ENGINEERING — CYBERNETICS / SYSTEMS THINKING

  



ABSTRACT

Discovering and Representing A System Of Laws:  Programming Binary Logic Gates

The Unfolding

Distributed Processor (S3) Programming Network:  Optimizing Multiple Simultaneous Paths

Navigating Problem Universe (Animal and Machine)  

S3 “Amplifying” Intelligence 

Dynamic Interaction Of The Brain And Its Environment Trumps Brain Alone        

Come Fly Me:  Hand Flying -- "Use it or lose it.

"I’m Sorry Dave, I’m Afraid I Can’t Do That."  

Innovation -- Not Doctrine    

"What Ever Happened To Systems Thinking, Really?"

”Through The Looking Glass”

Conferences 



"I cannot state strongly enough my conviction that the preoccupation with Consistency, so valuable for Mathematical Logic, has been incredibly destructive to those working on models of mind .…This obsession has kept us from seeing that thinking begins with defective networks that are slowly (if ever) refined and updated.”  

                                                   Marvin Minsky,  A Framework for Representing Knowledge, 1975


"Part of the underlying motivation for Cognitive Science is a dissatisfaction with the orthodox methods of studying cognition, and an impetus to change the fashion in which we think about the mind and investigate its operations …. Cognitive science, however, needs theories that both cohere and correspond to the facts.

                                                                       P. Johnson-Laird, “Mental Models in Cognitive Science”, 1980



                                                                                                                

                                                                                     star light KIC7671081Bhttp://www.ilovetoteachkids.


                                                   ABSTRACT

The Sommer Cube (S3) is about the physical and mental universe, a dynamic, precise structure of inner connected ideas, their context, and their logical expression:  variations on a theme of square and circle   -- flip-flop, a counterpoint of logic and intuition with myriad “permutations” of dead-ends and thruways (where particular order matters, like a combination lock.)  

Adefective network", continuously refined and updated by recursive processes of self-observation and self-reference. 

A cubical maze module — leveraging Binary and Analogical reasoning in a hybrid toy:  a cognitive tool (analogical and logical arguments presented visually — “sameness" and “differentness” at multiple levels of abstraction in terms of relational complexity).  

A multidisciplinary benchmark.  Analytic and Holistic thinking; a competition of Rational (programming desired logic functions) and Nonrational.  

The challenge:  understand the dynamic, structural features of navigation in topology of paradox, where the strategies and tactics are evolutionary.  Key is the difference between objective and subjective reality, and factoring that in. 

A systematic confusion of whole(s) and part(s), a topology of paradox (different sorts of paradoxes) requiring a back and forth of cognitive and perceptual faculties where the manipulator must rise to successive higher levels of abstraction:  Hegel’s dialectic.

Where the human mind (context), with its evolutionary field effects (parts), confronts an external Gestalt confusion, which demands an evolutionary cycle of cognitive development:  S3 is both agent and object of change; the mind is both agent and object of change.  In an eminently researchable partnership.


                                          


            Discovering and Representing A System Of Laws

                        Programming Binary Logic Gates


TERMS OF ART:

SYMMETRY UNDER TRANSFORMATION

SOMMER CUBE (S3)

ROLLING BALL SWITCH (0/1)

SWITCHINESS

TOPOLOGY OF PARADOX

ANALOG-BINARY PROCESSOR

APEX REASONING

GESTALT ENGINE

CREATIVIST

LOW-TECH COGNITIVE TOOL



"… the logic of dichotomies ….  A container shall be provided with holes in such a way that they can be opened and closed.  They are to be open at those places that correspond to a 1 and remain closed at those that correspond to a 0.  Through the opened gates small cubes or marbles are to fall into tracks, through the others nothing.  It [the gate array] is to be shifted from column to column as required."

                                                                            Leibniz, G.W., "De Progressione Dyadica -- Pars 1", 1679 


                                         


S3 is a cubical maze module, an exoskeleton, with form and space consistent with Gestalt Illusion and Architecture.  Thus, it is analogical in nature.  However, the exoskeleton also circumscribes a system of linkable tunnels which depend on the Law of Gravity.  Thus, it is also binary in nature.


“The basic thesis of gestalt theory might be formulated thus:  there are contexts in which what is happening in the whole cannot be deduced from the characteristics of the separate pieces, but conversely; what happens to a part of the whole is, in clear-cut cases, determined by the laws of the inner structure of its whole.”

                                                        Max Wertheimer, "Gestalt Theory”, 1924  ("Social Research", 1944)


                                                       


                                                                                                                                                          

                                                    Asynchronous Analog-Binary Processor (0/1)


                                    

                                                                   Rolling Ball “Tilt-Switch


S3 is about the tension of switchiness (compound cognitive, perceptual, mechanical flip-flop and schedule of reinforcement — reversal learning":  analogical reasoning, instrumental learning):  switching of directed attention, relative motion and form, and navigational strategies — winning tactics become losing tactics.  (Gestalt Engine (analog)  x  Tilt Switch (binary)  =  "Directed Attention" (flip-flop)  =  "Cognitive Flexibility”.)  

                                                         

A dialectic. 

Patterns of binary and analogical reasoning (switch from fixed to changing values) -- self-reference, full-spectrum cognitive engagement:  a structure-mapping, domain-traversing relational engine, for Hands and Mind.  (Questions ripe for research.)

Thus, each S3 reorientation requires the construction of a new field map:  blind alleys, paths, routes and environmental relationships must be continuously revisualized.

In other words, a switchiness of learning to adjust processes which were previously, but are no longer, successful.

It’s about survival of the creativist.  (The Human Use of Human Beings) & (Science, Order, and Creativity)

Creativity -- playfulness, imagination and rigor -- in the face of real and abstract variables:  coordinating mental and manual environment, modifying self-behavior on the basis of experience, through the optimization of multiple simultaneous paths (make most paths begin / cross within a single S3), in a constant stream of evolving problems, within a topology of paradox.  (“How complex environments push brain evolution”

The perspective:  Brain as evolutionary union (the whole) of analogical and binary processes, biology and experience (the parts).  The Gestalt engine (de Kreyser’s “we are furious pattern-matchers”), resolving dissonance by escalating perception:  bird’s-eye view — like Zen.

The hypothesis:  Play as regulatory arena (survival of the fittest) for neural housecleaning (rearranging / loosening’ rigidly held intellectual content” — “pruningunused synapses), a harmony-seeking oscillatory activity; regulation of neural binary and analogical computation and plasticity.  (Analogical x Binary reasoning  >>  Probabilistic reasoning  >>  Intuition.)

Thus, S3 is about the essence of Artificial Intelligence:  information, computer and human in a situation where logic alone will fail.

Apex reasoning (think Bayesian inference -- subjective probabiity as epistemic tool), patterns of thought exceeding the parameters normally experienced in logical operations — where the strategies and tactics are evolutionary; discovering order in what is seemingly random, in starkly contrasting conceptual frameworks, different problems sharing a common medium.  And, the resulting opportunity to "self-program” (neuroplasticity), to shape and direct the organization of the brain, over its lifetime. 

The question is, Machine-think or Human-think?  Remember, we can switch how we think  re-program ourselves.  We are all programmers  but not limited to programmatic thinking.  

                                                       


Enter S3.                                                      


                           Peel the conceptual onion to follow Slinks in science.

                                                  What it is.  What it does. 

                                               


                                          The Unfolding

The Sommer Cube (Sis about challenging orthodox assumptions, integrating concepts that have been carefully examined in radically different fields.

