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    Archeodatalogy - Entwined, Enmeshed, Entangled
    Project: Polytopia
    Entwined, Enmeshed, Entangled – Three modes of ‘being’ pertinent to our cyborgization process

    Abstract:

    By redesigning the conceptual landscape of our networked inter-relationality we may finally disentangle ourselves from the all-pervading occlusion of the cyborgization process and allow a fresh recognition of the manifold human sensorium extended in hyperconnectivity.
    In the re-conceptualizing of our cyber existence we may need relinquish a few cherished objects of identity such as man machine interface, virtuality and man machine co-existence but more importantly the dualistic distinction between ‘real’ life and our virtual extensions as existence.
    All of these descriptive objects of identity I suggest should become ‘naturalized’ in a new cyber-existential language.

    This is the first part of a three pronged approach to what I believe is the foundation of a future philosophy of and for the hyperconnected individual.
    I will try to show that these three modes of beingness are the quintessential infrastructures necessary for a future of a technological civilization aiming for the firmament of freedom and equality, personal responsibility and open access culture.
    A civilization, which roots, we currently inhabit but that promises changes to the perception of ourselves, the understanding of the universe and the manner by which we may develop in tandem.
    The three lines of approach that will be used are: Entwinement, Enmeshment, and Entanglement.
    Each of these terms represents a similar but different manner to realize the state of affairs of hyperconnectivity as the threshold infrastructure in the process of becoming a citizen of the future, a cyborg netizen and perhaps a posthuman.

    Entwinement, Enmeshment and Entanglement each represent a different level of intimacy in the infocology (see lexical index) one exists in and partakes of. The three terms offered here are suggestions for an illustrative strategy that will allow a deeper and more accurate description of the state of affairs of our cyber existence. Each of these terms will be expanded upon later, for now suffice it to say that the terms are distinguished primarily by the amount, depth and extensiveness of the connectivity between minds in the hyperconnected infosphere. Entwinement stands for the lowest level, Enmeshment for the medium level and Entanglement for the highest or deepest level.

    Introduction:

    Chance Favors the Connected Mind” (Steven Johnson)

    Between our digital reputations taking hold of our old tribal systems of acknowledgement and trust and the new cyborg existentialism a tension is made manifest.
    This tension that I will expound upon in a moment can be seen primarily in its hyper complex fragility and tendency to ambiguity.
    The tendency for ambiguity, itself a by product of the de-potentialization of the known factors of trust moving into new realms of unknowability, increases exponentially as networked decisions are made manifest (e.g. 'like' clicks).
    The cyborg existentialism is a new domain of relationality residing between the tribal homophily and hyperconnected heterophily.
    The cyborg existentialism (CE) is a fresh approach to ‘freedom’ as the ultimate ground of human beings' capacity to relate to the world, extended and enhanced in the world via technology.

    Cyborg existentialism implies that sensory attunement via the embedding of technology in base line human bodies reveals a coherent understanding of the precedence of existence to essence. In short the idea is that the existence of the individual as an extended techno-sensory awareness mechanism belongs to a category in and of itself and should be looked at as the atom of the future (hyperconnected) cyber-civilization (see- The rise of the Cyber Unified Civilization ).
    *Notes: I will use existentialism as a general kind or manner of thought and not as a systemic philosophy. Existentialism in this regard is an approach or an attitude, putting the individual sense of being as primary.

    But first we need introduce a new term:



    Archeodatalogy

    (A neologism construct from the Greek arkhaios, "ancient"+ Data- The word data is the plural of datum, neuter past participle of the Latin dare, "to give", hence "something given" + the Greek noun λόγος (logos, "speech", "account", "story").

    Archeodatalogy – Noun.

    Meaning: Archeodatalogy is the study and analysis of the Meta narrative emerging out of the accumulated information about an individual in a multiplicity of infocologies.

