Peter NorlindhParticipantJuly 4, 2018 at 2:15 pmPost count: 14
Is there a word for generic emergent entities? Like “consciousness”, except generic?
PeterJoss ColchesterKeymasterJuly 4, 2018 at 3:11 pmPost count: 47
They are often called “emergent properties” for example you will hear people say that consciousness is an “emergent property of the brain” also you can call the new levels of organization that emerge “integrative levels”
Emergent properties are ones which cannot be observed locally in the subsystems, but only as a global structure or dynamic. Whereas non-emergent properties are effects that are simply the summation of each of the properties of the elements combined, emergent properties are those that arise when the parts are put together.
An integrative level is a pattern of organization emerging on pre-existing phenomena of a lower level. The concept of integrative levels is used to describe how synergies and emergence give rise to successively higher levels of organization. More complex higher level phenomena are seen to be constituted by lower level more elementary parts with each level coming to have its own internal properties, dynamics, and processes.Peter NorlindhParticipantJuly 4, 2018 at 6:28 pmPost count: 14
Many thanks, Joss.
I find that language is a challenge for me when explaining, talking about and reasoning about complexity. Complexity theory would benefit from more chunking and a more casual-sounding complementary terminology, imo.
I view complexity theory partially as a potential upgrade of common sense. But it’s difficult to package it for everyday conversations among a broader community. For instance, the emergent properties of my organization will never thrive in our coffee room, due to the rather bulky and intimidating terminology currently required.
What’s your perspective? Does complexity need a language adaptation before it can find its rightful and important place our society?
PeterJoss ColchesterKeymasterJuly 4, 2018 at 7:33 pmPost count: 47
Yes, true, but you have to appreciate complexity is on a journey from deep in academia – math, physics and computer science – out into the world, we are still at the beginning of that journey in my opinion so the language is still shrouded in academic terminology and that is one thing we try to do, sort through the models and theories and turn them in to more accessible concepts and vocabulary still a way to go yet.Peter NorlindhParticipantJuly 4, 2018 at 7:53 pmPost count: 14
Appreciate that, and think you are doing a great job.
PeterRandall Lee ReetzParticipantJuly 15, 2018 at 1:09 amPost count: 5
Peter, I am confused by the use of the word “consciousness”? What is it about that word that interests you? Seems to be a word that has very little actual causal meaning. Seems more to be a word meant as tribal membership handshake, as identity reinforcement. What is your interest in “consciousness”. What do you intend to convey when you utter the word?Randall Lee ReetzParticipantJuly 15, 2018 at 1:09 amPost count: 5
Peter, I am confused by the use of the word “consciousness”? What is it about that word that interests you? Seems to be a word that has very little actual causal meaning. Seems more to be a word meant as tribal membership handshake, as identity reinforcement. What is your interest in “consciousness”. What do you intend to convey when you utter the word?Randall Lee ReetzParticipantJuly 15, 2018 at 1:11 amPost count: 5
What for instance exists that isn’t an emergent entity? Seems to me that labels only have purpose when they selectively describe a subset. For “emergent entity” to be of any use, there would have to be a category of entities that are not emergent. No?Peter NorlindhParticipantJuly 15, 2018 at 1:16 pmPost count: 14
Good that you ask. I went back and reviewed my original post, and could barely decipher it myself…
Let me try to illustrate what I mean. Suppose we take some peppers, black beans, cheese etc., wrap it all in tortilla and fry it in a pan. The result is a set of flavors, textures, colors and other emergent properties. As it turns out, this is a rather tasty aggregate of emergent properties. However, it will never be a hit on a higher integrative cultural level unless we give it a good handle / name.
A generic term for this type of emergent compound unit may be a “Dish”. More specifically, we may call it an “Enchilada”. The linguistic handle allows Enchiladas to become an integral part of our virtually global food culture. This noun helps us talk about, internalize and even commercialize this yummy aggregate of emergent properties.
Similarly, I would find it a lot easier to introduce and make practical use of Complexity Theory, should we have a good generic term for “an aggregate of emergent entities”. I don’t want to anthromorphize emergent entities, only give it a convenient handle.
The “enchilada” of a school of fish have multiple qualities and capabilities. It can detect and respond to gradients of illuminesence, temperature, sentence of food etc.
The “enchilada” of a company includes the brand, abilities to innovate, interact in the business ecosystem, adapt to new market conditions etc.
The example “consciousness” is just another form of enchilada 🙂
Simply calling it the “enchilada”, or something rather, makes the concept much more tangeable. It incurages a mentality of cultivating it over time, and developing a lasting relationship with it. At least, that’s my view.
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