Re: [Fis] January Lecture--Information and the Forces of History

2016-01-13 Thread HowlBloom

Pedro,
 
re:  Do we need a new interpretation of history, info based?
 
hb: we definitely need a few new tools with which to see the patterns of  
history.  whether those patterns are informational or not, I'm not  sure.  I 
lean toward the tools you cite, the ones emerging from  biology.  
superorganism, ideas, and the pecking order, for example, come  from 
evolutionary 
biology.  so do hormonal interpretations of history, some  of which are in my 
books.
 
the real challenge is in the puzzle you pose:  how do we make insights  
that come from  "inspiration and metaphor" more rigorous.  one tiny  
suggestion.  forget mathematics.  it has been consistently misleading  in the 
realm of 
the living.
 
instead look at the example of darwin.  darwin used a metaphor--the  sort 
of selection a pigeon breeder uses to achieve new characteristics.  he  
imagined nature as the picky, choosy selector, not the pigeon  breeder.  so he 
called his metaphor "natural selection." 
 
yet he used not a single equation.  the validity of his metaphor was  
judged by the number of facts it explained.  and by the extent to which  facts 
fit into another of his tools, one his grandfather had pioneered, an  
evolutionary story, a timeline, that began with a big bang (his grandfather's  
starting point) and worked its way up to the present.
 
if the timeline fit the facts and the facts fit the timeline, the  timeline 
was worth employing as a tool.  in the 157 years since  Darwin's 
publication of On the Origin of Species, more and more facts have  fit.  And 
more and 
more predictions based on the timeline have proven  true.
 
I'd suggest the same approach to concepts like the secular trio of the  
forces of history, the unholy trinity of the lucifer principle: superorganism,  
ideas, and the pecking order.  the pecking order, in fact, can be traced  
back to hierarchies within atoms 380,000 years after the big bang and to the  
hierarchies within galaxies and solar systems 400 million years after the 
big  bang.  
 
emergent group identities, the pre-biotic equivalent of superorganisms, can 
 be traced back to the first quark trios in the initial 10(-32) of a second 
of  the cosmos existence, and to the first galaxies, solar systems, stars, 
and  planets.
 
replicators are totally unique to life.  and ideas are totally unique  to 
minds.
 
my insistence on finding the basic patterns in the abiotic cosmos that  
reappear in the forces of history is my humble attempt to do a darwin--to see  
what basic organizing principles emerge from the timeline of the cosmos'  
existence, from the big bang to what you and i are doing at this minute in our 
 exchange.
 
information may or may not be a primary tool of this understanding.   but 
surely communication, which has been around from the instant when  the first 
quarks precipitated from a speeding, expanding  space-time manifold 10(-32) 
seconds into the cosmos' existence, is  crucial.
 
which puts us back to where we left off in my previous  email:  does 
abiotic communication qualify  as information?  and if it is disqualified, are 
those performing the  disqualification weakening the potential explanatory 
power of their  chosen discipline?
 
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 1/13/2016 3:38:51 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es writes:

Thanks  for the positive comment, Marcus. Actually there 

Re: [Fis] January Lecture--Information and the Forces of History

2016-01-09 Thread PEDRO CLEMENTE MARIJUAN FERNANDEZ
Dear Howard and colleagues,

Thanks for the comments on "instinctive" justice. I agree on those evolutionary 
roots, although it is not the kind of complex "invented" justice needed even 
for the early urban settlements. The Hammurabi's legendary code, for instance, 
was in the context of a mostly urban civilization, possessing writing, number 
systems, mass-religion, bureaucracy and very different professions. It was 
written because justice administration could not be left to oral vagaries. 
Celts, conversely, never developed writing systems (& decent number systems) 
and so were unable to go beyond the village/tribe stage, where the 
"instinctive" justice and the face-to-face relationships are sufficient to 
cover the collective organization demands. Their very interesting culture and 
folklore had no parallel in permanent sociopolitical structures, irrespective 
that they could improvise astonishing military rampages. In the book by Jared 
Diamond (Guns, Germs & Steel), there is a very interesting Table in pp. 268-9 
that describes the whole conditions for ascending in social complexity: bands, 
tribes, feuds, kingdoms, empires... Each society has to find, first, an 
adequate ecological environment (or being able to built it "artificially") and 
then has to invent the further organizational requisites (or has to receive 
them from abroad). That Table is quite interesting and may be important for 
further advancing the "informational approach" to human history.

