Domain-specific laws

“there appear new laws and even new kinds of laws, which apply in the domain in question.” David Bohm, quoted by Alicia Juarrero He’s talking about the qualitative transformation that happens in a system when certain quantitative transition points are passed. Qualitative transformation I notice this when something that used to be a pain gets …

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Reductionism with Command and Control

In hard sciences, we aim to describe causality from the bottom up, from elementary particles. Atoms form molecules, molecules form objects, and the reason objects bounce off each other is reduced to electromagnetic interactions between the molecules in their surfaces. Molecules in DNA determine production of proteins which result in cell operations which construct organisms. …

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Ascendency

What makes one system more organized than another? More developed, more … civilized? How can we measure advancement? In Ecology, the Ascendent Perspective, Robert Ulanowicz has an answer. Along the way, he answers even bigger questions, like: how do we reconcile the inexorable increase in entropy with the constant growth, learning, and making going on around …

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Reading: Ecology, the Ascendent Perspective

Complexity in Ecological Systems. by Robert E. Ulanowicz It’s about ecology, complexity, and a considerable bit of philosophy. Very readable. Unfortunately only available in dead-tree. “Life itself cannot exist in a wholly deterministic world!” Concept: auto-catalytic loops This book explains how evolution works. Evolution works by “try shit and see what happens” — perturb and test, …

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REdeploy (for the first time)

The inaugural REdeployConf wrapped up yesterday (as I write this). I’m already feeling withdrawal from intense learning and conversations. I’ll attempt to summarize them in this post. The RE in REdeploy doesn’t mean “again” (lo, it is the first of its kind). RE stands for Resilience Engineering. It is a newish field, focused on sociotechnical …

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