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    Fluid affinities replace nucleic identity
    Project: Polytopia
    “I believe that consciousness is, essentially, the way information feels when being processed.”

    Max Tegmark
    We’re Not Insignificant After All-THE WORLD QUESTION CENTER 2007 — Page 7



    The Polytopia project is a very ambitious project and in many respects still in its embryonic stage, however already at this early stage it is becoming clearer and clearer that the most salient point of interest is the crucible of the Polytopian Philosophy, namely the idea that in the coming future, where (and when) virtualities mesh into expanded realities, nucleic identity will be replaced by fluid affinities.

    To understand clearly what is happening in the hyperconnected world in and around us, let us first look at the very concept that we consider the basis of our current worldview, namely the idea that we have a nucleic identity.

    Nucleic identity assumes that the embodiment of our minds at present is substrate dependent and therefore at base implies a direct correlation between the body and the identity that points at that same body.
    Nucleic identity is the idea that: identity is the nucleus of the self (alternatively put: one self equals one identity).

    Nucleic identity is a manner of comprehension; current society holds identity to hold sway. This manner of understanding the concept identity implies that our identities are both uniform (in the sense of having one form only) and unified (in the sense that all of our mental states are somehow under the meta-control of one particular and well defined entity, the “I”.



    Nucleic identity stands for names, our bodies, our minds, the ‘me’, the ‘self’ and so on. It is thus commonly assumed that our motivations and by consequence our desires, beliefs, ambitions, loves, sensations and so on are all correlated in a concise and compacted package.
    Though it is clear that no such description of reality in actual fact exists it is nevertheless the most widely accepted notion that we can somehow relegate all of our inner multiplicities into an all encompassing view of a nucleic identity as representing all that we are.

    In a recent article in wired science, noted neuroscientist Antonio Damasio responds to a question posed by the brilliant Jonah Lehrer :

    “LEHRER: I think many readers will be surprised that, in your attempt to explain the mystery of consciousness, you begin with discussions of the body. Why, as you write, is “the body the foundation of the conscious mind”? And why does the brain stem, this most ancient of brain areas, play such an important role in consciousness?

    DAMASIO: That is where having an evolutionary perspective comes in handy. Why do we have a brain in the first place? Not to write books, articles, or plays; not to do science or play music. Brains develop because they are an expedient way of managing life in a body. And why do we, by now, have brains that make minds with selves — conscious minds? Because minds and selves increase the management power of brains; because they permit a better adaptation of a complex organism to complex environments. In other words, organisms equipped with brains, minds and self were selected by evolution because such organisms had better chances of survival, and, eventually, chances of survival with well-being.”

    (Self Comes To Mind | Wired Science | Wired.com )

    As I see it, A. Damasio points to a very important issue that is often disregarded, namely:” Brains develop because they are an expedient way of managing life in a body”. However when said brains are being augmented (a new situation from the evolutionary perspective) by the extended reality of the virtualized grid, and when actions of body manifested through clicks and hyperconnected technology mediated sense thoughts, reflect back upon said body, can we still say that that the brain is there to manage life in a body?
    My view is that the new virtualized reality we find ourselves in extends the meaning of body into a multiplicity of locus, identifiable by the immense amount of data we provide about our different interests.
    In this sense the new understandings we need look at are that the minds and selves that were previously made to manage life in a body are just now evolving into a new state of affairs in which the amazing complexity of management is extended to multiple realitiesvirtualities.
    This is the beginning of the dismantling of the old nucleic identity perspective into a new mode of management of information, that which we now refer to as fluid affinities.




    What then are fluid affinities and how can they replace nucleic identity?

    Simply put fluid affinities are nested flows of preferences.

    Nested flows of preferences assume that our minds have evolved an adaptive procedure to consider a vector of interest as an independent flow within a flow. These are nested in as much as narratives are interdependent and co-extensive with all other narratives; the nesting in this case is fractal like and merges dimensions of existence within each other.
    A vector of interest represents a direction of motion of interest within a larger framework we may tentatively call a phase space of possible engagements.

    So, following Damasio’s arguments, brains have evolved to manage life in a body, minds have evolved to increase the management power of brains and selves or nucleic identities have evolved to simplify the immense complexity of same management by pointing to one location, namely our bodies. But as the infoverse has exploded into being, the immensity of complexity in which we are extended demands a new manner of management procedures, this we believe is the vector of interest.

