COMMON SCIENCE as Sustainable Applied Empirical Theory, besides ENGINEERING, in a SOCIETY

eJournal: uffmm.org
ISSN 2567-6458, 19.Juni 2022 – 15.September 2022
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

This is work in progress:

  1. The whole text shows a dynamic, which induces many changes. Difficult to plan ‘in advance’.
  2. Perhaps, some time, it will look like a ‘book’, at least ‘for a moment’.

CONTEXT and INTRODUCTION

In a rather foundational paper about an idea, how one can generalize ‘systems engineering’ [*1] to the art of ‘theory engineering’ [1] a new conceptual framework has been outlined for a ‘sustainable applied empirical theory (SAET)’. Part of this new framework has been the idea that the classical recourse to groups of special experts (mostly ‘engineers’ in engineering) is too restrictive in the light of the new requirement of being sustainable: sustainability is primarily based on ‘diversity’ combined with the ‘ability to predict’ from this diversity probable future states which keep life alive. The aspect of diversity induces the challenge to see every citizen as a ‘natural expert’, because nobody can know in advance and from some non-existing absolut point of truth, which knowledge is really important. History shows that the ‘mainstream’ is usually to a large degree ‘biased’ [*1b].

With this assumption, that every citizen is a ‘natural expert’, science turns into a ‘general science’ where all citizens are ‘natural members’ of science. I will call this more general concept of science ‘sustainable citizen science (SCS)’ or ‘Citizen Science 2.0 (CS2)’. The important point here is that a sustainable citizen science is not necessarily an ‘arbitrary’ process. While the requirement of ‘diversity’ relates to possible contents, to possible ideas, to possible experiments, and the like, it follows from the other requirement of ‘predictability’/ of being able to make some useful ‘forecasts’, that the given knowledge has to be in a format, which allows in a transparent way the construction of some consequences, which ‘derive’ from the ‘given’ knowledge and enable some ‘new’ knowledge. This ability of forecasting has often been understood as the business of ‘logic’ providing an ‘inference concept’ given by ‘rules of deduction’ and a ‘practical pattern (on the meta level)’, which defines how these rules have to be applied to satisfy the inference concept. But, looking to real life, to everyday life or to modern engineering and economy, one can learn that ‘forecasting’ is a complex process including much more than only cognitive structures nicely fitting into some formulas. For this more realistic forecasting concept we will use here the wording ‘common logic’ and for the cognitive adventure where common logic is applied we will use the wording ‘common science’. ‘Common science’ is structurally not different from ‘usual science’, but it has a substantial wider scope and is using the whole of mankind as ‘experts’.

The following chapters/ sections try to illustrate this common science view by visiting different special views which all are only ‘parts of a whole’, a whole which we can ‘feel’ in every moment, but which we can not yet completely grasp with our theoretical concepts.

CONTENT

  1. Language (Main message: “The ordinary language is the ‘meta language’ to every special language. This can be used as a ‘hint’ to something really great: the mystery of the ‘self-creating’ power of the ordinary language which for most people is unknown although it happens every moment.”)
  2. Concrete Abstract Statements (Main message: “… you will probably detect, that nearly all words of a language are ‘abstract words’ activating ‘abstract meanings’. …If you cannot provide … ‘concrete situations’ the intended meaning of your abstract words will stay ‘unclear’: they can mean ‘nothing or all’, depending from the decoding of the hearer.”)
  3. True False Undefined (Main message: “… it reveals that ’empirical (observational) evidence’ is not necessarily an automatism: it presupposes appropriate meaning spaces embedded in sets of preferences, which are ‘observation friendly’.
  4. Beyond Now (Main message: “With the aid of … sequences revealing possible changes the NOW is turned into a ‘moment’ embedded in a ‘process’, which is becoming the more important reality. The NOW is something, but the PROCESS is more.“)
  5. Playing with the Future (Main message: “In this sense seems ‘language’ to be the master tool for every brain to mediate its dynamic meaning structures with symbolic fix points (= words, expressions) which as such do not change, but the meaning is ‘free to change’ in any direction. And this ‘built in ‘dynamics’ represents an ‘internal potential’ for uncountable many possible states, which could perhaps become ‘true’ in some ‘future state’. Thus ‘future’ can begin in these potentials, and thinking is the ‘playground’ for possible futures.(but see [18])”)
  6. Forecasting – Prediction: What? (This chapter explains the cognitive machinery behind forecasting/ predictions, how groups of human actors can elaborate shared descriptions, and how it is possible to start with sequences of singularities to built up a growing picture of the empirical world which appears as a radical infinite and indeterministic space. )
  7. !!! From here all the following chapters have to be re-written !!!
  8. THE LOGIC OF EVERYDAY THINKING. Lets try an Example (Will probably be re-written too)
  9. Boolean Logic (Explains what boolean logic is, how it enables the working of programmable machines, but that it is of nearly no help for the ‘heart’ of forecasting.)
  10. … more re-writing will probably happen …
  11. Everyday Language: German Example
  12. Everyday Language: English
  13. Natural Logic
  14. Predicate Logic
  15. True Statements
  16. Formal Logic Inference: Preserving Truth
  17. Ordinary Language Inference: Preserving and Creating Truth
  18. Hidden Ontologies: Cognitively Real and Empirically Real
  19. AN INFERENCE IS NOT AUTOMATICALLY A FORECAST
  20. EMPIRICAL THEORY
  21. Side Trip to Wikipedia
  22. SUSTAINABLE EMPIRICAL THEORY
  23. CITIZEN SCIENCE 2.0
  24. … ???

