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Nope, still doesn't work for me.

S&W were quite clear, Data, Meaning, then Application. This way we get something in, interpret it, then act on it. The system may seem autonomous but is actually embedded in a complex environment.


On 19 Mar 2010, at 12:54, Doug McDavid wrote:

> The point that Humberto uses that makes this vivid for me is: consider
> the hallucination.  The nervous system produces actionable images and
> sensations, which, when acted upon, may cause puzzlement on the part
> of external observers (different sense of "observer") because the
> actions are apparently not related to external stimuli.  This example
> helps me separate the closed nervous system from the open dissipative
> system that interacts with the external world.
> 
> On Fri, Mar 19, 2010 at 3:34 AM, Roger Harnden <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Sorry, I meant add an important point.
>> IN terms of structural coupling and organisational closure, there are no
>> 'instructive' interactions as far as the brain is concerned (this does not
>> of course say that this is the same for the mind. We are talking
>> biologically about the brain). And this bears on the initial point triggered
>> by RogerD on information. The dynamics of the brain can be 'triggered' or
>> 'disturbed' but not 'instructed'. There is no one-to-one correspondence
>> between anything outside the nervous system and anything inside it. Inside
>> there are no singularities.
>> It's exactly the same as the mechanism described by William Powers in his
>> control theory.
>> Information is then something inferred, and anaguage is implicative
>> connotative NOT denotative. It is from the consequences of our our
>> behaviours that we connote denotation (Powers).
>> Roger
>> On 19 Mar 2010, at 11:22, Roger Harnden wrote:
>> 
>> Yes - this is a fascinating example of the connection (or clash) of two
>> paradigms.
>> The biology of cognition (Maturana's work as developed from the discoveries
>> as to brain dynamics of Warren McCulloch and on human behaviour and social
>> interaction of Gregory Bateson), focused ion the question of HOW an
>> otherwise organisationally closed system (such as - in physiological terms -
>> is the brain) enables all the higher functions and behavioural variety of
>> life, to take place.
>> In other words, it starts from the insight into brain dynamics and
>> organisational closure, rather than from the study of external or
>> behavioural factors. And, given such a premise, one has to explain how the
>> organism in which the brain is embodied functions effectively, and how all
>> higher functions emerge. To answer this, Maturana and Varela developed the
>> notion of 'structural coupling', in terms of which the internal dynamics of
>> the nervous system striving towards its own internal coherences becomes
>> critical, rather than any notion that effective action emerges from accurate
>> representation of external happenings. Such people as Maturana and the whole
>> thrust of the move towards artificial life given the relative failures of
>> AI, confirm the limitations of the paradigm of representation. in generating
>> meaning.
>>  Roger
>> On 19 Mar 2010, at 10:59, russell_c wrote:
>> 
>> I read it this way.
>> 
>> Maturana claims the nervous system is closed -- i.e. Information does not
>> pass through it from the outside in a processing cycle (input/output).
>> Rather external events trigger changes in the nervous system. We experience
>> these nervous system events which are nudged (that is my term) by outside
>> forces. Our experience is therefore not 1st hand direct of the real external
>> world but rather derived from our nervous system's reaction to these
>> stimulus events.
>> 
>> He suggests a new epistemology is required -- i.e. as per the function of
>> 2nd order cybernetics mentioned in the paper by Tom Froese (2010) mentioned
>> recently by Roger H. (there being two Rogers!) I believe it involves an
>> "epistemological shift" that he credits Ashby with initiating (p. 79) .
>> 
>> I take this to imply the observer is not a theoretical mental construct or
>> trick of the mind, but rather an actual living experiential fact related to
>> the effects of the external world on our nervous system.
>> 
>> Leprosy removes the nervous system's effects on us as observers, as does
>> anesthetic at the dentist: so can hypnotism.
>> 
>> [in referring to light falling on the retina] The external world can only
>> trigger such changes in the nervous system of an organism as are determined
>> by the structure of the nervous system itself. The consequence is that there
>> is no possible way, in principle, for the external world to communicate
>> itself in its primordial, true form to the nervous system. . . .
>> 
>> [in abandoning the information processing model] Our approach changes
>> completely. We no longer accept descriptions of the nervous system as a
>> system that computes representations of an external world and processes
>> information coming in from outside, which then results in adequate behaviour
>> and appropriate reactions of the organism. The nervous system now appears as
>> a structure-determined system with its own specific mode of operation. Any
>> change in it is only triggered but neither determined nor specified
>> exclusively by the features and properties of the external world. It
>> computes nothing but its own transformations from state to state. People who
>> accept this insight must draw a strict conceptual distinction between the
>> operations taking place inside the nervous system and all the processes
>> occurring outside it. They must also be quite clear about the fact that
>> there is no inside and no outside for the nervous system but only a
>> perpetual dance of internal correlations in a closed network of interacting