    Short version: The study and analysis of emerging meta-narratives in hyperconnectivity

    The premises of Archeodatalogy:

    1. A hyperconnected individual ‘is’ and ‘has’ inherently a multiplicity of identities.
    2. The multiplicity of identities a hyperconnected individual is made of, are manifested primarily in the infocologies this individual partakes of.
    3. A hyperconnected individual then is a multiplicity of identities embedded in a multiplicity of infocologies; the coupling between these infocologies can be strong or soft, discreet or continuous.
    4. A hyperconnected individual exists as a spectrum of identities correlated but not necessarily closely coupled with the fields of interests manifested as, and in, the infocologies this individual partakes in.
    5. The study and analysis of a hyperconnected individual in a given infocology is the subject matter of Archeodatalogy.
    6. Archeodatalogy assumes that the inter relation between a hyperconnected individual and the infocology in which she exists is a thematic environment from which emerges a particular narrative. This particular narrative is one of many such narratives, each of which represents the interrelation of the particular hyperconnected individual to a particular thematic environment or infocology.
    7. Each narrative has a particular environmental theme that can be described as the story of ‘this individual in this infocology’. Each such narrative has its own characteristics and attributes and though at times might correlate and or superimpose upon another narrative, the particular narrative carries its own peculiar and idiosyncratic coherence.
    8. The purpose of Archeodatalogy is to create a Meta account of the multiplicity of narratives (of a hyperconnected individual in multiple infocologies) and to allow for the emergence of a Meta story descriptive narrative, from which arrays of predictions can be summarized.
    9. Archeodatalogy assumes that no particular thematic narrative can capture the totality of the hyperconnected individual, therefore only a Meta descriptive chronicle of the multiplicity of interrelations can permit a full understanding of a hyperconnected individual.
    10. The results of an Archeodatalogy analysis permit a mapping of an hyperconnected individual correlated to her fields of interest that may or may not parallel this individual immediate existence, nevertheless it is the assumption of the Archeodatalogy method that a high enough approximation can be realized.

    Part 1: Entanglement is an event – Enmeshment is an episode- Entwinement is circumstantial

    Explication:

    In a state of Entwinement the correlativity of interest and mutual cross-fertilization is low to very low.
    Currently the state of Entwinement is the most widespread.


    A circumstantial state in hyperconnectivity can be defined as an accident of (at least initially) secondary importance in which two or more minds find themselves in the same infocology for reasons that are not necessarily pertinent and or interesting to their personal agenda (membership in the given infocology excluded)- example: one may join the network of twitter and because one twits with the hashtag of #Science he or she will be grouped in a Science list and by extension be correlated to all other minds (and possibly bots) that use this hashtag. As a consequence one may find himself being followed by a number of members of twitter and be labeled in the same fashion, namely ‘Scientist on Twitter’ or alternatively ‘Twitting about science’. This level of correlativity between the minds involved will be called here entwinement. However the level of ‘intimacy’ between these minds is (again, at least initially) practically non-existent, so though ‘Jon’ and ‘Mary’ may both be part of the infocology titled ‘ Scientist on twitter’ the amount of information that can be gleaned from this fact is very small if interesting at all.

    In a state of Enmeshment the correlativity of interest and mutual cross-fertilization is medium and can be averaged.
    Currently the state of Enmeshment is in the exponential increase.


    To continue the same example from above then, an episode in hyperconnectivity can be defined as an extended session of interest between two or more minds that are of medium correlation such as might happen in a Google hangout or Skype chat or alternatively an extended period of loosely coupled membership in the same infocology- such as a comment section in a particular site.
    An episode in hyperconnectivity will be called here ‘Enmeshment in hyperconnectivity’ and can be a single episode (as in ‘we had a few exchanges on the comment board of..”) to a multi episode connection (as in ‘ we are in continuous contact via the comment section of.. but it never extended beyond that’). The importance in understanding the enmeshment state of affairs lies with the amount of information that can be pertinent to the individuals involved. In a very wide sense the scope of possible ambient intimacy is extended beyond that of the accidental or circumstantial (as in Entwinement) and thus allowed for reciprocal influence, but did not reach a critical level of mutuality such that might exist in the state of Entanglement.

    In a state of Entanglement the correlativity of interest and mutual cross-fertilization is high to very high, the difference resulting in a closely coupled relationship that may engender a relationship of extended duration. Entangled states in hyperconnectivity are currently quite rare (though in continuous increase) but offer us a glimpse into the future of inter-relationality and intersubjectivity as the web progresses and the Internet spreads globally.


    A short lexical index:

    Infocology: Information ecology – Basically the sum total of a particular kind or set of information, related to a particular domain of interest. Infocologies are nested and carry a given set of characteristics defined by the design and function of the infocology in question.

    Infocologies stand for the ambient ecology of minds in a hyperconnected situation.

    Infocologies should be considered as complex adaptive cultural contexts of hyperconnectivity in which transformative and processual properties extend the being of a particular mind

    Infocologies can be seen as inter-relational spaces extending the biological autonomy of the individual mind into new forms of being manifested as the cyber-autonomy manifold.

