Analog/Digital - Culture/Death

Reilly Jones (
Mon, 9 Mar 1998 19:25:16 -0500

Mark Crosby wrote 3/8/98: <Cariani explains: "Digital systems are useful
for high degrees of reliability and combinatoric multiplication of states;
analog systems are useful for retaining the richness of perceptual inputs,
in keeping around all those aspects of the sensed world that might not be
readily relevant, but which could become so".>

There is a large and growing body of scientific research on tacit
perception and tacit knowledge that support this quite well.

MC: <I conclude that a cognitive science for intelligent technologies needs
such a biosemiotic framework if it is to keep from wandering in
hermeneutical circles!>

I share your conclusion. It needs other things in addition, but this is

MC: <I see, not an abstract population being drawn and quartered by
polarities but, instead, a *natural-historic* host of individuals enacting
this drama under some 'global laws', but mostly 'local rules',
autopoietically self-maintaining the potentialities in an unpredictable but
robust and ongoing, middle-out way (also known as the Tao).>

Predictions, like biological theories, are if-then in nature. If the trend
line continues, then blah, blah, blah... I do not see the global culture
of death prevailing in the long run, I believe the forces of the culture of
life, which, as you allude to, tend to be particularistic, will prevail. I
am dynamically optimistic, but this does not mean they will prevail without
a nasty fight. Entropy never goes away, nor does nihilism nor does
tyranny. The fight is forever. The Tao is squarely within the liquid
realm of polycentric political structures. As long as we keep recentering
here when we drift to the ordered realm or the chaotic realm, we'll be
fine. "Natural-historic host of individuals enacting this drama under some
global law" sounds like Hegel's "cunning of reason," life evolving "at the
edge of chaos." We must be active, we cannot all fall asleep and hope the
laws will bail us out, they won't.

Reilly Jones | Philosophy of Technology: | The rational, moral and political relations
| between 'How we create' and 'Why we create'