Application XVI: At work in the frontier

“Frontier” shouts that opportunity awaits. But those unprepared and/or indisposed to pioneer will be frustrated … however rich in consequentiality work in the frontier promises to be.

Examining the implications of the Nature of Things as they have become refracted in the increase, and increase in the rate, of materiality via contingent emergent materiality (CEM:) … such as to expand humanity’s frontier of realizable possibility (App. XII), development of HAS discipline becomes a paramount concern … as in such matters as infrastructural (, ) investment(s). This because the materiality we introduce via cognition, communication, composition and community (4C’s) can catalyze and expand materiality, including composed involvements of prior circumstantial changes, such as those of the materiality to be seen in the domains of physics, chemistry, biology and geology.

As the Diagram here suggests, we as behavioral entities are becoming more and more consequential, in quality and quantity. The extent and nature of that consequentiality will depend on how well we wed humanism, art and science: problem solving, composing and knowing. Work in the frontier requires this union. It also depends on a new view of history, where we improve our focus of attention on and grasp of behavioral entities. We are dealing with an eclipse of sorts. We cannot read behavioral entities completely and accurately because they have been hidden behind our treatment of them as bodies (e.g., “heavenly bodies,” “persons who”: : S-P, ; App. XIV).

For CEM and history are about behavioral entities – which are an unfortunate victim of minding’s linguistic technology. Behavioral entities change (in materiality) and expand (in number) during the course of history. But language presents us with something else. For the behavioral entity which we talk about here is not the same as “behavioral entity” as what we say about what we are talking about. The latter makes it sound as though we are talking about, focusing on, are entities.

Given the omnipresent threat of hard collisions we face as bodies under the condition of partial order, it is understandable that (body) sensory capacities have emerged in response to what amounts to a priority of consequentiality – the priority of closest collision. But the message of CEM is that full realization of consequentiality puts a premium on developing the step’s sensery capabilities (e.g., 4C’s), to further this realization, especially forward into a future of possibility.

This dysfunctional representation has persisted throughout our minding practices, including, most notably, in linguistic technology and its use. It figures prominently in the flawed minding characterization of “observer: observed” – i.e., of entity viz entity (with “thing” available as an entity surrogate for the observed). Behavior might and should come into the picture, for both observer or observed, but it has not yet in the full sense of behavioral entity viz behavioral entity (i.e., of body step viz body step). Too much of the dynamics are missing still.

(This is the import of the “Double Crystal” as a point: that body qua entity and step qua behavior are independent, each with distinctive structural units and relationships– not to mention histories, as indicated by “evolution” and “development.” “Behavioral entity,” as what is said, does not come close to capturing and expressing all that is implied by body step as what is being talked about …the thread of CEM extending from Big Bang through to the end of consequentiality [aka the "end of history"].)

To compose we need to develop our capabilities – and with them increase our capacities – to grasp, G, by involving, I, and to involve by grasping, this for minding as well as moving (where I x G as capacity is more apparent). As that which is said, SA, “Behavioral entity” fails as an adequate grasp of what we are talking about, TA … unless we somehow came to comprehend what is being talked about despite what has been said. We haven’t. (The SA/TA ratio is exceedingly large. “Sift and winnow” speaks to this, but not sharply enough.)

Involving for composing suffers in consequence of a weak grasp … thereby adding to other weaknesses in compositional capability – all too evident in our many unsolved problems … including this one in linguistic technology development.

From the very beginning of known history (“Big Bang”) we are talking about a body step condition – an exploding “unit mass” notwithstanding. And behavioral entities just keep getting more numerous and more behavioral throughout the course of history. (And behavioral in ways [e.g., wave-particle duality; quantum mechanics; “Is as doesn’t do” – i.e., unfulfilled functional needs; compositional change vs. circumstantial change] that seem anomalous to an entity-centric interpretation of history.)

When it comes to minding we have tied ourselves in knots (: S-P;) to achieve this eclipse. All this discussion about the Double Crystal may well seem more than a bit tedious, perhaps even unnecessary. Not, however, if we correctly assess the lack of strength with which we, as of now, mind the way we do, with the technology we have so far developed, in trying – or not even trying –to solve our problems: our behavioral problem, as for individual composure and needed community capability, and our situational problems, as they increase in number and severity.

