Re: [pcp-discuss:] Re: Fwd: Comments on _One Half Of A Manifesto_by Jaron Lanier

From: Don Mikulecky (mikuleck@HSC.VCU.EDU)
Date: Tue Nov 21 2000 - 13:42:21 GMT

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    In the spirit of what we seem to agree about, there *should* be more than one way to
    present the case. Many of us are extremely comfortable with this way. others clearly
    are not. The reasons for that are many and we are clearly not dealing with absolutes
    here. See below for the rest.

    "Norman K. McPhail" wrote:

    > Don:
    > Don Mikulecky wrote:
    > >
    > > Norm,
    > > You have much of it right, but the prognosis is pretty much off. Once we realize
    > > that all our models of reality have been simple *because* of the superposition of
    > > *one* formal system, that which is the study of simple mechanisms, over the natural
    > > system in the modeling relation, we are set free.
    > If you re-read my previous post, you will find that this is very close
    > to what I'm saying. My criticism is in the way you and Rosen choose to
    > present your case. I think it could well lead most to unintended
    > conclusions about the meaning of your ideas.

    One could say that about almost anything.

    > > We now place all we have learned
    > > from doing that back into perspective and open the doors for all kinds of things
    > > that no longer are to be screened out by that methodological censorship.
    > To me this means that we can once again use our "and" logic thought
    > modes and perhaps many others to help us improve our human understanding
    > of just about any combination of physical and non physical phenomena.

    There is a particular kind of non-physical phenomenon closely associated with the
    physical that Rosen addressed in particular. That particular message was for the
    physical scientists to wake them up to something important that they were missing. Every
    message has a context and will lack terribly when removed from that context. This goes
    with the abscence of "unifying theories".

    > > I don't
    > > think most folks with any sense of awe for the real world are threatened by an
    > > admission that we can only get at it one way at a time.
    > I agree and that is precisely what I've been trying to say. But the way
    > Rosen's case against simple models is stated infers that there are no
    > other models available to our imperfect human minds. It is this
    > inference that I think causes all the confusion and the potential for
    > the defeatist attitude that it seems to encourage.

    Rosen was clear and specific about this. You simply have not read enough of him. He was
    dealing with the Newtonian Paradigm and its lackings.

    > > The impediments come from
    > > those seeking "unifying" theories and who belive that if one approach is "right" it
    > > means all others are wrong.
    > Again I agree completely. But where in Rosen's modeling relation does
    > he advocate multiple views and thought modes as a way to get past the
    > difficulties of modeling the non physical phenomena that the "unifying"
    > theories seek to reject.

    The modeling relation clearly only leads to a model. It is stated again and again. It
    takes an infinite number of these to get the totality of any complex (real) system.
    Again if you can ask that, you clearly missed most of his main message.

    > >
    > > You are right about the nested circularity of using the modeling relation to
    > > capture itself. That's a start. When we see our new approaches tackling
    > > self-reference head on we can know we have broken free from old restrictions and
    > > are beginning to see *more* of what reality is all about.
    > I agree again. I'll only add once more that for me, the use of simple
    > and complex as modifiers to the models and those phenomena we are
    > attempting to model, causes unnecessary confusion and misunderstanding.

    I question what the cause of the confusion and misunderstanding is here. Many of us can
    communicate in a clearer way with better understanding as a result of this. It probably
    revolves around where your real interests lie.

    Posting to from Don Mikulecky <>

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