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Thea,

I think learning is the key to complex systems. Certainly, Gregory Bateson held learning to be a characteristic of all living systems. And, now, Nora's paper on Symmathesy places learning at the center of all living and social systems.

Also, the idea of embodiment is important. Whether we like it or not, we all begin to embody the "knowledge" (can be good or bad or any combination) of our social and cultural contexts. I think that's important in understanding history, as well as our contemporary situations. Trumpism is going to be embody in this society, if we don't make a point of not allowing that to happen. And, even then, we have been tainted by this man, and we may never recover.

Re: Epistemological Shocks by JeffBloomJeffBloom, 10 Sep 2016 21:07

Jeff,
what you wrote about the situation in USA has been sounding in me, especially the term: We have created that monster over the last century or two and now we are reaping the results…
That s the case not only for the USA and considering David Krakauers idea about the exbodied knowledge, that we ve implemented or embodied (another logical type) in the social organisation of our societies, that is really interesting, because that s the overarching framework that provides the space for embodied knowledge, for what can be learned implicit….And what you describe about the state of far too much people, being only concerned about their own short-time interests…seems to be the result of this contexts we ve built…with the help of knowledge, that s not fully understood…and deformed by short time purpose…
And so it s really about creation, seems that we, as identities, societies and cultures, are evolving and so education is about this interplay of societies and identities….and it s about co-evolution….about mutual learning in complexity….
So for me education is the epitome of complexity, ….and there might be metapatterns dealing with mutual learning, metapatterns of co-evolution in complexity…
and they might be a lot about increasing complexity….in forms..
And it might be hard to see that we are in, that we are a part of bigger patterns….

Some month ago, there happened an interesting thing. In Germany there s a big weekly Paper, DIE ZEIT, and they had an inclosure of about 40 sites, dealing with a thought experiement about how to save the homo sapiens….
This was a paper written by a retired trained economist, who counseled firms in retirement pays, looked like a private initiative of one person, concerned about all the problems we are not really facing up to…
And it didn t seem to be connected wether with the newspaper nor with science…isn t that interesting?
He asked for answers, and I asked for his reasons….but yet I didn t get an answer, beside a mail that there have been a lot of answers and that they need time…
I ll try to translate something for you…didn t find the time yet…

Barney,

did you find the "M third power mayhem"-Problem by David Krakauer? The "mess", thats created when confusing maths, mathematical modells and metaphors? Thats a really interesting point…I would like to discuss…
in terms of humor, creativity, lunacy, ….

And, reading Epsteins intro, until the point where he throws out the baby with the bath water, brought more clear in mind, what Piaget might have been trying to do:

"Our shoddy thinking about the brain has deep historical roots, but the invention of computers in the 1940s got us especially confused. For more than half a century now, psychologists, linguists, neuroscientists and other experts on human behaviour have been asserting that the human brain works like a computer.

To see how vacuous this idea is, consider the brains of babies. Thanks to evolution, human neonates, like the newborns of all other mammalian species, enter the world prepared to interact with it effectively. A baby’s vision is blurry, but it pays special attention to faces, and is quickly able to identify its mother’s. It prefers the sound of voices to non-speech sounds, and can distinguish one basic speech sound from another. We are, without doubt, built to make social connections.

A healthy newborn is also equipped with more than a dozen reflexes – ready-made reactions to certain stimuli that are important for its survival. It turns its head in the direction of something that brushes its cheek and then sucks whatever enters its mouth. It holds its breath when submerged in water. It grasps things placed in its hands so strongly it can nearly support its own weight. Perhaps most important, newborns come equipped with powerful learning mechanisms that allow them to change rapidly so they can interact increasingly effectively with their world, even if that world is unlike the one their distant ancestors faced.

Senses, reflexes and learning mechanisms – this is what we start with, and it is quite a lot, when you think about it. If we lacked any of these capabilities at birth, we would probably have trouble surviving."

so far Epstein

Considering that computers are not "self-modyfying systems" , that their hard- and software is clearly distinct and "learning" thus self-modyfying, will be restricted to the software…he is right..
But in living systems there s an interconnectedness… between them…and its about that interconnectedness, especially because the overarching Framework, that our societies and our cultures built do provide the space for what we can learn…in terms of view of world and idea of man…
And, in case that this overarching frameworks will contradict democratic and participating learning this will lead to the real big problems we are facing now…

It s too bad that, also the ones dealing with order and information, don t distinquish more… and while they don t consider the arguments about "not processing information" attendable, they thow out the baby with the bathwater themselves……that s how it often seems to go in science, and this may be a serious side-effect of our competitive education system, …(and competion not in a playful way/sense of sports..that s because we ve implemented the social-darwinian sight of selection in our education systems, missing the other part of it: cooperation)

