w nuances sticking to other nuance.. following entirely undrawable paths..t

draw\ing ness

the unusual textures, the surprises, .. in the wordless sea of how we are..t

no words ness

the resonances and rhythms have their own current.. in the rich probiotics of fresh tones.. made together, w/o goals

 no agenda ness

langer outcome law

this is not collab, this is composting.. this kind of new life is not a restructure.. it is a reunion..

composting: Composting is a form of waste disposal where organic waste decomposes naturally under oxygen-rich conditions. … Once these waste items are placed in a pile, the composting process can start. The organic materials are broken down naturally by earthworms, bacteria and other organisms that live in soil.

it is not a plan.. it is a nourishing..

-nbateson 2019


nora on voice-change


nora bateson (@NoraBateson) tweeted at 2:19 AM on Sat, Jan 18, 2020:
#WarmMoney is the way to use #WarmData to support projects that nourish relationships. Yesterday we were talking about the future of funding that support relational connective tissue in communities & with the biosphere. Thanks John Kellden, for linking the word. Let’s do this.

rather – let’s try/code money (any form of measuring/accounting) as the planned obsolescence

ie: ubi as temp placebo.. graeber bi law.. et al


annbadillo (@annbadillo) tweeted at 3:03 PM on Wed, Jan 22, 2020:
The subtle art of data gathering with Warm Data by Audrey Lobo-Pulo https://t.co/IV6352CLUA @norabateson @AudreyMatty

The irony in all this is that although humans are becoming increasingly reliant on big data and artificial intelligence, to really tackle some of the most challenging issues in our society we need to synergize this approach with warm data and human intelligence!

deeper irony.. we’re spending all this energy fiddling around with non legit data.. ie: data from whales in sea world


nora bateson (@NoraBateson) tweeted at 5:46 AM on Fri, Feb 14, 2020:
The patterning of significant systemic change is out of the reach of the sense organ of existing ideas of effectiveness.The call for systems change & the way of documenting it are way out of sync.Real systemic work is usually not visible in the context of the identified issue.

begs we let go of any form of measuring/accounting


nora bateson (@NoraBateson) tweeted at 2:47 AM on Mon, May 11, 2020:
Everything keeps turning into a “thing” -it is like this culture cannot resist entrenching living ideas into jargon.The living ideas crave language in raw & wiggly description.These terms are freaking kiling me:
Collaborative platform sustainable networks decentralized systemic..

idio-jargon et al – raw and wiggly

nora bateson (@NoraBateson) tweeted at 3:10 AM on Mon, May 11, 2020:
“We can never be quite clear whether we are referring to the world as it is or to the world as we see it.“ –Gregory Bateson.
This is why it in essential to explore new articulations, new formings of information… This is why we need #WarmData

labels et al

literacy and numeracy both elements of colonialism.. we need to calculate differently and stop measuring things


intro’d via this tweet from dave:

If anyone out there is working within both Warm Data and Cynefin/SenseMaker fields and is interested in their ‘entanglement’ would you get in touch with either @NoraBateson or myself before Monday – thanks

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/snowded/status/1324310317149622274

cynefin framework and warm data