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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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    What will happen when for the first time in ages different human species will inhabit the earth at the same time? The day may be upon us when people...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    It has been a while and I thought it real and effectual to deflect the inner reflectivity of extreme individualism before you depart for the land of beyond where you will be alone.

    At least, at last, superficially so, seemingly so.

    For the great one of haecceity will be with you.
    For suchness reveals haecceity, but you know that.

    Being of such constitution from which great warriors are made you will need remember only that once touched by the non stopping machine, your inner core will be substantiated again and again.
    This is not a problem, do not worry, you are good, the only possible option for corruption in your case, will be hubris.
    I know you have tried every trick in the book to escape the moment, that is well, but there is no book and that was your undoing, hence your tricks failed.
    Of course you believe that now that beyondness happens you will be able to resume the happenstance of immediacy, that, fortunately, or unfortunately, will not happen.
    Flee is impossible.
    Besides, what will you do in the great beyond, apparently alone?
    Will you finally use the time away to walk the infinite bondage of the moment?
    Will you finally transgress the ultimate transgression, that of your final belief in actions of self?

    I wonder. I doubt it. I don’t think so.

    Will you lift the last prohibition, and penetrate the sacred realization of knowing that you are not there?

    How can you? How could you?

    The whole point of double lifting the veil of ignorance resides with the act of a trusted other.
    The other reinstates the pleasure of reality unbiased, the reality that there is an ‘other’ and the pleasure of you, not being you.
    For that of course a different economy of emotions is necessary, a financial self institution of sensation.
    Will your future be hastened by your meager contributions to your inner economy of limited imagination?

    I wonder. I doubt it. I don’t think so.

    As you wander you will believe again that history carries a sense of bitterness and happiness, beware of false beliefs my young friend, history carries only its grains of revolutions, and their insignificance.
    Evolution revolves and brings forth new options, that is all.
    I wonder if you bristle at my use of ‘that is all’. I doubt it. For you do not know that ‘all’ is all there is, from there our loves and from there our ecstatic uncertainties.
    It is the only rule of liberation that you will need to follow, the law of liberating yourself from that which makes you free in appearance to that which makes you free in substance.
    You will need strategic intention for this, very different than, and at times contradicting, tactical intention.
    This may be alien to your casual historical way of thinking, but try to make it stick to a future you, it may reveal to you a greatness of sense, that only retrospectively makes sense.
    Nabokov once said that the breaking of a wave cannot explain the greatness of the ocean and I urge you to take this lesson to heart, we are an ocean and our seeming breaking is only a momentary wave.

    You are, there is no doubt about this, a climber on mount improbable, our very discourse is proof of that, if proof you still need. But have you not grasped yet the enormity of your self imposed task? The improbability of it? The sheer madness of elixir creation? The almost absurd act of committing yourself to the unknown factor?
    For there is a knowledge there, a different kind of knowledge, the knowledge of transformation. It is called the linkage knowledge, for it is accessible only when we are linked, deeply, intimately, intensely, acutely, thoroughly, burningly.

    This could happen the day your discourse will cease being permeated by banality. The day your pleasure of being will be intertwined with the act of knowing, that day you will stop policing your statements and declare : I am here!, performing the act of presence.
    In this act you will intensify the valor and value of being you.
    That day you will become indispensable for the future you, and maybe for the future me, and maybe for a superior future still.
    You will be a great teacher of insinuation, for you carry within you the unreachable and unteachable quality of the great desire.
    You are and always will be a great delectation of mind my friend.

    Will you come?

    I wonder. I doubt it. But as always, suchness reveals haecceity and thus your actions in time will tell.
    These will not be frivolous nor insignificant, these will not be trivial.
    These will be myth, a mythos in action.


    And then, tomorrow’s sex might be good again.

    (To you dear friend, of Wisdom impossible)


    *Part of the Ultrashorts Project
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    “Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.”

    Mark Twain

    (part 1)

    A number of articles these past weeks have caught my attention as I write these words, the first, coming from: The guardian: Population of world 'could grow to 15bn by 2100' (Nearly 7 billion people now inhabit planet but projections that number will double this century have shocked academics-see here) and the second coming few days later from the NYT entitled seven billions (link).
    Both articles deal with a very real problem we are facing in the coming decades, the immense rise in planetary human population, and though the issue is anything but new, the approaches to the issue have changed are changing, and indeed must change.

    The interesting issue at play from the perspective we are exploring here in the PP discourse is the correlation to hyperconnectivity, and by extension, as technology will evolve, the rise of the global brain.

    The exploration of intense states of affairs (topos) rising in the noosphere as our numbers explode will demand (and already are) a new form of conceptualization. Though the common accepted version presently is one of convergence, of man and machine, or the rise of a network mediated global mind, the polytopia presents a complementary and different perception, one of polychronicity.

    There is very little doubt that in a few very short years, we shall turn the extensions of our minds (such as cell phones and search engines) into embedded extensions seamlessly integrated in our thought processes, such as brain machine interfaces and similar devices.

    That longevity is an inevitable fact is not the real question (though the extent of same longevity is), the harnessing of collective intelligence via crowd sourcing or other heavy handed computationally intensive machines is not in question, the motivations behind it are.
    Intelligent semi automated (and thus semi independent) agents responding to our different requests such as Siri or its just released android opposition Iris, are already here, and though their present efficiency is both questionable and dubious, their attractiveness and progression is inevitable and uncontestable.
    That to a very large extent the evolution of us as connected and augmented minds is inevitable and undisputed is not the issue at play, what is at stake is the manner and fashion this evolutionary inevitability will be exploited to bring us closer to a world we ‘really’ wish to live in.

    The world we ‘really’ wish to live in is a very difficult concept to grasp not least of which because not all of ‘us’ wish or desire to live in the ‘same’ world.
    We may ignorantly assume that ‘all of us’ desire the same basic ‘good’, implying that ethics is a universal to which all human need subjugate themselves out of a universal ethical imperative a la Kant, or indeed that all of us accept a form of utilitarianism a la Mill-Bentham, and though recently a universal brain code has been discovered (link), I do not think in any fashion that neurotypicality is as foundational as it is believed to be.

    As much as I am a strong advocate of the benefits of hyperconnectivity and the info-availability it allows us to exploit, I am also become a positive skeptic in all facets concerning the human unification procedure. Access to the world’s information in itself is totally meaningless in itself, the power and benefits of education notwithstanding, for the simple reason that unless a common ground of multiple narratives as an initial co-extensive and coexisting realism of intersubjective allowance is posited, the information is ignored.
    The issue at play is not whether a global brain will rise, it will, it already does, it will also to a certain extent be conscious, with some caveats at least at the initial stages, it will after a fashion reflect us and thus will have just as much morality as we have, an incomplete and unresolved morality, an ethic that knows not the difference between desire and necessity.

    Will Siri or Watson or any of a number of extrapolated and possible artificial intelligences have a conscience? presently they can't even talk to each other: "So Watson can’t take dictation, and Siri can’t play Jeopardy".

    Consciousness, hyperconnectivity and language

    For any person who has had the pleasure and shock of reading one of the most important books of the 20th century, namely: Julian Jaynes: The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (see), the idea that until recently we were not conscious or at least not conscious in the same manner as we perceive ourselves to be at present, the idea of the evolution of consciousness, is not new.

    "O, what a world of unseen visions and heard silences, this insubstantial country of the mind! What ineffable essences, these touchless rememberings and unshowable reveries! And the privacy of it all! A secret theater of speechless monologue and prevenient counsel, an invisible mansion of all moods, musings, and mysteries, an infinite resort of disappointments and discoveries. A whole kingdom where each of us reigns reclusively alone, questioning what we will, commanding what we can. A hidden hermitage where we may study out the troubled book of what we have done and yet may do. An introcosm that is more myself than anything I can find in a mirror. This consciousness that is myself of selves, that is everything, and yet is nothing at all - what is it?
    And where did it come from?
    And why?"


    (excerpt from the Introduction to The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind- Here)

    The idea that consciousness is not a single artifact or phenomenon, is not personal or emergent as such, but is an extended phenomenon, across a wide range of events of a sociological and cultural nature is a work in progress that only lately has received some traction.

    We are wired for cooperation:
    “The brain was built for cooperative activity, whether it be dancing on a TV reality show, building a skyscraper or working in an office, according to new research by neuroscientists.”

    (It Takes Two: Brains Come Wired for Cooperation, Neuroscientists Discover)

    We are everybody

    “Many aspects of everyday human consciousness elude neural reduction. For we belong to a boundless, infinitely elaborated community of minds that has been forged out of a trillion cognitive handshakes over hundreds of thousands of years. This community is the theater of our daily existence. It separates life in the jungle from life in the office, and because it is a community of minds, it cannot be inspected by looking at the activity of the solitary brain.”
    (Rethinking Thinking - How a lumpy bunch of tissue lets us plan, perceive, calculate, reflect, imagine—and exercise free will.)

    Ripe for disruption- our civilization

    HG Wells urged us to domesticate the impossible with plausible assumptions- we need therefore assume (and assumptions is all there is) that the number of humans on this planet will continue to grow exponentially, that the number of connected humans and objects-things will grow and that this hyperconnectivity increases the consciousness factor of the mind of mankind.

    There is no doubt that with the advent of the hyperconnected state of affairs, with increases in nano systems, biotechnology, exascale computing, big data, and cognitive computing, the plausible assumptions with which we may domesticate the impossible need change accordingly.
    Plausible assumptions are assumptions that have enough hold in present day observable threads of actuation and yet are stretchable enough so as to allow a glimpse of things to come.
    We need these kinds of assumptions for the simple reason that the domestication of the impossible is an ART not so much of extrapolation (from immediacy) but of value estimation of changes (in immediacy).

    Hyperconnectivity as an example can be extrapolated into a global reach but needs be estimated in the values change that such a reach implies if we are to domesticate its unpredictable consequences.
    One of those estimations that change in value is the manner by which hyperconnectivity changes our brains and by implication the fashion by which our minds interpret that old concept: ‘reality’.

    The view I hold that the concept of ‘reality’ is being dramatically altered by hyperconnectivity implies a few distinct and easy to parse points, namely that:

    Assumptions about the extended narratives of our personhood as embedded cognition are mobilized in hyperconnectivity to create new ‘natures’.

    Assumptions about existence in hypercomplex systems as diminishing the freedom of the individual are mustered in hyperconnectivity to increased freedom.

    But most importantly:

    The quality of being, as an aesthetic phenomenon, is radically altered in the age of hyperconnectivity in a fashion that prominently features the art of becoming, not as the mimesis of an other that is not authentic, but in a fashion that re-describes the extended narrative of the individual into a multiplicity of authentic beings.
    These new authenticities are the new natures, performing acts of freedom that were not hitherto recognized as such, primarily because the technology needed for such freedom was not available, but also because the realm in which these freedoms prevail did not exist.