What Copernicus did for a sector of CEM-history to productively refocus attention (re body-body relationships), we need to be able to do for all of CEM-history. Making body step that focus, overcoming the eclipse of behavioral entity, points the way.

So let’s dramatize in HAS fashion … which is to say, set out a thought experiment in the development & research mode to help clarify, to make more apparent, what’s being talked about….

Suppose we envision two approaches:

Option A.

The glasses option. We invent a new kind of glasses to improve our vision, this in the tradition of the various “scopes” by which we have brought bodies closer and/or enlarged them, a kind of visual aid along the lines introduced in App. X with respect to a “psychlotron.” This would conceivably bring into view all the functional aspects of observed particulars (e.g., step structure, step-body relationships) to the same extent that we have achieved visibility for body structure and the structure of body-body relationships. This option is essentially what we have tried to achieve via words and languages … and with significant success. But there are problems ahead in composing that path as an experiment in the development and research mode.

It may help to visualize language as though it were a seeing-eye dog. It tries to do for sensery capability what the trained dog does for sensory capacity. But far from obviously. When we encounter someone accompanied by the dog we are immediately alert to a limitation of sensory capacity. This is not the case for sensery capability when someone says something to us – “word power” notwithstanding. (See: communication accidents, for instance.)

An important part of linguistic communication’s success is that it gives us our closest personal companion. This is demonstrated by the extent to which we talk to ourselves – and not just on those occasions deemed as instances of “language and thought.” So linguistic improvement could be very helpful if it could assist us in dealing with the behavioral problem (e.g., to help relieve dysfunctional body states, as seen in emotion trumping cognition) and not just with situational problems – such as communication’s more familiar roles of connecting and representing. But how easily and how well could linguistic invention be implemented (tool plus usage procedure) – in any form, glasses or not? It would amount to a massive re-education program, with potential users coming from a large variety of different linguistic traditions (e.g., different communities and cultures … which have strong companionship attachments … and when it comes to changing their behavior whose members are subject to the principle of least effort – much as they rejoice in countering the principle of less action at a distance).

And, as we have seen with regard to communication’s representational function, there’s more to Read and Tell than is implemented in and by linguistic technology. Thus, in terms of grasp x involve functionality, any read is to try to grasp. (And some of tell is to involve, as in relationship with others as well as in sentences.) Weakness in primary Read capability calls attention to our linguistic limitations. So does the disparity between what is said (about what is being talked about) and what is being talked about – the tertiary Read and Tell tasks – bespeak our linguistic weakness there. For reading it takes a lot of solving in order to see … and even then we often cannot see. For telling It takes a lot of saying in order that others may see – and even then they often cannot see.

And what if the new glasses were just used to look at the same conditions as before – as though we were not on and in a frontier at all? If we looked at less than all the dynamic conditions of body step as they obtain in the Nature of Things and this World of Possibility? If we focused attention on particular but not general conditions (e.g., situational circumstances but not general persisting circumstances)?

And what if the new glasses had the same lens defect that previous languages have had, such that when we did encounter step body interdependence and imbalance conditions we didn’t see all there was to see?

Pursuit of this option, needed though it is and useful though it can be, smacks too much of overdependence on evolution as the metastrategic path forward (, , ). It’s not that closely in accord with the Nature of Things. Innovatively, it’s too much a “new, improved” and not enough a revolutionary realization of what lies here and ahead at and in the frontier.

Option B.

The geographic option. As an alternative to pursuing Option A’s language development initiative, we provide ourselves with maps that help us to see the “lay of the land” and to indicate our “You are here” positions therein. The geography would map not only the frontier but the context (i.e., history – past and future) of the frontier … which is to say: the Nature of Things and the World of Possibility. The maps would cover various consequential features of the terrain, just as contour maps for conservation and agriculture have complemented locational distance maps for transportation.

