Ideas emerge above the level of description, in the realm of raw imaginal stuff, and the act of attaching symbols or words to them; a ballast of semantic and semiotic material, drags them down, inevitably mis-shapen and only partially described. This effort is however required to make conceptualisations available to others, for pleasure, and for the critical purposes of dialectical exchange.

Ideally in the course of time, such attempts at definition refine and hopefully become more congruent with the original, grasped notion.
These writings should be recognised as such tentative articulations, gleaned in part from intuition and observation, but also drawn from the ideas of all of the others who have attempted this same process, ideas that have happened, for whatever reason to pass through this local, noospheric sensorium.

Therefore, also included, are thoughts and intentions which have been unintentionaly corrupted or similarly misunderstood, en-route. As such, these scribblings are not to be considered as propositions of truth, simply the queriously curioidal and playfully humble, speculations of one that is many.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Complexity and Coherence

In complexity theory, it is observed that when a simplified and idealised population reaches a certain threshold of component complexity, a system of negentropic novelty emerges spontaneously and sustains itself at a higher frequency of order, auto-catalysing and self-organising. These newly emerged systems then go on to manifest further non-linear emergences at progressively higher levels of complexity, held away from equilibrium and dissolution by autopoesis. Many of these elucidations are congruent with observable chemical and biological processes and offer a tantalising glimpse into how Life has been making similar, interminable emergent steps of accumulating complexity; an unbroken developmental chain running from diffuse energies and cosmological bodies to cognitive molecular interactions and the vast sophistication of conscious multi-cellular organisms. Certainly some important new ideas, not least those of complexity theory and emergence and their ilk, substantiate these observations and seem just on the cusp of societal bloom, at least in the minds of them that are keen to motion.

If we consider that what has been called mind, or consciousness, is an emergent property of the 'material' brain (not that I necessarily consider it to be), we can also then consider language as an emergent property of mind, and that the dense aggregations of information that construe ideas i.e. words and symbols to ideologies, paradigms etc. (however valid), will share the same emergent properties, emerging albeit in a kind of imaginal space, a noospace. This space was first articulated so by Teilhard de Chardin and to me seems notionally equivalent to what Alan Moore has termed ‘ideaspace’ and what Karl Popper called ‘World 3’; the world of objective contents of thought. It then becomes interesting to speculate what can and will manifest in this noospace, on the 'substance' it is made from, and the way in which it feedbacks onto the 'material' world proper.

Some have suggested that when informational complexity, like Terence McKenna’s novelty, is graphed against time, albeit with a tentative x-axis, the graph’s general curve is exponential, meaning that its steepness increases logarithmically over time, and essentially throughout history. Others have also noticed that at our current point of history we are tending very close to the vertical of this curve, at which point informational complexity increases so rapidly as to confound. Theories of singularities and transitional apocalyptic cusps therefore abound, or as Alan Moore articulates information doubling; water sublimates into steam. Regardless of the veracity or meaning of these propositions, ones which I am inclined to intuitively sympathise with, we, as self-reflective language generators, are witnessing what it is like to be on the accelerating wave-front of this emergence, the effervescing limen of novelty; of evolution. Pay attention to it.

1 comment:

  1. Baron Moontrap XXIII, the encounter with your blog this morning has been a welcome blip. Great use of photo feeds and images along with a rich list of books. I have made a note to post a blog entry to talk about your work.


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