    To the conscious aware entity that we have engendered (and in so have become) in our hyperconnected infoverse, the hypercomplex system has become interesting again. And since what makes a system interesting is its capability to reach beyond its self-image, bring back new input, criticize its self-image, upgrade it, iterate it, and reach again, we have become more interesting to ourselves again, in that we have become freer.
    We are self-disrupting creatures, using our abstract capabilities to undo that which we have established for the purpose of penetrating into realms unknown; Realms that might endanger us as well as delight us, realms of freedom unknown, realms of interest, redefining not only our realities in immediacy but also our futures. These futures are operating simultaneously on many dimensions but on different speeds, hence polychronicity, and though these futures originate in virtuality, slowly but surely they leak into immediate reality, altering it in the process.

    This new reality constructed of an indefinite number of state of affairs (topos), is what the polytopia discourse is all about.

    Ten or fifteen billion minds connected to fifty and more billion things in an incredible mesh of hyperconnectivity is an unknown realm to which we have no clue but much desire to explore.

    “There is no point in using the word 'impossible' to describe something that has clearly happened.”

    Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency


    Shortly to be expanded..

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    “A concept is a brick. It can be used to build the courthouse of reason. Or it can be thrown through the window.”

    Brian Massumi - Introduction to A Thousand Plateaus


    The social aspect of the hyperconnected web carries an update to the nature of propinquity. Propinquity is a conceptual brick we need re-acquire and redefine in the era of hyperconnectivity. By allowing the texture of hyperconnected virtuality to gain precedence we will open new realms of sensual experience previously unexplored, these realms offer the potential to explore new forms of freedom not previously accessible or existent.
    Polytopians are Knowmads pushing the edge of texture (of flows of interest) by embodying the new meaning of propinquity.

    1. Proximity means value!?- A no-brainer! Not so fast.

    Propinquity is all about the nearness or more accurately proximity, basically it is a concept that determines the value of proximity, whether the value being determined is one based on physical space proximity such as defined by the study of proxemics or defined by idea of proximity by kinship, group ideology and the like, the original formulation is the same – distance defines value.

    When we say that distance defines value- we imply a number of characteristics that seem obvious on surface:
    The value of my physical neighbor is higher to me than the value of a person living in a different county, country, continent and so on. On the same line, the value of a person is higher to me if we are blood related, clan related, nation related, or indeed if we belong to the same gender, political party, or we study the same subject matter.
    Accordingly people who share similar beliefs, similar taste in music or food are said to have a higher propinquity quotient, such a high quotient apparently prioritizes the value of the relationship and by implication the value of that person to me.
    Propinquity is a very subtle and difficult subject to tackle if only for the immense amount of evidence showing this to be a no-brainer, proximity means value, end of story.

    Not so fast

    Without needing to destroy the almost obvious conclusion that propinquity still plays an important role in our lives, on this planet at this time, it is my understanding that the very nature of propinquity, the inherent meaning of proximity is changing because of the hyperconnected state of affairs we find ourselves in.
    Hyperconnectivity and by derivation, mobility, both physical and memetic, ideological, informational and technological changes the nature of the formula: “proximity defines value” into a new formula: “ intersubjectivity co-extends value”.

    2. Intersubjectivity co-extends value

    From the perspective of hyperconnectivity the value of a network node relies on its texture of interest. A texture of interest is defined here as the availability of weaved interest structure to sensation. To emphasize, the usage of an avatar as the representation of a player in an online game, for example, relies on the creation of a texture of interests for the mind in question. Such a texture made of a narrative, deployed via audio, visual and sensory stimulation to the minds redefines the meaning of proximity and by implication the meaning of value.
    My avatar in game playing is not a representation of me; it is a co-extensive realization of an ‘other me’ in a virtual situation. This ‘other me’ I surmise to be a different kind of embodiment of the concept of propinquity.
    In other words the psychological meaning of ‘nearness or proximity’ in hyperconnectivity has been dramatically altered.

    Propinquity in hyperconnectivity means gradual intersubjective co-embodiment of flows of interest.
    This new state of affairs creates a multiplicity of textures previously unavailable to our minds, and thus a whole realm of sensuality was ipso facto non existent, this new realm of hyperconnected propinquity, demands a new form of discourse to come into play a discourse that will steer the conversation of intimacy towards our desires, fruitful, and urgent.

    3. A difference in Course-plotting the flow of interests

    Knowmads are sensual initiators, new kind of minds that lubricate the gap of meanings, by interposing their own subjective contexts to (apparently) unrelated info forms.
    The difference between simply curating information, a practice well on its way of becoming ubiquitous and interposing subjective contexts is one of quality and not quantity. For whilst it is plain that aggregating infovores are continuously reinventing the art of curation using online engines that have simplified collection of information to a click, Knowmads perform a different trick.
    The trick is subtle and yet profound, it is in fact a paradigmatic shift from the application of the concept of partiality (as in these are my choices of relevant information) to the newcomer concept of this is the worldview of the mind I stand for, this we may dub the creative bias.

    The creative bias in hyperconnectivity defines flows of interest, by that creating a difference in course plotting the flow of interests. This difference is the very engine that allows diversity in points of view to become a significant factor (and not simply an opinion node) in the evolution of the web.

    But there is something even more interesting happening here, hyperconnected minds are weavers of textures not hitherto available for consummation (not a typo- for it is a consummation) and thus not open to exploration. By interposing their worldview bias as the criterion of choice in a continuous fashion Knowmads actually create bridges of value not previously accessible.

    Because of these bridges, value in hyperconnectivity bypasses the original conditions of physical and temporal proximity and redefines propinquity.

    The change in the nature of propinquity, in which minds distant in space and in time gradually become valuable to each other with no old style trappings in between, but the disposition of their flows of interests, represents a new state of affairs of the mind of humanity and indeed the biosphere.


    shortly to be continued..
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    What is so peculiar, even curious in a strange sense, concerning the current events of global unrest is not the actuality of the events themselves but the fact that these events do not coalesce (as of yet that is) around a particular and immediately recognizable leader or agenda.
    In fact to a very large extent it could be called a non-prophet organization, there is no prophet and there is no prophecy, there is also no specific nation to which this is true, the unrest is quite global in its reach and impact.
    I submit to you that the stirring we are witnessing all over the world, is the awakening of a new kind of mind.

    Where is our future?

    Whilst it is true that the levels of inequalities in the modern world have reached new peaks of ridiculousness (see: Here's What The Wall Street Protesters Are So Angry About...) it is also true, at least according to S.Pinker in the economist that the level of violence is the lowest ever( see: Human violence
    Punchline: People are less violent than ever, two authors argue. They just can’t agree why.
    )

    Over at project syndicate Nouriel Roubini states that :
    “This year has witnessed a global wave of social and political turmoil and instability, with masses of people pouring into the real and virtual streets: the Arab Spring; riots in London; Israel’s middle-class protests against high housing prices and an inflationary squeeze on living standards; protesting Chilean students; the destruction in Germany of the expensive cars of “fat cats”; India’s movement against corruption; mounting unhappiness with corruption and inequality in China; and now the “Occupy Wall Street” movement in New York and across the United States.”

    And finally that :
    ” Of course, the malaise that so many people feel cannot be reduced to one factor.”


    (see: The Instability of Inequality - Nouriel Roubini)

    Over at the Washington post an interview with Kalle Lasn, the man behind it all :

    “There’s suddenly a strange, magical occupation in Zuccotti Park, and it inspires occupations around the world, and it’s inspired by people who look into the future and think it doesn’t compute.”

    (Occupy Wall Street: An interview with Kalle Lasn, the man behind it all )

    And :”
    “Occupy Wall Street is essentially leaderless, fueled by social media and collective collaboration, operating on the consensus forged during twice-a-day meetings known as the General Assembly, where all are encouraged to participate.”


    (Time, Global Spin: Occupy Wall Street: A New Era of Dissent in America?)

    Finally maybe the most important bit by Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt :

    “No Martin Luther King, Jr. will emerge from the occupations of Wall Street and beyond. For better or worse — and we are certainly among those who find this a promising development — this emerging cycle of movements will express itself through horizontal participatory structures, without representatives. Such small-scale experiments in democratic organizing would have to be developed much further, of course, before they could articulate effective models for a social alternative, but they are already powerfully expressing the aspiration for a real democracy.”


    Occupy Wall Street as a fight for "real democracy"
    By Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri

    A world in transit

    The way I see it, is that the current events are an eruption of a general malaise of a world in transit, a humanity caught between its past and its future in a limbo like situation in which it feels but cannot articulate, there is a state of mind here indeed, a state of mind shared by millions around the planet.

    Yes, the state of affairs of the world is one of disarray, but that is not the reason behind the stirrings we are witnessing, it is not a movement born of a demand for better democracy or better government, though all these are implied and asked for.

    Yes there is a humanistic aspect to the stirring, there is a demand for dignity and health care, for jobs and better employment (though these terms are highly contested), there are also demands for culprits to be punished, the so-called 1% and so on.

    In one of the better readings of the current events professor Bernard E. Harcourt over at the NewYork Times says:

    “Occupy Wall Street is best understood, I would suggest, as a new form of what could be called “political disobedience,” as opposed to civil disobedience, that fundamentally rejects the political and ideological landscape that we inherited from the Cold War.”


    And further down in the same post:
    “Ultimately, what matters to the politically disobedient is the kind of society we live in, not a handful of policy demands.”


    Occupy Wall Street’s ‘Political Disobedience’By BERNARD E. HARCOURT

    A hyperconnected world, a hyperconnected mind

    There is a general dissatisfaction here, a grand sensation of frustration and discontent, a deep and highly resonating awareness that feels ‘real’ and actual, immediate and momentous.

    But what is the stirring all about? In spite of all the very real grievances and very real changes needed to, well, to everything more or less, I submit to you that the stirring we are witnessing all over the world, is the awakening of a new kind of mind.
    And this stirring has no reason, no specific reason that is, or at the very least no reason that can be articulated presently.
    Before you jump consider the idea that in our hyperconnected world the ease with which we get access to information and notification is unlike anything we have ever experienced,In an hyperconnected world the mind changes, it becomes a hyperconnected mind, this changes everything.

    "The critical mass of wiki and mapping tools, video and social networking sites, the communal news wire of Twitter and the ease of donations afforded by sites like PayPal makes coalitions of like-minded individuals instantly viable.


    “You’re looking at a generation of 20- and 30-year-olds who are used to self-organizing,” said Yochai Benkler, a director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. “They believe life can be more participatory, more decentralized, less dependent on the traditional models of organization, either in the state or the big company. Those were the dominant ways of doing things in the industrial economy, and they aren’t anymore.”

    (As Scorn for Vote Grows, Protests Surge Around Globe- NYTimes)

    Non-Conceptual Content and hyperconnectivity

    There is a real reason why it is so difficult to pinpoint the exact meaning of the global stirring, the precise activity needed and demanded, I believe the reason is one of vision.
    There is a very deep similarity between that which is happening and the theory of non-conceptual content.
    “The central idea behind the theory of non-conceptual mental content is that some mental states can represent the world even though the bearer of those mental states need not possess the concepts required to specify their content.”

