[Fis] Focusing on Narratives. Happenstances

Loet Leydesdorff loet at leydesdorff.net
Fri Nov 30 19:44:25 CET 2018


Dear Joseph,

>That is my ‘orientation for the troubled future’: nothing certain; 
>pieces of useful method to be recovered from amidst a lot of jargon 
>(e.g., dialectics); openness to everything that does not require 
>absolute adherence to the fundamentality of abstractions.
>
>
>
>Cheers,
>
>
>
>Joseph
>
>
>
Dear Joseph: I agree. One is free to think and explore in the context of 
discovery. After the explorative phase, one proceeds to specify more 
precisely and perhaps to test.

The problem was that Pedro prefers to stay with the narrative in 
everyday life. In my opinion, science begins with a reflection on the 
status of statements and observations. The casuistic of random events is 
not sufficient for the reason of quality control.

Best,
Loet


>
>
>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>From: Fis [mailto:fis-bounces en listas.unizar.es] On Behalf Of Loet 
>Leydesdorff
>Sent: vendredi, 30 novembre 2018 07:07
>To: Pedro C. Marijuan; fis en listas.unizar.es
>Subject: Re: [Fis] Focusing on Narratives
>
>
>
>Dear Pedro,
>
>
>
>>To Loet, unfortunately real life does not allow such neat scheme of 
>>expectations, observations, and modifications/decisions--except in the 
>>abstract. Daily life is surrounded by multitude of behavioral cycles 
>>and happenstances from the subject himself and from the surrounding 
>>parties impinging on the subject. It is difficult to isolate 
>>mainstreams there, and it is difficult to know how to orient oneself 
>>for the troubled future.
>>
>This is called the context of discovery. Real life is neither an 
>explanans nor an explanandum. Who wishes to explain happenstances?
>
>
>
>This is strange.
>
>
>
>>There are now ambitious theoretical schemes of neural information 
>>processing that could provide light on other points of the conscious, 
>>the emotional, the sensorimotor, the excitation/inhibition coupling, 
>>the optimization of neural entropy, etc. But they have to connect with 
>>natural behavior, and also finally with narratives.
>>
>>
>>
>>>I assume that your behaviour is more "natural" than mine.  
>>>Eventually, this may lead to narratives as bla-bla. Of course, 
>>>everything has to be spelled out in an explanation.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>Best,
>>>
>>>Loet
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>>To Jerry's, after his four pages on perplex number system, I can only 
>>say that great, terrific. It could have been an interesting 
>>presentation for an ad hoc discussion session. I am tempted to twist a 
>>few sentences of his text and to intercalate four pages or so on 
>>signaling systems, or on the "sociotype", which is closer to the 
>>current session. But that is not the scholarly way of discussion.
>>
>>To finalize, there is a provocative sentence in Bonnet's closing of 
>>his book: "The one who tells the stories rules the world."
>>
>>Best wishes
>>--Pedro
>>
>>
>>El 25/11/2018 a las 5:10, Loet Leydesdorff escribió:
>>
>>>Dear Pedro, Joseph, and colleagues,
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>Let me side with Joseph in this instance.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>memories? And, similarly, does not "potential" refer to 
>>>cognitive/anticipatory capabilities that somehow detect higher 
>>>fitness possibilities along some behavioral paths than others, and 
>>>then conduce to the long term realization and flourishing of a life 
>>>cycle? The potential belongs, say, to the "processual" not to the 
>>>physical. In my view, the general challenge is to re-explain 
>>>narratives, the fundamental commodity of social communication, in a 
>>>more advanced conceptualization, beyond the Jungian, the Shannonian, 
>>>or the corrosive fake-correctedness  of our times... It can be done. 
>>>The neuroscientific approach would be badly needed to recreate the 
>>>terminology and the fundamental ideas.
>>>
>>>Perhaps, I miss the meaning of some of the wordings in this narrative 
>>>:-), but it seems to me that there is something terribly wrong here. 
>>>"The potential belongs ... to the "processual." We can consider this 
>>>as "nom de gueux."
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>One always begins with the specification of expectations. I assume 
>>>that these are then "processual"? Expectations (possible states) are 
>>>tested against observations and can then sometimes be rejected.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>For example: One can hypothesize that there are gender differences on 
>>>this list. Then, one can cross-table those of us who on average 
>>>publish 0, 1, or 2 postings with the gender differences (M/F).  This 
>>>generates a 3 times 2  table.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>Using the margin totals one can compute the expected values of each 