and there s something about information, "a mystery bound up with thermodynamics"….
we are creating this in-form-ation within this "M third power mayhem"…(M cube mayhem??), which might be a problem, because there s no third power, considering that embodied maths, mathematical models and methaphors are different things, so you can t cube. …unless, the three of them have a common basis themselfes….somehow rooted in the "information" concept…
and there s an interesting guy, an independent researcher and amateur like me, dealing with information..because of a personal expierience that touched him seriously and he wanted to understand better…
He came up with a distinction between a "negative" and a recipe, and this touches our discussion about Piaget and blueprint and your argument that it has to be more complex, or other order, more like a recipe…(you ll find it under www.infoparadigm.de )
so….
this is a most interesting trace (and it emerged out of our interaction, embeded in the current discussion of the problems in complexity, the internet is really a great improve! and the exchange here s really a gift… ) and the this discussion should be addressed to the social sciences, considering the really hard problems, our societies are facing right now. There s a lot still there in the different disciplines, like the insights of Lakoff in metaphors and embodied maths (unfathomable!) and furthermore, there are attempts to apply this knowledge in an emanzipatory and psychoeducational way…so there s hope…(It seems that there are also side-effects in our science system, concerning the disattached knowledge we started off with…so it s about re-connecting ..and co-operating)
I m really glad about this possibilty to explore ….and share…it helps a lot…to hold a way of sight…
I hope to find some time to dive into "self-modifying systems" soon…
And there s a letter Bateson wrote to the board of the university, at the end of "Mind and Nature", where he addresses the problems rooted in an epistemological wrong (on the long run) paradigm, and there s some advice…(and it really touched me then, because he did, what I felt to be the task of our discipline…in it s essence…maybe this will take some more time…)
Thea

o.k., let me see what I can do,…
As you ve probably recogniced, my english is more a denglish, so …it might take some time…
The overarching framework is really interesting, in many respects, as it provides the space from which we will learn implicit knowledge, kind of implicit learned rules…. about the world..and man….
I m right now thinking about the rules of our small social community in terms to support demoratic and partizipating learning…more effizient…
And there s a prodcast on education I ve been listening to, that addresses a lot of our themes…
Waking up with Sam Harris. Complexity and Stupidity: A conversation with David Krakauer.
It s really frustrating that the real interesting themes of our disciplin seem to be recognized and discused in other fields… although there s something important missing.

George Lakoff is really interesting, it became more clear, that metaphores are so deeply rooted in our langues and that they are highly ambigious interrelated….and mostly underneath our detection tresholds…That seems to be a lot about frames, as well…And propaganda and advertising is badly good at playing with this…or maybe this can t be called playing, but manipulating. So, "Understanding Trump" has been kind of an emanzipatory psycho-education….
thank you, for taking time to answer…

Thea — I took German classes in college decades ago, but remember very little. And, took French in grades 7-10, but remember little, as well. I wish I had better language skills. I just know little bits and pieces of several languages.

Re: Epistemological Shocks by JeffBloomJeffBloom, 03 Aug 2016 20:10

Jeff,
I ve seen that you are really busy with a lot of different although interconnected things…
As you mentioned the overdue for a new paradigm….this should "evolve" out of science….considering, what "science" is meant to be in a society, in terms of it s relationships….into a complex system.
But this is a real big problem, because what you re addressing in your blog from today-the overarching framework, conflicting with democratic issues- for our schools is also true for the current scientific system and the most of research…
Sprichst du Deutsch? There s something related to that and the overdue of a new paradigm I would like to share…
Thea

Thea,

Thanks for all of your posts. I've been reading them, but have been so busy that haven't taken the time to respond. But, I think I need to make the time now.

I think the U.S. suffers from many maladies. Among them, the lack of any historical memory. Everything is about immediate gratification. This situation combined with the dumbing down of the American public has created a very dangerous mix. Far too many people are only concerned with their current status and react to and base actions on their emotional reactions. They put no critical thought into anything. We've created this monster over the past century or two and now we're reaping the results.
… It's frightening.

And, in terms of embodied mind, I think we are long overdue for a new paradigm. The Cartesian split has been a real problem. We need to see ourselves and the world as tightly intertwined, tightly interconnected, and not divided up into discrete pieces.

I'm glad you've found the metapatterns site. I need to put more information up there, but I've been letting it slide for a while.

Thanks for these other resources!

Re: Epistemological Shocks by JeffBloomJeffBloom, 02 Aug 2016 19:10

and, concerning metapatterns, are you familiar with Hermann Haken, he came up with a theorie of Synergetik?
Another physicicist, whose ideas might have risks and side-effects on your sight of world and mankind…

Jeff,
rambling over your different web-sites is a pleasure, what you collected is a real treasure and insightful, wished I could have found something like that earlier, the same with the e-journal complicity, Barney mentioned…
And, when thinking about that mess with maths, my strong associations, while same time painful lack of formal understanding,…there happend that I found your link to the article of George Lakoff, about understanding Trump. And following this trace, I had a look at his web-site, there s a really interesting book, "Where mathematics comes from. How the embodied mind brings mathematics into being."
I had possibility to look at at amazon. So, at least I m not alone with this crazy idea…or expierience.
And, it s really interesting, that he s linguist and dealing with metaphors…that s amazing insightful…
and there might be a link to Noras "So what s a meta for…"…and to the close connection between language and conciousness, that Maturana and Varela emphasized.

