Categories
Epistemology

The Darkness of Knowing

Flocculent galaxy NGC 2775, 67 million light years away in the constellation of Cancer

It is unlikely to be a popular or perhaps particularly useful philosophical reflection but, as it turns out, many of the questions of complexity, complex self-organisation systems and the underlying logical discontinuities by which emergence and self-propagation occur and persistently manifest are not a difference in kind but of degree to the ways in which we seek to structure and organise our knowledge and communication about these topics. It is all about information, differentiation, maximal transmission and seeking sustainable continuity in a challenging environment and the propagation of ideas and hypotheses is in many ways the natural heir to the ancient genetic contests and recombinatory evolutionary battles-paces within which we find ourselves.

Is there a point? Yes, that is that the systems of knowledge and research themselves are as an existential necessity fine-tuned for the reproduction and propagation of those systems first and foremost and then later, to address the nominal reasons for their organisational and institutional existence. The methods by and through which we communicate manifest inadvertently inhibiting factors upon the development and free or open sharing of possible solutions in complex problem spaces.

Structured order is a necessity but in the very act of seeking to structure and organise that knowledge we inadvertently obscure the essential objects and solutions of systemic wholeness and unity that would resolve many of the problems towards which we direct our minds. I could run off a list of examples but that, then, would be merely to create more problems of explanation and communication, of taxonomy and asserted pattern that – again – distract us from what actually matters or might help us. Enigmas proliferate.

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