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Integral Entropy

Last post 01-23-2007, 2:19 PM by ralphweidner. 13 replies.
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  •  12-17-2006, 8:06 PM 16758

    • Teilhard is not online. Last active: 2008-08-03, 11:09 AM Teilhard
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    • Joined on 06-19-2006
    • Ottawa, Canada
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    Integral Entropy

    On I-I and the Integral Community in General

    When I was young, it seemed that life was so Wonderful,
    A Miracle, Oh it was Beautiful, Magical.
    And all the birds in the trees, they’d be signing so happily,
    So joyfully, playfully watching me.


    Roger Hodgson/Supertramp – The Logical Song

    After reading ex-CEO Steve Frazee's blog on why he left the I-I, my first thought was: “Oh boy, trouble in paradise?”  Then after reading a number of other responses, including Huy Lam’s on zaadz, and contemplating them a bit – my second thought is – “what a wonderful thing to happen!”  And, yes – I mean that in the most sincere way.


    At the risk of seeming to be standing back and looking at all this from a very distant 3rd person prespective, I would like to offer some thoughts on how I-I and we (its members/subscribers) might navigate our way through this formative period. Before doing this, like any other kind of similar situation, message number one is – “don’t panic”.  Take time to centre and breath, and try to look at the big scheme of things.  We all know how difficult this is, but – these moments always point to the need to have a period of reflection and contemplation.


    These recent events certainly indicate that change is happening.  Sudden organizational shifts are very much an integral part of the growing and learning process.  In the big scheme of things, I think I speak for most if not all that we truly admire Ken for what he’s doing with the I-I.  From my own perspective, I think Ken could have always taken the option of just simply working at his house, reading, researching and writing and simply putting out more books.  In the last six years, - and what I think we need to recognize – “in response to our demands/requests as a community” – Ken has taken the initiative to ‘put the rubber to the pavement’ (so to speak) and do much more than simply produce more theory.   His writing itself, will always remain an artifact of his thinking – but as many feminists like to argue, what the hell is the use of good knowledge/theory if we cannot embody it in our everday, messy and joyful evolving lives?


    So it seems that what has happened between Steve and Ken over these past several weeks – as ANY organizational/management expert will tell you (and many have on the I-I site), is all very much part of the process for new organizations.   AQAL theory should tell us that organizations, as social holons, have stages of development as well.   It doesn’t matter how high the altitude is of its thinking or its intentions.  Like all development, it must start at square one!   I think we need to keep this in mind.  In a sense, metaphorically, maybe the I-I is having a case of the teenage angst and identity crisis? (If that can be extended from an individual to a collective development process?).


    At our inaugural meeting of the International Development domain in Perpignan, France in October (now called the Integral San Frontiers –or ISF), one of the insights several people mentioned about many integral initiatives, is that little or less attention is being paid to ‘the collective’ (lower quadrants); in particular, the lower right.  This is perhaps, as some suggested, because so little attention is paid to the other three quadrants in the mainstream, that we have a tendency to prioritize them over the LR (thinking they are being covered by others).  But a true AQAL approach has to be “AQAL” to be effective at all, no?  How often do we need to remind ourselves of this?  Even though mainstream orange and green systems might be focusing on the LR, they are NOT doing it from an AQAL/Integral perspective; and this is something that we need to address.  So let’s take a look at it.


    As an organization, I-I has already done some wonderful stuff!  And I am so impressed and satisfied with my subscription and purchases of its producs and services.  The many seminars and the ILP product, as well as the I-I site itself – are all significant accomplishments. We should celebrate them.  Sure, we would like to see IU and these other things get off the ground a little faster – but hey, it takes time to build furniture that lasts.


    As Huy pointed out in his post on zaadz, we’re all familiar with having our 10 point to-do list each day, and often find ourselves only accomplishing 3 or 4 things from that list.   It’s not an excuse to be lax, but we also need to be more realistic about the ideals and expectations we place on ourselves (individually, and community wise – as well as those at the I-I).  People at I-I, we should expect, are no exception.


