The Nutritive Context

Teleology is the logic of manifest intention, and ecology the logic of manifest survival. The extent to which environment is intentional, is the extent to which survival is enhanced. Moreover, the extent to which man's energies are spent adapting to problems of his own creation (reacting to the effects of his non intended Influences) is the extent to which ecological equilibrium continues disturbed. The conceptual retooling of models required to link intention interactively with environmental enhancement, thus establishing a nutritive context, is analogous to integrating a great diversity of method (or technic) for purposes no one of the methods was designated to expect.

 

Man becomes the prime victim of his talent for retrospect upon investing his identity, his sense of self, in the simulations of past experience. By substituting prior patterns of identity for the elusive swarm of unfixed data accounting for the bulk of experience in the present, man imposes on the present those qualities selected from his simulations of the past best suiting his need for continuity. The transitory is thereby regarded as transcendental and the past is transformed into the only resource of protected reward. The past is read as unmistaken, fixed, sanctified, and the reality of the present is read as a bluff.

 

Originals are, by definition, initially disorienting. The duration and affect of the initial disorientation is relative to the specific adaptive requirements introduced by an individual original form or set of original circumstances. Originals—e.g., like the Special Theory of Relativity—create there-to-for unrealizable structural contexts and, in their own terms, re-frame and displace the preceding accumulation of replicas.

 

Evolving from cuniform markings on bark and hyrogliphic clay slabs to the most protean of optimum-computer-access networks, information processing systems (information structures) trace a gradual, then a sudden amplification of planetary awareness. Hence moving away from the localized, the strictly continuous, towards the integral focus. As this alteration of his thresholds accelerates, Man will sustain his potential facility for seeing beyond former circumstance, and, if successful, develop new models of foresight; or, he will attach himself to each exclusionary, specialized history as they scramble to dominate an environment which refuses to support their contest. Environment will die first.

 

As the cybernetic paradigm characterizes reality with process, the medieval paradigm characterized it with essence. Essence is process.

 

Man's sense of the whole is conditionally relative. Persistently, throughout the degrees of his experience, there is a constant, subsuming whole of which man's most inclusive and sophisticated paradigm is but a variable part. It is this constant, perceived by man as a permanent condition, that procures and develops the forms of his reverence . As these forms are increasingly reduced to convention, expressions of reverence devolve into obsolete ritual and, over varying cycles of time, resulting in an accumulation of atavistic energy.

 

As a prime example of vestigal modeling attitudes: Buckminister Fuller's scenario concerning the illusion that the sun is coming up and going down for the planet's turning on its axis, inhibits, reroutes, or otherwise limits experimentially- gained evidence (feedback) which tends to deny their methodological validity. They handicap direct experience of the phenomena modeled to the degree they are believed to be real, that is, believed to be one with the phenomena. Models are rendered obsolete as they exhaust their "budget of flexibility"; losing, incrementally or instantaneously, the capacity to adjust to new relational patterns and the subsequent rupture of continuity (Models of access-to-process displacing models of static relation). Obsolescence is a menace.

 

Patterns emerge from random accumulation. A random accumulation of characteristic distinctness is a gestalt, a territory, a whole. Accumulation patterns introduce new unexpectable interactions among and between the parts, entities, or units so accumulated. Thus, the mutable law of mutual proximity: Parts (however distinct when subject to other criteria) share a common identity insofar as they share a specific territory of random accumulation, and a mutual proximity.

 

Meaning and value appertain to those functions of Mind represented in effective form or information. Art, as effective form, invokes a certain ideational circuit, lending access and fluency to its characteristic territory-of relations while articulating its meaning. Value is defined as the measure of either rarity or utility in informational process and, as such, is an expression of negentropy. Likewise, the Mind may be a muscle but a muscle is more than a tool.

 

 

Frank Gillette

 

Radical Software Vol.1 #2 / 1970

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