Patterns in Process: Transdisciplinarity as a Background for Working with the Elemental Cycle of Transformation

Abstract This essay outlines connections between the Elemental Cycle as an archetype of transformation, transdisciplinarity, and  cybernetics.  A number of questions are addressed: the nature and importance of connecting these fields, an examination of resources and the dominant disciplinary discourses for the associated fields, and a critical examination of my assumptions, beliefs, and position. Introduction How often...

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Form and content – two levels of change

Form and Content Understanding change is a very difficult task. No aspect of our world, either experienced outwardly through our senses or inwardly through our feelings and thoughts, seems exempt from the paradoxical rule that the only constant is change. It is possible to examine the way change occurs at many levels. At the “lowest”...

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Quantum Mechanics – To Understand or Not Understand, that is the question

Introduction About 100 years ago the birth of quantum theory changed forever how humans perceive the universe… sort of.  Certainly “quantum physics” is a phrase found far outside the boundaries of physics classrooms, and has even achieved a fairly wide popularity through movies such as What the Bleep and works like Fritjof Capra’s Tao of Physics.  Does this...

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Thinking about “What’s for lunch?”

This question is a touchstone for the modern human dilemma, and it's all about consciousness. I've recently been in some discussions around transitioning to being vegetarian/mostly vegan.  Part of the discussions revolve around the available evidence for the state of affairs with respect to our food production.  Two heavy-hitting potential sources for perspective can be...

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Sketches of Another Future

http://vimeo.com/10929373 This is a great interview with Professor Andrew Pickering, University of Exeter, author of The Cybernetic Brain: Sketches of Another Future. It gives a nice introduction to some key aspects of cybernetics.  He doesn't make much of a distinction between first and second-order cybernetics, but it is a great presentation.  Some highlights (in note form,...

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An Esoteric Guide to Spencer Brown’s Laws of Form #6

(New readers will want to start with the first installment.) We ended the last installment by discussing the esoteric nature of the injunction.  We continue this exploration, and bring this series to a close. LoF p. 81 In the command "let the crossing be to the state indicated by the token" we at once make the token doubly meaningful, first...

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An Esoteric Guide to Spencer Brown’s Laws of Form #5

(New readers will want to start with the first installment.) We ended the last installment with a recognition that the Laws of Form naturally led GSB to an understanding of both the necessity and importance of the realm of imaginary numbers.  We will continue this elaboration. You are likely familiar with the paradoxical sentence: "This sentence is...

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An Esoteric Guide to Spencer Brown’s Laws of Form #4

(New readers will want to start with the first installment.) We ended the last installment having come to realize something of the esoteric significance of the taijitu, or yin-yang, form, in something of an extended tangent. We return now to the text. GSB himself seemed to understand the importance of the Laws of Form, even if there...

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Identity

Metaphor: The unknown attempts to know itself. It marks itself. Space arises in no space. Identity marks itself in time. Time transforms identity. Identity dissolves in time. Space yields no space. The mark unmarks itself. The known is newly unknown. Time for a new metaphor.

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An Esoteric Guide to Spencer Brown’s Laws of Form #3

(New readers will want to start with the first installment.) We ended the last installment noting that the first distinction must be of distinction, but this must be considered as a complex, recursive creation and simultaneous crossing of a boundary that is just precisely the boundary between that very activity of its creation and the fact...

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An Esoteric Guide to Spencer Brown’s Laws of Form #2

(New readers will want to start with the first installment.) Let us continue our beginning: LoF p. 1 We take as given the idea of distinction and the idea of indication, and that we cannot make an indication without drawing a distinction. We take, therefore, the form of distinction for the form. If this doesn't strike you as having a "mystical"...

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