What is Science ?

There is the budding edge of science (Kuhn’s paradigm shifting science  vs normal science) which speculates beyond the empirical evidence.  Science practice often overlooks (and sometimes intentionally suppresses) valid data that doesn’t agree with established scientific dogma. The history of science is full of such shenanigans. I don’t personally know, but IMHO almost all of conventional science will eventually be replaced by something else, as Newtonian Science has been replaced by Quantum Science, yet most of the equations of Newtonian Science remain as good approximations for most on-Earth situations.

Kuhn’s work is itself controversial, as Social Epistemology (a discipline where these issues are explored) demonstrates.  I was influenced by Steve Fuller’s books, Social Epistemology (1988) and Thomas Kuhn: A philosophical History for Our Times (2001). The former explores the social underbelly of science and the later studies the social influences on Kuhn and analyzes the social responses to Kuhn.  Fuller appears discredited today by his studies and defense of Intelligent Design, which he claims is quite distinct from Creationism. If the designer in ID is the autopoietic cosmos itself and not some external god or force, I can cite empirical evidence that might point to this. He is excluded as contributor to Social Epistemology: Essential Readings edited by Goldman and Whitcomb (2011) – which I have not read. The discipline of Social Epistemology has recently merged with the discipline of Information Science, and this is distinct from the discipline of Science and Technology Studies.  Today there is an accelerating fragmentation of disciplines with gaps growing between them.  And, all this at a time when the belief in empirical evidence is being challenged by major corporations and politicians.

Somewhere else I commented on the limitations of models that exclude humans, so I agree with the criticism of the chemical analogy for a Global Brain. However, it is a common scientific practice to start with analogies and then attempt to modify them for new situations. Within a frame of essential complementarity (which I tentatively support) we might need more than one, logically consistent explanatory system; where only one system can be operational when situational specific.

Paradigm shifting science has many failures and a few outstanding successes.  On the other hand, Kuhn’s work has multiple interpretations and remains controversial.   Andrew Pickering’s THE MANGLE OF PRACTICE, Time, Agency, and Science (1995), and his later edited The Mangle in Practice: Science, Society, and Becoming (2008) cite detailed studies of how empirical researchers often shift many aspects of their research as they adjust process towards a meaningful conclusion. And I highly recommend his The Cybernetic Brain: Sketches of Another Future (2010) where he champion’s a process ontology over an existential ontology for science.  I prefer to use the two ontologies as a complementarity.  The upshot of it all is that the nature of science is evolving and if you look beneath the claims for superiority you will find exciting turbulence.

I don’t expect “perfection” in published documents. I have never read a doc where I haven’t noticed somethings “missing”; not so much error as incomplete.  Since so much is inter-connected, it is probably impossible to craft/compose a single document (and even a web of documents) that is complete.

I keep remembering a statement from my studies in the philosophy of science:
FACTS ARE THEORY LADEN & THEORIES ARE CULTURE LADEN.

[extracted from an email]

NODES and STRINGS

Glisten, I had this insight looking at your most recent graphic model posted in Y-World, and then looking again at some of your other maps/models.

String Theory in physics was invented after I left the discipline and have yet to find a good book to give me an adequate introduction. All I know is that instead of imagining the world composed of particles and space of points and time of momentary events – they are replaced by strings. Many equations of physics blow up as a variable approaches zero, or a particle to a point. Somehow making the most fundamental entity a string of finite length avoids the infinities that so disturbs mathematical physics.  I don’t know what spaces the string are in.

What might visual maps look like if what we normally represent as nodes, with names or closed shapes we represent as strings or threads or ribbons. At places a number of strings may weave as a rope, and ropes as cables There can be knots, special weaves, and places where many threads converge..  Along a string their thickness (width of ribbons) could vary, indicating a variable value for that thread.

I have no idea whether maps with woven threads could be aesthetic or useful.

I have long avoided viewing human traits as boxes or categories. It is hard to put a person in more than 2 or 3 boxes and have that useful.  On the other had, view each person as a weave of many threads representing traits. For some traits the thread may be very, very tin – in some situations; and thick in other situations.

