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

eJournal: uffmm.org
ISSN 2567-6458, 19.Juni 2022 – 24.Juni 2022, 10:25h
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

— Not yet finished !!! —

CONTEXT

In a rather foundational paper about an idea, how one can generalize ‘systems engineering’ 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 ‘wrong’.

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)’. The important point here is that a sustainable citizens science is not necessarily an ‘arbitrary’ process. The one requirement ‘diversity’ relates to possible contents, to possible ideas, to possible experiments, and the like, but the other requirement of ‘predictability’/ of being able to make some useful ‘forecasts’, this requires the given knowledge 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 is typically 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 fulfill the inference concept. Insofar as sustainable citizens science agrees to a ‘common logic’ it is not different to ‘normal science’.

OUTLINE OF AN ASSUMED FRAMEWORK

Figure 1: A first view identifying the key concept of ‘common science’ as a ‘sustainable applied empirical theory’.

language

The words ‘science’, ‘theory’, and ‘scientific theory’ are well known passengers travelling to the times with different meanings, depending from the circumstances, from the minds of different people.[2]-[4] In modern times we have learned a lot about the nature of ‘signs’ and ‘sign-based’ communication as it happens when we are using a ‘language’. And, becoming more sensitiv about the dynamics of sign-based communication we can detect that it is exactly our human use of language which provides the key to a deeper understanding of how our brains are working, located in our bodies, where the brains are playing the roles of ‘spin doctors’ of the pictures in our heads, which are ‘showing’ our mind a ‘virtual world’ of an assumed ‘real world’ somewhere ‘out there’.

Until today we have no final explanation of how exactly this ability of human actors has developed through the times stretching to millions of years ago. And until today there exist no complete description of a living language with the involved structures, meanings, and dynamics. One reason for this ‘fundamental inability’ of describing with a language exactly this language roots in the fact, that language is not a ‘single object’ before your eyes, but a dynamic reality happening between many, many different human actors simultaneously; every brain has only some fragments of this assumed ‘whole thing’ called ‘language’, and every communicative act between humans embraces besides ‘rather stable parts’ always a lot of ‘incidental’, ‘casual’ moments of a complex dynamic situation, which constitutes — mostly unconscious — the working of language communication, possible meanings and connotations of meaning. Thus, all the known scientific endeavors until today trying to describe this phenomenon of language communication are more reminding some ‘stuttering’ than a final ‘ordered’ theory.

One lesson we can learn from this tells us, that the so-called ‘everyday language’, the ‘ordinary language’, the ‘natural language’ is the ‘basic’ pattern of language communication. But, as mentioned just before, on account of the fundamental distributed and dynamical character of everyday language, a natural language has no clear cut ‘boundaries’. Never you can tell with certainty where a language ends and where this language just in that moment ‘evolves’, ‘expands’, is ‘changing’.

For people which are looking for ‘clear statements’, for ‘finite views’, for a ‘stable truth’ this situation is terrifying. It can cause ‘anxious feelings’. People who like to ‘control’ life don’t like such a ‘living dynamics’ which can not be owned by a single person alone, not even by ‘many’…

One basic property of ordinary language is it’s ‘expandability’: at every time someone can introduce new expressions embedded within new contexts following new patterns of usage. If other human actors start to follow this usage, this ‘new’ behavior is ‘spreading’ through the ‘population of language users’ and by this new growing practice the ordinary language is expanding and thereby changing.

One ‘part’ of ordinary language is called ‘logic’ [6],[7], with various different realizations through history. Another part of ordinary language is ‘mathematics’, especially what is today assumed as being the ‘kernel’ of mathematics, the ‘Theory of Sets’.(cf. [8], [9]) Because ordinary language can always be used to speak ‘about ordinary language’, it is possible to extend an ordinary language with arbitrary many new ‘artificial languages’ like a ‘logic language’ or a ‘mathematical language’.[10] After introducing a special language like a mathematical language’ by using ordinary language one can apply this special language ‘as if it is the only language’, but if you start to ‘look consciously’ to your real practice of speaking you can easily detect, that this impression ‘it is the only language’ is a fake! Cutting away the ordinary language you will be lost with your special language. 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.

CONCRETE – abstract STATEMENTS

From the normal everyday language we know that we can talk ‘about the world’, and more, we can even ‘act’ with the language. [11] – [13] Saying “Give me the butter, please”, in that case a normal speaker would ‘hear’ the ‘sound of the statement’, he can ‘translate the sound’ into some internal meaning constructs related to the sounds of the language, which in turn will — usually — be ‘matched against’ meaning constructs ‘actually provided’ by the ‘perception’. If there happens to be a ‘sufficiently well match’ then the hearer can identify something ‘concrete’ located on the table which he can associate with the ‘activated language related meaning’ and he then ‘knows’, that this concrete something on the table seems to be an ‘instance’ of those things which are called ‘butter’. But there can exist many different ‘concrete things’ which we agree to accept as ‘instances’ of the meaning construct ‘butter’. Thus, already in very usual everyday situations we encounter the fact that our perceptions can create signals from ‘something concrete in our perceptions’ and our ‘language-mediated understanding’ can create ‘meaning structures’ which can ‘match’ nearly uncountable different concrete things. Those meaning constructs — activated by the language, but different from the language — which can match more than one concrete perception we here be called ‘abstract meaning’ or ‘abstract concept’. And ‘words’ (= expressions) of a language which can activate such abstract meanings are understood as ‘abstract words’, ‘general words’, ‘category words’ or the like.

Knowing this you will probably detect, that nearly all words of a language are ‘abstract words’ activating ‘abstract meanings’. This is in one sense ‘wonderful’, because the real empirical world consists of uncountable many concrete perceivable properties and to relate every concrete property with an individually matching word would turn the project of language into an infeasible task. Thus with only a few abstract words language users can talk about ‘nearly everything’. This makes language communication possible. The ‘dark side’ of this wonderful ability is the necessity to provide real situations, if you want to demonstrate which of all these concrete properties of a real situation you want to be understood as ‘related’ to the one used word (= language expression) with a certain abstract meaning. If you cannot provide such ‘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.

TRUE – FALSE – UNDEFINED

Talking about ‘butter’ on ‘tables’ during a ‘breakfast’ will usually stimulate lots of ‘imaginations’ in the head of the hearer of such utterances. Because an abstract word can trigger many different ‘concrete things’ these individual imaginations can vary a lot. If different hearers would start to ‘paint’ those imaginations on some paper it could happen, that nearly no two paintings would be ‘match’ with all details. The ‘space of possible meanings’ of an abstract word (‘butter’, ‘table’, ‘breakfast’, ‘kitchen’, …) is in principle ‘infinite’. And the manifested ‘diversity’ of the details reveals a kind of ‘fuzziness’ which at a first glance seems to be ‘infeasible’ in the practice of language communication.

This appearing diversity, fuzziness in the examples points to some ‘internal mechanism’ in our brains which work in complete ‘silence’, always ‘automatically’, completely ‘unconscious’, which ‘arrange’ the many different perceptions in a way, which selects some finite set of properties out of the many perceived properties and makes such a ‘selection’ to a kind of ‘signature’, ‘address’, which starts to play the ‘role’ of an individual representation for all those possible sets of perceived properties in the future, which are ‘sufficiently well’ ‘similar’ to those ‘signature properties’. The ‘boundaries’ are not sharp; the boundaries can vary; there can grow large ‘clusters of different property sets’ intersecting with this ‘signature set’ but are different otherwise. This there exists a growing meaning structure in our brains which creates a ‘meaning space’, whose elements can be associated in arbitrary many ways.

If my friend Bill starts talking with me by asking whether there already is some butter on the table, than his utterance — a question — will trigger in me a subset of possible meanings of butter which are in my memory available. Then, when I am looking to the table in the kitchen I will ‘scan’ the table whether there is something concrete which will ‘match’ these activated internal meanings. Either there happens a direct match or there is something, which looks like something, which feeds back through my perception and urging my memory to ‘look for something alike’. If this happens, then there will be a match too. Thus if such an internal match between ‘perceived properties’ and ‘remembered properties’ will happen then I would shout to Bill “Yes, there is already some butter on the table”. If no such match would happen, then I would shout back “No, there is not yet butter in the table”. In the first case we are used to classify a statement as ‘true’, if the abstract meaning matches a concrete perception sufficiently well; otherwise not. We would not say that the statement is true. If Mary which is near the table would have said before “No, there is no butter on the table” while Jeremy has stated that there is some butter, then these two statements would ‘contradict’ each other. If Jeremy and Mary can come to a common opinion by observable evidence that there is some butter on the table or not, they would be able to ‘agree’ to the positive, affirmative statement that there is some butter on the table, otherwise not.

This everyday situation offers some more variants. If for instance Bill is asking Jeremy whether there is some butter on the table it could happen either that Jeremy says ‘no’ because his ‘understanding’ of the word ‘butter’ consist of kinds of meaning which are not matching that concrete thing on the table, which Bill would understand as ‘butter’. Such a ‘misunderstanding’ can happen easily if people from different cultures are coming together. Thus, having some observable evidence does not guarantee the right classification within a certain language if the language users having learned ‘different meanings in their memory’. In the other case if Mary has a bad visual perception on account of some ‘visual handicap’ but has in principle the same meaning space like Bill then it can happen too that she would deny that there is some butter on the table because her visual perceptions are ‘disturbed by their visual handicap’ in a way that the perceptional key to her memory is not in that format which has to match their remembered language induced meaning.

Thus, in this simple account of a ‘true’ statement there are already several ‘factors’ needed to make a ‘true statement’: (i) a perception which works ‘normal’; (ii) a language meaning which is ‘sufficiently common’; (iii) a ‘successful match’ between an actual observation and the triggered memory based meaning. Every factor (i) – (iii) is not simple, can vary a lot. And there exists even more factors which can influence the final classification of being ‘true’ or not; in cases of ‘contradicting statements’ all these different factors can be involved.

Our times of ‘growing fake news’ demonstrates, that the agreement between different human persons about the ‘truth’ of a statement can in practice be very difficult or even seems to appear impossible. This points to one more factor which is finally decisive: whatever we perceive and remember, these processes are ’embedded’ in some larger ‘conceptual frameworks’, which are further ’embedded’ in a system of preferences’ which can be ‘decisive’ for the ‘handling’ of our opinions. Human persons having certain ‘convictions’ related to political or religious or ethical opinions can be ‘driven’ by these convictions in a way, which ‘override’ empirical evidences because their ‘conceptual frameworks’ ‘interpret’ these perceptions in a different way. Modern scientific observations are mostly in a format, which only experts can interpret adequately related to a ‘theoretical conceptual framework’. If a non-expert does this scientific interpretation ‘not belief’ he can ‘switch’ to his conceptual framework which he is believing, which contradicts the scientific framework, and thus he can assume ‘facts’ which are contradicting those ‘facts’ classified as scientific. Scientists can classify these other facts as ‘fake news’, but this will have no effect on the believer of the fake news. The fake-news believer thinks he is ‘right’ because it matches his individual framework shared by others in social groups.

From this follows that the classification of a statement as being ‘true’ is a complex matter depending from many factors which have to be ‘synchronized’ to come to an agreement. Especially it reveals that ’empirical (observational) evidence’ is not necessarily an automatism: it presupposes appropriate meaning spaces as well as sets of preferences, which are ‘observation friendly’.

citizen science

Figure 2: A second view pointing to ‘science’ and ‘engineering’ in parallel embedded in a human ‘society’, which in turn is part of the ‘biosphere’ hosted on the ‘planet earth’.

— Will be continued !!! —

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 is 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. */

[1] Gerd Doeben-Henisch, 2022, From SYSTEMS Engineering to THEORY Engineering, 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 …).

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

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

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

[5] Gerd Doeben-Henisch, 2022, see: Is Mathematics a Fake? No! Discussing 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] 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/

[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

[-] Sarah West, Rachel Pateman, 2017, “How could citizen science support the Sustainable Development Goals?“, SEI Stockholm Environment Institut , 2017, see: https://mediamanager.sei.org/documents/Publications/SEI-2017-PB-citizen-science-sdgs.pdf

[-] Yen-Chia Hsu, Illah Nourbakhsh, “When Human-Computer Interaction Meets Community Citizen Science“,Communications of the ACM, February 2020, Vol. 63 No. 2, Pages 31-34, 10.1145/3376892, https://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2020/2/242344-when-human-computer-interaction-meets-community-citizen-science/fulltext

From SYSTEMS Engineering to THEORY Engineering

eJournal: uffmm.org
ISSN 2567-6458, 26.May 2022 – 30.May 2022, 06:57h
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

— not yet finished !!! —

HISTORY

The main topic of the uffmm-blog was from the beginning the engineering of systems, enriched with important topics associated with systems engineering. These ideas emerged from a close cooperation between Louwrence Erasmus [1] and Gerd Doeben-Henisch [2] in the time before 2011. Later the cooperation continued but both authors were occupied by many duties thus the real shared writing vanished, but the close exchange of ideas continued.

One culminating point in 2010/ 2011 was the principal formalization of the concept of ‘the systems engineering process’ [3] as well as the concept of the ‘management of the systems engineering processes. [4] This enabled a more abstract thinking about systems engineering.

One of the authors, Gerd Doeben-Henisch, developed the idea of a formalized systems engineering process during the time 2011 – 2017 with some additions until 2020 further in the direction of a paradigm called “Distributed Actor-Actor Interactions (DAAI)”. [5] Besides the complete formalization this paradigm provided an explicit handling of the participating actors — humans as well as non-humans — with their interaction patterns. A part of this analysis was dedicated to communication between the actors using different kinds of languages (normal language, pictures (diagrams), and mathematical formulas). The document ended with an explicit proposal how to handle this engineering paradigm as a formal empirical theory (see especially chapter 8) emerging by a ‘process of interactions’.

Trying to apply this concept of an empirical theory of systems engineering processes to a working concept in the everyday world the author Gerd Doeben-Henisch was — beginning in the spring of 2018 — confronted with the idea of ‘city construction’, ‘communal planning’, as well as ‘more participation of citizens’ in the context of the processes of communal planning. Although it seemed from the beginning ‘intuitively clear’ that there exist strong structural similarities between a systems engineering process and all kinds of city planning with participating citizens some ‘hard problems’ appeared to ‘block’ a simple application of the general concept, e.g. (i) ‘normal citizens’ are usually not understood (and not accepted) as experts for engineering processes; (ii) systems engineering relies heavily on formalized languages; (iii) the support by programmable machines — usually — presupposes the usage of programming languages; (iv) computer programs as such have ‘no meaning’ which is related to the empirical everyday world of humans. (v) The concept of a scientific empirical theory in the context of digitization and an incrementing usage of computer programs is rather unclear.