COMMENTS

wkp-en := Englisch Wikipedia

/* Often people argue against the usage of the wikipedia encyclopedia as not ‘scientific’ because the ‘content’ of an entry in this encyclopedia can ‘change’. This presupposes the ‘classical view’ of scientific texts to be ‘stable’, which presupposes further, that such a ‘stable text’ describes some ‘stable subject matter’. But this view of ‘steadiness’ as the major property of ‘true descriptions’ is in no correspondence with real scientific texts! The reality of empirical science — even as in some special disciplines like ‘physics’ — is ‘change’. Looking to Aristotle’s view of nature, to Galileo Galilei, to Newton, to Einstein and many others, you will not find a ‘single steady picture’ of nature and science, and physics is only a very simple strand of science compared to the live-sciences and many others. Thus wikipedia is a real scientific encyclopedia give you the breath of world knowledge with all its strengths and limits at once. For another, more general argument, see In Favour for Wikipedia */

[*1] Meaning operator ‘…’ : In this text (and in nearly all other texts of this author) the ‘inverted comma’ is used quite heavily. In everyday language this is not common. In some special languages (theory of formal languages or in programming languages or in meta-logic) the inverted comma is used in some special way. In this text, which is primarily a philosophical text, the inverted comma sign is used as a ‘meta-language operator’ to raise the intention of the reader to be aware, that the ‘meaning’ of the word enclosed in the inverted commas is ‘text specific’: in everyday language usage the speaker uses a word and assumes tacitly that his ‘intended meaning’ will be understood by the hearer of his utterance as ‘it is’. And the speaker will adhere to his assumption until some hearer signals, that her understanding is different. That such a difference is signaled is quite normal, because the ‘meaning’ which is associated with a language expression can be diverse, and a decision, which one of these multiple possible meanings is the ‘intended one’ in a certain context is often a bit ‘arbitrary’. Thus, it can be — but must not — a meta-language strategy, to comment to the hearer (or here: the reader), that a certain expression in a communication is ‘intended’ with a special meaning which perhaps is not the commonly assumed one. Nevertheless, because the ‘common meaning’ is no ‘clear and sharp subject’, a ‘meaning operator’ with the inverted commas has also not a very sharp meaning. But in the ‘game of language’ it is more than nothing 🙂

[*1b] That the main stream ‘is biased’ is not an accident, not a ‘strange state’, not a ‘failure’, it is the ‘normal state’ based on the deeper structure how human actors are ‘built’ and ‘genetically’ and ‘cultural’ ‘programmed’. Thus the challenge to ‘survive’ as part of the ‘whole biosphere’ is not a ‘partial task’ to solve a single problem, but to solve in some sense the problem how to ‘shape the whole biosphere’ in a way, which enables a live in the universe for the time beyond that point where the sun is turning into a ‘red giant’ whereby life will be impossible on the planet earth (some billion years ahead)[22]. A remarkable text supporting this ‘complex view of sustainability’ can be found in Clark and Harvey, summarized at the end of the text. [23]

[*2] The meaning of the expression ‘normal’ is comparable to a wicked problem. In a certain sense we act in our everyday world ‘as if there exists some standard’ for what is assumed to be ‘normal’. Look for instance to houses, buildings: to a certain degree parts of a house have a ‘standard format’ assuming ‘normal people’. The whole traffic system, most parts of our ‘daily life’ are following certain ‘standards’ making ‘planning’ possible. But there exists a certain percentage of human persons which are ‘different’ compared to these introduced standards. We say that they have a ‘handicap’ compared to this assumed ‘standard’, but this so-called ‘standard’ is neither 100% true nor is the ‘given real world’ in its properties a ‘100% subject’. We have learned that ‘properties of the real world’ are distributed in a rather ‘statistical manner’ with different probabilities of occurrences. To ‘find our way’ in these varying occurrences we try to ‘mark’ the main occurrences as ‘normal’ to enable a basic structure for expectations and planning. Thus, if in this text the expression ‘normal’ is used it refers to the ‘most common occurrences’.