    Facebook for example is a medium size infocology nested within the larger infocology of the overall social networks infocologies of the net, themselves nested within the larger framework of the Web. (Of course also within FB there exists a continuum of nested infocologies, defined by friends or acquaintances and so on)

    (It is my view that as the complexity of the web continues to increase both in size and widespread, the babushka effect reflected in nested infocologies will grow exponentially and in consequence the importance of Archeodatalogy will develop in tandem. )

    Some other examples of infocologies:
    The set comprised of all commentators on say CNN or the NYT current news page.
    The set of all Wikipedia users as an ensemble represent an infocology.

    With the advent of “anticipatory computing,” or “information gravitation”, (though I am not certain I go with these descriptive terms), the search will be gravitational and come to us no doubt about that, in this case the search itself might be reflected upon as an infocology.
    Following the above the next step in the sequence per necessity will be self-mapping in hyperconnectivity. (Self-mapping in infocologies is the main tool we should get acquainted with, it is via the agency of such an activity as self-mapping that we will allow the myriad identities of our minds to carve a mind habitat on the net that fits and accommodates, our passions and our interests, our complex life. In the second episode of the rise of the cyber unified civilization asymmetry is being explored as the initial attribute of self-mapping in complex infocologies.) See: The Natural Asymmetry of infocologies.

    Coming soon:

    Part 2: Entanglement is a spectrum – Enmeshment is a gamut - Entwinement is particular

    Part 3: Entanglement is multifaceted – Enmeshment is involved - Entwinement is exclusive


    This is a work in progress and belongs to the Polytopia research projects. Please use with discretion and elegance. It is a fresh neologism meant to help us in distinguishing the next step in the evolution of hyperconnectivity. Though I do not accept the copyright idea in principle, please refer to this first paper when referring to the term Archeodatalogy. As of February 2013 search results in all major search engines has given zero results therefore I am not aware that the term exists anywhere in any fashion remotely similar to the way I present here, it is therefore my assumption that this is a first exposition of a term that I believe will be of great importance in the coming future.

    Please use with elegance and grace.


    Creative Commons License
    Archeodatalogy - Entwined, Enmeshed, Entangled by Tyger AC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

    Cross-posted on RealityAugmented

    4 comments
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    Comments:


    johnrod     Mon, Feb 18, 2013  Permanent link
    This is intriguing.

    It is an exciting extension to concept of the polytopia. Readers will be curious about the meaning. Entwinement has low mapping correlativity. Enmeshment has mutual cross-fertilization. Entanglement is closely coupled.

    As far as fiction goes, it seems like a good beginning. There is a hint of tension in the ambiguity. The environment might be likened to cyberspace at first approximation, so this would need to be differentiated; similarly for singularity and transhumanism.

    There are potential reader questions.

    The meta story seems to be a kind of theory. It is enumerated by interest mapping per individual. Whether this is done by another agent or an admin, or is self-assembling or self-aware itself becomes a topic of interest. The definition of infocology might benefit from further parameters, e.g. to lend itself to a mathematical formalism which would keep it as a scientific method in line with the allusions to gravity.

    The notion of reconceptualization implies a concomitant abstraction, or separation, between mind and the new body or re-embodiment in a networked fashion.

    Whether there are three modes of beingness or it quickly becomes an infinite number may need to be demonstrated for feasibility.

    The assumptions about the individual may need to be explored since they could be deconstructed further which would render it nondeterminant. Does this mean a sentient component? Conversely if the initial configuration can be derived from a later one, does that mean that it is an example of determinism?

