Alien Anthropology

Digital Transformation and Cultural Bottlenecks

Organisations are information and energy-processing systems. Information and energy-processing systems are autonomously oriented (via physics, logic, mathematics) towards low energy states. This orientation or endemic systems
-bias towards low energy states bridges inanimate and living systems but may be considered to have obtained a special status in living systems.

The differentiator of life in this context is that the orientation towards low energy states produces autonomously self-propagating patterns, rhythms and cycles of information and energy-processing. Life sits on top of this as a second-order abstraction which exploits this endemic natural tendency towards low-energy states by cultivating it’s own optimal (internalised, externally interdependent) flows of information and energy.

We all exist within, and as, these flows of logically hyper-inflating self-organisation. A key acknowledgement is that of recognising when cultural, sociological or economic patterns have become blindly self-propagating (i.e. neurotic) in ways dissonant and non-adaptive with their larger context and information or energy-processing environment. These are the bottlenecks of organisational development and disassembling, repurposing and recycling these is a challenge not merely for digital transformation, but for civilisation.

How we negotiate these bottlenecks, anachronisms and cultural neuroses will define the possibility of sustainable longevity and the organisational, technological trajectories of our collective future.  Identifying the problems we face is not as simple as merely naming or measuring them – they need to be comprehensively understood and, where necessary, distilled into the underlying or unifying classes and entities. You can rename a system, a taxonomy, a suite of aspirationally interdependent organisational entities – but without understanding and being ready to question and rewire key axioms (i,.e. assumptions) – you may as well just flush all of your money and your effort down the toilet of repetitive, cyclical non-accomplishment.

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