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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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    The human species is rapidly and indisputably moving towards the technological singularity. The cadence of the flow of information and innovation in...

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    The great enhancement debate
    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.
    Looking at the present from the perspective of the future is probably one of the most interesting capabilities of the human mind, how much more so when the amount of interest we have invested in our futures has grown exponentially.
    Looking at the present from a future vantage point assumes we can project ourselves into an indefinite state of observation that demands no clarification, for it is fictional by nature, hence its privileged position.
    But though fictional, this panoramic viewpoint remains as its name implies a huge and highly rewarding vantage position.

    The fact that we are living today a life of Liminality, of hyperconnectivity and multiculturalism is beyond any doubt the single most salient aspect of our current civilization. Above all this fact implies one critical change from the past, namely, for a growing majority it is no longer natural to feel at ease only in ones’ ‘original’ culture.
    Being constantly bombarded by new science and technology, discovery and inventions, we are moving into the multicultural even if unaware of this motion.
    The motion into the multicultural operates on many levels and many aspects of our existence, technology in this sense is not only a tool created by us for us, moreover it is not even a tool that creates a new ‘us’, it is ipso facto an instrument that generates a phase space of new options in the great game of evolution.

    This phase space of new options allows in the words of F.Kafka :”.. not to stand still with arms raised, pressed again a crate wall.”

    “No, I didn’t want freedom. Only a way out—to the right or left or anywhere at all. I made no other demands, even if the way out should also be only an illusion. The demand was small; the disappointment would not be any greater—to move on further, to move on further! Only not to stand still with arms raised, pressed again a crate wall.”

    Franz Kafka
    A Report for An Academy

    Momentarily playing the game of being rational entitles us to a number of basic premises, namely that evolution has no inherent direction, and more importantly perhaps, the fact that we are not, never have been and never will be the very centre of creation, the universe, life and just about everything else.
    That this is a no-brainer is not the point, the issue we need center upon is that in our ascension, or more appropriately, in our subjectified evolutionary embedded state, we, the human species that is, are part and parcel of a larger evolutionary flow, one that is fully unrelated to anything we believe.
    The fact that this is so is not a problem for a view that embraces Darwinism and imports its structure and principles only to overcome it by symbiotically re-organizing itself into a new form of association.
    The re-organization of the life form we currently depend upon, as the substrate of our conscious activity, is nothing special, it is just another day in the motion of interestingness. In this sense, the cyborgization process with which we are currently occupied and proactively seeking, is not in itself anything different than any other specie that has found for itself a manner of correlating its existence with another form of existence. Being a cyborg, in the sense of man machine symbiosis, is no more different than the human bacteria symbiosis; these are just different instances of the same phenomena allowed in the phase space of evolutionary options.

    Just as bacteria have learned to adapt and co-evolve within a larger organism, so does technology embeds itself within the larger adaptation of human society, human civilization, our networked minds, and indeed a co-opted form of life as a society, of supposedly conscious aware entities.
    However as the inexorable motion of our evolutionary progress increases both in speed and options our symbiotic relationship with all life is receiving a long overdue re-interpretation. For it is not only that we are becoming more connected with everything else, other humans, and other objects, and soon other forms of life as well, but the very meaning of otherness is being re-described.

    Otherness or more appropriately alterity is being re-described and will vastly imply upon our manners and fashions of existence in every single act of metaphorical thought, for it is by metaphors that we change and gain new insights.

    “Metaphor is for most people device of the poetic imagination and the rhetorical flourish—a matter of extraordinary rather than ordinary language. Moreover, metaphor is typically viewed as characteristic of language alone, a matter of words rather than thought or action… We have found, on the contrary, that metaphor is pervasive in everyday life, not just in language but also in thought and action. Our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature. ”

    "Metaphors We Live By" George Lakoff and Mark Johnson

    The difficulty

    Gaining a new insight is not unlike convincing our minds to accept a new metaphor, and though our language is suffused with metaphors, the difficulty arises when the sense perception that we have is insufficiently contained by the common metaphor of a particular subject.
    Metaphors contain many riches, and good metaphors are a true treasure of meaning and connotations, significance and value, finding the right metaphor is therefore a challenging task of inventiveness and creativity meant to provide the ultimate container for a particular insight.
    Coining a new metaphor for a familiar and shared experience is difficult enough, how much more so when the insight gained is itself new and shared by few. If the background of the metaphor is contextual, and known, accepted and exhaustively recycled, the metaphor is easily grasped and efficiently disappears or becomes opaque whilst conveying the meaning, or sense perception it was meant for. However, when the background is itself novel, and the insight is anything but common experience, the task becomes truly herculean.
    Given that a good metaphor is a vehicle of sense-thought as much as it is an assistant to sense-thought, the creation of a genuine poetic and descriptive metaphor, carrying the evocative power of the insight for which it is meant, is crucial in communicating an idea. But there is more to metaphors than simply being a vehicle of expression, recent research in the neuroscience of metaphors shows clearly “..that metaphor comprehension is grounded in our sensory and motor experiences.” (See: Metaphors Can Light Up Brain’s Sensory Area ).
    Moreover, if metaphor comprehension is indeed as the research shows, grounded in our sensory and motor experiences, and if our brains change accordingly it might well be the case that our metaphorical mind is the recursivity instrument by which we evolve. It is highly probable in fact that as our experience of the world via technologies changes, our minds change accordingly, even though we may not be totally aware to this state of affairs.

    Metaphors are in continuous migration from realm to realm, from fields to fields and from languages to other languages, metaphors are actually memetic nomads, never belonging absolutely to any particular context or territory, therein lies their greatest strength and simultaneously their weakest point. For whilst it is highly rewarding (for comprehension and gaining new insights) to apply concepts of biology for example to computers, such as 'computer hygiene', 'genetic algorithms' and 'evolutionary programming', other migrations maybe pernicious to understanding.
    Using metaphors of land ownership for example, such as ‘domain’ or ‘commons’ imply instantly the governance and lawful aspect of that particular metaphor.

    “Discussion of cyberspace in terms of physical space both reflects and encourages the notion that it can be either circumscribed and dominated or kept open and free, notions we see embodied in what are perhaps the most enduring cyber metaphors, cyberspace as a domain, and the internet as a ―global commons.”

    The Metaphoric “Branding” of Cyberspace by Adriane Lapointe* (pdf)

    The transformative power of excellent metaphors

    My premise here is that the fast paced technological and scientific infocology we currently reside in both socially and culturally involves a wide array of new metaphors that are literally changing our brains, our minds, our thoughts, our actions and eventually our behaviors. This change in perception and consciousness has a wide variety of manners of expression and involves much more than just a fleeting change of linguistic props. I am a strong believer in the idea that a good enough metaphor is, as its name implies, ‘good enough’ and thus changes little, but an excellent metaphor can carry us into a totally new dimension of being and experience.

    An excellent metaphor is a high quality vehicle of sense thought, having the exceptional capability to transform the mind of the bearer of that same thought. Moreover, I firmly accept that an inspired metaphor can by itself alter the mind into a privileged and radically different envisioning, in the process gaining an insight previously inaccessible.

    Hence, gaining a new insight requires the immersion of the thought process in an excellent metaphor, fitting the insight in question.

    "When the love affair of the mind with the body is over, when reason and imagination are in love with each other and have no eyes for awkward flesh, when the hardwiring of the brain into the nervous system is overtaken by its prosthetic connections to the telecoms system, art has a new function. With or without bodies, we have been moving as a technological species into the human universe for a hundred and fifty years. Now we have to decide what luggage to take with us on the journey, and what has to be left behind. Will we need space? Will we need time? Will we need the distinction between them? Will we need our human senses to register the old certainties, when there are new uncertainties to survive and challenge? This is, in large part, what the new media arts exist to understand: a kind of Research and Development laboratory for the next phase of human evolution. "

    The Angel of Mediation - SIMON BIGGS Sean Cubitt

    The mental alchemy - from metaphors to techno-metaphors

    When William Blake said that “the eternal body of man is the imagination”, little did he realize the future understanding and development of that statement, the merging of body and poetry, art and science, technology and mind.
    I do not doubt that even today it will be difficult to realize the import of a technological metaphor becoming objectified. I do not mean a linguistic metaphor but a literal metaphorical process of becoming made available by technology.
    In an age when wireless implants for the release of medicine in the body are already with us (link), and matrix style virtual reality learning is soon to become accessible (link) we need take a fresh look at the techno metaphorical mind.

    A thought is ‘like a code’, is an analogy, but a thought ‘is code’ is a metaphor, this transforms into a techno-metaphorical process with the advent of brain machine interfaces by which a thought, literally becomes a code, able to operate objects in the real world, to act in the world and on the world. This is not merely some science fictional idea for the future but a very real and very immediate reality with which we will have to come to terms with and adapt accordingly.
    Controlling machine interfaces directly with our minds is a disruptive revolution precisely because it disturbs the old fashion of separation of body from other (hence revolutionizing alterity).
    Moreover, the advent of techno-metaphorical thought will permit an understanding of interconnection and hyperconnectivity in manners not previously readily obtainable to the common mind. The difference created in the mind will be gradual but fundamental, no longer will we need to teach the truth of connectivity for it will become a real and immediate experience, resulting so I surmise, in an elevated sense of empathy.
    To fully engage in the process of techno-metaphorical thought we will need to allow the metaphor (literally ‘carrying over’ from the Greek root ‘meta’- (beyond, above) and "pherein" (carrying, or bearing)) to work both ways, from our minds into and unto the world and from the world into and unto our minds.
    This motion of codes as metaphors will be performed by brain machine interfaces but will result in the literal expansion of the sense of self into new domains of experience, for which our inadequate worldviews are unprepared.

    The development of a techno-metaphorical mental alchemy, which I view as part of the cyborgization process, will transform us into a new variety of being, the Technoshamans, a different kind of creature indeed, a new species on this planet.