To solve and ‘overcome’ the problems (i) to (v) needed some time. This uffmm blog includes many posts documenting the search for a solution. Finally the solution happened in the following consecutive steps (not planned, but by ‘heuristic search’): (a) a first solution cancelled the problem (ii). By re-analyzing the first phase of modern science, of modern logic and mathematics, it became clear that the early abandonment of ‘meaning’ from formal logic was only in one sense a great achievement; in another it ‘truncated’ the real world and the ‘human typical meaning’ completely from the formal space. The infinite richness of language meaning was damned to nothing. The question re-appeared why not continue with the usage of ‘normal language’. (b) A second solution made by some tests clear that the the requirement (iii) could be abandoned too: it is not necessary that a supporting computer understands anything, as long as humans are communicating in the way they are used to do it, by their normal languages. Following this line (c) not only problem (ii) and (iii) disappeared, but problem (iv) vanished automatically because there was no need any more that computer understand something. It was during the summer 2019 that the author Gerd Doeben-Henisch experimented with this new paradigm where human actors are using their normal language in building theories and a simple computer program supported these human communications without understanding anything. (d) To the extend that the problems (ii) – (iv) disappeared it became clear that human actors are the primary experts called ‘natural experts’. Thus problem (i) disappeared too.

It remained problem (v) what today should be called an ’empirical scientific theory’ used by human actors as a ‘tool for explaining the real world’. After re-examining many well known positions in the philosophy of science — mainly Karl Popper [6a-6e] –, including the modern awareness of the topic of ‘sustainability’ [7a-7c] as well as including the modern possibilities of using programmable machines as support tools, the concept of a ‘sustainable applied empirical theory (SAET)’ was elaborated in a research paper from March 2, 2022 for an upcoming conference September 2022. [8] Thus problem (v) seems actually be solved too. Since then an integration of the new software so far with the new concept of a SAET has been unified further to the concept of a “computer aided SAET” called ‘CSAET’.

In this new CSAET paradigm natural experts generate during their communications full SAETs even then, when they do not understand what a SEAT exactly is. Different SAETs can even be unified automatically if wanted.

Thus we all are now in a position where every human person can together with any other persons generate a complete sustainable applicable empirical theory to any aspect of the everyday world and he/she/x can test it ‘by pressing a button’ all the time: Are forecasts possible? Do these forecasts make sense? What reason caused which effect? Everything in plain language, no secrets any more.

System vs. Theory

System

Systems engineering is primarily focused on the engineering of ‘systems’. A ‘system’ is theoretically a ‘function’ which transfers a given situation into another situation. As a ‘real thing’ a system is instantiated in an assemblage of hardware, software and certain environmental settings. Such a physical assemblage manifests the ‘built in function’ as ‘observable behavior’ which can change certain properties of the environment and of itself. The observable behavior as such can only show fragments of the function at a certain place at a certain time; it is neither ‘true’ nor ‘false’. The only thing which could be stated is, that such an observable behavior ‘confirms to some degree’ to a given ‘specification’ or not. The specification as such is also neither ‘true’ nor ‘false’ because the specification is a ‘written document’ which specifies a ‘wanted behavior’ under certain conditions. As such is a wanted behavior also ‘not good’ nor ‘bad’.

Theory [T]

A theory is a ‘written document’ too. A theory describes some ‘structures’ of ‘objects’ and ‘relations’ between them, but it is usually combined with a ‘logic’, which allows the ‘derivation’ of ‘consequences’ following from the assumed structure. But this implies that the text of a theory consists of elements called ‘statements’ where a statement principally can be associated with a truth-value — in the simple case with — ‘true’ or ‘false’. These truth-values have no special meaning. They are purely abstract. The logic represents a set of ‘inference rules’ which are part of an ‘inference concept’ which allows the application of the inference rules to the given statements of the theory. Generally all statements of a theory are assumed to have the truth-value ‘true’. Applying the associated logic will generate all statements which are ‘true in the sense of the theory’. Statements which can be formed but cannot be inferred from the theory are then ‘undefined’. ‘Contradictions’ to ‘true statements’ are called ‘false’.

System and Theory

The document specifying a system can become part of a theory because a theory in general can include any kind of relations and functions. A ‘function’ is a special case of a relation. Thus one can build a ‘theory’ having a certain function as a genuine part of that theory. In that case a system specification can be part of a statement which as such can be classified as ‘true’, ‘false’ or ‘unspecified’ with regard to the assumed theory with the assumed logic.

Thus, if a theory can describe certain kinds of ‘states’ (‘situations’) and certain kinds of ‘changes’ caused by the application of a certain function, then one can use the inference concept of the associated logic to ‘prove’ whether a certain ‘follow-up’ situation s* can be derived from a given state s by applying the defined function. If one ‘repeats’ such derivations from state s to state s*, from state s* to state s** etc. then we have the case of a ‘theory driven simulation’.

Empirical Theory [ET]

A theory as such has no ’empirical meaning’. If one looks e.g. to the structures described by the group Bourbaki (cf. [9a,b]) they represent ‘stand alone definitions’ with regard to the empirical world. Nevertheless one can try to ‘relate’ the formal structures with certain kinds of empirical events and associate thereby some ’empirical meaning’ with these formal structures. But, as the lengthy history of philosophy of science shows very clearly (see e.g. [10]), such an interpretation mechanism between formal theories and empirical reality is far from being trivial. It works only under very strict conditions.

The main reason for this problem is grounded in the early decisions in the beginning of modern formal logic, to abandon ‘meaning’ completely from formal logic. If one looks back in the history of logic (cf. e.g. [11]), the handling of ‘meaning’ as known from natural language was always a big — and unsolved — problem of logic in all its variants. One of the best known criticisms against the concept of ‘stand alone’ formal systems are probably the ‘Philosophical Investigations’ of the late Ludwig Wittgenstein. [12a,b]

But instead that the purely formal approaches in logic and mathematics (and to some degree in the empirical sciences too) have been radically become revised, nothing happened.[13] Instead the rise of the ‘new programmable machine’, the ‘computer’, beginning after the world war II, offered a new paradigm where the ‘formal languages’ as ‘programming languages’ became associated with the ‘machine states’ of the computer. Thus a formal expression like ‘print’ could be interpreted as starting some ‘processes in the machine’ leading to a ‘printed document’. Thus the possible ‘machine states’ offered a space of a ‘new meaning’ in terms of machine states and their ‘observable effects’ in the real world. But this new kind of ‘machine-state meaning’ has nothing to do with the ‘language- and brain-mediated meaning’ of human actors.

What can be done to solve this fundamental problem of using formal systems ‘meaningful’?

Applied Empirical Theories [AET]

In the usual definitions of an ’empirical theory’one talks about the formal structures and the formal logic, which have to be ‘related in some reproducible way’ with so-called ’empirical events’. The human actors using the theory and ‘interpreting’ the theory are as such not included in the discussion. Doing this one wants to keep some kind of ‘invariance’ by excluding the human actor.

Human actor – internal states

This is a strange attitude. If one knows that the whole setting has no ‘meaning’ as such if not located in the human actor then the internal conditions of the human actors are of substantial importance although they are not directly ‘observable’.

If a human actor orders a cup of coffee in a coffee shop, is spending some money for this, and finally he is receiving a cup of coffee, then one could ‘describe’ this situation with its changing states without recurring explicitly onto the internal states of the buying actor. Nevertheless, the whole process of buying and getting a cup of coffee presupposes that all participating actors ‘understand’ the ‘meaning’ of the used language expressions. If this ‘internal understanding’ would not work (as in the case, if you do not understand the expressions of a foreign language) your ‘description of the observable process’ could be ‘true’ in one sense, but would be ‘incomplete’ in another. A reader of the description would not be able to understand why these processes ‘worked’ as they worked.

WORLD – BODY – BRAIN – VIRTUAL MODELS

In fact, one has to consider the internal processing of observable situations in connection with the used language expressions to become able to ‘understand’ why certain expressions will be used and why certain expressions in certain situations will have a certain effect. This results from the fact that every human actor has a body with a brain in the manner, that the body interacts between the body-external world and the body itself with the brain, which is using the body based signals in a unified fashion of neural signaling to built up in the real brain virtual representations of the body-external world associated with body-internal signals and even with brain-internal signals to something ‘new’: the brain composes internal structures/models of a possible world without a direct knowledge of the world outside of the brain. In this sense the ‘brain-composed world’ is a ‘real virtual’ world compared to the possible ‘real real world’ external to the brain and the body.

meaning function

Within the brain we have the ‘double structure’ of the ‘composed inside world’ and some language (primarily a natural language). It is the brain which maps the composed inside world with the internally represented language. This enables the ‘primary meaning function’ of a human actor, a ‘built-in’ function, which is ‘adaptable’ and which has to become ‘synchronized’ with the meaning function of other human actors, if they want to become able to ‘coordinate’ their brains by ‘communication’. [17]

Evolutionary context – COLLECTIVE SPACES

This built-in function of individual human brains, which can be connected by symbolic communication with all the other individual brains in the individual bodies, can expand the ‘individual real virtual world’ to a ‘collective real virtual world’ representing a ‘broader view’ of the external ‘real real world’. Seen in the context of the whole evolution of life on earth one can state that this is the fundamental power of biological life which enables a new evolutionary format to understand and to transform the planet earth and even more.

Pierre Lévy has described this incredible thing called ‘collective intelligence’ in a very impressive way in his book ‘Collective Inelligence’ already in 1994 (French) and 1997 (English).[14] In parts of my reviewing of this book [15a,b] I have underlined, that the time frame, which Lévy has selected (from the appearance of homo sapiens until the present) is to short to get a full understanding of the evolutionary role of homo sapiens. This evolutionary role of homo sapiens can only be understood adequately if one places the homo sapiens appearance in the global biological evolution; the appearance of homo sapiens is no ‘accident’, it is the result of a ‘logic’ implicitly given in the the whole observable process of growing complexity, grounded in a growing connectivity which again is grounded in a growing communication!

In one of the big centers of artificial intelligence (AI) research on this planet the researchers came 2021 to the conclusion, that all the big achievements in ai-research of the last years can not really be of help for human life on this planet if we do not really understand how human intelligence works.[16] And not only have we still a serious lack in understanding what individual human intelligence is, but we are completely in darkness in face of what ‘collective intelligence’ of human kind is. Collective intelligence enabled complex tools, machines, buildings, complete cities and even big societies, the computing machines, mathematics, to name only some aspects. But we do not really and seriously understand, how this works.

HUMANS AS GENUINE PART OF A THEORY

From this the author of this text derives the postulate, that the human actor as a population has to be included substantially in doing theory work if one wants to understand what happens if human actors are using ’empirical theories’.

Thus, an empirical theory can only be a real ‘applied’ theory if the fundamental dimension of the internal processing of meaning is a ‘genuine part’ of the description and the practice of an empirical theory. Excluding the dimension of the meaning located in the human actor makes an empirical theory a ‘non-object’: it is only a collection of symbols with no relationship to anything.

SUSTAINABLE AETs

With the inclusion of human actors in the concept of an empirical theory a theory is not any more some isolated something, which plays in an arbitrary way with ‘formal symbols’ only. With the inclusion of human actors as genuine parts of an empirical theory the whole biological life is included, a ‘wave of events’ coming to the present through about 3.5 billion (10^9) years. This inspires the question whether this historical dimension has something to tell about an applied empirical theory?

BEING SUSTAINABLE – A Non-uniform concept

Today, in the mainstream communication of the 2100 century, many ‘buzzwords’ are alive; one of these is the word ‘sustainable’. The different language games using this expression do not show a ‘uniform’ usage. The main target of something being ‘sustainable’ are different kinds of ‘systems’ operating in time: individual persons, technical systems, institutions, populations, societal subsystems like the system of ‘laws’, the system of ‘political institutions’ and the like.

Evolution

Because all the mentioned individual systems are part of the larger phenomenon of the biological life as a whole, interacting with the planet earth, interacting with the whole solar systems, or even interacting with at least parts of the universe, it could make sense to locate the ‘meaning’ of the expression ‘sustainable’ into this larger context of life in the universe; an exciting perspective.

A possible ontology

Extending the scope of a view into many directions induces the need for some ‘structuring’ of the plethora of details in some way. In philosophy well known concepts for this are ‘categories’ and ‘ontologies’. While categories are understood as located in the structure of our subjective knowledge, determining ‘how we can see the world’, (see e.g. [18]) ontologies are assumed to be ‘real structures’ corresponding to these categories in ‘some’ way. Different philosophers handled these topics very differently.

In this text a possible ‘ontology’ could be assumed as follows: A text in the format of a CSNAE-theory implicitly is assuming space, time, as well as identifiable systems in space and time. Thus the ‘space’ can be structured according to empirical matters like ‘external to the earth’, ‘on earth’ and on earth structured according to ‘continents’, ‘nations’ and finer and finer regions. The ‘time’ can be structured according to the time ‘before the present’ (‘before the now’), the time of the ‘present’, and the time of ‘computable possible future states’. ‘Identifiable systems’ have a material structure showing some dynamics in time, are always interacting with their environment, and are possessing minimal internal structures determining the observable behavior. A ‘system’ can be part of another system thereby allowing complex hierarchies and networks of systems of different kinds. [19]

united nations and sustainability

Besides some experts which clearly see the overall perspective of life the today mainstream prefers a more narrow scope how it is discussed and documented by the united nations conferences since 1992 (Agenda 21). [7b,7bb] Besides many organizational issues the 1992 Rio Conference started with topics like ‘Climate Change’, ‘Biological Diversity’ , as well as “Principles for a global consensus on the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.”

17 development goals

Some conferences later, 2015, the Agenda 2030, the overall goal of sustainable development has been substantiated into 17 development goals.[7cc]

No coherent framework, no theory

Reading these different goals is interesting, even inspiring, but it is difficult to find a clear concept of ‘sustainable development’ which as a framework puts all these goals into one dynamic coherent process.

Under the question “What is sustainable development?” one finds on the web-page three statements which which are intended to give a satisfying answer:

  1. Sustainable development has been defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
  2. Sustainable development calls for concerted efforts towards building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future for people and planet.
  3. For sustainable development to be achieved, it is crucial to harmonize three core elements: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. These elements are interconnected and all are crucial for the well-being of individuals and societies.

In (1) ‘time’ is assumed as an underlying dimension enabling concepts like ‘present’ and ‘future’ and humankind is partitioned in ‘generations’ each with generation-typical ‘needs’.

In (2) ‘concerted efforts’ are required for a future, which shall have the properties of being ‘inclusive’, ‘sustainable’ as well as ‘resilient’. (Here ‘sustainable’ is explained by ‘sustainable’ (which is a circular definition) and extended by ‘inclusion’ and ‘resilient’ which is not explained.)

