[Fis] Book Presentation. Emotions

Pedro C. Marijuan pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es
Mon Apr 18 21:20:56 CEST 2022

Dear Mariusz and FIs Colleagues,

May I disturb this calm vacation state and introduce some "contrast"? 
For the sake of the discussion, the Theory & Practice of Contrast 
presented may be considered as a pretty valid approach to visual arts, 
also extended to a diversity of other fields in science & humanities. 
let me warn that the overextension of a decent paradigm is a frequent 
cause of weakening the initial paradigm itself. The Darwinian 
cosmovision is a good example. One can read in a book of Peter 
Atkins:/“//A great deal of the universe does not need any explanation. 
Elephants, for instance. Once molecules have learnt to compete and to 
create other molecules in their own image, elephants, and things 
resembling elephants, will in due course be found roaming around the 
countryside//... //Some of the things resembling elephants will be men.” 
/I am not comfortable at all with that type of bombastic paradigm 
overextension--but maybe it is my problem. Finally it is the explanatory 
capability of the attempt what counts (which in Atkins case is close to 
nil). In any case, the co-ligation of disciplines is a tough matter not 
very well solved/articulated yet.

Let me change gears. My main concern with arts stems from their close 
relationships with emotions. I remember a strange personal experience. 
In a multidisciplinary gathering (scientists & artists) time ago, there 
was a small concert in an ancient chapel. Cello and electronic music 
together--great performers. In the middle of the concert, for unknown 
reasons, I started to feel sad, very sad. I was very absorbed in the 
music and could not realize having had any other bad interfering 
remembrance. Then I discretely looked at the person aside me, a lady. 
She was in tears, quite openly. I realized it was the music effect. 
Quite a few of the audience after the end of the concert were with red 
eyes... Some years later, in some biomedical research of my team on 
laughter (the analysis of its auditory contents as a helpful tool in the 
diagnosis of depression) we stumbled on Manfred Clynes "sentic forms". 
Some of the basic emotions can be clearly distinguished in ad hoc 
acoustic patterns, as well in tactile expression. (He made and sold a 
few gadgets about that). To make a long story short, we found the most 
important sentic forms in the sounds of laughter, including the "golden 
mean" in the expression of joyful laughs. End of the story.

Trying to articulate a concrete question, in what extension could have 
been some of the arts a powerful means to elicit emotions which are not 
so easily felt in social life?  Think in the liturgy of these days... 
such a powerful rites....
Best regards,

El 11/04/2022 a las 12:31, Mariusz Stanowski escribió:
> We are all right you are talking about the practical possibility of 
> simulation and I am talking about the theoretical.
> Best regards
> Mariusz
> 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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Pedro C. Marijuán
Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group
pedroc.marijuan at gmail.com
pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es

Editor special issue: Evolutionary dynamics of social systems

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