[*3] Thus we have here a ‘threefold structure’ embracing ‘perception events, memory events, and expression events’. Perception events represent ‘concrete events’; memory events represent all kinds of abstract events but they all have a ‘handle’ which maps to subsets of concrete events; expression events are parts of an abstract language system, which as such is dynamically mapped onto the abstract events. The main source for our knowledge about perceptions, memory and expressions is experimental psychology enhanced by many other disciplines.

[*4] Characterizing language expressions by meaning – the fate of any grammar: the sentence ” … ‘words’ (= expressions) of a language which can activate such abstract meanings are understood as ‘abstract words’, ‘general words’, ‘category words’ or the like.” is pointing to a deep property of every ordinary language, which represents the real power of language but at the same time the great weakness too: expressions as such have no meaning. Hundreds, thousands, millions of words arranged in ‘texts’, ‘documents’ can show some statistical patterns’ and as such these patterns can give some hint which expressions occur ‘how often’ and in ‘which combinations’, but they never can give a clue to the associated meaning(s). During more than three-thousand years humans have tried to describe ordinary language in a more systematic way called ‘grammar’. Due to this radically gap between ‘expressions’ as ‘observable empirical facts’ and ‘meaning constructs’ hidden inside the brain it was all the time a difficult job to ‘classify’ expressions as representing a certain ‘type’ of expression like ‘nouns’, ‘predicates’, ‘adjectives’, ‘defining article’ and the like. Without regressing to the assumed associated meaning such a classification is not possible. On account of the fuzziness of every meaning ‘sharp definitions’ of such ‘word classes’ was never and is not yet possible. One of the last big — perhaps the biggest ever — project of a complete systematic grammar of a language was the grammar project of the ‘Akademie der Wissenschaften der DDR’ (‘Academy of Sciences of the GDR’) from 1981 with the title “Grundzüge einer Deutschen Grammatik” (“Basic features of a German grammar”). A huge team of scientists worked together using many modern methods. But in the preface you can read, that many important properties of the language are still not sufficiently well describable and explainable. See: Karl Erich Heidolph, Walter Flämig, Wolfgang Motsch et al.: Grundzüge einer deutschen Grammatik. Akademie, Berlin 1981, 1028 Seiten.

[*5] Differing opinions about a given situation manifested in uttered expressions are a very common phenomenon in everyday communication. In some sense this is ‘natural’, can happen, and it should be no substantial problem to ‘solve the riddle of being different’. But as you can experience, the ability of people to solve the occurrence of different opinions is often quite weak. Culture is suffering by this as a whole.

[1] Gerd Doeben-Henisch, 2022, From SYSTEMS Engineering to THEORYEngineering, see: https://www.uffmm.org/2022/05/26/from-systems-engineering-to-theory-engineering/(Remark: At the time of citation this post was not yet finished, because there are other posts ‘corresponding’ with that post, which are too not finished. Knowledge is a dynamic network of interwoven views …).

[1d] ‘usual science’ is the game of science without having a sustainable format like in citizen science 2.0.

[2] Science, see e.g. wkp-en: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science

Citation = “Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.[1][2]

Citation = “In modern science, the term “theory” refers to scientific theories, a well-confirmed type of explanation of nature, made in a way consistent with the scientific method, and fulfilling the criteria required by modern science. Such theories are described in such a way that scientific tests should be able to provide empirical support for it, or empirical contradiction (“falsify“) of it. Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge,[1] in contrast to more common uses of the word “theory” that imply that something is unproven or speculative (which in formal terms is better characterized by the word hypothesis).[2] Scientific theories are distinguished from hypotheses, which are individual empirically testable conjectures, and from scientific laws, which are descriptive accounts of the way nature behaves under certain conditions.”

Citation = “New knowledge in science is advanced by research from scientists who are motivated by curiosity about the world and a desire to solve problems.[27][28] Contemporary scientific research is highly collaborative and is usually done by teams in academic and research institutions,[29] government agencies, and companies.[30][31] The practical impact of their work has led to the emergence of science policies that seek to influence the scientific enterprise by prioritizing the ethical and moral development of commercial productsarmamentshealth carepublic infrastructure, and environmental protection.”

[2b] History of science in wkp-en: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_science#Scientific_Revolution_and_birth_of_New_Science

[3] Theory, see wkp-en: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory#:~:text=A%20theory%20is%20a%20rational,or%20no%20discipline%20at%20all.