In (3) ‘core elements’ are mentioned which are ‘interconnected’ and which are classified as being ‘crucial’ for ‘individuals’ and ‘societies’. These core elements shall be “economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection”.

As interesting as these points may be, but they provide neither a ‘definition’ nor do they give any kind of a conclusive answer.

Brundtland report

In search for more ‘consistency’ one can trace the concept of ‘sustainable development’ back to the Brundtland report from 1987.[7a, 7aa] This report was driven by the insight that humankind is more and more faced with problems which are not restricted to only one nation, but to many if not to all. Therefore an answer has to be organized by a cooperation of as most as possible nations together. This answer has to be located in the dimension of time starting in the now, the present, and foreseeing somehow the tomorrow, the future. While this clearly calls for the necessary knowledge, the knowledge can only enable the necessary ‘effects’ if the knowledge is distributed in all those institutions which are necessary for ‘real actions’. And somehow this is touching all kinds of systems making up our daily world.

One can synthesize all the needed aspects into the following main requirements:

  1. One needs knowledge in a format, which can ‘bridge’ the present and the future in a most ‘reliable’ way;
  2. One needs the knowledge of as many as possible citizens in all their varieties (every citizen has to be declared as a ‘natural expert’).
  3. No part of the human society is excluded from the endeavor to make a society ‘future friendly’.
  4. Human society is understood as a genuine part of the whole biosphere on the planet earth as part of the whole universe. Humankind therefore acts in responsibility for the whole live in the universe.

Life as irritating factor

In the main stream one can observe a somehow puzzling tendency to distinguish between the biological life and humankind. In one sense it is ‘somehow’ accepted that the homo sapiens is part of the biological life, in another — mostly vaguely — sense homo sapiens/ human kind/ we are understood as ‘different’ to biological life. When the classical Greek philosophy separated the ‘pure matter’ from the ‘animated matter’ by attributing to the ‘animated matter’ properties like ‘mind’ coming from some eternal mind, one can this somehow ‘understand’ because in that time there was no knowledge available about the internal structures on pure matter and of animated matters. But today we can; we can explain alle observable properties of the ‘animated’ biological phenomena by the underlying structures and processes. With this knowledge we can explain ‘mind’ with much more powerful concepts than a Greek philosopher. Indeed we could completely rewrite classical Greek philosophical texts in the light of the new knowledge. And this ‘rewriting’ would not stop there. The ‘tacit assumptions’ about the ‘somehow difference’ of humankind to biological life in general can be rewritten in a way which makes humankind a genuine part of biological life. But this ‘genuinely being biological’ does not exclude that humankind has a very special and important role as part of the biological life!

Humankind identity: is humankind the global error?

In opposite to those, which ‘somehow’ are making a difference between biological life and humankind, there are those, which see humankind as a complete part of biological life but those ‘full biological humans’ fraction can not see any special properties or even some special ‘mission’ of humankind within this phenomenon of biological life. This attitude makes humankind to a branch in the biological evolution which will vanish from the planet because it behaves in a self-destroying manner.

Humankind as a ‘tool of life in the universe’?

As the history of mankind in general and the history of knowledge during the different epochs shows the way we as human actors are looking to reality is not absolutely ‘fixed’. One of many thousands examples of the variations in ‘looking to things’ is the history of the interpretation of the book called ‘bible’. Not only shows the development of this text during centuries varying views, but also the times after the main fixations which texts should be part of the bible and which not inspired many hundreds ‘interpretations’ which are often in contradiction. In a certain sense there is not clear absolut ‘fix point’ to serve as a ‘point of reference’ for all questions. In natural sciences we have a slightly better situation because the ‘assumptions’ of the used methods are transparent and clear (ideal case), but which kinds of assumptions are made is free and open. [20]

From this follows that a tendency to ‘distinguish’ human kind from biological life or the tendency to ‘include’ human kind to biological life classified as ‘doomed to vanish by self destruction’ are views based on certain assumptions which as such are ‘freely assumed’. There is no necessity to assume the one or the other view. Assumptions are ‘tools for a possible understanding’ which is following such assumptions.

Thus, to ‘describe’ what ‘biological life is’ in some text has to be distinguished clearly from the phenomenon of ‘biological life’ as such! If biological life is a real thing then biological life is ‘given’ to us as the general condition of our ‘being here and there’, and whatever we will explain, these explanations are always ‘second hand’: whatever we will explain, we are reacting to something which we already are. It is not yet clear whether we are able to explain ourselves sufficiently and completely. The undecidability results of Goedel do the problem only partially address. [21] The problem starts already with the assumptions we are making, and these are free. We as human actors can ‘neglect’ to know even if there is perhaps something to know.

In this context of ‘making assumptions guided by free will’ one can try to have a look to some special role of humankind as part of the biological life within the universe or not.

A short look to the history of biological life can reveal, that there exists many observable phenomena which can be interpreted as a continuous increase in complexity of biological structures. Those structures which show up as very important for the increase of complexity are (i) centered around internal structures to collect and to develop cognitive representations of the outer world of the system and the system itself; furthermore (ii) important are those structures which enable a communication not only ‘inside the system itself’ but ‘between different brains’ as well. Inter-brain communication enabled the cooperation of many, many systems which otherwise would be ‘locked-in’ in themselves. These inter-brain communications enable (iii) some new techniques to ‘store’ communications and thereby helped to bridge between different points of time.

To describe all these important phenomena in detail would be a larger project, perhaps entitled best under the lable of ‘collective intelligence’ in the spirit of Lévy, but — perhaps — with some more advanced methods.

Seen from he point of view of the whole of biological life in the universe humankind can be associated with the special role that by humankind the biological life can ‘recognize’ the universe as an environment for biological life and it can recognize what can/ should be done, that biological life can survive in the universe. The existence of the planet earth is possibly not the ‘endpoint’ of the history of life in the universe but only the beginning.

Sustainable systems in general

Sustainable life – which life?

Sustainable life with human kind

Sustainable AETs

— to be continued !!! —

COMMENTS

[1] Louwrence Erasmus, See: https://za.linkedin.com/in/louwrence

[2] Gerd Doeben-Henisch, See: https://www.frankfurt-university.de/index.php?id=3859

[3] L. D. Erasmus and G. Doeben-Henisch, A Theory of the System Engineering Process in 9th IEEE AFRICON Conference in Africa, Sept. 12-15, 2011 (This paper has won a paper award)

[4] L. D. Erasmus and G. Doeben-Henisch, A Theory of the System Engineering Management Processes in ISEM 2011 International Conference, Sept. 2011

[5] See the last version from 2020: https://www.uffmm.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/aaicourse-15-06-07.pdf

[6a] Karl Popper and theory, see e.g.: https://www.uffmm.org/2022/03/12/popper-and-empirical-theory-a-conceptual-experiment/

[6b] Karl Popper, „A World of Propensities“,(1988) „Towards an Evolutionary Theory of Knowledge“, (1989) in: Karl Popper, „A World of Propensities“, Thoemmes Press, Bristol, (1990, repr. 1995)

[6c] Karl Popper, „All Life is Problem Solving“, originally a lecture in German 1991, first published in the book „Alles Leben ist Problemlösen“ (1994), then „All Life is Problem Solving“, 1999, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, London – New York

[6d] Karl R.Popper, Conjectural Knowledge: My Solution of the Problem of Induction, in: [2], pp.1-31

[6e] Karl R.Popper, Objective Knowledge. An Evolutionary Approach, Oxford University Press, London, 1972 (reprint with corrections 1973)

[6f] Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery, First published 1935 in German as Logik der Forschung, then 1959 in English by  Basic Books, New York (more editions have been published  later; I am using the eBook version of Routledge (2002))

[7a] Brundtland, G. (1987). Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future. United Nations General Assembly document A/42/427, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/5987our-common-future.pdf, accessed: 10/04/2022

[7aa] Brundtland report, in Wikipedia (EN): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brundtland_Commission, accessed: 10/04/2022

[7b]   Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Vol. 1, Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992, A/CONF.151/26/Rev.l, United Nations publication, Sales No. E.93.1.8, ISBN92-l-100498-5, https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N92/836/55/PDF/N9283655.pdf, accessed: 29/05/2022

[7bb] Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Volume 2, Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992, Proceedings of the Conference, A_CONF-151_26_Rev-1(Vol-II)-EN, https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/168679/files/A_CONF-151_26_Rev-1%28Vol-II%29-EN.pdf, accessed: 29/05/2022

[7c]  United Nations, “The Sustainable Development Agenda 2030”, https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/development-agenda/, accessed: 29/05/2022

[7cc] United Nations, “Do you know all 17 SDGs?”, https://sdgs.un.org/goals, accessed 10/04/2022

[8] This research paper is still in the review process, therefore the content can not yet be discussed here. The authors of this research paper have been Gerd Doeben-Henisch (Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences), Gerrit Hornung and Matthias Söllner (both University Kassel), Athene Sorokowski and Philipp Westermeier (both Goethe University Frankfurt).

[9a] Bourbaki Group, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas_Bourbaki

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

[10] F. Suppe, editor. The Structure of Scientific Theories. University of
Illinois Press, Urbana, 2 edition, 1979.

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

[12a] Ludwig Wittgenstein, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Wittgenstein

[12b] Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical investigations, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_Investigations

[13] The new branch in philosophy called ‘analytical philosophy’ made things even more worse.

[14] Pierre Lévy, “Collective Intelligence. mankind’s emerging world in cyberspace”, (translated by Robert Bonono),1997 (French: 1994)

[15a] Gerd Doeben-Henisch, “Pierre Lévy : Collective Intelligence – Chapter 1 – Introduction”, 22.March 2022, https://www.uffmm.org/2022/03/17/pierre-levy-collective-intelligence-preview/

[15b] Gerd Doeben-Henisch, “Pierre Lévy : Collective Intelligence – Chapter 8 –Anthropological Space”, 6.April 2022, https://www.uffmm.org/2022/04/06/pierre-levy-collective-intelligence-chapter-8-anthropological-space/

[16] Stanford University, https://ai100.stanford.edu/gathering-strength-gathering-storms-one-hundred-year-study-artificial-intelligence-ai100-2021-study, accessed: 10/04/2022

[17] Inside Structures in human actors: A huge amount of data and models can be found in the scientific disciplines of biology, (neuro-)psychology, (neuro-)linguistics, and brain research. All the known data are in agreement with this very rough and abstract modeling communicated here.

[18] Immanuel Kant, Critic of pure reason, 1781, 2nd rev. ed. 1787, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critique_of_Pure_Reason

[19] Ontology: This outline of a CSAET-ontology is not fixed. It can be arranged in many different ways. The only criterion is “which kind of arrangement explains more”, which again is not a fixed criterion.

[20] The assumptions which Newton did use and those which Einstein did use have been different.

[21] Kurt Goedel. Über formal unentscheidbare Sätze der Principia
Mathematica und verwandter Systeme, i. Monatshefte für
Mathematik und Physik, 38:173–98, 1931.

A BLOG – NOT A BOOK. Think about!

ISSN 2567-6458, 11.April 2019 – May 26, 2022
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

Some philosophical remarks in advance

(See comment HERE.)

The following text has not the format of a book but the format of a blog. This seems to be trivial at a first glance. But it isn’t.

A book represents its subject as a ‘closed shop‘:  everything to be said is there; things are fixed; nothing new can happen. You ‘have it’.

The real world instead is not static, is not closed, is in a steady process of ,multiple changes all the time. Not only an individual alone can change every time, all things can change and are changing. There is nowhere a ‘fixed point’. Even the ‘hard things’ of the everyday world are dynamic substrates which are changing constantly.

Thus a written book equals mostly a ‘can’ which contains everything, not changing, stored as something from the past.

blog is completely different. While the authors are part of a dynamic reality and they themselves are constantly changing — with ‘learning’ as a subset of these changes — they are in the strange situation that they want to report on multiple processes which have no fixed ‘endpoint’: the actual time-spot, the now, is the actual endpoint of the process so far, but because the process as such does not stop,  this ‘relative endpoint called ‘now” will turn into some ‘past’ from the next ‘now’.

Thus reporting about the real world  will ever be an ongoing story which reveals some possible ‘hidden structure’ only during the course of time itself.

The  self-image of the uffmm.org blog is exactly like this: a constant self-reporting of an individual as a process being part of uncountable many processes which are more or less interacting. Generating models about these processes is necessary but will never be more than a simplified sketch of some dynamic complexity which as such can never be  modeled completely.

Thus the ‘incompleteness‘ of a blog is the only possible ‘truth’ in this dynamic world.

To make some ‘sense’ out of it therefor belongs to the responsibility not only of the author(s) alone but to the reader as well. Truth lives always ‘in the middle of everything’…

SUSTAINABLE APPLIED EMPIRICAL THEORIES [SAET]. Basics

eJournal: uffmm.org
ISSN 2567-6458, 14.April 2022 – 14.April 2022
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author Writing: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Authors in Discourse: Gerd Doeben-Henisch & Philipp Westermeier
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

— not yet finished !! —

BLOG-CONTEXT

This post is part of the Philosophy of Science theme which is part of the uffmm blog.

PREFACE

In preceding papers about the concept of an Empirical Theory [ET], especially in the context of Karl Popper (e.g.Popper and Empirical Theory. A conceptual Experiment ) it has been investigated whether and how these concepts can be merged with the idea of a development process (e.g. An Empirical Theory as a Development Process ). Another aspect is the idea of ‘sustainable development’ as it has been characterized by the so-called Brundtland report [1] in 1987, which laid the ground for the United Nations Rio conference ‘Earth Summit’ in 1992 [2] which ended after several more UN conferences up in 2015 with the ‘Agenda 2030’ propagating 17 ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs). [3]

‘Sustainability’ depends on the ability to make ‘qualified estimates about possible future states’. This again presupposes qualified knowledge about the ‘past’ and the ‘present’. Especially should this knowledge contain those kinds of ‘elaborated changes’ in the sequence of events which can be interpreted and used as ‘patterns of possible changes’ leading from one observed situation to another observable situation. Starting from here the following text communicates some more ideas.

SAET BASICS

This figure shows three different layers in the construction of an applied empirical theory: (i) On a ‘meta level’ some natural experts are communicating, are observing some parts the empirical environment, and try to describe these ideas with some symbolic expressions of a shared natural language. (ii) The content of these meta-level activities produces three kinds of texts as an ‘object level’: (a) One text describes the observed given situation with interesting properties; (b) another text describes the requirements for some wanted situation in a future state; (c) another text describes a collection of ‘change rules’ of possible actions which are assumed to be able a given situation to a new situation. (iii) On a third level called ‘philosophical level’ one can raise questions to the ‘conditions’ of all the elements used on the meta level.