And, I had a look at the videos of Tyler Volk and got an idea what you meant about dealing with metapatterns…and got a faint idea about his work…great…

It doesn t seem that there s something similar in Germany….at least I couldn t find it. Not even with internet….which is a great improve…
Until now I associated with USA Mc Donalds and no really old culture, although there s also the expierience with Somatic Expierience coming from there ….but, my prejudices seem to be quite strong,…time to change?
It is also that Rumi, in the translation of Coleman Barks is the most-selling poet in USA… and complexity in the humanities seems to be much more advanced…and at the same time Trump….a real great tension…
Thea

Jeff,
you managed to find Ann Kinfield, beautiful, I had a look at her web-site (hello Ann, just in case you read this….) and thought that I really wished someone ever would have explained to me not only how to do maths, but why to do it….
I remember that Bateson complained about the lack of exactly that in "mind and nature" and therefore I had an idea, but only a faint idea…what he meant…and what it means to do so.
There s something in Gießen, you and Ann might be interested in, the Mathematicum….there s a web-site (as I m a low karma user (Oh my god, what might this mean? Being reborn as a earthworm?) I can t post links, but it will be easy to find…)
I ve been there several times with children, a lot of fun, especially the big soap-bubble, but my lack of intellectual understanding deminishes my ability to accompany the expieriences…adequately…
and I read a book about Kryptologie and one about the golden section (both without an appropriate academic understanding ) of Alfred Beutelsbacher, the founder of the Mathematicum….he s really interesting…
so far…
Thea

Der blinde Fleck, bezogen auf unsere Wahrnehmungs-und Erkenntnisprozesse, auf das WIE unserer Wahrnehmungs- und Erkenntnisprozesse, von dem Maturana und Varela im "Baum der Erkenntnis" ausgingen, hatte für mich eine Entsprechung in der Reduzierung von Lernen auf "Lernen von Inhalten" (that s were Jeff and I met) und das in einer Disziplin, deren Gegenstand Lernen ist.
Das war ein Schock für mich und, naiv wie ich war, habe ich auf Wissenschaft vertraut, darauf, dass wenn etwas evident ist, Wissenschaft ihrem Wesen nach verpflichtet ist, diese Erkenntnis anzunehmen…
Das war naiv, weil gerade in den Humanities die Inhalte erst durch das Bewußtsein der Einzelnen müssen… (durch Lernen….) und dann ist da ist immer noch der kontext…

Und in diesem umfassenden Lernbegriff sah ich eine große Chance, Erziehungswissenchaft ganz anders gesellschaftlich wirksam zu machen, nicht sozialtechnologisch, das ist mir fremd, sondern reflexiv und dialogisch….
Und es waren eher die auch naturwissenschaftlich denkenden Menschen, die mit Mathematik oder Physik zu tun hatten (Feldenkrais auch), die nachvollziehen konnten, was es bedeuten könnte, die eine weitere und umfassendere Perspektive zulassen konnten, auch wenn durch diese sehr sehr viele Widersprüche deutlich werden…die wir aushalten müssen und an denen wir arbeiten müssen…

Aber der Betreuer meiner Arbeit ging in Rente und Bateson war nicht/wenig bekannt und die Bedeutung war so weitreichend, dass das damals zu viel war….jedenfalls nicht anschlußfähig…

Und als ich bei Varela die Einordnung der KWT als Entwicklung der Kybernetik fand, als "Evolution" von Wissenschaft, (er spricht von der größten wissenschaftlichen Revolution seit der Atomphysik), und in den Teilbereichen seines Schemas menschliches Lernen fehlte (weil es tatsächlich auch nicht da ist, als Disziplin), aber KI und Maschinenlernen….da habe ich diese Disziplin eröffnet, gespielt…mit Ideen.

Ob die kybernetischen Entdeckungen in der Technik wirklich gefährlich werden können, weiß ich einfach nicht, ….aber ich habe große Befürchtungen …..aber was ich glaube zu wissen, ist dass sich die technische Entwicklung sehr viel schneller umsetzt, auch angetrieben von wirtschaftlichen und machtpolitischen Interessen und die Einsichten, die die Kybernetik in das Menschliche und Soziale hat, sich sehr sehr sehr viel langsamer umsetzen, weil sie erst durch das menschliche Bewußtsein müssen….und weil kein wirkliches, tiefes Verständnis von Lernen in unserem gesellschaftlichen Bewußtsein ist….und dieses Verständnis zu schaffen, das ist, in meinem Verständnis, die Aufgabe der Disziplin Erziehungswissenschaft……………
und da sind wir auch wieder bei den epistemologischen Schocks…
O.K., that s it for the moment…
Barney, Ich hoffe, das war nicht too much, oder zu wirr, es geht grad nicht besser..
Und symmathesy, die Gleichsetzung von Leben und Lernen, das ist….genial.. da sind exorbitant viele verschiedene Ebenen, aber alles, alles ist lernen, wechselseitiges, co-evolution….
Und symmathesy klingt wie zusammen Mathe….und mit sy am Ende auch noch nett…
Und zusammen auf Augenhöhe, das ist wichtig….
Und bezüglich deiner Warnung, vorsichtig zu sein, mich mit Mathematikern einzulassen,…guter Hinweis, könnte ein bißchen spät sein…(wenn ich Mathe höre, denke ich als erstes wo ist der Notausgang……..und wenns den gibt, …)

