Something easier to comment on?

to contacts in sciences interested in the “physical world” problem….

In the list below, it would help me a lot to know where you were stopped; was it at a, b, c, d or e?    I’m thinking it might make it easier if I explain less, rather than more, to get a response to my main question.

I observed an effect of how both ecology and economy adopt the physics model, of representing the living things they talk about with formulas.

a) What about the problem that if life only followed rules it would be quite lifeless.

The physics model represents living things as machines, is the problem.

b) By directing our attention to “controlling variables” and “numerical relationships” do we lose sight of the liveliness of things operating beyond the rules somehow, that is much more important to us?

c) What effect does it have that formulas also seem unable to represent:

  • 1) where learning systems will learn something new, and what the accumulative effects of that are,
  • 2) how and when physical relations and processes will exceed the internal limits of their own processes
  • 3) how accumulative change in scale is nearly always changing organization too,  producing changes in kind for whole systems as the real effect,
  • 4) how learning/response networks within systems equalize their stresses, creating the means by which “the system” works as a whole and the tendencies we represent by formulas,
  • 5) how organizational development can stabilize the whole, reversing their original destabilizing processes

d) Addition changes nothing in a formula, but in reality it changes everything. That’s the huge critical error I see in the necessray desing of models as a self-consistent set of rules.  Don’t most of nature’s interesting systems appear to operate by self-inconsistent rules?

Models represent a learning world as changeless. The main benefit of fixing that is learning to see the liveliness of things, a joy of the mind.

It’s also useful to see how the liveliness of things keeps rewriting their apparent formulas. Learning to see the liveliness of things seems to rest mostly on looking for it, just for the pleasure.  By looking for controlling variables, looking directly away from how accumulative change changes things, we seem to entirely loose sight of it.

e)  Could we use the opposite of our usual question together with the our usual question?

It would help one see and study our society is designed to push its success with growing additions to our use of the earth is also destabilizing our own networks for stabilizing things.   That may hold many a surprise, but it’s potentially useful too.  It may only be available to those who are curious, and

enjoy seeing the liveliness of things beyond the rules.

What else can I say to get people to read my writing from that view?

Phil Henshaw

ed 2/13/12


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