Thereafter, the social "superorganism" becomes possible due to the long term 
work of human knowledge (or "reason" as Hans puts), through language, deictic 
combinatorics, etc., in an exercise of collective intelligence, mostly of the 
AP type (Angelic!). Science as the great social method to 
create/invent/innovate is probably the best paradigm for AP values. Justice is 
as much essential, but the invented one, for it must be differentiated and 
evolved for the larger and larger social organisms. Failure to develop the 
appropriate legal developments and judiciary instances means that the conflicts 
always inherent in the LP human reality will paralyze and even destroy the 
existing social order. Collapse is always close by (what happened with URSS 
colossal empire?). In our times, those perennial, intractable conflicts are 
fueled not just by conflicting memes, but by a series of arbitrariness, errors, 
force exhibitions, retaliations, occupations, etc. that cannot be examined and 
judged by any judiciary system. The Western failure even to glimpse that 
absence is but an epochal blindness.

Bob has drafted the universal drama, where the elements of the two different 
scenarios AP & LP mix and intertwine forming more and more complex tapestries. 
Perhaps the essential point of all this deployment was marked in Howard's first 
paragraph of the kickoff text: "What are the forces of history? And what do 
they have to do with information science?" But a previous question may be in 
order: is "force" the most cogent term to rationalize the upheavals of human 
history? Is "force" an interesting element at all for advancing the 
informational worldview?

Best wishes to all (and particularly thanks to Hans for his hyper-kind comment!)
--Pedro

De: howlbl...@aol.com [howlbl...@aol.com]
Enviado el: miércoles, 06 de enero de 2016 0:37
Para: PEDRO CLEMENTE MARIJUAN FERNANDEZ; fis@listas.unizar.es
Asunto: Re: [Fis] January Lecture--Information and the Forces of History


good commentary, pedro.

where do compassion and love--the archangel principle--fit into the   lucifer 
principle?  and why have groups progressed in complexity since the end of the 
last ice age eleven thousand years ago?

to form a superorganism, a cohesive group, you need huge amounts of 
collaboration and cooperation.  love is one cohesive force, one bonding 
element, one form of social glue.  justice is another.

justice resolves differences in the group without violence.  justice is at work 
in chimpanzee societies, where new leaders are required to uphold the weak and 
the downtrodden and to settle disputes.  if a new leader doesn't understand 
this imperative and is a mere bully, the females in the group oust him from 
power.

justice is at work in !Kung San societies, where the days are devoted to 
hunting and gathering and the nights are devoted to story telling and dispute 
resolution.

but where does the increasing complexity of human societies come from?  humans 
are drawn to the sight of other humans.  when architects in the 1960s tried to 
fashion contemplative spaces around office buildings so the buildings'  
inhabitants could get a touch of calm during lunch hours, it didn't work.  the 
buildings' workers shunned the contemplative spots and sat on the buildings' 
outdoor steps.  why?  to watch the sight of other people going by o

Re: [Fis] January Lecture--Information and the Forces of History

2016-01-06 Thread Robert E. Ulanowicz
Dear Howard and Pedro,

Please allow me to comment on the complementary visions of the Lucifer vs.
the "angelic" scenarios.

Anyone familiar with my work knows that I see configurations of mutually
beneficial processes as the driver behind all of evolution. The problem is
that this dynamic is, like much of nature, normatively ambiguous.

Mutually beneficial configurations exhibit a "centripetality", or the
tendency to bring ever more resources into their own orbits. This is a
universal, although much neglected, but necessary attribute of all living
systems.

So one is able to view this dynamic in either its angelic or Luciferian
manifestations:

At the angelic extreme, Giovanni di Fidenza (a.k.a., Bonaventure) saw the
infinite love shared among the persons of the Trinity as the beginning of
all creation, drawing all of creation eventually towards Godself.