    (Nonconceptual Mental Content at the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)


    There is such a thing as a global state of mind, the state of the noosphere if you prefer, it was always there to different extents, hyperconnectivity however has made it manifest, the infoverse has given it flesh and action and visibility.
    This global state of mind is presently a non conceptualized content state and thus cannot be articulated precisely, for it is large, all encompassing, interdependent, and intersubjective.
    It is complex and ambiguous, made of all the nodes, that we are, that we have created and that we use, those nodes implicit and explicit, some made of neurons, some made of silicon, exchange information at rates no single one of us can compute privately, but whether we accept it or not, it is humanity accessing a new state of affairs it has created.

    The era of separatedeness is ending, no longer can one event be alienated from another, not in space, not in time, and not in meaning, and unlike Kevin Kelly, I do not think it is a new form of socialism, it is not anarchism, (beside the fact that I have a deep dislike to any form of ‘ism’), it is a new kind of mind, implied by the rise of a cyber unified civilization.

    The stirring we are witnessing though being non conceptualized at present, is one of health, and birth, like all births it is wild eyed and in a sense confused, ambiguous, unclear and at times will unfortunately lash at the world, unwilling to be defined by its past.
    The crisis engendered by this inner stir is here to stay for a long while; it is a period of necessary instability to which we need to learn to adapt and create new language and new tools, made for a new kind of mind by a new kind of mind.

    Patience.
    It is beautiful
    Occupy the Mind, the rest will follow.

    "Injustice, poverty, slavery, ignorance - these may be cured by reform or revolution. But men do not live only by fighting evils. They live by positive goals, individual and collective, a vast variety of them, seldom predictable, at times incompatible."


    Isaiah Berlin


    will be continued..
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    Alternatively titled: Knowmads, Knowledge and Madness

    “An image of thought called philosophy has been formed historically and it effectively stops people from thinking.”

    (Gilles Deleuze and Claire Parnet Dialogues #1)


    1. Against monotony and boredom, bring the volatile and delicate


    Against the citadels of thought and monumental philosophies of Neolithic ennui, we need bring the exuberance of the indeterminate Knowmad, the Polytopian in action.
    Knowmads are inherently hyperconnected, though not of necessity through physicality, but unavoidably through the mind-space of the infoverse, itself remotely and yet intimately correlated to the codes of communication. This correlation of senses and of thought mediated through the acrobatics of prime time narratives in minds, accounting for moments of impossible serendipity, of hyper synchronicity, and retro mnemonic realizations, are the fresh hallmarks of the synthetically natural.

    The synthetically natural does not necessitate the old forms of consensus, not because consensus is impossible, or even in certain cases desirable, but because in the hyperconnected enmeshed virtualities, representing the new state of affairs of mind (see topos) consensus as such is simply irrelevant.
    It is irrelevant in as much as within a given flow of a given infocology, different degrees of partiality to the particular theme (of the given infocology) are an acceptable, tolerated and utterly adequate manner of interaction.
    Furthermore, the allowance for different degrees of partiality, the very fact of diversity of biases, is the authentic property of permissibility.
    In this, permissibility should be understood as that which replaces law and decree, regulation and authoritarianism.
    The synthetic natural therefore can be seen as the domain of enmeshed virtualities, which continuously redefines, re-describes and re-presents the intersubjective desire of cross pollinating beingness.

    Cross-pollinating beingness in turn should be perceived as the actual activity of the domain of the synthetic natural where our accreting multiple selves flourish, the fluid affinity domain of in-between as presented in the previous post ‘openness to the traffic of flows a polytopian stance', and 'fluid affinities replace nucleic identities'.

    In many ways we might describe the actuality of multi modal communication as an enmeshment of narratives.
    This meshed hyperconnectivity of symbols of representation, manifested as bits and bytes, continuously and fundamentally re-enacting the stream of impressions, are melting the inside and outside, no longer clearly distinguished, into an amalgam of sensations and thoughts.
    An amalgam of sensations and thoughts, in truth an irreducible sense-thought, that I have called elsewhere the flow of interests or fluid affinities.
    In this momentary fluidity we recognize that there is no truth to forever, and no finiteness on which to base our moralities, our perspectives or our so-called worldviews.
    The irreducibility of the stream of sense thought defined as the flow of interests, or fluid affinities, resulting in multiple personas, correlated initially to a given originator (see the Avatar- Originator as explained in ‘ the luxurious ambiguity of intelligence in hyperconnectivity) , but eventually taking a semi independent social entity status, is what makes this flow of in-betweens so advantageous.

    It is advantageous in as much as it allows a new style of mindfulness to emerge, a style of minding that is critical and compassionate, skeptical and rational yet concomitantly fully cognizant of the great powers of the intrinsically humane, namely the allowance for errors and mistakes.
    It is advantageous in as much as it correlates permissibility of biases, and partial consensus, to perform acts of collaboration and loosely defined associations in deed.
    Ultimately the advantage is clear if we can perceive an involvement of semi-independent social entities, loosely connected to their originators, and loosely connected to each other, to construct edifices of interest not previously possible.

    This new style of minding advocated here is already happening in many areas of science and art, and practically in any domain of human interest, simply because of the multiple personas allowed in the domain of in-between, the synthetic natural enmeshed virtualities of hyperconnectivity.

    Do note what Mark Changizi has to say in his blog:

    “Scientific communities, for example, chug inexorably forward with discoveries, but this progress occurs by virtue of there being so many independently digging scientists in a community that eventually some scientists strike gold, even if sometimes only serendipitously. Whether entrepreneurial, scientific or artistic, communities can be creative even if a vast majority of their members fail to ever achieve something innovative…”

    And further down in the same article :

    “With multiple personalities in hand, people can choose to take up creative endeavors they would not have been willing to enter into outside of social media because the risks of failure were too high. Multiple personalities can lower these risks.
    One of the greatest underappreciated benefits of social media, then, may be that it brings a greater percentage of the world into creative enterprises they would not otherwise have considered.

    This, I submit, is good.”

    Mark Changizi is a professor of cognitive science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the author of The Vision Revolution (Benbella Books)



    It may be argued that all great scientific discoveries and artistic masterpieces, all innovations and philosophies in fact, were, are and will continue to be instigated by the need of independent minds to overcome a certain inherent monotony (and some will add boredom) born of the rigidity of self feudalism, in which the origins of our projections are always individual and thus relegated to our own biases.
    To my mind the very activity of innovation, is never designed top down or emerging bottom up, it does not happen of itself nor is it an act of volition per se, but a mash up of flows of interests that resurface the delicate and the volatile, as a sensible multiplicity, apparent in the synthetically natural.
    Though this has always been the case, the revolution of hyperconnectivity, of enmeshed virtualities, of cross-fertilizing infocologies, provides a new degree of freedom in and within the flow of evolutions of human civilization, on this planet at this time.

    There is a new degree of freedom around us, between us, fermenting under and above us, disturbing the old regularity, generating a new kind of volatility and indeterminacy unto the infosphere of our knowledge.
    The inherent irregularity of this new game, engendering the fuzzy topology of open structures, enmeshed in virtualities, tolerates a distribution and re-distribution of the elements of individuality – in that -> Knowmads are themselves distributed agencies

    2.Re-introducing the Knowmad, a Polytopian in action, as a pan-symbolist expression of the distributed mytho-poetic narrative of our accelerating times.

    “Individuals find a real name for themselves, rather, only through the harshest exercise in depersonalization, by opening themselves up to the multiplicities everywhere within them, to the intensities running through them.

    ( G.Deleuze #2)

    Obviously we are in the process of internalizing a vast memory bank of new semantics and fresh forms of thoughts, new sensations that had no previous ancestry in our very own private memory; yes it is a process of fragmentation and yet belongs to a greater process of reconstruction.

    The original elements of our being are being restructured to fit the new infoverse landscape of interoperability.

    Interoperability of what?
    Of memory or of the elements of our beingness, that is how the nature of becoming rises to the fore.

    The interoperability of memory as enmeshed in hyperconnectivity allows for a new form of organic symbolism, a pan symbolism stretching all the way across cultures, across languages, across times and across spaces in the process melting semantics into the new cauldron of intersubjective realism.

    As I dwell upon the many facets of becoming, it appears that only a re-contextualization of the process of existence from the virtual to the actual may provide the necessary famous (Foucault’s) toolbox.

    The option I deem best at present is to use the term Knowmad as Polytopian in action, otherwise put, the self-description of intelligent conscious aware systems in becoming.

    In a previous post, Knowmads as critical relevancies I have described Knowmads as:

    “Knowmads are visceral thinkers, expanded multiplicities, minds nested in vast and complex infocologies.
    As such Knowmads herald a new kind of mind, free to be undefined in a polytopian infosphere.
    Knowmads are critically relevant in as much as they recognize the vicariousness of their extension-ability in the relevant infocology.
    Complex meshworks, embedded in complex infocologies engender flows of intersubjective co-dependencies; these in turn loop upon themselves and re-iterate the intelligent directionality.
    The feedback loop here is obvious, but where is the individual?

    Answer: the individual will be extended viscerally across an indefinite infosphere, defined locally by the reflective relevant infocology."


    And in another post Hybrid futures, Knowmads and the notion state:

    “Knowmads are substantial agents of change, who drastically alter the infocologies they interact with. The level of freedom implied by the knowmadic state is a new existential virtuality that pushes into the real, in the process transforming and meshing the different dimensions in which our minds operate. Existing as non-localized behaviors of information processing, Knowmads are not consumers and cannot be looked upon as capital. Knowmads are the innovators of thought and vision, using an insight mechanism based on correlated data-spheres of complex infocologies.
    Knowmads do not care for labels of old style paradigms, such as gender ,creed, race or indeed status, what Knowmads care about are the pleasures derived in forming new connections, mash-ups and provisional options, innovative solutions for the next step in human evolution.

    Our complex neuro-mesh firing in tandem, has produced this amazing property we call conscious awareness, with the advent of 21st century tech, augmented reality apps, visually stunning info-graphics, virtualities at our finger tips, p2p technologies availability and the like we are becoming Knowmads. The value of the Knowmad state is thus in providing a fresh framework and a new narrative to fill our old storytelling needs in our ever-increasing process of self-description.”




    As the Knowmad meme increases in propagation and intensity we may now posit a more extensive version of the Knowmad in the process of becoming:

    #Knowmads operate on a continuum of apparently trivialized bits and pieces of inconsistent and incoherent signals, seemingly nonsensical information, retrieving disparate slices of fragmented processes and re-arranging these into new coherencies, fresh narratives of interest.

    # Knowmads represent a new style of minding that instinctively reflect the thought of non-unitary, non-universalism, and are factually embedding the concept, that there is no One solution, One network, or any ‘One’ for that matter.

    #Knowmads style of minding continuously adjusts and fine-tunes the velocity of acquired resourcefulness.

    # Knowmads are agents of attenuation; that which is being smoothened is the defining rigidity of characteristics, applied to loci (as body, as nation, as community, as belonging) from which stems the fluidity of self-description.

