Dear Joe, and FIS colleagues
Given that I will be away for several days (trip--and not computer
availability), let me rush to make a few anticipated comments on ideas I
would like to rewrite in the future. First of all, it is an exciting,
scholarly piece you have prepared. Thanks!
Maybe I should stop here, but aren't little disagreements the salt and
spice of our profession? For instance:
Would you think that cellular (even molecular) complexity could be useful
to illuminate further (more basic) aspects of complexity? It passes almost
unnoticed in the text (only under the ecological cover).
And what about "information" and societies? Info does not appear either in
your text (while curiously appearing in books & papers of yours).
Does social complexity hinge on the development of fundamental
"informational devices", which somehow amplify social knowledge,
communication, storage, etc. (e.g., alphabet, printing press,
telecommunications, computers)? Those info inventions would open and close
Is emergence (or better complexity) an open-ended phenomenon in human
societies, where anything can pop out, except for the cost it implies? Or,
does "human nature" imply very fundamental constraints (but pretty
transparent for us)?: the "water" we live in.
Do you think that the systems-loaded parlance is really helpful, providing
adequate and fertile distinctions on social complexity? Or does it
substitute for dubious foundations in crucial aspects of social science?
These are a few first minute comments and questions after a fast
reading---probably they misdirect the reflection... I will come back next week.
Thanking again your "food for thought",
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