Rheostasis and Homeostasis LO25572

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@gold.up.ac.za)
Date: 11/02/00

Replying to LO25525 --

Dear Organlearners,

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

>There are in principle two way to think of.
>1. increasing the 'pressure' from outside to overcome the
> resistance of the person, or
>2. decreasing the 'pressure' inside the person (decreasing the
> resistance) so that the outside could flow inward the person.
>In the first case it means that we could overwhelm the learner
>with an avalange of information. We take our information rifle
>and shoot the information bullets and try to hit the person with
>our rote-methods.

Greetings Leo,

What a marvelous metaphor -- shooting each other with our information
rifles (or me you with my sawn off information shot gun rather than me
trying to paint a rich picture;-)

>At has again and again put our attention to the very bad effects
>of this method. In my personal 'translation' it is another example
>of the bad side of pushing.

Very well said. But is there a difference to forceful pushing and a gentle
nudging? In other words, does the butterfly with flapping wings forcefully
push a storm in a different part of the world?

There is something we have discussed many months ago which I want to pick
up again. But before I do that, allow me to make acomment on the

A couple of weeks ago somebody, in relation to "Work and Free Energy",
said I am a super-materialist for using physical concepts like energy and
entropy to make more sense of the abstract, mental world. Yes, should I
have brought in concepts like time, force an electrical charge, it may be
seen as an materialistic act. These concepts can be measured directly with
appropiate instruments as physical quantities. However, I have stressed
over the years that the very two concepts energy and entropy cannot be
measured directly with instruments as physical quantities. To have a value
for any one of them, measurements on several related quantities have to be
made so as to calculate from these values the value of the energy (or the
entropy). The decision which quantities (the values of) to use and then to
make mental calculations on them so as to obtain the value of the energy
(or the entropy), makes energy (or entropy) a mental quantity rather than
a physical quantity right from the beginning! In my opinion this
distinction which energy and entropy have with respect to all other
physical quantities leads to profound ramifications.

The issue which we have had a dialogue on many months ago, is whether
knowledge is intensive or not. Let me give a short summary of what we are
up to. Energy has many forms and each form of energy may be represented as
the product X x Y of two directly measureable quntities. The quantity X
(like electrical charge) is extensive while the quantity Y (like
electrical potential) is intensive. The difference between extensive and
intensive is this. Should we divide any system in which the form of energy
X x Y occur, then X factor (extensive) will divide while the Y factor
(intensive) will remain invariant.

Intensive factors are better know in the humanity sciences as qualities.

Let us now assume that knowledge has to do with some unique form
of mental energy X x Y. We will then have three possibilities:
* knowledge is the extensive X factor of X x Y
* knowledge is the intensive Y factor of X x Y
* knowledge is the form X x Y itself, i.e. consists of both factors X
  and Y.
During our dialogue, I mentioned that I strongly suspect knowledge
to be case 2, namely an intensive factor, but that after many years
I still cannot come up with a convincing argument that it is indeed
the case. In other words, my suspicion is technically called a
conjecture rather than a postulate or hypthesis. Conjectures are
known for the ramifications (Onsager dynamics ;-) which they have.
Winfried Dressler tried his hand also at a convincing argument -- and
I hope that mean while he had not given up on it!

What you have written above (bad effects of using information rifle) is
just one of the ramifications of my conjecture that knowledge is an
intensive factor, i.e a mental quality. In this case, should A and B be
two persons, then we have to consider the interaction between Y(A) and
Y(B). In in terms of "entropy production", we have to consider the
difference between them, i.e Y(A) - Y(B). Is it not that when person A or
person B or both person use the "information rifle", they want to decrease
the difference Y(A) - Y(B) to the limiting case Y(A) - Y(B) = 0 ? In other
words, is it not that they want to set up a "knowledge homeostasis"?

Perhaps it is the case that they "tacitly (intuitively)" want to set up a
"knowledge homeostasis". Let us assume it is the case. Is this case
sensible? I am not sure. Knowledge has far too many conditionals
(contingencies). But yet I am aware of a strange pattern. Moving one level
up in spirituality to faith as well as asuming that faith is intensive, we
then have to consider YF(A) - YF(B) = 0 for a "faith homeostasis"!! (Let
us add to Y a K (for knowledge) or a F (for faith) to distinguish between
the different Y's). For me personally faith has two and thus far less
conditionals than knowledge. The two conditionals are "understanding" and

Is YF(A) - YF(B) = 0 for a "faith homeostasis" sensible? History shows us
that far more atrosities have been to obtain a "faith homeostasis" than a
"knowledge homeostasis" with YK(A) - YK(B) = 0 These atrocities do not
distinguish between which of YF(A) and YF(B) is the higher, although
perceived superiority usually led to such atrosities. Thus many people try
to avoid any attempts to set up a "faith homeostasis" YF(A) - YF(B) = 0.
In this sense they have attained a "knowledge homeostasis" YK(A) - YK(B) =
0 to do so!

But let us now move up to highest level of spirituality which is love
(agape) as well as asuming that love is intensive (a quality), we then
have to consider YL(A) - YL(B) = 0 for a "love homeostasis"!! As I now
self understand love (agape), it has the least conditionals and in fact
has none.

Is YL(A) - YL(B) = 0 for a "faith homeostasis" sensible? Here history
shows us something very peculiar. Fewer atrosities have been committed
while these atrosities have been directed (by say B with YL(B) = 0)
mostly to those (say A with YL(A) > 0) who have emerged to the level of
unconditional love. Here, because of YK(A) - YK(B) <> 0 for knowledge and
YF(A) - YF(B) <> 0 for faith we have YL(A) - YL(B) > 0 for love. But when
we have YL(A) - YL(B) = 0 for "love homeostasis" where both A and B have
emerged to love so that YL(A) > 0 and YL(B) > 0, I do not know of any
atrocities committed.

