Article/doc by Helene Finidori
Patterns that Connect: Exploring The Potential of Patterns and Pattern Languages in Systemic Interventions Towards Realizing Sustainable Futures.

Helene, I have just “read” your excellent “doc”.  I have never encountered a doc like this, and I am hard put to say that what I did with it was “reading”. I want to say it is the most “complex” doc I ever encountered, but I’m not satisfied with calling it primarily “complex”. It might also be the most “comprehensive” doc I’ve encountered.  I attended and presented at two ISSS conferences: Budapest 1987 and Asilomar 1994. Now, there are many docs I might attempt to read, but be unable to process them. I claim that I comprehend the basic themes of your doc. Otherwise, I couldn’t make statements about its “complexity” or “comprehensiveness”. I will discuss these themes later in this doc.

Yet, the terms “pattern” and “language” and their coupling can’t find traction anywhere in my mental reality. I am well aware of examples of patterns and languages, and even might consider what I am typing now as a “pattern language”; but these examples are NOT what you refer to in your doc. Yet, throughout the doc, every time I saw those words there was a blindspot behind it. This is, for me, a weird phenomenon, totally new and challenging.

Everything I have ever read about “pattern languages” has been like this. For me, the docs are pure abstraction, as if “pattern language” was the variable “x” in a concrete mathematical treatise. I see mention of concrete examples, but they are never part of the docs. I have not searched all of the references, but those I have looked at did not help me.

I have seen mention of diagrams on cards, as a crude example – but never know how these are used by persons in a manner I might call “languaging”.  None of the icons related to me as representative of the concept they were to represent. Those without visual imagery would be unable to participate. A video of their use would be very helpful.


Helene, I grok that you and I are working in the same domain, but coming at it from widely different approaches. Many of the persons and topics you mention I am aware of.  The last time I looked at cybernetics, there were only two orders; and was interested in learning there are now four. I wish I had the time and mind to study your doc and read many of your references. You have identified and collected so, so many essential distinctions. [I still think back on Spencer-Brown’s LAWS OF FORM, making “distinction” the fundamental of reality.]

I had to read most sentences more than once, and often only got a inkling of what was being said. Each would require study – for me. In a way, you write as I do – trying to make each sentence as general as possible, with strings of words instead of only one. I know what I would need to do to optimally comprehend each paragraph.

Each paragraph, and there were many, was a different cross-section of reality. Each was a “pattern”. How they “hung together” in themes was the beginning of a “language of conceptual schemes”. Patterns within patterns within patterns, etc.

I am told my ideas are too complex for most people to comprehend. This doc makes mine look like a kindergarten sketch. Yet, I think we share two challenges, and maybe are imagining the same “vehicle”.

The longterm survival/thrival of Humankind/Gaia is our shared goal. You phrase it as achieving a sustainable global humanity this century, which I agree must be our first step.

I characterize our contemporary “reality” as high in MSC (Magnitude/Scope/Complexity). You provide many variations of this theme. We humans share the problem of trying to do too much with too little. I have recently encountered my personal threshold: that what is necessarily relevant to me is beyond my reach – a virtual infinity of information to access and process. I play with many insights of how to meet this seemingly impossible challenge; as do you.

We both seek solutions in how we humans interact, with nu tools, technologies, languages, insights. I speculate that what I am calling “semfields” you are calling “pattern languages”. I propose  sem = pattern. We need to explore this later.


My strategy involves radically changing humans and human social systems, as well as inventing/using new technologies. I not only propose the need for UPLIFT, but that individual humans may not be capable of being the primary deciders working with pattern languages or semfields.  This is more than we must learn to work well in teams and crews, as individuals; but that when working on societal issues it is the team, crew, or tribe that is the primary decider. The bandwidth for human cognition is too narrow. I am very early in thinking on this, as I am becoming aware that our best knowledge about ourselves is both inadequate and often inaccurate.

Finally, I remain very concerned that our direct objectives, at this time, may NOT BE sustainability, or even surviving climate change. These must be our goals – the consequence of achieving our objectives. Our objectives must be to create a nu global humankind competent to implement steps required for sustainability and avoiding climate catastrophe. At this time humankind lacks the competencies to do what is needed, even should we discover what to do.

[This distinction between objective and goal I find essential – and it was a distinction use by the National Science Foundation in their grant proposals in the 1960s. They also distinguished between evaluation measures for behavioral objectives AND activity performance.]

To this end, attempting to transform governments and corporations to heal Gaia – even using pattern languages – may be impossible.  If so, then UPLIFT to Societal Metamorphosis may be the only alternative.

I expect that emerging a functional pattern-language/semfield would be much better working within an “isolated” UPLIFTING movement than within collapsing social and societal systems. All the variables you identify in your doc might better emerge within populations fully committed to it, and not having to face opposition.


Crudely, I think of a pattern as the geometric content of a structure, its form. The text or sequences of symbols (letters) on this screen is a structure, which I perceive. I am not ready to call my experiential perceiving this structure as a pattern. The hypothesized neural-molecular processes with my brain architecture might eventually be empirically associated with my reporting about my experientials. I find it important to distinguish between hypothesized patterns or structures “out there”, the hypothetical associated processes in my mind/brain, the actual “conscious” experientials, and the patterns in my report of my experientials.