>>>cell and test the observed values against the expectations. The 
>>>expectations are "processual"? Indeed, they are possibilities which 
>>>do not have to be realized. That is an empirical question.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>Unfortunately, Logic-in-Reality works as a logic with only two values 
>>>(T/F). This may lead to a poor design when one needs more grey 
>>>shades.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>Best,
>>>
>>>Loet.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>
>>>Loet Leydesdorff
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>Professor emeritus, University of Amsterdam
>>>Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>loet en leydesdorff.net <mailto:loet en leydesdorff.net>; 
>>>http://www.leydesdorff.net/
>>>Associate Faculty, SPRU, <http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/>University of 
>>>Sussex;
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>Guest Professor Zhejiang Univ. <http://www.zju.edu.cn/english/>, 
>>>Hangzhou; Visiting Professor, ISTIC, 
>>><http://www.istic.ac.cn/Eng/brief_en.html>Beijing;
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>Visiting Fellow, Birkbeck <http://www.bbk.ac.uk/>, University of 
>>>London;
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=ych9gNYAAAAJ&hl=en
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>Best regards
>>>--Pedro
>>>
>>>  El 21/11/2018 a las 9:31, Joseph Brenner escribió:
>>>
>>>>Dear Colleagues,
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>Pedro’s approach, solidly anchored in biology, allows for progress 
>>>>in understanding. Two comments on his ‘logic’: 1) I would not call 
>>>>the ‘concoction’ within which we live imaginary. It is rather a set 
>>>>of real, dynamic mental processes, with actual and potential, 
>>>>effectively causal components. 2) ‘Complex life’ instantiates 
>>>>potential (and kinetic) energy not only in a ‘book keeping role’. 
>>>>Complex life is constituted by actual and potential energy evolving 
>>>>in cycles and stages. Some myths (Epimetheus and Prometheus) 
>>>>correctly express this duality and its evolution.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>Unfortunately, there is another myth that I believe correctly models 
>>>>part of Jerry’s proposals. It is that of Procrustes, an innkeeper 
>>>>who stretched or cut the legs of his guests to make them fit the 
>>>>only available beds, until taken care of by Heracles. You write:   A 
>>>>lot more needs to be said about the intimate nature of relations 
>>>>among scientific narratives before one can bind the logic of the 
>>>>perplex number system to the grammars associated with mathematically 
>>>>structured anticipatory systems.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>This sentence needs to be parsed, given the concatenation of terms: 
>>>>in my opinion, the purpose of understanding the relations among 
>>>>scientific narratives is to understand real anticipatory systems, 
>>>>whether or not mathematically structured. Perplex numbers are 
>>>>artificial numerological constructions with a corresponding logic 
>>>>that may or may not apply to other artificial constructions, such as 
>>>>abstract anticipatory systems, without dynamics. Narratives about 
>>>>real science could be applied in principle to such questions, but 
>>>>the implication must be avoided that such application would tell us 
>>>>anything about reality.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>I cannot accept any manipulation of numbers as being more than a 
>>>>posteriori. This applies also to Karl’s approach. Also, the concept 
>>>>of an ‘in-formed’ number is an oxymoron, although I understand the 
>>>>attempt to ascribe ‘value-by-association’, so to speak. Numbers 
>>>>cannot accept ‘form’, or its meaning; they exist, eternally, outside 
>>>>the world of form and change.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>I thus stress the importance of Pedro’s statement:  processes do not 
>>>>go smoothly upwards from the quantum level. As one proceeds to 
>>>>higher levels of reality, there are discontinuities and different 
>>>>laws apply. One only notes the presence of some isomorphisms, such 
>>>>as the failure of some macroscopic process equations to commute or 
>>>>distribute. Finally, I, at least, will resist any attempts to let 
>>>>in, through the back door, anti-scientific concepts of quantum 
>>>>processes in mind and cognition.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>Best wishes,
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>Joseph
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>
>>>>From: Fis [mailto:fis-bounces en listas.unizar.es] On Behalf Of Pedro 
>>>>C. Marijuan
>>>>Sent: mardi, 20 novembre 2018 21:15
>>>>To: fis
>>>>Cc: Jerry LR Chandler
>>>>Subject: Re: [Fis] Anticipatory Systems--"Potential"
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>Dear Jerry and FIS colleagues,
>>>>
