Complex Failures of Language and Communication

I find the range and spectrum of generative ambiguity around the concept (and definition) of complexity to itself be quite interesting. We find in language (as much as in technology but both as hyper-extended corollaries of cognition) these mischievously self-propagating confusions and constructive indeterminacies around concepts like complexity, entropy and emergence.

Otherwise rendered: the most interesting questions are those that generate (as incomplete, open genealogies) many more questions. The proliferation of uncertainty on one hand suggests failures to grasp key aspects of a domain or concept but on the other suggests that this failure represents the inadvertent second-order percolation of a principle of order and patterned symmetry. This is another way of saying that the failure to wrap one’s mind or language around complex adaptive processes is itself the constitutive invocation of precisely those complex adaptive processes.

There are many logical entities like this that only become apparent as a function of their own absence. The failure of conceptual communication represents the higher-order success of the adaptive self-propagation of language through the transmission medium of minds, artefacts, entities, systems. When we fail to understand, language reproduces itself even more successfully.

We should hardly be surprised to discover that our languages constantly generate ambiguit and misunderstanding. They have been refined by a long co-evolutionary process of adaptive self-propagation.

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