    (More on techno-shamans to come soon)

    On a more personal note

    No matter how much we may be convinced to offer the concept of sustainability for example our vote of confidence, as long as the sense of self is separated from, say, a tree, we will never feel the full empathy required for real restraint.
    Some of us will, most of us will not.
    I believe that with the advent of the techno-metaphorical process we will enter a new form of sensing the other (in this case the tree) through which our new nature will overcome the old boundaries of alterity and result in a much improved form of human containing an inherent ethic of sharing the universe.
    This may save us from ourselves...

    “When you will have made him a body without organs,
    then you will have delivered him from all his automatic reactions
    and restored him to his true freedom.”
    — Antonin Artaud

    to be continued..

    (This essay belongs to the thread "Forays in Philotopia - exploring the possible Philosophy of a Polytopia")


    1. for more on BMI- go watch : Science Bulletins: Tapping In—The Promise of Brain-Computer Interface.
    2. read: Brain Computer Interfaces: Melding Man and Machine

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    "For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream"
    Vincent van Gogh


    The cyborgization process of becoming in which we presently take part has a long history and a very likely and highly plausible future, including wide arrays of options of radically enhancing our bodies and minds, however, the cyborgization becoming of our civilization is a multilayered, multidimensional progression that can be parsed in many ways, one of which is the hyperconnected virtualized enmeshed reality already in progress.
    Here I am looking at the virtualization of identity as part of the meta-layer of the conceptual framework of cyborgization, a kind of underlying semantic infrastructure of our cyber-evolution.
    More specifically I reflect upon certain linguistic needs such as the clear distinction between rigid and flaccid designators, by which we may, if we can be mindful enough and careful enough, manage a certain ambiguity into a possible liberating procedure.

    (This essay belongs to the thread "Forays in Philotopia - exploring the possible Philosophy of a Polytopia")


    Not long ago a friend of mine came to ask my advice about an apparently simple issue which started as a local remark and became a deep philosophical conversation between her daughter and herself, and later between us, this conversation prompted this essay.
    Her daughter is a young person about to celebrate her 15th birthday and needed to fill some forms for a coming exam, in the form as is common, she needed to fill the box of gender and almost did, when she stopped and asked her mother:” why do I need to fill the box of gender? Why do they care about my gender in any case? And also what does my gender have to do with my exam, my knowledge and my understanding of the subject matter? (Before you raise your highbrows, yes she is a very bright young person).
    My friend, her mother, answered, that this was the norm and she needn’t make a fuss of it, it is probably used only as an indicator for statistical purposes and in any case it is the norm and accepted form of identification of the person involved and therefore one should completely disregard the meaning of the question and simply ‘get-on’ with it.
    She did ‘get-on’ with it, and proceeded to fill the form, but later that evening the conversation between them resumed to the deeper aspects of the personal identity issue to which ‘gender’ relates as a defining characteristic, and apparently the issue of personhood and its derivative functions in society.
    However the issue became complicated when said young person mentioned that in her online world she plays certain games and uses avatars that are predominantly considered male ‘just for fun’ (her words) she said, but really ‘it doesn’t matter, I don’t care if I play as a male or female, my character in the online game has no ‘real’ gender and even if it does, I don’t play as if I have a gender, I play as ‘me’ and I don’t want to have a gender in the game, its about my know how, my capability as a player and my knowledge, none of which should be correlated to my biology”.

    That is the point when I was asked to give my view of the issue, in light of my working on the Polytopia project.
    It is not my intention in writing this essay to deal with the issue of gender specifically but with the issue of transference (or indeed transposition) of identity designators between the actual and the virtual in general, an issue which I deem paramount for the sane evolution of our intersubjective cyborgization process.

    Rigid Designators vs. Flaccid Designators

    The Polytopian stance assumes a richness of mind that applies the distinction between rigid designators (Kripke) and flaccid designators (wiki) for different configurations of speech and thus dimensions of semantics.
    Rigid designators (rigid designation is a property of the way terms are used, not a property of the terms themselves, - wiki) imply that the same object carries the same identity and thus the same characteristics in all possible worlds. Flaccid designators are fluid and allow for multiple options of descriptions in different worlds. The aim here is not to confront the one with the other but to propose that rigid designators should be left to conventional speech only, for purposes of efficient communication and quick look-up taxonomies. Moreover, rigid designators should not be allowed to imply ontology and / or metaphysics but to remain on the normative dimension with no necessary traceable memory (see endnotes #2). This will assume that proper names have meaning application only in as much as they reflect the necessity of accurate empirical representation. Switching to flaccid designators it is proposed here that fluid terminologies are the way to go when dealing with hyper complex systems such as identity and more particularly identity as represented in virtualities and the inter relation between said identities, especially in hyperconnectivity.

    Within the motion of cyborgization in which we take part we can discern the advent of a semantic transposition from the actual to the virtual. A motion of transference of historical notions into a domain of existential realism to which those notions are not adapted and are factually obsolete. Such is the movement between terms pertaining to the conceptual category of rigid designators based on habitual ontologies that a sense of conflict rises and can be perceived when parsed in a virtual environments. No longer are we able to detect common indicators of identity, manners of representation, and styles of recognition for the simple reason that the virtual does not yield to fixed indicators. It is thus for example impossible solely by the fact of perceiving a given avatar to determine its gender, orientation, age, morphology, race and so on. In fact on first appearance it may seem that due to the motion from the actual to the virtual much information is lost and thus our capability of discernment and discrimination is the poorer for it. However, it is the Polytopian stance that this apparent paucity is in fact a false impression due to an analysis based on rigid designators not flexible enough to allow the creative value of the virtual to come into play.

    At present the fact that our minds are embodied in a particular physical configuration stands as the main culprit in our habitual usage of identity indicators as rigid designators. Irrespective to the future technological possibility of mind uploads and similar post physical existences we need see that already at this stage the networked infocology in which each and every one of us to different extents exists, is already a form of non physical existence. In perceiving virtual existence as a dimension separated from traditional actuality we need assume a different set of contextual representations and thus epistemic structures that though can be bridged to regular style embodiment cannot be fully mapped to said body. This distinction if clarified allows us now to embed a re-definition of the concept of identity on the net that is distinct, different and only partially co-extensive with our physical embodiment. The issue here that we need reflect upon is that certain of our identities in virtuality are not extensions of our physicalities but have as it were, an independent or semi-independent as the case may be (such as an avatar in an online game, or SL ) existence to which, a contextual state of affairs need be defined.

    No longer can we assume a central locus indicated rigidly by our bodily location to which all our identities are bound. Moreover, from a different perspective no longer can we assume that the motion of intelligence is still, in all cases, directed from the actual to the virtual. In fact, in many cases (“you are what you pretend to be … you are what you play (Turkle, 1997)#3) we will discern quite the opposite, a motion of intelligence from the virtual to the actual. And let us remember that though it is an interplay of flows, in no fashion is symmetry implied, quite the contrary in fact, in the relation between the virtual to the actual and the actual to the virtual, asymmetry reigns supreme. In some instances the flow of actuality into virtuality will gain the upper hand whilst in others the opposite will be the case. Nevertheless our effort here must emphasize the tension between those two motions and the clarification of directionality.

    Whilst embodied identities maintain a formal highly structural and therefore rigid set of indicators, defined primarily as body, gender etc., our virtual identities are factually indicated in a fluid manner and thus pertain to the flaccid designators category. The initial condition of the human thus has changed and can no longer be theorized based on immovable objects of identity. What the Polytopian stance suggests is that our virtual identities are in fact social entities in and of themselves allowing a co-present, inter-subjective, hyper-connected, state of affairs, radically rewriting the codes of social encounters.

    A number of different perspectives exist as of today desiring different application of the correlation actual-virtual. Some of these would like to maintain a rigid continuity of identification assuming wrongly that only such rigid continuity will allow valid confirmation of identity and thus trustworthiness (see Obama's-internet passport). Whilst there are certain domains to which such view is applicable (banking for example) in most cases pertaining to the evolution of our cyborgization this will be untrue. Same goes for the opposite view that the virtual domain should be totally and uncompromisingly free and detached from any rigid correlation and continuity to actual embodied identity. In fact most of the social entities considered as domains of interest extended in time in the infosphere pertain to neither perspective but to a middle ground grey area which is, to use the old adage, neither this nor that. Most of our cyborgization process of becoming, manifested primarily via the networked hyper-connected infocological state of affairs is fundamentally: ambiguous, uncertain, oscillating and fluctuating, and should be considered as a flow of in-betweens. The flow of in-betweens is actually comprised of multiple domains of interests, passions and relations, but more importantly perhaps, of radical creative encounters. This is the domain where the cross-pollination, cross-fertilization of human endeavor finds its home. This home, at present a fragile realm, fuzzy in its orientation yet passionate in its desire to explode into new forms of life, contains a fundamental structural instability. Though it may seem that this structural instability also called inherent approximation, is a fault line indicating a potential problem possibly degenerating into the chaos of indeterminacy, it is in my view a feature rather than a bug.

    Indeterminacy is a feature not a bug

    I submit to you the idea, that there is no direct continuity between an avatar and its originator, or for that matter the possibility of fully mapping an avatar, as a ‘stand-in’ symbol of representation, to the person that originated that same avatar. (And though at present it probably is possible to trace back an avatar to its originator, it is highly likely that given enough time and diversification, including mutations, alterations and transformations, none such will be possible or indeed desired.)
    An avatar has a quasi-infinite variety of possible interpretations depending on context, on semantics and syntax, but more importantly at this stage is the understanding that the relationship between the avatar and its originator is an indeterminate relationship that inherently exhibits the characteristics of ambiguity and fuzziness.