SAET DYNAMIC SPACES

This figure is ‘zooming into’ a process described by an object level of a SAET. The ‘given state’ of a concrete SAET describes some part of the empirical environment which as such has some ‘dynamics’, but one can additionally describe individual actors as parts of the environment. Every actor has its own dynamics and viewed in isolation he is able to produces a set of states by its actions. ‘Potentially’ nearly non-countable many possible continuations are possible. Thus every actor is associated with a ‘space of possible continuations’ called ‘potential individual realization space’ [PIRS]. In reality every actor must all the time ‘decide’ which concrete continuation shall be selected from many possible continuations. Thus the large space will be transformed into a single process representing only one path in the PIRS. If one is asking what are the ‘factors’ influencing the selection process one can detect many kinds of factors. Besides the internal factors there is the ‘environment as such’: No water to drink; no food to eat; deadly criminals around you … this will hinder every child to select those options which would be helpful. The in the realm of the ‘internal states’ there is a certain amount of ‘experience’ enabling certain kinds of ‘knowledge’ which is the point of reference for possible decisions. If this experience is too small, if the knowledge is wrong, there exists no chance to produce good selections. And much more…

SAET MULTIPLE THEORIES

This figure is again looking from the meta level. Usually there is more than one theory written down. Mostly these theories are dealing with different aspects of the empirical reality. Because the reality as such is ‘one’ it would be helpful to ‘unify all different special views’. In a SEAT like theory as described here this is quite simple: one has only to unify each kind of text as the ‘given situation’, the ‘wanted situation’ as well as the ‘change rules’ to get a new ‘unified’ theory.

COMMENTS

[1] Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/5987our-common-future.pdf, accessed: 10/04/2022

[2] Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N92/836/55/PDF/N9283655.pdf, accessed: 10/04/2022

[3] United Nations, https://sdgs.un.org/goals, accessed 10/04/2022

EMPIRICAL THEORY – (COLLECTIVE) INTELLIGENCE – INTELLIGENT MACHINES. An Introduction

eJournal: uffmm.org
ISSN 2567-6458, 9.April 2022 – 9.April 2022
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

— not yet finished !! —

BLOG-CONTEXT

This post is part of the Philosophy of Science theme which is part of the uffmm blog.

PREFACE

In an elderly post from 2017 I have developed the concept of ‘Intelligent Machines’ by using the paradigm of ‘Distributed Actor Actor Interactions‘ which includes the concept of an ‘Actor Story’. Meanwhile the DAAI paradigm has been ’embedded’ in the more general concept of an ‘Applied Empirical Theory’ [1], which can immediately being used as a ‘simulation’. The ‘content’ is the same, only the ‘format’ is different. But to use the concept of an ‘applied empirical theory’ in this dynamic way directly as a simulation needs a ‘tool’ which is a piece of software called ‘oksimo (reloaded)’ [2] which is located on a server (see: oksimo.com) which can be used via an interactive web-page.[3]

This new format of an applied empirical theory [AET] is producing during simulation a process which can be understood as an inference chain. Doing all possible inference chains this produces a graph of processes, whose nodes are situations. This corresponds directly to the ‘actor story’ [AS] as a central part of the DAAI paradigm.

Knowing this it makes some sense to re-think the concept of ‘intelligent machine’ [IM] within the concept of an applied empirical theory, especially in the format of a dynamic simulation.

Until now the language games of ‘intelligence’ or ‘intelligent algorithms’ or something like this are not yet an established part of the classical theory concepts.

EMPIRICAL THEORY – (COLLECTIVE) INTELLIGENCE – INTELLIGENT MACHINE. Introduction

… to be done …

COMMENTS

[1] See as a first description HERE.

[2] The name ‘oksimo’ is ‘reloaded’ from an earlier project of the author around 2009 which is described in the German wikipedia under ‘oksimo‘. ‘oksimo’ was an acronym for ‘Open Knowledge Simulation MOdeling’. The ‘new oksimo’ or ‘oksimo reloaded’ repeats this vision mostly but is rather more extended and implemented in a completely different way.

[3] At the time of this writing the software is still only open for those who are participating in the testing phase. We are working with level 2 of the software (normal language extended with math) while we are already preparing level 3 (a more comfortable GUI to edit ‘complete empirical theories’).

Pierre Lévy : Collective Intelligence – Chapter 8 –Anthropological Space

eJournal: uffmm.org, ISSN 2567-6458,
6.April 2022 – 15.May 2022, 09:30h
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 chapter 8 of the book “Collective Intelligence. mankind’s emerging world in cyberspace” by Pierre Lévy (translated by Robert Bonono),1997 (French: 1994)[2]

CONTEXT

In a proceeding post the chapter 7 of Lévy’s book has been discussed. Here follows chapter 8.

Chapter 8: Anthropological Space

POSITION LÉVY

In this chapter Lévy characterizes the ‘Anthropological Space’ following some heading ideas like ‘Signification’, ‘Structuring effects’, followed by ‘Planes’ and ‘Velocities’.

The Multiple Spaces of Signification

Lévy starts his considerations with the statement, that “A simple conversation could be seen as the shared construction of a virtual space of signification, which each speaker attempts to shape according to his mood and intentions.” (p.143) And in another step he is looking from the outside of messages onto the messages as objects being part of a complex situation where messages are examples of interactions between individual speakers/ hearers, which are part of an overall situation, and where the messages are “evoking representations” in the individuals. The situation is not an ‘untouched something’ but the individuals are part of it, reacting to the situation by actions and thereby they are changing the situation. Thus, Lévy can state “Our interactions produce, transform, and continuously develop heterogeneous and interlinked spaces.” (p.143)

The general schema seems therefore to be ‘interactions produce spaces’ in a somehow general meaning, and ‘messages’ are a special kind of ‘interactions’ and these special interactions as messages produce special spaces characterized as ‘spaces of signification’.

The general concept of ‘(anthropological) space’ assumes that these spaces are “living” and “relativistic” with regard to the “objects” they contain and which “organize them”. (cf.143)

Another aspect is the occurrence in time: Lévy distinguishes spaces which are more “evanescent” compared to others, which are more “durable”. (cf. p.143f)

“Being larger” is also an aspect of an anthropological space. This kind of ‘largeness’ depends an the number of participating interacting individuals and objects, tools and other artifacts.(cf. p.144)

“The importance” of an “event” in its “sphere” can be “recognized” by its ability to “reorganize the proximities and distances in a given space”, and to create “new space time(s)”…” (cf. p.144)

Different kinds of spaces are mentioned as “physical”, “geometric”, “emotional, aesthetic, social and historical”, spaces of “signification in general”. (cf. p.144) This view summarizes this in the statement “we live in thousands of different spaces, each with its own system of proximity (temporal, emotional, linguistic, etc.) such that a given entity can be near us in one space, yet quite distant in another. Each space has its own axiology, its own system of values or measurements.”(p.144)

A good part of our “cognitive activity” and of “time” is used to navigate through these spaces, to operate on these in different ways. (cf. p.145)

Structuring, Living, Autonomous, Irreversible
In the age of an increasing digitization of everything the basic reading of a normal text with the associated processing of interpretation seems to ‘fade out’ slowly and in silence. But — as Lévy circumscribes in a wonderful way — all ‘outer effects’ of humankind are rooted in the inner dynamics of individual people enabling a collective intelligence, a collective understanding, by using symbolic expressions as the main signals between different brains. ‘As such’ these signals have ‘no meaning’, but interwoven with all the other experiences they can become ‘loaded with meaning’ which can be encoded and decoded by these symbolic expressions and thereby can become a ‘trigger’ for other brains to organize some ‘triggered meaning’ as a mean for understanding. But this ‘encoding and decoding’ is not an isolated process but as such already interwoven in a network of interactions called ‘learning process’; it is culturally embedded. What you can see in the figure above are additional marks in the text produced by the reader of this text to underline those parts of the expressions which appear for the reader as strongly related to his understanding of the text and thereby pointing to ‘building blocks’ of the rising understanding inside of the reader what he presupposes to be the ‘intention’ of the writer of this text. As everybody can control in the light of the own interpretation experience such a ‘re-construction’ is always in danger to reconstruct something which is not the intention of the author. Without further clues the interpreting reader is ‘lost in an approaching understanding’.

In this section Lévy brings forward the question, what the “specific characteristics” of the four anthropological spaces are, which he had described so far.(p.145) And in front of a puzzle of disturbing aspects he points to the heart of everything: all these aspects “are engendered by the practical and imaginative activity of millions of beings, by anthropological machines that work within the recesses of their subjects …”.(p.145)

Although these distinguished four anthropological spaces are in a certain sense “structuring” by their objective and interactive materiality, they should not be misunderstood as purely “abstract” properties within some understanding. In the contrary, they are “living worlds continuously engendered by the processes and interactions that unfold within them.”(p.146) And this grounding insight in the nature of the anthropological spaces is reverberating in every of these spaces.

Thus, “the knowledge space” isn’t simply “the subject of cognitive science”. It isn’t some kind of an “abstract container for all possible knowledge”. (cf. p.146) It is an “ongoing anthropological creation, it is a living plane, qualitatively differentiated by … the collective intellects that pass through it.”(cf. p.146)

Similarly, the commodity space is not “the subject of a specific social science”, but it is “a world that has grown and developed autonomously , … self-organized, creative, destructive.” (cf. p.146)

Despite is manifest character it is not “unthinkable” that these different spaces would again disappear in the future. When this would happen then this would be a “terrifying catastrophe, a deadly chaos”. The close connection between earth and humanity point to a kind of “irreversibility” which motivates the qualification of these spaces as “anthropological spaces”. (cf. p.147)

Planes of Existence, Contingent and Eternal Velocities

As an introductory phrase one could here perhaps select the following: “Anthropological spaces in themselves are neither infrastructures nor superstructures but planes of existence, frequencies, velocities, determined within the social spectrum.”(p.147) And fundamentally “the appearance of anthropological spaces is in no way governed by necessity.”(p.148) This motivates the statement, that anthropological spaces are ‘contingent’.(cf. p.148) Otherwise, this statement contrasts in some sense with the statement, that anthropological spaces, “once they have shaped … they become timeless, as if they had always already have been there.”(p.148) And Lévy infers from this ‘irreversibility of anthropological spaces’ that “these effect the past as well.”(cf. p.148) A hint for this flexibility, for this astonishing dynamics of anthropological spaces is given in the statement, that anthropological spaces “are worlds of signification and not rarefied categories sharing physical objects…” (p.149) An anthropological cartography using categories which “serves only to separate, classify, or isolate, we should abandon it at once.”(p.150) The main challenge is “to clear the way … which traces the lines to the future.”(p.149)

Somehow hidden, as an accompanying framework, within which the anthropological spaces are emerging, Lévy uses continuously the concepts of ‘earth’, ‘territory’, ‘capital’, and ‘virtual space of knowledge’ (cf. p.150) like a ‘coordinate space’, which outlines an undefined space-like something.

COMMENTS ON LÉVY

Here some comments on the position of Lévy.

The Multiple Spaces of Signification

This chapter is a bit challenging on account of the different usages of the term ‘space’. In one sense ‘space’ is associated with ‘interaction in general’ where the production of ‘messages’ (mediated by statements/ utterances) is only one special kind of interaction.

A space in general is characterized by its ‘ingredients’ realized by individual actors, used objects, artifacts, kinds of interactions, usage in time (evanescent or more durable), etc.

A ‘message-born space’ is not a ‘real space’ like those interaction-based spaces with real objects, real effects, but a purely ‘cognitive space of meanings’ associated with the used language expressions and the associated ‘meaning function’ rooted in the ‘individual speaker’ which is ‘member’ of a cultural space with specific meanings induced by social learning.

Because all ‘real spaces’ have automatically a cognitive counterpart in the acting individual which to some extend is encoded as meaning of the used language, there exists a subtle relationship between ‘spaces in general’ and ‘spaces of meaning (significance)’: both spaces are — by meaning — close together, but they are — nevertheless — different! Spaces of meaning can ‘reflect’ the ‘dynamics of real spaces’ ‘sufficiently well’, and if this is the case then they are ‘helpful’ and can be classified as being ’empirically sound’ (true); if the ‘dynamics of real spaces’ is ‘not sufficiently well’ reflected, then they are ‘less helpful’ and can be classified as being ‘not empirically sound’ (false).

For the survival of biological populations on the planet earth it seems to be of vital importance that the ’empirical soundness’ of the space of meaning’ is ‘good enough’.

Things would be too simple if the criterion of ’empirical soundness’ would be sufficient. As one can learn from the ‘evolution of life’ the available ‘knowledge’ of the empirical environment at a certain point of time is only of limited help, as long as the upcoming ‘future’ is widely ‘unknown’. This ‘unknown character’ of the future results from the real dynamics and complexity of the overall process of empirical reality, which principally can not be predicted. Therefore that part of knowledge which influences the real behavior must contain a ‘minimum of unclassified knowledge’ which — at least in the past of life on this planet — was the reason, why life survived.

Comments on Structuring, Living, Autonomous, Irreversible

The text of Lévy continuous to be very dense, compact, partially nearly poetic, but nevertheless the text is revealing a strong analytic power keeping the ‘balls in the air’ and thereby ‘keeping all tensions alive’.

For me as a reader with a special background most amazing is his handling of the relationship between the richness of the ‘outer appearance’ of humankind in many dimensions (earth, territory, commodity, knowledge) and the grounding of all these in the inner dynamics of the acting individuals, not as isolated entities, but interwoven by interactions, which not only have their objective impact in the outer world of bodies, but simultaneously also in the inner world of subjectivity with a very special internal dynamic structure.

Neither the ‘inner dynamics as such’ nor the ‘outer effects as such’ taken apart can tell the story about humankind. The main ‘secret’ is given in this special way how the ‘outer world’ and the ‘inner world’ continuously, permanently, always are ‘vibrating together’: the outer world is brought to the inner world through a mediating body which ‘feeds’ a part of the body called ‘brain’, and the brain again ‘transforms’ these modified outer world events in new structures of a radical different reality, the ‘inner reality’, a ‘virtual reality’ compared to the ‘outer reality’ which is not known ‘as such’, but only known in the mode of ‘already transformed signals’ which are ‘further processed by the inner dynamics’ of the brain.