Decades back I invented a distinction: Processing STRUCTURE and Structuring PROCESS. I had to re-edit it from an outmoded format and post it as a file in my blog. My current reading leaves parts confusing – but I still believe the distinction is important.

I speculate that the distinction between patterns within nature and patterns created by humans is very significant – although the boundary may not be precise.

The star field constellations, the structure of our solar system, our DNA, and the pattern of the human face invariant over a lifetime (used in facial recognition) are patterns within nature AND we can represent these patterns in drawings and data sets, human created patterns to be perceived on a digital screen.

Elsewhere I have proposed that patterns-within-structures CREATED by humans ARE UNIQUE IN OUR UNIVERSE. I call them sems (for semiotic structures) and in configurations I call semfields. With sems, humans liberate information from all prior embedment in matter/energy systems. This has added new fundamental dimensions to Gaia and has shifted our future beyond the laws of evolution. The implications are, at this time, well beyond imagination. Humankind’s lack of comprehension of its dependence on its semfields may be the root cause of our current Crisis-of-Crises; but with comprehension may provide what we need for multi-millennial survival/thrival of Humanity/Gaia. This proposal calls for evaluation.

A book read a while back continues to bug me as to its potential relevance. Coming to Our Senses: Perceiving Complexity to Avoid Catastrophes, by Viki McCabe. It is proposed that some patterns are not perceived as usual, but are directly inputted into our brains. Facial recognition patterns is the exemplar. I have forgotten the details of this book, as I have of all books I have read. I cite it here as I intuit it will be significant.



I grok that the “language” in “pattern languages” attempts to generalize how humans interact by mutual reference to patterns beyond the spoken and written languages of our traditions.  I imagine a team of persons mutually making a building, through gestures and sounds, but no spoken or written language; but with reference to symbols on cards – a very primitive semfield.

Your citing Wiki as a meta-pattern generator is significant. I interpret Wiki as an OS for creating/maintaining/using semfields.

Over the decades I have explored the need for new/nu visual, digital “languages”. They need to permit the integration of both nested and networked patterns. They would incorporate symbols (both words and icons) with standardized visual attributes (color, size, font) distributed in 2D space where “syntax” is coded to location in 2D space. Sounds can be independent patterns, along with movements of symbols. Readers may “drive” the visual. This language can’t be spoken, although spoken language may accompany its use. The current visual language being used here is grossly inadequate to represent the MSC of our conceptual schemes.

The vast diversity of human cognition must be accounted for in the development of pattern languages and semfields. Not all patterns can be perceived, let alone comprehended by everyone. Nor will “translations” always be possible. Only a small population will ever comprehend your doc, no matter what language expresses it. Although the global population can be very significantly uplifted, and even more with future generations, there will always remain wide distributions of variation among individual persons.  I grok that many “issues” will require specialized crews to work on; and where no individual person can comprehend the whole or be sole decider.

I foresee many generations of development for humanity, to make full use of our potentials. Looking forward from a few generations ahead, after successful UPLIFT and Cultural/Societal Metamorphosis, is well beyond our current capacity to imagine, today. We are cultural/societal infants. Yet, there will be a minimum we must accomplish in the next few decades.

Helene, which of the many features you cite in your doc should be given priority?

NEUROTRIBES – Deep Review/Analysis

The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity

Steve Silberman


email reply from Steve Silberman 09/26/2016


Thanks so much for your deep and thoughtful reading of my book.
(I was able to read the first link too.)
You totally get it, and I appreciate it.


At 81 and with millions of things I really should do, reading carefully a long book is not what I do anymore. Except for NeuroTribes. I was attracted to the book by its title, as I have been promoting the concept of Cognitive Diversity for decades and NeuroDiversity resonated. My initial intent was to see if there was a useful connection.  I started reading and became engrossed in Steve Silberman’s story telling and was learning what I should have known long ago. His introduction told me there was much good to come from reading on.  After reading the introduction, I read the last chapter and epilogue and realized that I must give the whole book a careful read.

Each chapter was a revelation. Steve is not a scientist, but a journalist with strong interest in the history of science and ideas. This book is a masterpiece of reporting scientific, medical, and social misadventures – and was becoming an exemplar for my new thesis that the Sci/Tech of systems with humans as primary components hasn’t progressed much in millennia. This is contrasted to the exponential growth of the Sci/Tech of systems without humans as components. I explicate on this elsewhere.

The multiple ventures in the treatment (social and medical) of persons with so-called Autism is the astonishing tale of the stupidity and arrogance of modern humankind – when it comes to trying to understand ourselves. Yet, it is also a story of eventual success in human grit, creativity, and intelligence. Some of those persons who would fit the new “autism spectrum”, described in the book, are certainly far better off today than they were in the not too distant past.  It is ironic that Asperger, working in Nazi controlled Austria, had the core insight that took five decades to see the light – and that yet by only a minority of humans today.

By chapter 3 I knew I had to read the whole book, and eventually buy it.  Having to rush with this library book, I abandoned many of the activities I had planned. Unfortunately, I now tend to get sleepy when reading books, and had to chunk it during many sessions. I returned it to the library today. I rushed reading without taking notes, and with my poor memory I will need to get a Kindle copy for details. I have the LOOK INSIDE from Amazon up now, to review the Table of Contents.

