Montreal, September 16, 1999
We all make a difference in the world whether or not we choose to consider it, .... we make a difference not just through our direct actions, but also in an implicit way, by opening up paths for others to do things or closing paths down, i.e. by our 'reciprocal disposition' effects.
At Christmas, we may watch 'It's a Wonderful World' and have our hearts warmed as we are taken on a tour of the indirect, reciprocal disposition effects of the life of the protagonist, played by Jimmy Stewart, .... effects which he has not considered in his life but which have impacted others in an often, very positive way.
The same effect is going on at the level of business and political units, ... and it is our cultural custom to look only at the direct effects ('cause') and not consider the indirect, reciprocal disposition effects or 'interference effects'. Perhaps this is because we know, if we do consider them, .... the story is not always pretty, ... and it may at times be very dark.
We know that such unmanaged interference effects have seriously hurt the environment we live in, ... that we are contained in, ... in the broad sense which includes society as well as the nonhuman constituencies, ... and we know that the dysfunction emerging from unmanaged reciprocal disposition effect is rapidly growing.
Meanwhile, few of us seem to accept personal responsibility for our participation in this dysfunctional system, but instead, there is much finger-pointing and rhetoric as to 'the 'causes' out there'. Those of us who the system endows with power and affluence do not want to be the 'first' to give these up without assurances that the new system will be 'fair' to us and we won't simply be throwing ourselves away for nought, into the sector of impotency and poverty.
So we hang in there, ... in a kind of frenetically passive protest, ... riding a train which is taking us somewhere we do not want to go.
But it's not just taking 'us' there, ... it's taking our children and grandchildren there as well. What we have already done to the environment, 'natural' and social, is our legacy for them, and the pace of darkening and deterioration of this legacy is growing.
We are sitting on today's 'council' and tomorrow's children can not, ... yet what we say and do AND what we do not say and do not do, ...will surely have major impact on the children to come, ... and who will speak and do for them today?
For the past three years, I have strived to develop a better understanding of the source of social harmony and dysfunction, documenting my evolving thoughts in essays once or twice a week. My thoughts, coevolving with the thoughts and knowledge coming from my containing circle of respondents, have circled or spiralled around the same issues and data, ... but from my point of view, they have at the same time been deepening and resolving on the way 'around'..
One thing that has 'sunk in' is that it doesn't really matter what one thinks or what one knows, in theory, about how to improve community harmony, particularly when it comes to subtle sources of dysfunction. What 'trumps' such knowledge is the collective belief of the community, as to 'who they are' and 'what is right' etc. and the overall community remains very divided on issues of what 'should be' done. A few months before her death, Janis Joplin, in an emotion-filled voice in the middle of one of her songs cried out; "I don't understand why half the world is still crying while the other half is still crying too, man, .... and it can't get it together.".
So the train goes on towards a destination nobody wants, ... activists for changing the system pulling one way and resisters committed to improving the system in place pulling the other way, ... the net effect looking like the ambivalent freeway driver torn between oscillating desire to exit and continue on, ends up crashing into the abuttment between his two options.
So the 'solution' is not going to come in the form of 'knowledge' of the 'right thing to do', ... it is going to have to come, if it comes at all, in the form of a better understanding of ourselves, and our conscious processes of perception, inquiry and interpretation. Understanding of 'who you are' is not something that someone 'delivers' to you, ... it has to come from the inside, ... so as long as we persist in the analysis of 'what's wrong out there', we shall continue to blind ourselves to the real issues. There is no rational model which can solve for dysfunction emanating from a non-rational collective. When will a rational plan prepared by the 'haves' ('users') appeal also to the 'have-nots' (the 'used') or vice versa?
What I am 'presenting' at this moment in this essay is, on one plane, 'knowledge', and the same argument I am making has been made by many others, .... by Larry and Missy, ... by Erich Jantsch, ... by R.D. Laing, ... by Jules Henry, ... by Ernest Becker, ... by Michel Foucault and the list goes on.
So what can a person like myself do, who is committed to working on this problem of social dysfunction, ... knowing that the 'source' of the dissonance is 'upstream' from the domain of 'knowledge' and resident in the consciousness which manages knowledge, ... consciousness within which knowledge is embedded? That is indeed the essential question, and, of course, ... it has no rational answer. The only thing that can be done is to appeal to your 'imagination'.
In order to make an appeal to the imagination, I must avoid telling you stuff 'face-to-face', as if I am preaching to you and to sketch some stuff on the wall which you can browse as if your were in an art gallery, ... the 'gallerie des refuses', I suppose. So what I shall try to do is to sketch out a few things about the nature of our perception and inquiry tools, ... rather than talk about the source of dysfunction, which puts it back into the preaching domain, ... so here comes some sketches, ... and to paraphrase Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman in 'Ishtar', ... come on into my wardrobe of thought sketches, ... try them on, ... see if there's anything that fits, ... and if you find anything you like, ... take it with you, ... that's what it's there for;
Mental Poster Sessions; Virtual Sketch Wall, ... enter here;
KNOWLEDGE AND RATIONAL INQUIRY IS NOT GOING TO GET US OUT OF THIS ONE, FOLKS! .... that's all 'out there' stuff and our problem is 'in here', ... in how we think about ourselves, ... in how we ignore our reciprocal disposition effect.