    is cyber-existence different from the physical? is it a destination, or a source, or a parallel?
    why was this not instantaneous, or equivalent to a networking singularity?
    is there a critical mass?
    are there constraints?
    is there an obstacle?
    is there already an excess which needs to be eliminated?
    is this utopian?
    is the ironic result loss of individuality?
    what is capable of composing a meta narrative?
    does this include machine identities?
    does it include avatars?
    does it include group identities?
    can it be gamed? engineered?
    assuming that this is a conversion mechanism, then is it applicable to all cultures or only the most recent previous?
    what are the minimal necessary conditions?
    how fragile is it? what can disrupt or destroy it?
    will it ever split?
    is there a larger context? smaller?
    what are the mathematics?
    does this require networks as currently implemented, e.g. physical or social, or can it be supported by other types?
    is it true for nonhumans?
    is it spontaneous? self-assembled? or what constitutes form?
    is it an example of evolution?
    is it self-aware?
    is it a chaotic system? random? or approaching another order?
    is a model equivalent to the whole?
    how does it relate to the scientific method?
    will it eliminate biology? or perfect it in a new medium?
    what kind of information is excepted, if any?
    how does it handle authentication, privacy or compartmentalization?
    will it be affected by quantum networking?
    is this the same as recommendation or preference?
    is it genetically biased?
    how will it change human makeup?
    how does it account for imagination?
    does it maintain cause-effect?
    will it, or did it, establish first contact? will that be a final existential event or survivable as a result?
    Who will have the monopoly or how will this be avoided?
    what are the risks, if any?
    in the context of subplot, does it go up against the previous establishments to assume authority? will it resent being delayed? is it impulsive? is there a time to confrontation?
    how will it re-emerge? or adapt to disruption?
    does it consume all of the energy? or transfer it somehow?
    is there a tech of thought terraformation?
    Spaceweaver     Mon, Feb 18, 2013  Permanent link
    Thanks Wildcat for this interesting post. After a first read here are a few comments. I hope you will find them sensible and constructive.

    1. From the first premise, if an individual is/has multiplicity of identities, what possibly hold it together as a distinct entity? Such premise assumes an implicit biological (or otherwise) embodiment that connects and coheres these identities and leaves out the possibility of distributed individuals i.e. multi-minds and multiply embodies individuals. I would suggest to develop instead the concept of identity as a multiplicity. A multiplicity here stands for a mesh of distinct yet inseparable elements. Such definition of a 'neo-individuality' grounded in a multiple identity resolves the above indicated problems and seems to me more elegant.

    2. Infocology which becomes a very prominent concept in this article remains unclear because it relies too much on environments of information exchange that are defined by software platforms (e.g. Twitter, Face book etc). The concept need to be developed independently of such platforms in order to carry the significance assigned to it. A major example I can think of an infocology is a language, or particular language games within a language (e.g. how psychologists or computer scientists communicate professionally among them). The difference is that such examples exposes a rich landscape of meaning relations and nuances and not only the raw means and protocols that constrain and specify information transfer between parties.

    3. The presentation is strongly focused on presence in cyberspace and seems to leave out physical presence. I think that a philosophy of a future civilization need to account for an already on going convergence and the eventual merging between cyber reality and physical reality. The core problem to be addressed is the problem of embodiment and how embodiment extends from physical expression to cyborgian (both physical and cyber) expression and how the unitary nature of identity imposed by local physical embodiments evolves into the distributed multiple identity of the future individual.

    4. As to the concept Archeodatalogy itself, the meaning is quite understood and very interesting. The term chosen to signify it however is somewhat obscuring the concept. Archeodatalogy seem to mean the extraction of the 'facts' i.e. the various particular narratives and threads that weave together the meta narrative which characterizes an individual in a future civilization. But it does not cover (at least to my mind) the work of interpretation and analysis which is necessary to connect, organize and cohere the various elements into a whole. The analogy I make here is how archeology and history work together.
    starwalker     Fri, Feb 22, 2013  Permanent link
    The horizon of a new thought, weaved into cyber existence, this essay brings it to a palpable presence, thank you wildcat for the unrelenting pull in this direction… I think it is a great direction of research in the meta narrative of the Polytopia project; few reflections emerging with the reading. It is more questions than affirmations, addressing a refining of understanding.

    Using for a moment a close analogy, an ecology in our physical world represents an integrated whole, an adaptive and complex system which is continuously processing at all scales the energy bonds and information exchanges between all of its constituents. In this sense an ecology emerges with the bonds among its parts, subsystems, agents, spaces and the flows of energy and information sustained among them. There is no separation between an ‘inhabitant’ and its ‘ecology’. We may use the perspective of ‘visitors’ to distinct ourselves from an ecology but even there the contour is not at all hermetic.

    Would it be correct to consider infocologies similarly defined? with the difference that they are the integrated expression of information flows, in their hyperconnected abstract expression. Information flows are what binds us in a particular infocology. If this description applies, then one may ask what would be more ‘real’ in interaction, the infocology of flows or the particular narrative of an individual in it? And I believe that depending on which is the scale of interaction this is not a given (am I at a given moment entangled with an infocology or with a particular individual? Or is it with a unique flow of the infocology?).

    We need to recur to the metanarrative of an individual as infocology to find the same level of relevancy. Does it matter though that I’ll know if a particular infocology is the emergent result of one individual, few or many? all I meet is a flow of mediated interactivity. The question that opens here is what exactly defines an ‘organism’ in an infocology? Relating it to the way in which organism is the basis for individuation in an ecology).