While reading Chapter 6, strangely titled: PRINCES OF THE AIR, I speculated that this was much more than the detailed narrative of the emergence of the “autism spectrum” conceptual scheme.  Without coming out and directly saying it, Steve Silberman was midwifing a fundamental paradigm shift in how we humans conceptualize ourselves. This is clear in his use of the terms NeuroTribes and NeuroDiversity. In Chapter 6, the sharp focus of “autistics” gave them an advantage in the early radio (air) of both Morse Code and later voice dialog – and on into The Internet. These new media enabled social activity within the spectrum.

The book also implies that the extraordinary development of modern Sci/Tech was possibly dependent on persons from the “autism spectrum”, as many (if not a majority) of innovators in the communication/radio/computer technologies were able to maintain focus on task because of their special abilities. These “abilities” had been viewed as disabilities until very recently. These persons weren’t diseased, needing a cure; they were a very essential subpopulation in the Cognitive/Neural-Diversity of Humankind. More on this below.

I digressed from reading at this point and searched for and skimmed  16 reviews of the book, 12 positive and 4 negative.  These reviews need to be studied carefully; but from my brief skimming I failed to find any reviews that reported on this deeper aspect – the paradigm shift. Some reviews did mention a few details about the special skills of those on the autism spectrum, but didn’t generalize. Most reviews appeared to be outlining the medical/scientific story. Many of the positive reviews complained about the length of the book and the many details that weren’t “necessary”. I wonder how many of the reviewers actually read the book (and how many reviewers of most books actually read the books). One reviewer explicitly complained about Chapter 6 and said it should have been eliminated. The negative reviews were by those who still pushed the negative views of autism as had existed in the past: from parents wanting to cure their children to those believing still that autism is caused by vaccinations. Many reviewers strongly objected to what they called “unfounded speculations” – what I found as the core essentials of the book, the history of autism being the surface.

Two negative statements in the reviews:

“His affection for detail can get in the way, as in a chapter on the development of radio and electronic bulletin boards.”

“It’s full of long stories and blah blah blah, rather than getting to the point.”

URL links to the reviews can be found at  NEUROTRIBES REVIEWS.


One objection has merit. The perspective of disability
does have relevance for those seriously disabled.
We must always bow to complementarity,
no single perspective is universally dominant.
With wide diversity, there will always be populations
that require assistance and compassion.
However, in many cases,
disability couples with ability.
Narrow Focus vs Broad Scans.

A moment ago, while searching for the TOC, I discovered a companion book: Key Takeaways, Analysis & Review (of Neurotribes by Steve Silberman) by Eureka Books.  Reading the reviews of this book, most reported being tricked into believing it was Silberman’s book, and only a few said it was a useful CliffNotes-type summary. I expect that it totally missed what I wrote about above. It appears that Eureka Books is an author of a great many short digests of popular books.

I had hoped that it would have been a depth analysis, as I found in a book by Slater on Eddington‘s posthumous Fundamental Theory.

Each chapter was filled with rich detail on historical happenings that I hadn’t known and which were enlightening. I won’t report on the exciting detail in this essay. For one, with my poor memory, I don’t remember them and will need to consult back with the book. Also, I don’t want you not to read this book because I summarized all the choice parts.

NeuroTribes is of a type that I find absolutely necessary to read fully, amd in detail, to experience what the author is opening you up to. It is more than the sum of information on different pages, that many persons jump around seeking the “gist” of a book. If you permit it, Silberman will lead you to the edge of a paradigm shliff.

Another example of this type of book is Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking, Doug Hofstadter & Emmanuel Sander   It took me well over a year to read this book – but it was worth every moment.

A very personal outcome of my reading NeuroTribes was the confirmed discovery that I am on the “autism spectrum”. I knew I was a far outlier in the diversity field, but had not seriously considered myself “autistic”. This primarily because, when talking to Temple Grandin, whose visual mental imagery her medium of thought – and I have no visual mental imagery.

I just discovered that I have a thread of autism among my other profiles.  I have “stimmed” since when very young.  Not flapping my arms in public, but picking the skin off my fingers. When trying to go to sleep, I do flap my arms and feet – which I had called “restless legs syndrome”.  About two years ago I peeled off some fingernails and had to start using those little rubber tips for turning paper, to let my fingers heal.  I am now addicted to using them. I must have many on reserve, some in each pocket. I move them about with my other fingers. Sometimes one on each hand.  When my beard was long I was known as a constant beard twirler – as I lectured to students. I would also stroke my cheeks, saying I was only proving to myself that I was still here – as my proprioceptive sense are weak.  It was only after reading NeuroTribes that I learned the term “stimming” and that I have stimmed all my life.

My poor social skills also can be attributed to the spectrum. I would like to be liked – as do almost all on the autism spectrum. What they fear is how to handle popularity. This, also, has been me all my life. POPULARITY DEMANDS RESPONSIBILITY.  I don’t want to be responsible for those who seek my attention.  Yet, I do – I am usually over responsible when other persons are involved.  My email inbox is too full for me to keep up – but they are there calling. Long ago I invented a concept: The Screen of Renown.  When a person gets so popular than they can’t process requests, they must create a screen/filter.  I would feel obligated to everyone – which is impossible. Before the Internet, almost every person of renown I attempted to contact I was turned back by their Screen of Renown. Erich Fromm was the only exception.