The growth-inducing aspect of mutual beneficence was implicit in Darwin's
description of the counterplay between growth and elimination. The growth
side of the interaction has subsequently been minimized, and current
evolutionary theory emphasizes elimination. 

Of course, induced growth situated within a finite context eventually
leads to competition and often to elimination -- the Luciferian side of
the same phenomenon. Centripetality also elides into manifestation of
"self", or selfishness. (On the human scale, Daryl Domning speaks, not of
Original Sin, but "Original Selfishness". :) Induced competition and
selfishness then combine to yield Howard's pecking order.

And so the drama of the universe unfolds as a struggle between rampant
selfishness and kenotic beneficence -- from the atomic scale all the way
to universal dimensions. It all begins with mutual beneficence, but it
evolves/devolves into complex interplay of phenomena to which we assign
contrasting normative values.

Peace to all,
Bob U.

> The Force of History--Howard Bloom
>
>
> In 1995, I published my first  book, The Lucifer Principle: a Scientific
> Expedition Into the Forces of  history.  It sold roughly 140,000  copies
> worldwide and is still selling.  Some people call it their Bible.  Others
> say
> that it was the book that predicted 9/11.  And less than two months ago,
> on
> November 13, 2015, some current readers said it was the book that
> explained
> ISIS’ attacks on Paris.  Why?  What are the forces of history?  And what
> do
> they have to do with  information science?
> The Lucifer Principle uses  evolutionary biology, group selection,
> neurobiology, immunology, microbiology,  computer science, animal
> behavior, and
> anthropology to probe mass passions, the  passions that have powered
> historical
> movements from the unification of China in  221 BC and the start of the
> Roman  Empire in 201 BC  to the rise  of the Empire of Islam in 634 AD and
> that
> empire’s modern manifestations, the  Islamic Revolutionary Republic of
> Iran
> and ISIS, the Islamic State, a group  intent on establishing a global
> caliphate.  The Lucifer Principle concludes that the passions that swirl,
> swizzle,
>  and twirl history’s currents are a secular trinity.  What are that
> trinity’
> s three  components?  The superorganism, the  pecking order, and ideas.
> What’s a superorganism?  Your body is an organism. But it’s also  a
> massive social gathering.  It’s  composed of a hundred trillion cells.
> Each of
> those cells is capable of living on its own.  Yet your body survives
> thanks to
> the  existence of a collective identity—a you.  In 1911,_[i]_
> (file:///C:/cnt/the%20new%20forces%20of%20history%20for%20pedro%20marijuna%20and%20the%20f
> oundations%20of%20information%20science%2012-24-2015.docx#_edn1)   Harvard
> biologist William Morton Wheeler noticed that ant colonies pull off the
> same trick.  From 20,000 to 36  million ants work together to create an
> emergent property, a collective  identity, the identity of a community, a
> society,
> a colony, or a  supercolony.  Wheeler observed how  the colony behaved as
> if
> it were a single organism.  He called the result a
> “superorganism.”_[ii]_
> (file:///C:/cnt/the%20new%20forces%20of%20history%20for%20pedro%20marijuna%2
> 0and%20the%20foundations%20of%20information%20science%2012-24-2015.docx#_edn
> 2)
> Meanwhile in roughly 1900, when  he was still a child, Norway’s Thorleif
> Schjelderup Ebbe got into a strange  habit: counting the number of pecks
> the
> chickens in his family’s flock landed on  each other and who pecked
> whom.  By
>  the time he was ready to write his PhD dissertation in 1918, Ebbe had
> close to  20 years of data.  And that data  demonstrated something
> strange.
> Chickens in a barnyard are not egalitarian.  They have a strict hierarchy.
>  At
> the top is a chicken who gets special  privileges.   All others step
> aside
> when she goes to the trough.  She is the first to eat.  And  she can peck
> any other chicken in the group.  Then comes chicken 

Re: [Fis] January Lecture--Information and the Forces of History

2016-01-05 Thread PEDRO CLEMENTE MARIJUAN FERNANDEZ
Dear Howard and Colleagues,

Many thanks for your contribution! This is the third time we have a New Year 
Lecture, and the first one devoted to humanities. Well, to the "inhumanities" 
should I say, as what you have depicted succinctly with the Lucifer Principle 
describes the main evil that has been torturing human history.

