[Fis] Book Presentation. Potentiality as well as Actuality

Mariusz Stanowski stanowskimariusz at wp.pl
Mon Apr 11 12:31:11 CEST 2022

We are all right you are talking about the practical possibility of 
simulation and I am talking about the theoretical.

Best regards


W dniu 2022-04-11 o 11:30, Daniel Boyd pisze:
> Dear Joe, dear Mariusz
> Thankyou for both your responses. If I may pursue the topic of 
> continuous-discontinuous contrasts further: is the solution to 
> Joseph’s issue with non-computable processes perhaps to be found in 
> acknowledging the distinction between the reality and its 
> representation/simulation?
> Take a landscape. In reality this contains an almost infinite amount 
> of continuous and discontinuous detail from the subatomic particle to 
> the geological mountain. A representation or simulation (artistic or 
> scientific) of this reality cannot and need not accurately reproduce 
> this detail to fulfil its purpose: distillation, approximation, even 
> distortion may justifiably be involved. An artistic rendition, unless 
> intended as photo-realistic, will be intentionally inaccurate. Digital 
> representations are, for the sake of efficiency, designed to compress 
> information to the minimum required to provide the illusion of 
> accuracy based on the sensitivity of our senses. This accounts for the 
> 16,7 million colour standard for images: a lot of colours, but only a 
> coarse approximation to the real colours of the rainbow. Our own 
> senses apply similar necessary estimations: the cells of the retina 
> determine the maximal pixel definition of the image recreated in the 
> brain: the continuous is made discontinuous.
> Such representational approximations do not, however, imply 
> discontinuity in the object observed. We see this in the inability of 
> algorithmic simulations to accurately predict the future of non-linear 
> systems in which arbitrarily small differences in initial conditions 
> may have large effects as the system evolves.
> Perhaps this distinction between reality and representation lies, in 
> your diagram, between the being-contrast-complexity column and the 
> neighbouring elements? Or, possibly, you intend the 
> being-contrast-complexity elements not to refer to the objects of 
> reality themselves, but the perception/representation of them?
> Regards, Daniel
> *From: *joe.brenner at bluewin.ch <mailto:joe.brenner at bluewin.ch>
> *Sent: *Sunday, 10 April 2022 11:53
> *To: *Mariusz <mailto:stanowskimariusz at wp.pl>; daniel.boyd at live.nl 
> <mailto:daniel.boyd at live.nl>; "fis" <mailto:fis at listas.unizar.es>
> *Cc: *fis at listas.unizar.es <mailto:fis at listas.unizar.es>; 
> daniel.boyd at live.nl <mailto:daniel.boyd at live.nl>
> *Subject: *Re: Re: [Fis] Book Presentation. Potentiality as well as 
> Actuality
> Dear Mariusz, Dear Daniel,
> Please allow me to enter the discussion at this point. I will go back 
> to the beginning as necessary later. I am in general agreement with 
> Mariusz' approach, but I believe it could be strengthened by looking 
> at the potential as well as the actual aspects of the phenomena in 
> question. Thus when Mariusz writes interaction, is a prior concept to 
> the concept of being, because without interaction there is no being. 
> It follows that the basic ingredient of being must be two 
> objects/elements/components (forming a contrast) that have common and 
> differentiating features."). , I would add the dimension of becoming, 
> which is a more dynamic relation. We can more easily talk about 
> processes and change instead of component objects
> A similar comment could be made about the discrete-continuous 
> distinction. This is at the same time also an appearance-reality 
> duality which is not static, but embodies the change from actual to 
> potential and vice versa just mentioned.
> I do not, however, agree with the following statement: Besides it is 
> already known that using binary structures it is possible to simulate 
> any processes and objects of reality)  There are many non-computable 
> process aspects of reality that cannot be captured and simulated by an 
> algorithm without loss of information and meaning. In the "graph" of 
> the movement of a process from actuality to potentiality, the limiting 
> points of 0 and 1 are not included - it is non-Kolmogorovian.
> I would say regarding beauty that it is a property emerging from the 
> various contrast or antagonisms in the mind/body of the artist. The 
> logic of such processes as I have remarked is a logic of energy, and 
> this seems to fit here.
> Thank you and best wishes,
> Joseph
>     ----Message d'origine----
>     De : stanowskimariusz at wp.pl
>     Date : 10/04/2022 - 08:35 (CEST)
>     À : daniel.boyd at live.nl, fis at listas.unizar.es
>     Objet : Re: [Fis] Book Presentation
>     Dear Daniel,
>     Thank you for your questions. Below are the highlighted answers
>     (of course they are more complete in the book).
