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Philosophy

Incompleteness and Uncertainty is Foundational

In his classic Tao Te Ching (The Way of Life), Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu characterises the utility of what does not exist as being of profound importance. While there exist complex senses in which this illustrates a powerful gradient of logical thought, the fact is – and contrary to pretty much every single ideological position or assertion of tribal and cultural self-determination that you will ever encounter – this foundational uncertainty and ambiguity is our greatest shared and individual strength as much as it is an intrinsic, intractable and irreducible cognitive, psychological and cultural weakness or vulnerability.

All of our aspirations to control and close the loop of self and world are fallacies. It is, counter-intuitively, a fact that the profoundly dissociative entropy and turbulence of proliferating and hyper-inflating degrees of freedom (i.e. combinatorial dimenssionality) that we experience as uncertainty and psychological insecurity is simultaneously and synchronously the source and font of all innovation, growth, creativity and cognitive hyper-extension as technology.

We assert certainty and control as knowledge or power in ways which reflexively produce the ontological framework upon which our own selves are hung, like so many clothing store artefacts and hollow or simply templated products of commerce, each unique expressions of an underlying (mathematical) identity and symmetry. (We are, perhaps, disposable commodities by a planned obsolescence of which we are hardly aware but that in inflating our experience with an obligatory vacuum of transient utility, provides momentum and metamorphosis to a world which, like meaning, is nothing without a context.)

2 replies on “Incompleteness and Uncertainty is Foundational”

It strikes me that your equating uncertainty and insecurity as entropy implying that certainty (even if only temporary) and security, as well as all other forms of syntropic integration of associative matter, energy, signals, data, information, etc suggesting that entropy as an indication of time’s oneway arrow might not necessarily be accurate. If so, then we may have a case in which systems move back and forth between entropy and syntropy in an endless cha-cha. If it’s true for information, might it also be true for physical systems?

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