    I’m reading and interpreting a lot of this from a distance – and I might be wrong – but if I can offer one small piece of constructive critique on what’s going on – it would be this.   Ken is already so far out ahead of the rest of us in his intellect; his ability to rapidly distill mega-tonnes of information; and perhaps even more so, his Vision for what I-I really needs to do and be.   I can empathize with him, based on my experience on another level and capacity.  For example, I too have crazy, wild visions about what my students ‘should learn’ and where they ‘might be’ at the end of a course or research project.  But they never seem to achieve as much as I’d like them too, - and initially I’ve felt that this was my problem; that I wasn’t teaching or leading effectively, when in fact,  much of it is the development process itself.


    We seem to always be lagging behind the ideal; never quite reaching the full extent of our goals and intentions. In all, I think it points to the issue of the tension we constantly feel between ‘being’ and ‘becoming’; between ‘vision’ and ‘action’; or more subtly, between the ‘possibilities’ and the ‘probabilities’.  So just how do we deal with this tension?  What is its mystery and how do we embrace it more fully? 


    One thought that has come to mind is I wonder if anyone has developed a ‘group’ shadow work method?  As I mentioned above, in our lack of attention to the lower quadrants, is it not reasonable to at least try a 3-2-1 process to the situation?   This is what I offer here.  If I can be just one of the neurons firing in this integral worldview that is emerging, there is something I need to express; to let go of it, - to get it ‘out there’ – and see what happens.   I will start with the 3rd person by offering some ‘NEW THEORY’ (Yay!!!).  Actually, its not so much new theory, as it is borrowing theory from someone else, and integrating it and looking at it from an integral perspective.  I will then do the other 2-steps  to look at how it can be applied in the collective (2nd person); and finish with an introspection on how wonderful this event was for my own growing and learning process (1st person).


     
    3rd Person (It/Its)

     

    But then they sent me away, to teach me how to be Sensible,
    Logical, Oh Responsible and Practical.
    And they showed me a world, where I could be so Dependable,
    So Clinical, Oh Intellectual and Cynical.

    Roger Hodgson/Supertramp – The Logical Song

     


    First, I want to say that if you think that what I am about to say here is simply dry systems theory – I ask you to think again.  Open your heart and mind and let this concept flow through your entire bodymind.  We tend to cherish the I and We in the integral community, sometimes at the expense of the beauty of the “It”. “It” is not a bad word.  “It” itself is beautfiful, good and most of all, True.  So lets start here.


    One of the most beautiful words that has ever emerged in the Kosmos has been raped, battered, and torn now for more than 100 years.  It’s a shame, really, because the word itself is a signifier of that which holds the Kosmos together in the first place.


    The word is Entropy! 


    Most people, including many of the world’s most sophisticated and advanced scientists, continue to conflate Entropy with ‘Disorder’ or ‘Chaos’.   This has been terribly confusing, and even Ken seems to have inherited this misunderstanding (see the Intro to ATOE).  One golden nugget that I uncovered a few years ago while doing my PhD research, was stumbling upon the work of Jeffrey Wicken in his book “Evolution, Thermodynamics, and Information” (1986).   In this very sophisticated analysis (albeit a RH/Systems approach), Wicken points out that Entropy is NOT equivalent or synonymous with disorder/chaos.  It is simply and more elegantly defined as:


    “The relationship between probabilities and possibilities”


    I will not go into details on the mathematical aspects; rather,  I simply want to point out something that I believe is very elegant about this definition, and if we apply some basic integral theory to it, it might yeild some important insights on where we are as a community.


    One question that comes to mind is  - where else do we find insight that relates these two words: probabilities and possibilities?