However, I have some other features in my personal Cognitive/Neural-Diversity that make me not a usual representative on the spectrum. Most significant is that I lack mental imagery in all sensory modalities, thus having no sensory remembrances or imagination, no experiential past. I am also  conative dysfunctional (by the Kolbe test and an adaptor ( by Kossyln’s Top/Bottom Brain test .


These two themes have been emergent within nuet for a long time, gaining significance and support yearly. Below, I only summarize them and merely point out how Silberman’s book supports these themes. It is not my priority to show this in detail here, as I don’t expect many others to read this at this time. I highly encourage the book be read in its entirety, attending to the details.

These two themes are closely related, the first contributing to the second. When these themes mature they will have impact on par with those of Newton, Darwin, or Einstein.

Cognitive/Neural-Diversity of Humankind is Vast

That our scientific and technological advancements may have been dependent on persons on the autism spectrum is sobering. Their roles may be more than quirky exceptions. We may find that teams of persons with complementary attributes and competencies may result in a much healthier and viable humankind.

There is much more than humor in the atypical’s characterization of the typical/normal: “Neurotypical syndrome is a neurobiological disorder characterized by preoccupation with social concerns, delusions of superiority, and obsession with conformity. There is no known cure.”  Much of our Crisis-of-Crises can be attributed to a societal dominance of a narrow and warped view of who we humans “really” are. Finding a viable path to survival/thrival may require a broadening of who we view as human – which will be difficult in this critical time of enhanced racism and ethnic discrimination.

Our cognitive/neural-diversity goes well beyond the traits on the autism spectrum.  We vary vastly in our use of mental imagery, memory, attention, creativity, various intelligences, etc. I propose that the cognitive/neural-diversity of humankind would be better represented by a higher taxonomy, beyond species, as genus, family, or order. Within the cognitive/neural domain, there are no “normal” humans – any more than there are “normal” mammals or insects.

The Sci/Tech of Human Systems is Inadequate

The many failures of science and medicine, during the decades of attention to those experiencing what we now call the “autism spectrum”, typifies how the Sci/Tech of human systems has failed to compare with the exponentially emergence Sci/Tech of non-human systems. These tragedies can be added to the many others in the history of medicine and human sciences. On top of these failures is the cover up of this history and the perpetual continuation of the illusion that our knowledge of ourselves is great, let alone adequate.

To make matters much worse, the “best” of our (inadequate) Sci/Tech knowledge/competencies of human systems is only known or used by a small fraction of the human population. Even in the case of the “autism spectrum”, if you search online today you will find most of the information still the outmoded and dangerous views supposedly supplanted by the advances cited by Silberman.  It is still viewed as a disease to be cured and the conspiracy theory about vaccinations causing autism is still very active.

I recommend we transcend any anger about this, nor attempt to assign blame.  As I “argue” elsewhere, everyone’s behavior tries to be consistent with their experienced wrld. Yet, we need to accept this important distinction between the Sci/Tech of human and non-human systems and begin working immediately to bring the Sci/Tech of human system to a level required for our taking appropriate actions to ensure our survival/thrival in the face of our Crisis-of-Crises.

HG Wells’ Birthday to UPLIFT & Our Challenge

This started as a brief reply email to the announcement of H.G. Wells birthday, but – as usual – expanded into another sketch of alternative contexts for our troubled times.  That I devoted hours composing this is evidence for my own inability to change my behavior – even if what is said below is quite relevant.  Larry/nuet

I always wanted to go back and read more of Wells, more than his novels (which I read).  His bio would be interesting, but not my priority now. I “remember” that he turned very negative about humankind’s future in his last years, changing from his earlier optimism.

I took this as a lesson for myself.  Starting in 1970, I adopted the FACTOR/DISTRACTOR distinction. No “so-called” negative information should be a distractor from positive strategizing. Apparent negativity motivates me to push to enlarge my context until  it resolves the troublesome factor.  This enables me to push deep into the ugly underbelly of humankind (our growing/evolving pains) and treat all “negatives” as potentially useful information – knowledge over innocence – analogous to Gavin de Becker’s THE GIFT OF FEAR.   I am assisted in this by my lack of visual imagery, which – for others – blocks their ability to think truly ugly.

I am sure being put to the test in 2016.  Just read SCIENCE on the funding of science in the USA and elsewhere. Not only shrinking drastically, but being directed to politically ideological directions.  Just one example that humankind has reached a deep level of dysfunction that there are no more relevant decision-making systems – for critical issues. All major decision-making gatherings have no significant impact, while their existence gives false hope.

The American Psyche is in pathological collapse – the strange and dangerous resonance between Trump and his supporters, and the paralysis of liberals and progressives – all highly dependent on the current “state” of information distribution.

Within UPLIFT, all these are but factors to be resolved. BUT,  what concerns me the most, and what threatens my optimism, are the blocks nuet detects in the thinking/acting of the “best of the best” working for a positive transition, and a sustainable, resilient, better future.  Within nuet, the trending sums of their current activity is necessary, but far from sufficient. Two recently viewed videos from P2P elevated my concern, even though they were intended to be positive.