    #Knowmads simultaneously re-conceive and redesign the connective nature of resource distribution, within infocologies, by that allowing the free flow of ideas to re-narrate themselves into innovative structures, themselves fluid and open to the pressures of the infocology dynamics.

    #Knowmads are immune to boredom; alternatively, Knowmads are continuously bored and thus motivated by interest are finders of the rare, the creative, the non-actualized, the volatile and the delicate.
    Knowmads are explorers of the uncertain, the indeterminate, the ambiguous, the oscillating and by consequence the disruptive.

    #For Knowmads opacity of objectivity transforms into transparent meaning application, a motion of transliteration and translation of different languages occurring naturally in our eco environment and being harnessed to serve the epic of intelligent exploration.

    # Knowmads follow neither the popular nor the personalized, but the dynamics of the interesting and relevant.

    #Knowmads contain an anticipation of the fragment, spiraling in and out of their non formal and decomposed flow, insightfully restocking their perceptual elaboration with fresh winds of entangled sensation, removing the fallacy of necessary correspondence.
    Removing the fascination of antiquity, Knowmads are rhizomatic actuators

    #Knowmads deny the glorification of the mystical, undoing the inherent and incessant self-glory of the romantic, and the greatness of self-perspectivism. This particular characteristic of the Knowmad state defines the knowmad as an anti-silo device.

    A kind of recapitulation

    I have titled this short piece ‘Some will be gangsters of poetry, some will be pan symbolists’, because I see the future we are steadily moving into as an event of interest, that spans an immense yet indefinite number of domains. An event of interest of this magnitude is of necessity, complex and to some extant mysterious. The toolbox of thoughts, the recognizable patterns of sensations, we have at our disposal at present are increasingly out of date and out of synch, and most importantly out of correlativity, which brings most of us into despair of ever catching up to the flow of actuality.
    However, I believe that by allowing a contemporary narrative of the landscape of values in which we co-dependently and intersubjectively exist to refresh our self-descriptions, we might find clarity.
    This clarity, I posit, permits the evolutionary adaptive trait of exploration into the undefined and the unstructured to become a strategic device, a simile of a roadmap. But to allow an uncertain road on an uncertain map, that is being reformulated at the speed of a click, to be somehow manageable, we must reintroduce the function of the mytho-poetic, the narrative of becoming caught in the act of self description. Such an engagement with a meta-narrative, and it is termed Meta because it redefines the very elements of narration, is inevitably irreverent to the themes of the original poem (or the originator of the avatar), hence the ironic metaphorical usage of the term gangster.

    The Polytopia project aims at providing a possible interaction surface in which we may gain all of the advantages of the multiple indeterminate, without relinquishing the rational of the synthetically natural. In a manner of speaking, we are exploring a potential descriptive apparatus, which is both precise and yet by it’s very precision performs an act, as part of a reconstituted narrative, of liberation.

    Increasingly we walk bridges of sense and of thought that appear to be more fragile and more sensitive to variations by the moment, this fragility I think is good for us, for it unleashes kinds of strengths and powers of emotional stability that otherwise will remain dormant.
    There is a deep sense to the madness of our immediacy, and though this sense may yet elude us in its entirety, if only for the fact that it needs unfurl into becoming, we ought jump head first into this transitory knowledge, with passion and clear eyed rationality, for otherwise, we will become obsolete.

    As I see it, the road to posthumanism is complex and open, full of promises and perils, it is not yet a grand thoroughfare but neither is it a side street, it is in fact somewhere in between.
    In this transitory period, I consider the emphasis on the exploratory nature of the Knowmad as a Polytopian in action, a viable option of self-description, of us, the modern consciously aware intelligent hyperconnected entity, in the process of reinventing the very components of our nature.

    Will be continued..


    unrelated addendum

    This just made laugh now:

    “You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.”

    (attributed to A.Einstein)








    Endnotes:

    #1. Gilles Deleuze and Claire Parnet. Dialogues, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam (New York: Columbia University Press, 1987), p. 13.)
    #2. G.Deleuze, “Letter to a Harsh Critic,” p. 6.


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    “The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. “

    Paul Cezanne

    To paraphrase P.Cezanne then:

    “The day is coming when a single word, freshly observed, will set off a revolution, this word is individualism’


    Prologue:

    In the first part of this essay, I have strived to show that the new state of affairs we have co-created composed of networks nested within other larger networks, demands of us a reformulation of the concept of individualism.

    Previously on “The future history of individualism pt 1”:

    “We have multiple networks inside our brains extending into multiple external networks mediated by electronics. Multiple networks in multiple networks, nested and co-evolving, mutually and inter-subjectively co-adapting to allow a multiple form of individuation process in which eventually no particular point of reference will be the original nexus of beingness. To describe such a situation, new in our civilizations evolution, we need reformulate the concept of the individual so as to better be adapted to the world we actually inhabit.”



    1. A Multiplicity of Singularities

    AT present it is my view that we are on the cusp of a number of singularities, each of which is already to different degrees operating and in an apparent so called process of becoming.
    This simultaneous process of becoming, or emergence, can and to my eyes should be, separated to its different varieties and subcategories and a proper taxonomy should be created so as to be able to clearly make sense of the myriad developments occurring in and around us simultaneously.

    The main reason I have for proposing a view allowing multiple realities to be conceived simultaneously as singularities, is twofold, the first is the fact that I do not believe that a singularity should be treated as a ‘one size fits all’ proposition.
    The second is that our culture, such as it is, prospers and thrives primarily because of the immense diversity of thoughts, sensations, mind events, art expressions and the like.
    In fact I think that the main scenario we need explore is the one where the life of our civilization, flowers into a number of simultaneous and possibly (and apparently) contradicting state of affairs.


    If you accept, as I do that the birth of language is in itself a singularity in which we already exist for a very long while, we can extrapolate and assume that just as the same kind of substrates (brains) has allowed the rise of multiple languages, including variations within variations, sublanguages and so on these same substrates will allow for a multiplicity of singularities. We may if we so desire look upon these different varieties of languages as layers upon layers, intersecting and intertwining, flowing into and out of spaces of embodiments, creating in their wake relations, tribes, peoples, nations, cultures and movements, and of course singularities.

    If language, as the great singularity we already exist in, processes meanings in a fractal fashion and constitutes a multidimensional phase space of complex interactions as embedded infocologies resulting in semantic extensions, only some of which are material, it will be fair to assume such will be the case of the coming singularities.
    The existence as a species within the language singularity has allowed a proliferation of modes of beingness, for by the simple act of transforming epistemic primitives into complex ideas, we have engendered a multitude of expressions permitting, as it were, a multiplicity of unique states of mind, none of which can be generalized or atomized.
    From the above stems the reality that we have grown to be neither a hive mind nor a separate individual; we have evolved to be something much more complex and to my eyes much more beautiful. (This is one of the reasons I have an optimistic, albeit aware, outlook on the future of humanity.)
    We have evolved as a civilization via the language singularity to be a complex system of systems, the metasystem we call the human race. An intricate and highly meshed form of networked life, a life worth living, a multifaceted and fascinating array of experiences simultaneously interlocked and open ended.

    Just as I do not advocate a super or meta narrative of the hyper complex reality we exist in I do not think that it will be conceptually beneficial to pack an ensemble of possibilities and probable unfolding of divergent paths into one container, namely ‘THE’ singularity or ‘A’ singularity. To the extent that we can predict or indeed minimize the surprises of the future we need take into consideration multiple narratives existing concomitantly and paralleling the layers of the language singularity.


    2. A way to look at history- language

    As the readers of the comments on a previous post concerning language: “is language a window into human nature?” would know, for a long while now I was amongst the few who accepted a weak version of ‘ The linguistic relativity principle’ or the ‘Sapir-Whorf hypothesis’ namely:

    ” The linguistic relativity principle, or the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, is the idea that differences in the way languages encode cultural and cognitive categories affect the way people think, so that speakers of different languages think and behave differently because of it. A strong version of the hypothesis holds that language determines thought and that linguistic categories limit and determine cognitive categories. A weaker version states that linguistic categories and usage influence thought and certain kinds of non-linguistic behavior.”

    For many years the Chomskyan imperative of universal grammar had factually obliterated the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. The many mistakes of Benjamin Lee Whorf notwithstanding I believe that the appeal of the Chomsky universal grammar which basically claims that all languages share the same universal structure can be traced back to our innate desire for a universal theory of everything, or in other words to a ‘one size fits all proposition' that will encompass in an elegant (and simple to parse) fashion , all that we can conceive of, all that there is and all that can be.

    Of course I think that such a proposition is wrong headed and inherently misguided.

    in a recent article at the NYT, GUY DEUTSCHER, in Does Your Language Shape How You Think? writes that:
    "But 70 years on, it is surely time to put the trauma of Whorf behind us. And in the last few years, new research has revealed that when we learn our mother tongue, we do after all acquire certain habits of thought that shape our experience in significant and often surprising ways."

    Furthermore in the same article Deutscher reports:

    "Some 50 years ago, the renowned linguist Roman Jakobson pointed out a crucial fact about differences between languages in a pithy maxim: “Languages differ essentially in what they must convey and not in what they may convey.” This maxim offers us the key to unlocking the real force of the mother tongue: if different languages influence our minds in different ways, this is not because of what our language allows us to think but rather because of what it habitually obliges us to think about."

    Does Your Language Shape How You Think? ( GUY DEUTSCHER at NYT)

    Taking my cue from the above I believe that the way we think about the term individual and the manner we conceive of the future as ‘A’ singularity are highly correlated and inherently limiting the visions of possible futures that are unfolding before us at present.

    The main reason for this correlation and inherent limitation is that by thinking about the singularity as ‘A’ singularity’ we are approaching this concept in the same manner that we approach an individual as a singular phenomenon. And in the same vein, just as an individual is anything but a singular phenomenon so is the case with the term singularity, it is anything but singular.

    By consciously and willfully changing the language we use, we may allow our minds, and the collective of human thought to breakthrough the limitations imposed by ourselves upon ourselves as a species and rise into a new form of posthumanism , a posthuman state which will truly reflect, the end stage of the previous singularity of language.

    "The individual is neither a quality nor an extension. The individual is neither a qualification nor a partition, neither an organization nor a determination of species. The individual is no more an infirma species than it is composed of parts."

    Gilles Deleuze. Difference and Repetition
    . Trans. Paul Patton. New York: Columbia, 1994. pp. 246-47.



    3.There is no Common Human here


    To study the future of individualism we cannot study a process alone, independently of all others, for the simple reason that the conceptualization of the individual is a multileveled issue, ranging across domains and disciplines as far apart as epistemology and biotechnology.

    The experience of the world, that most magnificent of everyday existence experiences has become nothing more than a banality, an oblique triviality and an apparent fascinating triteness.
    And yet this immensity of momentariness is fully absorbing us, so much so in fact, that we tend to lose the insightfulness that makes this very experience, an experience of immense value.

