Monday, January 02, 2006

The beginning of a useful idea

Warning: Very speculative ramblings! (No, I wasn't high, it just reads like I was.)

Balance and bringing balance. The fine art of strectching ones capacities in a way that develops precedented areas of strength while building capacity in underdeveloped areas so as to provide stability. I see the opportunity for a new naming of a dynamic. This would be a part of homeostasis, the compelling movement towards homeostasis.

This is the challenge of all contained entities. (What the living fuck is a 'contained entity' you ask? Well, I'll tell you what I mean by that.) A contained entitiy is any living being or organization thereof whose limits are easily demonstrated. A nation, a corporation, a person. Less true of a family, but sometimes and in some ways, sure. Not any kind of ecosystem that is not threatened. Communities vary, some are very open-ended, diverse or philosophically sound enough that they could be considered as uncontained. The important thing is the demonstrability of the limits of the entity in question.

Anyway, that's my whole point. Different demands based on this ill-defined variable, which can be seen at a wide variety of scales.

For groups of less demonstrable limits, the compelling movement towards homeostasis can be applied to the organizing principles of the group rather than the specific members and their established functions. Communities within science, art and philosophy are examples of this aspect of the dynamic. Existentialists failed to develop those elements of the organizing principles of their community that could have provided better stability, and thus had a very short moment of initial prominence. Newtonian physicists have done a much better job by comparison, stretching into fluid dynamics and the physics of atomic interactions even when the Tao (flow) and "quantum" reality are categorically beyond the limits of their purview.

As a counterpoint to this idea, I suppose that we could also say if an entity is very specifically focused in purpose and also well established in its context, it can be said to have enough strength and balance that the demands of this dynamic are less pronounced. I am thinking here of species niches at any level of ecosystem (including the role of various cells in a body, paramecia, etc.) Also in this group would be particularly well adapted/established organizations, such as trade groups like the National Association of Manufacturers. However, even for entities in this situation, the situation is changed in intensity rather than kind.

Trade unions are an example of a whole category of entity that have largely failed to respond to this demanding dynamic.

Also implied by my proposal (demonstrated very clearly by the example of trade unions) is the existence of a complementary dynamic, the continuing change at any given specificity of environment.

. . .

Why yes, I have been practicing my T'ai Chi. Why do you ask?


At 3:35 PM, January 13, 2006, Anonymous panoptican said...

I think all of your posts should have a warning beforehand. Just to allow us some mental preparation.

I've been reading about the Elephant 6 Collective the last couple weeks. Implicit in this study is a fascination with the dynamics of communities. I think E6 might present another interesting counterpoint to your homeostatic communities theory. No clear limits but on the other hand, it doesn't really exist anymore so something limited it at some point.

On T'ai Chi. Could you recommend some introductory books related to it? Is that the sort of question one can ask? Not sure. Whatever the case, I've been to the library three times this year already and I'm running out of material that is of a known quality.


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