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Imagining as key to oracular hypercomputing


Imagining Order as Hypercomputing (Part #5)


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Conventional computing, and the binary logic with which it is so widely associated, "works" because of the unambiguous clarity with which bits can be distinguished as having a value of 1 or zero. More generally, things either "are", or they are "not". In practice this corresponds to assertions regarding truths or falsehoods as considered variously fundamental to the articulation of belief systems -- frequently engaged in bloody conflict.

Resonance: In the case of hypercomputing, things may be imaginatively asserted to be anything, provided they are exposed to the imaginative assertion that they are not. Things therefore only "exist" in the sense that they may also be "re-cognized" as "not existing". Such a statement is appropriately reminiscent of the falsifiability considered by some to be a requisite of science.

Aspects of this process have long been explored through the theological process of apophasis, or unsaying, as it relates to the nature of deity (Michael A. Sells, Mystical Languages of Unsaying, 1994). The nature of existence is then usefully distinguished as a form of resonance between existing and not-existing -- as remarkably (and appropriately) exemplified in resonance hybrids basic to the existence and viability of organic molecules. This is illustrated by the archetypal tale of the discovery of the "structure" of the benzene molecule and understanding of its seemingly improbable viability. See separate discussion with illustrations (Configuration of alternatives as a resonance hybrid, 2008).

Problems as indicative of solutions: Of interest here is the manner in which problems experienced as unsolvable in society and human life are in fact fundamental to the operation of a hypercomputer. They arise from conflicts between what is upheld as existing, or denied as not existing. Variously experienced as problematic, both conditions are intrinsic to a form of resolution through the dynamics of hypercomputing. The "problems" are paradoxically indicative of the dynamics of the resolution process.

Is there a dynamic -- analogous to the benzene molecule -- as yet to be understood?

Attachment: The difficulty in society is the manner of attachment of different constituencies to the existence or non-existence (elimination) of a something. What may be "re-cognized" as existing more fruitfully emerges from the dynamic between what is otherwise framed as existence or non-existence.

The focus on one or the other might be compared to attachment to the up or down stroke of a 2-stroke engine -- one which only "works" through cyclic alternation between both conditions (Metaphors of Alternation: an exploration of their significance for development policy-making, 1984). It might also be compared to one or other bonding configuration within a benzene molecule -- which can however only exist by resonance between a variety of such configurations. In envisaging emergence of a new Renaissance, the constraint has been usefully framed by Edward de Bono (I Am Right You Are Wrong: From Rock Logic to Water Logic, 1992)

One-stroke thinking, as it might be caricatured, can be seen in the following especially problematic arenas:

  • exclusive possession of property, implying lack of rights of others with respect to that property (territorial and turf wars)
  • exclusive possession of truth, so evident between the religions and between the disciplines, implying the non-validity of other perspectives -- upholding their own truths and deprecating others as indicative of ignorance
  • exclusive understanding of organization and/or strategy, implying the irrelevance of alternative modalities upheld by others (possibly framed as dangerous or irresponsible) -- as especially evident in the political arena

Paradoxically, and necessarily, this argument also applies to itself.

Fear of otherness: Indication of imagining as a key process can be seen in such contexts in terms of imagining the contrary. Typically the contrary may be imagined as "worst fear" -- necessarily because it calls into question that to which there is fundamental attachment in one-stroke thinking.

The question is whether the degree of fear -- effectively framed as one of annihilation -- can be alleviated by shifting metaphor. Rather than a 2-stroke engine, the increasing advantages of multi-stroke engine configurations are more suggestive (4-stroke, 6-stroke, V6, V8, V12). The relationship between successive strokes in the cycle is then smoother -- effectively less catastrophically traumatic in the psychosocial case.

Analogical leaps: Arguments in support of such "re-cognition" include the case made for "polyocular vision" by Magoroh Maruyama (Polyocular Vision or Subunderstanding? Organization Studies, 2004). The metaphor can be extended to multiple senses (Cyclopean Vision vs Poly-sensual Engagement, 2006; Strategic Challenge of Polysensorial Knowledge: bringing the "elephant" into "focus", 2008). The arguments above regarding Edward de Bono's "thinking hats", or Gareth Morgan's "images of organization", offer similar pointers beyond a "cyclopean" perspective.

Given the arguments of Hofstadter and Sander, this multiplicity could be understood in terms of analogical leaps within a context of meta-analogy meriting "re-cognition".

Is Maruyama's "subunderstanding" then indicative of failure to operate in hypercomputing mode in response to hyperobjects? (Hyperaction through Hypercomprehension and Hyperdrive: necessary complement to proliferation of hypermedia in hypersociety, 2006; Timothy Morton, Hyperobjects: philosophy and ecology after the End of the World, 2013).

Distinguishing degrees of difference: The argument above recognizes the role of binary assertion and denial, namely of "is-ness" and "is-not-ness", most notably as associated with exclusive possession (or its denial). Also highlighted is the possibility of reducing its traumatic divisive characteristic by shifting from "2-stroke" through to a greater diversity of strokes ("hats", or whatever the metaphor). This raises questions such as:

Modal attachment: It is ironically appropriate to note that, in addition to being attached to a particular number of differences (most typically 2, as with "us and them"), or to a given "gear" ("2nd gear", or possibly "reverse"), there is a natural tendency to develop attachment to patterns distinguished by:

  • a particular size (3-fold, 4-fold, 5-fold, 6-fold, 7-fold, 8-fold, 9-fold, 12-fold, etc) then defined as "the system", when it is the variety of such systems which calls for re-cogition"
  • a particular modality: poetry, magic, analogy, music, dance, etc. These might be better understood as the configuration of Muses, namely the personification of knowledge and the arts, especially literature, dance and music -- the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne.
  • particular forms -- perhaps better understood as surrogates (gods, angels, principles, celebrities, etc) or through any metaphor of choice

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