IDEAS - CHAOS - COSMOS
Why do we see patterns? What is order? How do we construct our maps? How do we navigate through life?
What is there in my brain that allows me to feel that I, as an individual live in a real world, can imagine without perception, know who I am, and am able to decide what I want to do? Aleksander Igor How to Build a Mind
THE MAP IS NOT THE TERRITORY Alfred Korzybski
Let chaos storm!
Let cloud shapes swarm!
I wait for form. Robert Frost
Just as nature abhors a vacuum, the mind abhors randomness. Automatically we see pictures in the stars above us; we hear voices in the white noise of a river, and music in the wind. As naturally as beavers build dams and spiders spin webs, people draw maps, in the sky and in the sand.....(they) speculate about this most basic of human drives: the obsession to find and impose order. Whether the order we invent are geographic, religious, or scientific, inevitably, it seems, we come to identify the map with the territory, to insist that the lines draw a real. George Johnson Fire in the Mind
Viking 1996 pg 12: mapping the universe: non-linear dynamics - chaos.... Mathematicians are trying to use the tools of chaos theory to find hints of order behind phenomena are once dismissed as random. The new science of complexity seeks to explain why, against all odds, order seems to arise in the universe.
the new science of complexity
....to what degree the orders we observe are out in the world and to what degree they are imposed by our nervous systems, the invisible spectacles that refract everything we see. To some extent, complexity may be in the eye of the beholder. But many of the scientists at the Santa Fe Institute believe they can divine fundamental rules that apply to complex systems of all kinds - cells, organisms, brains, societies, galaxies. All might obey the same universal laws. Computer scientists and biologists... gather to demonstrate their prowess as creators of simulated ecologies in which beings made of pure information evolve. A few - taking to heart the heretical notion that information is as fundamental as a matter and energy - go so far as to say that the simulated beings in their simulated worlds really are alive.
ALIFE: JOHNSON pg 25:....followers of the information physics being pursued in Los Alamos, Santa Fe, and elsewhere suggest a way of bridging the divide: the laws of the universe are not ethereal, they say, but physical - made from this stuff called information, the 1s and 0s of binary code. And so they seek to turn science back on itself and use information theory to understand where the laws of physics lie (in both senses of the word - where they reside and what their limits are).
If information is as physical as a matter and energy, and if ideas and mathematics are made of information, then perhaps they are rooted in the material world. But the price for banishing platonic mysticism maybe a dizzing self-referential swirl: laws of physics are made of information, information behaves according to the laws of physics. Everything begins to seems like ghosts.
For a while, modern science was content with explaining the how of existence, leaving the why to religion. At least, that is what we were taught in school. But sometimes it seems that in the final act of the millennium, science the world over is reaching beyond its self-imposed limits. With its grand unification theories and cosmological schemes, it is seeking answers so fundamental that they border on theology:
Why is there something instead of nothing?
Why does the universe seem to operate according to mathematical laws?
What is consciousness - a biological artefact, an accident of evolution, or something deeply woven into the warp and woof of the universe?
CONSCIOUSNESS- Mind-Body problem NICHOLAS HUMPHREY A HISTORY OF THE MIND
COMPLEXITY, ENTROPY, AND THE PHYSICS OF INFORMATION
Wojciech H. Zurek pg 110: In building a tower of abstraction, one must start with a foundation, those things that are taken as given: mass, energy, space, time. Everything else can then be defined in terms of these fundamentals. But gradually over the last half-century some scientists had come to believe that another basic ingredient was necessary: information.
information: Information can be thought of as a measurement of distinctions, the simplest being 1 or 0, the presence or absence of a certain quality. By this measure, there is more information in something that is orderly than in a homogeneous, undifferentiated mess.
Mark Buchanan : NEXUS Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Science of Networks
W.W.Norton 2002 pg 48
the small-world problem... all that networks give rise to clusters and cliques just as we find in real social networks. But ordered networks do not have the small world property - it takes way too many steps to get from one point to another. In contrast, networks make for small worlds but worlds without clusters, worlds in which there is no such thing as a group of friends or a community.
.... the proper recipe for a social network would have to involve a peculiar mingling of order and randomness in one network.... explore networks in the netherworld between chaos and order.
SYNCHRONY - "SYN - CHRONOS" - TIME - HISTORY
All these keywords connect to "complexity studies". Studies of "complexity" are complex. I cannot think them all at the same time.