Humankind, a collection of interacting individual brains, appears in this view as a special environment with special laws ruling this environment, in which the outer world is ‘received’ as something ‘different’, but given as ‘clouds of single signals’ which are ‘caught’ by ‘filtering’ these clouds as ‘sequences of events’ partitioned by many different ‘patterns’ indicating ‘possible structures’ for further ‘processing’. And while this is happening all the time the outer world is a ‘hybrid’ world consisting of non-human parts and humankind together where this hybrid ‘outer-inner-being’ is continuously modified by the human as well as outer activities. Thus, human actors perceiving the outer world do not perceive the outer world ‘independent of humans’, but always ‘entangled with humans’, with ‘humankind’. This entanglement is not really new because since the rising of life on this planet earth we can observe this entanglement of life-free earth and life as the new live-earth where the earth is ‘cocooned with the biosphere’ which from the early beginnings started to modify the earth. But somehow new is this special ability of humankind — thereby surpassing all the other life forms — to ‘cognitively see itself as part of the outer world’ and ‘understand itself as a really moving something’ which can and does ‘change the earth-life being’. There is less and less no more only one ‘earth’ and only some biological ‘life’, no, there is since the advent of humankind now only an ‘earth-life being’ (ELB) which is ‘irreversible’ and whose ‘fate’ is somewhere in a future state of a ‘knowing earth-life being’ which ‘knows about itself’, which is an ’emotional something’ of new dimensions.

The today widespread vision of ‘intelligent machines’ will be remembered as the dream of ‘children’ which didn’t yet understand that not the machine in front of them (built by them) is the real wonder, but they as the ‘children’ are the original wonder, which can built such machines and which can built much more, an ‘earth-life being’ of nearly infinite order.

In the light of these ideas the manner of speaking of ‘anthropological spaces’ appears slowly ‘questionable’. A human being as the ‘prototype’ of an ‘outer-inner transformer’ is never something ‘completely different’ to the outer body world, and the body world is never isolated from the ‘inner world’ of bodies. And the synergies between outer-inner-transformers resulting in a new kind of ‘collective intelligence’ is again not separated from the outer body world, but manifests a new morphological earth-life-being where the so-called ‘anthropological spaces’ are only different manifestations of this unique earth-life-being. The idea of ‘human kind’ as something special is only important for a ‘taxonomy’ between the different species of biological manifestations, but the biosphere as a whole is finally not a ‘foreign something’ to the earth, not to the solar system, not to the milky way galaxy [3], even not to the whole universe. The biosphere is an ‘outcome’ of the earth system because the so-called ‘material world’ is — as we can know today — not something ‘dead substance’ but the most dynamic something we can know. And biological life as we know it is nothing else than one of the outcomes of the radical ‘freedom’ rooted in these maximal dynamics of the ‘matter-energy something’ partially revealed by quantum mechanics, partially by evolutionary biology.

The primary root of the ‘irreversibility’ of the earth-life-being has then to be located in the primary nature of the earth-life-being itself: the matter-energy-something (MES) contains all these different transformations as its ‘inner potentials’ within its dynamics. Therefore the ’emergence’ of biological systems is an ‘outcome’ of these primary structures and as ‘outcome’ it sheds some light back on the ‘matter-energy-something’. In the beginning of the appearance of the matter-energy-something there was not too much to observe from the outside, but during the existence in time the matter-energy-something produced more and more complex structures which showed up as complete systems of self-reproduction, of self-knowing, of self-knowing even as populations. The self-knowing of the earth, the solar system … will be next. There is no natural ‘boarder’ to stop this … only the system itself can destroy itself. There is no need for destruction, but a real possibility rooted in the fundamental freedom of everything.

Planes of Existence, Contingent and Eternal Velocities

Thus, we have two meta-frames: (i) as common ground Lévy assumes a 4-dimensional coordinate system grounded in what he calls ‘earth’, ‘territory’, ‘capital’, and ‘virtual space of knowledge’, and (ii) then the individual human with his body and knowledge space which is embedded in a stream of infinite interactions between some environment (earth, territory, capital, knowledge space of others) and his own knowledge space. Thus, whatever is ‘real’, it is ‘mediated’ by his knowledge space which can have nearly infinite many ‘sub-spaces’. The ‘same real thing’ can appear in different knowledge spaces as a ‘differently known thing’. Between the knowledge spaces of different humans interactions (partially by symbolic communication) are occurring which can can shape the individual knowledge space with all its sub-spaces. In some sense one can interpret a knowledge sub-space as a ‘plane of events’ representing the ‘plane of existence’, which is basically ‘contingent’ because the knowledge space as such is ‘contingent’. Driven by a dynamic environment as well as by a dynamic knowledge space a dimension of ‘time’ is framing all events, inducing implicitly some order, is making things ‘slow’ or ‘fast’.

One can ask whether his assumed 4-dimensional coordinate system grounded in what he calls ‘earth’, ‘territory’, ‘capital’, and ‘virtual space of knowledge’ is indeed as ‘hard’ as he presupposes?

Thus, ‘territory’ is not a real given object but a ‘minded object’ which can be or not. ‘Capital’ is also a creation of some knowledge-space which is a ‘symbolic instrument’ associated with something different; it has no life on its own. In radical thinking there seem to exist only two dimension: (i) the ‘real world outside’ of the human mind (with the body as part of the real world) and (ii) the human mind (knowledge space) somewhere ‘inside’ the real world. In one sense the ‘real world’ is the primary source for everything, in another sense is the knowledge space the only ‘real space’ embracing everything else as ‘secondary’. From an ‘abstract outside’, from the perspective of some abstract ‘meta space’ is the ‘reality of the knowledge space’ a ‘virtual world’ reconstructing the real world as a virtual structure, which is used by the human body as a ‘guide’ in the real world of bodies.

Re-building the real world inside a virtual world and using the virtual models as guides for a behavior in the real world of bodies this enables the energy-matter of the universe to ‘recognize itself’ in the format of an ‘universal self-consciousness’. As long as the individual virtual knowledge space are more ‘separated’ than ‘unified’ the universal self-consciousness is very ‘dim’, very ‘weak’. To that extend that the individual knowledge spaces are becoming unified the universal self-consciousness can grow. But, this unification can only work in the ‘right way’ if the individual knowledge spaces are ‘as true as possible’ and are ‘communicating as free as possible’. The human history shows numeral examples of ‘crashes’ by ‘imperfectly unified knowledge spaces’.

OTHER COMMENTS

[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] Milky Way galaxy in wkp-en: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milky_Way

AN EMPIRICAL THEORY AS A DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

eJournal: uffmm.org
ISSN 2567-6458, 2.April 22 – 3.April 2022
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

BLOG-CONTEXT

This post is part of the Philosophy of Science theme which is part of the uffmm blog.

PREFACE

In a preceding post I have illustrated how one can apply the concept of an empirical theory — highly inspired by Karl Popper — to an everyday problem given as a county and its demographic problem(s). In this post I like to develop this idea a little more.

AN EMPIRICAL THEORY AS A DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

The figure shows a simplified outline of the idea of an empirical theory being realized during a development process based on the interactions and the communication of citizens as ‘natural experts’.

CITIZENs – natural experts

As starting point we assume citizens understood as our ‘natural experts’ being members of a democratic society with political parties, an freely elected parliament, which can create some helpful laws for the societal life and some authorities serving the need of the citizens.

SYMBOLIC DESCRIPTIONS

To coordinate their actions by a sufficient communication the citizens produce symbolic descriptions to make public how they see the ‘given situation’, which kinds of ‘future states’ (‘goals’) they want to achieve, and a list of ‘actions’ which can ‘change/ transform’ the given situation step wise into the envisioned future state.

LEVELS OF ABSTRACTIONS

Using an everyday language — possibly enriched with some math expressions – one can talk about our world of experience on different levels of abstraction. To get a rather wide scope one starts with most abstract concepts, and then one can break down these abstract concepts more and more with concrete properties/ features until these concrete expressions are ‘touching the real experience’. It can be helpful — in most cases — not to describe everything in one description but one does a partition of ‘the whole’ into several more concrete descriptions to get the main points. Afterwards it should be possible to ‘unify’ these more concrete descriptions into one large picture showing how all these concrete descriptions ‘work together’.

LOGICAL INFERENCE BY SIMULATION

A very useful property of empirical theories is the possibility to derive from given assumptions and assumed rules of inference possible consequences which are ‘true’ if the assumptions an the rules of inference are ‘true’.

The above outlined descriptions are seen in this post as texts which satisfy the requirements of an empirical theory such that the ‘simulator’ is able to derive from these assumptions all possible ‘true’ consequences if these assumptions are assumed to be ‘true’. Especially will the simulator deliver not only one single consequence only but a whole ‘sequence of consequences’ following each other in time.

PURE WWW KNOWLEDGE SPACE

This simple outline describes the application format of the oksimo software which is understood here as a kind of a ‘theory machine’ for everybody.

It is assumed that a symbolic description is given as a pure text file or as a given HTML page somewhere in the world wide web [WWW].

The simulator realized as an oksimo program can load such a file and can run a simulation. The output will be send back as an HTML page.

No special special data base is needed inside of the oksimo application. All oksimo related HTML pages located by a citizen somewhere in the WWW are constituting a ‘global public knowledge space’ accessible by everybody.

DISTRIBUTED OKSIMO INSTANCES

An oksimo server positioned behind the oksimo address ‘oksimo.com’ can produce for a simulation demand a ‘simulator instance’ running one simulation. There can be many simulations running in parallel. A simulation can also be connected in real time to Internet-of-Things [IoT] instances to receive empirical data being used in the simulation. In ‘interactive mode’ an oksimo simulation does furthermore allow the participation of ‘actors’ which function as a ‘dynamic rule instance’: they receive input from the simulated given situation and can respond ‘on their own’. This turns a simulation into an ‘open process’ like we do encounter during ‘everyday real processes’. An ‘actor’ must not necessarily be a ‘human’ actor; it can also be a ‘non-human’ actor. Furthermore it is possible to establish a ‘simulation-meta-level’: because a simulation as a whole represents a ‘full theory’ on can feed this whole theory to an ‘artificial intelligence algorithm’ which dos not run only one simulation but checks the space of ‘all possible simulations’ and thereby identifies those sub-spaces which are — according to the defined goals — ‘zones of special interest’.

THE OKSIMO WORKFLOW for a Global Open Knowledge Space

eJournal: uffmm.org
ISSN 2567-6458, 1.April 2022 – 6.April 2022
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

CONTEXT

This post is part of the theme called ‘Oksimo Software Structures’ which in turn is part of the overall uffmm.org Blog.

Preface

In an earlier post the overall structure of the oksimo paradigm has been outlined. This was the perspective available during spring 2021. Since this time the theory, the software as well as the applications are evolving very quickly. A major event was the closer and closer conjunction of a general ’empirical everyday life theory’ [1] with the oksimo paradigm. The central idea is that an oksimo application is by its implicit structure a complete empirical theory in an everyday life setting. This growing clearness about the theoretical dimension of an oksimo application raises new questions how to organize an oksimo application.

Oksimo Workflow

The figure shows the basic oksimo workflow between a user/ group of users and the oksimo simulator (theory inference machine): A user can upload an oksimo simulation (= theory) document to the simulator either by sending an address for an HTML-document or by directly uploading a text document in agreement with a minimal HTML-schema. The upload includes some additional parameters as directives for the wanted format of the output. The simulator computes then the output according to the selected parameters an shows an HTML page either directly on the login page of the simulator or as an HTML document sent to the email address which the user has specified.

In the first software development phase the main interest was the clarification of the concept of a theory-like environment using only everyday language (every language is possible). In the second phase this has been extended by allowing math-extensions to the everyday language accompanied by first simple graphical presentations during the simulation. Oksimo can be used here in single mode as well as in multiple user mode allowing an exchange of data as well as a ‘unification’ of different simulations

This is quite powerful.

But at this point the oksimo paradigm looks a bit like an ‘Island’: living there is OK, but there is not yet some ‘normal exchange’ possible.

Looking back in history Tim Berners-Lee [2] has during his life-time developed the idea of an open space of knowledge and communication embedded in a space called World Wide Wed [WWW]. Despite all the many details there one can see one central idea: an open space of addresses each representing a web-page, which can be a html-page. Thus the WWW can be understood as an universal ‘interface’ between people exchanging knowledge in the format of HTML-pages. And because an HTML-page follows a clearly defined pattern everybody can read and write such html-pages with simple readers and writers.

While the oksimo software itself is for a user available through an interactive web-page and it’s outputs can already be shown on a web-page it is not a too big step to extend the oksimo software generally with an export-function of a simulation as a complete html-page and as well with an import-function read an html-page which contains a complete simulation as a text which then is ‘converted’ in states, goals and rules which are needed for the simulator.

Thus without changing the software as it is now one could make the oksimo software with these additional functions immediately speaking to the whole World Wide Web.

By this step every user in the world wide web could edit a simulation with a normal editor, post this on a server of personal choice for everybody and vice versa every user could read everywhere html-pages with simulations, download them and modify or extend these in the light of his experience. This would enable a new kind of wikipedia-like servers. In this sense the oksimo paradigm could perhaps become the new operating system for the whole knowledge space.[3]

COMMENTS

[1] See the post “POPPER and EMPIRICAL THEORY. A conceptual Experiment” which gives a complete outline of the idea of an empirical everyday life theory.

[2] Tim Berners-Lee, Weaving the Web. The original design and ultimate destiny of the world wide web, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 1999

[3] This can remind us a bit to the wonderful vision of ‘Collective Intelligence’ described by Pierre Lévy.

OKSIMO SOFTWARE STRUCTURES

eJournal: uffmm.org
ISSN 2567-6458, 1.April 2022 – 6.April 2022
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisctheory-like environmenth.de

CONTEXT

This post starts a new theme called ‘Oksimo Software Structures’. It is part of the overall uffmm.org Blog. Below are some links to other post providing more details.

CONTRIBUTIONS

  1. GENERAL OUTLINE OF OKSIMO (RELOADAD) from March 2021 (Last change 1.April 2022)
  2. THE OKSIMO WORKFLOW (Last change: April 6, 2022)

OKSIMO APPLICATIONS – Simple Examples – Citizens of a County – Example 2

eJournal: uffmm.org ISSN 2567-6458

30.March 2022 – 31.March 2022, 11:55h
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

BLOG-CONTEXT

This post is part of the Oksimo Application theme which is part of the uffmm blog.

PREFACE

This post shows a continuation from the simple simulation example in the preceding post. It points to an implicit problem of the demographic modeling of the Main-Kinzig County (German: Main-Kinzig Kreis [MKK]) only using the official numbers available in the World Wide Web from the Hessian statistical office. Some questions arise without giving an answer in this post.

A REAL SIMULATION

The following example has been run with Oksimo v2.0 (Pre-Release) (c972). Hopefully we can finish the pre-release to a full release the next few days.

STRUCTURE OF THE SIMULATION

The structure of the simulation follows the schema of an empirical theory as follows:

  1. A ‘given situation’ will be described which is assumed to be ’empirically sound’ by the authors.
  2. A ‘state in the future’ (‘vision’, ‘goal’ ‘forecast’) is given for benchmarking.
  3. At least one ‘change rule’ is given representing an ‘inference rule’ for everyday experience.
  4. The ‘inference engine’ for making a ‘logical deduction’ is ‘hidden’ in the ‘simulator’, which is doing the job of applying the change rules to a given situation.