    Not only do I think that the relationship Avatar-Originator, is inherently ambiguous I propose to make this particular ambiguity, a kind of benchmark reflection on the concept of identity. A radical motion towards a possible liberating procedure, in which our consciously aware usage of the ambiguity of relationship Avatar-Originator, replaces the closely coupled, rigid designations, we still transpose from the actual to the virtual.

    The indeterminacy of our identities in the hyperconnected infocologies we are presently enmeshed in, is, I believe, only an indication or the beginning, if you like, of a much greater fuzziness that is waiting for us in the process of cyborgization, to which the virtualization of identity is a crucial step.

    It is my view that the evolution of intelligence, is currently undergoing a dramatic shift towards a greater uncertainty and openness, a deeper ambiguity and larger indeterminacy, a new state of affairs of mind, through which we may, if sensibly and wisely managed, become more free.

    There are many ways to understand intelligence, and in many contexts, issues of problem solving, capacity of reasoning, adaptability to new environments, learning from experience, pattern recognition, judgment exercising, imagination, originality, artistic and abstract perception, complex interpretation and so on, are all possible interpretations, definitions and usages of the concept.

    However for the purpose of this essay I am using a semi-poetic interpretation of the term intelligence. Here I refer to intelligence as a luxury of mind, a bonus if you like, that I use in a very specific manner. I refer to intelligence as a luxury here because I see the capacity to exist in ambiguous situations, to extract relevant information from fuzzy circumstances as non-linear and highly relevant to the new state of affairs we have co-created.

    The hyperconnected virtually enmeshed infocologies, upon which we are projecting our newly minted avatars, are oscillating representations that slowly but surely are disengaging from their points of origination.
    This disengagement process, itself part of our cyborgization becoming, opens new options, fresh possibilities and a wide array of potentials for the evolution of our self-descriptions into new horizons of freedom.

    Issues of gender (such as the one mentioned in the little anecdote above), of race, of creed, of ethnicity, of status, of age and any other rigid designators, ought to be relegated to the conventional, indeed to the material, as it is now, to the actual. The hyperconnected virtually enmeshed infocologies, present no inherent necessity for such, unless highly specified in functionality (as in the banking example) or so chosen (as in creating an avatar with specifically chosen characteristics). In every other context the disengagement process of an ambiguous identity, is the luxury of intelligence we can finally afford, and to my eyes should passionately apply.

    Finally, whether we are hard core Singularitarian, futurists, Transhuman or Extropians, philosophers, artists, AI designers or just any modern day person, using the mediums of our currently available technologies to hyperconnect we are factually performing acts of luxurious intelligence application.
    It does not so much matter what exactly it is that we believe concerning the coming future of our civilization and our very nature, what matters is the manner we understand the process of becoming a better specie, a better human, a more empathic mind, rational, passionate and conscious, open to the beauty of the great uncertainty that is life.

    “The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next.”

    Ursula K. LeGuin

    shortly to be continued..

    Endnotes :

    # 1. Let me be clear here, whilst I advocate a total freedom of self-representation on the net, there are certain kinds of social interaction in which gender representation, as an example, are fundamental for the purpose of the designated interaction. Though a dating site might require the knowledge of your gender, there is no inherent reason for a requirement of gender identification in an online game. Moreover, as I see it, it is high time that we put into question most of our assumptions about identity representation and their correlated implications especially in situations where common sense dictates that no such identification is indeed necessary. This goes far deeper than the privacy versus transparency debate, this goes to the very root of the personhood perception mechanisms that we have put into place, millennia ago and need be upgraded to fit our modern day hyperconnected interfaced minds.

    # 2. No necessary traceable memory I use here to designate the rigid factuality of designation of a particular individual in the original dimension of the actual that does not transpose into other possible worlds especially as refers to the virtual hyperconnected dimension. Hence though it will be true to state that person P is a female in actuality this description may not necessarily be transposed unto the virtual, and thus does not carry traceable memory.

    # 3. Turkle, S. (1997). Constructions and Reconstructions of Self in Virtual Reality. In S. Kiesler (Ed.), Culture of the Internet. Hilldale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    # 4. second image in text: Double Pendulum with LEDs by Michael G Devereux

    # 5. third image Succulus by Robert Pepperell

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    I am currently reading one of (probably) the best books in the hard sci-fi genre, it appears that somehow it escaped my attention but here I finally put my mind to it and am exploring the intricacies of this ‘funny’ book.
    The book is called Dragon’s egg, written by Robert Forward and published in 1980, and basically is the chronicles of the accelerated evolution of a species known as the Cheela having evolved on a neutron star with 67 billion times the surface gravity of earth, a fact which of course changes everything (read the book, you will not regret it.)
    What I find in the book fascinating is a particular aspect of the lives of the Cheela, specifically the fact that they live a million times faster than humans, and thus all of their evolution happens in human terms between May and June 2050.

    The issue of speed and relativity in terms of duration is fascinating for a simple reason, for it is my view that something very similar, metaphorically speaking, is happening right here and now, partly within us, partly outside of us.

    The part within us, our minds, and the part outside of us, our civilization, are only two of the dimensions within which it is possible to perceive, differences in speed, distinctions of velocity, variations in rates, disparities of pace and ultimately, divergence in directionalities based on these divergences.

    The sense thought I get from current realities, juxtaposed and coinciding is that different philosophies and worldviews are operating concomitantly and interactively and yet because of the differences in speed that I mentioned above apparent contradictions appear to surface when in fact none such are. The appearance of contradictions in fact is one of the hallmarks of the differences in velocity and variations of pace.

    Some of the ideas currently being promoted in various extrapolated spaces of thoughts are on the extreme wing of the fast forward approach, such as certain brands of transhumanism, whilst others, are on the extreme wing of bio conservatism or indeed full fledged traditionalism.
    It is of course quite obvious that most of the current thoughts, based on philosophies of old, react or better yet re-enact certain known paths of intellectual pursuit and thus constitute the bulk of what is aptly termed the middle ground.
    The middle ground in this respect is what can be called ‘the current fashion’ or alternatively ‘the accepted consensus of reality now’. If we take the grand volume of what is the presently congruous we can, without doubt, perceive an amalgam of concepts from science and religion, so called politics and somewhat misappropriated philosophies of life, or of art, of criticism as well as of envisioning.

    As I see it, there is a pattern there, or more accurately a pattern of patterns, a meta- pattern of sorts; a complex and highly volatile transitory coagulation of our civilization history, both in thought and in action. The meta-pattern I look upon now, involves a flow of traffic, or traffic of flows if one prefers, motions within motions, streams of sensations and torrents of thought with no apparent center or for that matter apparent direction.

    The traffics of flows, of ideas and thoughts we can observe, differ from each other not so much by content as by speed, not so much by context as by velocity, in fact looking upon the different kinds of flows with a certain (necessary) detachment from the implied value of each flow, we can see that flows of ideas, mesh and interact, mutate and fertilize each other, giving birth in the process to yet other flows.

    These flows of course have names, pointers and signifiers that apparently distinguish them from their predecessor’s parent flows or indeed from their siblings and eventually from their offspring. What is important at this stage however is to understand that the differences in these flows can be mapped in different ways, using different benchmarks for different purposes, resulting and here is the crucial point, in different kind of understandings of the state of affairs at play.

    For our ability of analysis and parsing to be conceptually sound and integrated within a larger framework of sustainable action we first need escape the freeze frame fallacy.

    The fallacy of freeze frame:

    The fallacy of freeze frame refers to this most common practice of the mind to dissect a flow of events at a particular time T and implying from it about the flow itself. Consider the fact that a particular group of humans in the process of discussion can be seen to differ in stages, first about ontology and or perhaps metaphysics, then about semantics, later about the ideas and finally about the direction they will or will not take. At each point of the discussion if the frame is in freeze, the conclusion will be that the group is incompetent, unable to reach a decision or alternatively is not adapted to the task at hand, if alternatively the group flow is in freeze frame at the exact moment of consensus, the conclusion will be that this has fallen under the groupthink malady and is not an evolving organism.

    It is highly difficult to escape the fallacy of freeze frame mainly because our minds are limited in the amount of flow dynamics that are perceivable per time per space and thus an easy escape route out of this limitation is the freeze frame method. We give or concoct our opinion of a process based on the moment we need give such an opinion, this creates a fixed point of observation from which future points are derived, the frame so freezed becoming a bench mark for our sense thought.

    The fallacy of freeze frame is a fundamental perceptual disability afflicting all of us to different degrees at different times and to my mind is the corner stone of the problems we are facing when trying to understand the state of affairs of the world and how to go about it.

    We are all well aware, I think, that being subject to the necessity of action we use the freeze frame paradigm to create for ourselves a set of values (and from that a set of ethical imperatives and moral actions) from which cathedral we judge the reality we apparently perceive. Said judgment of course leads us to so-called ‘realizations’ or ‘insights’ or alternatively beliefs in our own understanding that we deem both universal and true (we need deem these as such since only if they are universal and true would we have, or so we believe enough justification to muster the energy needed for action).

    The first question we need address if so is why escape the freeze frame fallacy in the first place since it is actually a tool of our minds that helps us make sense of the world.
    The answer is not as simple as we may desire it to be; it is fundamentally a necessary transition to a different kind of mind, a Polytopian mind that sees traffic of flows as the foundation of hyperconnected intersubjectivity.

    The cross pollination of flows within the traffic of flows is the answer to the riddle, for without allowing a directed cross fertilization we end up within one particular flow, oblivious to the relevancy of simultaneous evolutions, and thus miss the opportunity of openness to alternate interpretations of possible outcomes.

    Openness in this respect implies a sort of coherent ambiguity, and fertile uncertainty, an evaluation not of the flow to which we ‘apparently’ belong but of the interplay of flows, and intersubjective scenarios.

