Friday, January 25, 2008

4 Incapacitati / 4 Incapacities

"Cateva consecinte a 4 incapacitati."
"Some consequences of 4 incapacities."

de / by Charles S. Peirce

1. Nu avem putere de introspectie, dar orice cunoastere a lumii exterioare deriva din rationamante ipotetice.
We have no power of Introspection, but all knowledge of the internal world is derived by hypothetical reasoning from our knowledge of external facts.

2. Nu avem putere de intuitie, ci orice cunoastere e determinata de cunostiinte anterioare.
We have no power of Intuition, but every cognition is determined logically by previous cognitions.

3. Nu avem putere de gandire fara semne.
We have no power of thinking without signs.

4. Nu avem nicio conceptie despre ceea ce este absolut incognoscibil.
We have no conception of the absolutely incognizable.

A more in depth view of this topic on this site dedicated to Peirce and his lifetime research.


Questioning the question itself would be an answer if an answer could really exist without the question.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

From cellular to social intimologies

I read this article today on the Gnoxic Blog - although I tried to write a short description of this article or an intro ... it just might be better for you to read it and make your own conclusions... .

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It's now the middle of winter, but the buds are already there which will start to grow in the spring. How do they know when to start growing? All multicellular organisms grow until they reach maturity: how do their cells know when to stop reproducing?

This is the kind of question addressed by Werner R. Loewenstein in The Touchstone of Life: Molecular Information, Cell Communication and the Foundations of Life. It's a cause for celebration when a specialist like Loewenstein can present the gist of a lifetime's research to a general audience as he does here. I've been taking it in small doses (a few pages per day), and i don't expect to retain many of the details—and anyway, in a field moving as fast as this one, the details are subject to change. But some central principles persist, and some of those coincide with basic themes of my work in progress, Turning Words.

Turning Words is about guidance systems, and Loewenstein's book reaffirms that living beings are self-guiding systems, perfused at every level with what he calls cybernetic loops. These loops are the keys to self-organizing and self-regulating processes, and Loewenstein shows in some detail how they work at the cellular level. I think it's worthwhile to investigate whether they also work at higher levels, in the psychological and social domains.

Cell populations, or (on a larger scale) organs of a body, do not regulate themselves by electing a legislature, still less by recognizing the authority of a monarch. They don't obey any central command hierarchy; instead, they self-regulate by means of cybernetic loops. The signals meaningful to them arise among themselves, almost anywhere, and propagate by intercellular communication.

Here's where the coincidence comes in: i'm also reading presently Paul Hawken's recent book, Blessed Unrest. Hawken describes the rise of a new kind of social ‘movement’, one which promotes social and environmental justice without relying on charismatic leadership, central command structures or ideological consensus. This movement is totally decentralized, and yet can act with great singleness of purpose and power when circumstances make this possible, because each ‘cell’ in the movement is organically in touch with many others.

A sure sign of maturity in any organism is that it stops growing. The growth process is self-regulating; the breakdown of growth control is the disease we call cancer. The corporate structures which currently dominate the political economy of our planet are addicted to ‘growth’ as measured by the movement of money and assets. In organic terms, they are dedicated to prolonging the stage of immaturity, and that is why they afflict the planetary ecosystem just as cancer afflicts an individual body. (The corporate connection with cancer is not only analogical but causal as well, by the way: most of the known carcinogens in the environment are of corporate origin.)

All of this suggests that what humanity needs in order to wake from the long corporate-industrial-consumer trance is a decentralized communication network, which will clue us in to our common interests in the same way that a body knows that it's time to stop growing. This way the human race might just have a chance to reach maturity.

Via GNOXIC blog

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Writing letters...

This is actually an excerpt of a letter I wrote to someone about the fact of writing letters and what it means for me, re-discovering it after (sorry to say) almost 18 years when I wrote an I-love-you-letter as a secret admirer and never received any response from the girl of my [then]dreams.

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Writing letters...

it's almost a dying habbit being replaced with nicely designed outlook templates or even worse - the functional look of webmails and Yahoo!Emoticons. It's almost as having your true identity hidden even from yourself, forgetting who you really are, replacing the Nerve and the Instant with predefined "eror" correcting automatisations. Not to sound like a conspiracy lunatic against humanity as we know it today, I really do want to sound happy because This is how I feel right now after I could give (in (real)writing) a piece of me and received a piece of somebody else, and that felt fantastic.

I would like to keep writing to you and others as well, even if I won't receive any response, but I definitely want to taste this more and also know myself better while doing this. Hopefully this will make everybody else happy at least as much as I am. (RE)discovering a human(e) approach towards communication was A very happy moment for Myself.

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Thank you again and I also congratulate myself for writing a letter... I'll surely do it again and also recommend it with warmth to everybody reading this.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The ideal reader revisited

Having a few blogs I constantly read the Intimologies blog is my top read. And here a new article about the ideal reader...

"A scripture is a text which challenges the reader to live up to the standard of an ideal reader.

The ideal reader has to believe that the text is a sign of the truth. This truth is then the object which the reader aims to see through the sign. Or as Wittgenstein might say, it's the object of the language-game of reading. By an observer of this process, the reader's faith in the sign as representative of the truth could be called a heuristic device; but for the participant, the reader entering into dialogue with the text, this faith must be a genuine belief—in other words, it must actually guide the reader's conduct. She must dedicate herself to learning something new from the text, not reading into it something she already knows or believes.

However, when we reflect on the logic or semiotic of the reading process, it is clear that the real meaning of the text is its interpretant, i.e. the new sign generated in the mind of the reader by the process itself. This is the ‘sequel’ which is ‘of all books the most indispensable part’, as Thoreau said in the passage i quoted here last week, in the ‘Earwaves’ post. And of course this is not the end of the process: the immediate interpretant (the new sign) must generate another interpretant, and somewhere along the line this must affect the practice (behavior) of the interpreter, which ideally carries the whole community forward, toward the ultimate confluence of life and truth. The meaning of the text thus includes what Peirce called the ‘logical’ and ‘ultimate’ interpretants as well as the immediate.

Summing up, then, the ‘meaning’ of the scriptural sign is its object from the participant's point of view and its interpretant from the observer's point of view.

What then does the object of the sign look like from the observer's perspective? I'll take up that question next time."

...via Intimologies Blog

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Benoit Mandelbrot said...

“Science would be ruined if it were to withdraw entirely into narrowly defined specialties. The rare scholars who are wanderers-by-choice are essential to the intellectual welfare of the settled disciplines.”