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Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being. (Albert Camus)
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    A Topos in a Polytopia (what is?)
    Project: Polytopia
    Everything is real but the narrative makes the difference.

    “We belong to a history that runs in the present. This is a fantastic thing! We belong to a history that runs in a continuous changing present. Yesterday is not now, tomorrow is not now, but we exist in a continuous NOW... we human beings, all living beings, the whole biosphere. Everything that we do, occurs now. Although human beings can speak about the past and the future, and live in the ideas of past and future, humans exist in the present. We live in the past and the future, but we exist in the present. “

    Biosphere, Homosphere, and Robosphere
    (Humberto Maturana and Pille Bunnell {pdf))

    A topos is not simply a place, a topos is a narrative, it is in a manner of speaking, a modern way of exemplifying and explicating who am ‘I’ (as in my overall identity) and what is “we”, by pointing to that which interests my being and the being of others (other than me) in my/our/this evolutionary phase.

    A topos is a term that expands upon the idea of a set of interconnected beings, the term clarifies a number of facets of our existence, namely that we are complex beings, existing and acting in a highly complex and interconnected environment.
    Moreover, a topos as used in the term Polytopia contains primarily two basic components, the first being interest, the second being intelligence.
    Intelligence and interest combine in a topos as the fundamental building blocks of a connectivity that inevitably leads to an increase in combined intelligence.

    There are many ways of describing the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of conscious aware intelligent entities connection, correlation and collaboration, for our purpose here, this way is called a topos.

    Therefore for the purpose of elucidating the dynamics of a Polytopia we need enlarge and enhance our understanding of what a topos is.

    What is a topos then?

    A topos can be said to be:

    A. A set of coordinates having a definite and definable set of characteristics.
    The coordinates of a topos can be either in space, in time, in the material universe, in the infosphere, in the metaverse, in mind or all of the above or some combination thereof.

    The set of characteristics of a given topos need have at least one component attribute beyond the basic fundamental of ‘open to increase in combined interactive intelligence’ (a fundamental tenet of a Polytopia).

    If, according to the oxford dictionary, Ethos stands for: "the characteristic spirit, prevalent tone of sentiment, of a people or community; the 'genius' of an institution or system", Topos stands for ‘the characteristic combined intelligence, prevalent direction of openness and transparency, of a set of definable coordinates that are inherently Rhizomatic, interesting and intelligent, free and evolving'.

    A topos cannot in any case be based on a formal or contractual agreement; the definition of a topos if so need be updateable, upgradeable and true at the moment of usage, in other words a topos cannot be based on history and must be open ended and open sourced.
    Can it be based on a future then? The answer is no. A topos cannot be based on the future (though it necessarily has a future, even if short lived), it must by implication of its definition be based on the concept of flow, the dynamic flow of events of minds interconnecting and hyperconnecting.

    According to the above then a topos contains (or has also the attributes of) an ethos.

    B. A topos constitutes the basic relational unit of consideration in a Polytopia. A topos can also be said to be the fractal unit of a Polytopia.

    C. A topos always contains an evolutionary and developmental potential. As such a topos always implies betterment, improvement and motion, enhancement and allowance. A topos represents an enrichment of the state of affairs of mind, of culture, of life.
    D. A topos is by definition humane, equitable, and collaborative, it cannot be owned in any fashion (no owner and no owning) and thus is fundamentally shareable both as a state (as in state of affairs of mind) and as an opening.
    E. A topos is a semantic selection (choice of meaning/s) performed by a conscious aware intelligent entity; a collection of such semantic selections (or choice of meanings) can be considered a polytopia. (the semantic selection can also be called the bricks of the narrative or the theme of the topos).
    F. Just as humans have many kinds of intelligences in different proportions, so do topos exemplify all of the characteristics of a collaborative organism but in different proportions, these proportions in turn define the set called a topos, the topos profile or silhouette.

    “I worked out a mathematical theory, which says if we have a large enough diversity of molecules and chemical reactions, so many reactions will be catalyzed that you'll get some form of collective autocatalysis popping out of the soup. The mathematics has been proved, but it still needs to be shown experimentally. For years, I've been probing laws of self-organization that co-mingle with natural selection, and give rise to the order we see. And we're not very far, experimentally, from creating life all on our own.”

    Stuart Kaufman (In Salon)

    #A conscious aware intelligent entity can be said to be a topos iff (if and only if) it encloses an independent and definable set of characteristics.
    #An artificial intelligence, a cyborg, a hybrid, an alien, a clone, and so on, can definitely be said to be a topos if said criterion is met.
    #A country or nation for example is Not a Topos (not inherently that is), for the simple reason that the basis for its definition as such (country or nation) is historically based. Same country or nation or people and similar can be called a topos if under certain coordinates of space and time the defining set of characteristics is momentarily based.
    Polytopia does not hold a historiographic value to the meaning of collectives and thus topos is a unit of culture and not of society.
    The continuous increased in-combined interactive intelligence, which is a Topos, dissimilates the private contour and at the same time dissimilates the raison d’être of the historiographically bound group, the ‘nation’, the ethno-centric group, etc.