Citation = “A theory is a rational type of abstract thinking about a phenomenon, or the results of such thinking. The process of contemplative and rational thinking is often associated with such processes as observational study or research. Theories may be scientific, belong to a non-scientific discipline, or no discipline at all. Depending on the context, a theory’s assertions might, for example, include generalized explanations of how nature works. The word has its roots in ancient Greek, but in modern use it has taken on several related meanings.”

[4] Scientific theory, see: wkp-en: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory

Citation = “In modern science, the term “theory” refers to scientific theories, a well-confirmed type of explanation of nature, made in a way consistent with the scientific method, and fulfilling the criteria required by modern science. Such theories are described in such a way that scientific tests should be able to provide empirical support for it, or empirical contradiction (“falsify“) of it. Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge,[1] in contrast to more common uses of the word “theory” that imply that something is unproven or speculative (which in formal terms is better characterized by the word hypothesis).[2] Scientific theories are distinguished from hypotheses, which are individual empirically testable conjectures, and from scientific laws, which are descriptive accounts of the way nature behaves under certain conditions.”

[4b] Empiricism in wkp-en: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empiricism

[4c] Scientific method in wkp-en: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

Citation =”The scientific method is an empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century (with notable practitioners in previous centuries). It involves careful observation, applying rigorous skepticism about what is observed, given that cognitive assumptions can distort how one interprets the observation. It involves formulating hypotheses, via induction, based on such observations; experimental and measurement-based statistical testing of deductions drawn from the hypotheses; and refinement (or elimination) of the hypotheses based on the experimental findings. These are principles of the scientific method, as distinguished from a definitive series of steps applicable to all scientific enterprises.[1][2][3] [4c]

and

Citation = “The purpose of an experiment is to determine whether observations[A][a][b] agree with or conflict with the expectations deduced from a hypothesis.[6]: Book I, [6.54] pp.372, 408 [b] Experiments can take place anywhere from a garage to a remote mountaintop to CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. There are difficulties in a formulaic statement of method, however. Though the scientific method is often presented as a fixed sequence of steps, it represents rather a set of general principles.[7] Not all steps take place in every scientific inquiry (nor to the same degree), and they are not always in the same order.[8][9]

[5] Gerd Doeben-Henisch, “Is Mathematics a Fake? No! Discussing N.Bourbaki, Theory of Sets (1968) – Introduction”, 2022, https://www.uffmm.org/2022/06/06/n-bourbaki-theory-of-sets-1968-introduction/

[6] Logic, see wkp-en: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic

[7] W. C. Kneale, The Development of Logic, Oxford University Press (1962)

[8] Set theory, in wkp-en: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Set_theory

[9] N.Bourbaki, Theory of Sets , 1968, with a chapter about structures, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89l%C3%A9ments_de_math%C3%A9matique

[10] = [5]

[11] Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein ( 1889 – 1951): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Wittgenstein

[12] Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1953: Philosophische Untersuchungen [PU], 1953: Philosophical Investigations [PI], translated by G. E. M. Anscombe /* For more details see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_Investigations */

[13] Wikipedia EN, Speech acts: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speech_act

[14] While the world view constructed in a brain is ‘virtual’ compared to the ‘real word’ outside the brain (where the body outside the brain is also functioning as ‘real world’ in relation to the brain), does the ‘virtual world’ in the brain function for the brain mostly ‘as if it is the real world’. Only under certain conditions can the brain realize a ‘difference’ between the triggering outside real world and the ‘virtual substitute for the real world’: You want to use your bicycle ‘as usual’ and then suddenly you have to notice that it is not at that place where is ‘should be’. …

[15] Propositional Calculus, see wkp-en: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propositional_calculus#:~:text=Propositional%20calculus%20is%20a%20branch,of%20arguments%20based%20on%20them.

[16] Boolean algebra, see wkp-en: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boolean_algebra

[17] Boolean (or propositional) Logic: As one can see in the mentioned articles of the English wikipedia, the term ‘boolean logic’ is not common. The more logic-oriented authors prefer the term ‘boolean calculus’ [15] and the more math-oriented authors prefer the term ‘boolean algebra’ [16]. In the view of this author the general view is that of ‘language use’ with ‘logic inference’ as leading idea. Therefore the main topic is ‘logic’, in the case of propositional logic reduced to a simple calculus whose similarity with ‘normal language’ is widely ‘reduced’ to a play with abstract names and operators. Recommended: the historical comments in [15].

[18] Clearly, thinking alone can not necessarily induce a possible state which along the time line will become a ‘real state’. There are numerous factors ‘outside’ the individual thinking which are ‘driving forces’ to push real states to change. But thinking can in principle synchronize with other individual thinking and — in some cases — can get a ‘grip’ on real factors causing real changes.

[19] This kind of knowledge is not delivered by brain science alone but primarily from experimental (cognitive) psychology which examines observable behavior and ‘interprets’ this behavior with functional models within an empirical theory.

