Culture, Technology and Information Systems as Living Entities ?

Cultural, technological and information systems may be considered as living entities. These emergent dynamical systems are generally oriented in essential ways of seeking self-propagation and continuity of existential tenure through the medium of their expression. The medium of transmission for cultural, technological and information systems is the aggregate field and dynamic gestalt of humanity itself. In as much as we may prefer to consider technology, information and culture as the medium, method and tool through which we express ourselves, it is quite logically sensible to state that the inverse is equally true – that human beings are the medium, method and tool through which culture, technology and information expresses itself. An ability to think in terms of systems holistically as participating in mutually reflexive causal interdependence can initially be a difficult abstraction and conceptual bridge to cross but it also reveals itself as a powerful way to understand real world systems and processes.

It is worth considering the consequences of thinking of a living system as considered to be a much broader range of entity, artefact and system than a classically linear or semi-isolated mechanistic object or process. Through extensive analysis it should probably not be surprising if non-subjective (i.e. non-agency, non-living) systems that would traditionally be considered inorganic actually demonstrate sufficient sophistication of organisational complexity and orientation towards self-propagation that we come to see them as distributed living systems of an entirely new class of entity. Cultural, technological or information-dynamical systems considered as living yet unconscious, undirected patterns or autonomous shockwaves passing through a transmission medium allow for new ways of seeing and understanding those more familiar and intimate living systems of ourselves, our own minds and bodies.

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