    Ahah!  Yes, Holonic Tenet # 6:


    “The lower sets the possibilities of the higher; the higher sets the probabilities of the lower”


    Tenet 6, it seems, is one way of elaborating what Entropy actually is.  Einstein once remaked that “politics is for the present, a mathematical formula is eternal”.  I can appreciate the passion this man had for this idea in a way, especially if we look at the value that some of the most basic and elegant mathematical formulas have for our understaning of the Kosmos.  When we look at Entropy, its basic formula is precisely one of these eternal gems that Einstein was referring to (although it was not Einstein who discovered this one, it was Boltzman).  Let’s look at its basic mathematical formulation:


     
    E = -Σ p(i) ln p(i)

     

    Written out, it says that Entropy (E) is equal to the sum of the products of all probabilities (p) of the total number of possible events (i).  Does this sound confusing?  Sure.  This is why mathematics is so much more difficult to explain in words than it is equations.  Look at it this way – if you plug in the number ‘1’, then E=0.  This is partly because, in probability theory, all probability values in a set need to add up to the value of ‘1’, meaning, that ‘1’ is the event that occurs – or, to say it in another way, it captures the full range of possibilities.   If there is only ‘1’ possible pathway for something to happen; its Entropy is ‘0’.  When there are more than 1 possible pathways, then Entropy increases (the numeric value starts to climb from 0). 


    Lets consider 2 possible pathways that a situation might take.  For example, consider the possibility that either your in-laws will visit you for the holidays (say a high probability of 0.80 or 80%) versus ‘not’ visit you for the holidays (a lower probability value of 0.20 or 20%).   When you are thinking about these two possibilities, and their associated probabilities, notice the emotional resonance you feel when contemplating the implications of either happening.   If you do not like your in-laws, you might feel very anxious about the ‘high probability’ that they will visit; or, if you do like them, you might feel excited about the prospect, and perhaps a little concerned about the chance that they may not visit and the affect it will have on how you spend your holidays. 


    What we often want in such situations is ‘certainty’.  You want to know whether they are coming or not.  You want a value of ‘1’ or 100%; an Entropy of ‘0’ - the lowest possible Entropy value.  Certainty feels good.  It relaxes us.  When we do not have certainty, we are anxious; doubt begins to flow and a subtle neurosis takes over our being.   This is totally an ecological process, see?  We face these types of situations absolutely every minute of every day of our lives.  It’s all Entropy!  Entropy is not only ‘out there’ – in physical and chemical systems – it is the very ground of the mystery of this particular Kosmos that I/We created. 


    To expand on this, in ANY given system, its emergence may follow some number of POSSIBLE pathways (this is what the ‘i’ indicates in the above equation); and each possibility has a corresponding probability (the ‘p(i)’ in the above equation).  The ‘ln’ stands for ‘natural log’.  The equation itself is derived from algebraic relations of the numbers of possible permutations that can happen given the complexity and intial conditions of a situation. (For the mathematically inclined, there’s a good description on Wikipedia for quick reference).


    With evolution, emergence and complexity – what it means to say that ‘Entropy increases’ – is simply that the relation between probabilities and possibilities increases.  It does NOT mean that dis-order increases; rather that dis-order/chaos is one possible ‘state’ of conditions that arises out of Entropy.   Got it!!?  (If not, e-mail me on zaadz and I’ll try to explain it another way).


    This ties in very nicely with Ken’s more recent theory (Excerpts A-G) when he says that with evolution and increasing complexity, there is a corresponding ‘deminishing probability space’.   The way I interpet and apply it here is to say that with increasing the possibilities (i.e. the number of possible (i) events), the associated values in the probability distribution is deminishing.   That is, the values of each p(i) becomes smaller (generally speaking).


    For example, if there are only three possible pathways for a system; and each are equally probable; then each would have a probability value of 0.33.   Let’s then look at a more complex system that has say 10 possible pathways; one possibility might still have a probability of 0.33; but then this leaves the value of 0.66 left to be distributed among the other nine possibilities.  Hence, somewhere in the nine remaining possibilities, there will be significantly lower probability values (deminishing) in this set (they can be as tiny as 0.00001, or as large as 0.65 – but some of these possibilities will have small or low probability values!).


    Now, let’s take this back to Tenet # 6.  With emerging and evolving/involving structures and/or levels (including vMemes, cognitive development, stages of consciousness, etc…), let us recall that the ‘lower sets the possibilities of the higher’, and that the higher we go, the more ‘possibilities’ there are.  This is not only because each level gives us new possibilities, but the possibilities presented to each level are cumulative among levels.  That is, the possibilities on level 1 are added to the possibilities on level 2, and 3 and so on.  The probabilities at each level are the ‘Kosmic Grooves’ that comprise that level; and as Ken has so elegantly pointed out, with each new emerging level, there is more ‘wiggle room’ because there are more possibilities or choices to make.