and there s coming a book in mind, written for children, Hans Magnus Enzensberger "Der Zahlenteufel", do you know it? It s interesting, because it s linking numbers with order in perception and expierience, in a very nice way, …
and Bateson mentioned that numbers and the name of numbers are belonging to different languages, different sets? or categories? and that our habits to confuse them…might mess up our thinking…

and I m thinking about the elements into a group along an operator….and the inverse thing, and the identity element….by your introduction I got a faint idea about the symmetrie-thing although it is still that something sounds to me from the names of this formal defined elements…which isn t related to the mathematical definition…that s strange…

and, Friedrich Cramer, Versuch einer allgemeinen Resonanztheorie
For my understanding he managed to show that there s a basic principle -resonance- over different complex systems, from physic (Music, Acustic) over chemestrie (hormons, cells, (Resonanz ist der Stein der Weisen)) and time (circardiane Rhythmen, ..) to even more complex resonances on level of thinking and social behavier as far as resonance to the world.
And there s a phänomen called Resonanzkatastrophe… that can bring a bridge to break down, you probably know, and there might be similar possibilities/dangers ….on higher levels, as nationalisms resonating with one an other, endangering the Idea of Europe (Freude schöner Götterfunken, alle Menschen werden Brüder…)
and for my understanding this is essential, because it s a hopeful attempt to link the humanities back to life-science in an formal, rigid but not reductionistic way? mode ? manner?

And there s one chapter, Spiel und Ernst…where he refers to Friedrich Schiller,
"Denn, um es endlich auf einmal herauszusagen, der Mensch spielt nur, wo er in voller Bedeutung des Wortes Mensch ist, und er ist nur da ganz Mensch, wo er spielt. Dieser Satz, der in diesem Augenblicke vielleicht paradox erscheint, wird eine große und tiefe Bedeutung erhalten, (….); er wird, ich verspreche es Ihnen, das ganze Gebäude der ästhetischen Kunst und der noch schwierigeren Lebenskunst tragen." (Schiller, Ästetische Erziehung)
and this chapter is so close to the metalog of Bateson in ecologie of mind, about play and seriousity that I thought he must have been familiar with Bateson, but I couldn t find a reference…

Cramer also wrote something about time, and developed an idea about an evolutionary field, I ll try to scan the basic ideas out of this book.

And now I m back at this idea of learning…

O. K., I ll try again, in german.
Ich kam mit einer Verstellung an die Universität, die sehr naiv war. Ich dachte, dass es dort wirklich um tiefgreifendes Lernen gehen würde…. Diese Idee hatte ich, weil ich Moshe Feldenkrais gelesen hatte, der menschliches Lernen in einem evolutionären Kontext betrachtet…und der auch die kulturellen Rahmen, denen individuelles Lernen unterliegt, reflektiert.
Aber nichts, NICHTS von all dem.
Diese Idee von Lernen war dem, um was es an der Universität ging, weit voraus….und ist es immer noch.

Dann habe ich Maturana und Varela gefunden. Sie sprachen von einem Skandal, dem Skandal, dass wir NICHTS über unser eigenes Erkennen lernen, kein Erkennen des eigenen Erkennens….

….und ich dachte, das stimmt…
….und ich dachte, das kenne ich

und ich dachte, wenn die Erziehungswissenschaft uns nichts über Lernen zu sagen hat, wo doch lernen der Kern unserer Disziplin ist….dann ist das ein erziehungswissenschaftlicher Skandal!

und dann habe ich festgestellt, dass die beiden Skandale zusammenhängen.

Barney, beim Schreiben merke ich, dass es mir schwer fällt und ich noch einen Moment brauche, das ist eine wunde Stelle, weil es ein sehr wesentlicher Punkt ist, und ein schmerzhafter…
so far

rambling around a little more, playing with ideas..
thinking about maths…
not reductionistic and not procedural,
algotithms are procedural, arent they? And they might be models to deal with information a system is able to create…in terms of perceptions from "outside" and "inside" and to connect them in different modes…
and to deal with recursive informations, which might be a more complex mode…
(and here, dealing with inside and outside, comes representation in, that s really important…but not really getable yet…I will come back to this later)
and there s set-theorie and group-theorie and I just found the distinction between them, group theorie deals with ORDERED sets, and thats really really interesting, as I found that in language we build sets all the time, by using different frames, sets, that dont necessarily follow any too strict formal order, sets that refer to different associationcomplexes….par example the thing with steady state equilibrium…that I confused with homöostase….for me, Fließgleichgewicht is a beautiful word, awaking associations of flow and balance, which I try to reach a little bit more..much more than homöostase….so, this might have caused this confusion…but that is interesting…words do build set…that are very strange sometimes and often we don t realize…and there s a lot in about creativity
one other expierience with learning of maths…: In germany there has been, out of the sputnic-shock an initiative in education to awake and improve the creative potential in kids by maths classes in Grundschule, dritte oder vierte Klasse, that had set-theorie in their curriculum. I ve been a "victim" of this attempt, I remember me dealing with logic blocks of different form, coulor, size, thickness, and with loops, meaning the set…
This expieriment was short time, because they feared to confuse the kids and drive them crazy by upcoming widersprüchen…
But I remember this well, maybe because it has been so sensual… and it came in mind, when thinking about creativity, humor, paradoxes….
and set-theorie is an relative new maths method..a relatively new mathematical intuition…. and categorisation is something we do all the time, it s necessary to be more efficient in dealing with information, but it has side-effects, especially in the social….as we can see by grouptheories in scialpsychologie….and in our societies…
so, there are sets and there are ordered sets, thats relevant, isn t it?
Language provides a lot really a gerat lot of new possibilities, from phantasie, over science to lies and half-lies and all kinds of thruth, whatever….
there s order in, but what kind of? there might be a higher degree of freedom….less severe rules? less order?——but, this is an explosion of possibilities, isn t it, a great lot of possibilities…
so, how is this potentialty integrated???????(another word, that sounds beautiful to me with probably missing the meaning completely is integral….I, a complete idiot on maths, often try to compute integrals….and that s rather about sets than about maths, I guess)
quite a chaos,….isn t it?