    What makes the experience of the world a worthwhile existential actuality is the uniqueness of the individual, and yet this very uniqueness, this very authenticity of beingness, need be perceived in context if it is to carry its value into the future, if it is in fact not to become banal and inconsequential.
    The context is the hyperconnected virtuality we are currently creating, and this context I suggest is not unlike the famous Indra's net also used in this most amazing of books, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (commonly GEB) by Douglas Hofstadter to describe “Indra's Net as a metaphor for the complex interconnected networks formed by relationships between objects within a system—including social networks, the interactions of particles, and the "symbols" which stand for ideas within a brain or intelligent computer.”

    The hyperconnected virtuality we have created and into which we pour daily our minds, our sensations, our interests and indeed our inherent beingness is elevating and in fact transforming the common into the uncommon. The transformation I reflect upon when observing the actuality of the emergence of the multiple realities co-mingling and interweaving, twining and interacting, is one of mutability of sensation not previously experienced by a particular individual.
    The Indra net of the grid, connecting minds far apart has given new meaning and new manifestation to the sense of the common.
    Flowing and following the muse of the hyperstream of the infosphere we are rediscovering the magnificence and utter unpredictability of the individual when hyperconnected.
    Suddenly, rising in the most unexpected of places, allowing the serendipity of our intersubjective infocologies to prevail, the unknown integrates itself into the apparently common, pervading in the process our minds with new insights and visions of fresh horizons.
    It is of course disruptive, and yet to my eyes, this very disruption is a fascinating lesson in re- cognizing the beauty and intelligence of minds other than our own, minds that are anything but common.
    We finally realize that there is no such animal as a common human.

    The uncommon human I have described above recognizes herself as a composition of and in hyperconnectivity.
    As Lacan so aptly puts it: “A birth certificate tells me that I was born. I repudiate this certificate: I am not a poet, but a poem. A poem that is being written, even if it looks like a subject.” (Jacques Lacan The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis)

    The ultramodern node individual, in truth a Knowmad and Polytopian, can be said to be actualized on the net as an impact orchestrator, using the grid patois as a bootstrapping mechanism, cognition of language and the language of cognition simultaneously co-evolving within the larger framework of the world of mind.

    The hyperconnected mind is very much unlike the mind of old; it is a mind that self perceives as an actuator of change and influence, inherently existing within the chosen infocology of interest. Such a mind is, to my eyes at present the proto-post human mind.

    This indeed is a very disrupting situation, not unlike the Dada concept of disruption, in a very real and actualized sense then, I look upon the interminable flow of the infosphere as Dada.
    It is Dada in a new sense; a sense I think the Dadaists themselves could not conceive of, the hyperstream of the infoflow is Dada in as much as it is appears as an incoherent nonsense of uncommonality and uniqueness and yet allows a truly immense sense of creativity explosion to flower, a truly sensational sense of possible futures and new kinds of freedoms.

    It goes everywhere, touches everything and opens up the road to a multiplicity of singularities,in truth a hyper humanism, a different angle to posthumanism, explored in the next part.

    continues shortly..




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    “To think what thought is not prepared to think is that which alone deserves the name of thinking.”

    Lyotard

    This is part 9 in the series: "The Rise of the Cyber Unified Civilization"


    1. Agon and Paragon are dead

    Agon, the original competition is dead, not because we do not compete anymore, we do and we will, but differently, so different in fact is our future than our past, that for all practical considerations, it will be fair to claim Agon is dead.
    Agon is dead because: the competition yields no prizes and because there is no more chorus sitting in the orchestra judging the effort of the debate and debaters.
    The competition defined in the Greek Drama term Agon, is being replaced as we speak, it is being replaced for the simple reason that there cannot be a Paragon anymore.
    Paragon, the human with preeminent qualities is no more, for the simple reason that no modern human can and will ever claim again to know all there is to know, the last human to do so died on the 10th of May 1829.
    Don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of Thomas Young the scientist and all round polymath,few did; for an interesting review read ‘the reluctant polymath’ , and listen to Ockham's razor podcast on the life of Thomas Young.

    "In the first half of 1802 a physician and scientist called Thomas Young gave a series of 50 lectures at London’s new Royal Institution, arranged into subjects like “Mechanics” and “Hydro­dynamics”. By the end, says Young’s biographer Andrew Robinson, he had pretty much laid out the sum of scientific knowledge. Robinson called his book “The Last Man Who Knew Everything”. (extracted from 'The last Days of the Polymath' - More Intelligent Life)

    I mention T.Young only because our habits of thought still regard the exceptional minds of the past as paragons of thought and extraordinary beings and in a very practical sense we still collectively refer to and revere their grand attainments, we also forget that theirs was a limited kind of knowledge, grand as it may appear to our humble eyes.

    Each and every one of us has at present more knowledge available at our fingertips, a click away as they say, than all the great masters of old combined, the significance of this simple reality cannot be overestimated.




    "“To be wise is not to know particular facts but to know without excessive confidence or excessive cautiousness. Wisdom is thus not a belief, a value, a set of facts, a corpus of knowledge or information in some specialized area, or a set of special abilities or skills. Wisdom is an attitude taken by persons toward the beliefs, values, knowledge, information, abilities, and skills that are held, a tendency to doubt that these are necessarily true or valid and to doubt that they are an exhaustive set of those things that could be known.”

    John A. Meacham in his essay, "The Loss of Wisdom": (quoted in: The Wise Men (and Women!)Can we understand wisdom?By Jessa Crispin)

    2. Interest as a directional attitude of meaning

    Unlike the anorexic boredom of commonality, the newly emerging Knowmad in an infocology, supervening upon the infosphere we cohabit memetically and mimetically, creates interest as a directional attitude of meaning.

    The particular form of directionality that should prove relevant here is the form of directionality that has no inherent basis in old ontology and semantics but finds the freshness of the moment in the motion itself. Put differently, the understanding of directionality as an attitude of interest relegates to history that which has brought us here, and delegates itself as an agency of meaning creation.

    From a different perspective it could be said that Knowmads do not in any fashion accept (and in fact are weary of) prepackaged lifestyles, this simple fact combined with the idea that Agon and Paragon are dead, requires of us a re-description of our meaning creation abstracting capabilities.

    This activity of beingness implies upon the unique and temporary meaningfulness of the momentary, liberating our past into undefinability.

    “It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

    Lewis Carroll, “Alice in Wonderland”

    However if there are no more Paragons and Agon (the very essence of competition) has been dismantled and reterritorialized (and thus also mapped) into and unto the modern infocology, how are we to revitalize the progress of and into new thought?

    The revitalization we need consider here concerns of course the concepts of collective intelligence and unique performers within a given infocology. More importantly perhaps is the walking of the fine line, the borderline, between the acceptance and rejection, willingness and denial, allowance and discrimination, all terms defining in fact the path of the wise Knowmad.

    3.The wise Knowmad: a re-conceptualization of hyperconnectivity

    When Deleuze proposed and explicated that the new metaphysics replaces substance with multiplicity, events replace essences, and virtualities replaces possibility, he provided for us a new ground upon which to engage in the act of revitalizing the mind of old thought.

    It is my view that Deleuze gave us a hint what to look for in our efforts to construct a new kind of mind happening. A mind happening that finds its poetry in the future of hyperconnectivity and not in the past of accepted dogma.



    The wise Knowmad in actuality is an aesthetic curator as presented in the previous paper: Knowmads as Aesthetic Curators of information and a critical relevancy as presented here: Knowmads as critical relevancies , however at this junction in the evolution of the Polytopia thought event, I think we need venture into the fuzzy realm of the joy and pleasure fostered by those activities of curation and highlighting, hyper texting and info-notations.
    The Deleuzian hint I mentioned above is a pointer to the understanding that when multiplicity replaces substance, the very act of interest directionality becomes the act of meaning creation, when such is the case a new kind of joy erupts in our minds.
    The joy I refer to here, is a new kind of mind happening, it does not extend from our Neolithic desires, nor from our biological urges. It is not a replacement for instincts or an escapist virtualization of basic unfulfilled needs, it is something altogether different, it is a new state of affairs of mind, in which our infovoraciousness becomes the stabilizing factor of motion.

    The seeking is no more central to the Knowmad than is the actual info-curation, the relevancy of information is no more located than it is hyper intuited. What replaces the search and the pattern recognition is the joy of aesthetic management.

    Aesthetic management is a manner of describing the change in the relation between conscious awareness and action, this change is primarily based on the factual change in the concept of action.
    If action in the past was seen as a process in time, the new kind of action can be seen as an atemporal foray in the virtual and quite mythical kingdom of info-beauty.

    Put differently, an atemporal foray in infobeauty is a foundational attitude describing a simultaneity of experience that is inherently associated as the world and not in the world.
    By virtue of being the world, the foray in infobeauty can be seen as casting a new light on the event of self reflectivity in the age of hyperconnectivity.

    4. Meaning: re-assessed, re-appraised and re-evaluated in hyperconnectivity.

    The new form of evolution we are partaking in at present, a form of evolution engaged enhanced and distributed by science, technology and convergence presents us with a new state of affairs in which the redefinition of the importance of aesthetics is crucial.
    Moment by moment we are becoming posthumans, fragile threads in transit.

    These threads, bubbling, tumbling and pressing forward exist as extensions of embodiments into virtualities, looping upon themselves as hyperconnected events, re-appearing to us as us, as the world.
    However the world that re-appears to our unbridled eyes is not the same as the one we have engendered, it has changed in the process of hyperconnectivity.
    The very infocology into which we our pouring ourselves as threads rewires both the form and the meaning we have started with.
    Under these conditions, the kind of interest each Knowmad has initiated as (apparently) one’s own reverses itself when reappearing to our eyes and presents itself as different, different enough (yet similar enough to be recognized) to be a fresh and novel kind of description of the same existence (us as the world).

    This is a new form of evolution, it is the evolution of meaning, re-assessed, re-appraised and re-evaluated in hyperconnectivity.

    Why this is important:

    In the fashion that we have described above, meaning has been rejuvenated, denied its repeatability by the powers of hyperconnectivity played as and in the dynamics of infocologies.
    Moreover, the re-assessed meaning reported back to us as the world, impinges on our original directionality and allows a new interest to emerge; this process destabilizes the original supposed stability of our Thought processes, relocating the home base of pleasure and joy.
    This is important, because in this new state of affairs boredom has been eliminated (since the very infocological activity denies repeatability) and thought has been rejuvenated as joy of beingness in hyperconnectivity (since the pleasure now resides in the very instability of motion).

    There is a rich musical note rising from the instability of motion, a wealth of newness and re-arrangements, a beauty undefined by identity, infocologically hyperconnected and totally restless.
    The organizing principle of this unstable flow has been called here aesthetic management, forays in Infobeauty.

