Kleptocracy vs. Organization

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains:
Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / Social Order / Kleptocracy /
@ K. 1998 06 22

Mission: to promote understanding of Complexity

As I’ve been demonstrating throughout these pieces, civilization steals and degrades the commons. It also brainwashes us into thinking that it, civilization, is the only thing standing between us and everything bad: chaos, death, 60% tax instead of 50%. State “education” harmonizes with church “education” in downplaying (or remaining completely ignorant of) the antiquity of the species. Mankind had culture (music, dance, language, poetry …) for dozens of millennia before civilization started reserving land for agriculture, overpopulating, reserving still more land, turning it into a desert, and then reserving still more land: only now for mining and industry and railroads, highways, and airfields as well as farms.

Fortunately, these are the best as well as the worst of all times. Just as the last of the commons disappear into the maw of some government, the science of the last couple of decades gives us better tools with which to expose it. (How we can free ourselves is another question. How many tyrants have ever given up power by being reasonable? How many populations would ever depopulate before it’s done for them, by nature if not by some competing predator?) I am referring in particular to the new sciences of Chaos and Complexity. Just as I try to synthesize my learning for your advantage, Nobel laureate Murray Gell-Mann synthesized us his. Read The Quark and the Jaguar and you too will be a beneficiary.

(I use my prose to summarize Gell-Mann’s summary.) A crystal such as a diamond is an extreme example of order. It’s sterile, dead: or as far as it can be from bursting into life. The center of a star like our sun is an extreme example of chaos. It’s not without order; rather its orders are so volatile that life would be torn apart before getting close. Life develops and flourishes at the edges! At the boundaries between Order and Chaos. We live and evolve along the borders of those (and other) extremes.

In particular it’s the science of Complexity (thanks to such recent ancestors as Hermann Haken with his studies of systems and synergies) that demonstrates to those whose learning is amenable to correction that living systems (like other, non-living systems) are self-organizing. (Come to think of it, I guess I threw a little Chris Langton in the “paraphrase” above.)

My experience prior to 1998 was of rational people hearing bits and pieces of some of each others’ work. I knew of few* recent examples of attempts at communication with civilization itself (in the persons of its rulers and bureaucrats) when I found the following quote in Nobel laureate Ilya Prigogine’s The End of Certainly.
*The Santa Fe Institute seems to be another.

The maintenance of organization in nature is not-and can not be-achieved by central management; order can only be maintained by self-organization. Self-organizing systems allow adaptation to the prevailing environment, i.e., they react to changes in the environment with a thermodynamic response which makes the systems extraordinarily flexible and robust against perturbations from outside conditions. We want to point out the superiority of self-organizing systems over conventional human technology which carefully avoids complexity and hierarchically manages nearly all technical processes. For instance, in synthetic chemistry, different reaction steps are usually carefully separated from each other and contributions from the diffusion of the reactants are avoided by stirring reactors. An entirely new technology will have to be developed to tap the high guidance and regulation potential of self-organizing systems for technical processes. The superiority of self-organizing systems is illustrated by biological systems where complex products can be formed with unsurpassed accuracy, efficiency and speed!

Address to the European Communities by
Christof Karl Biebracher, Gregoire Nicolis & Peter Schuster

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force.
George Washington

Dewey Decimal Stories


About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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