                  S3 supporters speak out at  CONSTRUCTION BLOCKS (Analog-Binary Processor)


Exploration of situation awareness, transformation of parts and whole, square and circle, feedback and symmetry -- adaptation to accelerating rates of change and complexity of system and environment:  a cognitive development tool (note manual / mental rotation studies). 

In operational terms, Swith its nested reference frames creates an interdependence of analogical and binary reasoning, transformation to higher and higher levels of abstraction, much as algebra (“al-jabr”:  reunion of broken parts) converts geometry into algebra (and vice versa) with the Cartesian Plane.    CHALLENGES / GAMES 

Symmetry, and feedback, under transformation, which takes us to Artificial Intelligence:  competition between analogical and binary reasoning. 

 

"If we allow that which is fed through the feedback loop to be a pattern or even a concept then we have arrived at a realm where feedback and symmetry exist hand-in-hand.  Such an arena does indeed occur in cognition .... a domain where re-entry, self-similarity, and feedback are all different expressions or exfoliations of the structure of awareness.  Primary awareness opens the possibility of the self.

                                                                 ”Louis H. Kaufman, "Self-reference and Recursive Forms”, 1987


A generative process.  An “unfolding”.

                                                            

A manifestation of adaptation to uncertainty:  unleashing the instinct to think, with Hands and Mind; play, with freedom of means and ends, and why it is important, in scientific terms.

A "Distributed Adaptive Message Block Networkin Paul Baran’s Internet terms, in a low-tech format.  A fractal command and control, strategic and tactical planning challenge.

                                                          

Think of the ball as “ping”:  a network monitor / troubleshooting tool testing reachability; think graph theory.

                            

Sis combinatory play.

While the S3 exterior has six faces (three sets of opposing faces), each "quartered" face with one or two holes (mismatched hole quadrants between modules are dead-ends, and proliferate erratically), the S3 interior has four intertwined chiral tunnels (each tunnel with independent logic gate orientations) with eight entrance / exits.

Thus, each S3 reorientation simultaneously reprograms the four "gravity feed” tunnels differentially, nonlinearly; each acts as a binary (0/1) logic gate (rolling ball "tilt-switch") to impede (0) / allow (1) ball flow. 

In other words, Sis a programmable logic component (in Field Programmable Gate Array terms) where the “customer", the manipulator can program the desired logic functions (physical logic arrays) — actually see and touch and test them.

To put it another way, exploration in depth of the contrapuntal possibilities inherent in a cubical maze module:  order, structure and wholeness. 

A continuous interweaving, user created, network of tunnel paths (inner voices -- relating to bass line -- cantus firmus), imitative / developed contrapuntally into an orientation-independent and network-interdependent system of harmony.

A simple block and ball networking system which leverages full-spectrum cognitive flexibility  / perceptual processing  

(Set Switch:  between task rules; Response Switch:  different resource mapping; Simple Switch:  between a circle and square (note photos oindividuals manipulating S3).  

Learning algorithms, and the art of design, with an emphasis on advanced thinking and intuition -- and self-reflection (not "mere facts", but principles); functional relations, particularly goals and feedback (What information is relevant?  What are my assumptions?  Are they justified?)

An architecture of complexity.  

From the perspective of information processing, a system of competing parts, demanding simultaneous analogical and binary reasoning, in ascending levels of abstraction, which kick starts a continuous pattern of cognitive development (not Piaget’s development in stages).

In accord with Minsky’s Connectionist and Symbolicpredicated on Spatial Thinking  (space, representation, process:  multifaceted, interconnecting competencies, human and robot), as manifested by a cubical maze module -- the rational in conflict with the intuitive. 

                                                 

Scientifically verifiable Spatial Thinking   (spatial:  ability, reasoning, cognition, concepts, intelligence, environmental cognition, cognitive mapping, mental maps, etc.) tools and learning opportunities are needed, for pilots, astronauts, surgeons, etc., as well as teachers and students, diagnostic as well as development.  (Research on spatial cognition and documentation on the transfer of skills and logic acquisition from Sto STEM -- complex and real world stimuli.)  

In particular, Wayfinding:  spatial problem solving critically examined as cognitive tool, in conjunction with an overdue operational definition of Play, a theoretical framework in Cybernetic regulatory terms:  the hidden architecture of play

In other words, Sis about seeing Play in operational intelligence terms (not silliness or behaviorist truism), as Adaptability (neurocognitive plasticity”) :  cognitive payoff.  

Play = Ashby’s Cybernetic / homeostatic "good regulator" of Intelligence (like REM sleep).

                                                        

              (Analogical x Binary reasoning  >>  Probabilistic reasoning  >>  Intuition.) 

Instead of viewing space as fixed, a passive arena (simple games, puzzles and mazes), the S3 network architecture uses space and geometry as active participants in the problem universe -- Animal and Machine (uses energy to perform intended action) -- balanced, opposing, and apparently random forces.  

Thus, Sis a paradigm shift, a hybrid, simultaneouslly Connectionist and Symbolic, an orchestration of ideas:  a system of simple puzzle, labyrinth / maze and rolling ball (apparently unrelated, but in equilibrium, exploiting the symmetry of geometry and algebra, to higher and higher levels of abstraction).


"Newton also regarded the geometric approach as more intuitive, certain, and direct, as opposed to algebraic techniques which he once characterized as nauseating. (Mathematical Papers, Volume 4, p. 277)"  

                                                            Robert Fox, The Oxford Handbook of the History of Physics


S3 (a motile) is a work of art of bare utility, like mobile and stabile (remember Calder’s play circus), a machine (uses energy to perform intended action) which offers abstraction of form and function, as well as cognitive payoff, for the manipulator.

S3 is transformative, a kick-start, a self-generating, self-sustaining, escalating causal loop:  an exploration of deep causal structure (in "hard science”, beyond behaviorist psychology terms -- think endogeneity); an evolutionary cycle of cognitive development where the manipulator is both agent and object of change.

Sis about simultaneous mental (rational and nonrational) and manual rotation, giving form to binary and analogical information, a coupling between physical objects and binary information where bits are directly manipulable and perceptible. 

Four tunnels (trajectories) are as closely packed as possible within a cube (they attempt to “kiss” each other and the faces of the cube) without overlapping and / or kinking and are configured to allow a ball to enter and exit in any of twenty-four perpendicular orientations, with the constraints of gravity and / or specific exits.  

In other words, the S3 physical state embodies the binary state of the system, as well as the analogical.  (think Tangible User Interface -- TUI)


                                                                  

                                                    (VIRTUAL REALITY paths confirmed)


A combinational (technically “permutational", like a combination lock) logic block, effectively an array of unconnected, gravity-dependent switches to be programmed by the user as the block is rotated in space, which can be connected to other logic blocks to create multiple adaptive, simultaneous, routes by reconfigurable interconnects. 

In this way Sis about relative motion (flip-flop of manipulator frame of reference:  egocentric  >>  allocentric) and patterns of thought (higher levels of abstraction) in a paradoxical environment, and why and how to get the most out of them.  Strategies for learning and control (simultaneous multiple path optimization) under continuously varying context (among eccentrically rotating local" and expanding “absolute" coordinate systems)  — multivariate, celestial mechanics.


 

                 Distributed Processor (S3) Programming Network

                     Optimizing Multiple Simultaneous Paths 


                                                                         

                                                                           Problem Universe

                                        "Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine


"It takes as its subject-matter the domain of "all possible machines" .... What Cybernetics offers is the framework on which all  individual machines may be ordered, related, or understood."  