>>>>I wonder how big or how clever your Chemostat apparatus should be. 
>>>>There are thousands of metabolic intermediates in an organism, and 
>>>>there are another thousands of diversified signals. And we have in 
>>>>the order of 30 billion cells (trillions in the US system). Plus 
>>>>around 100 trillion of bacterial cells in the microbiome. "We" are 
>>>>the emergence all of that molecular diversity. It does not mean that 
>>>>life exactly "controls" all the details of the mega-information of 
>>>>this whole system... How that control is organized, the principles 
>>>>of biological information, so to speak, become another great 
>>>>question, but probably very different from the idea of mass control 
>>>>in a chemostat. In any case, the way you have argued it, seemingly 
>>>>smoothly going upwards from the quantum level, is beyond of what I 
>>>>consider feasible. Scientific overstretching of a reasonable 
>>>>paradigm perhaps.
>>>>
>>>>Socially, indeed, we do not try to communicate around by following a 
>>>>colossal strategy of reducing happenstances to their quantum 
>>>>description; neither to the kind of meta-languages you mention. In 
>>>>general, social communication revolves around narratives. They are 
>>>>not free-wheeling constructions (at least referring to the "great 
>>>>stories" of all epochs) but optimized tools to guide individuals in 
>>>>the advancement of their lives, in the achievement of their 
>>>>"potential". Looking at the historical evolution of those great 
>>>>stories, they are teaching us about which were the cardinal aspects 
>>>>of common life to be specifically grasped by the child, by the 
>>>>adolescent, by the maiden, the artisan, the warrior, the priest... 
>>>>And in this social communication endeavors, life cycles do not 
>>>>appear as homogeneous linearly "timed". Human lives are continuously 
>>>>looking ahead, anticipating ("Prometheus" style) but simultaneously 
>>>>looking at the past and pondering on it ("Epimetheus" style). 
>>>>Although "presentists", we live within an imaginary concoction built 
>>>>of mosaic pasts and futures, "multi-timed" so to speak. The way to 
>>>>harmonize past, present, and future (vital information) is one of 
>>>>the leit motifs of those great stories.
>>>>
>>>>And about cycles, so many of them can be found. At the scale of the 
>>>>organism:  cellular & tissular cycles, metabolic cycles, behavioral 
>>>>cycles, ultradian cycles, circadian cycles, seasonal cycles, yearly 
>>>>cycles, secular cycles, and many others related to social mores. 
>>>>Some of them can be arranged in a sort of hierarchy or inclusivity, 
>>>>but there is a fundamental diversity. That most of this 
>>>>orchestration of cycles does not require a conscious effort does not 
>>>>mean that we should ignore them concerning the roots of social 
>>>>communication. The cycles and stages (and "passages") within a life 
>>>>cycle have an ominous presence. As i was saying, the "potential" of 
>>>>each young life in ascend requires the reception of wisdom (via 
>>>>social communication narratives) to integrate the own individual 
>>>>path within the social matrix of the time.
>>>>
>>>>Thinking twice about the "potential" of life, it might be something 
>>>>important to consider regarding any form or manifestation of life. 
>>>>Perhaps better than the Principle of Conatus from Spinoza I was 
>>>>referring days ago (the effort to self-maintain and flourish). 
>>>>Complex life has "potential" to advance along some multi-time, 
>>>>multi-cycle developmental path in the most complex of all 
>>>>environments: the social matrix. Is there some deep similarity of 
>>>>this potential with the role that "potential" energy plays in our 
>>>>book-keeping of energy conservation?
>>>>
>>>>Thanking the comments,
>>>>Best--Pedro
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>_______________________________________________
>>>>Fis mailing list
>>>>Fis en listas.unizar.es
>>>>http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>--
>>>-------------------------------------------------
>>>Pedro C. Marijuán
>>>Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group
>>>
>>>pcmarijuan.iacs en aragon.es
>>>http://sites.google.com/site/pedrocmarijuan/
>>>-------------------------------------------------
>>>
>>>
>>><https://www.avast.com/sig-email?utm_medium=email&utm_source=link&utm_campaign=sig-email&utm_content=emailclient> 
>>>Libre de virus. www.avast.com 
>>><https://www.avast.com/sig-email?utm_medium=email&utm_source=link&utm_campaign=sig-email&utm_content=emailclient>
>>>
>>><#DAB4FAD8-2DD7-40BB-A1B8-4E2AA1F9FDF2>
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>--
>>-------------------------------------------------
>>Pedro C. Marijuán
>>Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group
>>
>>pcmarijuan.iacs en aragon.es
>>http://sites.google.com/site/pedrocmarijuan/
>>-------------------------------------------------
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