    If we are to have clarity of mind that engenders the entanglement of an open posthuman future, the view we need uphold is one of multiplicity of forms and functions, simultaneous visions operating in tandem but on different scales of change and pace of actuation.
    It is in fact a different kind of stance, to which quantification of action releases its hold upon us to permit a qualification of acceptance to the ‘other’; the ‘other’ in this case being not an individual but a flow of events.

    Fostering such a polytopian stance is part of the raison d’être of the Polytopia project.

    shortly to be continued..

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    “In the end, we self-perceiving, self-inventing, locked-in mirages are little miracles of self-reference.”

    Douglas R. Hofstadter (I Am a Strange Loop)

    This is part 2 of the new series, "Forays in Philotopia - exploring the possible Philosophy of a Polytopia"


    The premise presented is that the concept of individualism, as we know it today is a passing stage in the evolution of conceptual representation and is due for overhaul.
    Putting it simply, I believe we are passing through a transit stage in the evolution of the concept of the individual.
    This period appears to be closing and will soon come to an end.

    The idea I am exploring is that the very concept of individualism, a signifier of uniqueness and particularity, lacks the basics of mindfulness needed to comprehend itself in a virtual mind universe.
    The thesis is that the transformation of the concept of individualism will allow a transformation of the meta-narrative of our modern civilization as we proceed to undo and eliminate the restrictions imposed pell-mell by natural selection.

    As my readers would know I am a great fan of Albert Camus, especially his “The Myth of Sisyphus “, and for one particular reason, for in this short and enlightening essay, Camus, in front of meaninglessness and irrationality claims boldly that the absurd requires a revolt, and not just any revolt, a revolt of personal liberation:

    The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”

    (A. Camus)

    The revolt Camus advocates ends in the form of: ‘we must imagine Sisyphus happy’, meaning that we must take pride and happiness from the struggle itself and in this I strongly disagree with Camus, not only that I do not accept happiness born of the acceptance Camus advocates, I advocate the contrary, namely: happiness can be born if at all only from rebelling (like Sisyphus himself) against the actual bondage of so called ‘natural acceptance’.

    As a specie we have never accepted nature’s constraints, we have developed modes and manners, tools and technologies, to bypass that which is natural, complex as it may be. Modern medicine for example, though far from it’s desirable state and potential has nevertheless, cured and cared for an immense number of illnesses and ‘natural’ occurrences and the future in this respect looks bright and shiny, bumps and obstacles on the road notwithstanding. We take enormous pains to overcome and surmount ‘natural limitations’; we invented air flight because we had no wings, and smart phones because we cannot shout across the Atlantic. Our current civilization with all its defaults and pitfalls has given us a world unlike any other in our short history, and though our minds are still Neolithic in their conceptualization we are in fact in a better state of affairs than ever before.

    Despite the latest controversy to shake and rattle the infosphere regarding reverse engineering of the human brain in the next two decades (read this “Neither Ray Kurzweil nor PZ Myers Understand the Brain” for a full coverage), it is patently clear that given the noticeable advances of the numerous groups actively researching the issue (such as the Markram group Blue Brain project), we shall get there.

    Whether within the next two decades or the next century, it is fundamentally a non-issue since the prospect itself of a full brain emulation and if so, simulation, is wrecking havoc with our age old philosophies of individualism, mind, self and conscious awareness.

    “People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself.
    But the self is not something that one finds. It is something that one creates.”

    (Thomas Szazz)

    2.Inhabiting the concept of individuality

    Individuality is a concept unlike any other; it is a concept that presently carries a wide array of implications. Implications that hint at our worldviews and perspectives in more ways than one, in fact it will not be untrue to state that the very concept of individualism we inhabit, is actually the reflection of our epistemic profile.
    Our epistemic profile or the structure of the epistemic phase space we call our own can be described as the actual architecture of the concept of individualism, in which and by which we self define.
    We have inherited a sort of continuum of existential times all coagulated under the same name and signified by the same body, a coagulation of habits both of thought and of action, behavior and attitudes. We presently regard ourselves as self-contained systems, decision makers and value assessors, as if in some unfathomable way we are or became somehow separated from the larger entities of the biosphere and the noosphere.
    Of course no such separation exists, we are as much a part of nature as the next bacteria or planet, we are as much a flow within a flow as a particular current in the ocean. However, we differ in a particular fashion, we differ in our conscious awareness, specifically in our historicity of self-reflection, in our memories.
    Memories, which are vivid and unclear, bright and fuzzy simultaneously, memories embedded in a complex and highly vulnerable wetware we call our embodied brains.
    This apparent encapsulation of our memories (and by consequence the continuum of our identity) is the grand illusion of individuality, an illusion being perpetuated by the hodgepodge language we use to refer to the individual we call ‘I’.

    The modern language of individualism, celebrating the stoic assumption of the so-called ‘natural self’ is as obsolete and as archaic as the antiquated views of teleology.

    “Language is legislation, speech is its code. We do not see the power which is in speech because we forget that all speech is a classification, and that all classifications are oppressive.”

    Roland Barthes

    3. The modern individual is everywhere at once

    In the modern world we inhabit, we play a multiplicity of roles, simultaneously and consecutively; we operate a rapid succession of selves and identities on multiple platforms all correlated by the infocology we have co-created. The platforms we use however carry a new role, a role that once was relegated to our brains only and now extends into the infosphere.
    I speak of course of our memories, some of which as of now reside with Google, or FB, or Myspace or any other platform of what is rapidly becoming a real life streaming process having its core online. These memories, embedded as photos or comments, blog posts or clicks of like, or tweet and retweets, have a very large impact on our conceptualization of individuation. The reason for that is that whilst a few years back, not being online meant that my existence is mine alone and therefore the self reflection on myself as an individual was fairly simple, at present not being online does in no way diminish the access of others to me. In other words, part of me, let us call it the disembodied infosphere me, keeps on thriving automatically and without my conscious awareness.

    This has tremendous ramifications. For it implies that the modern concept of the individual is everywhere and at once.
    This I call: ‘simultaneous everywhereness’ a new state of affairs we have never before found ourselves in.

    The apparent ‘simultaneous everywhereness’ of our individuality is actually a reflection of the manner by which our minds operate, it is the narrative of self-representation extended across times and spaces. Constructing maps within maps, interacting with other maps, continuously update and evolve our meta-narratives.

    See what noted neuroscientist Antonio Damasio has to say in The Brain: A Story We Tell Ourselves

    “Gene networks organize themselves to produce complex organisms whose brains permit behavior; further evolution enriches the complexity of those brains so that they can create sensory and motor maps that represent the environments they interact with; additional evolutionary complexity allows parts of the brain to talk to each other (figuratively speaking) and generate maps of the organism interacting with its environment. Within the frame of those interactions, the conversation among the maps spontaneously and continuously tells the "story" of our organism responding to and being modified by the environment. (The story is first told without words and is later translated into language when language becomes available, both in biological evolution and in every one of us.)”

    The work of Antonio Damasio notwithstanding, we do not as of yet have a complete picture of the transition from the neuronal to the mental, we have some kind of narrative, partial and open to revision, and yet we can imply a number of significant clues.
    It is clear that whatever the final narrative of the process of creating minds will be, a few fundamentals will be insisted upon.
    These in no particular order include: Flexibility and Plasticity, Complexity and ambiguity, Uncertainty and volatility.
    What all these terms have in common is one particular mode of thought that runs contrary to the common thought of hierarchy and stability. What these terms imply is that our very own neuron network combines and recombines, forms and reforms, fashions and refashions, the structure of the brain and by consequence the mind.

    It is clear that our individualism is a work in progress, ever expanding and ever increasing in both complexity and narrative. We operate as a multiplicity in a multiplicity, and this very multiplicity of our world requires of us to operate on the basis of multiple selves.

    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.

    shortly to be continued..

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    If only you could see what I have seen with your eyes

    The off-world replicants in Ridley Scott's film Blade Runner

    This essay is part one of a new series of writings temporary called: " Philotopia - the philosophy of Polytopia"

    1. Deploying the Mind Simulator

    In what can surely be described as one of the most important papers in the philosophy of mind of the 20th century, Thomas Nagel asks, “What is it like to be a bat? Essentially an argument against total physicalism and apparently dualistic in its approach, I do not think he was a dualist nor do I think that the argument is correct in as much as it concerns consciousness, however I have found the argument interesting from a completely different perspective.

    I refer to the fact of the state of affairs of mind that is represented by the question itself, namely the very fact that we can ask such a question as:” what it is like to be [..insert whatsoever]..?” is to my mind the most salient point at play.

    It should be clear that the evolved capability of our minds to project an idea of ‘what it is like to be something’, that is other than ‘me’ the projector, is the most extraordinary phenomena we can pinpoint with a certain accuracy.

    But what is so special about this particular ability?

    My take at present is that this particular ability of human minds stands erect as the pillar foundation of empathy and recognition, simulation and imitation, and can be said to be the base root of all human communications.
    Furthermore I will state clearly that to my understanding the very fact that our minds have evolved in such a fashion as to be able to deploy an inner simulator of an other, mind, thing or thought, behavior or idea, defines the very uniqueness of sentiency.
    Whether we actually ask the question of:” what it is like to be..” or simply state a negation such as ‘I cannot possibly imagine what he or she is feeling’, or “I have no idea what a bat feels like’ or even “stupid question, there is no such thing as..” this very particular form of reflection represents a process of beingness that acts as the cornerstone of connectivity and by corollary more so of hyperconnectivity.

    The salient feature we need regard here concerns the minds capability to transport a narrative of experience across time and space into another localized and perceived reality or imagined reality and back to us for analysis. This feature of narrative transport, allows us the motion of visions across time, and permits us to in fact position alternate scenarios of conscious awareness as represented by other forms than ourselves (whether these are forms of life or not is a different question).
    The alternate scenarios we construct and posit as extensions in times stand for our capability both as individuals and as a race to devise futures (see futures as such), these futures can be construed to be an ‘other’ than ‘me’ or ‘other’ than ‘us’, as in ‘future me’ or ‘future us’.
    A ‘future me’ or a ‘future us’ is as much an ‘other’, separated in this case by the linear time continuum of perceived experience, as an ‘other than me’ that is concomitant in space and time but differs in perceived form or behavior or indeed conscious awareness.