    Vectors of interest

    Vectors of interest can be looked at from a few different perspectives, the first and maybe most important is that a vector of interest represents the manner by which we create our own circumstances of independence. Circumstances in this respect, being the declaration of our interests (we declare our interests when joining a certain conceptual worldview), in turn shaping the space of our infocology; So, to give a tangible example: if I join ‘the future of money project’, in itself an infocology, the motion of joining is the actual vector of interest, which can be mapped as one of the many aspects of my affinities.
    We may also look at vectors of interests as pointers to the forces that move us into or towards a particular direction at a given time, these change according to the flow we interact with and according to the state of mind that we carry at that particular point in time. However we may also see that a vector of interest is a term implying upon our futures when our bodies mapped upon an avatar in virtual reality will move towards a particular direction, changing the actual infoscape which we inhabit, that is where things become really interesting (for a fascinating read of where this is at read: On the Threshold of the Avatar Era by Jaron Lanier.

    Multiple vectors of interest combined are called affinities

    When a number of vectors of interests converge unto a particular infocology and start intersubjectively iterate their structure, a new state of affairs emerges, and this freshly emergent state is called affinity.
    Affinity is a term we use to ambiguously describe (and not define) within a polytopia the manner by which similarities of (vectors) interest reflect one another and combine to create a larger and quite different kind of intelligence, a combined interactive intelligence.

    Fluid affinities if so are motions of correlativity between different combinations of vectors of interests, which stand for the multiple points of entry of our multiplicity of identities in their process of ‘dance’.

    The dance of fluid affinities has a number of fundamental characteristics:

    # Fluid
    # Elegant
    # Open
    # Ever Unfolding
    # Transmuting
    # Accessible
    # Topologically relevant
    # Normalizes the event of beingness
    # Increases momentary awareness
    # Liberates and musters vitality
    # Inherently diversifies within direction
    # Re-defines the coupling of the individual vs. the collective

    Advantages of Fluid affinities

    #Fluid affinities change the manner of encountering, identifying and describing the infocology in which one engages

    #Fluid affinities transform the beholder into a Knowmad, implying a creative state of affairs as the basic agency of intersubjective and mutual co-understanding.

    #Fluid affinities metamorphose the dynamics of inter-relation in a given infocology, from static and dependent to dynamic and vigorous interdependence.

    #Fluid affinities re-define the context of the environment and culture into a morphable (see plasticity) and highly malleable infocology.

    #Fluid affinities allow and entice, transformation of the particular viewpoint into a universal, by that both increasing intelligence and conscious awareness.

    #Fluid affinities brings about a higher approximation between the different states of affairs of mind and hyperconnectivity.

    #Fluid affinities increase and focus the intersubjective relation of beingness as an aesthetic extended experience.

    #Fluid affinities allow the normalization of ambiguity and uncertainty in complex infocologies.

    #Fluid affinities allow the dynamic narratives to interpenetrate and intertwine without loss of perspective and or uniqueness of directionality.

    #Fluid affinities do not demand a previous protocol of engagement since the dynamics of entanglement allow for a real time emergence of an ad hoc protocol (by that eliminating the need for given hierarchies in hyperconnected infocologies)


    Fluid affinities then are the distributed intelligence of a formless cloud of identities, reflecting both the multiplicity and the topology of minds in their modern state of entangled hyperconnectivity.

    Fluid affinities heralds and reflects upon a new formless-form of adaptation to the rising of a ground of engagement for the emergence of our cyber civilization.



    This work in progress being made possible by the relevant and important investments of intelligence, critique, passion, time and energy from Spaceweaver, Starwalker, Gavin and Ishan, makes it a collaborative effort of a new dimension.
    More importantly perhaps is the kind of offering the Polytopia represents, an alternative to the old universal of nucleic identity relation.

    Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.

    Lao-Tzu

    more to come soon..

    notes:

    The belief in one nucleic identity is consistent with having one body (hence one brain substrate and thus one voice) but is inconsistent with multiplicity and the factuality of the multidimensional interpretation of the world.

    Moreover, nucleic identity is inconsistent with concepts such as ‘the extended mind via technology’ and the possible eventual application of neuron-by-neuron replacement, nucleic identity is inconsistent with the multiple identities online phenomenon.