what you said about supporting someone through the shock, that is really important and some things came in mind;
there s empathie or compassion needed, kind of acknowledgement of what is happening, at least you have to have a faint idea what s happening…because you ve the expierience of your own…
and empathie/compassion might mean resonance and containment…
and there s something needed that in SE is called psychoeducation, to provide information about how our systems are working in general (pedulation p.e. is important and very basic, for all systems, also humans) and what might be going on..
and very important, there should be a sheltered space and time, ….
enough time, to allow integration to take place…because the implications of a groundbreaking insight are very far-reaching…
and, dealing with that in hierarchies is even more difficult…
and this definition of empathie or compassion is based on Friedrich Camer at one hand and SE at the other hand…
and, revisiting Friedrich Cramer to give you an idea, the first chapter is: Über die Unmöglichkeiten von Ontologien….
I will need some more time…for kind of a summarize
so far…

arrgh…I just lost a very long post, because I wanted to check something…
so, once again

Barney,

I ve been thinking and pondering about the differentiation of ontologie and epistemologie…

Guess you are right and that s really relevant to understand better…

Given that ontologie is dealing with the relationship of human beings to nature in its entirety (pragmatic monism/Poeppel, Bateson) epistemologie is dealing with the link between the part (human beings) and the entire (nature, evolution).

and there s symmathesy again,…. great word,…. great potential…

And, according to what Proulx and Doll mentioned and what Jaakko Seikkula is exploring further, this link is -for human beings- a lot about language. But language in words is highly vulnerable to "anything goes" (constuctivism, solipicism?), and might therefore be misleading, but there s also laguage without words, embodied (shared) expieriences that matter…So, the linguistic turn might have been only a first step of an evolution of ideas….towards embodyment and towards a better understanding of our biological nature…

Language is also closly related to conciousness, therefore linguistic might deal with conciousness more than usually is acknowledged and cognition might -surprisingly- embrace both, language with and without words???

And epistemologies might be explicit (in language) and implicit (behavier) and both might even interact to some degree…
And, given that human beings are learning beings at the highest level in evolution yet (because of their long period of learning compared with other species (Moshe Feldenkrais)), a lot of our epistemologies might be learned on cultural and individual level.

And how do this levels interact?

And a lot of it is learned implicit. At cultural and at individual level.

And epistemologies might be wright or wrong, refering to the entire, to the integration of the entire on the long term…That s about the idea of man and the view of the world - it s about ontologie.
So epistemologie might inweave ontologie.

As Varela pointed out in KWT, the cybernetic movement, as an approach to prove philosophical ideas scientifically, is in evolution too and there are different approaches depending on different epistemologies…and their underlying ontologies.

A "wrong" -refering to the integration of the entire- epistemologie might work for some time, be viable, but not in the long run.
There s a letter of Bateson, he s witten to Warren Mc Calloch, guess he s been dealing with an epistemological shock, realizing that the concious purposes are necessarily conflicting with the physiolocical ones…and with the implications of this insight…….
I ll send this per e-mail (by the way, is there a possibility to add attachments here?)

The problems you anticipated coming with approching changes by learning - guess they depend a lot on this relations and it s really interesting that Jaakko Seikkula is on the same trace with developing dialogical practice…. going beyond the hierarchical, kind of filtering it out, towards the dialogical, maybe to the polar….to support and encourage mutual learning from inside, that s embracing also deeper levels…
and there s symmathesy again…

So, that has been only one of several ideas your answer brought up…

It s late in the night here…
Thank you for this….and for the interest.
Thea

Barney,

Doll is really interesting, I had a look at his writings and I ve been very pleased about the appreciative posture that he showed with his response.