I am a READER. I am used to linear thinking. I habitually organise my ideas one after the other, from A to B to C etc. In my memory however, IDEAS are not organised in this linear fashion, they form a NETWORK in my ASSOCIATION CORTEX. In order to find them there I need to learn to THINK in a different manner:
NETWORKS - NETWORKING - LATERAL THINKING
TRY to EXPLORE - INVESTIGATE:
Niklas Luhmann:Die Religion der Gesellschaft Suhrkamp 2002
Unterscheiden - Beobachten - Beobachter: Mit dem nächsten Schritt müssen wir uns der Frage stellen, wie die Welt Unterscheidungen generiert. Wieso und wie bildet sich überhaupt diese merkwürdig-asymmetrische Form, bei der die eine Seite für anschlußfähige Operationen zur Verfügung steht, während die andere genau dadurch notwendig mitwirkt, daß sie unmarkiert bleibt ? Und außerdem: was wird aus der Welt selbst, wenn sie, wie im Akte der Schöpfung, erlaubt, daß Unterscheidungen getroffen werden? Himmel und Erde. Und wieso dieser Anfang und kein anderer ? Wieso fängt es mit einer Einteilung an, das heißt: einer Unterscheidung von irreflexivem Sein ? Weil nur so der, der die Unterscheidung trifft, es vermeiden kann, in die Unterscheidung selbst einzutreten ?
What is "to know? - How do organisms "know"? Does dead matter know?
That which we human beings call cognition is the capacity that the living system exhibits of operating in dynamic structural congruence with the medium in which it exists. It does not matter if the living system observed is an insect or a human being. We may ask ourselves whether the knowledge that the living system exhibits is learned or instinctive, but our assessment is the same: namely, if we see a living system behaving according to what we consider is adequate behaviour in the circumstances in which we observe it, we claim that it knows. Humberto Maturana
KNOW-HOW: ethical know-how
Varela60Keywords: self: a virtual person - self as a process - The seeming paradox resides in a two-way movement between levels:"upward" with the emergence of properties from the constituting elements, and "downward" with the constraints imposed by global coherence on local interactions. The result (and the resolution of the paradox) is a nonsubstantial self that acts as if it were present, like a virtual interface. The more we see the selfless nature of our selves in various "regions" of the organism, the more we become suspicious of our feeling of "l" as a true center - Ethical know-how is the progressive, firsthand acquaintance with the virtuality of self -
Vom Unterscheiden: Texte zu Einführung in die Systemtheorie
KNOWING - KNOW THAT - KNOW WHAT - ERKENNEN - WISSEN - KÖNNEN - ONTOLOGY - EPISTEMOLOGY - AGENT - HANDELN - WOLLEN - PLEROMA - CREATURA -
GEIST - COGNITION - PERCEPTION - QUALIA - METAPHYSICSAWARENESS - SELF-AWARENESS - DAS UNBEWUSSTE - FREUD - JUNG - BATESON - GEIST UND MATERIE -
SELBST-ORGANISATION - SELFORGANISATION - LEBEN
WHAT IS LIFE? CAN WE KNOW IT?
Stuart A.Kauffman: INVESTIGATIONS Oxford University Press 2000
We cannot finitely prestate the configuration space of a biosphere. So the biosphere, it seems, in its persistent evolution, is doing something literally incalculable, nonalgorithmic, and outside our capacity to predict, not due to quantum uncertainty alone, nor deterministic chaos alone, but for a different, equally, or more profound reason: Emergence and persistent creativity in the physical universe is real. I think I am correct in the above statement. But then what are the implications for science and society? We have thought, in part, that the unfolding of society and culture could be brought under the sway of science. Science and artthe practical getting on with it, "wissen" versus "können" in German, "know thatª versus "know-how" in English, mingle in our daily lives. Yet können, "know-how," has no place in our science. Why?
Consider a bacterium swimming upstream in a glucose gradient. We readily say that the bacterium is going to get food, that is, the bacterium is acting on its own behalf in an environment. Call a system able to act on its own behalf in an environment an "autonomous agentª All free-living cells and organisms are autonomous agents. But the bacterium is "just" a physical system. What must a physical system be such that it can act on its own behalf? The stunning fact is that autonomous agents do, every day, reach out and manipulate the universe on their own behalf. Yet that truth is nowhere in contemporary physics, chemistry, or even biology. So, what must a physical system be to be an autonomous agent?