Here the concrete definitions:

VISION

Name: vmkkdemo1

Expressions:

The Main-Kinzig County exists.

Math expressions:

YEAR>2032

GIVEN STATE

Name: smkkDemo1

Expressions:

The Main-Kinzig County exists.

The number of citizens is known.

Based on preceding years a growth rate could be computed.

A growth rate has two components: natural increase and net migration.

The component natural increase has again two components: the rates of births and deaths.

The net migration is based on rates for immigration and emigrations.

The number for a population in a year t+1 is the product of the population of the preceding year t enriched with the natural increase and the net migration.

Math expressions:

IMMIGRATION=18000Amount

EMIGRATION=15900Amount

NETMIGR=0Number

BIRTHS=59400Amount

DEATHS=70000Amount

NATINCREASE=0Number

CITIZENS=421689Amount

YEAR=2020Number

CHANGE RULE (Inference Rule)

(Attention: There can be arbitrary many rules; here only one is used)

This figure gives a graphical overview of the main parameters used in the demographic modeling below.

Rule name: rworld1

Probability: 1.0

Conditions:

The Main-Kinzig County exists.

Math conditions:

YEAR>=0

Effects plus:

Effects minus:

Effects math:

YEAR=YEAR+1

NETMIGR=IMMIGRATION-EMIGRATION

NATINCREASE=BIRTHS-DEATHS

CITIZENS=CITIZENS+NATINCREASE+NETMIGR

SIMULATION

simmkkDemo2

Selected visions:

vmkkdemo1

Selected states:

smkkDemo1

Selected rules:

rworld1

GRAPH CITIZENS

The figure shows the values of the variable ‘CITIZENS’ during 15 cycles of simulation.

GRAPH NETMIGR NATINCREASE

This figure shows the values of the variables NETMIGR and NATINCREASE. These produce a negative difference which influences the size of the population.

Here the log protocol from simulation cycles 12-13:

Round 12

State rules:
rworld1 applied  (Prob: 100 Rand: 11/100)
Math applied:
CITIZENS=CITIZENS+NATINCREASE+NETMIGR
NATINCREASE=BIRTHS-DEATHS
YEAR=YEAR+1
NETMIGR=IMMIGRATION-EMIGRATION
Vision rules:
Current states: The number of citizens is known.,The component natural increase has again two components: the rates of births and deaths.,The net migration is based on rates for immigration and emigrations.,The Main-Kinzig County exists.,A growth rate has two components: natural increase and net migration.,The number for a population in a year t+1 is the product of the population of the preceding year t enriched with the natural increase and the net migration.,Based on preceding years a growth rate could be computed.
Current visions: The Main-Kinzig County exists.
Current values:
IMMIGRATION: 18000Amount
NETMIGR: 2100Number
BIRTHS: 59400Amount
DEATHS: 70000Amount
NATINCREASE: -10600Number
CITIZENS: 328189Amount
YEAR: 2032Number
EMIGRATION: 15900Amount

50.00 percent of your vision was achieved by reaching the following states:
The Main-Kinzig County exists.,
And the following math visions:
None

Round 13

State rules:
rworld1 applied  (Prob: 100 Rand: 63/100)
Math applied:
CITIZENS=CITIZENS+NATINCREASE+NETMIGR
NATINCREASE=BIRTHS-DEATHS
YEAR=YEAR+1
NETMIGR=IMMIGRATION-EMIGRATION
Vision rules:
Current states: The number of citizens is known.,The component natural increase has again two com
ponents: the rates of births and deaths.,The net migration is based on rates for immigration and 
emigrations.,The Main-Kinzig County exists.,A growth rate has two components: natural increase an
d net migration.,The number for a population in a year t+1 is the product of the population of th
e preceding year t enriched with the natural increase and the net migration.,Based on preceding y
ears a growth rate could be computed.
Current visions: The Main-Kinzig County exists.
Current values:
IMMIGRATION: 18000Amount
NETMIGR: 2100Number
BIRTHS: 59400Amount
DEATHS: 70000Amount
NATINCREASE: -10600Number
CITIZENS: 319689Amount
YEAR: 2033Number
EMIGRATION: 15900Amount

100.00 percent of your vision was achieved by reaching the following states:
The Main-Kinzig County exists.,
And the following math visions:
YEAR>2032

One can see here that the simulator announces a 100% satisfaction of the goal because the year 2032 has been passed and the Main-Kinzig County still exists.

DISCUSSION

Although the shown simulation is still extremely simple it points to a hidden problem of the official demographic data. The hessian statistical office computes a forecast for the MKK in 2040 with 420443 citizens starting with the year 2018. [3] Comparing these numbers with those from the demographic changes between 1.January 2021 and 30.June 2021 [2] then one gets a real difference: NATINCREASE -7.7 becomes -0.15% and NETMIGR 8.0 becomes 0.21%. This results in a 6-month fraction of about -736 to -635 for NATINCREASE and of about 764 to 889 for NETMIGR.

These observations point (i) to the general problem of getting ‘good data’ and (ii) at the same time how fragile the data are. With rather constant rates in births and deaths the migration data can change a lot. For 2020-2021 we have with 2.107 a NETMIGR rate of about 0.5%. [1] What now are the ‘real data’?

A DIFFERENT SIMULATION

Until now we have only data from single points of time (2018, 2021 (2040)) or of a small time window (1.January 2021, 30.June 2021). If we would take the data from the time window (Jan 2021, Jun 2021) and if we take the change rates from these data as percentage of the final value of citizens, then we are producing another graph knowing, that this clearly will not represent ‘the empirical reality’ sufficiently well. Nevertheless it can help to get some ‘awareness’ that the real numbers deserve more research, especially related to their ‘dynamics’ which is embedded in rather complex clusters of different factors interacting with each other.[4]

STRUCTURE OF SIMULATION

GIVEN SITUATION

TEXT

Name: smkkDemo2

The Main-Kinzig County exists.

The number of citizens is known.

Based on preceding years a growth rate could be computed.

A growth rate has two components: natural increase and net migration.

The component natural increase has again two components: the rates of births and deaths.

The net migration is based on rates for immigration and emigrations.

The number for a population in a year t+1 is the product of the population of the preced

ing year t enriched with the natural increase and the net migration.

Math:

NETMIGR=0Number

NATINCREASE=0Number

YEAR=2020Number

IMMIGRATION=0Amount

EMIGRATION=0Amount

BIRTHS=0Amount

DEATHS=0Amount

CITIZENS=421689Amount

POSSIBLE VISION (GOAL)

TEXT

Name: vmkkdemo1

Expressions:

The Main-Kinzig County exists.

Math expressions:

YEAR>2040

CHANGE RULES

Rule name: rworld2

Probability: 1.0

Conditions:

The Main-Kinzig County exists.

Math conditions:

YEAR>=0

Effects plus:

Effects minus:

Effects math:

YEAR=YEAR+1

BIRTHS=CITIZENS*0.0046

DEATHS=CITIZENS*0.006

EMIGRATION=CITIZENS*0.029

IMMIGRATION=CITIZENS*0.03

Rule name: rworld2b

Probability: 1.0

Conditions:

The Main-Kinzig County exists.

Math conditions:

YEAR>=0

Effects plus:

Effects minus:

Effects math:

NATINCREASE=BIRTHS-DEATHS

NETMIGR=IMMIGRATION-EMIGRATION

Rule name: rworld3

Probability: 1.0

Conditions:

The Main-Kinzig County exists.

Math conditions:

YEAR>=0

Effects plus:

Effects minus:

Effects math:

CITIZENS=CITIZENS+NATINCREASE+NETMIGR

SIMULATION

simmkkDemo3

Selected visions:

vmkkdemo1

Selected states:

smkkDemo2

Selected rules:

rworld2

rworld2b

rworld3

GRAPH CITIZENS

This figure shows the decreasing number of citizens in the county which is due to the fact that the NATINCR is bigger than the NETMIGR. But one has to keep in mind, that dies reflects the values from the first 6 months from the year 2021. These values can change, but HOW will these values change? What are the empirical factors which do influence these values?

GRAPH NATINCR and NETMIGR

Here the nearly constant values of NATINCR and NETMIGR taken from the year 2021

Here cycles 1-2 from the simulation log:

Round 1

State rules:
rworld2 applied  (Prob: 100 Rand: 40/100)
Math applied:
IMMIGRATION=CITIZENS*0.03
YEAR=YEAR+1
DEATHS=CITIZENS*0.006
BIRTHS=CITIZENS*0.0046
EMIGRATION=CITIZENS*0.029
rworld3 applied  (Prob: 0 Rand: 58/100)
Math applied:
CITIZENS=CITIZENS+NATINCREASE+NETMIGR
rworld2b applied  (Prob: 100 Rand: 6/100)
Math applied:
NATINCREASE=BIRTHS-DEATHS
NETMIGR=IMMIGRATION-EMIGRATION
Vision rules:
Current states: The number for a population in a year t+1 is the product of the population of the preceding year t enriched with the natural increase and the net migration.,The net migration is based on rates for immigration and emigrations.,The component natural increase has again two components: the rates of births and deaths.,The Main-Kinzig County exists.,A growth rate has two components: natural increase and net migration.,Based on preceding years a growth rate could be computed.,The number of citizens is known.
Current visions: The Main-Kinzig County exists.
Current values:
NETMIGR: 421.6890000000003Number
NATINCREASE: -590.3646000000001Number
YEAR: 2021Number
IMMIGRATION: 12650.67Amount
EMIGRATION: 12228.981Amount
BIRTHS: 1939.7694Amount
DEATHS: 2530.134Amount
CITIZENS: 421689Amount

50.00 percent of your vision was achieved by reaching the following states:
The Main-Kinzig County exists.,
And the following math visions:
None

Round 2

State rules:
rworld3 applied  (Prob: 0 Rand: 95/100)
Math applied:
CITIZENS=CITIZENS+NATINCREASE+NETMIGR
rworld2 applied  (Prob: 100 Rand: 22/100)
Math applied:
IMMIGRATION=CITIZENS*0.03
YEAR=YEAR+1
DEATHS=CITIZENS*0.006
BIRTHS=CITIZENS*0.0046
EMIGRATION=CITIZENS*0.029
rworld2b applied  (Prob: 100 Rand: 32/100)
Math applied:
NATINCREASE=BIRTHS-DEATHS
NETMIGR=IMMIGRATION-EMIGRATION
Vision rules:
Current states: The number for a population in a year t+1 is the product of the population of the preceding year t enriched with the natural increase and the net migration.,The net migration is based on rates for immigration and emigrations.,The component natural increase has again two components: the rates of births and deaths.,The Main-Kinzig County exists.,A growth rate has two components: natural increase and net migration.,Based on preceding years a growth rate could be computed.,The number of citizens is known.
Current visions: The Main-Kinzig County exists.
Current values:
NETMIGR: 421.5203243999986Number
NATINCREASE: -590.1284541600003Number
YEAR: 2022Number
IMMIGRATION: 12645.609732Amount
EMIGRATION: 12224.089407600002Amount
BIRTHS: 1938.9934922400003Amount
DEATHS: 2529.1219464000005Amount
CITIZENS: 421520.32440000004Amount

50.00 percent of your vision was achieved by reaching the following states:
The Main-Kinzig County exists.,
And the following math visions:
None

And here the the cycles 20-21 showing 100% success

Round 20

State rules:
rworld2b applied  (Prob: 100 Rand: 78/100)
Math applied:
NATINCREASE=BIRTHS-DEATHS
NETMIGR=IMMIGRATION-EMIGRATION
rworld3 applied  (Prob: 0 Rand: 90/100)
Math applied:
CITIZENS=CITIZENS+NATINCREASE+NETMIGR
rworld2 applied  (Prob: 100 Rand: 20/100)
Math applied:
IMMIGRATION=CITIZENS*0.03
YEAR=YEAR+1
DEATHS=CITIZENS*0.006
BIRTHS=CITIZENS*0.0046
EMIGRATION=CITIZENS*0.029
Vision rules:
Current states: The number for a population in a year t+1 is the product of the population of the preceding year t enriched with the natural increase and the net migration.,The net migration is based on rates for immigration and emigrations.,The component natural increase has again two components: the rates of births and deaths.,The Main-Kinzig County exists.,A growth rate has two components: natural increase and net migration.,Based on preceding years a growth rate could be computed.,The number of citizens is known.
Current visions: The Main-Kinzig County exists.
Current values:
NETMIGR: 418.83020290706736Number
NATINCREASE: -586.3622840698965Number
YEAR: 2040Number
IMMIGRATION: 12554.852151152843Amount
EMIGRATION: 12136.35707944775Amount
BIRTHS: 1925.077329843436Amount
DEATHS: 2510.9704302305686Amount
CITIZENS: 418495.0717050948Amount

50.00 percent of your vision was achieved by reaching the following states:
The Main-Kinzig County exists.,
And the following math visions:
None

Round 21

State rules:
rworld2 applied  (Prob: 100 Rand: 16/100)
Math applied:
IMMIGRATION=CITIZENS*0.03
YEAR=YEAR+1
DEATHS=CITIZENS*0.006
BIRTHS=CITIZENS*0.0046
EMIGRATION=CITIZENS*0.029
rworld2b applied  (Prob: 100 Rand: 28/100)
Math applied:
NATINCREASE=BIRTHS-DEATHS
NETMIGR=IMMIGRATION-EMIGRATION
rworld3 applied  (Prob: 0 Rand: 41/100)
Math applied:
CITIZENS=CITIZENS+NATINCREASE+NETMIGR
Vision rules:
Current states: The number for a population in a year t+1 is the product of the population of the preceding year t enriched with the natural increase and the net migration.,The net migration is based on rates for immigration and emigrations.,The component natural increase has again two components: the rates of births and deaths.,The Main-Kinzig County exists.,A growth rate has two components: natural increase and net migration.,Based on preceding years a growth rate could be computed.,The number of citizens is known.
Current visions: The Main-Kinzig County exists.
Current values:
NETMIGR: 418.49507170509423Number
NATINCREASE: -585.8931003871326Number
YEAR: 2041Number
IMMIGRATION: 12554.852151152843Amount
EMIGRATION: 12136.35707944775Amount
BIRTHS: 1925.077329843436Amount
DEATHS: 2510.9704302305686Amount
CITIZENS: 418327.6736764127Amount

100.00 percent of your vision was achieved by reaching the following states:
The Main-Kinzig County exists.,
And the following math visions:
YEAR>2040,

Special Comments to the Software

As mentioned in the beginning the version of the software used here is not yet the final one. We are still in an ‘experimental phase’. A feature we detected dealing with this simulation is that the simulator takes all ‘elements’ of the ‘effect part’ of a rules as ‘equal’, not applying some order for the execution. In the case of math expressions which have ‘internally’ some ‘logical order’ in the sense, that an expression A presupposes an expression B to be computed ‘before’ the expression A has to be computed (which is in this simulation clearly the case), one can handle this only if one locates all math expressions which belong to ‘the same logical level’ into a separate rule. We have to have a look to this. In such a case ‘theory’ is interacting with ‘implementation details’ which follow a quite different logic.

