PRAGMA / Interoperability in Practice / Case Study

PRAGMA is a platform for exchanges between different practices. It is open to people from across a wide range of fields: arts, music, crafts, business, politics, law, science, engineering, etc. The idea is to bring people together and create an interface for them to exchange their approaches and methodologies.
Rather than learning each other’s practices, the participants are invited to learn _from_ each other’s practices. So that a musician can learn something useful for their music-making process from a stock trader while a lawyer can get inspired from a passionate Italian cook.

PRAGMA operational strategy is based on the principle of interoperability [portability] derived from ∞OS. This approach is based on:

1. Identifying an interesting and useful pattern in one context;

2. Abstracting its operation, transforming it into functional blocks;

3. Finding a clear metaphor to transmit this pattern’s general mechanism;

4. Finding a way to apply this pattern in another context;

This approach has proven to be very useful in the context of learning ∞OS. For example, the principle of non-resistance (applied in Jiu-Jitsu, Systema and Aikido) is very well known, on the intellectual level, to many people: in case of incoming aggression there’s no point escalating* as it leads to more aggression and energy drain. However, in real life we often forget how it works and act according to the old habits.

∞OS has special procedures and exercises, which are performed on the physical level in order to inscribe the pattern of non-resistance into daily behavior, making it immediately available as one of the possible choices in situations of high stress. This is portability and interoperability in action: a simple principle from martial art is abstracted into a pattern, transformed into an exercise, then deployed in a different context.

Another example is using the principle of variability, which is itself derived from the study of living systems in the music-making process. Variable rhythmical patterns “feel” more engaging. Research confirms this empiric evidence: Geometry of the Musical Rhythm by Goddfried Toussain talks about applying this principle in the making of rhythms from a more scientific perspective.

PRAGMA is a platform that aims to bring in the critical mass of influences together, so that practices can inspire each other. Unlike other cross-disciplinary initiatives it’s not set up as a shopping mall of various offerings. Rather, it is a space that offers a very specific methodology and thought-through formats to help practitioners learn about each other’s approaches. Learn more on

* It is important to note that temporary escalation may be applied as a strategy to dissuade a conflict. Provoking the other party to increase their energy output can then be used to redirect this excessive energy towards a desired outcome, so a tightly controlled escalation is often a more efficient way to deal with tension. 

The cover photo is by Dajana Lothert from the performance by Agata Siniarska “In the beginning was a copy” / 3AM Event / Berlin.