Fluxology revisited — how Steven Chu will save us
Marco Polo´s problem
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Cybernetics is an off-shoot of the old tree of natural philosophy, spawned by the old order of studying grammar, logic and rehtoric — it spawned logic positivism (an off-shoot of the “hallowed vagueness” tree) and cybernetics. Platonism spawned neo-pythagoreanism and neo-skepticism (or put fuel to them at any rate).
To get a second opinion see also McKenzie Wark on the issues. Is cee-oh-two a good measuring stick? Wark like me found a way out of post-modernism, a hole if you will — but an exceedingly scientific one. Like him and me, and pro-scientific thinkers with an humanistic (human is a better word here, but anyway) I believe cee-oh-two can be a bad measuring stick, however like political correctness this is not sufficient cause to throw it away — it has a good record of measuring “fire” or combustion (or forced oxidation) of carbon. And yes the operating system of Earth has cee-oh-two in it (importantly, natural amounts of e.g. water and cee-oh-two dissipate and are consumed by plants, and by the worlds oceans, which in turn depend on temperature) but my guess is we will not abandon this fair proxy soon, though we may add factors it is going to stay with us because it is relatively good.
There is a critique of the measuring error of rise in temperature, as claimed by hallowed vaguness and Nobel Prize laureate Ivar Giaever. It is impossible to say naught point eight is measurable — and he says Chu has realised this, but has for political reasons sided with the climate-believers. He confronts the climatologists in ex-cathedra fashion. His arguments are sound, he is merely being a good christian, a mere nominalism in him gets him to this fallacious conclusion — a nominalism that is an off-shoot of Plato originally, and of pythagorean ideas. Ivar Giaever points to two other sources of “heat”, namely black rooves and hardened surfaces (roads or parking lots etc), and how Chu was caught with his proverbial pants down, when he proffered paint and colour. Scientifically speaking, why not? His proposal was to paint it white, sometimes science becomes estranged, and this is a real case in point. (remember the culture-revolution in China, when sparrows were being disturbed when they interfered with the revolution?) But why is it being estranged, is there some quality over and beyond any complex system, which we do not grasp?
If we were to in a sense defend Giaever, and I see it as appropriate, perhaps on theological grounds as well as other ones. What is needed is that we put back Hegel on his feet though, just so that all agree. Fluxology in terms of complex biological systems-logic is visible in Scott Carney (2017), who is adressing some of the issues Selye and McLuhan explored (cf the UM, 1964).
Wokeness in cybernetics — the fluxton brothers
The mind in marxism was never explored, the mind in darwinism (or shall we say progressivism, as darwinism is merely used as a prop, to make a point) explored by the modernist and social thinker Auguste Comte, but it was a false start — Bateson became the full-bred Darwin of the mind. Marshall McLuhan sought neutral and natural change in history — he inadvertently became Marx of the Mind.
Sociology as a new science inspired by complexity
Now in order for pythagoreanism to apply (the trivium of McLuhan and all of the medieval schools of learning) we need a mind-set shift. Allow me to explain. In my writing I have made an appeal to sociology as a master science (Spencer was burned in that effort), or rather as the future of science or somesuch, a rather innocent idea. Comte makes this exact same point. Since when did hard-core men of science start a revolt? I don´t know of any. The batesonian shift we should undertake here is to realise how all people are “sociological” — and either give up this tricky sticky paradox or move on. In fluxology moving on is the path of fuzzy, but I still believe in sociology, so my fervour is only humbled or curbed. Why this endeavour of fancy? The debate of Giaever and Chu is pertinent here, either as our solution or as a problem onto itself — it belongs I think in the realm of complexity. The problem of how to hunt if you are a lioness also does, as does, the writings of Marco Polo which were all refuted by his Venetian contemporaries, they are both in a Steven Pinker fashion of this “kind” — another example is surface chemistry as when carbonates escape a glass of water (or not) depending on “global” factors, the best example I can think of however is not mentioned in H. Czerski (Storm in a Teacup) as it too belongs to this sort of problem; tea-drinkers know how some water added to tea will save it, non-tea drinkers muddle the categories of bitter tea and good tea — to the drinker of tea they are “false” categories. So who is right, Chu or Giaever?
Here comes a number of bold conjectures — typically unsubstantiated
A tetrarchy of fluxologists
From Plato to Karl Marx, David Hume and Gregory Bateson — the theory of social change (Plato´s theory of how democracy leads to upheaval) — by help of Marx lead to progress of capital, through re-discovery of enlightenment´s hallowed “vagueness” (or rather investigative mindset under the harsh eye of logic for logic´s sake — what I will call vagueness)via Hume — to Bateson; he is the child of that “de-volution”, is Bateson (who in 1939 became an American citizen). The only thing McLuhan did was to further “bastardise” the theory by adding the number three — a Celtic concept, thus “re-collected” in the way Sokrates did (cf. Meno, by Plato) — now it is worth noting how history in this case changed direction more than two times — a snake could have been more straight, frankly! We must credit McLuhan with “slap-stick” history (and I mean in a scientific sense! To McLuhan our jokes were the tell-tales of the sub-conscious mind. McLuhan is the Karl Marx of the sub-conscious). So Gregory Bateson is the fourth, only McLuhan and Bateson are cyberneticists of a very special kind (see further). If there was no connection, why indeed mention McLuhan at all? But I believe that pays off.
In nature — and the bewildering “ordre des choses” of the state of nature is just that — physics and biology, as McLuhan re-discovered, cybernetic forces are working together with hard stuff. In Bateson we have a similar discovery, says Bateson — what is matter and what is soul ?(cf. Steps and angels the idea is presented in both works) With McLuhan the shift between the two sides, is the sine qua non of all his work. With Kuhn, mostly science is involved.
These facts are established in our post-modern world as mere facts, none of the above is contested. McLuhan might contest his relation with marxism, but apart from that, we are dealing with earth-shattering and painstaking science. Saying that McLuhan and Bateson are “twins” is earth-shattering though. It is unfair to any of these thinkers to say they are related, and yet, related they are. Sapir and Whoorf are too.
Complexities are a second-nature
Marco Polo was known as the braggart in his own city, none believed him. The lioness returning with no catch made a bet on a complex problem, but had predators known of the complexities involved they might have given up on the spot. The trick is to take on calculated risk. A good pool-player has to know two bits of strategy, and also when to shift between them. One is ball-picking, but the other is seeing risk scenarios unfolding (or not) — the opposite of which we call opportunity. The lion that hunts like Don Quixote, for one individual only, may sometimes be lucky, but reassessing and taking on risk is hundreds of times more efficient. Hunting schools of fish or anthelopes is about second-order phenomena too.
Careful and restrictive approaches will not cut it, nor cut carbon dioxide, which for better or worse is a good human measuring-stick.
One might want to explore lions hunting, or the paradox of Marco Polo, or of how slippery physics is when it balances on edges (which is quite often, the above-mentioned selzers and bitter tea are examples), but the main take-away is how points-of-view, sometimes lock us in an eternal mode of perplexity. But remember; playing with big things make you small.
Last thoughts — here you yourself can fill in the gaps in the conundrum of human complexity… welcome to the bubbly planet!