To what degree have science and rational inquiry been contributing to social harmony, ... to longevity for some, perhaps, ... but have they done more than music and the arts, ... to cultivate social and environmental harmonies? Will biotechnology be the answer?, ... for cultivating a more harmonious society and environment?
If science and rational inquiry are not coming up with the goods, why are we spending so much time and energy rationally debating all the issues, ... trying to 'get to the bottom' of problems and 'eliminating' them? ... why not more music and art, ... more 'imagination'?
Rational inquiry is not the only way to work for harmonious community, ... natural ecologies do not rationally engineer themselves, ... they achieve simultaneous harmonies through informational exchanges between the container and its constituents, .. the 'family' and the 'individual'. THE ONLY WAY TO ACHIEVE THE SIMULTANEOUS HARMONIES WHICH CHARACTERIZE A LIVING ECOLOGY IS THROUGH INFORMATION SHARING. The one-way flow of 'Instructions' as in a control hierarchy not only does not suffice, ... it breeds dissonance.
'Sharing', in the sense of engendering a co-resonant web of thought and understanding, is a basic ethic in the aboriginal culture, ... a culture which believes that the cosmos in which we are immersed is innately characterizable in terms of a 'simultaneous unity and plurality', ... as a culture which recognizes that coevolutional 'sharing' is essential in order to 'live' one's 'traditions' of whole and part harmony in both a social and environmental sense. 'Sharing' in this sense, cannot be achieved by the distillation of thought into explicit knowledge through rational inquiry, ... followed by a one-way distribution of this explicit knowledge. Sharing in the aboriginal council does not simply produce explicit knowledge, but produces a container of shared implicit understanding within which knowledge is an embedded constituent. Implicit understanding and explicit knowledge coevolve, in a container-content oriented geometry, as Vygotsky has pointed out.
Conclusion Posters: ... posters for those who have the desire to take responsibility for their 'reciprocal disposition' effects and help put the train back on course, for the benefit of our grandchildren, ... for those that believe that we cannot expect a better future if we are not prepared to take action to deal with the deficient premises upon which our society is run and regulated, .... for those who acknowledge that rational scientific inquiry and explicit knowledge have been proven INCOMPLETE with respect to delivering an understanding of the full complexity of our reality.
... Consciousness and imagination are indispensible to the understanding of complexity, and provide a container for explicit knowledge, the product of rational inquiry, ... consciousness provides an enabling environment in which the co-evolution of itself and its embedded knowledge can proceed. In other words, consciousness opens up a container or 'playing field' for knowledge, much as a jazz group opens up a harmonic-rhythmic envelope for its own constituents to 'play into'. In the coevolving interplay, the shape of what is 'not said' (i.e. 'reciprocal disposition') is just as important as what is said, .... a critical consideration in true 'sharing', whether in the mind, in a jazz group or in a governance council, ... and a consideration which is commonly ignored in our western culture. For example, the dominating communicator 'blocks' the message which needs to come from other communicators, ... the full suite of messages being needed to build an implicit collective consciousness.
We have been steadily 'squeezing out' the container of consciousness and allowing the dominant communicators and the explicit knowledge they are pushing, direct-drive the functioning and regulation of society. This mechanical approach cannot cope with the implicit complexity of our reality, and it is visibly sourcing dysfunction.
Action Posters; ...
What we need to do because of this squeeze-out of consciousness;
1. As individuals and as groups, we must work to re-inflate the container of consciousness around our rational-inquiry-derived explicit knowledge, and shift back to using the results of rational inquiry as a guide but not a determinant of our actions.
A scientific 'proof' of this critical 'polar relationship' or 'container-constituent' relationship between consciousness and knowledge is displayed on an appended poster in the form of an email to scientists with mathematical, physics and complexity backgrounds.
2. We must seize on and exploit those opportunities for changing our flawed assumption that rational inquiry and knowledge is a sufficient basis for action, whenever and wherever such opportunities present themselves.
3. We must invest in and reward those social processes which re-institute the primacy of consciousness over knowledge to the point that we starve out those social processes which put knowledge in the primacy over consciousness.
4. We must actively intervene on behalf of those who are unjustly victimized by social machinery which is 'coming from' a rationality unmoderated by consciousness.
The above four 'meta-principles' transcend 'what is right' or the notions of 'good' and 'evil' and emanate from the basic functioning of an eco-system, wherein simultaneous harmonies of whole and part are sustained on an ongoing basis.
In order to be 'consistent' or 'self-similar' with the message content, the form of delivery, in these four areas, must also avoid literality and control. Getting angry and making a scene is definitely useful, needed and appropriate, ... but following through with control or detachment dissolves the containing field in which coevolution can take place.
. . . . . .
That's it for the poster show, ...
The closing thought which comes to mind is that if we want a society of love and mutual respect, ... we have to 'nudge' it into existence, we cannot 'make' it happen. 'You can't rush love', ... as the song says.
