Thursday, April 18, 2013

Complicated or complex?

There is a lot to comment about this prior post. For now I'll address the issue of neoteny per above, that novelty or evolution can also be about what is lost or left behind, not just about an advance in complexity. This is a key point throughout this thread and brings me back around to Wilber's use of transitional structures which are transcended and replaced. (See the thread on the topic for a more detailed examination.) Transitional structures include worldviews and moral outlooks. E.g., once one gives up slavery for equal rights there is no turning back unless there is a regression or dysfunction. The same holds for democracy and feudalism.

 But again per above, there are not clear dividing lines and there are all sorts of mixes, hybrids, transitional phases and ups and downs in the process, as well as how this manifests in different lines. Conscious capitalism, for example, is a transitional phase between capitalism and socialism, orange-green in color-coded terms. The same might be said for models or hierarchical complexity, which account for the non-linear nature of complexity but still describe it in formal linear mathematical models, not yet taking the advance into non-linear differential calculus and geometry.

In terms of consciousness evolution, what needs to be replaced is the formal operational notion that it must get more complex to evolve. It reaches a point at formal operations when it must turn back and more fully integrate previous levels. More complexity without this is just making consciousness more complicated instead of complex. (See for example Cilliars distinction.) This sort of integration then leads to a different kind of nonlinear complexity that doesn’t keep growing in a linear fashion ad infinitum. It adds depth and breadth, and in so doing also height but of a completely different order that requires a different math to model. The Levin thread is one place to see how this plays out, as well as the pomo and complexity thread.

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