                                                                         Ross Ashby, An Introduction To Cybernetics, 1956


The Sis about optimizing multiple simultaneous paths, withinin a constant stream of evolving problems, within a topology of paradox (contradictory cognitive and perceptual signals / messages at different levels, with a negative injunction forbidding acknowledgement of that contradiction).


                                           locally implemented full switching

                                   

                                                                    (checkered paths allow exit)

THE LAWS 

1)  Law of Gravity

2)  Law of Lowest Exit

(Given that a ball must exit at the lowest Slevel and obey gravity, exit is possible in all orientations.)


S3 is all about regulatory switching (synchronizing concurrent communication / interference among rotating switching stations); a heuristic routing (ball or vector) system (in Paul Baran’s Distributed Communications - Adaptive Message Block Network terms):  


                                               


seeking best paths (optimization) in an unfriendly (blocking), gravity-dependent network of switchable links, where dynamic programming is required to optimize incompletely understood and changing systems (using locally implemented full switching at all nodes, not a hierarchy of routing control centers; each node has equal power to switch and route)

                     

To repeat, think of the ball as “ping” (logical / signal topology):  a network monitor / troubleshooting tool testing reachability.

S3 is predicated on juxtaposition of square and circle across three dimensions and binary opposition, the bit (binary digit), the basic unit of information, which can have only one of two values (0/1), and can be physically implemented with a two-state device. 

Thus, to repeat, S3 is transformative, a kick-start, a self-generating, self-sustaining, escalating causal loop:  an exploration of deep causal structure); an evolutionary cycle of cognitive development where the manipulator is both agent and object of change.

A Leibniz germinis "machinea rationcinatrix.

                                                             

Each Stunnel is a two-state rolling ball "tilt-switcha binary (0/1) logic gate with forty-eight states (twenty-four possible attitude combinations:  six faces; times four points of the compass; times impede (0) / allow (1) ball flow).  Each S3 orthogonal attitude change  simultaneously resets the four "gravity feed" chiral tunnels — differently.

A three axis rotation problem space (physical and mental) of nested uncertainty (uncertainty of environment, and cognitive flip-flop and perceptual flip-flop -- "unknown unknowns"), of constant and unexpected contradiction, recursive abstractions and relationships; opposing systems, domains of expectation / reference frames, which exhibit completely different properties and changing order of operations (not to mention the unique powers of particular Sclusters, in different situations -- like chess / go).


"The matching process which decides whether a proposed frame is suitable is controlled partly by one's current goals and partly by information attached to the frame; the frames carry terminal markers and other constraints [S3 confusing distinctive-feature information:  squares / cubes, circles / tunnels, illusory / real symmetries, binary states], while the goals are used to decide which of these constraints are currently relevant."

                                                                                        Marvin Minsky, "Frames Systems Theory", 1975


To optimize multiple simultaneous paths (make most paths begin / cross within a single S3) and cope with / coordinate the resulting dynamic, tangled control structure / flow, and order of operations, the manipulator must simulate the future, conceptually "drill down" through nested coordinate systems.

In Michio Kaku’s, The Future of the Mind terms, “self awareness; the ability to put one’s self inside a model of the environment.”   Think like the ball.  (Visualize the necessary systemwide adjustments from the ball’s moving frame of reference  — among eccentrically rotating local" and expanding “absolute" coordinate systems.)

In other words, navigation of nested levels of abstraction (sets: binary and analog), mental dsicrimination / integration of different problem models, starkly contrasting conceptual frameworks (each with its own set of rules):  

CUBE exoskeleton (six faces)  >>  

HOLES quadrant (eight holes)  >>  

TUNNELS / HOLES (four couplingsgravity gate array; (four binary switches)  >> 

TUNNEL / HOLES (one binary switch). 

         

     four bit (0/1) -- nibble     Asynchronous Analog-Binary Processor (0/1) /  three axis rotation problem space

 

To repeat, while the S3 exterior has six faces (three sets of opposing faces), each "quartered" face with one or two holes (mismatched hole quadrants between modules are dead-ends, and proliferate erratically), the S3 interior has four intertwined chiral tunnels (each tunnel with independent logic gate orientations) with eight entrance / exits.

Thus, each S3 reorientation simultaneously reprograms the four "gravity feed” tunnels differentially, nonlinearly; each acts as a binary (0/1) logic gate (rolling ball "tilt-switch") to impede (0) / allow (1) ball flow. (Think Field Programmable Gate Array:  “customers” program the desired logic functions.)

Each of these nested frames of reference establishes conditions / opportunities as the focal point of each frame is moved in any of three perpendicular directions.

                                                                            

                                                        allocentric / egocentric flip-flop spatial processing

                         

With each rotation (precession of the rotational axis of each tunnel), and each additional S3, the manipulator must focus on the binary issues (0/1) of a given tunnel (part), proceed up the logic hierarchy to the S3 (whole), then to the ever expanding universe of S3 (overarching whole / system of systems).  Then go back down the hierarchy of nested coordinate systems, and repeat the process (while coping with contradiction of action and environment -- dissonance of conflicting cognitions / actions).

A dynamic cycle of nested abstraction, recalibration and reflection:  symmetry under changes  of coordinate systems:  analogical mapping, consistently “structured representations made up of objects and their properties, relations between objects, and higher-order relations between relations.” (Structure-Mapping Theory, Dedre Gentner, 1983, 1988)  

Because the S3 experience leverages cognitive / perceptual processing to a higher level of abstraction in a clearly intended paradoxical problem-solving environment, it is a useful tool for illuminating its opposite, the unintended paradoxical environment:  in aircraft terms, “aircraft upset” (exceeding the parameters normally experienced in logical operations) and “upset recovery”, in the manned artificial intelligence aircraft cockpit, is a classic Cybernetics Animal / Machine dialogue problem of functional relations, particularly goals and feedback.  

It’s all about control under continuously varying context, contradiction of action and environment:  an illogical universe.  Sort of like flying.  (Ask a pilot, or astronaut.) 

Just a different frame of reference – but deadly (you try switching allocentric / egocentric):

               Aircraft Artificial Horizon            Apollo Spacecraft Flight Director Attitude Indicator

                                                  

Which way is the aircraft turning?  

Russia: horizon bar is fixed & the aircraft moves.

US:  moving horizon bar with a fixed aircraft representation.

More about this later.  


                                            




         Navigating Problem Universe (Animal and Machine)

                                 Binary and Analogical Reasoning


"The scientist is always working to discover the order and organization of the universe, and is thus playing a game against the arch enemy, disorganization."

                                                Norbert Wiener, The Human Use Of Human Beings, 1950


  

                                                                            

 

                                     

                                   situation awareness:  allocentric / egocentric flip-flop spatial processing    


An architecture of complexity.  (Remember, link multiple simultaneous paths.)



 

                                  

                                                    (checkered paths allow exit)


To repeat, the S3 physical state embodies the binary state of the system, as well as the analogical. (think Tangible User Interface -- TUI)


                                                              

                                                   (VIRTUAL REALITY paths confirmed)


A tangible demonstration of basic behaviors (consciousness) of the brain through mechanical concepts (switches): a cubical maze module (four tunnels = four binary (0/1) switches = gate array) offering a development of choices (control flow) to create linearly independent / dependent paths, using a ball, or symmetry in mathematics (symmetry under arbitrary changes of coordinate systems).


