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Reintegration of a Remaindered World

Cognitive recycling of objects of systemic neglect (Part #1)


Introduction
Remaindering in economic and business practice
Omnipresence of remaindering and the remaindered in global society
Towards reframing the implications of the mathematics of remainder
Error / Mistake as neglected remainder
Excellence with respect to the remainder
Evolutionary influence of the absent
Fundamental integrative role of nothing -- the ultimate remainder ?
Interweaving contrasting styles of remaindering
Responding to strategic dilemmas of governance: explore absence rather than consensus?
Becoming zero: recognizing the engendering potential of nothingness
Emergent potential of the "next zero"
Secret sharing, shapeshifting and embodiment
Conclusion
References

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Prepared as an aid to reflection on a world of "remaindered people"
currently of concern to the "Indignant" and to the Occupy movement


Introduction

Remainder: Understanding of "remainder" is variously significant in mathematics, commerce, law, cognition, and philosophy. It is given particular meaning in the form of "leftover", whether in relation to waste management or to religion (as with the "left behind" who are not "raised up" to heaven according to eschatological prophecies). Reference to "remains" suggests further significance to "leftover" in the case of a human being.

Remaindering: In a time of severe austerity measures, in which many are faced with the personal consequences of being laid off and of long-term unemployment, there is also merit in reflecting on commercial policies of "remaindering" (as with unsold copies in the book trade) -- as these could be applied metaphorically both to the people so treated, and more widely. More generally, in the light of the arguments of such as James Lovelock (The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning: enjoy it while you can, 2009), "remainder" merits consideration in the light of the time remaining for humanity, if not in the specific and personal sense of the significance of the remainder of one's life and the possibility of its being wasted.

Anomaly: Conventional preoccupation with integrative approaches may well be framed as interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and unitary -- possibly involving coordination, normalization, harmonization, or the like (see Integrative Knowledge and Transdisciplinarity Project). These typically leave open the question as to what is left unintegrated into such a frameworks, as a "remainder", even a "scientific remainder". In this sense exploring "remainder" offers insight into the nature, quality and challenge of any such approach, and of what may remain an anomaly. This notably applies to any purportedly integrated strategy, with the implication that some issues and people may well have been left out of consideration -- and may even be "wasted" (in both senses of the word), or condemned as dangerous extremists (Norms in the Global Struggle against Extremism, 2005).

Indignation: By employing the term "remaindered", a useful means is offered of exploring the concerns of the Occupy movement and of the "indignant", as articulated by Stéphane Hessel (Time for Outrage!, 2011). These include the increasing proportions of the unemployed and the incarcerated in every country, the reallocation of elderly people to hospices, and the "resettlement" of problematic indigenous groups (as with colonial use of "reservations"). These are all indicative of groups which somehow "do not fit" into a preferred model. They may be variously recognized as forms of "social remainder", "political remainder", or "cultural remainder" (discussed further in Annex 1: Social Remainders from Psychosocial Remaindering: review of current usage and implications)

Cognitive remainder: Whilst these forms of "remainder" may be understood as relating to externalities, particular attention has been given by many authors to cognitive forms of "remainder". These are notably evident in preoccupation with a "transcendental remainder" or a "theological remainder", as a consequence of the postmodernist philosophy of Jacques Derrida (currently celebrated by Rodolphe Gasché through An Immemorial Remainder: the legacy of Derrida) and the work of Slavoj iek (The Indivisible Remainder, 2007).

Cognitive recycling: The question here is whether these various connotations are together suggestive of unexplored cognitive possibilities of engaging with what is increasingly a "remaindered world" -- a cognitive midden or scrap heap -- which some have already expressed the possibility of abandoning in various ways. Is there a form of "cognitive recycling" to be discovered through which "objects" in the human environment, marginalized and wasted by the systemic inadequacies of conventional understanding into "leftovers", can be "reintegrated" into a more comprehensive pattern? This possibility was tentatively explored in a previous exercise (¡¿ Defining the objective ∞ Refining the subjective ?! Explaining reality ∞ Embodying realization, 2011).

Template: As a means of responding to the question, the commercial practice of remaindering is used here as a template through which to explore the "external" usage of remainder in various contexts (presented separately as Annex 1). This then allows the use of "remainder" in conventional mathematics to be reviewed with respect to potential cognitive implications -- leading to consideration of how these "external" and "internal" uses might be more fruitfully related.


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