    Therefore, when we think of devising a future and essentially acting out the futurist in us, we actually use the capability of projection of awareness across time and space into a different reality than the one perceived in and at present.

    In the case I will try to elucidate here, the transport of narratives concerns the common vision of a better world.

    The vision of a better world so common and yet so elusive, is the act of deploying our mind simulator in the question of :”what is it like to be..” But simulated as a future to be envisioned.

    Deploying the mind simulator in this fashion demands of us a very special kind of mindset, a certain very special mindset, a mindset in which the projection of the future human civilization is a direct reflection of our understanding the meanings embedded in the term a better world.

    So: “ what is it like to live in a better world?”

    Let us start by simulating a future nostalgia, the description of which may make all the difference.

    The way we describe our world shows how we think of our world.
    How we think of our world directs how we interpret our world.
    How we interpret our world governs how we participate in it.
    How we participate in the world shapes the world.

    Robert Fripp in a salvaged “Notes to Myself” file, cited in his diary (November 30, 1998) at Entersection.)

    2.Future nostalgia

    Let us for a moment imagine the implementation of our visions, those, without false and undue humility, we may call visions for a better world.
    But first, a relevant question need be begged here: ‘In what fashion are we to understand the term ‘better’ in the context of a ‘better world’? What would in fact constitute betterment?

    Not being a believer in identity in the concept of self, the basic understanding I carry is that identity if at all relevant as a subject of inquiry into betterment lies in the gaps between concepts or in the tension between contexts.

    The meaning of the above is that identity can be described as an event of the gaps.

    Identity as an Event of the gaps

    As a start let us consider that identity in the abstract sense needs a concurrency and congruency of contexts working in tandem under the aegis of a particular mind (itself at present subjugated to the body sustaining it). Though this is not a dualistic approach it will make sense to reflect that the existential space we claim as our own is not confined to the localized sense thought perceptions of our own materiality or mentality.
    Between the axis of objectification (or the demand for such) and the axis of subjectivity (or the belief in such) lies an insurmountable gap, an event of emotionality that we call identity.
    The gaps between contexts, the void between sense-thoughts, in and within the stream of our minds might be the only space for chaos to preside, we may also call this the choice event.

    The choice event

    Though neuroscience is increasingly performing the task of demonstrating that the concept of free will is outdated (at least as it is commonly used), the actions of performing decisions of directionality still (and for an extended future will) bear relevance, especially as concerns the extension of our identities (as the event of the gaps) into the infosphere. The relevance pointed to here is concerned with directions of what we perceive as enhancement of our state of affairs, decisions and choices, which we ‘believe’ will make our world better.

    Hence the correlation to the betterment concept;

    To reiterate then, our identity can be said to lie as an event of gaps, gaps between concepts, gaps between contexts, a tension between the desire of objectivity and the belief in subjectivity. If as I surmise above, the very directionality of our actions finds its core in the event of gaps, it follows that the influence of certain particular concepts, in this case the concept of ‘better’ is particularly strong in the event of gaps.

    The important thing is to understand life, each living individuality, not as a form, or a development of form, but as a complex relation between differential velocities, between deceleration and acceleration of particles. A composition of speeds and slownesses on a plane of immanence.


    What does this mean?

    It may mean that we need reconfigure our understanding of the semantic phase space in which resides the term ‘better’ to fit a different understanding of the concept of identity. The reason we need do this is implicit in our desire for betterment as relayed by the term: ‘a better world’, for how can we perform the activity required of and for a better world, if we have no comprehension of the meaning we ascribe to and in the term betterment?

    At present my take on the issue is that the meaning we ascribe to ‘a better world’ is a direct manifestation of the inherency of the event of the gaps. Put differently, since we exist as an event of gaps, there is no meaning to ascribe that is not already in the interrelation of all our conceptual semantic phase space. And again, ‘better’ in the semantic phase space of the event of gaps means simply the free flow of in-betweens.

    Of course it follows that not only that there is no ‘self’ to speak of, there is of course no such animal as a ‘true self’ or correlated derivatives, what there is, if ‘isness’ as a signifier is to be invoked at all, is a metamindsphere of events of gaps, or an ecosphere of identities, all flowing as a mind stream of in-betweens, a flow of gaps and voids if you like.

    Taken together then, a better world as a statement carries the potential meaning of a clearer stream of in-betweens, the stream of in-betweens is a manner of describing the flow of events in a clear fashion, a fashion which can potentially allow us to re-describe the future we desire.

    3. A clearer stream of in-betweens.

    The fact that we have evolved the mental emotional capability to ‘put oneself in somebody else’s shoes’, as the common folk saying goes, is nothing less than tantalizing, even if the mirror neurons theory is correct it still remains somewhat of a mystery.

    The reason it is such a mystery concerns what is commonly called the paradox of change, or relative identity in identity theory:

    The Ship of Theseus Paradox:

    "Imagine a wooden ship restored by replacing all its planks and beams (and other parts) by new ones. Plutarch reports that such a ship was "… a model for the philosophers with respect to the disputed arguments … some of them saying it remained the same, some of them saying it did not remain the same" (cf. Rea 1995). Hobbes added the catch that the old parts are reassembled to create another ship exactly like the original. Both the restored ship and the reassembled one appear to qualify equally to be the original. In the one case, the original is "remodeled", in the other, it is reassembled. Yet the two resulting ships are clearly not the same ship. (See the Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy for more)"

    The ship of Theseus metaphor is possibly the best illustration we can use to describe the kind of mind we are and the kind of world we live in at the beginning of the 21st century.
    We are a mind in flux continuously changing, evolving and mutating, a mind coherently and consistently influencing and being influenced by a world that is itself continuously in just such a flux, being transformed, evolving and mutating.
    How much more of a truism the above is when it comes to the hyperconnected infocology we have evolved to exist in.
    The fast pace of innovation, the tantalizing scientific discoveries, the rapid advancement and introduction of new technologies, and above all the hyperconnected infosphere all in tandem, have increased the speed of fluctuations, the actual flux of existence of our minds and identities, to such an extant that for all immediate purposes the stability of our old conceptual frameworks has been shattered.
    Our dilapidated contextual and abstract frames of reference have been shattered and yet we still use old formulations to speak and contain a new state of affairs.
    None more so perhaps than our old perspectives on what it is like to live in a better world.

    If the flow of in-betweens of our so called identities is in continuous flux and the world in which said identities is in continuous flux, isn’t it time to change our worldviews to match this transition?

    4.Changing our perspectives

    The hyperconnected infosphere has created a new state of affairs in which the question of “what is it like to be..” or ‘putting oneself into somebody else’s shoes’ has been reformulated to mean a hyper-meshing of flows of events of identities, in which not only our motion of gaps as flux has been transformed but also the very meaning we have attributed to the motion itself, namely the meaning attributed to betterment.

    In the new perspective suggested here, the worldview of base is one in which hyperconnectivity as the foundation of thriving in flux infocologies is said to stand as a reflection for the inner event of the gaps described above.

    The correlation is simple enough: the apparent identity of a particular mind as the event of gaps is reflected in the identity of the infocology that same mind resides in as the event of gaps in-between the different minds partaking of the same infocology.

    From a different perspective we could say the following:

    Voids between concepts are the actual spaces where meaning resides; these voids have shapes, tensions and form. The motion of these voids represents the underlying infra-flows of minds in hyperconnected mode.

    Infra-flows and hyper-flows are the two initial states of the infosphere, it is within the exchange of these two flows that we need look if we are to understand the term better in the context of ‘a better world’.
    The clarification of our semantic existential phase space, by which we explicate what we mean and from which we take our motive strengths of action is a fundamental necessity if we are to create a better world.
    Visions of a better world, like Theseus ships, are in constant flux, so are we, so is the world, the hyper-complex intersubjective relationships emerging from these different fluxes need redirect our gaze to a much broader and deeper understanding of that which we are creating.

    Polytopia as a Rhizomatic Hyperconnected state of affairs is the ground of engagement upon which and from which we will eventually rise as a better specie that has in due eventuality created a better world and a new form of wisdom.

    shortly to be continued..


    For the term Philotopia (the Philosophy of Polytopia) I am indebted to Syncopath for the actual coining of the term Philotopia in a recent chat.

    Images in text:
    1. Information leak by Richard Evans
    2. Antony Gormley
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    or The rise of the Cyber Unified Civilization

    “The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them.”
    Mark Twain, Notebook, 1935

    When I started writing this essay I thought to summarize my views of hyperconnectivity as they coalesced in the past year, in relation to the emergence of the polytopia project, however as my writing progressed, it appeared that the area that I wished to cover was getting wider and broader, deeper and larger than I had anticipated. I therefore decided to divide the paper into a number (unknown at present) of consecutive essays under the collective title of: the rise of the Cyber Unified Civilization. (please bear with me as I try to disentangle and re-entangle my thoughts on this fascinating topic.)

    An old problem in Buddhism variously referred to as the Gradual vs. Sudden enlightenment problem has recently come to my attention. What does an 8th century problem (see The Northern Ch'an School And Sudden Versus Gradual Enlightenment
    Debates In China And Tibet
    ) have to do with the cyber future of humanity?

