[unrev-II] Even more thoughts on current events--Fwd: [announce] A reply to Ken Baskin's question/invitation

From: Jack Park (jackpark@thinkalong.com)
Date: Thu Sep 13 2001 - 18:07:15 PDT

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    I am forwarding this purely on the strength of Hilgartner's message. I
    make no assumptions about the clarity or validity of his ideas; rather, I
    notice that he is talking about communication. All voices should be heard...

    >To: announce@isss.org
    >From: "C. A. Hilgartner" <cah5@hilgart.org>
    >Subject: [announce] A reply to Ken Baskin's question/invitation
    >At 10:54 AM 9/12/2001, via the International Society for System Studies
    >listserve, Ken Baskin <bman47@netaxs.com> wrote:
    >>I would hope that all of us receiving this post are committed to peace.
    >>The issue is the means. Does anyone on this list want to venture an
    >>attempt to define the position that systems thinking or complexity theory
    >>might develop to meet such terrorism?
    >Dear Ken Baskin,
    > By declaring yourself and your audience "committed to peace", you
    > show that, like most other speakers of western Indo-European languages
    > (Dutch, English, French, German, etc.), you have a systematic blind spot
    > -- which, in the present context, gets in your way. You don't know how
    > polar terms work.
    > WIE languages do not explicitly use polar term-pairs, in this
    > sense, the way that, for example, Sino-Tibetan languages such as Mandarin
    > Chinese do. With a polar term-pair, you cannot have one member of the
    > pair without the actual or clearly implied presence of the other.
    > So -- you fail to notice that the construct of "peace" remains
    > logically inseparable from that of "war", and that in our system of
    > "nation-states", conditions that we label by one member of the pair
    > alternate with conditions that we label with the other. Over one interval
    > we have "War", and over the next, "Peace", and then "War" again, and then
    > more "Peace", etc., endlessly.
    > From my present standpoint, "committed to peace" looks like
    > "committed to tails" in an on-going coin-toss performed with a coin that
    > has both "heads" and "tails".
    > If we don't want more "War", then we must abolish both "War" and
    > "Peace", and play some other game entirely.
    > "Some other game entirely." What might that look like?
    > I cannot give a brief answer, in the context of an email. So
    > please allow me to make some "unsupported assertions" -- and if they
    > sound at least vaguely interesting to even one member of this audience,
    > then I invite that member to get into further contact with me.
    > I have generated an alternative frame of reference (terms such as
    > "World-View" or "weltaunshauung" don't seem drastic enough to catch what
    > I mean by that phrase), which in turn have made it possible to generate a
    > non-standard notation of the "Let's Keep Track of What We Say" type
    > (entirely unlike the mathematical theory of sets or any mathematical
    > sub-discipline we can base on set theory).
    > This "framework" has made it possible to develop a relatively
    > simple-sounding model of "how any human -- or for that matter, any
    > non-human organism (from a virus to ... to a chimpanzee or an oak tree)
    > manages to keep itself alive, for at least a few moments more, in its
    > environment (ultimately, in the biosphere)".
    > And it gives a model of how the ecosphere works (manages to
    > persist from one moment to the next for at least a few moments more).
    > It also makes it possible to model how a human or group of humans
    > can generate enough "self-righteousness" (more accurately put, generate
    > the conviction that s/he/they operate(s) from "absolute certainty",
    > analogous to the "omnipotence" and "omniscience" which some theists
    > attribute to their god(s)) to "justify" using verbal put-downs, or
    > fisticuffs, or knife or gun, or "weapons of mass destruction", or
    > concerted genocide, or even to mount what looks like concerted efforts to
    > bring about species-suicide and extinction, and in the process, to
    > annihilate the ecosphere.
    > At the other extreme, the foundations of this alternative frame
    > of reference show how to re-draw the boundaries between paired terms such
    > as "US vs. THEM". As one way to express this alteration, these
    > foundations teach humans how to include anyone who can talk -- anyone who
    > has at least one native language and culture of origin -- as one of "US."
    > Does a theoretical system which makes such promises seem worth
    > taking a good look at?
    > As I said, I offer an invitation. Do I find anyone willing to
    > consider putting in enough serious study to come to understand the
    > alternative frame of reference and the non-standard notation? If so,
    > please get in touch with me. Agenda: to figure out how I might go about
    > making these only partially-published formulations accessible.
    > Meanwhile, I have a website, at http://www.hilgart.org, on which
    > I have posted some sixty of my 100 papers on these topics. Feel free to
    > visit it, and take a look.
    > Andy Hilgartner
    >C. A. Hilgartner . Phone: 660-627-2519
    >2413 North East Street . FAX: 660-627-2930
    >Kirksville MO 63501 . email: cah5@hilgart.org
    >Website: www.hilgart.org.

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