[20] Predicate Logic or First-Order Logic or … see: wkp-en: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-order_logic#:~:text=First%2Dorder%20logic%E2%80%94also%20known,%2C%20linguistics%2C%20and%20computer%20science.

[21] Gerd Doeben-Henisch, In Favour of Wikipedia, https://www.uffmm.org/2022/07/31/in-favour-of-wikipedia/, 31 July 2022

[22] The sun, see wkp-ed https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun (accessed 8 Aug 2022)

[23] By Clark, William C., and Alicia G. Harley – https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-environ-012420-043621, Clark, William C., and Alicia G. Harley. 2020. “Sustainability Science: Toward a Synthesis.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources 45 (1): 331–86, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=109026069

[24] Sustainability in wkp-en: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainability#Dimensions_of_sustainability

[25] Sustainable Development in wkp-en: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_development

[26] Marope, P.T.M; Chakroun, B.; Holmes, K.P. (2015). Unleashing the Potential: Transforming Technical and Vocational Education and Training (PDF). UNESCO. pp. 9, 23, 25–26. ISBN978-92-3-100091-1.

[27] SDG 4 in wkp-en: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_Development_Goal_4

[28] Thomas Rid, Rise of the Machines. A Cybernetic History, W.W.Norton & Company, 2016, New York – London

[29] Doeben-Henisch, G., 2006, Reducing Negative Complexity by a Semiotic System In: Gudwin, R., & Queiroz, J., (Eds). Semiotics and Intelligent Systems Development. Hershey et al: Idea Group Publishing, 2006, pp.330-342

[30] Döben-Henisch, G.,  Reinforcing the global heartbeat: Introducing the planet earth simulator project, In M. Faßler & C. Terkowsky (Eds.), URBAN FICTIONS. Die Zukunft des Städtischen. München, Germany: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2006, pp.251-263

[29] The idea that individual disciplines are not good enough for the ‘whole of knowledge’ is expressed in a clear way in a video of the theoretical physicist and philosopher Carlo Rovell: Carlo Rovelli on physics and philosophy, June 1, 2022, Video from the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. Theoretical physicist, philosopher, and international bestselling author Carlo Rovelli joins Lauren and Colin for a conversation about the quest for quantum gravity, the importance of unlearning outdated ideas, and a very unique way to get out of a speeding ticket.

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Pierre Lévy : Collective Intelligence – Chapter 1 – Introduction

eJournal: uffmm.org, ISSN 2567-6458, 17.March 2022 – 22.March 2022, 8:40
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

SCOPE

In the uffmm review section the different papers and books are discussed from the point of view of the oksimo paradigm. [1] In the following text the author discusses some aspects of the book “Collective Intelligence. mankind’s emerging world in cyberspace” by Pierre Lévy (translated by Robert Bonono),1997 (French: 1994)[2]

PREVIEW

Before starting a more complete review here a notice in advance.

Only these days I started reading this book of Pierre Lévy after working more than 4 years intensively with the problem of an open knowledge space for everybody as genuine part of the cyberspace. I have approached the problem from several disciplines culminating in a new theory concept which has additionally a direct manifestation in a new kind of software too. While I am now are just testing version 2 of this software and having in parallel worked through several papers of the early, the middle, and the late Karl Popper [3], I detected this book of Lévy [*] and was completely impressed by the preface of this book. His view of mankind and cyberspace is intellectual deep and a real piece of art. I had the feeling that this text could be without compromise a direct preview of our software paradigm although I didn’t know about him before.

Looking to know more about him I detected some more interesting books but especially also his blog intlekt – metadata [4], where he develops his vision of a new language for a new ‘collective intelligence’ being practiced in the cyberspace. While his ideas about ‘collective intelligence’ associated with the ‘cyberspace’ are fascinating, it appears to me that his ideas about a new language are strongly embedded in ‘classical’ concepts of language, semiotics, and computer, concepts which — in my view — are not sufficient for a new language enabling collective intelligence.

Thus it can become an exciting reading with continuous reflections about the conditions about ‘collective intelligence’ and the ‘role of language’ within this.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Position lévy

The following description of the position of Lévy described in his 1st chapter is clearly an ‘interpretation’ from the ‘viewpoint’ of the writer at this time. This is more or less ‘inevitable’. [5]

A good starting point for the project of ‘understanding the book’ seems to be the historical outline which Lévy gives on the pages 5-10. Starting with the appearance of the homo sapiens he characterizes different periods of time with different cultural patterns triggered by the homo sapiens. In the last period, which is still lasting, knowledge takes radical new ‘forms’; one central feature is the appearance of the ‘cyberspace’.