    ENTROPY: It’s such a beautiful, good and truthful concept, huh?


    Ok – so, let’s look at how this might apply to the current situation with the I-I; and what I want to do here is offer not just suggestions for the staff of the I-I, but a way of thinking about how we in the broader Integral Community might think and contemplate our present situation.  And again, I want to in advance be self-critical here – this is mostly just my opinion, but if you find it insightful, then you can consider it a little Christmas gift to you.


    2nd-Person (We)

     
    Now watch what you say, or they’ll be calling you a Radical,
    A Liberal, Oh Fanatical and Criminal.
    Won’t you sign up your name? 
    We’d like to feel your Acceptable,
    Respectable, Presentable – A ‘Vegetable’!

    Roger Hodgson/Supertramp – The Logical Song


    It is undersood that I-I is intended to be the first truly integral community; it seeks to establish the first ‘integral grooves’ in the Kosmos.   And at this level (Kosmic address); in our visioning, the ‘possibilities’ are endless/boundless.  Yes, we can have a Multiplex; yes, we can do the Integral Commons; Integral University; Integral Books; Integralist magazine; AQAL Journal; Seminars, Workshops, etc..  Yes, these are all ‘possibilities’, huh?


    But what are the ‘probabilities’ that any of these will form into solid Kosmic Habits in the short, near or distant future?   Kosmic Habits, I hope we have been learning, take an enormous amount of time, effort and energy to lay down.   This absolutely has to be especially true at the 2nd Tier level.  So, our first motto should be “let’s go easy on ourselves here!”


    I would have to agree that much of what the I-I has to do has to operate on an Orange level and higher.  But more than that, what about the lower levels – beige, red, amber?   What do these levels actually look like in the collective? (LR/LL quadrants?), and in an organization like I-I.   If levels are nested, what do we need to do at these levels to support the higher ones?  The higher visionary waves of yellow and teal – as mentioned above – have more ‘wiggle room’ – but this also means they must have more reflexivity.  And with that – I think it is important to be open to serendipity of the process.

    Remember that where the ‘lower sets the possibilities of the higher’ and that ‘if you destroy a holon on any given level, you destroy all the holons above it and none of the holons below it’; it seems to me, we have to constantly manage, maintain, and ‘sustain’ these lower levels in order to have any groove at all happen on yellow or higher.   The reflexivity of yellow and higher can only be sustained and supported by healthy lower levels, yeah?


    In informal discussions many with other integral practitioners, I found that this seems to be one of the most essential issues that we tend to struggle with.  We think that because we are ‘integral’ – that we are some how floating around in some 2nd Tier space that we’ve completed detached ourselves from the 1st Tier all together. 


    Remember the song “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas in the 70’s ?


     
    “Once I rose above the noise and confusion,
    Just to get a glimpse beyond this illusion,
    I was soaring ever higher,
    But I flew too high”

     


    I think there are many times we really do fly too high – and there’s a potential danger in this.   I comes with the risk that we percieve all of the 1st Tier stuff as ‘illusion’ – something that we are detached from, instead of ‘transcending and including’.


    Moreover, I doubt there is one single integral person on the planet who functionally operates from a 2nd Tier level 100% of the time.  At best, there might be several among us who are able to sustain it for several hours a day; - but that is only if and when we have our 1st Tier levels healthy and working smoothly in all quadrants.


    Come on folks!! The slogan “Let’s Get Integral” also means “Let’s Get Real”.  Brahman IS the World, remember?   I’m also willing to bet that many of you are like me – we spend most of our time working on, building, correcting/healing our 1st Tier levels more so than our 2nd Tier ones.   And all of it is quite messy.