COMMENTS

[1] Matrix of the Immigration and Emigration of citizens between the different cities and counties of the state of Hessen in 2020, Hess.Statistisches Landesamt: https://statistik.hessen.de/zahlen-fakten/bevoelkerung-gebiet-haushalte-familien/bevoelkerung/tabellen

Figure shows the matrix of all immigrations and emigrations between the cities and counties of the state of Hessen in 2020. For the MKK county we have Going-Out= 15.903 and Coming-In=18.010, which represents about 0.5% NETMIGR in 2020-2021.

[2] Demographic Changes between 1.January 2021 and 1.June 2021 for the MKK county, in: https://statistik.hessen.de/sites/statistik.hessen.de/files/AI2_AII_AIII_AV_21-1hj.pdf. p.7

This shows the number of citizens in the MKK county 1.January 2021 with 421.689 and 30.June 2021 with 421.936. The other variables are BIRTHs=1.942, DEATHs=2.577, IMMIGRANTS=12950, EMIGRANTS=12.061. This yields a NATINCREASE=BIRTHS-DEATHS = -635, NETMIGR=IMMIGRANTS-EMIGRANTS= 889. This points to a NATINCREASE of -0.15% and a NETMIGR of 0.21%, which gives an overall increase of 0.06%.

[3] Demographic Forecast for the years 2040, Hess.Statistisches Landesamt: https://statistik.hessen.de/zahlen-fakten/bevoelkerung-gebiet-haushalte-familien/bevoelkerung/tabellen

Figure shows the forecast for the Main-Kinzig County for the year 2040. If one compares these numbers with the ‘more real data’ of those in [2] then we see the following changes: NATINCREASE -7.7 becomes -0.15% and NETMIGR 8.0 becomes 0.21%. This results in a 6-month fraction of about -736 to -635 for NATINCREASE and of about 764 to 889 for NETMIGR.

[4] In the first paper of the small booklet from Karl Popper, „A World of Propensities“, Thoemmes Press, Bristol, (1990, repr. 1995), he develops the idea of associating an observable phenomenon with some part of the real world which has to be assumed as necessary environment for a phenomenon to be able to appear. And this presupposed empirical environment is always a complex cluster of different empirical factors interacting with each other and thereby are ‘causing’ phenomena which are not traceable to only one factor in a deterministic way but to ‘many’. ‘Chance’ is therefore a ‘product’ of reality not an isolated single event.

OKSIMO APPLICATIONS – Simple Examples – Citizens of a County

eJournal: uffmm.org ISSN 2567-6458

27.March 2022 – 27.March 2022
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

BLOG-CONTEXT

This post is part of the Oksimo Application theme which is part of the uffmm blog.

PREFACE

This post shows a simple simulation example with the beta-version of the new Version 2 of the oksimo programming environment. This example shall illustrate the concept of an ‘Everyday Empirical Theory‘ as described in this blog 11 days before. It is intentionally as ‘simple as possible’. Probably some more examples will be shown.

FROM THEORY TO AN APPLICATION

To apply a theory concept in an everyday world there are many formats possible. In this text it will be shown how such an application would look like if one is applying the oksimo programming environment. Until now there exists only a German Blog (oksimo.org) describing the oksimo paradigm a little bit. But the examples there are written with oksimo version 1, which didn’t allow to use math. In version 2 this is possible, accompanied by some visual graph features.

Everyday Experts – Basic Ideas

This figure shows a simple outline of the basic assumptions of the oksimo programming environment constituting the oksimo paradigm: (i) Every human person is assumed to be a ‘natural expert’ being member of a bigger population which shares the same ‘everyday language’ including basic math. (ii) An actor is embedded in some empirical environment including the own body and other human actors. (iii) Human actors are capable of elaborating as inner states different kinds of ‘mental (cognitive) models’ based on their experience of the environment and their own body. (iv) Human actors are further capable to use symbolic languages to ‘represent’ properties of these mental models encoded in symbolic expressions. Such symbolic encoding presupposes an ‘inner meaning function’ which has to be learned. (v) In the oksimo programming environment one needs for the description of a ‘given state’ two kinds of symbolic expressions: (v.1) Language expressions to describe general properties and relations which are assumed to be ‘given’ (= ‘valid by experience’); (v.2) Language expressions to name concrete quantitative properties (simple math expressions).

This figure shows the idea how to change a given state (situation) by so-called ‘change rules’. A change rule encodes experience from the everyday world under which conditions some properties of a given situation S can be ‘changed’ in a way, that a ‘new situation’ S* comes into being. Generally a given state can change if either language expression is ‘deleted’ from the description or ‘contributed’. Another possibility is realized if one of the given quantitative expressions changes its value. In the above simple situation the only change happens by changing the number of citizens by some growth effect. But, as other examples will demonstrate, everything is possible what is possible in the empirical world.

SOME MORE FEATURES

The basic schema of the oksimo paradigm assumes the following components:

  1. The description of a ‘given situation’ as a ‘start state’.
  2. The description of a ‘vision’ functioning as a ‘goal’ which allows a basic ‘Benchmarking’.
  3. A list of ‘change rules’ which describe the assumed possible changes
  4. An ‘inference engine’ called ‘simulator’: Depending from the number of wanted ‘simulation cycles’ (‘inferences’) the simulator applies the change rules onto a given state S and thereby it is producing a ‘follow up state’ S*, which becomes the new given state. The series of generated states represents the ‘history’ of a simulation. Every follow up state is an ‘inference’ and by definition also a ‘forecast’.

All these features (1) – (4) together constitute a full empirical theory in the sense of the mentioned theory post before.

Let us look to a real simulation.

A REAL SIMULATION

The following example has been run with Oksimo v2.0 (Pre-Release) (353e5). Hopefully we can finish the pre-release to a full release the next few weeks.

A VISION

Name: v2026

Expressions:

The Main-Kinzig County exists.

Math expressions:

YEAR>2025 and YEAR<2027

This simple goal assumes the existence of the Main-Kinzig County for the year 2026.

GIVEN START STATE

Name: StartSimple1

Expressions:

The Main-Kinzig County exists.

The number of citizens is known.

Comparing the number of different years one has computed a growth rate.

Math expressions:

YEAR=2018Number

CITIZENS=418950Amount

GROWTH=0.0023Percentage

The start state makes some simple statements which are assumed to be ‘valid’ in a ‘real given situation’ by the participating natural experts.

CHANGE RULES

In this example there is only one change rules (In principle there can be as many change rules as wanted).

Rule name: Growth1

Probability: 1.0

Conditions:

The Main-Kinzig County exists.

Math conditions:

CITIZENS < 450000

Effects plus:

Effects minus:

Effects math:

CITIZENS=CITIZENS+(CITIZENS*GROWTH)

YEAR=YEAR+1

This change rules is rather simple. It looks only to the fact whether the Main-Kinzig County exists and wether the number of citizens is still below 450000. If this is the case, then the year will be incremented and the number of citizens will be incremented according to an extremely simple formula.

For every named quantity in this simulation (YEAR, GROWTH, CITIZENS) the values are collected for every simulation cycle and therefore can be used for evaluations. In this simple case only the quantities of YEAR and CITIZENS have changes:

Simple linear graph for the quantity named YEAR
Simple linear graph for the quantity named CITIZENS

Here the quick log of simulation cycle round 7 – 9:

Round 7

State rules:
Vision rules:
Current states: The number of citizens is known.,Comparing the number of different years one has computed a growth rate.,The Main-Kinzig County exists.
Current visions: The Main-Kinzig County exists.
Current values:
YEAR: 2025Number
CITIZENS: 425741.8149741673Amount
GROWTH: 0.0023Percentage

50.00 percent of your vision was achieved by reaching the following states:
The Main-Kinzig County exists.,
And the following math visions:
None

Round 8

State rules:
Vision rules:
Current states: The number of citizens is known.,Comparing the number of different years one has computed a growth rate.,The Main-Kinzig County exists.
Current visions: The Main-Kinzig County exists.
Current values:
YEAR: 2026Number
CITIZENS: 426721.0211486079Amount
GROWTH: 0.0023Percentage

100.00 percent of your vision was achieved by reaching the following states:
The Main-Kinzig County exists.,
And the following math visions:
YEAR>2025 and YEAR<2027,

Round 9

State rules:
Vision rules:
Current states: The number of citizens is known.,Comparing the number of different years one has computed a growth rate.,The Main-Kinzig County exists.
Current visions: The Main-Kinzig County exists.
Current values:
YEAR: 2027Number
CITIZENS: 427702.4794972497Amount
GROWTH: 0.0023Percentage

50.00 percent of your vision was achieved by reaching the following states:
The Main-Kinzig County exists.,
And the following math visions:
None

In round 8 one can see, that the simulation announces:

100.00 percent of your vision was achieved by reaching the following states: The Main-Kinzig County exists., And the following math visions: YEAR>2025 and YEAR<2027

From this the natural expert can conclude that his requirements given in the vision are ‘fulfilled’/’satisfied’.

WHAT COMES NEXT?

In a loosely order more examples will follow. Here you find the next one.

Pierre Lévy : Collective Intelligence – Chapter 7 – The Four Spaces

eJournal: uffmm.org, ISSN 2567-6458,
24.March 2022 – 6.April 2022, 08:04 h
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 chapter 7 of the book “Collective Intelligence. mankind’s emerging world in cyberspace” by Pierre Lévy (translated by Robert Bonono),1997 (French: 1994)[2]

CONTEXT

In a proceeding post the general idea of the book of Lévy has been discussed. The final impression was, that Lévy’s vision of collective intelligence embedded in the development of human culture shows a high agreement with the oksimo paradigm of the author of this text. Reading continuous with some more chapters of the book. It starts with chapter 7, the beginning of Part II of the book

Chapter 7: The Four Spaces

POSITION LÉVY

In this chapter Lévy is bringing back some ideas of chapter 1, pp.5-10, where he did a partitioning of the timeline of the development of life on earth according to some criteria. The main topics are ‘Earth’, ‘Territory’, ‘Commodity Space’, and ‘Knowledge Space’.

Earth

Beginning his selected timeline with the advent of humanity on earth Lévy describes in a short but highly dense text (cf. p.131f) his view of the interaction of humankind with the earth, which appears for him as an all embracing permanence, without origin, not a small ecological niche, but a ‘cosmos’ with stars, imagined gods, freely envisioned ancestors, continuously re-creating the experience of the earth with signs, languages, tales, rituals, and tools. The realness of the earth is mixed up with human emotions, dreams and fantasies and thereby allowing some transcendence being an inner dimension of the all embracing earth-humankind experience.

Territory

Whenever humanity appeared in the history of life on this planet, for the last 12.000 years Lévy sees for these times a phenomenon called ‘territory’.(cf. p.133) The unbounded experience of an unlimited ‘cosmos’ reverberating in every human individual becomes ‘structured’ by a more organized environment by ‘real things’ and ‘new forms of the social bond’. Here ‘civilization’ begins: “… rearing of animals, agriculture, the city and state, writing, the strict social division of labor, ..”(p.133) Although one can say that the territory “dominates, confines, encloses, describes, and measures it [the earth?]”(p.134), the unconfined earth has not disappeared, it always strikes back providing an ever continuing conflict.(cf. p.134) During this Neolithic period [3] the new reality reverberated not only to the individual, but “to the great social machine, to the state.”(p.134) In this time the majority of humanity “were peasants who inhabited the territory.”(p.135)

Commodity Space

After ‘earth’ and ‘territory’ as as form-factors of society and the reverberating mind Lévy sees then a next big modification in the cultural patterns of humanity which he circumscribes as ‘commodity space’ [4].(cf. pp.135-138) He characterizes this new mode by a statement like this: “… but a new world built from the incessant circulation of money in an ever tightening, ever quickening loop.”(p.135) And he continuous: “Crossing borders, upsetting territorial hierarchies, the dance of money brought in its wake an accelerated movement, a rising tide of objects, signs, and individuals.”(p.136) And Lévy sees a close relationship between this new commodity space and ‘capitalism’, which “draws everything in its orbit” (p.136) Associated with the wake of science, technology and the flux of signs everything is becoming changeable by reinterpretation, constructible by technology, and exchangeable by money. The old Neolithic territory is mixing up with these new forms of interactions and transactions making Capitalism with industry and commerce the “principal engines driving the evolution of human societies.”(p.137) For Lévy is capitalism the main factor: “… the great cybernetic machine of capital … seems invincible, inexhaustible. Capitalism is irreversible. It is economy and has made economy the permanent dimension of human existence.”(p.137)

Knowledge Space

In this chapter the imaginative power of Lévy’s language which encloses the reader all the time comes to an intensity wich is hardly to surpass. Between statements like “The knowledge space doesn’t exist” (p.138) and “The knowledge space has always existed” (p.139) he is practicing a kind of ‘conjuring up’ something, which is there and is not, not in the usual sense. For Lévy ‘knowledge’ is “not simply scientific knowledge” (p.139) and it “can’t be reduced to so-called rational discourse.” (p.139)

The knowledge conjured up here is something which “qualifies our species, Homo sapiens.”(p.139) It “is a knowledge-of-living, a living-in-knowledge, one that is coextensive with life. It is part of a cosmopolitan and borderless space of relations and qualities, a space for the metamorphosis of relationships and the emergence of ways of being, a space in which the processes of individual and collective subjectivization come together.” (p.139) This knowledge follows a “virtual emergence”. (p.139) But, as such, the knowledge space “is not a return to earth, but a return of the earth to itself, an overflight of the earth by itself at the speed of light, an uncontrolled cosmic diversification.”(p.141)

COMMENTS ON LÉVY

Here some comments on the position of Lévy.

Comments on ‘Earth’

Already in this short text of Lévy, in his mental reconstruction of a time which has passed long ago, one can ‘sense’ a basic dynamic structure which allows a permanent interaction of human actors, human populations with the real earth and with each other. But this richness of behavior, these varieties of effects are only indicators of a fascinating ‘inner structure’ of human actors, which does not appear as a ‘dead object’ but as some new kind of living: the impressions of the world are becoming ‘transformed’ in multiple ways individually but also by social entanglements. The symbolic spaces function as a medium, like a catalyst, allowing transformations in the mental-cognitive space, which are steering the public behavior and by resonance they feed back into this inner dynamics of a symbolically mediated world-mind. There is a continuing process of the real world interacting with a distributed mind world. And this distributedness of a real world by a minded world is not fixed to one individual human actor alone but is present in all the members of a group, a population by understanding, by talking, by acting. This distributed manifestation of a symbolic mind world enables a ‘new reality’, a ‘cognitively mediated real world’, a true ‘virtual world’ as the primary world in the inner dynamics of every human actor.