                               

                                                                            (checkered paths allow exit)


In musical (math / pattern) terms, Sis about polyphony:  simultaneously combining modules, independent in melody (rhythm and contour of ball trajectory) yet interdependent harmonically (periodic variations on a theme of square and circle -- flip-flop, a counterpoint of logic and intuition.)


                           

                                   S3 Day at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts -- April 9, 2002


Thus, to repeat, S3 is predicated on the tension of switchiness (compound cognitive, perceptual, mechanical flip-flop and schedule of reinforcement — "reversal learning"):  switching of directed attention, relative motion and form;  juxtaposition of square and circle across three dimensions.


                                     

                                   Rolling Ball Switch                        Asynchronous Analog-Binary Processor (0/1)

Each S3 reorientation simultaneously reprograms the four "gravity feed” tunnels differentially, nonlinearly; each acts as a binary (0/1) logic gate (rolling ball "tilt-switch") to impede (0) / allow (1) ball flow.  (Think Field Programmable Gate Array.)

(Note that Snonlinearity -- change in one variable which does not produce a directly proportional change in the result -- even in the single S3, is effectively a nonlinear expression / experience which allows one to intuitively graph the output as a curve -- very exciting stuff for the manipulator with a questioning mind.   And that’s just the first S3.)


                                           


In other words, S3 is about negotiating conflict with requisite variety (states) of adaptation, efficiently directing multiple concurrent interactions, resources, and synchronous and asynchronous procedures in an expanding distributed network, where intuition, naive commonsense reasoning, are prerequisites -- logic is necessary but not sufficient.  

As Artificial Intelligence’s John McCarthy put it, “the first task is to define even a naive common sense view of the world precisely enough to program a computer [S3] to act accordingly.

S3 is an eminently measurable (think signal-to-noise ratio: mental opposed to manual rotation / neurophysiological) interface (invites interaction and responds to it), a working definition of that cognitive processing (in a paradoxical environment -- hierarchies of different rules and changing order of operations, principles have to be unlearned) versus logical algorithms, "naive physics”.  The functionality of machine, the learning of organism: the necessary conceptual fusion of Cybernetics and Systems Thinking.

Thus, S3 is a textbook demonstration of the connections between the concept of self-reference and Cybernetic and Systems Thinking (root Artificial Intelligence), a partnership of feedback and symmetry: “the whole is other than the sum of its parts”.

In Cybernetics (science of regulation and control) feed-back terms, the S3 manipulator is “perfectly informed” of all the events that have previously occurred, but is misinformed by its own cognitive / perceptual apparatus.  Rational thinking is necessary but not sufficient.  But, continuous self-appraisal and correction is required.      

Thus, S3 is about levels of abstraction:  abstraction (exclusive use of the conceptual aspects relevant to a given purpose) of pattern.

    

The rule which governs a system or phenomenon, exactly like numeric, musical, or visual relationships; patterns of thought exceeding the parameters normally experienced in logical operations:  

Apex reasoning — here the strategies and tactics are evolutionary.

(From child to super-mathematician, the Smanipulator has only one path:  reason / intuit up the original "evolution of mathematics” ladderfrom things, to abstractions of things, to binaryness, to geometryness, to algebraness, to setness -- create more sophisticated problem models, know what the laws are.)

In other words, S3 is about thinking within a topology of paradox, Watzlawick’s "contradiction that follows correct deduction from consistent premises”.  Reasoning as play:  invitation to Ashby’s double feedback loop learning (intrinsically destabilizing, Open Systems Thinking).  Directly visualizing S3 (as geometrical objects and the relations between them) becomes secondary to thinking at higher and higher levels of abstraction (think Descartes algebraic representation of Euclidian spatial relations).

Thus, Sis about architecture of nested dichotomies:  contradictions of reason and perception, frames of reference, of logic, pattern and process, motion and stasis -- self-referential.  An organic and reciprocal switching, an evolutionary cycle of cognitive development.  A “strange loop.” 

In Buckminster Fuller’s  Tensegrity (tension / compression) terms:  Synergy -- a "coordination of thought and physical action, the genesis of geometry, system, and structure.”

With measurable utility.


        

           (checkered paths allow exit)

For exampe: four paths begin / cross within a single S3.

QUAD  (CHALLENGES / GAMES)

Utility = 1.00 for the top front S3 (one path S= .25)

QED



                            S3 “Amplifying" Intelligence

                                                           

"Another test asks the child how it would find a ball in a field: out of all the possible paths the child must select one of the suitable few. Thus it is not impossible that what is commonly referred to as “intellectual power” may be equivalent to “power of appropriate selection”.  Indeed, if a talking Black Box were to show high power of appropriate selection in such matters — so that, when given difficult problems it persistently gave correct answers — we could hardly deny that it was showing the behavioral equivalent of “high intelligence”.  

If this is so, and as we know that power of selection can be amplified, it seems to follow that intellectual power, like physical power, can be amplified.  Let no one say that it cannot be done, for the gene-patterns do it every time they form a brain that grows up to be something better than the gene-pattern could have specified in detail. What is new is that we can now do it synthetically, consciously, deliberately."

                                                                         Ashby, W. Ross, An Introduction To Cybernetics (1956)


To repeat, SPlay offers the opportunity to regulate analogical and binary harmony, and intuition — the nonrational — is the cognitive payoff.

S3 offers Hands and Mind in conjunction with juxtaposition of Analogical and Binary reasoning, the Rational in conflict with the Intuitive:  patterns of thought exceeding the parameters normally experienced in logical operations — Apex reasoning. 

Zen koans employ the same flip-flop mechanics:  enlightenment by contradiction. 

     

Simply put, Albert Einstein’s "musicality in the sphere of thought.

S3 tension of switchiness (compound switching -- cognitive, perceptual, mechanical flip-flop):  counterpoint, an architecture of continuous interweaving, user created, network of tunnel paths, imitative / developed contrapuntally into an orientation-independent and network-interdependent system of harmony — polyphony.

Dynamic equilibrium. 

To repeat, In operational terms, Swith its nested reference frames creates an interdependence of analogical and binary reasoning, transformation to higher and higher levels of abstraction, much as algebra (“al-jabr”:  reunion of broken parts) converts geometry into algebra (and vice versa) with the Cartesian Plane.    CHALLENGES / GAMES 

Again, from the perspective of cognitive information processing, a system of competing parts which kick starts a continuous pattern of development (not Piaget’s development in stages) providing improved organization of information storage and retrieval, reducing clutter, inefficient memory storage (knowledge) which impedes learning.

Minsky's Connectionist and Symbolic, predicated on Spatial Thinking   (space, representation, process:  multifaceted, interconnecting competencies, human and robot), as manifested by a cubical maze module -- the rational in conflict with the intuitive. 


                                                          INTELLIGENCE

                         Conscious Awareness (Self)           User Interface           

                                   Unconscious                      Machine Language       

                                   

                                               Defragmentation       Play       Defragmentation

                                         Intuition                       Hard Drive Optimization


Thus, S(cognitive tool) leverages analogical and binary harmony (coherent states of opposition are preserved while that decoherence is maintained, in an evolutionary fashion).

And intuition — the nonrational — is the cognitive payoff.

Sis combinatory play.

Ask Einstein.


"The psychical entities which seem to serve as elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images which can be 'voluntarily' reproduced and combined... this combinatory play [emphasis mine] seems to be the essential feature in productive thought before there is any connection with logical construction in words or other kinds of signs which can be communicated to others."

                                                            Albert Einstein:  letter to Jacques Hadamard,

                                                                             The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field, 1945    



        Dynamic Interaction Of The Brain And Its Environment 

                                    Trumps Brain Alone

Sis about challenging assumptions, be it joint pilot / computer management of aircraft, uneasy subordinate partnership with machine environment (more about this below), or Smanipulation.

