Saturday, June 8, 2013

Potential economies: complexity, novelty and the event

It seems the article in this post, which was apparently open access at the time, is now for fee only. I did however search for his co-author, Oliver Human, and found his Ph.D. dissertation, "Potential economies: complexity, novelty and the event." Therein Cilliars was the chair of his committee. In the acknowledgments Human noted Cilliers died 3 days after submission, so I'm guessing this dissertation is the basis for the submitted article as well, the latter a much shortened version.

I like this from p. 11: "As the object of this analysis is the development of a new political, economic and social order..." Ye haw!

From the conclusion of chapter 1, resonant of many themes, threads and posts in the blog:

"In this chapter I have argued that the notion of an ‘economy’ is useful for our understanding of complex systems. I have argued that complex systems, and the models we make of them, operate under a particular economy. I did this by illustrating that classical science operates under a restricted economy of analysis which does not acknowledge a model’s relationship to that which it needs to exclude in order to function. In contrast, I have argued for the notion of a general economy in which this excess is acknowledged. However this does not imply that one can operate from a general economy. As Derrida illustrated of Bataille, we can only operate from a restricted economy. This does not mean that I am arguing for a positivistic reduction of a system to some central economy. The fact that we have to reduce does not imply that these reductions are comprehensive. At the same time, I am not arguing for a relativism in which anything can be constituted as the economy of the system. One cannot privilege either form of economy. We are always dealing with economies which are simultaneously restricted and general. We cannot privilege either pole of this dichotomy, nor can we find a compromise. This is not a debilitating position. The robustness of complex systems does cater for the restricted economies upon which models are built. Yet the excess of these models leave novel possibilities open for the future. In complex systems we have to deal with the simultaneously open and closed nature of boundaries."

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