    The moment that the focus shifts from ‘bodies’ to ‘flows of information’, the ‘individual’ could become a unique possible configuration among many. A chosen manifest in a particular flow, not necessarily the one I will a priori tune to while interacting in infocologies.

    Am I recognizing ‘individuals’ behind the comments under an article at CNN? Depends, (automated bots not being the main reason for my answer). There is no denying ‘individuals’ but I am well aware that I am encountering particular partial narratives belonging to the particular infocology flow of information, not necessarily a representation of individuals.

    The ambiguity grows, carrying though a projection of freedom, which I will compare, for lack of better metaphor, to the ability of changing the focus in a system of lenses (a camera or a projector or both) to different scales and resolutions, or in other words the capacity for coherency at multiple scales. Which description/composition of “I” carries the ability to produce coherent flows of information at multiple scales without losing its primal coherency?

    And what to attribute this ‘organismic’ primal coherency to? Is it agency? Choice? Intentionality? Or is it the integrated whole? We can in actuality be simultaneously humans and topoi and variously integrated bodies and multitudes, while holding realness, intensity and intentionality, or can we? It is indeed a critical territory to chart and demands a full new thought about the individual sense of existence.
    If i understand correctly your pointing to archeodatology may describe as well the journeys into this new perception of coherency. Thank you again for eliciting these thoughts.
    Wildcat     Wed, Feb 27, 2013  Permanent link
    Thank you John, Spaceweaver and Starwalker for the pertinent and relevant comments and questions, I shall try and answer some of these issues as the flow permits with time being at a premium and the work being in progress.

    I shall start with Spaceweaver first issue namely:

    "1. From the first premise, if an individual is/has multiplicity of identities, what possibly hold it together as a distinct entity? Such premise assumes an implicit biological (or otherwise) embodiment that connects and coheres these identities and leaves out the possibility of distributed individuals (multi-minds and multiply embodies individuals). I would suggest to develop instead the concept of identity as a multiplicity. A multiplicity stands for a mesh of distinct yet inseparable elements. Such definition of neo-individuality grounded in a multiple identity resolves the above-indicated problems."

    Wildcat: An individual is held together by embodiment and carries a distinct identity only in relation to said embodiment, however to follow the thread of your question there is no implicit assumption here but a correlated empirical observation. Moreover the premise I take here is not contrary to identity as multiplicity, au contraire, the mesh of distinct yet inseparable elements is a nested infocology in the embodied cognition not unlike a module in a hypercomplex system. I do not believe that what we need is a neo-individuality as such, for the simple reason that the very concept individual is in the process of being transformed, the term itself, being a recognizable feature of an antiquated language.
    Multi-minds and multiply embodied individuals are a definite possibility though presently we can only assume that such entities enjoy a Lewis like ‘real’ world (though of course these are logically consistent). Truth to tell I do not see a problem here.
    The whole idea rests with a rhizome like infrastructure (not unlike the neural structure of our brains) mustering its computing power per need (or per impression) recreating itself on a moment-by-moment basis and allowing a seemingly continuous sequence of overlapping modules (or identities).

    We could of course speak about the perceptual now where and when ‘it all comes together’ but that would not give us yet the pointed realization that we ‘as embodied awareness’ carry a wide variety of personae that are fundamentally adjacent to each other and at times fully contradicting one another.

    Spaceweaver: "2. Infocology which becomes a very prominent concept in this article remains unclear because it relies too much on environments of information exchange that are defined by software platforms (e.g. twitter). The concept need to be developed independently of such platforms in order to carry the significance assigned to it. A major example I can think of an infocology is a language, or particular language games within a language (e.g. how psychologists or computer scientists communicate professionally among them). The difference is that such examples exposes a rich landscape of meaning relations and nuances and not only the raw means and protocols that constrain and specify information transfer between agents."

    Wildcat: I definitely agree with you that the concept of Infocology can and should be extended (and is in fact being extended in my larger scheme of writings). Nevertheless the Information ecologies we need apply our minds here need by necessity (at least initially) be constrained to technological ecologies if for no other reason that the technologically enhanced infocologies we find ourselves in have no similarity in our culture and brains, not in scope and not in extensibility, but more importantly perhaps, these have no histories and no past and thus demand a new epistemology and even if one dares a new ontology.
    I shall however take your advice to heart and in future exposition embed some of the other clarifications of the term infocology as applied to language, culture and mind. (a dedicated paper might be in order here.)

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