Re-Imagining The Future  6 minutes

System Crisis, System Change  40 minutes, with Gar Alperovitz (scroll down for video)

NUET’S ANALYSIS:  Unable to sustain conceptualization of a full transition (including interaction with the trending negatives) humans resort to an exclusive bottom-up fantasy with hope in an imagined coming-together/commons-emergent process – that will emerge “naturally” without the need of human creativity applied to planetary and inclusive issues. Much which “we” need to be doing is missing, in our collective blindspots. Part of “our” difficulty is the lack of eeree (efficient, effective, relevant, enjoyable, elegant) TECH6 (tools, techniques, tasks, training, teams, time) to do WHAT HAS NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE.

Because of the overwhelming MSC (Magnitude/Scope/Complexity) of our challenge:

Lesson One:  NO SINGLE DOCUMENT can ever be sufficient in highlighting ALL ESSENTIAL variables, related to our challenge. Or any reasonably finite set of documents (sems).

Lesson Two:  NO INDIVIDUAL HUMAN PERSON can attend to THE WHOLE in their working mind/brains.

Lesson Three: Applying what “we” already know is insufficient. LEADERSHIP is most in need of UPLIFTING.

This means that what I intend to be the consequences of this email will not occur.

What must “we” do, beyond dialog and conversation, to initiate new processes?

I have three critical and vitally important expanding set of documents collected and made accessible by:

1) Michel Bauwens: P2P Foundation
2) Joe Brewer: multiple sites Culture2Cognitive Policy WorksEvonomics  , etc.
3) Giorgio Bertini:  Learning Change

There are hundreds of such sites for submitting and accessing ideas relevant to our better future. These three are part of larry/nuet’s POSITIVE IGNORANCE: Knowing OF what I don’t yet know or comprehend, and OF what I can’t yet do or appreciate. There are also curators of relevant posts in Cyberspace, some of which I access – many I remain innocent of (not even part of my +Ignorance).

There is a virtual infinity (relative to individual human knowledge) of information and ideas relevant to a transition to a positive future.  It is being assimilated into siloed archives, essentially buried. Each new doc/sem may cite and attempt to relate a few other docs/sems from the archives.  Each doc/sem, no matter how excellent, assumes a context that may be limiting, or ignores contexts that may be useful.

Larry/nuet claims to identify ONE limiting context assumption that he believes essential and critical for “success”. That is the assumption of TRANSFORMATION. The emergent NU will somehow interact with the established societal subsystems to morph the latter to be consistent with the former.  This assumption puts undue constraints on how the different nu ventures might collaborate and synergize. For example, it forces maximum attention to economics and governance to the virtual exclusion of significant learning/organizing (“education”). The emergence of NU is highly constrained in having to “merge” with the old, even if only during the transition. An alternative, UPLIFT to Cultural/Societal Metamorphosis, frees these alt ventures/enterprises/projects to explore more freely their integration.

UPLIFT would also permit Alternative Movements/Orgs to face the “true”, ugly reality of the establishments and the “states” of personal human dysfunction. Within the constraint of transformation, the ready potentials of persons is grossly overestimated (and “real” potentials underestimated) and the potential “evil” of the power elites grossly underestimated – both essential to permit hope for transformation.


On 9/21/2016 9:23 AM, albert lundquist wrote:

Today is the birthday of H.G. Wells (books by this author), born Herbert George Wells in Bromley, England (1866). He failed at a series of apprenticeships, but then he won a scholarship to a science college, where he learned about biology and Darwinism from Thomas Henry Huxley, grandfather of the writer Aldous Huxley. But he failed his geology exam and had to leave school. Wells had a series of medical problems and he often thought he was dying, but this only prompted him to write more and faster. Over a period of three years, he produced his three most famous books: The Time Machine (1895), The Invisible Man (1897), and The War of the Worlds (1898). He lived until he was 79-much longer than he expected to-and he continued to produce books at a rate of two or three a year for the rest of his life; in the end, he’d published more than a hundred books.

H.G. Wells said, “Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.”


PROPOSITION: With its visual languages, humankind “breaks from the mold” for all life in Gaia.

This is not necessarily negative for Gaia, as it was from within Gaia that humankind emerged. At present, humankind’s spreading and effects on Gaia are analogous to cancer metastasizing in an organism. But, unlike cancer, humankind has vast potential to become a powerful new subsystem of Gaia and serve Gaia’s multi-billennial survival/thrival.

All advanced competencies within Humankind have their roots in the evolutionary paths of animals. The reinforcing interaction of competencies gave what appears to be a qualitative leap with the emergence of humans with their intelligence, language, and technology.

Humankind was too successful in adapting to Gaia, basically eliminating predators and other means to “naturally” limit population growth. Until recently, most humans were unaware that their population growth threatened their Gaian support system. Via their “religions”, human cultures came to believe they were special and had the divine right to take from their environment, which was put their for their use and pleasure. They lacked the conceptual scheme of ecological systems and flows. Tribal respect for their environment didn’t transfer to civilized humankind.

Creating and Using Information Patterns was the innovation that broke Humankind from the basic patterns of life that had characterized all life in Gaia for billions of years.  I call these information patterns, sems, for semiotic structures. Sems include texts, diagrams, data tables & graphs, painting and other artforms. I will leave for later whether buildings and city/farm/grid layouts are sems.