                                                       


For example, while Rubik’s Cube (Machine-think:  about problem solving competence) “exercises” logic without that paradox (according to MIT / Rubik’s Cube"Solving the cube becomes almost trivial once a certain core set of algorithms, called macros, are learned.”), S(about human learning proficiency) demands logic and intuition.  

S3 is about Distributed Communication Network -- regulatory switching:  synchronizing concurrent communication / interference among S3s (each a three axis rotation problem space):  continuous synchronous switching:  nested, dynamic, switching of cognitive and perceptual and mathematical dichotomies, where the manipulator must constantly re-examine reigning assumptions, transcend and control nested and evolving recursion and contradiction, by inventing new propositions (Boolean algebra -- a way of seeing new structures -- fundamental to the design of binary computer circuits and programming language).  Note that individual S3 logic elements do not necessarily have a discrete true / false state at any given time; simple Boolean, bivalent logic is inadequate for this, thus extensions are required.


                                                       

                                                                                     FPGA

Thus, S3 is a programmable logic component (in Field Programmable Gate Array terms); think of do-it-yourself programming of bus architecture, plug-ins, simple logic circuits.  

To repeat, instead of viewing space as fixed, a passive arena (typical games, puzzles and mazes), the S3 network architecture uses space and geometry as active participants in the problem universe.

Sis a demonstration of  ANIMAL / MACHINE cooperation in DYNAMIC SITUATIONS -- fields which can change (or seem to change) autonomously.  

It is a technological mechanism, a dynamic router, an Analog-Binary Processor which employs corrective feedback (non-linear feedback controlled "purpose”) which generates oscillating, intermittent restriction of cognition and perception within a dynamic logic hierarchy, a topology of paradox:  the cognitive mechanics of Gregory Bateson's Double Bind paradox (Zen koans employ the same flip-flop mechanics:  contradiction:  contradictory communication at different levels, where acknowledgement of that contradiction is forbidden); and Wieners’s oscillatory response, "pathological oscillations”, to "set-theoretical" paradox). 

In other words, the S3 leverages cognitive / perceptual processing to a higher level of abstraction through robust integration of Hands and Mind (mental and manual rotation) 


"Nature appears to have built the apparatus of rationality not just on top of the apparatus of biological regulation, but also from it and with it.

                                                           (Daniel Dennett’s ReviewAntonio Domasio,, "Descarte’s Error”, 1995


in a paradoxical problem-solving environment"Strange Loop” process which suggests opportunities for improved modification of self-behavior on the basis of experience (feedback), across the range of early education computer learning to advanced joint pilot / computer management of aircraft.

S3 is about the genesis of thinking, navigating three-dimensional problem space; analogical reasoning between superficially distinct models, which share common underlying structure:  

With Hands and Mind.

Sis about root Artificial Intelligence quandary:  the need for more learning proficiency than problem solving competence; Hofstadter’s (GEB“the seemingly unbridgeable gulf between the formal and informal, the animate and the inanimate, the flexible and the inflexible”; topology of paradox (idiosyncratic versus pragmatic rules).  


                                                      


"Cybernetics deals with all forms of behavior insofar as they are regular, or determinate, or reproducible.  The materiality is irrelevant …."

                                             Ashby, W. Ross, An Introduction To Cybernetics (1956)  


Thus, Sis a learning system of communication, control and feedback loops, the original intersection, before academic turf compartmentalization, of Synthesis of Cybernetics and Systems Thinking (root Artificial “Intelligence") -- functional relations, particularly goals and feedback -- and its tangible, lucid, demonstration -- the essence of Splay.

To repeat, a combinational (technically “permutational", like a combination lock) logic block which contains four tunnels, effectively an array of unconnected, gravity-dependent switches to be programmed by the user as the block is rotated in space, which can be connected to other logic blocks to create multiple adaptive, simultaneous routes by reconfigurable interconnects.

Thus, S3 is a Cybernetic switch, encompassing the Systems Thinking idea, the operation of wholeness, and the relation of whole and parts, structure of systems and their behavior, laws of regulation, and recursive processes of self-observation and self-reference in the service of reasoning.  

Binary and analogical reasoning.


                                                                  


The subtlety here is that the whole (the Gestalt) has a reality of its own:  subjective contours are real, according to the brain, and therefore must be taken into account (illusion of whole affects interpretation of each part); illusion is operational fact.  Actions are taken, or not taken, accordingly.

The problem (more about this later) is that the Systems Thinking axiom / mantra, The Whole Is “Greater" Than The Sum Of its Parts, is a misquote, a misunderstanding, and represents thinking not robust enough for an environment of paradox or chaos (Gestalt psychologist Kurt Koffka’s original statement was "the whole is other than the sum of its parts” (the whole may be different from its parts studied in isolation); “this is not a principle of addition” he complained, a significant intellectual degeneration.)  

Thus, S3 gestalt is messy (definitely not programmatic):  it's about situation awareness as well as naive commonsense reasoning, which, according to Artificial Intelligence precepts makes us smarter, more resourceful, than computers; reasoning which relates to the sense of touch, which overrides the human interaction with complex cognitive and perceptual content in paradoxical ways.  

Sis about “operationalizing” the collapse of our expectation of a logical universe, and how we adapt by logical thinking and intuition, naive commonsense reasoning -- and reflect upon those processes -- in an eminently researchable and simple form.

Sis about Wieners’s oscillatory response to Russell's paradox: "pathological oscillations” -- an oscillating, intermittent restriction of cognition and perception within a dynamic logic hierarchy;  

Heinz von Foerster’s "Cybernetics of Cybernetics” with its necessary hierarchy of feedback loops and consequent evolution of change agent and object of change;

Ross Ashby "ideal machine" of requisite variety (states) of choices, forcing manipulator to respond with increasing variety (informal as well as formal reasoning) of adaptation; planning in a paradoxical environment;

Minsky / Shannon's “Ultimate Machine” (an Ashby “Incompletely Observable Box” / "Black Box”, whose job is to turn itself off (one switch).

Almost a “purposeful” entity (think like child, or Cybernetician).


                                                


(S3 turns four switches on / off differentially, unpredictably, with each rotation:  sort of purposeful, having apparent "agency”, independent intentions and decision making; reconfigures / “randomizes” routing with each rotation (note compound reinforcement of manipulator).


                                                    


S3 rolling ball switches provide the observer / manipulator with nested and evolving contradictions, a topology of paradox, and the opportunity to control them -- a cognitive / perceptual partnership:  each is both change agent and object of change. 

A combinational logic block with “purposefulness", each tunnel with twenty-four possible attitude combinations (impede (0) / allow (1) ball flow).

In Norbert Wiener's Cybernetics-Teleology parlance, a technological mechanism employing non-linear feedback controlled purpose.


"automata ... coupled to the outside world both for the reception of impressions and for the performance of actions.”

           Wiener, Norbert,  Cybernetics:  Or Control And Communication In The Animal And The Machine (1948) 


Consequently, S3 demands recognition of sequence / pattern of repeating events formed in accordance with a definite rule(s).  (Note, different individuals can perceive the same pattern differently, reach different generalizations).  

It’s mysterious.