>     Best regards
>     Mariusz
>     W dniu 2022-04-09 o 17:37, Daniel Boyd pisze:
>         Dear Mariusz
>         While (or perhaps because!) your work is a fair distance from
>         my own field of expertise, I found your conceptual framework
>         intriguing. Herewith some of the thoughts it elicited. While
>         they may be unexpected because they come from a different
>         angle, hopefully a cross-disciplinary interaction will be
>         fruitful.
>         The Second Law of Thermodynamics dictates the ultimate heat
>         death of the universe (a state in which all 'contrasts' are
>         erased). (The heat death of the universe is just a popular
>         view and not a scientific truth)Its current state, fortunately
>         for us, is teeming with differences (between entities,
>         properties and interactions) which underlie all that is of
>         importance to us. To take such contrasts as a unifying
>         principle would therefore seem to be undeniable, if extremely
>         ambitious! After all, the sheer diversity of contrasts takes
>         us from the different spins of subatomic particles underlying
>         the various elements to the masses of the celestial bodies
>         determining their orbits around the sun; from the colours in a
>         painting to the sounds of a symphony. Systemically, different
>         patterns of contrasts underlie the distinctions between linear
>         and complex systems. Contrasts also form the basis for the
>         working of our sense organs, the perceptions derived from
>         them, and the inner world of conscious experience. In each of
>         these contexts very different classes of contrasts lead to
>         different mechanisms and laws, leading me to wonder just what
>         the 'underlying structure' is (beyond the observation that,
>         ultimately, some type of contrast is always involved and that
>         we tend to deal with such diverse contrasts in a similar way).
>         Maybe your book provides an answer to this question that I am
>         unable to find in this brief abstract: could you perhaps say
>         something about this? (The answer to this question is
>         contained in the contrast-being relation: "Contrast-Being
>         Contrast, or interaction, is a prior concept to the concept of
>         being, because without interaction there is no being. It
>         follows that the basic ingredient of being must be two
>         objects/elements/components (forming a contrast) that have
>         common and differentiating features.").
>         Moving on to more specific topics, I see that you equate the
>         complexity of a system to a relationship between binary values
>         (C = N²/n). While such as approach may work for discontinuous
>         contrasts (e.g. presence/absence, information in digital
>         systems) many naturally occurring differences are continuous
>         (e.g. the electromagnetic frequencies underlying the colours
>         of the rainbow). In neuroscience, while the firing of a neuron
>         may be a binary event, the charge underlying this event is a
>         dynamic continuous variable. My question: how does the concept
>         of abstract complexity deal with continuous variables
>         ("contrasts")?(What seems to us to be continuous in reality
>         may be discrete, e.g. a picture or a sound on a computer is
>         continuous and in reality it is a binary structure of electric
>         impulses; a continuous color is a vibration of an
>         electromagnetic wave. Besides it is already known that using
>         binary structures it is possible to simulate any processes and
>         objects of reality).
>         I was also intrigued by your statement that "Beautiful are
>         objects with high information compression" based on the
>         reasoning "perceiving beauty, we save energy, the perception
>         becomes more economical and pleasant". Intuitively, it seems
>         odd to me to equate beauty to the lack of perceptive effort
>         required.(This is not about "no effort" but about "saving
>         effort". If we have a beautiful and an ugly object with the
>         same information content, the perception of the beautiful
>         object will require less energy. The measure of beauty is not
>         the amount of effort/energy, but the amount of energy saved,
>         which in the case of the Sagrada Familia will be greater).
>         This would mean that the Pentagon (high
>         regularity/compressibility) is more beautiful than the Sagrada
>         Familia (low regularity/compressibility); and a
>         single-instrument midi rendition of Bach is more beautiful
>         than a symphonic performance. It seems to me that beauty often
>         stimulates (gives energy) rather than just costing minimal
>         energy. Much research has been done on the universal and
>         culture-dependent perception of beauty: does this support your
>         statement? see e.g.
>         https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1551-6709.2011.01229.x
>         <https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1551-6709.2011.01229.x> which
>         describes factors other than simplicity as necessary
>         characteristics. (This article is based on faulty assumptions
>         e.g. misunderstanding Kolmogorov's definition of complexity,
>         which is not applicable here).
>         <https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1551-6709.2011.01229.x>
>         Musings About Beauty - Kintsch - 2012 - Cognitive Science -
>         Wiley Online Library
>         <https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1551-6709.2011.01229.x>
>         Aesthetics has been a human concern throughout history.
>         Cognitive science is a relatively new development and its
>         implications for a theory of aesthetics have been largely
>         unexplored.
>         onlinelibrary.wiley.com
>         By defining contrast as a distinction between entities or
>         properties, it seems to come close as a definition to the type
>         of information underlying physical entropy. That being the
>         case, your approach would seem to resemble those who would
>         give such information a comparable fundamental significance
>         (e.g. Wheeler's "it from bit"). Could you say something about
>         how you see the relationship between 'contrast' and
>         'information? Are they effectively synonyms?Contrast and
>         information are different concepts. Information is a feature
>         or form of energy. Contrast is the tension/force/energy
>         created by the interaction of common features (attraction) and
>         different features (repulsion) of contrasting objects).
