The Past, Present and Future [Carlos Gershenson, Helena Knyazeva, , Peter Csermely, and Alexander Laszlo,  Peter Erdi]

This is a well written summary of related disciplines that are highly relevant to me – which motivated me to read it when it came to my attention. I have read a number of the books referenced and familiar with many of the names. However, I am not a practitioner in any of the related disciplines. Yet, I had a feeling of inadequacy, of something missing – what can follow as a consequence of its publication?

I have nothing to write in relationship to the document, except this. I note that CSR (Cybernetics and Systems Research) as a single discipline is new to me. I sense in parts that the authors are concerned about explicit acknowledgement of THEIR CSR, in the future of this multi disciplinary set.

Their query about why the “spiritual” domain is missing from the research by this set was noted. My superficial reaction to this was to query about adequate definitions and empirical evidence for “spiritual” for it to be a suitable “topic” for research with the tools and techniques of the disciplinary set. But, this is secondary.

The direct empirical for “spirit” are personal/subjective in the experientials/consciousness of individuals. What we collectively have to study are reports of these experiences.  This is not really new to science, as the empirical field for all science are patterns in data and not the postulated phenomena interacting with scientific instruments. We observe and record the response of our instruments. We infer the interaction of particles and fields. We are the instruments for the “spiritual” and our reports the data (which can be analyzed by persons who don’t have the experiences).

The immediate context for my reading this document was twofold.

  •     (1) an email from Glistening expressing her dissatisfaction with the quality of dialog recently evident in Magellan Courses as not adequately attending to our significant human challenges.
  •     (2) my own dissatisfaction with all digital discourse (including those by Glistening and myself) as not moving towards relevant and sufficient action. My most recent posted composition entitled “Are We Functional?” was also motivated by the string of comments to a blog post by Glistening. This post doesn’t explicitly mention two primary concerns:
  •         a) The absence of viable interactivity related to the publication/posting of long docs or books. The deep content of longer compositions are the patterns among the varied sub-topics explicitly discussed. Short comments to long docs usually refer to the sub-topic “contents” and not to the “deep content”. I believe it is more than changing attention span (due to social media discourse); and may be systemic to the flow of discourse. Also of importance is the relationship between the explicit content of a text (perceivable symbols) and the contexts from which it was composed and later read or studied. “Contexts” face the issues discussed above about “spirit”- they are “personal/subjective”.  Representatives of contexts (conceptual schemes) can be re-constructed from new systems of digital discourse about deep content and contexts.
  •         b) The strong conservative resistance to deep change for all humans – including dedicated change agents – and myself. The styles of discourse we need (that leads to appropriate collective actions) may need to occur in educational scaffolding I have called O4L&L4O (Organizing-for-Learning =&= Learning-for-Organizing). This is a “system” and more than a mere “network” (as social media are so limited).

So, it is not the document itself that is unsatisfactory. It is the practice of depending on a network of flows in discourse that is unsatisfactory for the emergence of relevant human interactivity leading to appropriate collective action. Also, the implication in the document that the authors are not expecting significant changes in their worldviews, only learning more about their topics and disciplines.

Author: nuet

01/24/1935. BS-physics RPI 1956; MS-physics UofChicago 1958; PhD-physics Yale 1965; PhD-Edu Psy Uof MInnesota 1970. Auroral Research Byrd Station, Antarctica 11/1960-02/1962. MINNEMAST curriculum dev 1964-68. Woodstock. faculty Pima Community College, Tucson 1974-1997. Transdisciplinary scientist, philosopher, educator, futurist, activist. PC user since 1982. "Wife". daughter, 2 grandsons. 5 dogs & 7 cats. Lacks mental imagery in all sensory domains.