I just found an article of Jaakko Seikkula, that seem to be very much in line with what Proulx and Doll bring in, developing it further…
You can have a look at the open dialogue site, at the blog…
bis bald, Thea

Barney,
a real lot again ….ein Feuerwerk von Ideen, brainstorming…danke.
Es geht sehr viel durcheinander bei mir und ich lese mehrmals und lasse es dann wirken…und es braucht Zeit, bis es sich ordnet…aber es wird auch greifbarer und realer, weil ich Antwort bekomme und das ist sowohl erstaunlich als auch schön…

Diese Ideen und Interessen sind auf dieser Ebene schwer zu teilen,…

So it is a pleasure to be in a symmathesy with you…

Als erstes fällt mir ein, dass die Unterscheidung von Ontologie und Epistemologie entscheidend sein könnte…obwohl ich es noch nicht wirklich greifen kann. Aber dazu fällt mir ein Text ein, den ich gerne mit Dir teilen würde. Er ist von Seyyed Hossein Nasr, ein Beitrag zu einer Konferenz in Hannover, zum Thema "Geist und Natur". Er berührt einige der Themen, die wir diskutieren. I ll send it to you per e-mail, weil ich hier keine Möglichkeit finde, ihn anzuhängen.
Und dann ist mir aufgefallen, dass ich steady-state-equilibrium, Fließgleichgewicht, falsch verwendet oder falsch verstanden habe, vielleicht, weil das Wort eine Assoziation bei mir weckt, die aber nicht mit der Definition übereinstimmt. (Vermutlich ist Homöostase das richtige Wort…). Aber genau das ist interessant…, dass Worte manchmal Bedeutungen wecken, die nicht mit der Definition übereinstimmen…

I will need some more time to go deeper into this,…
Eine Antwort braucht noch ein bißchen Zeit…

Es freut mich sehr, dass Du ein Treffen, lunch or something.., vorschlägst. Amsterdam ist nicht zu weit, ich wohne in Marburg, near Frankfurt, es sollte möglich sein.

Danke. Thea

Thea,

Hello…so many ideas are running through this conversation…a synthesis would be a good thing, but I'm not yet up to that task, so this will ramble a bit…and be quite long…

I agree that Piaget, and also Bateson, were limited by the tools that were available, tools that really just started becoming available in the mid- to late-1980s. Some of the early attempts were available to Bateson, but he seems to have resisted the ideas of chaos theory and complexity just a bit. I don't fully understand why, or even if my impression is correct, but there were ideas that he could have taken from but didn't.

Your take on evolution, epigenetics, and the possibility of saltatory evolution is very much in line with what complexivists are saying. (I'm reading a book, "Phase Transitions" by Sole and someone and they make such a point when discussing viruses). As for how the levels interact, I don't really know, but Kampis talks about this to some extent. (Kampis' idea of component systems is well worth the struggle, and given that I believe he is German by birth, there might be something of his in German…all of our discussion probably makes this a good time for me to revisit Kampis.) In physics there is the concept of "impedance matching" that probably applies across levels. For example, when I look at the wall of my office, I cannot see through it because the frequency (colors, if you wish,) of electromagnetic (EM) waves that my eyes can see don't penetrate the walls. However, the frequencies of EM waves that the wireless internet connection uses will pass right through (fortunately!). This is because there is, at the visible frequencies, an impedance mismatch between the air and the paint, so the waves bounce off. However, at the wireless frequencies, there is (nearly) an impedance match, so the waves are transmitted. I don't think that wave frequency is necessarily the piece that determines communication across levels, but there is probably something analogous.

Kampis also in his big book (free online) in section 7.6 explains some of the limitations of autopoiesis. I don't know exactly how I can shorten his explanation or make it more accessible, but I'll think some more about that.

I am familiar with some of Kolb's work, and I think he fits in reasonably well with what we have been talking about. You might be, along these lines, interested in a paper by Proulx - and the response by Doll to that paper - that appeared in the journal Complicity. (https://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/complicity/issue/view/563)

Part of where math is helpful to me is in examining equilibrium and living systems; almost all living systems are NOT steady-state, and NOT near equilibrium. This is part of where the linear maths we generally teach in school (e.g., solving LINEAR equations, like 3x + 2 = 8,) leads us astray. The maths of complexity are anything but linear, and the intuition we develop from our school maths is pretty useless in the study of complex systems.

While we keep looking at epistemology, one of the things that keeps popping up for me is that Bateson really didn't distinguish between epistemology and ontology; this will be a bit at odds with Piaget (as the Doll piece mentioned above points out different logics between the learner and the expert). I mention this because it can cause lots of problems when we approach the idea of changes.

I think that algorithms are models; someone once said that all models are wrong, but some are useful.

I think the better question than how we move the epistemology of someone without the shock is how do we support people through their shocks? Some changes - those that Piaget would call assimilation or accommodation - can be made without shocks. Some, however, require shocks. This is a very practical (and pressing) question for me right now. We have a relatively new college President, and sadly, despite having moved up to such a lofty position, he is a very insecure person. Hence, although the college needs him to change in substantial ways, he is afraid to do so, and so reacts in anger when his world view is critiqued. Regardless, I do agree that the need for changing is always bigger than we might initially intend, and how does one link countries/cultures/religions to address this?

I might have to practice my German for Cramer; can you say more about "Symphomie des Lebens"? (I might also have to practice for Varela's small book; it doesn't seem like he ever translated it into English.)

Aesthetics? I still don't feel comfortable with that part of Bateson; clearly he means more than Einstein's "It must be beautiful" or the "elegance" sought by mathematicians, but I haven't yet been able to wrap my head around it - maybe Jeff can help.

I'd be interested to know more about the body-therapy approach that you mentioned; like most things in complexity, it sounds as if it is either rather crazy or very insightful.

