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

 

 

 

 

MY ANTARCTIC RESEARCH SURFACES 40 YEARS LATER

This recent science article, plasma-tubes-floating-above-earth, triggered thought about my research in the Antarctic. This led to some current searching and a lengthy explication of my research for my Yale PhD. It was exciting for me to review this. Some who know me may find it interesting.

It puzzles my why the authors of the article had such difficulty getting acknowledged – maybe because they were students.. As shown below, this was an area of research 40 years ago. Unfortunately, contemporary scientists are often not aware of the past of science, except as propaganda. The “history” of a scientific discipline, as provided to students in that discipline, is highly selected and biased in support of the discipline. Many practicing scientists are oblivious to the history and social implications of their research.
These phenomena are what I was probably studying in the Antarctic (1961) and was the topic of my PhD in physics from Yale (1965).
Article published in JGR, July 1965.
Yale Thesis:
1970 related article of the same phenomenon:

  • I believe the author of this 1970 article, also with newer data from Byrd Station, was the only person I knew of before initiating my research in the Antarctic. He may also have written a letter for me to Yale, later in support of my thesis controversy.
  • Rapid auroral luminosity fluctuations and geomagnetic field …

    onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/…/full

    John Wiley & Sons
    by WH Campbell – ‎1970 – ‎Cited by 106 – ‎Related articles

    Nov 1, 1970 – Jacobs, J. A., C. S. Wright, Geomagnetic micropulsations results from Byrd …. form aurorae,Ph.D., thesisUniversity of Saskatchewan,November,1963. …. Victor, L. J., Correlated auroral and gemnagnetic micropulsations in the …

  • Minimum cost to me to simply view this article (and other articles) is $30. Outrageous! I have declined at this time.

Historical: In the spring semester of 1960, still a grad student at Yale, I was teaching an Intro course in Quantum Mechanics at Quinnipiac College in New Haven.  Learning that I was going to the Antarctic, a physics faculty member suggested that I explore research into auroral/geomagnetic interaction.  I did and my special project, sponsored financially by The Arctic Institute of North American (AINA) was approved.  Equipment for this research was constructed at The Air Force Cambridge Research Lab, where I was “stationed” prior to my trip south. On return from the Antarctic I was funded by AINA to process my data and publish my results in the Journal of Geophysical Research, July 1965 (see above).

Surprise in 2015:  my paper and thesis were referenced in an article in 1973.  Copy/Pasted from google search: (scroll to bottom)

“A classification scheme is proposed for optical auroral pulsations based on their occurrence with respect to … fications, proposed by Victor (1965), Johansen …. tion studies with magnetic micropulsation data ….. Ph.D. Thesis, California Insti-.”
These other two may also make reference to my work:
Robert J. Stening – Publications – ResearchGate  MSc, PhD, Dip. …. Article: Amplitudes and Periods of Geomagnetic Micropulsations in the Pc3, 4 Range at Canadian Observatories … on different occasions but the amplitudes were usually maximum in the auroral zone. ….. Victor Flambaum.
H. J. Singer – Citations – ResearchGate  Ph.D. UCLA … Article: Equatorward moving auroral signatures of a flow burst observed prior to auroral onset … Article: Effects of the fast plasma sheet flow on the geosynchronous magnetic configuration: Geotail and GOES ….. Relation between low latitude Pc3 magnetic micropulsations and solar wind … Victor Sergeev (20).

In the Antarctic, I recorded the correlation of auroral and geomagnetic micro-pulsations (5-40sec) – on dual, real-time pen2paperrolls. I also confirmed synchrony between my station in the Antarctic and the magnetic matched conjugate station in the Arctic.  I used classical electrodynamics to model atomic components of the solar wind captured in the geomagnetic “horseshoe – arc”. As the particles cycled down the tubes and approached Earth’s upper atmosphere; they spiraled faster but their velocity along the arc decreased, Most bounced back – to oscillate between magnetic poles. Those particles which dipped into the upper atmosphere collided with atmospheric molecules, exciting them to give off light (aurora).  The motion we observe in auroral displays results from the motion of these tubes of cycling particles, influenced by the continuing solar wind.

My thesis was temporarily rejected when someone suggested that I use magnetohydrodynamics (plasma physics) instead of classical electrodynamics. I was reinstated when I proved that all other research in the phenomenon, at that time, also used classical electrodynamics.

Another reviewer of my thesis temporarily rejected it because I hadn’t done a mathematical statistical correlation of my data. To meet this objection it was recommended that I return to the Antarctic to take more useable data.  I obtained defense from mathematical statisticians that this request was not necessary.  The reports that follow in the early 1970s refer to these event as pulses – which is what appeared in my data.  The synchrony of the peaks and valleys of the two parallel recordings was clearly obvious to the eye – there was no need for mathematical statistical analysis.  Had I included data outside the pulses, it would have contaminated the data.

These two objections were resolved by my submitting addenda to my thesis. The physics department ducked the issue and dumped it into the lap of the Yale Graduate School which awarded me my PhD in 1965. I had completed my work in 1963.