    I get up on the morning and tend to Beige priorities (using the washroom, taking a shower, having breakfast); then connecting to those around me (purple); then waking my own ego-centricity up to face the day (red); driving to work/tending to my societal responsibilities (amber); advancing my conbributions to making the world a better place (orange); broadening my horizons and contributing to the care of people and the planet (green).   Heck, if I don’t do all this stuff every day, I could never get to Yellow.  It’s a daily cycle, and it requires a lot of effort.


    We might ‘look at’ all these things from a 2nd Tier perspective; but ‘doing them’ requires we do them ‘at’ the levels they are at.   It leads me to think that a truly effective approach in being integral is similar to a high-wire act – and the rule is: “Don’t Look Down”.  The pole that we are using for balance is our centredness – that delicate balancing act we must maintain between form and formlessness, between reality and illusion, and between being and becoming.


    If we are constantly looking down at these 1st Tier levels and priorities, we’re not doing it right.   We need to look ‘across’ or ‘through’ these levels – in ourselves and others, and the spaces they occupy.  This takes effort.   It is not easy work.   In my experience with the shadow process so far, I find it uncovers more red and amber junk than it does higher level capacities in myself.  I’ll leave this speculation to the real psychologists in the community, but I’m willing to bet that when there is conflict among us – disagreeements, personality conflicts or what have you – that they come from these lower levels – particularly Red.


    This doesn’t take away from the fact that perhaps 98% of people never reach higher than Green on any given day; our task is to do all what everyone else is doing “and them some”.   And what we are trying to do at a Yellow/Turquoise/Teal’ level – is really not yet defined.  For me, in asking whether or not I am integral, or am I ‘being’ integral, it all comes down to ‘how much time each day am I functionally operating from an integral plane?’  I’d be interested in hearing how others answer this question.


    Getting back to the organizational theory, if organizations have these levels in the collective sense, then what do these lower levels look like in organizations?   I don’t know – but it would be useful to have input on this question.  One thing I do think I know comes from some research I did in applying integral theory to ‘information theory’ or ‘information systems’.   Part of the model I used is how information is used in an organizational context (using organizational pyramids).  (Anyone interested in this, let me know – I’d be happy to send you the paper).  In looking at information flow – from data to knowledge to meaning/wisdom – this nested infromation holarchy has corresponding levels in information systems.   A rule of thumb that I arrived at was ‘design from the top-down, but build from the bottom-up’. 


    So yes, let us expect all these things to happen.  They NEED to happen.   But let us also be cognizant of what this actually takes. All this to say that I’m actually quite grateful and very hopeful for I-I as it navigates its way through this period.   With our continued effort and support – as subscribers and practioners – we WILL lay down this next Kosmic Groove.  But it will take EFFORT, PATIENCE, SPACE and TIME.  Let us be patient with Ken and our friends at I-I, with ourselves, and with each other.


    1st Person (I)



    There are times, when all the worlds' asleep,
    The questions run so deep,
    For such a simple man.

    Won’t you please,
    please tell me what we’ve learned?
    I know it sounds obsurd,
    But please tell me Who I Am?


    Roger Hodgson/Supertramp – The Logical Song

     


    What I really appreciate from all this, especially the increase in the transparency, is that I personally can now see that the people working at I-I, and ye in the community,  are all struggling with the very same challenges as I am personally.   It is so great to see that we have so many incredible human beings working on this, and being very open and honest about their experiences.


    It is evidence for integral theory itself to see the various responses coming from the different levels and lines within ourselves.   I felt myself agreeing with almost everything people have been saying (kinda like Woody on Cheers!); indicating to me that – regardless of the point of view or arguments being made – there is resonance!   Good or Bad, all things unfolding are unfolding as they should, and to paraphrase Ken, all are ‘equally radiance of the Divine’.


    I feel much closer to the community now that this messiness is out in the open.  It means we can fix it within the community, and also within ourselves.  No need for little ol’ “me” to be hiding these things within myself either.   I’ve suffered by own dysphoric bouts and doubts about my integral capacities,  and have had many a day when the kinds of battles like the one between Ken and Steve were battling it out in my own mind.