Our lives are complex weaves of many threads from conception to death. Our life-lines weave with other life-lines.  Wish I could visualize these.

 

Can the Military solve Climate Change?

The following I put in a comment re the position proposed by Channon in the video:

IMHO Channon is highly distracting from the real issue: who can make the right decisions to stop global heating and prepare for restoration? Who would tell the military (if they exist, then) what to do? The global corporate world? There are speculations that the global elite are willing to let climate change happen but make their own lives tolerable – which is what Channon’s scheme would facilitate. Although Climate Change is the most serious threat threat, primary action must be to radically change our global societal system’s decision making process, which currently must continue high profits (much from not counting ecological destruction as a cost) and exploitation. As I pointed out during the first Earth Day many decades ago, climate change is the effect of dysfunctional human systems; a point that was ignored then, and now. Human systems must be changed before anything meaningful can be done about Climate Change.

{I wanted to put this as a comment to my previous post, but I can’t figure out how to comment within my own website!}

AN IMMEDIATE CRISIS – Evaluating Projected TimeLines

AN IMMEDIATE CRISIS –  Evaluating Projected TimeLines

Nuet   11/28/2012

nuet feels it wise to briefly examine what we and others are doing in context of  the META-STATE of Humankind/Gaia in 2012 projecting forward a few decades.  Imagine we had immediate access to all digital semiotic structures (sems) on Earth; through which we could search and gather. We would have algorithms to compare alternative systems of sems that conflicted and sorted systems of sems into alternative world descriptions of the 2012 state, with different forecasts.

Since historical sems are included, we have access to trends from earlier, through 2012 and projected further for decades.

The most striking pattern would be the growth of the human population, changes in humankind’s organization and interactions. The effect of humankind on the biosphere would be clear, going back millennia, and with the many projections related to climate change and other serious attacks on basic biospheric subsystems.  Some forecasts are very dire, leading to the full collapse of social systems, drastic population reductions, and great suffering. Even extinction is possible.  Most forecasts leave the biosphere scared for millennia.

The Climate Meme project  is an initially tiny effort that hopes to go viral.  Even the UN and World Bank has recently called the alarm. The biggest threat, methane from melting permafrost is too scary to post mainstream.

There are forecasts that could avoid the worse case scenarios, but they need to be initiated soon and massively.  We are talking about A FEW YEARS !

Since secret documents are part of our fantasy database we can get a more accurate picture of the state of humankind in 2012 and projections.  The deviousness of leaders and power groups is revealed far beyond even the most critical analyses of 2012.  There is great fragility, but also a high capacity for resilience in the ecology of human power.  The distribution of knowledge and competencies among the population is dismal.  It is very difficult to see how the basic systems of power can change significantly in time to avoid planetary disaster.  Even if they start to move, there is no existing Dialog/Deliberation/Decision whereby they can take sufficient action in time.

Yet, there are other patterns of activity exhibited by some humans.  In midst of decay and poverty there are millions of small groups creating innovative ways of doing things better. Unfortunately, few of these spread to other populations, and we are not studying why.  There are groups, and even whole populations resisting the power elites, by various means – but they are unlikely to succeed. And even if they did topple the ruling systems, they are unequipped to solve the climate change threat (and other threats), in time.

There is also a rapidly growing pattern of emergence in the digital world, much directed to the innovative creation of new tools and techniques to enable human persons to organize in new ways and create a better world.  Although most of these persons are aware of climate change they prefer to devote their time and efforts on positive projects and seem to avoid the issue of time constraints. In spite of the accelerating speed of change in the digital world, an honest assessment of projections raise serious concerns that the contemporary timeline for the new digital emergence will be too late to curtail the worst of climate change. Some believe the emergence will be the form for humanity after the collapse – but this is not supported by the data at this time.