    The issue of the posed question, the notion of processes versus attainments, of long-term actuations versus immediate realization has very much to do with our current situation, for though our issue here is not enlightenment but the future (cyber) evolution of humanity, the deep resonances are clear. We can in no fashion today apply the distinctions of gradual or sudden evolution of cyber humanity any longer, for the simple reason that our current and hasty hyperflow results in both sudden and gradual shifts, shifts that are as simultaneous as they are all pervasive, motions that are as regular and continuous as the ocean waves and as abrupt and unexpected as the wildest of all tempests.
    Be it mobile AR revolutions (Augmented Reality Year in Review – 2009) or the steady growth of social networking (Explosive Growth Predicted for Mobile Social Networks), the ubiquity of embedded connectivity (Increasing Ubiquity) or indeed the latest in neurocomputation and the rise of Artificial Neural Networks .

    Shifts in thought, shifts in perception, shifts in paradigms, all shifts happen simultaneously and concomitantly, some we see and some we don’t, some of these shifts are gradual and some of these shifts are sudden. Our task here then is to contain both kinds, to uphold a view that is floating above the fray and yet intertwines with the fleeting moment of eternality we call now. The shifts that are coming upon us are disrupting the ways of old in the most positive way possible; they are finally rearranging our modes of thought and basic worldviews.

    We are entering a new and distinct period in history, the era of the Cyber Soaring Humanity.

    "..not to reproduce what we can already see, but to make visible what we cannot..."
    Paul Klee

    Little did Norbert Wiener know of our hyperconnected, increasingly inflating, infoflow when he coined the term: “Cybernetics”. In fact, it may very well be that in the networked sense, a cyber civilization is just now, right this moment, coming into being, notwithstanding the predictions of William Gibson coining of the term Cyberspace, to which we need give homage and respect.
    The emergence of the networked culture, is a feat of human ingenuity the like of which we may not have witnessed before, and cannot be compared to any other revolution of the past, be it the industrial revolution or indeed the Neolithic one.
    The main reasons the cyber-culture revolution, taking place is so different than any other are twofold:
    First it is incremental and in that is almost invisible to the naked eye and second it is happening at a speed for which the dilapidated conceptual worldview of old is less than adequate.
    But these two reasons are embedded in a larger context, that of the infosphere ecology, or infocologies (the ecology of immersive, real time, on the fly information).

    Few years ago the concepts of parallel evolution, mutual co-adaptation and free form co-description as fundamentals of human culture would have been unthinkable, as of now terms like: ubiquitous semantic engines, socially aware software-machines, or indeed mobile dating, augmented reality engines, playful engagement in societal networks and the like have become the ‘terms du jour’.

    “..Technology might be seen not just as a channel for communication and performance, but more radically as the environment in which subjects serve as conduits for experience.”
    Heather Raikes

    One: Redefining the meaning of value

    The very meaning of value is being re-described as I type these words; the meaning of value in the old sense was based on the idea of scarcity, of lack of resources, of volatile finances and market variations, ideas of purchase prices and economics of luxury were considered the very meaning of value.
    In the new hyperconnected infosphere, the infocologies we are moving slowly-rapidly into, the meaning of value has changed and is changing radically and rapidly. Value is moving into the hands of the netizen, the socially hyperconnected, and ultra sensitive 21st century cyber human.
    Not a cyborg, no (not yet at least) but a networked, electronically enhanced by social networks human mind, a cybermind that knows that all information is available at her fingertips (and soon enough in her brain (link-google in your brain)). The hyperconnected human in this respect is the first and most critical component to relate to when re-describing the meaning of value.
    A hyperconnected person is the very embodiment of self-mapping, by continuously being at the forefront of the incoming info-waves whether via twitter, friendfeed, google wave or simply by incorporating into his own mind stream the practically infinite rss feeds he or she is subscribed to.

    “As social networks proliferate, they are changing the way people think about the Internet, from a tool used in solitary anonymity to a medium that touches on questions about human nature and identity.”

    Self-mapping or the hyperconnected alignment of oneself into and unto the infocology one co-opts, can be said to be the modern identifying characteristic of the value creating cybermind. In other words, describe to me (via the tweets you tweet and the feeds you read and the pictures you post and so on) the infocology you exist in and your alignment to same ecology and I’ll know who you are.

    Where is the value in that you may ask, and to that we may respond: the value of the hyperconnected mind represents the shift from an economy of exclusivity to an ecosphere of mutual co-dependency. The value in short is to be found in the co-dependence of the network-correlated activity. Self-mapping in this respect stands for the knowledge one has about one self in an infosphere ecology.
    Value in the sense exposed above is not in the domain of economists or ethicists it is shifting into an all-new domain, the Meta-domain of meaning creation. In this new domain the meaning of value is more complex and less clear, but no less beneficial or advantageous for that. The meta-domain of meaning creation is the domain where value is perceived via hyperconnectivity and meaning re-description. Who I am and what I am is no longer an issue that can solely be perceived by the old indicators of social constructs but is being reformulated into an infocological reflection.

    The reflectivity embedded is one of alignments or lack thereof as perceived in one’s self mapping.
    In other words: value in the hyperconnected infoflow is in the hands of the socially aware-networked mind, freedom to give value as one desires and realizes is the new form of priority management. That is the gist of the how and the why we converse and converge in the cyberworld we now inhabit.
    In hyperconnectivity, conversations and polylogues are potential-possible value creating, creativity inducing events.

    Two: Self-mapping

    Self-mapping I describe as the conscious activity of the engaged hyperconnected mind when reflecting about her intelligence.
    Consider that: (as was presented here- polytopia the notes)

    “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 (from the same paper):

    “Intelligence is the active ingredient in innovation and creativity, in whatever field of human endeavor it is applied.”

    Self-mapping then is the virtual (and possibly visual) act of describing the set of characteristics and alignments that define my infocology existence. By delineating the contours of my interests and my feeds, my messages to twitter and my blog posts I actually define the map of my infosphere domain, in other words I carve my address in the global mind.

    The carving of spaces in infocologies is an emotional as well as an intellectual pursuit; it is an art as much as it is a necessary condition of our converging cyber civilization. We are at present in the process of re-inventing forms of empathy, and methods of organizational structures, new modes of appreciation and fresh manners of knowing. As far as it goes we are in fact bootstrapping ourselves into a new kind of human, a self mapping hyperconnected human which in turn leads to new forms of engagement, modern varieties of self governance and fresh motions of economies.

    Three: Self-mapping is a form of self governance

    The idea that we are in the process of bootstrapping ourselves into a new form of mind is maybe not new to some. However the point at present is that by the sole act of self-mapping we are also carving a new form of self-governance.
    The modern hyperconnected mind, by the sheer velocity of the rush of information being absorbed and digested, is in the process of transformation. This is not a regular transformation but a transit of boundaries of perceptions and sensations which when taken together allow a fresh kind of sight to emerge. The contemporary infocology of the hyperflowing-hyperconnected mind no-longer is subject to boundary projections based on her localized physical phenomenon. The fact that a person is resident of this or that country and identifies with this or that locality has no bearing on the transcendent nature of the ideas he is connected and correlated with and since in hyperconnectivity the relational subjective feeling of presence is directly correlated to areas of interests from which stems the very infocology he is part of, the notion of boundaries expands to encompass the whole and the other.
    When in hyperconnectivity if so the governance that matters is the governance of ideas, of concepts, of issues of care, of emotions that transcend the local and fly above the relational notion of ‘I am this or that’ to land softly into “we are part of this and this is part of me”.
    That which we care about most, the very freedom we carry within us as the flourishing of the infoflow becomes manifest as the authority we carry, implied by the pointers we direct our gaze to and not by the geography we happen to be physically residing in.

    “If the “postmodern sublime” is characterized by the simultaneous apprehension of ecstasy and dread, I think we’re most likely to apprehend it on CNN. The up side of this lies in ubiquitous personal computation and the death of geography. The end of nation-states. The end of borders. I eagerly await intelligent simultaneous online translation, which will be Babel-in-reverse.”
    William Gibson April 1995
    (Note to Gibson, the above has already happened -> Google Translator Kit: Automated Translation Meets Crowdsourcing

    Four: “I” am no longer “I”

    If as famously Samuel Beckett said: “ To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. “ The task of the hyperconnected self mapping mind is to allow a form that does not constrain chaos but channels it into innovative approaches to self description. This form called here an infocology can be described as the ambient ecology of minds in a hyperconnected situation.
    In hyperconnected realities, manifested at present via the grid (both static and mobile) infocologies arise in an emergent manner. The emergence of infocologies heralds the new state of affairs of minds in the hyperconnected infoflow.

    Few aspects of infocologies then:

    # Infocologies are not opinion or knowledge umbrellas made to shelter us from chaos, but on the contrary, they are mind habitats, operating in a highly sophisticated information environments, allowing us the dealing with the chaotic in a manner that is both indefinite and thus smoothening the contours of our existence, and precise, and thus increasing our capability for discrimination and distinct correlarity .
    # Infocologies permit a different kind of multiple realities to co-habit the normalization of our thought streams.
    # Multiplicities are the hallmark of a metastable infocology that licenses itself to variations, variability and variety.
    # Infocologies are particular kinds (or cases) of Cas (complex adaptive systems) and lend themselves to evolution into Topos (see- A Topos in a Polytopia- what is)
    # Infocologies can be said to belong to second order cybernetics, particularly because an infocology described by its constituents (the infonauts or Polytopians) changes and evolves by the very act of self-description.

    In fact as the system we are describing (the infocology we are part of) includes us (our minds as infosystems) the intersubjective relationship emerging between our minds and the net results in a new entity, the Cybercivilization, Cyberculture, or indeed a Polytopia.
    By describing ourselves as Polytopians we in fact take responsibility for the very infocology we are creating. Being consciously aware to this minute yet crucial point, allows us to become masters of our destiny. A destiny unknown, unfolding by the process of our intersubjective infocological activity.

    There is a profound and unanswerable question about the nature of those ‘at least two’ things that between them generate the difference which becomes information by making a difference. Clearly each alone is - for the mind and perception - a non-entity, a non-being. Not different from being, and not different from non-being. An unknowable, a Ding an sich, a sound of one hand clapping.”

