At this point, I feel I need a ‘refresher’ on Loet Leydesdorff’s important distinction, with reference to information, between recursion and incursion. Loet?

When one thinks outside the box, as Bob U. will have us do, the air may seem a little thin, for a while. However, one can soon get acclimatized, with some good will.



Dear Joseph,

I am not sure, but I guess that the recursive transductions assume a forward arrow of time: the previous state (at t-1) is "transduced" into a next one (at t = t).

An incursive system provides also a reference to its current state. For example, a new technology is shaped with reference to the previous one, but also with reference to a current market as the relevant selection environment. A hyperincursive system develops with reference to its next future state (t + 1) or even beyond that (t + n).

For example, meaning -- in interpersonal communications -- is provided from the perspective of hindsight in the present, but with reference to horizons of meaning. This reference to possible future states provides the intentionality that is specific for interhuman communication. The logic thus is different from a biological system developing with the arrow of time (in history).

Another terminology would be that of trajectories and regimes. Trajectories are shaped with time; for example, along life-cycles. Regimes (e.g., life vs. death) are next-order selection mechanisms which shape the conditions for trajectories. This is still at the level of general systems theory. In interhuman communication specifically, the order remains an order of expectations which feeds back onto the present state from future (possible) states. This inversion of time leads to the generation of redundancy as different from the (Shannon-type) information. It provides new options.

Hopefully, I answered your question.

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