ACT - HANDELN - PLANEN - ZEIT - ARROW OF TIME - CLASSICAL PHYSICS - DISSIPATIVE STRUCTURES - PRIGOGINE - MEMORY - EPISODIC MEMORY - SEMANTIC MEMORY
- NEUROSCIENCE - NEUROLINGUISTICS - APHASIA - BROCCA'S AREA - WERNICKE'S AREA -
THE BRAIN AS A COMPUTER - EMBODIED MIND - AUTONOMOUS AGENTS MY WORLD IN THE BRAIN - Models - Representations - Symbols -
NETWORKS F.CAPRA - The Patterns of Life
Having appreciated the importance of pattern for the understanding of life, we can now ask: Is there a common pattern of organisation that can be identified in all living systems? We shall see that this is indeed the case. This pattern of organisation, common to all living systems, will be discussed below. Its most important property is that it is a network pattern. Whenever we encounter living systems - organisms, parts of organisms, or communities of organisms - we can observe that their components are arranged in network fashion. Whenever we look at life, we look at networks. Cybernetics tried to understand the brain as a neural network and developed special mathematical techniques to analyse its pattern. The structure of the human brain is enormously complex. It contains about 10 billion nervous cells (neurons), which are interlinked in a vast network through 1000 billion junctions (synapses). The whole brain can be divided into subsections or subnetworks, which communicate each other in network fashion. All this results in intricate patterns of interwined webs, networks nesting within larger networks. F. Capra :The Web of Life A New Synthesis of Mind and Matter Flamingo 1996
LIFE IS A PROCESS
Mark Ward : VIRTUAL ORGANISMS Pan Books 1999
pg 14 : LIFE AS A DYNAMIC PROCESS
pg 8-16 : Life is all about ensuring information is passed on, or transmitted, while all the time preventing entropy from corrupting the message. Life has found a way to ensure that entropy keeps increasing but not at the expense of its own survival or the integrity of the information it wants to transmit. Evidence of this can be found if we take another look at amino acids. The more abundant an amino acid is the more care is taken to ensure the information is read and preserved correctly. Six different codons prodoce leucine perhaps because it is so abundant. This is the biggest and best trick that life has learned.
Now ALife is helping us to understand just how it does it. It is starting to show that living things do not rely on the properties of chemicals to foster another generation, they depend on information encoded in chemical form. ALife is showing just how the dynamics of information can come to dominate over the properties of the materials living things are made of. ALife research has revealed that this shift occurs when a system is acting chaotically. Not chaotically in terms of 'badly organized' but chaos in the mathematical sense.
What is becoming apparent is that life has to exist on a knife edge. Observation of fish populations and ant colonies, as well as experiments with artificial creatures, have shown that too much chaos produces a system that never gets a chance to settle down and develop. But if there is too little stimulation, everything stagnates. Between these extremes is a narrow, fertile region where just enough disturbance gets through to keep a heart beating healthily or a population thriving. Life needs a threat to keep it sharp. Entropy, or too much disorder, is one threat but the environment throws up others in the form of predators and climate changes.
Life as a dynamic process: This conception of life as a dynamic process - rather than an inherent property of the bits and pieces that living organisms are made of - has only recently begun to prevail. Prior to this change in perception life and living systems were thought by ecologists and biologists to be working towards a static state where environment and organism work in harmony. Now it is known that feedback and conflict is the norm, with species constantly wrestling for the upper hand and managing to survive and develop together as a result.
NETWORKS - AGENT - EMERGENCE - EVOLUTION - SPRACHEVOLUTION -LIVING SYSTEMS - BEWUSSTSEIN - Steve Grand CREATION: MIND and MATTER
Humberto Maturana Autopoiesis,Structural Coupling and Cognition
Cybernetics & Human Knowing vol.9, no 3-4, 2002 pg 23
Living systems are molecular autopoietic systems.
What we scientists distinguish as "phenomena of the natural world" occur spontaneously. As such the natural world is in its spontaneous presence the proof of its own existence. Natural phenomena occur when they occur, and we human beings as observers distinguish them, as we distinguish what we do, as we distinguish what happens in us or with us. An observer attempts to explain only those of his or her experiences (phenomena) which do not seem obvious to him or her. In order to do so, he or she resorts to the coherence is of his or her experiences and uses them to propose a generative mechanism under the operation of which the phenomena that he or she wants to explain will appear or result spontaneously.
"El Arbol de Conocimiento" - Der Baum der Erkenntnis - The Tree of Knowledge - was the most influential book I worked through fifteen years ago (back in 1980 it was Gregory Bateson's MIND and NATURE)
Francisco Varela/ Humberto Maturana: Das Reich der Sprache - Der Baum der Erkenntnis Scherz 1987
PATTERN OF ORGANISATION - PATTERN OF STRUCTURE - PROCESS - SYSTEMSTHEORY - CYBERNETICS - BATESON - What is "MIND"? Gregory Bateson's answer. The Two Great Stochastic Systems.
James Kennedy Russell C.Eberhardt : SWARM INTELLIGENCE
Academic Press 2001 pg 3
DIGITAL BIOLOGY : PETER BENTLEY DIGITAL BIOLOGY
The Creation of Life Inside Computers and How It Will Affect Us
Headline Book Publishing 2001
Models and Concepts of Life and Intelligence - Sociality
FRACTALS - INFORMATION - Information-Theory
Try to continue on the next page - a network of ideas on COMPLEXITY, FRACTALS and INFORMATION - Ideas
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