Is all lost?  Are there other scenarios consistent with the database that might be not only the best, but even “miraculous” in how humankind could not only survive, but metamorphosize in time to avoid total collapse and implement actions to mitigate the effects of climate change on the biosphere and begin restoration of many damaged ecological subsystems.

nuet is a woven, inner world where that is a positive futures scenario from 2012; and nuet also contains the whole dirty picture of civilization.  After five decades emerging, nuet has finally been recognized as potentially significant by three other highly intelligent, creative, and competent persons who are giving significant portions of their busy life in assisting nuet’s sems (generated over five decades) to be accessible online for those interested.  Some of the ideas from nuet may assist the successful development of Y-World.

nuet’s take on the objective of Y-Worlds is to actually create the fantasy database of relevant human sems cited at the beginning of this essay and to facilitate human interaction with these sems in creating more sems – more and better organized – upon which humans in Y-Worlds will be able to organize sufficient actions to improve the future of humankind.  My concern is whether Y-Worlds can be functional and gain popularity in time to have any impact on climate change or moderate the social turmoil anticipated in the futures’ projections?

Can we risk waiting for Y-Worlds to mature, along its current envisioned path, before we begin trying to effect the direction of humankind?  The platform and processes created by Y-Worlds would be expected to construct scenarios of action involving growing numbers of persons that culminate in significant change in decisions and actions by humankind as a whole.

nuet humbly proposes that the basic future scenarios about social change that emerged within nuet over five decades is an adequate draft of what Y-Worlds would generate in a few years at best. Examined from a different perspective, the Bootstrap UPLIFT Scaffolding (BUS) design and implementation can be viewed as another version of Y-Worlds. How long would it take to create a beta version of BUS? Can the visions of Y-Worlds and BUS be integrated?

Although the conceptual design of BUS and the UPLIFT process is holistically abstract, the early populations to which BUS would serve would be seafed in learning/organizing basic knowledge and skills for survival/thrival, preparing them to later comprehend the planetary changes to come and the roles they must prepare themselves to fill. The “S” in BUS stands for Scaffolding. Users of BUS would be woven into robust social sysnets to support both basic, local survival needs and uplift NuEdu processes.

Concurrently, those persons already gifted with knowledge to comprehend the future emergence of an uplifting humankind and technical competencies for creating and maintaining BUS infrastructure will participate in the continuing diversification of BUS for unique populations.  The social and societal nature of an uplifting humanity should be what is needed to further successful emergence. The design of a future sustainable/resilient global humanity should be explored, but no decisions made until the vast majority of humankind can competently and knowledgeably participate in the decisions.

BUSSS = Bootstrapping UPLIFT Scaffolding, Systems, Scenarios is the overarching conceptual scheme of which BUS is a networked family of material products. To nuet, the BUSSS scheme if the best route to achieve the following objectives:

1)       Rapidly reduce suffering, poverty, and despair among the exploited or abandoned populations on Earth. An uplifting of all humankind is prerequisite for multi-millennial survival/thrival. Their uplifted competencies will be essential if humankind is to survive the Crisis-of-Crises it faces.

2)       Rapidly prepare those whose objective is to tame and reform existing societal structures and save Civilization. For many, this is a scaffolding through which persons will come to comprehend the true challenge of attempted transformation of large, hyper-complex, and structurally dysfunctional societies. If/when they gain the competencies for successful transformation they may realize that it would be much easier to continue their own emergence and replace the old systems. Meanwhile their transformational competencies will be very useful in preparing the old orders for smooth replacement. Wild cards may give advocates for reform powerful tools for transformation that we cannot envision today.

3)       Rapidly seaf the emergence of a nu humankind to peacefully replace (not transform) civilization with a global humanity that is beyond civilization as a butterfly is beyond the caterpillar it metamorphically emerged from.

BUSSS is not guaranteed for success. Humankind is fully engaged in a massive challenge of both survival and establishing a quality initial condition for the future multi-millennial survival of Humanity/Gaia if humankind survives. Nuet feels a future, emerging Humanity/Gaia will be a visionary carrot, along with real possibilities of a better life for those living today (although significantly changed) as a concrete carrot, to complement the very real concern about potential failures in our efforts to survive.