S3 is about coordinating mental and manual environment, modifying self-behavior on the basis of experience, through the optimization of multiple simultaneous paths (make most paths begin / cross within a single S3), in a constant stream of evolving problems, within a topology of paradox.  (“How complex environments push brain evolution”)

In other words, S3 is about paradigm shift.  Unlike the Pythagoreans whose logical universe collapsed when faced with the irrational (not logical or reasonable) number  (which contradicted their belief that the integer, and its supporting logic, was the foundation of the universe) S3 encourages the collapse of the logical universe:  with combined puzzle and maze / labyrinth and rolling ball device -- intuition is a prerequisite (logic is necessary but not sufficient).  

Heuristic or best approximation will do at first (small child), but with complex problems S3 order of operations changes, higher levels of abstraction (irrational, intuitive) soon become necessary, principles have to be unlearned).  The Aha moments (shift of frame of reference -- paradigm shift), But, why can’t I do this?, are fun.  (note S3 Quad Problem).



                                                     Come Fly Me 

                                                      Like Hand-Flying

                                                                      “Use it or lose it."

                                                               


S3 robust integration of haptics / Hands and Mind, mental and manual rotation, illusion as operational fact, is missing, from early childhood computer learning to joint pilot computer management of aircraft, unlike the original Link Trainer flight simulator, which, like S3


                                                         

                                                  Think of S3 as interconnecting analog flight simulators.


                                                                  


A) inhibits visual reference, and 

B) offers direct mechanical control -- hand-flying -- manual reversion in aviation parlance.  

Dynamic interaction of the brain and its environment trumps brain alone.  

Hence, S3.  Fly me, "Use it or lose it.”


Sis about challenging assumptions.

To repeat, the robust integration of haptics / Hands and Mind is missing, from early childhood computer learning to joint pilot / computer management of aircraft (increasing absence of hand-flying).  Dynamic interaction of the brain and its environment trumps brain alone (more learning proficiency than problem solving competence). 

"Use it or lose it” applies to both human and computer-enhanced aviation.

Both aviation (accidently) and S(deliberately) present a topology of paradox ("contradiction that follows correct deduction from consistent premises”), to repeat, providing the pilot / manipulator with nested and evolving contradictions and the opportunity to control them:  a cognitive / perceptual partnership of Animal and Machine:  each is both change agent and object of change.  Each should be trained to rise to the challenge of an uncertain environment. 

The critical issue is, What kind of change?  Sobviously creates independence of action and thought; the question is, Does fly-by-wire, AI system, etc., create passivity and diminution of skills?   

Remember, S3 and flying are both about pattern (spatial awareness of key factors in the environment.

In choosing patterns and networking the S3s chiral tunnels (each with its independent set of twenty-four “logic gate” orientations) there are no absolute choices, only relative choices -- the nested, interactive possibilities of the S3 change with each rotation. Everything must be questioned. 

To repeat, Sis about information, reference frame flip-flop: egocentric (location with respect to perspective of perceiver vs. allocentric (location within frame external to and independent of perceiver) -- spatial processing switching.

Kants switchiness of relative motion: 

"… Copernicus, who, when he did not make good progress in the explanation of the celestial motions if he assumed that the entire celestial host revolves around the observer, tried to see if it might not have greater success if he made the observer revolve and left the stars at rest.”

                                                                           Kant, I., Critique of Pure Reason, (Preface to B)


                                            

                                                 allocentric / egocentric flip-flop spatial processing


In spatial processing terms, the ability to imagine object rotation is limited by an ambiguity of rotational motion of egocentric, object-intrinsic (S3 dynamic hierarchy) and allocentric reference frames, a perceptual "relativity” of local and universal coordinate systems (moving backgrounds create the illusion of self-motion).

In celestial motion terms, the S3 manipulator (unlike the computer-focused manipulator) feels “inherent retrograde motion”, a dynamic, immersive, mental and manual rotation of nested and interdependent frames.  It becomes increasingly confusing to formulate the 0/1 characteristics of each tunnel (not to mention the difficulty of planning multiple simultaneous paths). 

That is, Sis an engine of paradox which generates continuous ambiguous, bi-stable stimuli, cognitive and perceptual, such that the brain cannot commit to just one interpretation, but must switch back and forth, providing best guesses, unconscious inference ("unbewusster Schluss) in Helmholtz's 1867 terms.  (seminal hand-flying issues)

In aviation terms, the Smanipulator (with twenty-four sanctioned attitude options, unlike aircraft) has a cognitive / sensory workload of planning and controlling each individual 0/1, drilling down the logic hierarchy within multiple, simultaneous, nested reference frames (attitudes): roll / pitch / yaw, within another frame of roll / pitch / yaw, within yet another frame of roll / pitch / yaw.   


                                        


But unlike the S3, which transmits its “feel” (Sflight control surfaces are proportionally linked to flight control forces), modern computer / AI managed “glass cockpit” aircraft do not provide the pilot with the cognitive / sensory Hands and Mind (mental and manual rotation) experience -- "hand-flying”.  (Pilots use hands and feet and inclination of body to control flight surfaces -- which control roll, pitch and yaw.)

In other words, Sis about exceeding the parameters normally experienced in logical operations  Apex reasoning.  Picture yourself at the controls of a glider (no engine) [see the Gimli Glider Air Canada Flight 143], about to land in tricky winds, facing the question: which approach pattern is best?  You are facing numerous changing issues, including altitude, airspeed, traffic, wind speed / direction, terrain, lift / sink, etc. -- and you can only do this once -- there will be no second chance.  Would you rather do this yourself, with your fine-tuned human aviation intuitions (like manipulating S3), or by logic alone?  (Daniel Dennett’s Review of Antonio Domasio's, "Descarte’s Error”, 1995, suggests that it would be wise to turn off the computer.  In fact, that is not unsual in flight emergencies.)

In Animal / Machine control and communication terms, Sis a mechanical user interface; the glass cockpit is a binary user interface which can “de-humanize”, rewarding Machine behavior instead of Human development (the paradox of complex self-organization transcending development).

In other words, S3 manipulator and aircraft artificial intelligence system (with its Internal Measurement Unit  -- velocity, orientation, and gravitational forces sensor) enjoy situational awareness denied to the glass cockpit pilot (despite numerous visual display / audio warning work-arounds “compensating" for that deficiency).  

Thus, the cockpit, like S3, can operate as topology of paradox for the pilot:  topology (properties and relations unaffected by continuous change -- symmetry under transformation) of paradox (contradictory cognitive and perceptual signals / messages at different levels, where acknowledgement of that contradiction is forbidden).  

Both are paradoxical environments, but one, S(and hand-flying) elevates human capabilities, while the other “diminishes” them (pilots are trained to trust not their senses, their instincts, but their flight instruments). 

A terrible example is the crash of Air Florida Flight 90 into the Potomac River in Washington DC in 1982; subsequent investigation, and the testimony of a passenger / pilot survivor, indicated that it was likely that the crash would not have happened if the pilots had followed their instincts, ignored the faulty instrumentation, and applied emergency power earlier.  As an experienced pilot himself, he testified that he could clearly feel (self-reference) the abnormal behavior of the aircraft before the plane lifted off, and immediately and without instruction tucked down into the crash position, saving his life.

In philosophcal terms, this is an unnecessary denial / lack of 

"appreciation for the perspective of the body, and the shared balance of powers from which we emerge as conscious persons.” (Daniel Dennett’s Review) Antonio Domasio, "Descarte’s Error”,1995)

Is this diminution necessary / unavoidable?  Should hand-flying be allowed to disappear?  Can the glass cockpit learn from S3?  Can pilots be enhanced by routine hand-flying engagement by AI supervised / graded in-flight virtual training drills underway?  Why not? -- Norbert Wiener addresses seminal issues in  The Human Use Of Human Beings (1950). 