A couple definitions: "Stability": The ability of a system to return to its previous state after a perturbation. "Robustness": The ability of a system to remain functioning (perhaps in a different state) after perturbation. We actually want the latter, but usually encounter only the former (because perhaps people are afraid to change, fearing that they will lose themselves?).

Group theory: Well I'll give you a semi-formal definition of a group and some examples. A group is a set of elements along an operation that satisfies these properties:
1. "Closure"
2. An "identity" element
3. "Invertibility"
4. "Associative"
The set of all integers (…, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, …) , along with the operator addition (+) forms a group because:
1. If you add any two integers, you always get another integer.
2. Zero is the identity element: Add zero to any integer, and the result is the original integer.
3. Each integer has an inverse: 5 + 3 + (-3) = 5. Hence, 3 and (-3) are inverses.
4. The sum 3 + 2 + 6 can be found by doing (3+2) and then adding 6 to the result, or by adding (2+6) and then adding 3 to the result.
The set of integers (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) is NOT a group "under addition" because 2+4 is not part of that set, and because 1 + 2 has no inverse element.

So, groups are relatively easy to define, but have some very far reaching consequences. For example, you are likely familiar (or were at one point) with the "quadratic formula", which is used to solve quadratic equations. There is a similar formula for cubic equations and quartic equations, but no such formula for equations that have higher powers. How do mathematicians know there is no such equation? Group theory provides a means for the proof.

However, symmetries are also groups. For example, consider a plain old square. We say that the symmetry group of the square consists of the following:
- flip it horizontally
- flip it vertically
- rotate it 90 degrees
- rotate it 180 degrees
- rotate it 0 degrees
- rotate it 270 degrees
Try it: For example, if rotate 90 it degrees and rotate another 90 degrees and you'll get a 180 degree rotation. the "inverse" of rotate 90 degrees is rotate 270 degrees.

OK, so we have a symmetry group. Now, however, stretch the square into a rectangle. You just "broke" the symmetry because the rectangle does not have a 90 degree rotation in its symmetry group; it is "less" (in some sense) symmetric.

(Incidentally, everything I just said about groups and symmetry breaking is true, but mathematicians would laugh at us because we weren't formal enough. So be careful hanging out with mathematicians!)

I agree that we really do miss systems thinking in our education system; I'm trying to address this in a small way, as I'm currently scheduled to teach an introduction to systems theory course this fall. (We're still waiting on the final enrollment numbers, as it is right on the cusp of having enough students to remain on the schedule.)

I'm not sure I follow this part of your last post: "It is, that that lack of playful and also same time systematically reflected expieriential learning at university has been a shock for me, and seeing that the insights of cybernetics are only proofed technically….but not social, ….and it is that artificial intelligence is something I really have respect of, I guess we can t see all the possibilities that are opened….with a better understanding…but the insights are needed in the social sciences, and that is were Jeffs approach comes in, with deeper learning and appropriate questions…and epistemological shock…". Perhaps you could try to clarify again. (You could also try the German there; I might be able to piece your good German and less-good English together with my good English and poor German to come up with better understanding.)

Whew! Enough for now…

Barney
P.S. Where in Deutschland are you located? I'm going to be in Amsterdam in September for a complex systems conference, and may have an unoccupied day. If you are far enough north and west, I might be able to meet you for lunch or something….

Barny,
I just had a look at George Kampis webside and there s a possibility to download his book, I ll give it a try, but guess I won t understand a lot, it s also that my english isn t that fluent…
He s really interesting and adresses a lot of central problems, as far as I can see, as there are human knowledge, representation…and causatity…I really would like to discuss,….because
(there s a small book of Varela, about the future of KWT Kognitionswissenschaft-Kognitionstechnik. Eine Skizze aktueller Perspektiven. 1993) In there s an overview about the essential disciplines of KWT (KWT: Artificial Intelligence, Linguistics, Epistemologie, Cognitive Sience, Neuroscience….and there s something missing, there s no discipline to deal with reflected expieriental learning, based on reflected (different) epistemologies, explicit and implicit ones. I opened up this discipline, when I ve been at university, kind of practical experimental epistemologie…thought, that would be needed in the social sciences….to improof…their (our) issues..and learning…so, you see, at the front line of research….
Now, recently, a friend of mine, chemist, cyberneticist and a joyful player, found a paper that might be kind of an initial for such an approach…Maybe you are familiar with "Kolb, A. D. Expieriental Learning: Expierience as the source of learning and development." available over goolge.
It is, that that lack of playful and also same time systematically reflected expieriential learning at university has been a shock for me, and seeing that the insights of cybernetics are only proofed technically….but not social, ….

and it is that artificial intelligence is something I really have respect of, I guess we can t see all the possibilities that are opened….with a better understanding…
but the insights are needed in the social sciences, and that is were Jeffs approach comes in, with deeper learning and appropriate questions…and epistemological shock…
The paper of kolb refers also to Piaget and the role of psychologie…and that is missing too….
So, thank you….
And, it is really a new thing for me to share this and get an answer,…
Jeff, I believe that there are others with other points of view that would bring in really precious contributions, … but for me it has always been difficult to find exchange, so this is a great help …danke.

