Re: [unrev-II] Is "bootstrapping" part of the problem?

From: Mark Szpakowski (
Date: Tue Dec 19 2000 - 19:53:26 PST

  • Next message: Rod Welch: "[unrev-II] Values and Competence"

    An offering, in the spirit of the season...

    Several things resonate:

    1) Purpose

    From: Eric Armstrong <>
    Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 15:29:56 -0800
    Subject: [unrev-II] Tech Startup "How To" notes

    Eric describes, in his tetrahedral business model, how "purpose" "imbues" organization out of technology, finance, and marketing.
    MS comment: Purpose is <intro of term>"call-by-future"</intro> creating organization.

    2) Ontology
    From: Jack Park <>
    Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 16:28:56 -0500
    Subject: Re: [unrev-II] Use Cases and Ontologies
    So, we begin to think of the
    common use cases as the 'roots' of --eventually--a forest of specialized
    usecases.  The common use cases represent the basis for interoperability
    among the specialty domains.

    Now, just substitute the term 'ontology' for the term 'use case' and you
    have the mapping.  Bingo. Get the ontology right, and the rest falls out

    MS comment: Taking the more active voice on what I think Jack is saying, an ontology is a binding of use cases (experiences, RDF triplet assertions (subject property object)) into a coherent world (reified context (quadruplet)). "Purpose" in Eric's sense accomplishes such organization.
    Solve the binding problem, and the rest falls out. (sm)(ile)
    The binding problem: the mapping not only binds cases into contexts, but also redefines the cases (ie, they may only emerge in context: aha!). Therefore, "call by future". How do I organize my words into a meaning-ful sentence?

    3 Hyperscope
    From: "Henry van Eyken" <>
    Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2000 06:27:58 -0000
    Subject: [unrev-II] Hyperscoping. It's the natural thing to do
    Henry discusses Specification,  Organization, and Content, and says:

    arousals (emotions) are organizing agents, but, unless one is awake, 
    agents with little regard for reality. [...] Reality comes with the waking state which knits those
    factuals together so as to let us interpret our daily experiences to
    ourselves - to make sense of the events around us, i.e. to experience
    "reality," and in the process add to our store of factuals.

    MS comment: "arousals" (whatevers that draw out arisings, that pull them forward) are organizing agents.
    "Emotion" (draws out motion) is call-by-future, and binds.

    Actors = factuals;
    relations = organization; state = specification (selecting object of
    our affection) or hyperscope.

    Why do I think this is important to contemplate? Because chances are
    that augmenting the human mind will work better if it is in step with
    the very way natural mind works anyway.

    We may just be on a very good track.

    4) Corporations as artificial intelligences, vs symbiotic care (sentience)
    From: Paul Fernhout <>
    Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2000 21:17:10 -0500
    Subject: [unrev-II] Is "bootstrapping" part of the problem?

    I understand the desire to be neutral on the ends to which
    "bootstrapping" is applied to attract broad support, but ultimately (in
    my opinion) many organizations (large corporations or other
    bureaucracies) in today's world effectively are already machine
    intelligences (somewhat like ant colonies) working towards their own
    exponential ends (in an economic framework).[...] So in this sense, I see the machine intelligences
    already to an extent "shading out" efforts like the Bootstrap Institute
    or the Humanities library.

    MS comment: corporations ("legal persons") have their own "purposes", mainly driven by "bottom line" (shareholder value). They do not have distinctively human "call-by-future". Observe that philanthropy and trickle-down benevolence doesn't cut it: it must be built into organizational/corporate process itself.

    How do we decide on ends? What is autopoesis?

    Further, Paul says:
    First let me summarize: there is more to living than "intelligence".
    Intelligence doesn't call one to act, "desire" does that. "Intelligence"
    doesn't define why one should do one thing rather than another, unless
    one already has "values". One can make a rational choice, but the desire
    and values that cause that choice to be made and acted on are to a large
    extent outside of the realm of "intelligence". As an outgrowth of
    "intelligence", knowledge management will neither lead to choices or
    cause actions in the absense of "values" or "desire". We are talking
    about putting ever more powerful "intelligence" in the hands of
    organizations that have already shown themselves capable of building
    50,000 nuclear warheads, letting close to a billion people starve, and
    dumping PCBs in water bodies and resisting attempts to clean them up.

    MS comment: Again, emotions bind. More precisely, the term "sentience",
    or "sentient being", can be usefully introduced here, to point to a whatever characterized
    by both "intelligence" and "care".

    Cf Heidegger's "Care is the Being of human existence [Dasein]" ("Dasein"  = "being there").

    Cf the buddhist emphasis on the indivisibility of awareness and compassion as the defining characteristic of sentient beings. We don't need artificial intelligence (we are already getting that through corporations). We need symbiotic care. Call by future needs to be through human sentience, or perhaps just sentience.

    Related comment: "dialogos" was a term introduced by the physicist David Bohm to describe a process of dialogue to take place within organizations, with its key characteristic being that it's open ended. There is a tension between this and the "bottom lines" of organizations attempting to use dialogos. This open endedness is a recognition of the nature of autopoetic, evolving systems. That openness is not a vacuum, but a presence... with care. What is it?

    5) "human nature".
    From: Henry van Eyken <>
    Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2000 18:26:20 -0500
    Subject: Re: [unrev-II] Is "bootstrapping" part of the problem?

    Educators purport to prepare young people for a lifetime, i.e. with a horizon of more than half a century. For most of human existence, the future was not unlike the past. But that has changed drastically. We experience significant events, including dangerously critical events with shorter and shorter intervals between them, which begs the question just what are we trying to prepare young people for? Will reading, writing and 'rithmetic remain the constants that will serve them all their lives? What are the constants so we may pay especial attention to them? The closest answer I can come up with is: human nature.

    MS comment: I love that. So well done, everyone here!

    At 01:33 PM 12/19/2000 -0800, Eric Armstrong wrote:
    Requesting focus on goals/purpose is an extradorinarily good thing,
    in my view. And it beggars the imagination to think that we really
    haven't done so.

    Let's start to do so. Today, as winter solstice 2000 approaches, this is the best I can do, and I offer it to you all in gratitude (a feeling for others, which, as William Blake says, is "heaven itself").


    Mark Szpakowski
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