For the historical record, more details about the controversy with Yale.
My initial faculty advisor at Yale in physics was Dr. Henry Margenau. I went to Yale because of him, with full professorships in both physics and the philosophy of science. My two year Masters in Physics at the U of Chicago was because of the lack of my being informed of being awarded financial assistance in 1956. Dr. Margenau had sponsored me; but not hearing of it I accepted my teaching assistant award at Chicago.  I never regret the Chicago experience. But, frustrated with Chicago (re my primary interest in the Philosophy of Science)  I wrote Margenau, who informed me that I had been awarded financial aide. So, I transferred from Chicago to Yale.
I was grossly naive about how PhD programs worked in physics. It was expected that you join a team of graduate students working on projects designed by their faculty adviser. When you became senior team member on a project, that became your thesis. Margenau wasn’t a follower of this discipline, but was also not fully respected by the “traditional” physicists. Margenau (of German university background) gave me full control of my process, and was supportive of my “outrageously ambitions objectives”. But, I got no guidance from him and was basically alone working on my degree.

I wanted to challenge Einstein’s EDICT that “nothing could go faster than light”. I was motivated to this challenge in the summer between high school and college on reading D’Abro’s The evolution of scientific thought from Newton to Einstein .  (one of the most influential books in my life). Relativity became an important side interest.
Einstein claimed: no massive particle can be accelerated by any finite force in finite time to achieve the speed of light. This remains a valid law of physics. It was implied by Einstein that this meant NOTHING could be moving faster than light. This was vitally important to Einstein’s classical physical reality. If signals could be sent faster than light, they would be received BEFORE they were sent. Einstein eliminated this possibility with his EDICT.
For my PhD, I wanted to challenge this EDICT, and proposed the possible existence of particles moving v>c , which were in a “super-luminary domain”. I speculated that many of the new particles being discovered might be super-luminary – but wouldn’t be considered as such because of Einstein’s EDICT.
Margenau, reluctantly, approved my thesis proposal – which had not yet been formally presented to the physics department. I was attempting a new derivation of the Special Theory of Relativity that would permit observation of information from objects moving v>c.  I was doing my derivation in spherical coordinates, where empirical angle and distance measurement replaced orthogonal 3D traditional representation (which didn’t gibe with actual empirical processes). I was encountering difficulty in getting the same equations as Einstein, with this analysis, which – in part – drove me to the Antarctic. I presented my dilemna to the faculty at Quinnipiac College – after which the suggestion to explore auroral/geomagnetic interaction was given to me.
While in the Antarctic, I resolved my problem. I had to invent a process I called: Functional Square Roots to resolve my difficulties.

If you have g(x) as an algebraic expression in  f(f[x]) = g(x), can you determine f[x] ? I somehow (now totally gone from my memory) “solved” this problem. I was able to confirm that my new foundational work DID lead to the Lorentx Transformations. My derivation of the Special Theory of Relativity was valid, and my theory could be used to explore super-luminary phenomena.

Returning to Yale from the Antarctic, I made my thesis application formally to the Yale physics department, on my work on Relativity. Margenau and a new faculty member (from Princeton, in Relativity) approved of my proposal. My thesis proposal was rejected by the Yale Physics Dept.  I encountered a member of the decision body in the hall, and he commented: “Victor, you can’t attempt a Nobel Prize in a PhD thesis! ”
I was advised to submit my Antarctic research as a thesis proposal;.  I did so as a very thin proposal, submitted unseen by anyone to the Physics Dept. I was assigned two (instead of the normal three) faculty to judge my PhD application: Dr. Marganeau and the current head of the Yale physics dept. They approved my work, but because no one a Yale was expert in my area of research, they asked me to recommend an outside, professional, contact.  I recommended Sir Charles Wright, whom I met at Byrd Station in the Antarctic, when he visited.  Wright had operated a scientific station (in the Arctic) magnetically conjugate to my Byrd station in the Antarctic. We had exchanged data. Wright DECLINED my thesis, on ground that my work was not yet up to the level of British standards. He had no criticism of my work; it just wasn’t enough – to his standards.
This was a great embarrassment to my two supporters, who withdrew their support. By this time I was in Minnesota, on new projects.  I was required to return to Yale for a new faculty interview for my PhD.  Yale’s standard is THREE examiners. The gave me SIX.  Four physicists, one astrophysicist and one geophysicist. One Nobel Prize winner; Lamb. I was asked NO questions about my thesis.  I was embarrassed by low performance on fundamental physics problems that I was unable to solve – it had been a LONG TIME.  I flew back to Minneapolis unaware of the outcome.
All of this “defensive action” existed only because of a coincidence. The “Director of Graduate Studies” in the Yale physics dept was traditionally assigned to a brand new faculty member. I was LUCKY that the person in that position at the time of my problems was a person I knew at the University of Chicago – who had finished his PhD and was now at Yale. This man, whom I don’t now know his name, became my “angel;”, and came to my defense in this whole activity. He picked me up and later drove me to the airport; he guided me in my defense.  Without this person, I would not have a PhD from Yale.
After my interrogation with the six, I was to stay in my “angels” office – for a few minutes. The minutes increased to hours. SOMEONE was backing me! On the drive to the airport I was informed that the decision was 4-2, while the criteria was 3-0. How I handled the two “objections” was discussed above. Yale Graduate School eventually approved my PhD.
At NO TIME during this adventure did I feel that I wouldn’t succeed. This naive confidence is deep in my being. Now, at age 80, and experiencing senility, I wonder whether I can believe in eventual “success”?