Sems are unique in our universe! All other information is locked into physical structures, such as DNA.  The sems I refer to here are capable of being copied and replicated – that preserves the pattern or information. Humans can confirm to each other the identity of sems, even though they may interpret their meanings differently.

It is important to note that sems transcend language. Photography and digital recording of video carries sems beyond language, although the meaning of these visuals is processed through our languaging systems. Yet, we have only begun to explore alternative ways of dynamically presenting language symbols in space and time for perception. Visual languages must transcend having to be verbally read or being arranged in linear sequences as you are now experiencing.

Before there were sems, all information flows in Gaia were accompanied by patterned flows of matter and energy. There were closed loops, although it might take a long time for closure to complete.  As humans spread across the planet and began living in dense populations the stimuli they responded to became more and more sems – and not the patterns of “nature”. Where the sems were to simulate/represent “nature”, they were often not accurate.

I use the term semfield to label the collections/systems of sems that influence a person, group, culture, or population. The collective semfields for planetary humankind are immense and rapidly growing.  They, not Gaia or “Nature” are the primary “reality” determining human behavior.

Disasters resulting from wars or climate change do have an impact on those directly effected; but the “whole” of humankind responds to the sems reporting such happenings, which includes spin, disinformation, and propaganda. In reality, visuals (including videos) are manipulated to better influence persons than text or words ever did; they result in a  paradox of what appears more concrete is actually more abstract.

Those few aware of the divorce of humankind from Gaia, call for a return of humankind to Gaia – unaware that it is not possible. Humankind is defined by its semfields.  What humankind must do is create its semfields so that they relate well with Gaia. Humankind will not “solve” its Climate Change issues using its existing semfield – on which all governance and economics is based.

PROPOSITION: The contemporary semfield of humankind cannot be edited to be the semfield we need. The nu semfield must be different in structure, processes of composing and using, as well as content.

A key component of my proposed UPLIFT expedition is the creation of a nu semfield for Humanity. Semfields provide scaffolding for bootstrapping the exponential growth of the nu Humanity within collapsing Humankind – a Cultural/Societal Metamorphosis.

Post Authoring Commentary

Reflecting back, within my limitations, reveals a slow, but steady, emergence of the system of conceptual schemes that makeup nuet’s reality. Two shifts occurred during the writing of this short essay.

The insight that semfields transcend language is new. Although I had long considered artworks and video as sems, I didn’t make the leap to realize that video sems don’t necessarily involve explicit language.

Also, that semfields are a world/space for inputs/outputs, in direct competition with “Nature” and “Local Settings” – what we see and hear around us – rose a notch in significance.  This clarified how sems are a break with Gaia, leading to my use of “vs” in the title of this essay.

I did not, while composing, reflect on the epidemic of cell phone use and the SciFi extrapolations re The Matrix. But now, moving in cyberspace (with the new virtual reality glasses) makes semfields very REAL.

This, strangely, returns humans to a special place in the Cosmos, but without the wishful fantasies of Gods who favor humans, and “consciousness” as supreme reality.

Belief vs Knowledge and the Minds of Trump Supporters & other Humans


Humans have two operating systems in their brains, for belief (mammalian) and knowledge (human).  They interact differently in different persons. Some persons have no knowledge about significant phenomena and function only on belief; they cannot be “reached” by informing, as their OS can’t process knowledge.

This is work in progress and feedback is essential.


For over a quarter century, physicists, globally engaged in the collective challenge to discover a new physics for matter/energy systems. Many anomalous empirical findings shouted out that their contemporary conceptual theories about matter/energy systems was both wrong and incomplete. Einstein’s breakthrough paradigm shifts about space-time and gravitation alerted them that major changes in thinking would be required. The breakthrough to Quantum Physics occurred ONLY after they deliberately abandoned all use of the Bohr Atom as metaphor for the atom that they were studying.  Then they also abandoned the metaphor for “spin”, a variable of quantum data that had some analogy with spinning objects. Quantum theories are mathematical systems to “best fit” the data, PERIOD. Any attempts to reverse metaphor from the Quantum World to our everyday world has no scientific justification. It can be interesting speculation, but to seek cosmic universals from these reverse metaphors can be dangerous if lifestyle changes are based on them.

Metaphors from today world’s of perception, quite useful in everyday communicating about phenomena directly observable, can cause great difficulty for theoretical, scientific research in such domains of the very small or very large, where direct observation is impossible. A careful analysis of the advances in the Sci/Tech of human systems vs non-human systems demonstrates an enormous gap, not fully appreciated. In a very real sense, our Sci/Tech of systems with human persons as components has advanced little in millennia. The application of our diverse, personal/cultural beliefs about human systems and humankind usually ignore the fragments of Sci/Tech knowledge that we have gained. For example, the many findings from social psychological research are ignored in politics and economics (or secretly used to exploit). However, these highly inaccurate models of human behavior/thought in practice do employ the exponentially growing advances in the Sci/Tech of systems where humans are not components.  These advances bleed over to our faulty comprehension of human systems and create an illusion of progress.

Also, most advances in human biology and brain studies are strictly not about human systems, as such. A great amount of findings about humans has been collected; but efforts to discover a more comprehensive and accurate “theory” of humankind, to integrate these findings, remains an unrecognized challenge. Our beliefs about humankind are powerful and easily over-ride any knowledge gained.