             

                    US Navy Submarine Drill  (Hands and Mind)  --  simulation / evaluation while underway.


In other words, somethining functionally similar to S3 combination of simple puzzle, labyrinth / maze and rolling ball (apparently unrelated, but in equilibrium, exploiting the symmetry of geometry and algebra, to higher and higher levels of abstraction)


                                               

                                                    allocentric / egocentric flip-flop spatial processing 



                 "I’m Sorry Dave, I’m Afraid I Can’t Do That."

Returning to paradoxical environment in aviation, in Operations Research / S3 terms, Cockpit Resource Management (a solution) arguably addresses the wrong problem, focusing on rational issues of "Human Factors” (make humans work together like a well-oiled machine, or computer) where that "strange loop” is absent — eliminating the nonrational human factors.  

To repeat, S3 is about symmetry under transformation, and feedback (Ashby’s double loop):  exploration of network topology, physical and logical -- with hands and Mind; Apex reasoning, patterns of thought exceeding the parameters normally experienced in logical operations:  where the strategies and tactics are evolutionary.  

The problem is, simply put, that the aircraft computer / AI system is endowed with double loop faculties while the human pilot is reduced to single loop faculties, more passive observer.  The tail wags the dog; the human and machine trade roles.

Instead, the primary focus should be smoothing the way for the artificial intelligence system to assimilate those areas of human performance, probabilistic reasoning  >>  Intuition, naive commonsense reasoning (where the human brain is orders of magnitude superior), leading to Animal / Machine Synthesis, not just collaboration. 

In other words, the original robust concept of self-reference and Cybernetic and Systems Thinking, a partnership of feedback and symmetry, has suffered from “'abstract’ inbreeding", in John von Neuman’s warning below.  Time to get back to basics, the "empirical source”.   In Sterms, Hands and Mind.

Norbert Wiener meant what he said with the terms Animal and Machine -- the "improved” / politically correct concept of Human and Machine (Humans are thought to be “beyond” base animal instinct -- humanistic psychology) skews the formulation (not to mention solution) of numerous problems.  In other words, humans are no longer the center of the universe, the "problem space".  Unwillingness to deal with that issue head on, is the problem.

Since Sis about “operationailzing” the collapse of our expectation of a logical universe, and how we adapt by advanced thinking and intuition -- and reflect upon those processes, S3can shed light on seminal Animal / Machine issues.


"To sum up: the many automata of the present age are coupled to the outside world both for the reception of impressions and for the performance of actions.  They contain sense organs, effectors, and the equivalent of a nervous system to integrate the transfer of information from the one to the other."

         Norbert Wiener,  Cybernetics:  Or Control And Communication In The Animal And The Machine (1948)


                            


That is, the Animal / Machine cockpit is a “nervous system”, an organism in its own right (Intelligent Flight Control Systems use artificial neural networks to learn how to fly failed / damaged aircraft), but too often, in the face of abnormal events   "automation surprises, airline pilots in particular, engaged in the joint management of an aircraft find themselves in disagreement with the computer (the computer has "saved the day" by taking control away from the pilots -- resulting in a crash; or the pilot [sometimes the pilots disagree with each other] has "saved the day" by taking control away from the computer -- resulting in a crash).  They have not been flying the aircraft -- they have been "flying the computer" (it's called fly-by-wire / necessary joint determination of means and ends) -- but were trained to fly the aircraft (traditionally sole determinant of means and ends).  Sooner or later there is an inevitable argument about common purpose.  In the cybernetic sense, in Ackoff’s terms, the fly-by-wire / "glass cockpit 

“organization is a purposeful system that contains at least two purposeful elements which have a common purpose relative to which the system has a functional division of labor; its functionally distinct subsets can respond to each other’s behavior through observation or communication; and at least one subset has a system-control function.”

                                                                        Russell Ackoff, "Towards A System of Systems Concepts", 1971


                                               

In other words, Animal / Machine, while modifying self-behavior on the basis of experience (a good thing), compete (a bad thing) with each other for the "Alpha Intelligence" role, resulting in "pathological oscillations” (“click it off" is current pilot slang for deselecting the artificial intelligence modes -- thus ”winning” the argument, like HAL 9000).

With regard to this sharing of control (unlike S3, glass cockpit sensation of control forces is minimal to none) Pilots have acknowledged "two fears … making a gross error, and loss of manual flying skills”, and furthermore, "new human factors / ergonomics research suggests that pilots’ thinking skills, such as navigating, remaining aware of the status of the flight, and diagnosing troublesome situations, are most vulnerable in today’s automated cockpits. 

Thus, the cockpit, like S3, is seen as topology (properties and relations unaffected by continuous change -- symmetry under transformation) of paradox (contradictory cognitive and perceptual signals / messages at different levels, where acknowledgement of that contradiction is forbidden).  

The idealized “Master of the Ship” role conflicts with the actual role of Animal / Machine "Partner of the Ship”, an inevitable cognitive / perceptual / aviation culture paradox -- a lethal quarrel.  ("Freud’s Ego in the Cockpit”Aircraft Accident Analysis: Final Reports"The Cockpit; Where Custom, Tradition, Technology and Humans Collide"Drone Pilot personality issues; "Ironies of Automation.” ; "Towards a cognitive approach to human-machine cooperation in dynamic situations, etc.)

Note, Wiener’s Animal (human) cannot fly modern aircraft / space vehicle without Machine (Artificial Intelligence), but Machine does fine on its own, in the air and in space (US Navy drone lands on Aircraft Carrier).

The paradox:  Who is boss (known as "pilot vs. plane" issues)? 

Why? (Ask a pilot, not a researcher.)  

The problem has to be examined from the future looking back, not from the past toward the future.  Man’s raison d’être has changed.  

"Bogus validation" is avoidable.



                                Innovation -- Not Doctrine    


                                                                 

                                                                      Necessary and Sufficient

                                                                    Back To "Empirical Source


A too restricted view of human nature … even though only briefly ascendent, can significantly alter the expectations and, hence, the behavior of men and societies and may thus provide its own bogus validation.”

                                                                                                Geoffrey Vickers, The Art of Judgement, 1965


Sis about challenging assumptions (lest we forget).


“As a mathematical discipline travels far from its empirical source, or still more, if it is a second and third generation only indirectly inspired by ideas coming from "reality" it is beset with very grave dangers. It becomes more and more purely aestheticizing, more and more purely I'art pour I'art. This need not be bad, if the field is surrounded by correlated subjects, which still have closer empirical connections, or if the discipline is under the influence of men with an exceptionally well-developed taste. But there is a grave danger that the subject will develop along the line of least resistance, that the stream, so far from its source, will separate into a multitude of insignificant branches, and that the discipline will become a disorganized mass of details and complexities. In other words, at a great distance from its empirical source, or after much "abstract" inbreeding, a mathematical subject is in danger of degeneration."

                                                                                             John von Neuman, "The Mathematician”, 1947 


                                                               



"Thus it is that an 'interdisciplinary study' often consists of a group of disciplinarians holding hands in a ring for mutual comfort.  The ostensible topic has slipped down the hole in the middle…."

                                     Stafford Beer, Preface to Autopoiesis And Cognition,  Maturana, H. R. and Varela, F. J.



                                    


“A guru produces disciples, and a discipline, and a doctrine, …. If you are a follower of a guru, you don’t go beyond his thoughts, you accept his thoughts.  He gives you the questions and the answers – it’s an end to thought.” 

