Saturday, August 14, 2010

Some Excerpts from My Book "Diaphysics"

171.

Bios theory [which was developed b Hector Sabelli] shows that growing, changing, creative systems are nonlinear and exist on the borderlands between order and disorder. Complete order---and complete disorder---both are definitions of being dead. A salt crystal is an example of complete order--a gas in a closed container at a constant pressure and temperature is an example of complete disorder. Living things exist on the edge of order and disorder, the realms of chaos and bios, wherein lies the principle of growth. Living things are systems, and systems have order and disorder---the heart is a system (which is part of the circulatory system, which is part of the organismal system) that can have neither completely orderly beats, nor completely random beats, but must have beats that are mostly orderly, with some disorder, which means the beats are biotic, creating a mandala shape when their time series is transformed by sine and cosine, complementary opposites. Cell membranes are orderly and disorderly---they are liquid crystals, fluid yet solid, as the proteins and phospholipids slips past each other. All living things live on the principle of growth, live in the realm of order and disorder, live lives far from equilibrium.

172.

If the principle of growth and stability for life is in the nonlinear, far-from-equilibrium realm between order and disorder, this would be the principle of growth and stability for systems of living things as well, icnluding superorganismal systems such as ecosystems, economies, and governments. Indeed, studies of ecosystems show they are not stable---at some sort of equilibrium---but are in fact always in flux, always changing, in time. And the way they change follow power laws---with many small changes, a few medium-sized changes, and very few large changes, as we see in avalanches of sand when we pile sand up one grain at a time. They are systems far-from-equilibrium, always growing, in a state of orderly disorder---disorderly order. If something were to happen to make any given ecosystem stop changing---which is to say, stop growing---that ecosystem would die off. Ecosystems are stable only so long as they are constantly in flux, constantly changing. Thus, they cease being the ecosystem they are within the next moment, forever changing---deserts move in and recede, forests expand and recede, grasslands expands and recede. Meandering rivers cut off oxbow lakes where new kinds of fish evolve---to be introduced ot the river when the meandering river merges again with the oxbow lake. The new fish compete with the other fish in the river, pushing some to evolve, others to go extinct, others into other habitats. They change as the river changes, flowing into new species with the flow of time and the flow of the very river in which they live.

227.

Without cooperation, nothing could get together to create complexity. Without conflict, no tensions would exist to lead to creativity. The universe has evolved greater complexity and greater creativity---meaning cooperation and conflict (love and strife, eros and eris) are necessarily present. Everything in the world is both in conflict and in cooperation. Both, simultaneously.

228.

All bonds are created through the combination of attraction and repulsion---chemical bonds, atomic bonds, love bonds, and economic bonds. Love and strife make the world.

294.

There are no natural systems controlled by a central authority.

295.

A natural economy is a bottom-up hierarchical self-organising open system. A natural society is a bottom-up hierarchical self-organising open system. A natural culture is a bottom-up hierarchical self-organising open system. Bottom-up hierarchical self-organizing systems contain a great deal of redundancy, which is what makes them robust. The more complex a system is, the more redundancy it has to have to reimain stable. Remove redundancy---that is, simplify the system and make it more "efficient"---and you kill the system. If one part of a completely efficient system breaks down, the entire system breaks down. This is why socialism is always going to be a failure---as though it being a dehumanizing system were not enough of a reason. Systems theory warns us "that the Leviathan of organization must not swallow the individual without sealing its own inevitable doom" (Bertalanffy, "General Systems Theory" 53).

297.

In economics, supply and demand curves have a point called the equilibrium point. This point only exists in a land without time. What we need is steady-state economics, recognizing the economy as a dynamic system. Still, the supply-demand curve is a useful fiction that more people need to be more faimilar with so fewer demagogues will have the ability to successfully lie to us about the causes of prices (competition among producers drive prices down; competition among consumers drive prices up).
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