>         Thankyou, in any case, for your contribution which certainly
>         demonstrates the relationship between Value and Development 😉
>         Regards, Daniel Boyd
>         *Van: *Mariusz Stanowski
>         *Verzonden: *zaterdag 2 april 2022 19:23
>         *Aan: *fis at listas.unizar.es
>         *Onderwerp: *[Fis] Book Presentation
>         *Book Presentation*
>         *“Theory and Practice of Contrast: Integrating Science, Art
>         and Philosophy.”*
>         *Mariusz Stanowski*
>         *Published June 10, 2021 by CRC Press (hardcover and eBook).*
>         Dear FIS list members,
>         Many thanks for the opportunity to present my recent book in
>         this list.
>         Our dispersed knowledge needs an underlying structure that
>         allows it to be organised into a coherent and complex system.
>         I believe “Theory and Practice of Contrast” provides such a
>         structure by bringing the considerations to the most basic,
>         general and abstract level. At this level it is possible to
>         define *contrast as a tension between common and
>         differentiating features of objects. It grows in intensity as
>         the number/strength of differentiating and common features of
>         contrasting structures/objects increases*. Contrast understood
>         in this way applies to any objects of reality (mental and
>         physical) and is also an impact (causal force) in the most
>         general sense. Contrast as a common principle organises
>         (binds) our knowledge into a coherent system. This is
>         illustrated by a diagram of the connections between the key
>         concepts:
>         Below are brief descriptions of these connections.
>         *Contrast—Development *When observing a contrast, we also
>         observe the connection between contrasting objects/structures
>         (resulting from their common features) and the emergence of a
>         new, more complex structure possessing the common and
>         differentiating features of connected structures. In the
>         general sense, the emergence of a new structure is tantamount
>         to development. Therefore, it may be stated that contrast is a
>         perception of structures/objects connections, or experience of
>         development. The association of contrast with development
>         brings a new quality to the understanding of many other
>         fundamental concepts, such as beauty, value, creativity,
>         emergence. (Similarly, /contrast as development /is understood
>         in Whitehead’s philosophy).
>         *Contrast—Complexity *In accordance with the proposed
>         definition, when we consider the contrast between two or more
>         objects/structures, it grows in intensity as the
>         number/strength of differentiating and common features of
>         contrasting structures/objects increases. Such an
>         understanding of contrast remain an intuitive criterion of
>         complexity that can be formulated as follows: *a system
>         becomes more complex the greater is the number of
>         distinguishable elements and the greater the number of
>         connections among them*/. /If in definition of contrast we
>         substitute “differentiating features” for “distinguishable
>         elements” and “common features” for “connections”, we will be
>         able to conclude that *contrast is the perception and measure
>         of complexity.*
>         Note: Two types of contrasts can be distinguished: the sensual
>         (physical) contrast, which is determined only by the force of
>         features of contrasting objects and the mental (abstract)
>         contrast which depends primarily on the number of these
>         features. (This contrast can be equated with complexity). (The
>         equation of contrast with complexity is an important finding
>         for the investigations in: cognitive sciences, psychology,
>         ontology, epistemology, aesthetics, axiology, biology,
>         information theory, complexity theory and indirectly in physics).
>         *Complexity—Information Compression *Intuition says that the
>         more complex object with the same number of components (e.g.
>         words) has more features/information (i.e. more common and
>         differentiating features), which proves its better
>         organization (assuming that all components have the same or
>         similar complexity). We can also say that such an object has a
>         higher degree of complexity. The degree of complexity is in
>         other words the brevity of the form or the compression of
>         information. Complexity understood intuitively (as above)
>         depends, however, not only on the complexity degree (that
>         could be defined as the ratio of the number of features to the
>         number of components) but also on the (total) number of
>         features, because it is more difficult to organize a larger
>         number of elements/features. In addition, the more features
>         (with the same degree of complexity), the greater the
>         contrast. Therefore, in the proposed /Abstract Definition of
>         Complexity /(2011), we multiply the degree of complexity by
>         the number of features. This definition defines the complexity
>         (C) of the binary structure (general model of all
>         structures/objects) as the quotient of the square of features
>         (regularities/substructures) number (N) to the number of
>         components or the number of zeros and ones (n). It is
>         expressed in a simple formula: C = N²/n and should be
>         considered the most general definition of complexity, among
>         the existing ones, which also fulfils the intuitive criterion.
>         (This relation explains what compression of information in
>         general is and what role it plays as a complexity factor. This
>         allows to generalize the notion of information compression and
>         use it not only in computer science, but also in other fields
>         of knowledge, such as aesthetics, axiology, cognitive science,
>         biology, chemistry, physics).
