Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
I came upon this free ebook, Complexity and Postmodernism by Paul Cilliers (Routledge 1998). From the introduction:
“Complexity and Postmodernism explores the notion of complexity in the light of contemporary perspectives from philosophy and science. Paul Cilliers contributes to our general understanding of complex systems, and explores the implications of complexity theory for our understanding of biological and social systems. Postmodern theory is reinterpreted in order to argue that a postmodern perspective does not necessarily imply relativism, but that it could also be viewed as a manifestation of an inherent sensitivity to complexity.
As Cilliers explains, the characterisation of complexity revolves around analyses of the process of self-organisation and a rejection of traditional notions of representation. The model of language developed by Saussure—and expanded by Derrida—is used to develop the notion of distributed representation, which in turn is linked with distributed modelling techniques. Connectionism (implemented in neural networks) serves as an example of these techniques. Cilliers points out that this approach to complexity leads to models of complex systems that avoid the oversimplification that results from rulebased models.
Complexity and Postmodernism integrates insights from complexity and computational theory with the philosophical position of thinkers like Derrida and Lyotard. Cilliers takes a critical stance towards the use of the analytical method as a tool to cope with complexity, and he rejects Searle’s superficial contribution to the debate.
Complexity and Postmodernism is an exciting and an original book that should be read by anyone interested in gaining a fresh understanding of complexity, postmodernism and connectionism.”
Page 69 of what?
Never mind, I found it. You're referencing this book, not either of the ones mentioned above (Complexity and Postmodernism and TDOO).
My bad, yes, ISVP.
Speaking of Deleuze (I agree DeLanda's presentation of him is very lucid), his notions of multiplicity and the 'manifold' play a big role in a number of the essays in Polydoxy. There's a new, complex gestalt forming here, it seems, with these various thinkers and themes meshing in interesting ways (the manifold connections among which I admit to sensing more darkly and intuitively, rather than clearly and lucidly, at this point)...
Speaking of which, this video by Beck -- on 'meshwork' -- just floated past my notifications on FB.
And more meshiness:
There's a new, complex gestalt forming here.
And as I hinted in my last response to Dierkes, this new complex isn't even addressed by kennilingus so hence my loss of interest. Due to its mistaken prejudice of what is erroneously labeled as pluralism it misses what I think is the more accurate and emerging integral consciousness. Perhaps the kennilingual critique of incipient pluralisim was apropos but pluralism has evolved into polydoxy, while kennilingus and the hierarchical complexity upon which it was built is still using outmoded formal operations with which to model this emerging structure. As a result their own model is limited from seeing this development.
In TDOO Bryant criticizes Deleuze's virtual, which "seems to consist of a single continuum, such that there is only one virtual, one substance, that is then partitioned into apparently distinct entities" (3.2). Whereas DeLanda's reconstruction of Deleuze in ISVP says: "This virtual continuum cannot be conceived as a single, homogenous space, but rather as a heterogeneous space made out of a population of multiplicities, each with a topological space of its own" (69).
And as I've been suggesting, even given the above, "we need a way of meshing these together into a heterogeneous whole" (69). A whole that is of a different kind though, as we've observed. He discusses how so in the pages following.
Deleuze ...play[s] a big role in a number of the essays in Polydoxy.
I like this from Polydoxy, quoting Deleuze:
"A multiplicity certainly contains points of unification, centers of totalization, points of subjectivation, but these are factors that can prevent its growth and stop its lines. These factors are in the multiplicity they belong to, not the reverse" (2).
Which reminds me of this post in the polydoxy thread, quoting Faber:
"Deleuze deeply honored Whitehead, and precisely because of the...appreciation of the unconquerable wildness of openended becoming over against any systematic derivation of multiplicity from hierarchical unity.... In a rhizomatic world of infinite differentiations and interrelations, 'unity' always appears as finite unification of multiple relations. Nothing is fixed; nothing is perfect; nothing is for ever. The metaphor of the rhizome frees our mind from 'false unifications' that defy multiplicity and, as a political category, empowers resistance against 'oppressive unifications' of hierarchies."
To put the above in language that Bonnie (and Tom) use, there is indeed an asymmetric relation between unity and multiplicity, with the latter being ground instead of the other way around. And of course multiplicty isn't just one side of a one-many pole, as that sort of framing only comes from the formal, hierarchical thinking inherent to unifiers. As stated previously, multiplicity (aka khora or differance to me) is the (an)hierarchic ground within which oppositions take form. Or put in DeLanda's terms above, multiplicity is the undifferentiated (withdrawn) virtual from which oppositions arise in the differentiated actual. And the virtual is embodied, immanent, without essence. I know, a tough, acerbic pill to swallow for a holist. Perhaps take Alanis Morissette's advice and swallow it down? If so you just might, as she says, learn.
Speaking of asymmetry, in chapter 3 of ISVP we're getting to the asymmetrical arrow of time. Recall when I brought up Prigogine in this regard (this page of OOO and thereafter). He is making a comeback in this chapter regarding physics. It is interesting to note that DeLanda is using Prigogine here to support his side of the “science wars” noted earlier in the thread, as does Cilliars, about whom this thread started (and will likely return). Chapter 4 will go into physics more specifically and I can't wait to see how that one turns out.
Ah, this one deals with previous speculations about evolution and complexity:
"Neoteny illustrates that novelty need not be the effect of terminal addition of new features, but on the contrary, that is can be the result of a loss of certain old features.... To Deleuze this aspect...is highly significant because it eliminates the idea that evolutionary processes possess an inherent drive towards an increase in complexity." *
* At this point in the Scribd document the page numbers have been cut off from the bottom so identification is problematic. I'm guessing around p. 98.
This one is interesting, about 10 pages from the end of chapter 3:
“This virtual form of time, involving the idea of absolute simultaneity, would seem to violate the laws of relativity. In relativistic physics two events cease to be simultaneous the moment they become separated in space, the dislocation in time becoming all the more evident the larger the separating distance....[but] in virtual space there are no metric distances, only ordinal distances that join rather than separate events.... Unlike a transcendent heaven inhabited by pure beings without becoming (unchanging essences or laws with a permanent identity) the virtual needs to be populated exclusively by pure becomings without being. Unlike actual becomings which have at most an intensive form of temporality (bundles of sequential processes occurring in parallel) a pure becoming must be characterized by a parallelism without any trace of sequentiality, or even directionality. Deleuze finds inspiration for this conception of time in phase transitions, or more exactly, in the critical events defining unactualized transitions. When seen as a pure becoming, a critical point of of temperature of 0 degrees C, for example, marks neither a melting nor a freezing of water, both of which are actual becomings...occurring as the critical threshold is crossed in a definite direction. A pure becoming, on the other hand, would involve both directions at once, a melting-freezing event which never actually occurs, but is 'always forthcoming and already past.'”
Oh, this gets curiouser in the following paragraph:
"Unlike actual time which is asymmetric relative to the direction of relative pasts and futures, a pure becoming would imply a temporality which is perfectly symmetric in this respect, the direction of the arrow of time emerging as a broken symmetry only as the virtual is actualized."