    Gregory Bateson : Mind And Nature (1979) Thx to James Reilly for this quote

    Summary of part 1 :

    The main issues covered in the above first part of the series “ The rise of the Cyber Unified Civilization” is to show and tell that:

    The paradigmatic shift we are experiencing is both gradual and sudden, and that the shift happens as the influence we exert on our cyber infocologies in turn changes us. The mutuality of re-enforcing intersubjective co-dependence between our minds and the system we describe, between our extended selves and the mind habitats we are creating makes available to our beholding the emergence of the cyber unified civilization.
    Self-mapping in infocologies are presented as the main tools by which our intelligence re-orients itself to manifest the creative impulse and multiple dimensions of our value creating activities.

    Embracing the beauty of multiple thoughts, the fascinations with manifold forms of existence, espousing the difference, we are at present truly becoming “A Cyber Soaring Humanity”.

    Thank you for listening,
    Shall be continued shortly

    End notes (pt.1):

    1. It is becoming clearer and more comprehensible to some of us, who observe carefully the reach of the flowering hyperconnected mind that the mode of analysis used in many cases is out of contact with the immediacy of hyperconnectivity.
    Specifically it is my view that the fundamental approach to functionality and efficiency should change standpoint or more accurately, we need upgrade our vantage point to a higher plane of observation, where functionality and efficiency take on a new meaning.

    Primarily, if we really desire to see a change in the world, we need relinquish the idea that changes come from actions, changes come from realizing differences in perceptual habits, especially as relates to our mental biases.
    If we are to engage the hyperstream of the connected infosphere, we need forsake certain so called ‘obvious’ paradigms, which, true to the point, in the past did help us understand, but at present hinder our comprehension.

    2. Let us be clear here, I prefer Marcel Proust saying:” If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time.”
    Than Jean Paul Sartre saying: “Like all dreamers I confuse disenchantment with truth.”
    In fact, my own little adage is: “ As long as you dream, dream big, and dream recursively, insistently, coherently, continuously, hyperconnected-ly ”

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    We do not need salvation we need a transparent and complex enough interface

    If there is one particular view that apparently describes the actual reality of the infosphere, it is that it is not one coherent whole.
    There is no such thing as ‘The’ Electronic frontier, there are many frontiers incorporating simultaneous experimentations on many fronts at the same time.
    The infosphere is a bio-electronic ecosystem growing and branching simultaneously into all sorts of directions, some of which are clearly delineated others being obscure and fuzzy.
    However even if the frontier is not one but many fronts the critical component we can describe is one of increase complexity in hyperconnected infocologies.
    The following bullets relate my perception of some of the developing attributes of complex hyperconnected infocologies, some of these are already at play, others are yet to come.

    This is a thought in progress and represents the initial thoughts of part 3 in the series " The rise of the Cyber Unified Civilization"

    Hyperconnected intersubjectivity could become the science of the future, that is the promise and potential amplification of our complex hyperconnected infocologies.

    Mutual, co-dependent and hyperconnected intersubjective relationship is the manner by which the future of identity is evolving in complex infocologies.

    Nested multiplicities, fractal like in appearance, emergent by property, correlated by hyperlinkage, attributed to many, shared by all, expanding indefinitely, allowing multiple virtualities to surface concomitantly.

    Complex hyperconnected infocologies are naturally ambiguous, defy hierarchy, inherently agile and adaptable, and are uniquely capable of generating novel insights and solutions to fundamental problems.

    The organic natures of infocologies permit manifold kinds of beings to co- exist and co-thrive simultaneously, multimodal sensorial directions are allowed via hybrid technologies.

    Structural integrity in complex infocologies is maintained by intertwining flows, folding upon themselves origami like.

    Cultural transmission frameworks are complex infocologies in which designs emerge with no pointed designer, content and opinion merge.

    Hallmarks of complex hyperconnected infocologies and possible implications:

    1. Super-distribution and hyper-distributions: super and hyper distribution of datainfoknowledge implies that knowledge is obtainable, accessible and open and cannot be contained.

    2. Multi thronged info dissemination: implies that the evolution of infocologies has no distinct direction; infoflows reject design and evolve ‘naturally’.

    3. Diminishing Alterity and Normalizing Multiplicities: implies that the otherness of the unknown in complex infocologies diminishes as hyperconnectivity grows (increase in number of nodes), multiplicities increase exponentially and are distributed across multiple domains.

    4. Self editing: implies the increase in micro narratives, edited in real-time by complex iterative formulas under the aegis of the end user, onion like self referential systems are walled with multiple available access keys allowed to different users at different times.

    5. Multi-thematic micro narratives as semantic virtualities: implies that the identity of the distributed selves apply a knowmadic* perspective to themselves, thereby allowing an indefinite number of simultaneous (at times even conflicting) personas to proliferate in different infocologies at different times; in turn, the distributed selves are reflectors of chosen micro narratives as part of an ever increasing intertwined flow. These micro narratives are inherently multi-thematic and thus imply the virtualization of ‘the personal story’.

    6. Variability and mutability: implies that complex hyperconnected infocologies are inherently unstable and irregular in their content, no central focus implies mutability of personas in infocologies; reflectors need real time actuation of ‘follow the flow’ of a given identity to keep track.

    7. Non-linear integral simultaneities: implies that as asymmetries grow both in content and in context, the simultaneity of important and relevant interests increases in non-linearity; nodes dynamically connect and re-organize according to flows of relevancy defined by criteria of forms (instead of semantics), these forms in turn define the meaning of the micro narrative involved in a particular theme, in a characterized infocology. (by that implying both the motive and expected behavior)

    8. Self-similarities and asymmetrical continuities: implies that the motion of flows in complex hyperconnected systems flushes out self similarities (within given context variables) and creates asymmetrical continuities that continuously urge a reconnect, this also is what drives the motion of the narrative.

    9. Randomized conceptual serendipity: implies that growth and innovation in complex hyperconnected infocologies is not to be designed but followed in a conceptual self-reflective state. The coincidental sense thought production or emergence will permit the poetry of self description to project both in C-space and M-space, the divide being eliminated via the creative act of self differentiation (freedom).

    10. Flow periphery awareness: implies that in complex hyperconnected infocologies social sensorial modality rules the application of filtering and bias. The flow of intertwining enmeshed content de-focuses the mass of info-data into a shadow like perspective of the state of affairs of the identity at play. In this condition the content is perceived only as a peripheral impression of note according to the criteria set in real time- this also correlates to point 9 (Randomized conceptual serendipity) and may provide the foundation for further insights.

    11. Stream alignments non-alignments: implies that flows of interest and relevancy rotate on an axis self description (of the defined interest of the micro narrative in a given infocology at a given time) that carries no loyalty of alignment, this allows a liberty of and from friction (born of incompatibility of interests at different times).

    12. Cascading surfaces of perception: implies that complex hyperconnected infocologies do not lend themselves to centralization and hierarchical orders, the rhizomatic nature of multiple self differentiation implies a dynamic reactivity of surfaces of perception, these become dimensions of comprehension, when such occurs relevancy re-contextualizes itself into clarity of action. Cascading surfaces of perception designates the state of affairs of perception in real time hyperconnectivity.

    13. Trust mutuality flow: implies that trust in complex hyperconnected infocologies denies directionality and continuous over simplification of self micro narration. The trust born of relevancy and interest emerges as a source of mutual reflectivity between involved themes, identities and narratives. These are exemplified by acts of openness and co-creation; intersubjective co-dependency ensues.

    14. Multiple identity proliferation: implies that in a complex hyperconnected infocology no identity is singled out as describing or indicating the particular beholder involved in a given infocology at a given time. Each and every identity with its access codes and filtering biases is a semi-independent creature of the infocology in which it resides, there is no sole entity presiding over the overall set of micro narratives.

    15. Disappearing act of content creators vs. beholders: implies that in complex hyperconnected infocologies content and context lose their original pointed distinctiveness, gaining in the process a new set of topological formation. Beholders (and not consumers) mesh transparently with content.

    16. Real time reactivity: TBD

    17. Fluctuations of attention centering: TBD

    18. Dynamic on the fly restructuring: TBD

    19. Uncertain attribute allows articulation of the diverse: TBD

    20. Synthetic mutualities become natural info-niches: TBD

    21. Attractors randomly appear and disappear: TBD

    22. Simultaneous singularities converge, merge and disperse: TBD


    * a soon to follow post will explain the Knowmadic perspective.
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    part 2 of the series: The rise of the Cyber Unified Civilization

    Data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom.

    Clifford Stoll

    Abstract: Self-mapping in infocologies is the main tool we should get acquainted with, it is via the agency of such an activity as self-mapping that we will allow the myriad identities of our minds to carve a mind habitat on the net that fits and accommodates, our passions and our interests, our complex life. In this, second episode of the rise of the cyber unified civilization; asymmetry is being explored as the initial attribute of self-mapping in complex infocologies.

    We have always lived in an information economy, a fact that sometimes tends to be displaced by the immense amount of information now available at our fingertips. The huge amount of talk generated by the current infoconomy explosion takes little, if at all, account that ever since knowledge has been passed from parent to child and from culture to culture, the barter coin of trade was always information. Whether the information passed was gossip or the way to light a fire, the method of creating a better blade or the latest fashion fad, information was always the basis of human interaction.
    Furthermore, even when the apparent communication was not perceptibly information based, the result was the motion of information across domains, for that matter even procreation is a manner of moving information from one body to the next, from one genome to another, from one contextual realm to another.
    We are as brains and as minds always enmeshed and immersed in an information ecology, bathing in a sea of impressions and sensations, data structures and storytelling narratives. The very act of existence is from this perspective an act of information processing, our lives are in fact a representational manifestation of the information we have acquired (willingly or not), filtered, processed, managed, and rearranged in a fashion that best accommodates our circumstances and desired progress.
    So in a manner of speaking nothing has changed, we still toil daily to nourish ourselves via the embedding or ingesting of information into ourselves so we can produce more information after being processed by our systems.
    And yet not all is the same, our knowledge of the world for example, its make-up down to its constituent fundamental units, has increased immensely, increased in fact disproportionately to the knowledge or ‘know-how’ of how to address or indeed accommodate this radical increase and transformation of information.
    Our past evolution as a culture can increasingly be seen as the strive to accommodate information, the urge to make sense of it all. We have invented language and syntax and art and gods, and philosophies, and myths and legends, and music and contexts and science and meaning and so on, all for one purpose only, to accommodate the vast influx that is the infocology we find ourselves in when we are born.