Primarily the cyberspace is ‘machine-based’, some material structure, enhanced with a certain type of dynamics enabled by algorithms working in the machine. But as part of the cultural life of the homo sapiens the cyberspace is also a cultural reality increasingly interacting directly with individuals, groups, institutions, companies, industry, nature, and even more. And in this space enabled by interactions the homo sapiens does not only encounter with technical entities alone, but also with effects/ events/ artifacts produced by other homo sapiens companions.

Lévy calls this a “re-creation of the social bond based on reciprocal apprenticeship, shared skills, imagination, and collective intelligence.” (p.10) And he adds as a supplement that “collective intelligence is not a purely cognitive object.” (p.10)

Looking into the future Lévy assumes two main axes: “The renewal of the social bond through our relation to knowledge and collective intelligence itself.” (p.11)

Important seems to be that ‘knowledge’ is also not be confined to ‘facts alone’ but it ‘lives’ in the reziproke interactions of human actors and thereby knowledge is a dynamic process.(cf. p.11) Humans as part of such knowledge processes receive their ‘identities’ from this flow. (cf. p.12) One consequence from this is “… the other remains enigmatic, becomes a desirable being in every respect.”(p.12) With some further comment: “No one knows everything, everyone knows something, all knowledge resides in humanity. There is no transcendent store of knowledge and knowledge is simply the sum of what we know.”(p.13f)

‘Collective intelligence’ dwells nearby to dynamic knowledge: “The basis and goal of collective intelligence is the mutual recognition and enrichment of individuals rather than the cult of fetishized or hypostatized communities.”(p.13) Thus Lévy can state that collective intelligence “is born with culture and growth with it.”(p.16) And making it more concrete with a direct embedding in a community: “In an intelligent community the specific objective is to permanently negotiate the order of things, language, the role of the individual, the identification and definition of objects, the reinterpretation of memory. Nothing is fixed.”(p.17)

These different aspects are accumulating in the vision of “a new humanism that incorporates and enlarges the scope of self knowledge into a form of group knowledge and collective thought. … [the] process of collective intelligence [is] leading to the creation of a distinct sense of community.”(p.17)

One side effect of such a new humanism could be “new forms of democracy, better suited to the complexity of contemporary problems…”.(p.18)

First COMMENTS

At this point I will give only some few comments, waiting with more general and final thoughts until the end of the reading of the whole text.

Shortened Timeline – Wrong Picture

The timeline which Lévy is using is helpful, but this timeline is ‘incomplete’. What is missing is the whole time ‘before’ the advent of the homo sapiens within the biological evolution. And this ‘absence’ hides the understanding of one, if not ‘the’, most important concept of all life, including the homo sapiens and its cultural process.

This central concept is today called ‘sustainable development’. It points to a ‘dynamical structure’, which is capable of ‘adapting to an ever changing environment’. Life on the planet earth is only possible from the very beginning on account of this fundamental capability starting with the first cells and being kept strongly alive through all the 3.5 Billion years (10^9) in all the following fascinating developments.

This capability to be able to ‘adapt to an ever changing environment’ implies the ability to change the ‘working structure, the body’ in a way, that the structure can change to respond in new ways, if the environment changes. Such a change has two sides: (i) the real ‘production’ of the working structures of a living system, and (ii) the ‘knowledge’, which is necessary to ‘inform’ the processes of formation and keeping an organism ‘in action’. And these basic mechanisms have additionally (iii) to be ‘distributed in a whole population’, whose sheer number gives enough redundancy to compensate for ‘wrong proposals’.

Knowing this the appearance of the homo sapiens life form manifests a qualitative shift in the structure of the adaption so far: surely prepared by several Millions of years the body of the homo sapiens with an unusual brain enabled new forms of ‘understanding the world’ in close connection with new forms of ‘communication’ and ‘cooperation’. With the homo sapiens the brains became capable to talk — mediated by their body and the surrounding body world — with other brains hidden in other bodies in a way, which enabled the sharing of ‘meaning’ rooted in the body world as well in the own body. This capability created by communication a ‘network of distributed knowledge’ encoded in the shared meaning of individual meaning functions. As long as communication with a certain meaning function with the shared meanings ‘works’, as long does this distributed knowledge’ exist. If the shared meaning weakens or breaks down this distributed knowledge is ‘gone’.

Thus, a homo sapiens population has not to wait for another generation until new varieties of their body structures could show up and compete with the changing environment. A homo sapiens population has the capability to perceive the environment — and itself — in a way, that allows additionally new forms of ‘transformations of the perceptions’ in a way, that ‘cognitive varieties of perceived environments’ can be ‘internally produced’ and being ‘communicated’ and being used for ‘sequences of coordinated actions’ which can change the environment and the homo sapiens them self.