    It’s so good to know that I-I people do not ‘walk on water’ – nor are they trying to; and this shouldn’t be one of our expectations.   Moreover, red, amber, orange, green are not just ‘out there’ in the ‘other 98%’ - they are ‘in here’ – nested deeply within us and they need nurturing and compassion. 


    For me, if I found out about a fallout at the senior level in other companies or organizations that I subscribe to (phone, cable, professional associations); would that bother me?  Would it cause me to cancel my subscription?  God, No!    The I-I is a very different kind of community for us – and we can and should expect some difficult growing pains and rough bumps on the road.  All in all, I still think its going to be an exciting journey.  It HAS to happen!  And I’m looking forward to whatever it brings.


    Merry Christmas Everyone!


    In Spirit,
    Brian.


    BE
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  •  12-18-2006, 12:00 AM 16763 in reply to 16758

    Re: Integral Entropy

    Thank you, Teilard

    I had just begun to reflect on balder's "Bluring.." post, was called away, then returned to find yours stating some similar points to what had occured to me.

    Though I began along this line:

    That the lower quadrants, while always concurrent in presence and relevance with the upper, may function in respectively unique relations to time, to the timing of manifestation, to the logistics of accomplishment. It appears to me that there are differing gestation periods for new forms in each quadrant. Each, at their own pace, do their own dance with Kairos and Chronos.

    When you (Theilard) asked if there were a group shadow work, I remembered a communication workshop Virginia Satir gave to the Possitive Future Center(s) facilitators in '84. There was an instance where we really could have used a AQAL look at what we were doing. Full of focused vision, availed of competant talent, somewhat financed, and...    I felt the same quandry then. I remember saying something about the collective being more primative than the individual.(a statement met with strong oppinions). We were about to attempt to put a futurist in the White House.

    I have the impression that, for all the direct knowledge and immediate expirience of the U/L,U/R, the lower remain slow learners.

    One lead I want to follow through on is applying The Santa Fe Institute's work on "Robustness" ( as a central charesteristic of vitally resiliant, adaptive, responsive organizational entities) to the structure and content of my own work, after which I might be in a possition to recommend their suggested approaches.

    'think I'll shut up and sit.       KCD

     

      


    'takes all kinds.
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  •  12-18-2006, 9:22 AM 16781 in reply to 16763

    • Teilhard is not online. Last active: 2008-08-03, 11:09 AM Teilhard
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    Re: Integral Entropy

    Thanks KCD.  Yeah, good point re: the pace of development in the lower quadrants.  I remember one of our ISF people raising this question (but I forget who exactly).   Kind of like big government departments (e.g. Finance, Military) - how long it takes to implement 'change'.

    I remain curious if there is anyone out there who has mapped organizational development from an AQAL perspective - and what these levels look like in the collective..... :-/

    Brian.


    BE
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  •  12-22-2006, 5:25 AM 16989 in reply to 16781

    • ats is not online. Last active: 12-24-2008, 10:53 PM ats
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    Re: Integral Entropy

    So, how is it a good thing that Steve F. left, in terms of LR systems theory?  You didn't seem to come around to explaining that.  I mean, I read through all that, and you didn't make much of any conclusion based on systems theory.

    Secondly, if we build from the bottom up, then what's your perspective on Steve trying to build a 1st tier corporation to produce 2nd tier products?  Was he not building from the bottom up?

    Maybe I'm missing the point.  I assumed early on that you were going to use systems theory and entropy to explain why you believe it was a good thing for Steve to leave.  Maybe you just wanted to say that we need to be more patient and careful at how we lay down the first tracks of the cosmic habit.


    myspace.com/zentaimusic
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  •  12-22-2006, 12:04 PM 17013 in reply to 16989

    Re: Integral Entropy

    I have found the book, published by the Wharton School Publishing, "Success Built To Last-- Creating a life that matters," to address the same issues facing I-I. It's copyrighted 2007, and you will probably find it at your local bookstore or online. Jerry Porras, Stewart Emery and Mark Thompson interview some of the top movers and skakers in the world, including Steve Jobs. Good book for someone to put AQAL to test.
    JC
    33° 13' N 87° 37' W
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  •  12-22-2006, 6:11 PM 17027 in reply to 16758

