I just got back from sitting in on Monica Anderson's Model Free
Methods workshop to find this message. I do not have an answer to the
specific question, but an observation. I read Wilber, just like the
introduction you sent along, looking for lenses, other lenses besides
I don't have to agree with what I see when handed a different lens;
fact is, I'm as likely not to understand what it's showing as "getting
it". Still, lenses. That's to enable access to frameworks possibly
richer than those I have at hand when contemplating complex, even
My game is to find and create ways in which people can come together,
each with a different lens, and make sense of complex issues facing
all of us. To do that, I need to avoid making ontological commitments
in the representation system that preclude innovation. So, even if
nobody else has done anything profound with Wilber's ideas, I study
them for my own purposes.
On Sun, Jan 22, 2012 at 6:13 AM, Mills Davis <millsdavis@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Jack Park & Jack Ring,
Do either of you know if there has been any rigorous application of Ken
Wilber's integral theory for knowledge computing across disciplines? I
recently came across a book entitled Integral Ecology — Uniting Perspectives
on the Natural World, an 800-page tour-de-force by Esbjörn-Hargens and
Zimmerman. Here is an excerpt from the intro. My sense is that there is a
breakthrough waiting to happen here.
On Jan 22, 2012, at 2:07 AM, Jack Ring wrote:
I think we can moderate the reductionism vs. holism divide once people
comprehend the distinctions of class vs. type and learn to see both aspects
of an object. Further, John Kineman's extension of Rosen's R-theory to a
relational algebra seems quite promising. It occured to us back in the
1970's that in addition to set structural operators we also needed an
algebra of sets. I think we are getting warmer.
Part of this may entail freeing thinkers from the von Neumann paradigm of
stored program computers which makes people shy away from combinatorial
constructs. Once people understand the recently patented General Purpose Set
Theoretic Processor their conceptualization of 'the problem' may change
On Jan 21, 2012, at 4:01 PM, Debmacp wrote:
That plus what should be processed by machines versus thought through by
Sent from my iPhone
On Jan 21, 2012, at 4:27 PM, Jack Park <jackpark@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I think that there are some very powerful insights emerging in this
particular thread. For me, they edge ever closer to a boundary that
interest me greatly:
the boundary that separates machines from organisms.
That boundary is the same one that frequently emerges in conversations
that pit "reductionism" against holistic thinking.
I don't see reductionism and holism as necessarily being so orthogonal
that they get pitted against each other; as I see it, both are
necessary, but neither is sufficient. Sure, that point alone is well
worth its own conversation, but let me set that aside for a moment and
tell a short springboard story.
Nicholas Rashevski , considered the father of mathematical biology,
wrote a paper "Topology and life: In search of general mathematical
principles in biology and sociology" in 1954, which argued that for
all the math he invented, we still don't understand what makes
organisms tick. He launched the "relational biology" inquiry. He
sought a way to represent a "canonical organism". His student Robert
Rosen  eventually replaced Rashevski's graph and "organismic set"
approaches with category theory, and later wrote the book _Life
Itself_ which explains both the ontological and epistemological
grounds for his canonical organism representation, which entailed two
"components": metabolism and repair. Category theory showed that those
two entailed reproduction. What is important in this is the
observation that what is hard to represent are all of the necessary
"relationships" that exist between and among the components, and with
the external environment.
I offer that story as a suggestion that special consideration needs to
be given to relations. I will not suggest that more or less
consideration be given when weighed against the components being
modeled; I'll just leave it as a suggestion that relations in complex
systems -- organismic systems -- are important. Rosen was not able to
make graph or set theoretic approaches solve Rashevsky's quest;
Rashevsky died before Rosen realized a candidate solution, one rooted
in category theory.
I read it somewhere that while set theory lets you talk about members
of a set, category theory lets you talk about the social lives of
those members. I'm not smart enough to validate that, just smile.
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