Friday, March 10, 2017

many words one idea

Just as there are many "units" for measuring ordered and/or disordered energy, like joules, calories, kilowatt hours, cubic feet of natural gas, and gallons of gasoline, so in the world of multilayer complex systems there are many names for correlations that look inward and outward from a boundary, as well as for the three broken-symmetry boundaries of most direct interest to metazoans.

In the latter case, for example with helpful suggestions from C. Robert Cloninger, consider:

Echoes of the 3 key "broken-symmetry" boundaries.
skin family culture
friends community profession
executive legislative judicial
self-directed cooperative transcendent
blaming ↔ responsible asocial ↔ empathic materialistic ↔ idealistic
insecure ↔ resourceful hostile ↔ kind conventional ↔ imaginative

Where else might one find this trichotomy being put to use?

For the in/out-ward looking subsystem-correlation direction consider instead the dichotomy:

Echoes of the 2 key "boundary-related" directions.
inward-looking correlations outward-looking correlations
yin yang
self friends
family community
culture profession
right left
nurture explore
religion science
defense offense

Different words, same underlying distinctions. Perhaps the world is not as simple or as complex as we think, given that in each case the challenge is not "which column" but instead "how to strike a balance".

Friday, February 3, 2017

process before polity

What fraction of their time do folks in a given community get to spend on profession, culture, job, family, friends, and self? This question about processes going on may be worth asking, before we spend too much time making choices about policy or personality. What do you think?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

planetary-surface reaction layers

A useful counterpoint to organism-centricity, and in particular to the media's xenophobic focus on "aliens" from outer space, may be the idea that life (like that on earth) is to first order a fascinating steady-state reaction-layer between a planetary surface and the high-energy photon bath provided to that surface by the nearest star. Moving of that reaction off planet e.g. to a neighboring planet, to space habitats, or even to a star system elsewhere may, in that context, be much easier said than done.

The possibilities are of course certainly worth exploring. If taking care of our own planet is a leap for us, terraforming a nearby one is a bigger leap (that we may never manage unless we recognize the challenge), and the energy requirements of travel between star systems (even though relativity helps with time-elapsed for the traveler) make it hardly cost-effective for transferring organisms like us. Transfer of molecular and/or idea codes, on the other hand, e.g. over 105 year time scales via radiation-pressure ejected nanoparticles or over 10 to 1000 year time scales by electromagnetic communication, may be another story.

Friday, December 9, 2016

AI and income

The question of survival for individuals displaced by automation comes up with increasing frequency these days. Perhaps task layer multiplicity is a concept which can clarify our thinking to these ends.

In particular, if our communities depend on correlation-buffering on all six layers that look in/out from skin, family, and culture, it makes sense that participation in one or more of these layers is a tangible contribution. In fact, a "universal-minimum income", linked explicitly to an individual's participation in such layers, might serve as a healthy complement to the current system which focuses exclusively on what you are doing only for folks who have money.

As with all such programs, development of tools to minimize draining of resources by "defectors" will likely be a long-term and imperfect process. However if implemented in a constuctive way, such a program might enlist the support of participants from a wide range of places in our economy.

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

e-path to collapse

The electronic media may offer up a means by which our preferentially-ignored fallibility can cause social collapse, especially to the extent that we concentrate only on ourselves and not the processes which make us possible. The key to avoiding this may be humility, i.e. not accepting our own ideas uncritically (particularly when it comes to making irreversible decisions about others).

We are not the sole architect of our situation, but only participants therein. The main architect, "but partly-knowable" nature and the self-assembly of layered complex systems (like stars, planets, life, communities) associated therewith, communicates with us through incoming data whose concepts and categories, as well as whose content, must continually be examined for possible improvement.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

bad/good-guy disease

Pooly-used global electronic media is fueling cases of bad-guy/good-guy disease, a well established cause of societal failure, in many places by moving folks to fight one another rather than to focus on processes which are crucial to community health.

What individuals or groups do you think today have relatively bad cases of this disease?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

O-centricity II

In August 2008 we remarked on the blindness to important matters that our organism-centric perceptions, inherited from paleolithic times to focus largely on "bad guys" and "good guys" rather than on the key ideas and processes (this includes evolving technology) that are affecting our lives, as a possible Achilles heel. In that context, look at current political narratives these days.

Some candidates are obsessed with bad-guy vs. good-guy explanations. Some delusionally even define themselves as "the best guy" regardless of what the facts say. It's a trap we may want to try and avoid, even if we find the bad-guy/good-guy narrative to be seductive.