The cultural history then shows — as Lévy has outlined shortly on his pages 5-10 — that the homo sapiens population (distributed in many competing smaller sub-populations) ‘invented’ more and more ‘behavior pattern’, ‘social rules’ and a rich ‘diversity of tools’ to improve communication and to improve the representation and processing of knowledge, which in turn helped for even more complex ‘sequences of coordinated actions’.

Sustainability & Collective Intelligence

Although until today there are no commonly accepted definitions of ‘intelligence’ and of ‘knowledge’ available [6], it makes some sense to locate ‘knowledge’ and ‘intelligence’ in this ‘communication based space of mutual coordinated actions’. And this embedding implies to think about knowledge and intelligence as a property of a population, which ‘collectively’ is learning, is understanding, is planning, is modifying its environment as well as them self.

And having this distributed capability a population has all the basics to enable a ‘sustainable development’.

Therefore the capability for a sustainable development is an emergent capability based on the processes enabled by a distributed knowledge enabled by a collective intelligence.

Having sketched out this then all the wonderful statements of Lévy seem to be ‘true’ in that they describe a dynamic reality which is provided by biological life as such.

A truly Open Space with Real Boundaries

Looking from the outside onto this biological mystery of sustainable processes based on collective intelligence using distributed knowledge one can identify incredible spaces of possible continuations. In principle these spaces are ‘open spaces’.

Looking to the details of this machinery — because we are ‘part of it’ — we know by historical and everyday experience that these processes can fail every minute, even every second.

To ‘improve’ a given situation one needs (i) not only a criterion which enables a judgment about something to be classified as being ‘not good’ (e.g. the given situation), one needs further (ii) some ‘minimal vision’ of a ‘different situation’, which can be classified by a criterion as being ‘better’. And, finally, one needs (iii) a minimal ‘knowledge’ about possible ‘actions’ which can change the given situation in successive steps to transform it into the envisioned ‘new better situation’ functioning as a ‘goal’.

Looking around, looking back, everybody has surely experiences from everyday life that these three tasks are far from being trivial. To judge something to be ‘not good’ or ‘not good enough’ presupposes a minimum of ‘knowledge’ which should be sufficiently evenly be ‘distributed’ in the ‘brains of all participants’. Without a sufficient agreement no common judgment will be possible. At the time of this writing it seems that there is plenty of knowledge around, but it is not working as a coherent knowledge space accepted by all participants. Knowledge battles against knowledge. The same is effective for the tasks (ii) and (iii).

There are many reasons why it is no working. While especially the ‘big challenges’ are of ‘global nature’ and are following a certain time schedule there is not too much time available to ‘synchronize’ the necessary knowledge between all. Mankind has until now supportet predominantly the sheer amount of knowledge and ‘individual specialized solutions’, but did miss the challenge to develop at the same time new and better ‘common processes’ of ‘shared knowledge’. The invention of computer, networks of computer, and then the multi-faceted cyberspace is a great and important invention, but is not really helpful as long as the cyberspace has not become a ‘genuin human-like’ tool for ‘distributed human knowledge’ and ‘distributed collective human-machine intelligence’.

Truth

One of the most important challenges for all kinds of knowledge is the ability to enable a ‘knowledge inspired view’ of the environment — including the actor — which is ‘in agreement with the reality of the environment’; otherwise the actions will not be able to support life in the long run. [7] Such an ‘agreement’ is a challenge, especially if the ‘real processes’ are ‘complex’ , ‘distributed’ and are happening in ‘large time frames’. As all human societies today demonstrate, this fundamental ability to use ’empirically valid knowledge’ is partially well developed, but in many other cases it seems to be nearly not in existence. There is a strong — inborn ! — tendency of human persons to think that the ‘pictures in their heads’ represent ‘automatically’ such a knowledge what is in agreement with the real world. It isn’t. Thus ‘dreams’ are ruling the everyday world of societies. And the proportion of brains with such ‘dreams’ seems to grow. In a certain sense this is a kind of ‘illness’: invisible, but strongly effective and highly infectious. Science alone seems to be not a sufficient remedy, but it is a substantial condition for a remedy.

COMMENTS

[*] The decisive hint for this book came from Athene Sorokowsky, who is member of my research group.

[1] Gerd Doeben-Henisch,The general idea of the oksimo paradigm: https://www.uffmm.org/2022/01/24/newsletter/, January 2022

[2] Pierre Lévy in wkp-en: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_L%C3%A9vy

[3] Karl Popper in wkp-en: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Popper. One of the papers I have written commenting on Popper can be found HERE.

