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Today's talk

PaulGrobstein's picture
Thanks, all, for rich conversation ... and apologies for not getting the timing quite right, building toward some things without leaving time to wrap them fully. It was in fact part and parcel of the rich conversation, with several issues becoming clearer in my mind as we talked through them. Here, in any case, is the bottom line, as it emerged .... The diversity of things that come together in/around the topic of emergence might in principle be related in three somewhat different ways
  1. a random assembly of mysterious things that one might hope will be illuminated by emergence
  2. a set of different mysterious things that have some apparent similarities and hence might follow similar rules that operate in different circumstances (eg being "distributed organization")
  3. a set of things that are in fact related to one another in the sense that each gives rise to another in a series of successive emergences (from physics to living things to "story tellers", as I suggested toward the end)
Among the things that appeals to me personally about the third possibility is the implication that things we observe (in general) are not the way they are because of meaning/purpose/director OR inevitability (except, perhaps, for a little fiddling in recent time) but rather are expressions of an ongoing exploration of possibilities (of which we are a part). And that in turn justifies (for me at least) my suggestion with the models that one first observe them and tell stories about them. Yes, tell stories, and THEN look inside the models and use what one finds there to test/revise stories, conceive new possibilities. Thanks again for the conversation, and will try and do better with the timing next time. Doug up next, with ca's (like the Game of Life) after which I'll return with agents (of which Langton's Ant is an example).