                                                                                                        Russell L. Ackoff, et al., Management f-Laws

Suncertainty:  It’s the beginning of thought.

                                                   

                                                                         

                                                                         Problem Universe

                                       "Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine"



                What Ever Happened To Systems Thinking, Really?


The fixed-in-stone Systems Doctrine of today, and it’s consanguinity with a logical universe is exactly what Russell Ackoff and Fred Emery worried would happen (personal communications):  uncritical acceptance of past thinking, a "New Reductionism”. 

Stopology of paradox, with flip-flops of cognition and perception, challenge the precepts of von Bertalanfy and the Pantheon of Systems Thinkers, that all systems can be controlled by common methods, all phenomena can be seen as a web of coherent relationships, within rational environments.  Sis about incoherent relationships, thus requiring uncommon methods, “crazy logic”.  Like Bayesian inference -- epistemic tool.

That dialectical premise, uncertainty as tool was first employed in a new research / strategic planning methodology for group, the Listening Post (formal manipulation of feedback and symmetry), to understand and regain Anheuser-Busch's (Budweiser) plummeting share of market (losing share to Millers, among 18 - 25 year olds -- the future of AB brands). (Note Epistemology)

Yes, Russ Ackoff worked with S3s. 

Picture my office, filled with a large kite hanging from the ceiling, a large working, randomized, turnpike stoplight, working neon advertising from various clients, numerous Platonic solids, etc. -- once Russ actually brought the head of the Federal Reserve into my doorway and said, abruptly, "Do it.  Make it happen."; when I finally understood what he was talking about, I turned all the devices on for the visitor.  

Chaos as partner.  

It’s time for conceptual house cleaning / evolution (What ever happened to university departments of Systems Thinking and Cybernetics ?) in the face of paradox (Gödel, Escher, Bach).  

First step, agreement on synthesis of Cybernetics and Systems Thinking (root Artificial “Intelligence"), in concert with Stafford Beer’s Autopoiesis (self-creation: paradox, simultaneously dependent and autonomic systems), in concert with self-reference in paradoxical environment (hierarchies of different rules and changing order of operations).  Simple consensus, "Who are we?  Where are we going?”, in terms that would be acceptable to the critical eye of mathematicians Von Neuman and Lewis Carroll.

As Carroll’s literary topology of paradox (Wonderland) challenged Alice with numerous logical paradoxes, Sdoes the same thing, demanding advanced thinking and intuition -- and reflection upon self.  The Cheshire Cat asked "Where do you want to go?” -- S3 would answer "Go back to basics”: focus on the collapse of our expectation of a logical universe.    


                                              

  

As mentioned above,the Systems Thinking axiom / mantra, The Whole Is “Greater" Than The Sum Of its Parts, is a misquote, a misunderstanding, and represents thinking not robust enough for an environment of paradox or chaos (think Bayesian inference -- epistemic tool).   (Gestalt psychologist Kurt Koffka’s original statement was "the whole is other than the sum of its parts”; “this is not a principle of addition” he complained, a significant intellectual degeneration.)  


"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less." 

"The question is”, said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things." 

"The question is,”said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master -- that's all."

                                                                                                Lewis Carroll, Through The Looking Glass, 1872

                                                                                                                                Alice In Wonderland, 1865 


Again, the subtlety here is that the whole (the Gestalt) has a reality of its own:  subjective contours are real, according to the brain, and therefore must be taken into account (illusion of whole affects interpretation of each part); illusion is operational fact.  Actions are taken, or not taken, accordingly.


Or, for the mathematically inclined, investigate the S3 Quad Problem (no boundary for what information is relevant for each action, what will change, what will remain the same), the problem of delimiting the consequences and non-consequences of actions. 

Thus, Sillustrates back-to-basics Animal and Machine at the intersection of philosophy and regulation of things with “purpose”, seen before academic turf refinements, escaping Leo Tolstoy’s "Law of Retrospection, which presents all the past as a preparation for the accomplished fact”. 

Happily, S3 offers a tangible, lucid, elementary demonstration of topology of paradox (a Wonderland) within the original synthesis of Cybernetics and Systems Thinking (root Artificial “Intelligence”) and affirms the need to get back to “empirical source”, escape what John von Neuman above described as the danger of  disciplinary “inbreeding”.

All do not agree.


"I agree that constant innovation is necessary, which is why we must accept methodological pluralism.  However, that leaves us with a dilemma.  Actually the variety of systems thinking approaches is so great (as a community, I don’t think we are in the land of dogma at all, even if some small parts of the community have become rather evangelical and constrained by gurus) that we are almost incapable of offering any introductory ‘story’ about systems thinking to people coming to it for the first time: 

either we pretend that a small part of the discourse is systems thinking (the tactic that most system dynamicists use) or we lose people by trying to explain ten or more different approaches. 

"I have been trying to work on a simple framework that can portray a bite-sized story of systems thinking, but that can be used to ‘hang’ a variety of methodologies on, so we can offer a simple introduction leading to a respect for the plurality of ideas later on."

                                              Gerald R. Midgley, President ISSS, Systems Thinking, Volumes I - IV (mss 7/9/14)



                               ”Through The Looking Glass”  


                                                     

S3 is about challenging assumptions.

Thus, S3 is about the essence of artificial intelligence:  information, and the Human in a situation where logic alone will fail; a situation of naive common sense versus logical algorithms; paradox of navigating three-dimensional problem space, and recursive processes of self-observation and self-reference.  Something like an “Alice in Wonderland" situation.

Modern Child Development thinking tells us that the child is manipulating the computer. Arguably, the computer is manipulating the child.

Modern Cybernetic Human Factors thinking tells us that the pilot is in charge.  That is obviously “true”, but absolutely wrong:  the computer is flying the aircraft.

Is this the way we want it to be?  Just how valuable are our nonrational processes 

As Artificial Intelligence’s John McCarthy put it, “the first task is to define even a naive common sense view of the world precisely enough to program a computer [S3] to act accordingly.

The question is:  Machine-think or Human-think?  Remember, we can switch how we think -- re-program ourselves.

And it’s fun. (CHALLENGES / GAMES)



Challenge  

It is worth a short digression to briefly consider this very technical issue, relating to human common sense assumptions, and particularly assumptions about assumptions in the form of the Quad Problem (Quad Problem section); the world class mathematician below did not solve it, after a day of effort.   Why not? 

Given that a ball must exit at the lowest S3 level: 

What is the minimum number of CUBES necessary to make four QUADRUPLE PATH CUBES (S3s which utilize all four conduits as passageways)? 

How many QUADRUPLE PATH CUBES are possible using twenty-seven S3s?

Remember, the Law of Gravity must be obeyed.

Can you solve it?  What are your default assumptions, binary and analogical?   Can a computer solve it.  Are we dealing with a Frame Problem?  What is a Frame Problem, exactly, and how does a human approach it?


                             



                                         Conferences 


"For people in ISSS the "system" is in the outside world.

People in ASC use Ashby's definitions -- the "machine" is the object in the world.  The "system" is the model in the mind of the observer."  

                                              Stuart, Umpleby, President ASC, Science of Goal Formulation (mss 7/31/14)



S3 Talks / Papers / Demos

“What Ever Happened To Systems Thinking?” 


8 / 3 / 2014, Washington D.C. 

American Society for Cybernetics Conference

                      

8 / 9 / 2014, Washington D.C.

International Society for the Systems Sciences Conference


                                                                          





© Michael S. Sommer, Ph.D, 2017