EPISTEMIC SHIFTS – ARE WE IN THE MIDST OF A DOOZY?

PROLOGUE

While being motivated to start this composing process, the phrase Epistemic Shift came to mind, with association to the works of Michel Foucault, specifically The Order of Things. That book, is one of the most influential books catalyzing a major step in the emergence of my “epistemic system”. I googled “epistemic shift” and discovered it well in use. I might attribute Foucault for providing me with an introduction to the conceptual scheme, “epistemic shift”, which I quickly identified as a good label for what I was undergoing.

This led to Distinctions between Paradigms and Perspectives (and    Barriers), and between singular shifts, systems of shifts, and cascades of shifts. The term “paradigm” has gained many different meanings since first used by Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. In my analysis, Kuhn initially used the term “paradigm” to label a habitual social behavior practiced by a given population, usually a scientific “discipline”. Users began to generalize use of the term to include “ideas”, “conceptual schemes”, or “mental perspectives”. Kuhn later began to use the term without distinguishing between “behavior” or “idea”. I find this distinction very important, and use the term “paradigm” in Kuhn’s original sense for a habitual social behavior. Paradigms and Perspectives are usually paired.

 

What has only recently become sharply explicit, is that these “shifts” occur with great variation between persons, all exposed to a “common milieu” where the shifts are occurring in their conversant population. And, even more importantly, that many populations within 21st Century humankind have not yet undergone these historical shifts.

 

PARTIAL LIST OF  labels for prior EPISTEMIC SHIFTS (rough)

Classical Space + Time to SpaceTime Relativity
Classical Reality to Quantum Reality
Linear Thinking to Non Linear Thinking
Separate Origins to Evolution (of Species) – All Life is Related
Geocentric to Heliocentric
Resemblances to Temporal Order (Foucault)
Opinion & Belief to Formal Empiricism & Science
Oral to Visual Languages
Hunting/Gathering to Agriculture
Reading as Ritual to Silent Reading is OK
Social to Societal
Geometric to Algebraic to Computerized Math
Many gods to Father GOD to Spirituality/Atheism
After-Life  to  No After-Life
2D to 3D Perspective in Art
Esoteric Myths to Scientific Causation
Males Superior to Gender Equality
Children as Little Adults to Stage Development
Humans Rule/Own their Environments to Humans Part of Gaia

We need to sort these into those relating to the external world and those related to human systems; although they are never fully independent.

What is important, is not to assume that all humans have made each shift. There are populations of humans who continue to live in the old epistemes. Some of the new epistemes are held by a minority of humans.

Is this long prologue necessary?  We need to better comprehend prior epistemic shifts if we are to explore whether we are now experiencing a new shift – possibly greater and somewhat different from prior shifts.

Here I will assume we have explored prior shifts, and I will jump in with reports of what Larry/nuet groks as a new “Epistemic Shift” emerging

I haven’t yet attempted to analyze how much I have already integrated with some of these nu shifts, and how much I am speculating (in the context of old epistemes) the coming shifts – evidenced by the turmoil contemporary within humankind’s Crisis-of-Crises.

PRACTICAL ILLUSTRATION: GENDER EQUALITY

Somewhere I read that the shift to gender equality, among the scientifically knowledgeable, was motivated by the science of genetics. Once it was recognized that both mother and father contribute “equally” to the traits of their offspring, both parents must be cared for. With the prior metaphor of Father=Seed & Mother=Soil, the genders could be treated differently, with the primary traits in the Seed. After Darwin and genetics we learned that both genders contribute seeds.

What we don’t yet know, because it has never been a query: What persons and populations don’t know this scientific fact and it’s implications. What is the distribution of these epistemic differences in the global population? I would wager the vast majority of 21st Century humankind don’t comprehend this.

The point of this illustration is that a shift in knowledge (source of traits) can catalyze major shifts in behavior among those accepting this knowledge. That full gender equality doesn’t yet exist in this small population (scientifically knowledgeable) demonstrates that we must consider multiple and interacting shifts to result in the bigger changes we desire.

[The latest Google flap about gender differences illustrates the sensitivity to this issue. There may be greater depth to the comments by the fired employee than is reported by the MSM. In an RT article, it is claimed that the author called for the removal of discrimination due to imagined differences, to account for real differences (what they are is controversial), and in particular – is in support of equal wages for genders. RT and CNN are both propaganda arms of their respective nations. If so, this illustrates how our epistemes influence our perception and how few actually read what they are willing to comment on. I have just read the Google memo – which explicitly mentions “echo chambers” in Google.  I see a battle of epistemes, requiring deep and careful analysis – and not summary judgement. This is epistemic, in the same sense that the current debate about racial/ethnic quotas in college admissions, is rooted in epistemes, although also involving socio-economic variables and personal vs collective “rights”.]

 

humankind to HUMANITY (h2H)

This is a symbol (h2H) I will use to label the whole system of shifts we are now within. I cannot “define” it briefly; nor describe different features without shifting the focus from the whole to that part being described. When doing this, each part is experienced by the learner in their old (epistemic) context. From the perspective of the new whole (once comprehended), each part is comprehended differently (than before); with modified relationships between the “parts”. “Whole/Part” is a crude metaphor for the process I refer to.

