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View Diary: America in Decline: Even Chomsky noticed! (15 comments)

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  •  Don, could you explain this phrase to me: (3+ / 0-)
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    don mikulecky, mookins, Churchill

    developmental phenomenology that constrains their evolution

    I guess I'm hung up on how phenomenology constrains something.

    “I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter.” –Blaise Pascal

    by dskoe on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 04:23:46 PM PST

    •  In a mechanistic context you would be (0+ / 0-)

      very correct in wondering that.  The chapter on development rejects mechanism and adopts complex systems ideas.  In that context the constraints on evolution come not from mechanism but from contextually dependent loops of cause.

      DNA, for example, acts in different ways in different contexts.  Otherwise development would never happen since the same DNA is there at every stage.

      In evolution the same ideas come into play.  Only when context allows it do new species arise.  This is also a phenomenological process depending on the conditions existing at the moment things happen.  

      We have myriad examples of such phenomenological events.  The unfolding of global warming and climate change are another case where context and interactions determine what happens.

      Now, in particular, for the evolution of our global system, the choices that exist become fewer as the system develops.  Aged systems are highly constrained by what they have already become....meaning what options they have already discarded and can't get back. These constraints are real.  They reflect absence rather than presence.  Had the system not developed as it did it would have different options.

      Does this make sense to you?

      An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

      by don mikulecky on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 04:58:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It does, mostly. (1+ / 0-)
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        don mikulecky

        When you are speaking of evolution, are you addressing only physical evolution, or cultural evolution and other types as well?
        I had understood from years ago, that genetic change was the result of essentially random variation only a few cases of which would survive.  So survival depends upon which context obtains.  If that mechanism is obsolete, and "contextually dependent loops of cause" is something else, please explain.

        For me "context" would and must be very complex.

        Please forgive my ignorance.  I'm mostly a blue collar guy, though I have some physics and a bit of math.  I read these things to learn.

        I'm interested in your book, but not sure I have the background to read it.

        “I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter.” –Blaise Pascal

        by dskoe on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 05:39:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You do very well......the basic idea is that (1+ / 0-)
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          dskoe

          breaking connections between things loses vital information and misleads.  The context of "evolution" ala Darwin is embedded in the local and global evolution of the earth system.  One form of closed loop is new species .....>new enironment ........> new species and so on.  Now bring in a "special" species...Homo sapiens and the profound effects it causes.

          Genetic variations are not "random" in the purest sense.  They occur in a highly constrained context and operate on conditional probabilities.

          Cultural evolution is very  dependent on context.  Technology is a big factor here.  

          An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

          by don mikulecky on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 05:53:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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