Efficiency and Emergence LO25023

From: Leo Minnigh (l.d.minnigh@library.tudelft.nl)
Date: 07/04/00

Replying to LO24994 --

Dear LO'ers, dear Gavin,

I am glad that there is renewed attention to the original contribution of
At de Lange.

Some of the recent contributions on this thread have broadened our views
to several new directions.
A nice illustration of ONE to MANY. It is also a nice illustration of the
power and richness of group work. It helps one to open new directions and
creating a web between these new visions with the personal ideas.

The contributions of Gavin point to this aspect, if I interpret him well:
the spirals within spirals, within spirals. It is as if one is taken by
the vortices of an atmospheric depression to great heights (like an
eagle), passing several loops and subloops, to be able to see the earth
from a distance, an overview.

The same meaning, sketched with other words and other pictures, could be
destilled from the original mail of At (he uses the term
But Gavin accentuated something else too:

> However At and company have not actually registered the learning, they are
> too busy shoring up what they know (I am "being" a bit harsh here). There
> are some key issues that have never got a frame of reference, e.g. what
> are the variables and the logic we are using, where does all this fit in
> terms of LO's. I shared with some a key on the issues of emergence not
> long ago and its linkages to TIME and the continuos field. (from a
> why Progogine, Jaques, Bohm (holographic theory) and company are so
> focused on Time (the time of chronos and kairos) and becoming because it
> tries to take the continuous field into account.(which is no variable,
> (the fact that I say this means I am now discriminating again, because I
> am now bringing it into being or creation again) it has the all, the
> ends, ideals, the systems, the universe, the creation, the interactions,
> all the variables, all the logic, all the knowledge past present and
> future, we are it part of it in it)

A side mark:

Gavin, you use the expression 'At and company'. Since we all form on this
list a community, a companionship, should I read your expression as 'all
of us' (including you)? If that is the case, why do you then put the name
of At in front? Maybe it is because of sympathy with At, since I guess
that he feels sometimes somewhat isolated.

You mentioned however something more important: the discrimination of
variables (a contradiction as I understand you well). As soon as
'something' is named/taken apart/discriminated it will loose its
variability and is not longer part of the process. Is this interpretation
correct, Gavin?

If so, I see your point. However I think that your way of seeing this
needs some precision. First of all, an emergence is in my opinion not a
variable. It is a result of a process, the outcome. Birth and death are
not variables, and we could discriminate these emergences without the risk
or the result of fixation.

I am afraid that we dig deep in philosopfical matters. It reminds me of a
Greek philosopher (I forgot his name) who argued that the arrow never
could pass the turtle.
Another thing that we should keep in mind is a thing that At (in other
contributions) has explained: the difference between extensive and
intensive quantities (or 'variables').
Another thing is that we should discriminate measurable and calculated
Another thing is that we should discriminate dimensional quantities and
dimensionless numbers.

The thing is Gavin, if we accept complexity as it is and if we are afraid
- for whatever reason - to touch complexity, we will walk forever in the
thick fog, thinking that we know our way, thinking that we look, but we
will see nothing. And we even can't talk and dialogue anymore with our
company. That is too easy or too fatalistic for me.

To comprehend complexity and holism (in this case used as rough synonyms
and discriminated terms), one should KNOW of the variables, elements,
characteristics, processes, etc. And if we talk about, study, or
discriminate these elements, complexity will not a priori be lost.
Complexity is too complex for such a simple action.

But maybe Gavin pointed to the UNDERSTANDING of complexity in our MIND
(which is another complexity). And please Gavin, reread what At has writen
about this (rephrasing Einstein):
"However, he did NOT claim that "equation"(3) (with the < sign,
irreversibility) WAS WRONG. He rather claimed with right that equation (1)
(with the =sign, reversibility) was of paramount importance to the world
of the physicist. His only claim with respect to "equation" (3) (< sign,
irreversibility) was that it pointed to something wrong with the HUMAN

I think this is the crux. Also of your point.
But if I am right, this is precisely another matter that AT (and
company??) several times has written about: tacit knowledge and formal
knowledge. The moment one discriminates one's tacit knowledge, it becomes
formal and is filtered from the tacit processes in the mind.

But maybe, I should stop with discriminating all my variable thoughts on
this subject, so complexity in my body should continue with all its
spirals, undisturbed.

Nearly P.S.
>From July 6 I will be on holiday for 5 weeks, so unfortunately I will miss
a lot of these dialogues, and I could not contribute during this period.

Best wishes,

dr. Leo D. Minnigh
Library Technical University Delft
PO BOX 98, 2600 MG Delft, The Netherlands
Tel.: 31 15 2782226
        Let your thoughts meander towards a sea of ideas.

[Host's Note: Leo, have a wonderful holiday! ..Rick]


Leo Minnigh <l.d.minnigh@library.tudelft.nl>

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