There are matters of detail to comment (as previous messages have already 
pointed out), but also of general perspective. First about the apparent 
simplicity. The LP scheme looks simple, too simple... but at the same time it 
may be powerful, really powerful in explanatory capabilities. I really do not 
particularly like any of the three components involved (super-organism, pecking 
order, meme/group-identity), and do not trust much about their respective 
"scientificity", but their combination is chilling. It reminds some of the 
Marxian strictures about class struggle, partially right but missing and 
transposing essential ingredients of human life. Presumably some more 
objectivity in this case --but also missing some counterpart, say the 
"Archangel Principle", that has confronted and resisted the solvent forces of 
the Luciferian complex and, in the long trend, supported the complexity growth 
of societies and improved their structural decency.

With only the action of LP, history would not go beyond barbaric empires 
briefly raising from a mosaic of ever fighting tribes... That's plausible, and 
some parties may remind Tom Stonier in this list, late 90's I think, on warfare 
as part of the adaption scenario of human evolution. Then, what could be the AP 
"bright forces" of history that have counteracted LP? The Pantheon of 
politheistic cultures could give a hint... I venture to single out three 
components of AP: knowledge, justice, and the third... what about 
love/compassion?

Anyhow, both the details of your LP scheme and the general canvas of human 
history need an informational perspective, we completely agree. And it is 
interesting that the whole trinity of LP have biological/informational origins; 
but disentangling the info physics from the info bios has not been done yet 
(and so your final comment is well intended but still confusing in my view). 
Let me ad, looking both at the achievements of our times and at the open 
intractable conflicts, that it is amazing the absence of a real international 
system of justice...

Discussing on justice, on its capability to social problem solving and to 
quench the LP permanent hunger, might not be a bad idea.

Best wishes to all for the New Year.
--Pedro



De: Fis [fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es] en nombre de howlbl...@aol.com 
[howlbl...@aol.com]
Enviado el: lunes, 04 de enero de 2016 6:45
Para: fis@listas.unizar.es
Asunto: [Fis] January Lecture--Information and the Forces of History


The Force of History--Howard Bloom

In 1995, I published my first book, The Lucifer Principle: a Scientific 
Expedition Into the Forces of history.  It sold roughly 140,000 copies 
worldwide and is still selling.  Some people call it their Bible.  Others say 
that it was the book that predicted 9/11.  And less than two months ago, on 
November 13, 2015, some current readers said it was the book that explained 
ISIS’ attacks on Paris.  Why?  What are the forces of history?  And what do 
they have to do with information science?
The Lucifer Principle uses evolutionary biology, group selection, neurobiology, 
immunology, microbiology, computer science, animal behavior, and anthropology 
to probe mass passions, the passions that have powered historical movements 
from the unification of China in 221 BC and the start of the Roman  Empire in 
201 BC  to the rise of the Empire of Islam in 634 AD and that empire’s modern 
manifestations, the Islamic Revolutionary Republic of Iran and ISIS, the 
Islamic State, a group intent on establishing a global caliphate.  The Lucifer 
Principle concludes that the passions that swirl, swizzle, and twirl history’s 
currents are a secular trinity.  What are that trinity’s three components?  The 
superorganism, the pecking order, and ideas.
What’s a superorganism?  Your body is an organism. But it’s also a massive 
social gathering.  It’s composed of a hundred trillion cells.  Each of those 
cells is capable of living on its own.  Yet your body survives thanks to the 
existence of a collective identity—a you.  In 
1911,[i]
 Harvard biologist William Morton Wheeler noticed that ant colonies pull off 
the same trick.  From 20,000 to 36 million ants work together to create an 
emergent property, a collective identity, the identity of a community, a 
society, a colony, or a supercolony.  Wheeler observed how the colony behaved 
as if it were a single organism.  He called the result a 
“superorganism.”[ii]
Meanwhile in roughly 1900, when he was still a child, Norway’s Thorleif 
Schjelderup Ebbe got into a strange habit: counting the number of pecks the 
chickens in his family’s flock landed 

Re: [Fis] January Lecture--Information and the Forces of History

2016-01-05 Thread HowlBloom

good commentary, pedro.
 
