Saturday, January 5, 2008

Idealistic Autopoiesis

The idealist's autopoiesis postulate is quite out of control in the last couple of decades. With cultish religious groups funding psuedo-populist projects such as the What the Bleep movie, we now have a whole subculture that has self-propagated their own affirmation of the postulate.

This is nicely recursive, a subculture auto-creating their own epistemology, but as an example it shows the weakness in the subculture itself and autopoiesis as an entity's modus operandi.

While posing as avant garde, the autopoiesis cults commit a strange error. The language is very stong in platonism and individualism, two things the cults typically vilify. e.g. Entity X is existing, knowing its X-ness, and imposing its continued X-ness in the next moments of the universe.

As much as the autopoiesis cults talk about complexity/chaos/transitory states, the X in Universe phraseology is flat-earthish.

A richer view of the universe would have a "critical mass" appended to the X in Universe construct. And this view is not so woo-woo as to generate an inarticulate awe. We should be able to say 1,000,000,000 X's, self aware and wanting to perpetuate their lifestyle, are living in the Universe.

For an excellent example of this view, look at any old classic book written about city life. Whether the city is Beijing, New York, or Calcutta -the prose needed to represent such a complex phenomenon usually acknowledges a critical mass complexity.

I guess I'm wanting to shake up the Realist vs Idealist dichotomy, and say there should be a Realist vs Idealist dichotomy on atomic levels language constructs, but a more mature construct is an Emergence view that avoids the traps of these camps. Emergence would focus on consequences more than reductionistic causation questions. Watching for bifurcations in phases of critical mass of X's.

Thats where the action is.

originally posted on craigslist/philosophy

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