>         **
>         *Information compression—Development *Our mind perceiving
>         objects (receiving information) more compressed, saves energy.
>         Compression/organization of information reduce energy of
>         perception while maintaining the same amount of information
>         (in case of lossless compression). Thanks to this, perception
>         becomes easier (more economical) and more enjoyable; for
>         example, it can be compared to faster and easier learning,
>         acquiring knowledge (information), which also contributes to
>         our development. Compression of information as a degree of
>         complexity also affects its size. Complexity, in turn, is a
>         measure of contrast (and vice versa). Contrast, however, is
>         identified with development. Hence, complexity is also
>         development. This sequence of associations is the second way
>         connecting the compression of information with development.
>         Similarly, one can trace all other possibilities of
>         connections in the diagram. (The association of information
>         compression with development brings a new, explanatory
>         knowledge to many fields including cognitive science,
>         aesthetics, axiology, information theory).
>         **
>         *Development—Value *Development is the essence of value,
>         because all values (ethical, material, intellectual, etc.)
>         contribute to our development which is their common feature.
>         It follows that value is also a contrast, complexity and
>         compression of information because they are synonymous with
>         development. (The relation explains and defines the notion of
>         value fundamental to axiology).
>         *Value—Abstract Value *About all kinds of values (with the
>         exception of aesthetic values) we can say, what they are
>         useful for. Only aesthetic values can be said to serve the
>         development or be the essence of values, values in general or
>         abstract values. This is a property of abstract concepts to
>         express the general idea of something (e.g. the concept of a
>         chair includes all kinds of chairs and not a specific one). It
>         follows that *what is specific to aesthetic value is that it
>         is an abstract value* (although it is difficult to imagine).
>         (This is a new understanding of aesthetic value, crucial for
>         aesthetics and axiology).
>         **
>         *Contrast—Being *Contrast or interaction is a concept prior to
>         the concept of being because without interaction there is no
>         existence. It follows that the basic component of being must
>         be two objects/elements/components (creating a contrast)
>         having common and differentiating features. (Understanding of
>         being as a contrast is fundamental to ontology and metaphysics
>         and worth considering in physics).
>         **
>         *Contrast—Cognition *The object of cognition and the subject
>         (mind) participate in the cognitive process. The object and
>         the subject have common and differentiating features, thus
>         they create a contrast. Cognition consists in attaching
>         (through common features) differentiating features of the
>         object by the subject. In this way, through the contrast, the
>         subject develops. It can therefore be said that cognition is a
>         contrast of the object with the subject. (This is a new
>         definition of cognition important for epistemology and
>         cognitive science).
>         **
>         *Cognition—Subjectivity *The above understanding of cognition
>         agrees all disputable issues (present, among others, in
>         psychology, cognitive science and aesthetics) regarding the
>         objectivity and subjectivity of assessments (e.g. whether the
>         source of beauty is the observer's mind, whether it is a
>         specific quality from the observer independent), because it
>         shows that they depend on both the subject and the object,
>         i.e. depend on their relationship—contrast.
>         **
>         *Compression of information—Beauty *Beautiful are objects with
>         high information compression (a large degree of
>         complexity/organization). Thanks to the compression of
>         information, perceiving beauty, we save energy, the perception
>         becomes more economical and pleasant which favours our
>         development and is therefore a value for us. The example is
>         golden division. Counting features (information) in all
>         possible types of divisions (asymmetrical, symmetrical and
>         golden) showed that the golden division contains the most
>         features/information (an additional feature is well known
>         golden proportion) and therefore creates the greatest
>         contrast, complexity and aesthetic value.  (This explains the
>         previously unknown reasons for aesthetic preferences, key to
>         aesthetics, art theory, psychology, cognitive science and
>         neuroaesthetics).
>         **
>         *Development—Beauty *Beauty contributes to development thanks
>         to the economy of perception. Perception of beauty is
>         accompanied by a sense of development or ease and pleasure of
>         perception. (This explains the causes of aesthetic preferences).
>         **
>         *Abstract Value—Beauty, Art *Only beauty and art have no
>         specific value but they express/have value in general (an
>         abstract value). The objects that make up a work of art are
>         not important, but their contrast-interaction, which results
>         from the complexity of the artwork. (If we see a single object
>         in the gallery, then the art is its contrast with the context
>         - as in the case of Duchamp's "Urinal" or Malevich's "Black
>         Square"). One can say that beauty and art are distinguished
>         (defined) by two elements: abstract value and a large
>         contrast.(This is a new and only definition of beauty/art that
>         indicates the distinctive common features of all
>         aesthetic/artistic objects, it is crucial for the theory of
>         art, aesthetics, axiology and epistemology).
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