* * *
Why we need to invert our current primacy of knowledge-over consciousness, back to consciousness (imagination) over knowledge, ... in the form of an email to Gregory Chaitin (author of 'Chaitin's Theorem', the informational 'parent' theorem for Goedel's theorem), ...and copied to John Casti (complexity researcher) and to Lee Smolin (quantum physicist). This relational scientific 'proof', achieved in the same relational manner as the proof for the theory of relativity, ...points out that reality involves simultaneous harmonies which cannot be sustained by rational inquiry but which require imagination for sustenance,... as suggested by the aboriginal cultures.
hi gregory, (.. and john, lee)
... further to our email exchange of october, 1996 (skyclock gods)
if we set up the conditions for goedel's/chaitin's theorem in curved space time, it seems to give insights on the interplay between relativity and quantum duality.
i.e. .... a freeway which runs all the way around the earth at the equator is initially populated by cars driving in a state of 'simultaneous harmony' at 100 km/hr spaced equally every 100 meters. suddenly, a rabbit runs across the freeway at one point and the nearest driver puts his breaks on, propagating a slow-down pulse which is handled by each driver according to his reflexes etc. and which which extends back and around the earth to begin interfering with itself.
.... each driver has the mission to adjust his pace so as to stay behind the car in front by 100 meters, travelling at a consistent 100 km/hr, ... the euclidian condition which specifies the state of 'simultaneous harmony', .... following the perturbing pulse introduced by the rabbit, his challenge will then be to deconvolve the oscillations of the driver in front of him so that he can move back into a steady 100 km/hr leaving a gap of 100 meters.
... however, ... every non-zero deconvolution operation he applies enfolds a new oscillation into this curved-space self-referential system , thus we run into Russell's paradox "the driver on a curved space highway who harmonizes all those and only those who do not harmonize themselves, can neither harmonize himself nor avoid doing so."
...this situation is akin to the quantum duality parodox, in the general form expressed by richard feynman, "one cannot design equipment in any way to determine which of two alternatives is taken, without, at the same time, destroying the pattern of interference." that is, the driver behind must slow down when the driver ahead speeds up. ... and he must also do so in such a manner as to maintain a relative 100 metres gap behind the driver ahead.
if "he looks" at what is in front of him and tries to understand what is going on in this 'voyeur' mode (standard scientific inquiry) and formulate it in explicit terms or 'laws' which he then 'solves', ... he will be on an exercise of futility. however, if "he does not look" (analytically) at what's in front of him, he will then have access to the interference pattern information he needs to get back into simultaneous harmony.
* * *
the problem with this situation is that in curved space-time, the ensembles represent a SIMULTANEOUS unity and plurality and each entity associates with a 'reciprocal disposition' or 'shape of the containing space' which changes immediately as it moves. in other words he is engaged in relativistic 'co-evolution', ... he is a 'strand' within a 'coresonating web' of relationships.
the paradox is resolved and simultaneous harmony is restored by the process described by einstein in his essay 'geometry and experience', ... "by bringing a multitude of real and imaginary experiences into connection in the mind". the 'imaginary' component (thought experiment) seems to be essential, as einstein said it was in the development of the theory of relativity.
that is, the driver effectively 'knows the answer' because of his conception of the space he is immersed in. instead of perceiving and inquiring into the problem in 'voyeur mode', then, ... he perceives and inquires in 'immersed space-time mode' by imagining the answer and allowing his driving response to be guided by his imagination rather than by the measured specifics of the car ahead.
the measured specifics are used in a secondary, supportive sense (as a guideline to watch, so as to know when they reach the right values) but are not in the 'primacy'. that is, ... there is interplay in his mind between the imagined relational configuration, which is in the primacy, and the variances between his speed and position relative to the driver ahead. the dropping of the 'direct drive' referencing of his driving response to the analytical speed and distance measurements effectively allows him to become fully 'relativistic' (keying in directly to the speed/gap coordinates of the driver in front is non-relativistic).
the euclidian observations of speed and distance are not, in effect, interpreted as describing the phenomenon, but as 'wittgensteinian ladders' to assist the observer in understanding his experience. this seems to be congruent with what heisenberg was saying, ... as cited by henry p. stapp, of berkeley in the context of consciousness and
* * *
Re: Quantum Mind vs Classicism and The Observer.
That [i.e. the quantum view in that our experiences are the basic realities... and that we must simply accept the deliverances of consciousness as the place to start in consciousness studies] was precisely the key move of Bohr and Heisenberg et. al., namely to recognize that science was actually about our knowledge, which is imbedded in our experience, and hence that the correct way to formulate physical theory was as a useful tool for making predictions about our experiences.
* * *
in sum, the scientific knowledge corresponding to understanding 'what's out there' in front of us (euclidian, voyeur view) seems to relate to conscious experience through space-time phase relationships, as in holography, ... experience being the 'immersed view' interference-based imagery in relativistic curved space-time and knowledge being euclidian mechanical dynamics, ... in agreement with quantum probability expressions for when 'we look' and when we 'don't look'.
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