[pcp-discuss:] Tools (Was: Re: Fwd: Comments on _One Half Of A Manifesto_by)

From: Menno RUBINGH (rubingh@delftnet.nl)
Date: Wed Nov 22 2000 - 20:43:07 GMT

  • Next message: John J Kineman: "Re: [pcp-discuss:] Re: Fwd: Comments on _One Half Of A Manifesto_by Jaron Lanier"

     Hi !

    Gary Boyd wrote :

    > WEin Principia have some shared understandings of complex
    > coupled generative systems,
    > which are woefully lacking in the conduct of the World's affairs.

    > There are now also wonderfull and practically useful technics
    > for marshalling such understandings:
    > Lowry's Needles <http://www.ultranet.com/~eslowry/>,
    > Jaworski's j-Maps <http://www.gen-strategies.com/>,
    > High Performance Systems' Stella <http://www.hps-inc.com>,
    > and Sentences <http://www.lazysoft.com>
    > Perhaps it is time to look at the project of unifying science again with
    > the various current tools, which were undreamed of
    > by the Chicago group (Otto Neurath, Kuhn et al.)

     I've quickly browsed the above sites. In relation to these new tools
     (techniques) mentioned there, how about viewing *everything* in
     philosophy as *tools* ? I mean: OK, it seems to me to be potentially
     quite useful to use tools such as those you mention here to aid
     philosophy, but why not go a step further and change our way of thinking
     in philosophy in such a way that we think of everything as TOOLS ?

     Everything that purports to be useful, must therefore be capable of beig
     used usefully for some purpose, -- and is therefore inherently
     automatically a TOOL. Everything that is not a ''tool'', is not useful.
     Everything that cannot be used as a ''tool'', therefore equals useless
     phantasizing -- which, since it's useless, is behavior that will get
     elbowed out in the Darwinistic survival process. I mean: ''being
     a tool'' is logically equivalent to ''uiseful''.

     If this above reasoning is correct, then this IMO shows that useful
     science and philosophy inherently should be almost incapable of shunning
     using all and every kind of tools as sub-processes unside itself : like
     a big machine (= philosophy) that is supported and aided by, and/or
     which even is made up of, a set of smaller machines (= the auxiliary

     Also: IMO, the whole way of thinking about things as tools, and the
     mode of operation of constructing and then using tools, and of building
     new tools out of (on top of) older tools, is also a rather neat way of
     doing ''meta-cybernetics''. :-):-) <serious> IMO, it seems that a
     ''meta-cubernetical'' POV on philosophy would regard everything in
     philosophy and science as equivalent to ''tool making''. Even the whole
     process of philosophy itself, can be IMO usefully and meaningfully
     regarded as being a process of tool-making.

     A significant advantage of viewing philosophy in this way, is IMO that
     it takes the ''dreaming'' and ''mystical'' element out of philosophy.
     Often, philosphers and scientists are regarded by many people as useless
     dreamers. But in the ''tool-making'' POV, this is incorrect :
     scientists and philosophers are in that POV only the people who are
     engaged in making the tools at the topmost ''meta''-layers (most
     abstract and theoretical layers) -- but au fond, functionally, they are
     (IMO) tool-makers just as e.g. any programmer is.

     Technical and technological criteria (such as: a spare, clear design for
     a technological apparatus is more useful than a complicated, fussy
     design) IMO apply not only to designing of technology, but also to
     philosophical tool-making. IMO, philosophy is maybe more abstract, but
     still definitely quite as much down-to-earth as any
     technological/technical work. It is IMO no help at all in any way to
     look at philosophy in a way in which it appears to be a more
     ''esoterical'' thing than necessary.

     Best regards,      Menno (rubingh@delftnet.nl) 

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Ir. Menno Rubingh, Scientific programmer, Software designer, & Software documentation writer Doelenstraat 62, 2611 NV Delft, Netherlands phone +31 15 2146915 (answering machine backup) email rubingh@delftnet.nl http://www.rubinghscience.org/ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ======================================== Posting to pcp-discuss@lanl.gov from "Menno RUBINGH" <rubingh@delftnet.nl>

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