where do compassion and love--the archangel principle--fit into  the   
lucifer principle?  and why have groups progressed in  complexity since the end 
of the last ice age eleven thousand years ago?
 
to form a superorganism, a cohesive group, you need huge amounts of  
collaboration and cooperation.  love is one cohesive force, one bonding  
element, 
one form of social glue.  justice is another.  
 
justice resolves differences in the group without violence.  justice  is at 
work in chimpanzee societies, where new leaders are required to uphold the  
weak and the downtrodden and to settle disputes.  if a new leader doesn't  
understand this imperative and is a mere bully, the females in the group 
oust  him from power.
 
justice is at work in !Kung San societies, where the days are devoted to  
hunting and gathering and the nights are devoted to story telling and dispute 
 resolution.
 
but where does the increasing complexity of human societies come  from?  
humans are drawn to the sight of other humans.  when architects  in the 1960s 
tried to fashion contemplative spaces around office buildings so  the 
buildings'  inhabitants could get a touch of calm during lunch hours,  it 
didn't 
work.  the buildings' workers shunned the contemplative spots and  sat on the 
buildings' outdoor steps.  why?  to watch the sight of  other people going 
by on the sidewalk.
 
we love the sight of others.  and the more others, the better.   from that 
impulse came cities.  from that impulse came smartphones and  facebook.
 
but guess what?  the more communication and the more information  exchange, 
the more collaboration.  and the richer and more long-distance  that 
collaboration becomes.  the more global.
 
the more we communicate, the more group iq we add to the global  brain.  
(the topic of my second book, Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass  Mind from 
the Big Bang to the 21st Century)
 
one more thing.  nature seems to have  an inexorable itch for  novelty.  
and we, nature's children, are novelty hunters too.  from  our itch for 
novelty comes, guess what?   innovation.
 
put innovation and increasing group size together and you get a long-term  
march forward, a march in which humans do the cosmos' work--helping her 
reinvent  herself.  helping her lift herself up the staircase of shock and  
creativity. the staircase of complexity. the staircase of the  supersized 
surprise.
 
with warmth and oomph--howard
 
 
 
In a message dated 1/5/2016 12:23:57 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es writes:

Dear Howard and Colleagues,  


Many  thanks for your contribution! This is the third time we have a New 
Year  Lecture, and the first one devoted to humanities. Well, to the 
"inhumanities"  should I say, as what you have depicted succinctly with the 
Lucifer 
Principle  describes the main evil that has been torturing human history. 


There are matters of  detail to comment (as previous messages have already 
pointed out), but also of  general perspective. First about the apparent 
simplicity. The LP scheme looks  simple, too simple... but at the same time it 
may be powerful, really powerful in explanatory  capabilities. I really do 
not particularly like any of the three components  involved (super-organism, 
pecking order,  meme/group-identity), and do not  trust much about their 
respective "scientificity", but their combination is chilling. It reminds some 
of the Marxian  strictures about class struggle, partially  right but 
missing and transposing essential ingredients of human life.  Presumably some 
more 
objectivity in this case  --but also missing some counterpart, say the 
"Archangel Principle", that has  confronted and resisted the solvent forces of 
the Luciferian complex and, in the  long trend, supported the complexity 
growth of societies and  improved their structural decency. 


With only the action of LP, history would not  go beyond barbaric empires 
briefly raising from a mosaic of ever  fighting tribes... That's plausible, 
and some parties may remind Tom  Stonier in this list, late 90's I think, on 
warfare as part of the adaption  scenario of human evolution. Then, what 
could be the AP "bright forces" of  history that have counteracted LP? The 
Pantheon of politheistic cultures could give a hint... I venture to  single out 
three components of AP:  knowledge, justice, and the third... what about  
love/compassion? 


Anyhow, both the details of your LP scheme and the general canvas  of human 
history need an informational perspective, we completely agree. And  it is 
interesting that the whole trinity of LP have biological/informational  
origins; but disentangling the info physics from the info bios has not been  
done yet (and so your final comment is well  intended but  still confusing in 
my view). Let me ad, looking  both at the achievements of our times and at 
the open intractable conflicts,  that it is amazing the absence of a real