    Re: Integral Entropy


    hi brian!

    it's really good to hear from people like you, who i imagine don't normally have the time to post. just about everything you've said here makes alot of sense to me.

    your bit about entropy is really insightful, imo. i've always accepted that by definition entropy equates with disorder, if not chaos. i don't remember what ken has said about this--going to have to check.

    your profile mentions integral geography. wouldn't it be great if there were a book on this? one that not only showed how various other fields could enrich geography, but how geography could enrich them as well.

    back later,

    ralph

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  •  12-23-2006, 4:01 PM 17091 in reply to 16781

    Re: Integral Entropy


    brian,

    now that my coddled mind has some time to think about this, it's coming up with possible problems. for instance, the formula for entropy looks like it might be for a closed system, and i don't imagine that's anywhere near what ken wilber had in mind, namely, a kosmos that's open to Emptiness, which can't be put into a formula like this. unless this can be snuck in in some way, the system is just going to run down like a mechanical clock, and the entropy will increase, whether or not we choose to consider that an increase in disorder.

    incidentally, i went looking for you amongst the zaadzsters, tried 'teilhard', but failed to come up with anyone i could indentify as you. i did come across an interesting fellow by the name of keith, the pilgrim, though.

    the relation of possibilities to probabilities is not a direct one, as i understand it, but is mediated by the relation between holons and subholons. for example, to the extent that green gets mired in flatland, boomeritis, etc. etc., the healthy possibilities for subsequent holons is frightfully diminished, so it's absolutely crucial that we lower the probabiliities to the extent possible for various forms of unhealthy green.

    i hope that makes some sense,

    ralph

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  •  12-25-2006, 9:00 AM 17160 in reply to 16989

    • Teilhard is not online. Last active: 2008-08-03, 11:09 AM Teilhard
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    Re: Integral Entropy

    Ats,

    What I was offering was just a perspective on the whole thing.  I'm not targeting Steve or anyone, - rather, trying to see the forests for the trees (which is my masculine tendency).   Entropy penetrates all 4 Quadrants - which is what I tried to convey in the example of anticipating your in-laws for christmas.  What some people might take from what I've offered here - of course - will come from their own respective altitude(s) and lines of general focus.  I cannot be held responsible for that.  As with any 'text' - there's also the need to 'read between the lines' a little bit....

    Hope this helps,
    Best Wishes in this Season of Re-Birth,

    Brian.


    BE
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  •  12-25-2006, 9:08 AM 17162 in reply to 17091

    • Teilhard is not online. Last active: 2008-08-03, 11:09 AM Teilhard
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    Re: Integral Entropy

    Ah, yes!!  LOVE these questions!!  Well, here's the scoop (I think!).  The number of 'possibilities' (i) can be 1, a few, several, 100's, or go to infinity.   It seems the more 'open' a system is, the greater the numbers of 'possibilities', and therefore, the greater the Entropy.  

    These are just quick thoughts, but in a completely open system (i.e. Kosmos), Entropy is at its maximum.  But for a universe of 'form' to take place, Entropy needs to be decreased (that is, 'something happens' - it 'decides' what it wants to be out of the range of possibilities).   As it does so, it lays down these 'probabilitstic grooves', then moves on to higher complexity and even more possibilities.

    One of the most difficult areas I think we need to overcome is the notion that we are dealing with 'either/or' open or closed systems.   The degree to which the material/form aspect of any given system is 'open' or 'closed', I think, depends upon the range of possibilities available to a given form.   A rock, for example, is much more a closed system than say a butterfly.   'Ecosystems' (where we find Entropy now used increasingly to map out possible pathways), exhibit characteristics of both - open and closed conditions.  In Integral Geography, I've referred to this as the 'phanerogamic' nature of human and biophystical ecological interaction.

    Ok - too much brain and coffee for a x-mas morn!!
    ~Brian.