Jeff,
thank you for that, it touches an expierience, when I for the first time realized that maths is something deeply embodied in the organisation of nature, reading something about the spirals of sunflowers, snail shells, ….and that happend at the time I ve been at university…but not at university
It is still that children learning maths don t have any clue….
And, that seems to be a really big thing, it comes to that what we discover in langues of maths might be organisation principles embodied in nature….abstactions from nature, but not "ideas" as Plato used the word, because we can t know about that ideas, as they are, by definition, "ideal" ideas and not realized, but ideas as abstractions from embodied organisation principles in terms of maths…kind of bottom up creation of abstractions/ideas…
The introdoction of the book of Margret Donaldson and Barny s summery to Piaget made more clear that there s a lot about an idea or really good question, that couldn t be answered with the tools available this time and this might be about the development or evolution of ideas…as Bateson thought about..

I had possibility to listen to some researchers about Evolution (there s a study generale for the public in Marburg, this time about Evolution) and there appeared that there are sequences in the DNA that modulate the expression of other sequences, so, if there s a mutation on the sequences of the genes modulating the expression of other genes, that might lead (very seldom) to saltatory evolution…because the changes coming with that are big and not always/seldom viable…
But that means that there are different complex genes
and there s also epigenetics..
how do this different complex levels interact?
(This might be about bounderies, necessary communication and necessary not-communication)
Barny, what you write about Piaget, guess that s true, when I wrote dynamical blueprint I didn t mean a ready pattern, but more something of a dynamic pattern, kind of an algorithm to proceed with the feed back, a system is able to distinquish and create…something like the gen sequences modulating the expression of other genes…
I know that an algorithm is something dealing with recursive information…
And I remember Bateson writing about precise algorithms of the heart…that hit me…
And Poeppel is writing about algorithms when dealing with functions of the brain…
And, given that kind of steady state equilibrium is what living systems are, alorithms should be finaly related to that…

there a some different threats now, I still try to catch….

It became more clear to me that epistemologie is a core point of our discussion, because it is implicit in all of our cultural doings, including science. And it might be, as Barny mentioned, that Kuhn falls short in grasping the epistemological aspects.
For example, our economic system, capitalism, there s an epistemolocical believe of growth in, that is ecolocical wrong but this is deeply interwoven in the whole global organisation pattern…There is to some degree an insight by few people, but the interconnections of this wrong and implicit learned believes are so complex, that most poeple, including scienticists, fear to face up to..
There s a great insecurity if we realize how deep this is rooted and how big the problems we re facing really are..and, that s interesting, because I ve seen that your collegue is dealing with insecurity in learning processes….this might be kind of a key-how do we deal with insecurity and how can we support containing insecurity in order to be able to learn… (I guess that a lot of what we are seeing now here in Europe and in USA politically is about insecurity and I fear that those movements might go in resonance…with one another. (There s been a thinker in Germany, Friedrich Cramer, chemist, geneticist he s very close to Bateson, more modern, and there s a book of him: "Symphomie des Lebens. Try of an general Theorie of Resonance" Sadly not translated in english.))
(There s a short article about the maths being applied to living systems might be to easy…and therefore lead to wrong…conclusions..(available over google: friedrich cramer evolution))
And, in addition to that, our universities are thought to built leaders for the existing system, to provide knowledge for fitting in, but, thinking about what is science in terms of its relationships, there s something essential missing….
And this might be where epistemolocical shock comes in…in case that dealing with epistemolocical shock should by definition be a core point of science, especially of the humanities, and dealing with unsecurity is a key competence. And helping others to deal with insecurity should be learned at university…
And, it is getting more and more clear that we can t escape this problems as one nation, or country or religion…we need a spirit of working together, a spirit of co-evolution and it seems that this spirit is deeply violated by our educational systems…

There are still references I couldn t check yet, because I hadn t time.
One is the limitation of autopoiesis, this is really interesting, could you give me an idea?
and what exactly is the difference between stability and robustness? (I thought it might be the time-factor?)
And, at St. Fe Institut there s a working group seeking new algorithms for an old problem…
symmetrie…has something to do with comparing groups, I guess? (by the way, what is group-theorie?)
and, given that symmetrie and asymmetrie (or symmetrie-breaking) are polar necessarities of evolution (and co-evolution), there s something in the golden section, that is a special case of symmetrie-breaking that embraces asymmetrie in a (higher order?) symmetry? There s an essay, that might be interesting available over google golden-section.eu from Ruben Stelzner)
(And asymmetry, or symmetrie breaking is part of perception, decision..evolution.)

and this is where aestetics is coming in, another central point of Bateson…might be related with a certain degree of stability, robustness and flexibility…integrated in a steady state equilibrium.
and how might this be relatet to the different modes of knowing…

The conference is really interesting, and I thought about participating but I fear that I might be easily overwhelmed and will not understand a lot…

What you wrote about complex maths, I ve to think and ponder about…but it gave me an first idea

There s a really interesting approach to compare the different developmental psycholocial approaches and link them to (senso-motor? and) muscular representations. It is a new approach in body-therapie and they collected a lot of data…I ll try to find the basic ideas in it, to come back to Piaget…

and, right now I m thinking a lot of this feed backs that Barny mentioned,
and resonance and symmathesy…
and symmathesies are bigger unities, but there s no living unity below a symmathesy…

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