    The belief in nucleic identity is consistent with religious beliefs assuming soul andor spirit as being originally generated by the original so-called creator.
    It is however inconsistent with the concept of flows.
    The belief in nucleic identity is consistent with systems of control requiring a continuity of registered place-holders (name – number, such as social security and the like) but inconsistent with the freedom of expression in multiple and highly variegated ways such as the web offers.


    afterword:

    # I accept Rudolph Carnap assertions that identity is a linguistic recommendation ("However Carnap did regard the identity as a linguistic recommendation rather than as asserting a question of fact. See his ‘Herbert Feigl on Physicalism’ in Schilpp (1963), especially p. 886.) linkhttp://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mind-identity/#Rel

    #second image in text: (Moths to Light. Moths attracted to a light in front of my home. (Photo and caption by Steve Irvine).


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    Comments:


    Ilparone     Mon, Nov 29, 2010  Permanent link
    Wildcat, many thanks (again) for an interesting essay.

    Just a couple of days ago I read an article Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction about the kids having problems in combining their online and offline presence/activities. Accordingly, today's adults are facing exactly the same challenge… So, a question emerged when I was reading your post:

    How will we cope with the everyday effects (and challenges) we face due to our emerging multilinear existence? What should we do when digital and physical world/manifestations of our identities/concrete vectors of interest seem to collide due to our cultural, social and societal context (e.g. social expectations, educational demands etc.)? How do we "actualize" the benefits and potential of the "fluid affinities" in the middle of the ongoing transformation?

    These are fundamental questions and thus I'm opening a dialogue rather than expecting to have any ready-made answers.

    Note: I see that both we (as a species) and technologies will evolve during the transition. However, in the early stages technological solutions should adapt to us assisting us to manage our everyday multilinear lives.
    Wildcat     Tue, Nov 30, 2010  Permanent link
    Hi Jarno and thanks for prompting this conversation with this comment and these important questions, I think that most of us observing the happenings on the net and intersubjectively operating in this vast and increasingly vaster infoverse are quite aware to the problematics of the situation you are describing.

    Jarno:”How will we cope with the everyday effects (and challenges) we face due to our emerging multilinear existence?

    Wildcat: this is an important question and I think that the basic answer lies with two fundamental premises, the first that indeed it is a time of transit and therefore the coping will be gradual. The second is that there will need to be some kind of map (a kind of walk through if you wish) that will allow for a smooth and soft transition. (This also we strive to do with the polytopia project).
    Having said that, the larger coping mechanism involves certain parametric changes in functional representation of our online lives, these indeed are not easy and will ask of us to re-invent ourselves into narrator-curator-lyric inventors- or Knowmads, as events of information- by departing from the script of nucleic identity.

    In truth I think that the terminology ‘coping’ in this regard may not be the most accurate, for as I see it, most of us will need relearn some basic manners of reflecting on our lives, moving from concepts of linear existence to multilinear existence, hence ‘learning the new multidimensional temporality’ may better reflect the kind of needed adaptation.
    Also on the same topic, our brains are in the process of rewiring themselves to reflect this multilinear existence and this process takes time and is not evenly distributed, therefore as the infoverse progresses, larger and larger swaths of the online netizenship will adapt to these new circumstances.

    Jarno:” What should we do when digital and physical world/manifestations of our identities/concrete vectors of interest seem to collide due to our cultural, social and societal context (e.g. social expectations, educational demands etc.)? How do we "actualize" the benefits and potential of the "fluid affinities" in the middle of the ongoing transformation?

    Wildcat: I think that the most crucial point you relate to is the term ‘seem to collide’ for to my mind this is an assumption based on the ‘old view’ that the ‘real’ world’ and the virtual are somehow disassociated and not a coherent and congruent continuum.
    If you accept that there is no inherent distinction between the apparent realities of these worlds, the real and the virtual, then we can safely assume that all apparent dichotomies will in time disappear.

    The change that is happening upon us all is not something we ‘do’ it is more of an event in which we participate and through which we slowly learn to adapt to the new circumstances of our lives.

    Nevertheless the issue to which you point and upon which I have reflected in the above post concerns embodiment, for it is indeed true that as long as at the end of the day we can close our computers and perform actions in our immediate actuation of the reality of our minds we will perceive this apparent conflict of vectors of interests. This issue I think will eventually be resolved when different levels of techno realism embedded in our lives will take hold. Technologies such as ‘The internet of things’, Brain Machine interfaces and Augmented virtualizations are part of the technologies in development that will eventually solve this apparent conflict of perception.