[4] Pierre Lévy, intlekt – metadata, see: https://intlekt.io/blog/

[5] Who wants to know, what Lévy ‘really’ has written has to go back to the text of Lévy directly. … then the reader will read the text of Lévy with ‘his own point of view’ … indeed, even then the reader will not know with certainty, whether he did really understand Lévy ‘right’. … reading a text is always a ‘dialogue’ .. .

[6] Not in Philosophie, not in the so-called ‘Humanities’, not in the Social Sciences, not in the Empirical Sciences, and not in Computer Science!

[7] The ‘long run’ can be very short if you misjudge in the traffic a situation, or a medical doctor makes a mistake or a nuclear reactor has the wrong sensors or ….

Continuation

See HERE.

HMI Analysis for the CM:MI paradigm. Part 1

Integrating Engineering and the Human Factor (info@uffmm.org)
eJournal uffmm.org ISSN 2567-6458, February 25, 2021
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de
Last change: March 16, 2021 (Some minor corrections)
HISTORY

As described in the uffmm eJournal  the wider context of this software project is an integrated  engineering theory called Distributed Actor-Actor Interaction [DAAI] further extended to the Collective Man-Machine Intelligence [CM:MI] paradigm.  This document is part of the Case Studies section.

HMI ANALYSIS, Part 1
Introduction

Since January 2021 an intense series of posts has been published how the new ideas manifested in the new software published in this journal  can adequately be reflected in the DAAI theoretical framework. Because these ideas included in the beginning parts of philosophy, philosophy of science, philosophy of engineering, these posts have been first published in the German Blog of the author (cognitiveagent.org). This series of posts started with an online lecture for students of the University of Leipzig together with students of the ‘Hochschule für Technik, Wirtschaft und Kultur (HTWK)’ January 12, 2021.  Here is the complete list of posts:

In what follows in this text is an English version of the following 5 posts. This is not a 1-to-1 translation but rather a new version:

HMI Analysis as Part of Systems Engineering

HMI analysis as pat of systems engineering illustrated with the oksimo software
HMI analysis for the CM:MI paradigm illustrated with the oksimo software concept

As described in the original DAAI theory paper the whole topic of HMI is here understood as a job within the systems engineering paradigm.

The specification process is a kind of a ‘test’ whether the DAAI format of the HMI analysis works with this new  application too.

To remember, the main points of the integrated engineering concept are the following ones:

  1. A philosophical  framework (Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Engineering, …), which gives the fundamentals for such a process.
  2. The engineering process as such where managers and engineers start the whole process and do it.
  3. After the clarification of the problem to be solved and a minimal vision, where to go, it is the job of the HMI analysis to clarify which requirements have to be fulfilled, to find an optimal solution for the intended product/ service. In modern versions of the HMI analysis substantial parts of the context, i.e. substantial parts of the surrounding society, have to be included in the analysis.
  4. Based on the HMI analysis  in  the logical design phase a mathematical structure has to be identified, which integrates all requirements sufficiently well. This mathematical structure has to be ‘map-able’ into a set of algorithms written in  appropriate programming languages running on  an appropriate platform (the mentioned phases Problem, Vision, HMI analysis, Logical Design are in reality highly iterative).
  5. During the implementation phase the algorithms will be translated into a real working system.
Which Kinds of Experts?

While the original version of the DAAI paper is assuming as ‘experts’ only the typical manager and engineers of an engineering process including all the typical settings, the new extended version under the label CM:MI (Collective Man-Machine Intelligence) has been generalized to any kind of human person as an expert, which allows a maximum of diversity. No one is the ‘absolute expert’.

Collective Intelligence

As ‘intelligence’ is understood here the whole of knowledge, experience, and motivations which can be the moving momentum inside of a human person. As ‘collective’  is meant  the situation, where more than one person is communicating with other persons to share it’s intelligence.

Man-Machine Symbiosis

Today there are discussions going around  about the future of man and (intelligent) machines. Most of these discussions are very weak because they are lacking clear concepts of intelligent machines as well of what is a human person. In the CM:MI paradigm the human person (together with all other biological systems)  is seen at the center of the future  (by  reasons based on modern theories of biological evolution) and the  intelligent machines are seen as supporting devices (although it is assumed here to use ‘strong’ intelligence compared to the actual ‘weak’ machine intelligence today).

CM:MI by Design

Although we know, that groups of many people are ‘in principal’ capable of sharing intelligence to define problems, visions, constructing solutions, testing the solutions etc., we know too, that the practical limits of the brains and the communication are quite narrow. For special tasks a computer can be much, much better. Thus the CM:MI paradigm provides an environment for groups of people to do the shared planning and testing in a new way, only using normal language. Thus the software is designed to enable new kinds of shared knowledge about shared common modes of future worlds. Only with such a truly general framework the vision of a sustainable society as pointed out by the United Nations since 1992 can become real.

Continuation

Look here.