A SYNTHESIS OF KNOWLEDGE
A NETWORK OF IDEAS

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



TRY - EXPLORE - INVESTIGATE


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

Varela60

Keywords: 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 -




COGNITION


KNOWING - KNOW THAT - KNOW WHAT - ERKENNEN - WISSEN - KÖNNEN - ONTOLOGY - EPISTEMOLOGY - AGENT - HANDELN - WOLLEN - PLEROMA - CREATURA - 
GEIST -

COGNITION - PERCEPTION - QUALIA -  METAPHYSICS

AWARENESS - SELF-AWARENESS - DAS UNBEWUSSTE - FREUD - JUNG - BATESON - GEIST UND MATERIE - 
SELBST-ORGANISATION - SELFORGANISATION -
LEBEN 


WHAT IS LIFE? CAN WE KNOW IT?
 
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?
 
 
Stuart A.Kauffman
INVESTIGATIONS

Oxford University Press 2000
 


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 MINDAUTONOMOUS AGENTS -



MY WORLD IN THE BRAIN - Models - Representations - Symbols -



NETWORKS
 

F.CAPRA
Networks - 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.

pg 13

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

KOMMUNIKATION
GESELLSCHAFT - SOCIETY - LUHMAN

MATURANA/VARELA - SANTIAGO THEORY - 

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


COMPLEXITY

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 
 
 

STEPS TO A METAPHYSICS OF THE SECOND ORDER

STEPS TO A METAPHYSICS OF THE SECOND ORDER

STEPS TO A METAPHYSICS OF THE SECOND ORDER





Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino, y nada mas.
Caminante, no hay camino, 
se hace camino al andar. 
Al andar se hace camino
y al volver la vista atras
se ve la senda que nunca
se ha de volver a pisar. 
Caminante, no hay camino
sino estelas en el mar.   Antonio Machado


 




 

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

Varela60

Keywords: 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 -




COGNITION


KNOWING - KNOW THAT - KNOW WHAT - ERKENNEN - WISSEN - KÖNNEN - ONTOLOGY - EPISTEMOLOGY - AGENT - HANDELN - WOLLEN - PLEROMA - CREATURA - 
GEIST -

COGNITION - PERCEPTION - QUALIA -  METAPHYSICS

AWARENESS - SELF-AWARENESS - DAS UNBEWUSSTE - FREUD - JUNG - BATESON - GEIST UND MATERIE - 
SELBST-ORGANISATION - SELFORGANISATION -
LEBEN 


WHAT IS LIFE? CAN WE KNOW IT?
 
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?
 
 
Stuart A.Kauffman
INVESTIGATIONS

Oxford University Press 2000
 


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 MINDAUTONOMOUS AGENTS -



MY WORLD IN THE BRAIN - Models - Representations - Symbols -



NETWORKS
 

F.CAPRA
Networks - 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.

pg 13

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

KOMMUNIKATION
GESELLSCHAFT - SOCIETY - LUHMAN

MATURANA/VARELA - SANTIAGO THEORY - 

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


COMPLEXITY

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 
 
 

STEPS TO A METAPHYSICS OF THE SECOND ORDER

STEPS TO A METAPHYSICS OF THE SECOND ORDER

STEPS TO A METAPHYSICS OF THE SECOND ORDER





Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino, y nada mas.
Caminante, no hay camino, 
se hace camino al andar. 
Al andar se hace camino
y al volver la vista atras
se ve la senda que nunca
se ha de volver a pisar. 
Caminante, no hay camino
sino estelas en el mar.   Antonio Machado


 
 
 
 
 
 

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