    And yet some of us have already solved this by increasing our online presence to the point where we have imported qualitativeliness into the infoverse by creating relevant infocologies which continuously operate even when other identities of us perform in the so called ‘real’ world.
    I think that a certain two-ways path is opening up in which identities of cultural distinction move online and simultaneously online identities start to take ‘real’ life existence, in this these two co-mingle and intertwine to create the cyber civilization that has multidimensional realities entangled on many levels and meshed layers of existence.

    As I see it fluid affinities is a fashion of management of these knotted realities using tools of mind that are just now becoming available and imply a motion of change that is both inexorable and constant.
    Ilparone     Tue, Dec 7, 2010  Permanent link
    Wildcat, thank you for taking your time to explore my questions.

    Yes, we are in the middle of a transformation/transition that 1) will take various forms and trajectories, 2) will not happen simultaneously everywhere and 3) will be time-consuming. However, everyone will not be/might not want to be part of this change ("coping" vs. "learning"). And for these entities the process may require more coping than learning.

    When considering our existence as a whole, "virtuality" and "reality" are united. The border between the two, when it comes to digital realities, remains in tact as long as we will have "interfaces" between our minds and digital virtualities (that are designed by other than ourselves).

    Thus we are today (and tomorrow) dealing with entities (e.g. companies, non-profit-organizations, individuals) that create these interfaces to digital realities (according to their own intentions, values etc.). These mediators affect the current representations of our multilinear selves (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, WoW) and the ongoing transformation in a significant way. The interesting question is, what are our true possibilities to affect our own digital representations and emerging realities, that is, our future selves.

    As you suggest, we need to create (road) "maps" that let us reflect and affect the on-going transformation. Media literacy will play a big role in this development. We need to be able to critically assess the realities we live in. Only through that we can actively shape our own multilinear existence and personal/collective futures.

    I will return to this topic in my forth-coming post. Thanks again Wildcat.
    Gabriel Shalom     Tue, Dec 28, 2010  Permanent link
    I've really enjoyed reading this post and Jarno's comments and questions. Ishan directed me here after he and I had a stimulating discussion regarding some aurec work we'd like to prototype.

    Here are some interesting sets of polarities which come to mind which may be interesting to consider/discuss in terms of those who will grudgingly cope and those who will willingly evolve:

    push economy :: pull economy
    nucleic self :: fluid affinities
    male :: female
    old :: young

    Just food for thought.

    PS: Wildcat, thanks for the reference to "the future of money project" — nice topical node for me to integrate into my own personal narrative flow at the moment ;)
    Wildcat     Thu, Dec 30, 2010  Permanent link
    Hi Gabriel,

    Good points indeed, however let me say that I do not perceive a polarity between these; I do not think that the assumption of polarity in the sense of contra-positioning these items is useful for propagating the future we all desire.

    Actually the whole idea behind fluid affinities is one of fluid motion into and out of what appears as polarized views but are actually continuities in different spaces, somewhat similar to a certain degree to multidimensional objects that have definite appearances under certain conditions.

    So in a sense, to take one example, gender is a meta object in a phase space of possibilities that carries certain given appearances (the definite gender) under certain conditions of perception. If however we take the gender meta object and observe it in a multidimensional phase space, the specification of gender polarities becomes Euclidian with respect to the abstraction, and of course we all know that such is never the case. None of us is gender specific, in the meta object state, how much more so when indeed fluid affinities replace nucleic identity as a descriptive state of affairs.
    Also as sci-tech progresses and the specification of gender will become actually fluid, transformative and utterly metaphorical, this apparent polarization will disappear even from our immediate perception.

    Furthermore I am a strong believer in a continuous state of metamorphing our realities from the actual to the virtual and vice versa, eventually allowing the full spectrum to actualize in whatever realm we choose to manifest under the particular given conditions.

    Come to think of it, I do not see ‘polarities’ in any dimension..
         Sat, Jan 29, 2011  Permanent link
    ºoºoº
    Wildcat     Sun, Jan 30, 2011  Permanent link
    @dmitri Thank you so much, not very often does someone write such a comment concerning a post, I am referring specifically to "this post has been very influential in my thoughts lately and that it's resulted in making me a happier person".. care to expand on that?
    in what way did this make you a 'happier person?'
    and of course I would very much like to read your ideas on meshing virtualities into expanded realities.
         Sun, Jan 30, 2011  Permanent link
    oºooºooºº
     
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