    Up to very recently (and largely in effect still), the historiographic definitions held the most powerful, sustainable rock-bottom axis for interaction between privates. It sort of held a promise and guarantee for successful interaction.
    Yet, this axis belongs in and to the Monumental mind.
    Monumental in the sense of: using an event/experience that was a forming pillar in the history of a group and was applied as an anchor of perception for a group identity. A monumental perception localizes in a static fashion, it holds time as a linear organizer and most importantly, it conveys connectivity between members that must maintain the Monument at the basis and center of interaction.

    The monumental narrative exploits, so to speak, the same divide between a bio-person and the world, only on a larger scale, via group identity. It is also subject (within a wider historic perspective) to the entropic effects or chaos. Perhaps a contributor element to the strong ties invested and required for the sustenance of any static collective or society. A topos being dynamic and open, fluid and flowing thus inheres the chaotic effects of life and responds accordingly. In this a topos has dynamic and open (or fuzzy) anchors.

    The Polytopian narrative adheres to the dynamic fuzzy anchors of Topos. It is, for that matter, a culture of Topos. In that, every particular mind consists of a number of Topos. Which is another way of saying that individuals are fractals of Polytopia.
    Yet, it is essential to the Polytopian view to emphasize that not all interpersonal interactions are Topos.
    That which discerns a Topos indeed is the characteristics of continuous increased in-combined interactive intelligence. A Topos thus affects and effects a synergic event which inherently renders new intelligence. A Topos is defined in terms of the relations and the direction within it. The interaction within Topos is an ecology for the emerging of new situations (state of affairs) endowed with intelligence and life. Topos thus breeds new topos, the ecology for breeding topos is called a Polytopia.

    # A couple (as in married couple for ex.) can or cannot be called a topos according to one simple rule of thumb, namely: is this relationship conductive and inherently implicative of openness to combined interactive intelligence? If yes, it is possibly a topos, if not, not a topos.
    #A group of humans may or may not be called a topos, the defining characteristic (iff) in this case is direction, openness and transparency.
    An individual mind may or may not be defined as a topos depending on the answer to the question: is this particular mind inherently motivated towards increase in combined intelligence.

    “We will combine our brainpower—the knowledge, skills, and personality quirks that make us human—with our computer power in order to think, reason, communicate, and create in ways we can scarcely even contemplate today.”

    Ray Kurzweil (in Reinventing Humanity)

    1. Topos is a term borrowed from Greek and basically meaning a place. Yet in the Polytopia project definition Topos is referred to as a state of affairs or state of mind (state of affairs of mind).

    2. The plural of topos is topoi but due to the usage of the term poly (many or diverse) in Polytopia it is suggested here that topos will stand both for a unique individuated set and for a group of sets; this will allow us to use the term topos for a variety of options furthermore emphasizing the necessity of the attribute of cooperation and collaboration when applying the term Polytopia.


    In coming to answer the question: what needs does a Polytopia come to answer? I found myself in a certain kind of tension between definability and observability. The dynamics of our ever-changing present, the flow of the infoverse and the capacity to not be overwhelmed was on my mind constantly. I believe that we need invent our future so as to fit our complex minds, from this perspective I try to answer the question.
    To my eyes, Polytopia comes to answer the need of the moment of change and transformation. A meta-concept that will permit a conceptualization (or a working context) of our dreams for a better future to come true.
    I realize that these efforts might be in vain, nevertheless, our future as specie is much too precious to be left in the hands of ‘ve’been there ve’done that style’ of thought.
    ‘What need does Polytopia come to answer’ may best be described as a paradigmatic resolution of where the world is going to. This is an emotional-cognitive need that rises of the state of affairs of being involved in the world.

    The continuous ‘Now’, our very existence in the present, as presence, requests a conceptual framework. A vehicle of thought, that is both transcending the past and allows the future to unfold accordingly.
    Such a conceptual framework is the Polytopia. A Polytopia re-introduces the humane element in the advancement of civilization whilst invigorating the co-creation capability of the human mind in its collaborative effort of transcending its origins.

    Polytopia is a term that comes to answer an array of needs, these range from the philosophical to the instinctual, from the cultural to the aesthetic, from the personal to the global, from the present to the future, from the local to the transnational, from the private to the communal, from the net to the grid, from individual intelligence to collective wisdom, from the pattern to the flock, from the emotional to the intellectual, from the social to the politic, from the historical to the envisioning and maybe above all, I see Polytopia as re-introducing the mythical dimension of existence in the full glory of its positive contribution to the thinking consciously aware intelligent entity known as Human.

    to be continued..

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