    Recap : The Joy of unfathomable complexity of movement

    Starting with the example of Thomas Young the last human to know everything,I have tried to show that though the gods of competition (Agon) and individual superiority (Paragon) are still amongst us, in a very real sense these are walking zombies. These old dogmatic systems and worldviews are no more relevant for our futures as say is the combustion engine (though still among us). What has become clear is that the very walk on the borderline of the infosphere is rewiring our meaning creation apparatus into a new state of affairs.
    Defined as aesthetic management or foray in infobeauty, the new state of affairs engendered by science, technology and ultimately convergence fosters a new congruency.
    Aesthetic management allows the fiercely independent and highly unique perspective to rejuvenate itself via hyperconnectivity, this in turn allows a new form of joy to emerge.

    It can be called a fascinating chaos, or congruent pleasure, I call it joy.

    shortly to be continued..


    Endnotes:

    # The term management in ‘aesthetic management’ has nothing to do with the term management as commonly used. I have used this term mainly because of the connotations of ordering within a flow, a manner of describing a coherent perspective that finds its state as the world, as a foray in infobeauty. Furthermore and for elucidating possible misrepresentations the term management does not imply a willful craft but more a receptivity to intersubjective mutuality in hyperconnected infocologies, curating and weeding the reciprocal descriptions of interest.

    # images in text:
    1-Keep Growing poster art by joeseppi on Etsy.
    2- Rowan Mersh

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    The idea is to remain in a state of constant departure while always arriving. Saves on introductions and goodbyes. The ride does not require an explanation, just occupants.

    Boat Man, Waking Life


    Fluid Intelligence is Sexy

    In a recent conversation with a very good friend, a person which until recently was not hyperconnected, he said:” what I have found so tantalizing since I started connecting and being exposed to all this (apparently infinite) flow of information is that my old convictions are being destabilized one by one. It’s as if I am being taken on a ride, a particular program that aims to transform me into something else. I am at present totally uncertain as to the old views I once held, moreover, I find that I like it and I want more of it. It’s a breath of fresh air blowing with very high intensity into my mind, propelling me into directions I never thought of.”

    I think that what my friend reflected upon is a sensation carried by many and is very difficult to articulate, for even though the scope and amount of information available to us is disturbing many cherished beliefs and long held assumptions, at base this sensation is pleasurable, hence we want more of it.

    There’s a lot of talk recently about the disruptive effect of modern technologies on our mind states, on our conceptualizations, on our minds and brains, on our very nature indeed. More than any disruption the Internet is held as the main culprit in making us modernly stupid and indifferent.

    Witness what the Times Online has to say about this:

    “Every day, just to keep up to date, that grey lump between your ears has to shovel ever bigger piles of infotainment — tottering jumbles of global-warming updates, web gossip, refugee crises, e-mails, fashion alerts, Twitters and advertisements. Now research suggests that we may have reached an historic point in human evolution, where the digital world we have created has begun to outpace our neurons’ processing abilities.”


    (Warning: brain overload-Scientists fear that a digital flood of 24-hour rolling news and infotainment is putting our primitive grey matter under such stress that we can no longer think wisely or empathize with others)

    It goes without saying that I do not agree with the main theme of this article namely that:

    “The faster the tech, the slower the speed of thought . . . the more accelerated the culture, the slower the rate of social change . . . the quicker the digital composition, the slower the political reflection: accelerating digital effects are neutralized by decelerating special human effects.”

    (From the same article quoting Arthur and Marilouise Kroker in their 1997 book Digital Delirium) .

    Au contraire, it is my view that we are entering, and actually are already in, a deterritorialized age of transformation, an age unlike any other in that the speed and overload of information is transforming us, and yes destabilizing us, disrupting us in such a fashion as to allow a new kind of mind to emerge, the hyperconnected mind.
    The problem, as I see it, is that most if not all of this new research and studies take the base benchmark to be the monolithicNeolithic mind as their foundational approach.
    Of course it is true that hyperconnectivity overwhelms us, disturbs us and disrupts us, but I see this as a good thing, a very high good indeed, and it is good in more ways than one. It is good primarily because it is high time we relinquish the idea that we are one (as individuals) and have the same “Telos” as a collective. It is good because we have evolved to be a fluid intelligence, an intelligence for which disruption is not a bug but a feature. The modern hyperconnected mind is thus a reflection of our innate mind fluidity. Disrupting our age-old Neolithic traditional fictions is nothing less than a total conceptual revolution and the hyperstream of infodata is the main conduit by which this conceptual revolution happens.

    It so happens that Hyperconnectivity leads to fluid intelligence.

    “Fluid intelligence is the ability to find meaning in confusion and solve new problems. It is the ability to draw inferences and understand the relationships of various concepts, independent of acquired knowledge”
    (wiki)

    By allowing the disruptive power of the hyperconnected reality to enter our mind flows, we are actually allowing ourselves to be changed and challenged, modified and altered, we are factually evolving a new kind of mind, an intellect that can actually solve problems and “find meaning in confusion”.
    The hyperflow of information is destroying the idea that we are the same, that our brains are the same or that culture is the same as it was yesterday. What is happening is that we are shifting our inner virtuality, our mind conceptualizations, from a centric point of view to a multiplied encultured reality, a hyperconnected reality. A reality that is as fresh as it is exciting, as challenging as it is transformative; no longer are we to believe that we are alone, or that issues that are ‘far’ are of no interest to us. We are at present in a transitional period of rapid advancement, an era of supreme importance in the history of humanity, a phase in our concatenated evolution in which new forms of literacy are being invented, new methods of inter-subjective enhancement are at play and we evolve because of it.

    I believe that fluid intelligence is the hallmark of our present era, an intelligence that is fundamentally autopoietic and multidimensional; moreover I think that same intelligence is in the process of adaptation, adapting itself to accommodate information overload not as a negative so called ‘distraction’ but as an attention enhancer, an explorative measure of our intellects. The rising of fluid intelligence is the new pleasure we take in being hyperconnected fierce individuals, it correlates information and social life, data and sensation, and allows us the self-guided evolutionary strategy we collectively seek.



    “When the centaur of classical metaphysics is mated with the cheetah of actor-network theory, their offspring is not some hellish monstrosity, but a thoroughbred colt able to carry us for half a century and more."


    (Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics Graham Harman(pdf)


    Externalizing our Inner Virtuality

    Meaning, the great mystery studied by semantics is being revolutionized as we speak, it is being revolutionized by neuroscience and philosophy, but outside the academic circles, in our hyperconnected slipstream the very transient nature of meaning is being amplified.
    Meaning was never fixed and never an absolute notwithstanding the belief of some. However, our meaning creating apparatus, our minds, are hard at work at present creating meaning from the practically infinite availability of infodata. The meaning we are currently implying is born in a continuous and uninterrupted flow of sense impressions, a never-ending bombardment of relevancy and irrelevancy.
    As some would have it this vastness of availability (called distraction) countermands our capacity for depth, for attention and for empathy.

    “Our society right now is filled with lovely distractions — we have so much portable escapism and mediated fantasy — but that’s just one issue. The other is interruption — multitasking, the fragmentation of thought and time. We’re living in highly interrupted ways. Studies show that information workers now switch tasks an average of every three minutes throughout the day. Of course that’s what we have to do to live in this complicated world.”


    Maggie Jackson at Wired - Digital Overload Is Frying Our Brains

    or

    “Seeking. You can't stop doing it. Sometimes it feels as if the basic drives for food, sex, and sleep have been overridden by a new need for endless nuggets of electronic information.”


    Seeking- How the brain hard-wires us to love Google, Twitter, and texting. And why that's dangerous (Slate).

    Notwithstanding the latest plethora of articles, studies and research on the topic of attention and multitasking (see the list at bottom) implying a deterioration of attention, literacy and wisdom, I remain convinced that the apparent fragmentation we are witnessing (including the lowering of performance in certain tests and test subjects) is part of a larger narrative. The larger picture we need to look at without fear is the evolution of our civilization and our minds, a narrative of our times in which we are actually changing the very modes of comprehension and meaning extraction and creation.
    For though it is probably true for some that hyperconnectivity and multitasking are lowering their capability of concentration and in-depth analysis it is also highly probable that for others (myself included) the proliferation of tasks and interruptions are a boon and actually increase our capability of attentiveness and focus. Moreover, it is also probable that our brains are being rewired so as to accentuate the advantage of multiple and simultaneous realities interplaying in our minds.
    It is obvious that the actual shift that is demanded of us so as to join gracefully the InfoTech revolution and the infoflow in particular is a mind shift, a perceptual change of paradigm.
    The perceptual shift we need perform is one of descriptive virtualization, or a re-description of our reflexive nature; by consciously extending the reach of our mind state we may be able to hasten the plasticity of our virtual contextualization.

    “Therefore our question is simply, given an environment in which events happen faster, objects move more quickly, peripheral processing is placed at a premium, and the number of items that need to be kept track of far exceeds the circumstances experienced in normal life, is it possible to extend the normal processing power of the human nervous system?”


    The Cognitive Neuroscience of Video Games
    C. Shawn Green and Daphne Bavelier (pdf)



    I am not a neuroscientist but a writer, and I haven’t taken part in the Stanford experiment and thus have no clue as to how I would perform on the kind of tests they have carried out.

    What I do know however is that my mind has changed noticeably in the last few years, due in large part to my Internet multitasking.
    In the last few days I had the opportunity to see a 3D fractal image, read about life extension new therapies, explored the writings of W.S.Burroughs, learned that placebos are getting more effective and also listened to the amazing presentation of Bruce Sterling about augmented reality, I understood how we try to keep our beliefs in spite of evidence to the contrary. I also listened to my favorite group nowadays (Archive) and wrote a few mails, communicated via twitter and friendfeed (liking some, disliking others opening some links for later read). I have in front of me more than fifty tabs opened in four different browsers, I listen to music, I am reading a few pdf’s and simultaneously writing these words, I am practically swimming in an ocean of information and I love it.

    Few years ago I wouldn’t have been able to do that, and though I am an avid reader I could not possibly have read at the same time so many books, simultaneously also writing and having meaningful, productive and occasionally creative conversations.
    I have become more intelligent, clearer, more focused, faster and more appreciative of others. In fact I am more than pleased with my multitasking, multithreaded polylogue on practically every level of my existence.
    But more than that I carry the (very subjective) feeling that I have developed a new filtering system concerning relevancy and irrelevancy, I am now able to discard or admit at a glance, if something is worthy of note to me or not, if it pertains to my (very extensive) list of interests or not.
    Furthermore, I have a more than reasonable and highly efficient (for my own purposes of course) capability to access the reliability and trustworthiness of a source of information.

    To some of us multitaskers the new world of hyperconnectivity is a boon. The benefit multitaskers find in hyperconnectivity is nothing less than astonishing. We are developing a radical shift in our literacy, a mind-changing paradigm of ingesting, digesting and critically appraising information, in ways that until not long ago were simply not available.

    We need a good narrative for that, so here is one



    A standalone object, no matter how well designed, has limited potential for new weirdness. A connected object, one that is a node in a network that interacts in some way with other nodes, can give birth to a hundred unique relationships that it never could do while unconnected. Out of this tangle of possible links come myriad new niches for innovations and interactions.