It seems to me that the true pattern YL(A) - YL(B) = 0 ("love
homeostasis") is now unduly forced upon the true pattern YF(A) - YF(B) <>
0 (actual "faith differences" to get the untrue pattern YF(A) - YF(B) = 0
(fictional "faith homeostasis"). The same unduly forcing happens upon the
true pattern YK(A) - YK(B) <> 0 (actual "knowledge differences" to get the
untrue pattern YK(A) - YK(B) = 0 (fictional "knowledge homeostasis").

Leo, after this probably bewildering excursion into knowledge, faith and
love as qualities (intensive properties) we come back to your next

>So, in the second case should lie the solution of a healthy repair
>of the homeostasis. How could we decrease the resistance against
>learning within a person? How could we manage conditions that a
>flow of information is running into that person, so that he/she will be
>an authentic learner?

As I have said, I am not so sure that we have to strive for a "knowledge
homeostasis" with the pattern YK(A) - YK(B) = 0. However, I am far
more sure that we have to strive for the increasing of both YK(A) > 0 and
YK(B) > 0 . Actually, this is what the Personal Mastery (PM) component
of authentic learning does. The PM of A let YK(A) increase and the PM of
B let YK(B) increase. But what about the Team Learning (TM) component
of authentic learning? Is the principal idea of TL to set up a "knowledge
homeostasis" with YK(A) - YK(B) <> 0? Or is the principal idea not rather
to comprehend the the real difference YK(A) - YK(B) <> 0 so as to use such
differences optimally in the sense of constructive creativity? As I understand
it myself and the little I understand of Senge (because he does not think
formally in terms LEP, LEC, /_\F and W), I think that we will have to learn
how to manage YK(A) - YK(B) <> 0 rather than to set up YK(A) - YK(B) = 0.

As soon as we accept YK(A) - YK(B) <> 0 rather than YK(A) - YK(B) = 0
then YK(A) - YK(B) <> 0 brings us immediately to the issue of
"knowledge differences" as and "entropic force" and eventually the
possible "entropy production" of the "entropic force-flux pair" for knowledge.
Many fellow learners will think that it is so abstract that it cannot be any
issue, but almost no week on our LO-dialoque passes without me becoming
deeply aware how this very "entropy production" of the "entropic force-flux
pair" for knowledge manifests itself on our LO-dialogue.
To put it in less technical words, as soon as one of A or B becomes aware
(the other one already aware of it or not) of a meaningful difference
between each others knowledge a flood of thoughts follows in our
LO-dialogue. Interestingly enough (and perhaps there is a reason or more
for it which you other fellow learners may have a dialogue on ;-) I have
often been one of A and B. The latest one was between a young timer "Pixie
Delite" (Joy Vatsyayann) and me as an old timer. Just before it happened,
she offered a remarkable complex contribution to the topic "Dialogue,
language, learning LO25505") which is worthy of deep study. Her thoughts
in it on dialogue also give a remarkable prediction of the complexity of
the ensuing flood of thoughts in the dialogue between her and me. I wish
she would tell me which one triggered the avalanche.

In this avalanche of thoughts, her own passionate response (LO25526) on
"The Milk Project" is for me personally a jewel on the authenticity of
learning. I cannot even count how many pupils and students the past thirty
years have confided in me their hurt, anger, frustration and indignation
with an educational system which severely constrains their learning. What
they dared to tell me in confidence, she revealed with bold daring to the
intire cyber communbity of Internet. I, for one, am very thankful to her
because what she has revealed in LO25526. It has direct bearing on the two
paragraphs which I have single out with ****. I hope she will forgive me
for what I now about to do. I do not want to shatter her Digestor !!!

The system wanted Joy to conform to YK(Joy) - YK(Others) = 0 for
"knowledge homeostasis" (The "others" here is some of her teachers and
perhaps some fellow students.) But Joy's own authentic learning was
responsible for YK(Joy) - YK(Others) <> 0 for "knowledge differences".
Furthermore, because of her project rather than task orientation, the
difference was actually YK(Joy) - YK(Others) > 0. Since her authentic
learning is irreversible, i.e. /_\S > 0, it set up an entropic flux /_\XK
> 0 of thoughts from the Others to Joy rather than otherwise. In terms of
the Digestor, they become intimidated by the "seed kernels" in her
"knowledge crystal" growing. Joy became the predator and the Others the
prey. They became aware how she gained on them in "free energy".
Should you fellow learners carefully study the LO-dialogue on the
Digestor, you will see that the "knowledge crystal" becomes more polymorf
as a sign of its growing. Joy's "knowledge crystal" is indeed polymorph
with already three definite morphemes: physics, genetics and systems-
management. What a fine crystal to hire!

Leo, thank your very much for your thoughts presented in such a manner
that we could discuss this issue of knowledge differences as an entropic
force. After we have become aware of knowledge differences, we will sooner
or later have to deal with "information rifles" (thanks again) and
"information brushes". I use the latter as far as possible to paint rich
pictures of information rather than the former which blows the knowledge
crystals of other into pieces when trying to add another single lattice
unit to the crystal. On rare occasions I do have to use the "information
rifle", but then only to blow a hole in a particular ego (halo around the
crystal ;-).

Joy, thank you for responses. Some years ago I described on this list to
Winfried Dressler my "Pixel Model" of entropy to help him to undesstand
that entropy is not only chaos, but also has to with structure and its
richness. Your pseudonym "Pixie Delite" reminds me of that model and how
fast you paint your own rich pictures.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <amdelange@gold.up.ac.za> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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