bob, thanks for an extraordinary answer. riddled with extraordinary knowledge. I've just bought your book from Amazon and it should be in my kindle momentarily. if you'd like a copy of mine--The God Problem: How a Godless Cosmos Creates--i can email it to you. and to anyone else on the FIS list who wants it. our books intersect. we both attempt to lay out new assumptions for science. most important, I agree with you and Terrence Deacon that our analysis of information should not be limited to the metaphors of language, code, and genomics. a metaphor is a tool. each metaphor opens a different trove of insights. so the more metaphors--the more tools--the better. with warmth and oomph--howard ____________ Howard Bloom Author of: The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History ("mesmerizing"-The Washington Post), Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind From The Big Bang to the 21st Century ("reassuring and sobering"-The New Yorker), The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism ("A tremendously enjoyable book." James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic), The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos Creates ("Bloom's argument will rock your world." Barbara Ehrenreich), How I Accidentally Started the Sixties ("Wow! Whew! Wild! Wonderful!" Timothy Leary), and The Mohammed Code ("A terrifying book…the best book I've read on Islam." David Swindle, PJ Media). www.howardbloom.net Former Core Faculty Member, The Graduate Institute; Former Visiting Scholar-Graduate Psychology Department, New York University. Founder: International Paleopsychology Project; Founder, Space Development Steering Committee; Founder: The Group Selection Squad; Founding Board Member: Epic of Evolution Society; Founding Board Member, The Darwin Project; Founder: The Big Bang Tango Media Lab; member: New York Academy of Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Psychological Society, Academy of Political Science, Human Behavior and Evolution Society, International Society for Human Ethology, Scientific Advisory Board Member, Lifeboat Foundation; Editorial Board Member, Journal of Space Philosophy; Board member and member of Board of Governors, National Space Society.
In a message dated 9/29/2015 10:44:26 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, u...@umces.edu writes: Howard: I applaud your critique of our legacy attempts to render life meaningful in terms of what you call "necrophilia" and Hans Jonas has called an "ontology of death". In my last book, "A Third Window", I attempted to develop the metaphysics of a process ecology of relationships as an alternative starting point. <http://people.clas.ufl.edu/ulan/publications/philosophy/3rdwindow/> I especially resonated with your mention of the failure of conventional and relativistic physics to explain the spiral arms of some galaxies. This I believe is due to the constraints of the continuum assumption laid down by Euler and Leibniz, which conflates cause with effect. One can get away with this assumption so long as the interval between cause and effect is virtually immediate. In a galaxy 100,000 light years in diameter, however, this assumption begins to fray. It likely breaks down altogether across intergalactic distances. The continuum assumption leads to symmetrical laws of nature, and as Noether taught us, symmetry and conservation are joined at the hip. Is it any wonder, then, that inconsistencies leading to the postulation of "dark" matter and energy should arise if one uses only symmetrical laws? What is known to few is that Newton (who ironically gets a lot of the blame for the Eulerian assumption) inveighed strongly against equating cause with effect. Historian of science, Ed Dellian, gives the full story on his website. <http://www.neutonus-reformatus.de/frameset.html> I offer some consequences in my talk at "Seizing an Alternative", which took place back in June. <https://www.ctr4process.org/whitehead2015/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/PhilPr ax.pdf> Having thus waxed ebullient over your insights, I nonetheless tend to agree with Terry that discussion on communication or information should not be confined to language or genomics. In fact, I would contend that information should not be limited to association with communication. As Stan Salthe contends, it is more generally tied to any form of constraint. John Collier, for example, identifies such information as inheres in structures as "enformation", and this form is readily quantifiable using the information calculus of Shannon. <http://people.clas.ufl.edu/ulan/files/FISPAP.pdf> Such reckoning permits us to develop an alternative phenomenology to the "dead objects moving according to universal laws" attempts to apprehend life. <http://people.clas.ufl.edu/ulan/publications/ecosystems/gand/> Prodded by Jonas, we need to give intensive effort to articulating an "ontology of life". Peace, Bob U. > > re: it is likely to be problematic to use language as the paradigm model > for all communication--Terrence Deacon > > Terry makes interesting points, but I think on this one, he may be > wrong. > Guenther Witzany is on to something. our previous approaches to > information have been what Barbara Ehrenreich, in her introduction to the > upcoming > paperback of my book The God Problem: How a Godless Cosmos Creates, calls > "a kind of unacknowledged necrophilia." > > we've been using dead things to understand living things. aristotle put > us on that path when he told us that if we could break things down to > their > "elements" and understand what he called the "laws" of those elements, > we'd > understand everything. Newton took us farther down that path when he said > we could understand everything using the metaphor of the "contrivance," > the > machine--the metaphor of "mechanics" and of "mechanism." > > Aristotle and Newton were wrong. Their ideas have had centuries to pan > out, and they've led to astonishing insights, but they've left us blind > to > the relational aspect of things. utterly blind. > > the most amazing metaphor of relationality available to us is not math, > it's not mechanism, and it's not reduction to "elements," it's language. > by > using the metaphor of a form of language called "code," watson and crick > were able to understand what a strand of dna does and how. without > language > as metaphor, we'd still be in the dark about the genome. > > i'm convinced that by learning the relational secrets of the body of work > of a Shakespeare or a Goethe we could crack some of the secrets we've been > utterly unable to comprehend, from what makes the social clots we call a > galaxy's spiral arms (a phenomenon that astronomer Greg Matloff, a Fellow > of > the British interplanetary Society, says defies the laws of Newtonian > and > Einsteinian physics) to what makes the difference between life and death. > > in other words, it's time we confess in science just how little we know > about language, that we explore language's mysteries, and that we use our > discoveries as a crowbar to pry open the secrets of this highly > contextual, > deeply relational, profoundly communicational cosmos. > > with thanks for tolerating my opinions. > > howard > > ____________ > Howard Bloom
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