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Embodiment of Identity in Conscious Creativity

Challenge of encompassing con (Part #1)

Consciousness central to identity: dynamic ambiguity of "con"
Conscious creativity sustaining confidelity: a solar metaphor
Consciousness and identity through encompassing "con"
Confidelity container design
Potential metaphors of a cognitive system of "pre-fixes"

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Annex B to Primary Global Reserve Currency: the Con?
Cognitive implications of a prefix for sustainable confidelity

Consciousness central to identity: dynamic ambiguity of "con"

The argument in the main paper (Configuring a system of pre-logical biases, 2011), implying the constraining conditions of emergent confidelity, obscures the subtler experiential processes of conscience and of consciousness itself -- both being essential to meaningful confidelity. These can be tentatively highlighted through the ambiguity of "con" in anticipation of further exploration, as previously suggested (Towards Conscientific Research and Development, 2002).

Ambiguity: Especially intriguing is the ambiguity of "con" in practice, as also noted in the main paper (Embodying the binary ambiguities of currency, 2011) and in Annex A: Exploration of Prefixes of Global Discourse: implications of a cognitive prefix for sustainable confidelity, 2011):

  • in a purely integrative mode of bringing or holding things together through consensus and its organizational implementation -- thereby exemplifying some form of "togetherness" and cognitive engagement therewith (as with many collective initiatives responding conventionally to concerns

  • in a purely oppositional mode in relation to any proposal, evident in the naysayers of parliamentary procedure -- exemplifying the contrarian and the identity thereby achieved through mirroring (perhaps to be understood as cognitive "contraception" inhibiting the "prolific")

  • in a mode constituting a fundamental breach of confidence through subterfuge and trickery, evident (or suspected) in many marketing and political practices -- exemplified by the confidence trickster and inferred as betrayal of public confidence in the light of WikiLeaks disclosures

  • in a mode characterized by confusion and uncertainty -- perhaps exemplified by the "unknown unknowns", proudly made central to the legacy of Donald Rumsfeld (Known and Unknown: a memoir, 2011) and more generally associated with ignorance and stupidity

These may be understood as implying a degree of complementarity:

  • a "con" (man) is functionally defined in relation to a "con" (French style) -- and vice versa  -- without whom the "con" cannot exist
  • any convergence or togetherness embraced by "con" (consensus, confederation, etc) is fundamentally defined in relation to its denial (contestants, contrarians, etc) -- and vice versa -- without whom the coherence implies by "con" cannot exist

In many cultures the dynamics between these modes are embodied together within the Trickster archetype -- to be welcomed and appreciated with the most extreme vigilance. Consideration of proposals for a global reserve currency call for equivalent appreciative vigilance in encompassing "twistedness" (Engaging with Questions of Higher Order: cognitive vigilance required for higher degrees of twistedness, 2004).

In French, most leaders (exemplified by those assembled at G20 Summits on monetary reform) would be expected to frame those opposing them as being "con" -- if only off the record or in conversation with confidants. They attain leadership by conveying to potential supporters that they are not as "con" as their predecessors have treated them -- whilst skillfully and opportunistically exploiting those that are in the process. Their careers as leaders decline as the proportion of people framing them as "con" increases. Political and military uses are noted by Wikipedia (Usage politique et militaire). More generally, a similar process occurs in the marketing of any new product or service to "consumers" -- effectively defining the product lifecycle. Young and old may deprecate each other with that term -- even affectionately. It is a very common expletive -- for good reason. A relevant popular French expression is: On est toujours le con de quelqu'un. English equivalents are of course similarly used.

In a world of increasing relative ignorance -- an ignorant society -- the process of leadership might then be understood in terms of four con-related processes:

  • convening, configuring and contracting -- to articulate concern and build consensus, possibly in the name of conscience
  • contesting opposing initiatives and challenges
  • conspiring amongst confidants
  • engaging with the "con" and eventually being so framed

The relation between these modes might be explored through their potential correspondences, as in the following tentative exercise.

Indicative correspondences
Distinct dynamics Logical quadrilemma Risk Confidence Strategic knowledge
con (togetherness) A acceptable informed confidence known knowns
con (opposition) not-A unacceptable lack of confidence known unknowns
con (trickster, subterfuge) neither A nor not-A mis-selling / exploitation opportunism / trickster practices unknown unknowns
con (ignorance) both A and not-A buyer ignorance confidence blinded by hope unknown knowns

Dynamics: A sense of the subtle relation between the conditions is readily accessible through the experience of any sales situation or marketing promotion -- whether of products, ideas or beliefs. The dynamics are especially evident in gambling and interpersonal (romantic) relationships -- where a degree of ignorance and speculation is inherent. It is the dynamic interplay from which any "investment" decision emerges (as further explored below). The psychodynamics of such encounters have been extensively explored through transactional analysis (see also List of Confidence Tricks, Wikipedia).

The "strategic knowledge" column (in the table) is that notoriously promoted through a short poem by Donald Rumsfeld as US Secretary of Defense in relation to intervention in Iraq. As with any 4-fold articulation it invites expansion, notably with the aid of binary coding systems. This has been done in seeking to encompass the engagement of conscience seemingly so absent from Rumsfeld's framework and its application to building a consensus  at any cost (Unknown Undoing: challenge of incomprehensibility of systemic neglect, 2008). The concern is to elicit a sense of the dynamics between the four cognitive conditions through exploring more complex patterns within which they can be embedded. The Chinese binary coding system was used in that exercise for that purpose since it strongly emphasizes such dynamics as noted below with respect to the Fibonacci progression.

There is the interesting possibility that the cognitive dynamics of "con" embody, whether explicitly or implicitly, the cognitive transformations associated with the other prefixes. Prefixes can be fruitfully understood as "pre-fixing" the cognitive terrain of knowledge space through which one is called to move. This is consistent with the promotion of an insight from Buddhism by the neurophenomenologist Francisco Varela (Laying Down a Path in Walking: essays on enactive cognition, 1997). Of interest is Varela's focus on the phenomenological epoché, as discussed separately (Present Moment Research: exploration of nowness, 2001).

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