The physicists were aware of the challenge; human activists are not yet aware of this new challenge – even as anomalous findings accumulate and our Crisis-of-Crises worsens, primarily as a result of our not adequately comprehending ourselves.


In mid August 2016, I began to explore, deeper  – in my mind – than before,  a useful distinctions between knowledge and belief, but was not coming to any clear ideas. Then I listened to a large variety of persons describing why they supported Donald Trump. I was shocked by the compartmentalizing of their ideas. They appeared insensitive to logical contradiction and many reports about Trump’s quoted statements were not mentioned and probably not known or acknowledged. That Trump supporters are in information silos doesn’t adequately account for this observation. This population included college educated and well spoken professionals. That possibly 40% of polled Americans claim to support Trump is very hard to “believe”, and downright scary. I have been groking that the USA Elections 2016 may be a very unique phenomenon – which if studied will provide some very useful insights about humankind.

My speculation on USA Election 2016 (not relevant to this essay): The multiple forces behind the Trump campaign have no intention of winning the election in November. If he was going to lose, Trump would withdraw. If he doesn’t withdraw it means something else is expected. I speculate “THEY” plan to disrupt the election in ways that throw it into SCOTUS (4-4) or the House of Representatives.  There are many ways it could be disrupted, which I will develop elsewhere.  I read nothing about this speculation anywhere, even in the far left and anti-USA news. Could MSNBC speculate on it – or, it can’t be “reported” as it is only speculation at this time.  MSNBC wonders why Trump is holding rallies in States he can’t win. I speculate that “they” are collecting names of persons who may be recruited to take disruptive action on election day or before.  What are projections if Hillary were somehow not to run, and Trump continues? Could he “win”?  Can the Electoral College be successfully attacked as a rigged election?  What if too many election sites are disrupted and vote counts hacked to postpone the decision? What might the “Alt-Right” do if the election isn’t conclusive?

Our challenge is two fold. One, to recognize we need a radically new “theory” of humankind. Two, to remain alert to the dangers of using metaphors from our personal and local/social domains for “entities” in the unobservable “societal” domain.

Even expect “societal weirdness” analogous to quantum weirdness. For various reasons, I (Larry/nuet) have devoted many decades exploring these challenges. I am at the pre breakthrough stage – I have identified many anomalous findings and have discovered a few new features of humankind – but I have not yet had the insights analogous to those that led to quantum physics for our comprehension of humans and humankind.

This essay is work-in-progress, exploring new insights as to the differences between what we label as “knowledge” and “belief”, which might account for the sudden increase in strange behavior among humans; behavior that is quite threatening. Up front, I must declare that I am not proposing any superiority to one of these; it is not Knowledge vs Belief. Or Science vs Art. Or new vs old. Or ….Our mess today is the result of our not yet adequately integrating Knowledge and Belief. Each without the other causes dysfunction in human cultural/societal systems.

Operating Systems for Belief and Knowledge,
are distinct in the human brain.

They may share neurons and neural circuits, and they probably interact.

These OS are not experienced, and we haven’t yet mapped them onto brain structures or processes. They give rise to experiences and behaviors.

The Belief OS is old, mammalian (and animal) and of very high quality. The BOS is subject to conditioning (Classical and Operant). In humans it remains primary for perception and stimulus/response behavior.

The Knowledge OS is new, dependent on human level languages, specifically visual languages. The KOS has probably evolved within those populations that have used KOS.

There is great variation among persons (and possibly populations) in their ability to use and integrate BOS and KOS.  This variation must also account for neuraldiversity related to Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD, and mental imagery competencies.

The terms and associated meanings to belief and knowledge are experienced differently in BOS and KOS.

In BOS, “things believed” are not experienced as “believed”. Belief in BOS is unconscious, unless challenged. Believers are unable to experience an alternative as potentially believable. Challenges to beliefs are “evil”, threatening to their very existence.

In KOS, all knowledge is expressed in language, although it may not be overt. There can be a meta-experientials (grok) associated with the experiencing of knowledge. There can be experiences from BOS associated with this groking of knowledge.


In this analysis, “knowledge” is the meta value used exclusively by humans when processing language information and governing deliberative activity-in-time.  “Thinking” (usually with words) is knowledge processing. Verbal utterances in response to beliefs, which don’t have the qualia of thought, is not knowledge processing. However, all knowledge processing occurs in the context of beliefs. The content of a belief might trigger knowledge of that content – for persons competent in knowledge processing.  Knowledge work might trigger belief content.

Ordinarily, humans don’t distinguish between knowledge and belief for their experiences. And, this proposal is but a theory-of-mind, within one mind/brain, in an attempt to gain some order on our Crisis-of-Crises. For the whole-of-reality, there may not “be” aspects/things corresponding to this model for knowledge and belief.


More on BELIEF & BOS:

In this analysis, “belief” is the meta value used by mammals (including humans) in processing their stimuli and governing their responses. Accuracy is never an issue.  Experience is accepted, without the experience of accepting. Aesthetics and ethics are values used to organize beliefs. Beliefs can be associated and classified (subconsciously by believers – when conscious it is knowledge). Art, poetry, and mythology are human enhancements in the domain of belief. The wonder of mammals (and other living organisms) is a tribute to the quality power of belief.