    Kevin Kelly


    The Hyperconnected narrative

    We need start by re-appraising the context of our worldviews, re-assessing our fundamental prejudices and conceptual virtualization. Narratives is what we are made of, our states of mind are narratives, stories within stories, and notwithstanding the very real and factual neural correlates of these states, the fact remains that we virtually live in and within, and as, the story that we tell.
    The story that we are, and the narrative we are evolving.

    The story that we told (and were told), until not long ago implied limitations and scarcity, separation and hierarchy, given realities and normalizing factors. In that old story we were at best, an atomized unit of individuality struggling to rise out of the dreary and monotonic daily life into a semblance of presumed well-being, a myth no longer in force and though memetically still vital, showing signs of decay and deterioration.

    The monolithic thought procedure of old has lost credibility precisely because via the advent of the net (this week celebrating its 40th anniversary-link) we became hyperconnected beings, a phenomenon that puts literally everything in a new context.

    The new context is the paradigmatic shift in perception both of self and of others, and more importantly yet a shift in perception of interactive subjectivity or intersubjectivity. The paradigmatic shift is fully correlated to the practically infinite flow of information, the infoflow.
    Moreover, the very act of being hyperconnected in an infoflow is delineating a new contour to the narrative of our times; the story of our current minds is the story of our newly arising correlative meaning creation, the enmeshing of all in all and to all, all the time.
    Is it disruptive? Of course!
    But why?

    It is disruptive because it is erasing the boundaries of old, the now obsolete confines between the real and the virtual, between the authentic and that which supposedly is not. The paradigmatic shift is disruptive because it heralds a new story, the story of superabundance, and the superabundance starts with the wealth of information at our immediate accessibility.

    This changes us.

    The paradigmatic shift we are experiencing is changing the way we are wired. Our virtuality, our mind, once thought to be a unitary whole, now accepted as a self-organizing dynamic system is adapting to the hyperconnected reality. We are in fact projecting our own virtual conceptualizations unto the world just as the world is projecting itself into our minds. This enmeshing of realities, admittedly in its infancy, is the subject matter of our current human theme.
    Enmeshing of realities can be said to be the process of smoothening the contextual contour of our self-description. It enlarges us, making our minds more flexible, more critical and more relevant.
    In the process we are becoming both more robust as well as more able to deal with an increasingly large number of impressions, capable of dealing with huge amounts of data, incorporating it into our worldviews.

    In other words the narrative of our hyperconnected state of affairs is one of enmeshed realities. And enmeshed realities, intertwining states of mind and virtualities are heralding a new kind of freedom, the freedom embedded in hyperconnectivity. This is not a freedom to do (though eventually it will translate into such) but a freedom to change our minds.
    In an enmeshed reality, the dynamics of intersubjectivity allows us to flow uninterrupted into a combined interactive intelligence, a hyper-intelligence that combines autonomous critical thinking within a larger framework of co-adaptive consensual adhocracies.
    The more hyperconnected we are the more externalized our inner representations; the more these inner representations are enmeshed the more flexible and pliable our contextual worldview; more hyperconnectivity equal more augmentation and amplification to our self-reflexivity, more capacity and by implication more intelligence.

    The hyperconnected mind redefines the ethos of its own flow space, in the process developing a fresh form of empathy. This form of intelligent empathy denies the rigidity of the Neolithic mind system, and translates itself into an integrated flow space of coherence.
    The dynamism of the hyperconnected flow space, seen through the lens of collectiveness embeds a variability of goals and manners of being extended in space and in time.
    It is this very variability of multiple realities enmeshed as a coherent whole that re-describes the theme of being a hyperconnected mind.

    Finally

    It is my view that the ever-increasing speed of the hyper-stream of information has given (and is continuously giving) rise to a new form of mindfulness. A variety of mindfulness unlike any we knew, a fresh state of mind that finds its wisdom and cognitive efficiency in direct insights that are predominantly invisible but nevertheless inform our actions and influence our understandings.
    Moreover, I see the modern formless hypermind evolving in front of our eyes as the precursor of a posthuman mind that is not only better at ‘everything’ but eventually will adapt old and outdated philosophical and cognitive concepts into fresh modes of being.
    These new modes of being will in turn revolutionize the very meaning of being human, the nature of our emotional lives and the manner of our intentionality.
    Our conscious awareness will eventually become a form of mentation that is as far from the Neolithic mindset as warp speed is from walking.

    We are evolving- this is good.



    You are waiting for the revolution? Let it be! My own began a long time ago! When you are ready (god, what an endless wait!) I won’t mind going with you for a while. But when you stop, I shall continue on my way toward the great and sublime conquest of the nothing!


    Towards the creative nothing
    Renzo Novatore


    notes:

    Of onions: because our minds are multilayered and multidimensional
    Of infocologies (information ecologies): because the information in our hyperconnected reality is ambient and all pervasive, creating infospheres streaming into each other.


    images in text via Anthony Mattox, new media art design
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    “There is no meaning if meaning is not shared, and not because there would be an ultimate or first signification that all beings have in common, but because meaning is itself the sharing of Being.”

    Jean-Luc Nancy


    Consider the idea that a Polytopia is a ground for engagement, an emotional, intellectual and passionate engagement within our ever-evolving cyber-existence.

    A cyber-ground for an aesthetic singularity.

    Consider furthermore that a Polytopia may be looked at as a game.
    A very special and powerful kind of game; a game of semantic co-extensive mutuality.
    Consider the fact that a semantic co-extensive mutuality need be fostered and cannot be ordered on command.

    The Polytopia project thus can be seen as a game, grounding the engagement required for allowing a semantic co-extensive mutuality to emerge. Eventually a Polytopia might allow an aesthetic collective intelligence of humanity to come forth and thrive.

    Why?
    Ahh! Simple really, we need design our futures, so as to be disentangled from our pasts.

    # All views are interdependent and inherently ambiguous #



    About Intelligence

    In my previous post “ Considering a Polytopia –the notes” I have presented a number of possible definitions for the term Intelligence in the context of collective intelligence:

    # Intelligence is fundamentally Rhizomatic

    # Intelligence is a recurrent unified flow and ordering of impressions of continuity in all things, a procedure for our repetitive re-orientation in the abstract space of potentialities.

    # Intelligence might be said to be (a process within) an evolutionary path of increasing disentanglement of representations from the urgent senses, the enlargement of an ever more complex mind happening.

    # Intelligence is essentially a term describing a reading of forms into meanings, a reading recognizing an entering into partnership with the world, a collaboration of conscious activity.

    #Intelligence need be looked at as a process of inter-subjective cross-dimensional activity defining a framework with no particular direction.

    Resulting in :

    # Intelligence can be said to be a process then, a continuous process of orientation and re-orientation, an iterative, recursive, restructuring of the very meaning it is applied to. Put differently, intelligence is the term applied to the reading of coordinates of implications when applied to a particular context. Moreover, since intelligence is always in motion, by definition it will disturb the silhouette of the context in which and to which it is applied. That in fact is the meaning of open ended (ness), for by eliminating the conceptual rigidity of the context, intelligence (by its very motion), opens, as it were, the context to fresh paths of potentialities.

    And finally:

    # Intelligence is the active ingredient in innovation and creativity, in whatever field of human endeavor it is applied.
    The process of intelligence is both fractal (resonating across scales of contexts) and scalable (can be applied across scales and dimensions).



    Concerning the term collective:

    Just as the terms: normal, natural, gender and self (and many others) have changed and are changing in the techno-culture we exist in so is the case with the term collective.
    We cannot, and to my eyes should not, continue to use the term in the same fashion that we used to. The reasons for this, ranging from the technological innovations that are flooding us, day in and day out, to the actual reality of our hyperconnected transnational culture are obvious.
    But there is another, in a sense more profound reason for the change I am advocating. The reason I shall reflect upon here, is that if we truly desire a posthuman reality, disassociated from our recurrent evolutionary patterns of behavior we need re-define the contours of the discourse, in this case the expression designating the pattern is the term collective.
    In a manner of speaking we need (a la’ Deleuze) to de-territorialize the term collective.
    First some weeding concerning the term collective:

    1. A crowd/ is not a collective
    2. A tribe/a People is not a collective
    3. A village/city/neighborhood is not a collective
    4. A group is not a collective
    5. A social network is not a collective
    6. An ethnic group is not a collective
    7. A clan is not a collective
    8. A race is not a collective
    9. A family unit is not a collective
    10. Insert your own…

    The point is that all these terms might under certain descriptions be called ‘collectives’ but under the necessity of clarifying the concept of collective intelligence I do not think that the term should be applied so casually.



    "I've always been suspicious of collective truths. " Eugene Ionesco

    What if so is a collective?

    A collective is a term we use to describe an aggregation of entities. These entities maybe humans, animals, hybrids, cyborgs, AI, ideas, actions, and so on, or a combination of the above; these are some of the possible aggregates that are necessary but insufficient for understanding what a collective stands for.
    For an aggregate of entities to be called a collective the first issue that needs be addressed is the unique perspective allowed to the individual participant. There is no inherent meaning to the term collective unless the fiercely independent sense perception thought of the individual is the distinctive unit of appreciation.
    Necessary but insufficient! The fierce independence need be of interest to at least one other reflective component. Moreover if we accept the fact that it is meaningless to speak of collective intelligence without the fiercely independent mindfulness of the individual we need also accept that it is meaningless to speak of a symmetrical collective.
    In fact a collective as I understand it in the term collective intelligence is inherently an asymmetrical aggregate.
    A collective is asymmetrical in almost any conceivable aspect but the condensation of direction and its correlated interest.
    The condensation of direction is basically the emergent property of an aggregate of beings, whatever their embodiments, operating as a consensual autonomy of inter-subjective agreements of interest.
    It will not, for example, necessitate a space and a time to co habit, it will however necessitate a highly clarified conceptual language. Put differently, a collective is not known by its material and /or physical manifestation, (though it may have one) but by its correlated arena of interest.
    A correlated arena of interest might be said to be the “collectiveness” of an aggregate of beings.

    In principle a correlated arena of interest is a term applied to an aggregate of beings/entities operating as a dynamic complex system, supervening upon and closely coupled to the involved agents.
    The arena of interest is the opening manifestation of a collective; if an arena of interest has been defined, by implication a collective has emerged.

    However even that is not sufficient, for a correlated arena of interest to morph into a collective a number of necessary conditions are implied:

    #Reciprocal grasping and sympathetic understanding
    #Intuitive comprehension of the agreed upon language
    # An innate acceptance of the singularity of the individual
    # A qualitative expression of the future of the aggregate is made explicit.
    # Critical position, thought & questioning is adopted as the foundation of transparency.

    If these initial conditions are met a collective can be said to have emerged, from this point on the game of semantic co-extensive mutuality starts.

    The game implies three particulates:

    1. That the correlated arena of interest is based on the principle of self-guided evolution.
    2. That the correlated arena of interest is fluid, open sourced and open ended, multidirectional, multipurpose and void of center.
    3. That the correlated arena of interest is an independent event, allowing for adhocracy, disregarding initial conditions (gender, race, creed etc.)