    Information is an activity. Information is a life form. Information is a relationship. Information is a verb not a noun, it is something that happens in the field of interaction between minds or objects or other pieces of information. Information is an action which occupies time rather than a state of being which occupies physical space.” (John Perry Barlow at Wired march 1994)

    We are a system that crucially patterns information; the very word information originates in Latin ‘informare’ which means "give form to". The etymology thus connotes an imposition of structure upon some indeterminate mass (see)- (that mass, depending on context can be practically any kind of data the universe we find ourselves in cares to provide) and yet the emergent property that is our minds finds that the tools and tricks, filters and biases, we have used until not long ago to impose a structure upon the indeterminate mass of data are no longer efficient or fit.

    Chief amongst the causes of the insufficiency of our tools of mind to deal with the current onslaught of information is the meaning we assign to the term ‘natural’, a term so fraught with obsolete conceptions and dilapidated ideologies that given the possibility I would have eliminated this term from my vocabulary altogether. However given the pervasiveness of this term in our common language this is an impossibility and thus for lack of this alternative we need humbly take upon ourselves the herculean task of redefining the term natural.

    “Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.”

    Douglas Adams

    The ‘natural’ is commonly understood to mean that which was ‘there’ (in the world) before ‘we’ (apparently conscious aware beholders) arrived on the scene of perception.
    The term natural is derived from the Latin ‘Natura’-"essential qualities, innate disposition," also "creative power in the material world," from O.Fr. nature, from L. natura "course of things, natural character, the universe," lit. "birth," from natus "born," (see)

    It is clear therefore that on the very basic platform of understanding we use the term natural to mean something that carries essential qualities of the universe unmediated and untouched by.. wait.. here it comes, us! Humans, the very machine that processes that mass of data called the universe and describes it in its own terms to fit its own need of accommodation or patterning. It thus happens that we, a very natural phenomena by all accounts, distinguish between that which is us and that which is natural- not us, taking upon ourselves the very godly posture of differentiation between ourselves (not having essential qualities ?) and that which we process, the world as having essential characteristics.
    Of course any thinking being will admit immediately that such a distinction between ourselves and the world is ridiculous and that it is a matter of degrees.. naturally! and it is in these very vague and murky waters of degree-ness that we need venture if we are to redefine the natural.

    "You must not know too much or be too precise or scientific about birds and trees and flowers and watercraft; a certain free-margin, and even vagueness - ignorance, credulity - helps your enjoyment of these things. "

    Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892)

    It is apparent that we cannot anymore separate ourselves from our world, moreover the distinction between natural and artificial need be relinquished in favor of a much more complex language of perception, for though it is true that we will pattern the mass of impressions, it is concomitantly true that the manner by which we pattern reflects directly upon our state of mind, our knowledge and our very nature.

    I submit that the distinction between the natural and the artificial is nothing more than a useful fiction. Useful in that in common parlance we apparently understand what the speaker means when making said distinction , however it is a fiction since the reality at play is that all life is interconnected and the above distinction is fundamentally arbitrary and inherently fallacious.

    If anything we have learned that we are part and parcel of a huge complexity, a vortex of information called life, we have learned in fact that nature is all there is, including us, including our brains and sciences and technologies, one enormous flow of information undulating across all times and all directions in all spaces at myriad levels of perception. Therefore the suggestion I propose here, is that we relinquish the useful fiction of the distinction between natural and artificial and move into the realm of the degree of perception in nature and as nature.

    A useful distinction therefore might be, ‘I’ am a particular degree of perception of the universe.

    Since "I’’ is a multiple set of narratives, it follows that each set of narratives can be defined by its specific degree of perception.

    Why is the above descriptive statement important?

    Regarding a particular human mind at a particular time as being defined by a specific set of narratives having the attribute of a (set) particular degree of perception will allow us to create a new model approach that will allow us an accommodation of the present infocologies we exist in.

    Self-mapping in complex Infocologies

    In my previous post ,A Cyber Soaring Humanity, I have defined self-mapping in infocologies as the modern act of describing the set of characteristics and alignments that define my infocology existence.
    Here I wish to expand upon the model of infocologies and the act of self-mapping as the new manner by which identity via degrees of perception can be understood in hyperconnectivity.

    Self-mapping in complex infocologies may be described as the mapping of the degree of perception of mind x at time y as projected upon the infosphere. The actual carving of a mind habitat as I will show later is performed in hyperconnectivity via specific actions (links and so on), however at this point we need take into consideration that the state of affairs of an infocology implies the following attributes:

    Asymmetry – an infocology is by definition asymmetrical, on the very first level asymmetry can be understood in that the degree of perception of mind X at time T is different in a relevant fashion to mind Y at time T. The relationship between these two minds in a complex infocology is therefore never symmetrical in that they are in continuous flux in relation to each other. The motion of change (via impression whether in C-space or in M-space) is a continuously dynamic re-arrangement of the self-description. This state of affairs demands of us a mechanism (or tool) of real time alignment (traffic of real time communication) of description, clear, concise and continuously adaptable, upgradable and memory sensitive.

    Asymmetry has many sub categories that need be reflected upon:

    Asymmetry of continuity: in infocologies there is no necessary condition of symmetry of time, whether in having access to information or indeed in promoting said information or alternatively in response to input, this creates a very peculiar situation in which a particular post for example can be read by someone a year or ten years after it was written and get a response that is apparently in real time, in this case the asymmetry of continuity (of time) becomes the very backbone of the networks memory, in turn allowing polylogues to come into fruition. I see this aspect of asymmetry of continuity in time as a very critical component of infocologies for by its very nature it allows a flow of events of perception to carry on across multiple dimensions and multiple time frameworks. In fact it is the very sensation of asymmetry in infocologies that allows us a greater degree of freedom, for the simple reason that if I am no longer constrained by the time stamp (need to reply-respond right now) the leeway attached to my continuous flow of motion between degrees of perception will permit a higher level of correlativity and reasoning.

    Asymmetry of spaces: infocologies are inherently asymmetrical as regards spaces. By asymmetrical spaces I refer to the fact that we do not inherently cohabit the same infosphere of relevance, this in turn allows the difference between us to be the backbone of diversity allowing cross pollination; result -> creativity-> innovation.
    A very intriguing concept in infocologies is the relative mapping of surfaces of interests in which the difference between a number of co dependent intersubjective agencies is hard to define and needs by necessity be close enough so we can communicate but far enough so communication is interesting and co-creative. Re-hashing the one or the other (high similarity) will not produce any significant change, same goes for complete failure of communication due to a (too large) distance in relevant infospheres (very low similarity). The asymmetry of spaces (of interest) is therefore a critical component of the infocology we inhabit.

    Asymmetry of interests: infocologies are inherently asymmetric as relates to interest.
    This aspect is built of two major components: the first, that not all aspects of my infocology are similarly relevant and of interest to my particular degree of perception at time T and second that not all aspects of my infocology are of relevance and of interest to another mind. This is an important aspect of intersubjective co-dependent mutuality for we need be able to somehow parse both our own flows and the manner by which these flows intertwine with other flows. This is somewhat akin to a collection of short stories bound in a given anthology, I may like the overall subject (say sci-fi) and might regard the editor as a trustworthy source of choice of authors, yet when reading the anthology some stories may interest me more than others, some authors may be more close to my relevant infosphere than others and so on. There is no implied symmetry in the fact that these are collected in the same anthology, same goes for my infocology, there is no inherent implication of symmetry of interests for the fact that these are collected under the same header, my own mind habitat, my given identity.

    Asymmetry of passion: infocologies reflect differences in passion between different minds at different times. This fact correlates directly to the emotional fluctuations of each and every mind at different times, flows. The asymmetry of passions implying different degrees of investment of energy to different infospheres at different times results in the infocology being diverse and generally interesting. However the main issue worth exploring here is that differences in passion allow for the rhizomatic aspect of the flow in an infocology to flourish since by definition polylogues will move and bifurcate according to passions (the amount of energy invested by minds at given times).

    “We are embodied minds, busy multiplying our intertwining flows and emergent properties; data pervades, info flows, knowledge emerges, insights become apparent, creativity flourishes, innovation ensues”

    If we are indeed to redesign the system, the operating system of reality at play we need start by accepting the fact that we do not have a nature, we are nature. In this we will do well to construct our infocologies on the premise of a given and sustainable asymmetry.
    This asymmetry can be seen in the different degrees of perception defining a particular mind at particular times and by consequence the ensuing asymmetry in correlated activity, communication and traffic between many minds.
    The infosphere lends itself to the asymmetry of being by allowing an emergent paradigm of complementarities and co dependent intersubjective mutuality of interests.
    The infocologies we currently inhabit, our mind habitats, are fundamentally and increasingly becoming more and more asymmetrical.
    This is good.
    Asymmetry allows differences in perception to coexist and cross-pollinate, cross-fertilize dimensions of times, and spaces, interests and passions. Allowing these differences to sway and swing, as intertwining infoflows of diverse interests is the manner by which narratives intermingle and eventually evolve.


    “You want to know how I did it? This is how I did it, Anton: I never saved anything for the swim back.”

    shortly to be continued..
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