>> elements; inside and outside exist for the observer but not for the system
>> itself. (Maturana in From Being to Doing, Poerksen 2004, pp. 61-62)
>> 
>> My daily train ride to the 'hamster wheel' involves studying the
>> inter-carriage movements around bends etc and imagining that these are
>> segments of the nervous system (that I as the observer am inside of) and
>> that all information being experienced by the macro observer (customer) of
>> the nervous system (i.e. not me as a nano-me in this case) is in fact the
>> result of the continual changes in the segments on a full 360 degree circle
>> -- and all these information corresponding to macro states and positions and
>> memories etc. I can get six carriages on an "S" bend in view (max number of
>> carriages) -- the nervous system must have zillions of these positional
>> references linked to what we call observer awareness. That's my simple daily
>> meditation take on it -- happy to be corrected.
>> 
>> Hope this helps.
>> Russell
>> 
>> On Fri, Mar 19, 2010 at 6:32 PM, Stefan Wasilewski <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>>> 
>>> Dear Luc
>>> I think Trevor (and myself) would be thinking of that closed system that
>>> is us because for a system to be autpoietic according to your definition it
>>> would have to be inert from our perspective.
>>> Stefan
>>> On 19 Mar 2010, at 09:48, Luc Hoebeke wrote:
>>> 
>>> Dear Trevor and Stefan,
>>> The number of disturbances which impinge on you during this trip to the
>>> mail-box is infinite and not to be processed. Only what your constructed
>>> perseptions select to be meaningful in that trajectory, only to what you
>>> yourself makes sense of, gives meaning to, thanks to how your distributed
>>> brain functions have worked out until now enables you to post the letter in
>>> the box. Imagine that you give this assignment to someone who never has
>>> experienced traffic and mailboxes: what risk he would take. Because most of
>>> the disturbances impinging on his senses would be meaningless.
>>> Kind regards,
>>> Luc
>>> 
>>> Op 19-mrt-10, om 10:22 heeft Trevor E Hilder het volgende geschreven:
>>> 
>>> Dear Stefan,
>>> I share your puzzlement. I am about to step outside my house, walk about
>>> 50 metres down my road and cross a busy road to post a letter. I can't
>>> understand how I could survive this experience if there is no information
>>> exchange with my environment!
>>> On 18 Mar 2010, at 21:23, Stefan Wasilewski wrote:
>>> 
>>> I don't see it that way and whether I'm short on concepts, miss the point
>>> or maybe right I'll keep searching for an answer to your comments below and
>>> why they jar me so.
>>> Perhaps I'll write down my thoughts and post them here for criticism.
>>> On 18 Mar 2010, at 21:01, Luc Hoebeke wrote:
>>> 
>>> Maturana firmly states: no information exchange. The concept of
>>> autopoiesis sees the autonomous system as being alive in a world of
>>> disturbances or noise. The system itself selects and gives meaning to this
>>> noise. Some years ago I gave a talk at Lancaster University elaborating on
>>> the concept of information as a surrogate of meaning. Hayles has well
>>> documented the struggle in the Macey conferences about the introduction or
>>> the rejection of the concept of meaning. Atlast, meaning was not
>>> quantifiable, and information could be put in the Shannon Weaver formula.
>>> They said that they did not know what they were measuring, but as it was
>>> measurable it could be useful. A bit like IQ.
>>> Think about a fish swimming in data and only making sense of what
>>> corresponds to what is meaningful for it. No information streams, only data.
>>> Second order cybernetics can do without the concept of information.
>>> 
>>> Kind regards,
>>> Luc
>>> 
>>> Op 18-mrt-10, om 20:42 heeft Stefan Wasilewski het volgende geschreven:
>>> 
>>> Without reading the book I can't, but maybe she's got something wrong or
>>> else in her mind.
>>> From my point of view it's wrong as no system can be isolated from its
>>> context, autopoietic systems just becomes aware that 'it is' and what it
>>> needs to stay that way. This firmly says it must be embedded within a system
>>> and communicate whether the information is data, atoms or both.
>>> any help?
>>> On 18 Mar 2010, at 10:56, Roger Duck wrote:
>>> 
>>> I am puzzling over the following from Katherine Hayles’ book (How we
>>> Became Posthuman):
>>> 
>>> P10: “In a sense, autopoiesis turns the cybernetic paradigm inside out.
>>> Its central premise – that systems are informationally closed – radically
>>> alters the idea of the informational feedback loop, for the loop no longer
>>> functions to connect a system to its environment. In the autopoietic view,
>>> no information crosses the boundary separating the system from its
>>> environment.”
>>> 
>>> Again: “no information crosses the boundary separating the system from its
>>> environment.” This is a strong statement! Is it consistent with the VSM
>>> view? I tend to think of the loops between S1 and the environment, and even
>>> more so between S4 and the environment, as dealing with “finding things out
>>> about what is going on out there”. And Stafford’s second and third
>>> principles of organisation mention “channels carrying information”.
>>> 
>>> Anyone want to help me though this conceptual jungle?
>>> 
>>> Roger D
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Roger Duck
>>> Mapsar Ltd
>>> Founding associate of the Unlike Minds capability network
>>> 
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>>> Skype:      roger.duck
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>>> --
>>> Regards,
>>>  Trevor                            [log in to unmask]
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> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> 
> Doug McDavid
> [log in to unmask]
> 916-549-4600
> 
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