    In fact only from this point on a Polytopia as grounding occurrence can be said to have come forth.

    If as I think, Intelligence in the context of a collective is a recurrent unified flow and ordering of impressions of continuity in all things, a procedure for our repetitive re-orientation in the abstract space of potentialities. And collective is an aggregate of beings operating in an arena of correlated interests, we can now state that a collective intelligence (CI) as a term stands for:

    An occurrence, an event, an aggregate of beings, implementing a recurrent unified flow of interests as an exploratory mode, of potential and probabilities in the space of possibilities.
    In other words, Collective Intelligence is an exploratory occurrence of an aggregate without a given plan. No design can allow for unfastened intelligence to come forth, it is the very freedom of the flow of inter-subjective alliances, occurring as an event, de-territorialized from its own past constraints, that carries the fresh perspective, the motion of realization.


    That a CI requires a meta-concurrence, a non-design of social flow space implemented as a domain of multiple directionality is obvious. Such is the proposition of a Polytopia.

    A Polytopia can be seen as following a meta-concurrence project of activating a multidimensional platform of engagement.
    It can be seen as a transcultural global event of openness, living and thriving on the net.
    It can also be seen as a merging and enmeshing of diverse perceptions of reality. And it can also be understood as an open-ended and open sourced polylogue.
    It is an evolving aesthetic cyber existential domain, relinquishing our rigid past flows for the allowance of a posthuman reality.
    In as much as our past spaces are flowing into newly designed flow spaces, our intelligence as an exploratory mode of being requires collectiveness.
    The Polytopia project offers an exciting adventure in which we may re-design our mind space, our info-flows and our life-streams.

    A Polytopia then can be said to be a futuristic implementation of a ground for engagement.

    I think of the Polytopia as an invitation and a challenge, an invitation from the future, our future, to rise above our history, now.
    A challenge to our conceptual minds.

    In this sense Polytopia I understand as a catalyst, a set of ideas in progress meant to promote a fresh kind of aesthetic/cognitive realization in our civilization.

    "Nothing is built on stone; all is built on sand, but we must build as if the sand were stone."

    Jorge Luis Borges


    shortly to be continued..


    some other notes:

    #this is a work in progress and all figures of speech should be taken as such

    # Unfastened Intensions = Liberating future thoughts from past meaning relations

    Intension: In linguistics, logic, philosophy, and other fields, an intension is any property or quality connoted by a word, phrase or other symbol. In the case of a word, it is often implied by the word's definition. The term may also refer to all such intensions collectively, although the term comprehension is technically more correct for this.

    # On a more personal note I need state that I am simultaneously highly attracted by the term Collective Intelligence and also highly repelled by it. And if I am to use it, I need the term to fit perfectly that which I perceive as our posthuman possibly unfolding futures.

    #Whilst writing this post I was listening to the amazing progressive rock band- Ozric Tentacles

    #And pondering the poetry of G.Carlin: ““I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the concrete. It’s so fuckin’ heroic.”
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    Note the first: regarding Intelligence in CI

    As an initial view consider the idea that a Polytopia is a conceptual framework for eliciting intelligent emergent behavior.
    Educing an emergent intelligent behavior is the fundamental of a Polytopia.

    As an initial view consider the idea that a Polytopia can be regarded as the moving front of newly emergent collective robustness of intelligence strengthening distributed opportunities of creative activities.


    “The diversity of languages is not a diversity of signs and sounds, but a diversity of views of the world.”

    Wilhelm von Humboldt, 1820



    The personal:

    Allow me to start this essay with a very personal note, a moment of synchronicity that just happened.
    Whilst I was in the process of trying to wrap this essay into a coherent whole, I remembered that many years ago I had studied the works of the great Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna. Nagarjuna was very important to me as an introduction to the concept of emptiness or non-inherent existence, particularly because in his most important work the “Mūlamadhyamakakārikā” he tried (and without much success it appears) to deny the absolutist positions that so many cherish. In fact I will go as far as stating that the kind of epistemic critical reasoning that Nagarjuna brought to bear on the human thought processes is so deep that it may have escaped even the apparent ‘pure’ critical reason of Kant.
    The thoughts of Nagarjuna coalesced in my mind for many years and meshed with Wittgenstein’s and others to provide a view I hold, namely, that all views are interdependent and inherently ambiguous.
    Now, it so happened that yesterday I came across a fascinating picture that held my attention for an intense while, it came courtesy of flickr and the uninterrupted infoflow of the hyperconnected dataverse.



    The photo is titled:“1000 Buddhas are not enough” and made me shiver for an instant, for here was a photo and a title that represented a fundamental aspect of my perspective concerning the Polytopia project and its inter-subjective evolutionary correlated vision of the collective intelligence.

    What’s the connection?

    The correlation is uncomplicated, it points to the fact that many of the most complex and important ideas generated by the human mind across eons of thought have been high jacked into oversimplification and by extension absolutism.
    And though I am in principle in favor of simplicity of explication and presentation I stand firm against oversimplification, for oversimplification leads the mind into a belief of understanding, a belief which by its very power of apparent simplicity results in stagnation and monolithic thought.
    Witness the modern use of certain terms such as “ human capital” or “emotional resource “ or “attention economy”, all high jacked in the name of a non-existent mass media comprehension. I mention these because of my interest in collective intelligence and the manner by which I view the concepts of intelligence and collective.
    It goes without saying that I concur with the title of the picture, completely. A 1000 Buddhas, a million Buddhas or for that matter an infinity of Buddhas is not enough! In fact it is not Buddhas that we need.
    We need (if need is the appropriate term ) a comprehensive understanding of our collective intelligence, an application of said comprehension and a critical disassociation from our initial conditions as a species into a posthuman realization of our evolving potentials.

    Please bear with me, as this is a work in progress trying to elucidate the complexity of the transit reality we are passing through at present.




    "I’m drunk and you’re insane. Who’s going to lead us home?"
    Rumi

    Re-describing the conceptual presentation of collaborative intelligence in Polytopia as a playground of engagement.

    It is my view that Collective Intelligence (CI’), though widely used, is a concept that is, for lack of a better description, misunderstood and probably misapplied, primarily because of the inadequacy of the term intelligence.
    Intelligence is a very difficult concept to come to terms with, especially since our tendency to oversimplify language constructs pushes us towards a mode of monolithic thought, a regularity or normalization.
    In many ways the term intelligence is not unlike the term culture, both are very broad terms referring to an increasingly expanding field of research, exploration and development.
    In both cases the question of time need be inserted into the understanding of the concept for it to be coherent. Intelligence and culture are concepts that contain different levels of coherency, and to my eyes operate in a fashion that is similar to the fractal perspective. It is my view that intelligence is fundamentally Rhizomatic, and indeed so is culture, as is art.

    note: The context in which the following definitions will be presented is that of the collective mind.
    The collective mind context reflects the interaction of specific minds (individuals).
    The interaction of individual minds is assumed (for the purpose of this context) to be consistent across all platforms of human existence/behavior and all platforms of communication.
    In the context of the collective intelligence, an individual is assumed to be an agency, aware and conscious, intelligent and independent within the constraints of the material universe.



    Step 1- Intelligence (context of usage is the collective)

    Intelligence is generally defined as a capacity or capability, specifically intelligence is mostly regarded as the human talent to attain, through understanding, knowledge and models of the world and use them creatively to solve different problems and deal effectively with unforeseen state of affairs.
    Moreover Intelligence has been defined as “.. not a single, unitary ability, but rather a composite of several functions. The term denotes that combination of abilities required for survival and advancement within a particular culture.” A. Anastasi

    Or “…adjustment or adaptation of the individual to his total environment, or limited aspects thereof …the capacity to reorganize one’s behavior patterns so as to act more effectively and more appropriately in novel situations …the ability to learn …the extent to which a person is educable …the ability to carry on abstract thinking …the effective use of concepts and symbols in dealing with a problem to be solved …” W. Freeman
    (For an extensive list of definitions see here )



    “Intelligence is very much a two-edged sword, Captain-Doctor. It is useful only up to a point. It interferes with the business of living. Life, and intelligence, do not mix very well. They are not at all closely related, as you childishly assume.”
    (Alternate Minds: Excerpts from Sterling’s Swarm )


    I submit that intelligence in the context of a collective is neither a capability nor a capacity and also not an adaptive trait, but a recurrent unified flow and ordering of impressions of continuity in all things, a procedure for our repetitive re-orientation in the abstract space of potentialities.

    Intelligence might be said to be (a process within) an evolutionary path of increasing disentanglement of representations from the urgent senses, the enlargement of an ever more complex mind happening.

    Intelligence is essentially a term describing a reading of forms into meanings, a reading recognizing an entering into partnership with the world, a collaboration of conscious activity.
    Intelligence need be looked at as a process of inter-subjective cross-dimensional activity defining a framework with no particular direction.
    I understand that the above may seem somewhat obscure, allow me then an illustration.

    Imagine a dancer, flowing gracefully to the rhythm of an ephemeral ambient music, which you do not hear. Our dancer represents an exploratory motion in a space and a time, tracing potential moves, retreating, emerging again, swirling, and turning upon itself, gyrating to its own pulse. What the dancer is performing is actually a complex probing of potential paths of actuation, where the actuation is the motion itself. The motion in turn repositions the dancer in the space-time continuum, altering her perception of the flow. The repositioning in this regard can be seen as the redrawing of the inner map, the body in relation to its space-time orientation. If we were to take this visual representation and eliminate the core component (the dancer) and extend the paths of motion in a multidimensional space, we would now have a ‘ virtual map’ of the dancer’s orientation.
    This virtual map symbolizes the abstract application of intelligence at time T in space S.

    Intelligence can be said to be a process then, a continuous process of orientation and re-orientation, an iterative, recursive, restructuring of the very meaning it is applied to. Put differently, intelligence is the term applied to the reading of coordinates of implications when applied to a particular context. Moreover since intelligence is always in motion, by definition it will disturb the silhouette of the context in which and to which it is applied. That in fact is the meaning of open ended (ness), for by eliminating the conceptual rigidity of the context, intelligence (by its very motion), opens, as it were, the context to fresh paths of potentialities.




    From this perspective we may say that intelligence is the active ingredient in innovation and creativity, in whatever field of human endeavor it is applied.

    If we accept that intelligence is the process of orientation in the phase space of possibilities and the phase space we will now relate to is the field of potentialities of meanings (or semantics), we can now state the following:

    Intelligence is said to be the dynamic process of recursivity, by which the defined territory or context confinement is being smoothened and redefined/redescribed.

    The process of intelligence is both fractal (resonating across scales of contexts) and scalable (can be applied across scales and dimensions).

    Moreover, given that the process of intelligence implies a continuous and fluid motion, within a given but indefinite semantic space, intelligence can be defined as the engine of meaning creation and meaning application. In this case the comprehension and understanding resulting from the application of the process of intelligence will always occur later than the actual re-description (implying a delayed reaction between intelligence and comprehension-tbd).



    to be continued shortly

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