Many artists, poets, and others are deeply sensitive to the sensory and experiencing how engaging these media effects the overall thinking/behaving of persons – otherwise stressed and dysfunctional. For persons to engage in knowledge work they need quality lives which depends on harmony of their beliefs. Aesthetics and ethics, personalized and applied inter-personally, greatly enhance knowledge work.

On the other hand, much of our trouble today is consequence of domains of reality capable of being engaged only by knowledge and scientific languages. The problem is that competencies for knowledge work don’t emerge from the domains of belief, aesthetic, and ethics. Just as the matter/energy universe, with Earth and Gaia, provide a given reality we humans must live within. We cannot chose any universe we might desire.  The same applies to humans and humanity.  We must create social and societal/cultural systems for a nu humanity consistent with who we “really are”, and not what our myths and beliefs demand. This, a more accurate, “nature of humans and humankind” is our challenge to discover.



Humans can experience imaginary things they know are not real, not believed to be real.  When artwork is concrete, it is experience as real, even when it comes from the imagination. In a sense, mathematical structures, proposed as theories for phenomenon or systems. are from imagination – a relaxing of both belief and knowledge.

Imagination may not be a third OS, but a special way BOS and KOS interact.

I don’t perceive knowledge through my senses, nor am I explicitly conscious of my belief in what I see.  I can read “THIS SCREEN IS WHITE”, and agree that it is a confirmed,knowledge statement. THE MOON IS IN ORBIT AROUND EARTH, is another knowledge statement that I don’t, at this moment, confirm. 2000 years ago the sentence would have had no meaning. To contradict the moon statement would be high imagination; and IF IT WERE TRUE, I would expect immediate consequences (confirmation, assuming Newtonian Mechanics). So, I believe the moon is in orbit. Yet, I don’t experience the essence of “belief” as I believe. Nor do I experience the essence of “knowledge” as I know.  Yet, in the domain of images and statements related to USA Elections 2016, the effects of BOS and KOS are strikingly evident.


I have surveyed quite a few articles and essays about the distinctions between belief, knowledge, and truth. I was greatly disappointed; but none were by famous philosophers – who have thought on Epistemology for millennia. They had to be searched separately. I have only skimmed them. None seemed to stray into the domain (OS) where I recently discovered a possibly useful distinction – as distinct brain processes.  From the online essays it appears that the terms are used quite differently by different authors – and probably differently by the same person at different times.

It would be interesting to query Doug Hofstadter about how metaphors/analogies would play in his take on meaning, as applied to these proposals


Persons experience very differently.

Imagine how the face of President Obama is experienced by persons of different political persuasions.

Some may think of him in many ways, as the current role player in POTUS, with all the complex functions of that office: The Executive Branch of the US Government. They may puzzle over why he does as he does, with the many constraints he has, with a deadlocked congress and a 4-4 SCOTUS. Given agencies as the CIA, FBI, NSA, & Pentagon – one might wonder whether Obama has the power we attribute to POTUS. We may also notice how he has aged, or see him as family man with Michele and his daughters. We experience the visual image of Obama as a believed human person with knowledge of his role as POTUS in the US Government. With knowledge, we may approve or disapprove of his decisions.

Others will react emotionally, with labels they had read or heard assigned to him as real attributes: Muslim, non-citizen, not born in the USA, liar, criminal, conspirator, evil. None of these attributes are knowledge about the POTUS, Obama. They are attached to the image experienced with belief.  There may be mental imagery associated with these attributes that are experienced as a montage, when experiencing a picture or video of Obama. There may be associated behaviors, such a name calling or gestures. These persons may compare “Obama” with other US Presidents – maybe visualizing them.  For these believers, presidents are bosses like fathers of an unruly family. They bandy the term “constitution” with no thoughts that it lays out a system of decision-making. To them it is but a set of rules – to be strictly obeyed.

Many human persons have very strong beliefs but very little useful knowledge (in specific knowledge domains). Actually, I speculate that for many their knowledge is not only small, but absent as an OS – and absent as a moderator of excessive belief.

In most ordinary, everyday encounters, a person without knowledge can function well based on belief alone. I propose that the belief system is mammalian and thus well adapted for proper behavior within interpersonal encounters.  Those with knowledge simply take others as having little knowledge. What I am proposing here, is that there can be a qualitative difference with persons who lack the category, knowledge, when interacting about collective activities of others (patterns of activities that are incapable of direct perception  – e.g., no one perceives economies or governments).

The new tech media and propaganda systems have literally changed how humans function [The Cyber Effect, Mary Aiken] in ways that are just now crossing thresholds.  Mobs have emerged in the past. This may be a new type of mob – where BELIEF is amplified and KNOWLEDGE is eliminated or suppressed – and maintained.

It has been claimed that Hitler and the Nazis were able to achieve their organization because of the new technology, broadcast radio and film.  Social media online and video are much more powerful tools for indoctrination than radio and film. They are able to successfully isolate persons in silos and shield then from conflicting information.

Also, we are discovering that when persons have strong belief systems, information input cannot be used to change them. Only very sophisticated “educational/social” systems can reach them.

Michel Foucault, in The Order of Things described the paradigm shift from categorical thinking to systems thinking in Western European thought.