Given all that has been and is happening, we should expect to be undergoing major epistemic shifts.  Yet, most persons who report significant, life-changing “paradigm shifts” DON’T ANTICIPATE any further such PERSONAL shifts. We never imagine a nesting of Platonic Caves.

 

HINTS OF THE ONGOING EPISTEMIC SHIFT

I speculate that this epistemic shift is more characterized by the positive interference of the different component paradigm/perspective shifts. than by the component paradigm/perspective shifts, themselves. The pattern in the network of related nodes (paradigm/perspective shifts) will be one characterization/identity of this “doozy” of a shift – should we survive it and later examine it in retrospect. It will involve many more paradigm/perspective shifts, with more interactions between shifts.

Vernor Vinge’s claim that Post-Singularity Reality will be incomprehensible to Pre-Singularity humans applies to the nu epistemic shift we are undergoing. This proves true in the fact that all science (speculative) fiction of the distant future is populated by 20th Century humans (in all their diversity) – even when they are given special traits or powers. Do we resist the fundamental shifts that are our potential and need because we can’t imagine the resultant “state” after the shift? How can we learn to TRUST uncertain change?

The meanings of many older terms change after epistemic shifts; with new distinctions and differentiations. New terms will be coined to label new concepts. Only some by explicit design. Some concepts (re terms) were known to a few; but unknown to many and seldom applied.

 

LIST OF TERMS ASSOCIATED WITH
COMPONENT PARADIGM SHIFTS,
NU CONCEPTS, DISTINCTIONS
&
CONCEPTUAL SCHEMES

(very rough)

Human Cognitive Diversity

Mental Imagery Diversity
Lacking Mental Imagery
Memory Style Diversity
Creativity Diversity
Specious Present Diversity
Consider Impact: Brain Matures until age 26
Reconsider: Infant & Child Development
Savants
Persons are S/R Mechanisms with Their Environments
Creativity Emits/Emerges, not in Response – but in Context
7 +/- 2 bandwidth limit – independent variables in specious present
Confabulated Experiential Coherence
Blindspots
Humankind more than a Species – Class or Order
Languaging: Power & Limitations; Evolution/Emergence
Confusions about Consciousness

Humankind vs Material Reality

Information Liberation – Sems & Semfields
Wrlds within Worlds -Autopoiesis & Others
Sci/Tech of Humankind different from Sci/Tech of Material Reality
Sci/Tech of Humankind far inferior to Sci/Tech of Material reality

Sci/Tech of Material Reality  == cosmology, physics, chemistry, biology, neurosciences, molecular biology, genetics  – where whole human persons are not components of systems studied.

Molecular – Beads, Strings, Fabrics
Metaphors – Pros & Cons
Mathematical: Theories vs Poetry

Sci/Tech of Humankind  == psychology, education, medicine, sociology, economics, political science  – where whole human persons are components of systems studied.

Fake Realities – There are no Humankind Sci/Tech Facts
Personal / Social / Societal
Complementarity of Perspectives
Epistemes / Paradigms / Perspectives / Barriers
~50 Human Limitations Recognized, but Ignored
Quman – Societal Reality and (Quantum-like) Weirdness
Beyond Education – LQE (Learners for Quality Education)
Beyond Economic/Political Centrism
Beyond Individualism/Collectivism
Real Creative Agency vs Illusion of Free Will
Relevant Knowledge Ignored by Elites & Decision Makers
Comprehending Belief
Processing Structure / Structuring Process
Owning Children: Parental/Child/Social Rights?
Denial of Potential for Future PERSONAL Major Paradigm Shifts
Preserving Traditions
Rituals as Habit-Breaking Performances

reeee seaf galdee nu

criteria for action = relevant/effective/efficient/enjoyable/elegant
help = support/enable/augment/facilitate
change = grow/adapt/learn/develop/evolve/emerge
new/nu
NU = name for Humanity after Up2Met
here&now contains pasts and futures
Transformation vs Emergence
Spiral Dynamics – Stages of Development
Sys/Net/Eco/Hol
Picture/Scene/Story/Scenario
Conceptual Schemes
Understanding/Comprehension
Precision-of-Fit
Nested/Networked Participatory Apps
Nu Visual Languages & Apps
Act/Action/Task/Job/Project/Program/Enterprise
Goal = Intended Consequence of System of Successful Objectives
Distinguish & Apply: Formative vs Summative Evaluations

Up2Met

UPLIFT
Cultural/Societal Metamorphosis
SeafWebs
Bootstrap Uplift Scaffolding
OLLO
Colab Studios
Scripting Performance / Performing Scripts
humankind to HUMANITY (h2H)
Nu Genesis Myth
Earth Changes BEYOND Climate Changes
Multi-Billennial Survival/Thrival of Humanity/Gaia
Ownership vs Operational Management
This Great Day – a transition model
Releasing Blocked Exponentially Emergent Potential

 

WILDCARDS

FeedPast Bootstrapping
Holistic Determination
Nu Genesis
New Phenomena Discovered
Planetary Semfields – Uplifting Other Species (David Brin)
Contact with “Alien” Planetary Semfields
Significant Life Extension
Genetic/Bio Engineering of Humans
Humanity & Intelligent Machines

 

 

 

 

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.

0 comments

Trackbacks