Comments on ‘Territory’

Lévy continues with his dense descriptions of the changing behaviors and social patterns manifested by humanity spreading over the surface of the earth. The growing number of members of groups, tribes which are using more and more the advantages of special territories, of special tools and procedures, of new formats of social bonds. But he does not dig into the ‘inner reality’ of individual and distributed minds, which function as the ‘soul’ of these new social machines, the new ‘states’. With the ‘change’ in the format of the environment perception, mwithemorizing, thinking inevitably is changing too. And the connecting language with their adapted meanings is mimicking these changes in many details. Thus the changes of the ‘outer environment’ are reverberating inside and inducing an inner cognitive-mental world, a ‘true virtual reality’, which functions as the ‘primary picture of the world’, a ‘distributed’ one. If some individual ‘fails’, if it ‘dies away’, the ‘distributed inner world’ will not change: it ‘preserves itself’ and ‘feeds back’ to all individuals of the society as the ‘given norm’. The real world is touching us as a ‘particular’ experience, but the ‘distributed inner world’ is a ‘network of associations’, an ‘informed whole picture’, giving ‘sense to each part by this inner connectedness’. The writing is an invaluable tool to support parts of this distributed inner world to be kept, be memorized.

As the environmental ‘properties and structures’ are being transformed into new social-cultural patterns and the distributed thinking is ‘absorbing’ these, then the ‘distributed inner pictures’ will ‘overwrite’ the world ‘behind the daily experiences’. Humankind in a city has no longer an idea of a world without a city. Collective intelligence generates its own ‘mental gravity’. Negatively this is a kind of a ‘locked-in syndrome’. If the ‘distributed mental models’ enable some more ‘deep-sighted’ or ‘far-sighted’ perspectives supporting ‘survival in the future’ then it can be ‘positive’, a ‘constructive locked-in syndrome’. But this variety of a ‘locked-in collective intelligence’ is constantly in danger to ‘believe more in itself’ than to the ‘world talking by partial experience’.

Comments on Commodity Space

The suggestive spirit of Lévy’s description of the commodity space is strong. Indeed, it looks like a hidden power which moves everything in new combinations, new orders, new interpretations, mostly associated with money and power. The installation of new forms of interactions and transactions crossing classical borders of territories like birds in the air appears to transcend the old world of territories. Values seem now to be able to live everywhere, owned by everybody, changing everything.

Comparing these cultural patterns to those of non-human biological species reveals that these new phenomena are indeed not ‘in the air’, they are rooted in the special capabilities of human persons and their new forms of cooperation by communication, enabling the spreading of new ideas rooted in the brains of individual bodies. Cutting the communication would disable ideas of being spread, would enclose ideas ‘in itself’, nothing would be possible.

Modern societies which systematically are suppressing public communication supporting only special opinions practicing a modified form of cutting communication and they show weak forms of disintegration of knowledge and cultural behavior.

Thus ‘capitalism’ and associated forms of ‘economy’ are not complete ‘autonomous phenomena’ but are presupposing certain kinds of communication mediating certain kinds of ideas which influence the behavior. And this ‘behavior of individuals’ is driven by different kinds of ideas, emotions, and desires. Those ideas which seem to ‘support’ capitalism and associated forms of economy are not ‘absolute’ ideas, not ‘inborn’ ideas; therefore these ideas can be changed, can be ‘improved’ and thereby they can — in principle — change behavior and thereby they can change the whole culture. And, besides this, the reality of the cosmos, of the planet earth and the biosphere, which is a ‘given’ reality, follows its own ‘independent logic’ and can lead to a ‘crash’ with a culture, which is ‘too far away’ from this empirical reality.

Comments on Knowledge Space

As stated above, Lévy’s language is impressive, dense, poetic. To some extend this is triggered by the kind of appearance how the knowledge space is given and not given. He stresses several times that the other mentioned anthropological spaces — Earth, Territory, and Commodities — are not vanishing; they are still there, stay in existence with all their real power, but the knowledge space is somehow different, somehow new, is nevertheless also there, ‘not unreal’, ‘virtual’, ‘in between’, subjective but at the same time ‘collective’.

As mentioned in preceding comments what is – in my understanding — missing in Lévy’s wonderful tale is the ‘anatomy of the virtual in realness’. As we know from an individual homo sapiens exemplar it has a ‘real body’, but inside this body there are ‘inner processes’ which as processes are still ‘real’, but these processes are constituting a complex network of inner states which are ‘mapping each other to each other’. Small parts of this ‘self-mapping’ are know as ‘consciousness’, and ‘self-consciousness’. Real structures (neurons, brain) are setting up relations which as such are again ‘mapped’ to other structures and thereby building up an ‘inner semantic space’ which allows the ‘re-imagination’ of signals from the ‘outer world’ which we assume as ‘real’ like our own body.

This inner semantic space of a single brain already commands ‘now’ and ‘past’, concrete versus abstract, associations, arrangements, playing with combinations, embedded always in emotions, feelings, drives. The ‘virtual’ compared to the assumed outer world is here ‘the real’, that, what is going on.

And already with the presence of the homo sapiens population with interactions there exists between homo sapiens exemplars a communication, enriched with symbolic languages, which makes every individual to a ‘part of a whole’, which is reverberating also in the inner spaces of everybody. This ‘being part of a whole’ being reflected in the individual inner spaces induces a ‘knowledge space’ right from the beginning which is (virtually) real but not real like the surrounding bodies; the knowledge space is part of oneself (part of the own ‘identity’), but it is not a real-real object but a real-virtual one.

With the emergence of new cultural technologies — writing, books, libraries, computers, computer networks, etc. — it is possible that a human population extends its symbolic space into a partially mechanized symbolic space with new kinds of ‘processes’ dealing with symbols. From the outside it can be (miss)understood as if the semantic space has been de-coupled from the individual members of the knowledge space and can be processed without the individual members. The vision of ‘intelligent machines’ is rising with wild fantasies that this kind of machines can overtake the role of humankind in the long run.

A simple closer look to the ‘anatomy of the virtual being real’ can show that the ‘power of a common language’ is completely rooted in the machinery of a brain in a body. All kinds of ‘meaning’ exist only in these ‘inner mappings’ of neurons onto neurons, where one part of the neurons delivers ‘signals of the outer body world and the own body’ and the other part of the neurons is processing these signals in complex dynamics structures representing somehow the implicit structures of the ‘primary signals’. Because these mapping-processes, this kind of ‘encoding’, is not deterministic but radically ‘adaptive’ in a non-deterministic way, it is completely impossible to substitute this multidimensional dynamic space of possible meanings by secondary processes bounded to symbols alone. What these so-called data-driven artificial machine-learning processes can ‘grasp’ as ‘meaning’ are only some ‘shadows of meaning’ implicitly causing some ‘orders’ in the set of symbols. But ‘some order’ is not ‘meaning’ in the original sense.

Thus a further development of the knowledge space rooted in the huge set of brains coupled by communication and reinforced by virtual echoes of the whole in the individual can only improve if the mechanization of the symbol space by machines keeps a close contact to the original meanings located in the individual brains. Such a ‘contact’ must be ‘real’, must be entangled with the human interactions in a way, which enables a new symbiosis of human mind and mechanized symbol spaces. The today man-machine interfaces are mainly wrong because their design is not guided by a true vision of the human rooted knowledge space but by simple machine metaphors which do not match with a truly knowledge space.

The wonderful picture of Lévy, given in the idea that the knowledge space “is not a return to earth, but a return of the earth to itself” is true in the light of the paradigm of the biosphere which by evolution has ‘brought into being’ biological structures of ‘internal self-mappings’ which allow a biological system, a ‘system of life’, to ‘think virtually’ about alternatives of the now, to think virtually about appearing ‘patterns of the real’, about ‘what it is what there is’ and much more. In this sense is humankind the maximum action of life itself onto life, onto earth, onto the whole universe. But, again, this new dimension of life, the true knowledge space, is not something ‘in the air’, it is a ‘radically real process’ which only can work if the ‘real conditions’ are satisfied. We have to do a ‘real job’ to become more ‘universal’.

OTHER COMMENTS

[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] Neolithic period in wkp-en: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neolithic

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

Pierre Lévy : Collective Intelligence –Footnote: Knowledge Tree

eJournal: uffmm.org, ISSN 2567-6458, 18.March 2022 – 18.March 2022
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 this text the author has a small comment to a footnote in the introduction of the book “Collective Intelligence. mankind’s emerging world in cyberspace” by Pierre Lévy (translated by Robert Bonono),1997 (French: 1994)[2]

Footnote: Knowledge Tree and ‘A Blog, not a Book’

The starting page of the uffmm-Blog begins with some philosophical remarks titled ‘A Blog – Not Book’.

At the time of writing these remarks about the character of Blog-Writing the author did not yet know the wonderful book of Pierre Lévy about ‘Collective Intelligence’. Although the whole book can be related to the special idea of Blog-Writing, the author encountered during his reading of the book an interesting footnote no.5 in the introduction of the book.

Graphical interpretation of footnote 5 of the Introduction of the book of Lévy. The subject there is ‘Knowledge Tree’.

The basic idea sees a group of experts with different skills, resulting from different learning processes, which can be projected in real-time into a dynamic knowledge tree showing the individual profiles as well as the landscape of a whole group. This allows many interesting evaluations serving as a constant feedback to improve the individual skills.

Comments

[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

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.

NEWSLETTER

eJournal: uffmm.org
ISSN 2567-6458, 24. January 2022
Email: info@uffmm.org
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
Email: gerd@doeben-henisch.de

CONTEXT

This post is part of the uffmm science blog.

INTENTION

This is the place for short summaries of topics about which  the author is writing in his German blogs (cognitiveagent.org (Philosophy, Science ), oksimo.org (a new paradigm how people can together turn everything in a simulation by only using their everyday language))

NEWSLETTER January 24, 2022

Software-Paradigm

Since the beginning of the development of the oksimo software I was urged to distinguish between the oksimo software and the oksimo paradigm. The oksimo software is some software which appears to the user as an interface by a web browser, able to do some work, and the oksimo paradigm stands for the whole ‘action space’ which is possible for   human actors using the oksimo software. We know from daily practice that the  ‘software’ — until now in use — is important and big; the software is somehow the ‘store of knowledge’ coded in some language. In the context of the oksimo paradigm the software is ‘small’ and ‘unimportant’. The only contribution of the software is to support human actors to talk about the world in their everyday language in a way, that these talks will automatically be turned into simulations as well as full fledged theories. That’s it. The computer as such does not understand anything. This is a new kind of ‘collective man:machine intelligence’.

Concrete Simulations

Because the main experience while communicating the ideas of this new software paradigm is, that people do not understanding this new paradigm — especially the computer science guys have problems, locked by their ‘usual understanding’ of computers — we stopped ‘advertising’ and focus on first practical examples. This year we spent time to set up a real simulation of a  real county in Germany named ‘Main-Kinzig-Kreis (MKK)’ (Perhaps the same will be done in South-Africa with  the Gauteng Province and there mostly from the Tshwane District.)

Clearly these models will to the end of the year 2022 only cover some main aspects of the county including the related towns and cities, but it will be a real model and can be further developed in the upcoming years.

Because these models are completely WWW-conform and reachable by the ‘ordinary World Wide Web’, everybody can read the results, can try the simulation mode on its own, and can add his own version as an HTML-page.  One can also unify different models  by ‘only pressing a button’. The main intention is, that distributed people can work together as ‘a group’ to share their ideas, visions, experiences.

Software Roadmap

Although we had in the beginning a kind of a Roadmap, what we wanted to have  finished at some time, things went differently: because this whole paradigm is radically new we had in the beginning a basic idea, but not a complete understanding of everything. And thus it happened that we step wise    learned better what it really is. It became more ‘simpler’ and at the same time ‘more powerful’. From a theoretical point of view it looks now as if it can do nearly everything which humans want from a ‘software for a sustainable future’.

A nice point just now was the understanding how we can use radically everyday language and at the same time all of mathematics. If one understands what mathematics is, how it works in our thinking, than it became very simple.

Meta-Thinking

This whole oksimo (reloaded) software project became only possible because there was during many years a truly multi-disciplinary thinking alive relating different disciplines in a truly trans-disciplinary (= meta-theoretical = philosophical) fashion. What we observe today is a steady growth of always more ‘special disciplines’ but a pondering lack of ‘integration’, of meta-thinking. Nowhere we have really working trans-disciplinary programs, there exist not even ideas/ concepts, how to do it.

Sustainability

The united nations series of conferences starting in 1992 until 2015 brought to the front that the course of life on the planet earth is facing more and more a crisis, because the human race has meanwhile occupied 3/4 of the usable areas of the planet and has changed the whole bio-systems and many important resources. The climate change as such is not a problem, but because the human population — and a working biosphere — is highly sensitive to climate change, it is a growing experience of humans that the conditions of the planet are becoming ‘pressing’. Because these problems are working on a global scale they cannot be solve by single nations alone. The time of ‘nations’ seems to be ‘out’. Either we are ‘one mankind’ or we will lose.

To understand ‘sustainability’ one has to look to the biological evolution with the eyes of many disciplines. Besides biology (with many additional disciplines) it seems to me that   ecology is highly important, theoretical ecology!

As part of the biosphere we humans as biological systems have introduced culture,  technology and society  in the game of life. As part of technology we have also introduced machines called ‘computer’ embedded in networks of ‘everything’. All this can be very valuable tools to master the different kinds of future including the whole biosphere. But this can only happen if the human race learns a bit more what it means to live in a truly sustainable fashion. This begins in the kind of ‘thinking and sharing ideas’. We are — it seems to me — far from such a ‘sustainable thinking’.  The minds are very ‘closed boxes’.

Spirituality

In this uffmm blog I did never write about spirituality, also not in the oksimo.org blog, but I have written several posts in may philosophy blog (about 20 – 30, or even more), and elsewhere.

Most people associate the wording ‘spirituality’ with strange, esoteric things, with religions. This reflects the course of history where different kinds of religions and partially strange movements used this term as ‘their’ term.  But this must not be so, not necessarily.

Spirituality is a genuine property of all biological life which in turn is an ‘outcome’ of the whole universe.  The ‘spiritual’ is not owned by special persons, it belongs to every human person  as a part of it. If one understands ‘life’ in it’s full reality, it is ‘the’ most important event in the whole universe. To understand this one must use everything we know today by the empirical sciences, but clearly more, because the empirical sciences are still lacking a true meta-science. The ‘old philosophy’ has not ‘grown’ ‘with’ the sciences; both are still ‘highly separated’ ….