The maps could then serve as a basis for improving linguistic technology, such as exemplified by adding “thingk” to our vocabulary — to add to our Tell capacity in consequence of minding’s cognitive and communicative functions (App. III. Also see there diagrammatically the glyphic representation of minding’s functional domains, analogous to symbols familiarly seen in maps.) In this way, language can become an ever more useful companion. And language would not have to be looked at as in need of structural overhaul. Let language live and develop. Let distinctive structural consequences develop from distinguished functional needs – as architectural composition (e.g., Frank Lloyd Wright) has it.

For this thought experiment picture yourself entering a photography establishment and being placed, head showing through a hole, behind a scenic prop of a group of pioneers … putting you in the company of these frontier familiars. But then you are ushered out the back door and handed a book of maps, entitled “The new frontier: You are here.”

Maps have languages of their own, but before we get into which maps in what kinds of languages to include, let’s keep in mind that for our behavior what maps offer is an involving by which we can better grasp whatever is our focus of attention … as in finding ourselves in yet unexplored territory – with us underdeveloped and the territory unknown. The more detailed and accurate the maps, the better our grasp.

For example, human history and our “place” in it look different if the mapping is genealogical rather than geological, cosmic rather than geological. (As we can see in observer estimates of the earth’s age.) The effect is one of establishing context … and behavioral perspective. The involvement of maps in problem solving, both the behavioral problem and situational problems), has long been evident. Just as evident has been the tremendous variation in grasp among those using this or that mapping — or this or that version of the same mapping.

What should be mapped? Any and everything of consequence. Any difference that makes a difference. Any similarity that makes a difference. Any difference – or similarity – that makes a difference in difference making. And so on. What we have attempted here in BFPS is to take note of neglected consequentiality … as with the differences between, and the differences following from, consequentiality per se (as evident in general persisting conditions: qualities of the Nature of Things) and particular consequences.

BFPS introduces many further instances of neglected consequentiality, especially of differences that make or could make a difference, any of which can make a mapping contribution. Enough instances to fill a book of maps for use in the frontier.

Maps that we can continue to improve. To illustrate, take the kind of mapping which we might develop for the behavioral dynamics inherent in the Balance requisite, where balancing (two or more) emphases (e.g., ratios of elementary/basic; effectiveness/efficiency; ADEPT/ADOPT/ADAPT) brings with it concern for their independence, interdependence and complementarity: all differences that make a difference. Consider then the technological potential for a Dynamic Profile Assay (DPA).

The assay would furnish for behavior the equivalent of a spectrographic analysis for entities/bodies. It would comprise all the conditions listed in, plus those that have appeared – or have yet to appear – elsewhere in BFPS. The profile pertains to changes as steps are taken. In the metaphor of behavior being like trying to ride erect on a herd of horses – even to corral them first (!), there is a lot going on and not going on but should that we need to attend to … and bring into accord with the behavioral principles deriving from the Nature of Things.

A DPA mapping could usefully displace current, unsatisfactory technologies re behavioral effectiveness (e.g., summary and “bottom line” assessments and feedback). These technologies and the mappings they represent are dysfunctional in three ways: 1/ they minimize the use of empiricism as an aid to behavior; 2/ they very weakly, if at all (e.g., give reason to rebel), improve our performance as operating systems; 3/ they constrain our lives. They are mind(ing) binders of the highest order.

DPA responds to what may be the most serious dynamic misreading of all: BE as B re the body step (interdependence): the two-stranded thread of history’s fabric of contingent emergent materiality.

The hallmark of work in the frontier has been invention in response to needed functionality. “Build” and “make” and “make things happen” are watchwords for the pioneer. Maps that discourage or neglect needed functionality, development of relevant capabilities, and evaluation of those capabilities when exercised… such maps deserve place in a mausoleum. Others deserve respect as wall adornments as valued ancestors of later mappings. What we need and should want are maps to carry with us now — that we can look to for help here in the frontier of the future.

CEM says that, behaviorally, effective community must be our next great invention. And perhaps a community responsive to needed functionality could well be the engine for a more productive language. A community more attuned to problem solving than decision making, for example.

(c) 2013 R.F. Carter


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