    BE
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  •  12-25-2006, 11:55 PM 17178 in reply to 17162

    Re: Integral Entropy

    brian,

    i'm intrigued by this. when i learned about entropy about a half a century ago, it was in the form of an introduction to statistical mechanics, the way i imagine boltzmann himself derived this concept. as my addled, not coddled!, mind remembers, we went through the thought experiment of a square box, containing a molecular, non-uniform gas (for example, one face could be initially heated to a temperature above the opposite face, so that the molecules nearer to it would have a greater velocity, more kinetic energy, than those nearer to the opposite face. over time, as molecules collided with each other and the enclosing faces, all collisions assumed to be elastic, all this would even out and entropy would inevitably increase, as it must for any truly closed system according to boltzmann's definition.

    for an open system, of course, all bets are off. so, what about the Kosmos? for those who think it is a cosmos, i.e. a closed system, since there's nothing outside it that it could possibly be open to, entropy is necessarily increasing, and order is being lost (a living being is more ordered than a disintegrated corpse).

    but those of us who think that the manifest Kosmos is evolving ever more complex, more conscious forms, necessarily believe that order is increasing, and i believe we have a good explanation for this, namely, that the Kosmos is not a closed system, but is open to something called Emptiness (absolute Spirit). if we're to be consistent with boltzmann's original definition, then we would have to conclude that entropy is decreasing.

    of course, boltzmann's conclusion is unnecessarily pessimistic, once we take into account evolution, and it makes sense to simply change the sign in the formula for entropy so that the general increase in entropy with time corresponds with an increase, not a decrease, in order.

    but i'm still not clear about wicken's use of the terms 'possibility' and 'probability'. my guess is that he uses them differently from the way wilber is using them. incidentally, his book doesn't appear to be easily available. if i can find the time, i'll check out a new book by eric schneider and dorion sagan that references it, and is called 'into the cool,....'. like you were saying, what i'm able to find out looks very RQ and Emptiless.

    btw, is carelton the french spelling for carleton?

    ralph

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  •  12-28-2006, 10:33 AM 17289 in reply to 17178

    • Teilhard is not online. Last active: 2008-08-03, 11:09 AM Teilhard
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    Re: Integral Entropy

    ralph,

    Just a couple more thoughts on this...

    When you think of it - an 'open system' is a contradiction in terms, no?  That is, to define the 'system' implies that its components are definable, but if it is 'open' - then are there not elements outside that which we have defined that we do not know about?

    In ecosystems theory - an open system is regarded as a system that is open to exchange of energy and/or matter beyond its stable/meta-stable boundaries.   Its more of a working definition, I think.  (Not sure if I'm making sense here...).

    But one thing that Wicken and his colleagues make clear is that with living entities - entropy decreases in order for the form to emerge - but it does so 'at the expense' of increasing entropy in its environment.  So total entropy increases - but decreases in the living creature (relative to the entropy of its environment).

    Good question re: whether Wicken uses these terms the same as Ken.  I wish I had more time to look into this!  :-/

    ~Brian.


    BE
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  •  01-11-2007, 12:36 AM 18078 in reply to 17289

    Re: Integral Entropy

    hey! sorry, teilhard: i didn't notice you'd replied. i'm sure you're back teaching by now, but, anyway, this'll still be here if you happen to take a look sometime.

    here's my understanding: sentient beings--not just living beings--are, LRQ-wise, systems that are simultaneously both open and closed. they are closed, i.e. agentic, in order to preserve their integrity as an individual holon. they are open in at least two senses. one, as part of a higher holon they are in communion with the other parts (for example, the atoms in a molecule), and two, they are always open at least potentially to Spirit, open, that is, at their highest level of development, their 'higher self'. physical scientists don't see this because they tend to look only at the lower levels, such as the molecular, and molecules have become very set in their ways and no longer opening themselves to Spirit so that they can develop further.

    i think an RQ scienstist would accept all i've described here except, of course, for Spirit. but without that you can't have evolution. you can't just mix alot of sunshine, water and molecules and expect, in the course of time, to get life, for example--unless Spirit enters.

    it's funny: i just watched a documentary in which they were wondering if, collecting enough DNA from the fossil remains of Homo Neanderthal...., they could reconstruct this species a la Jurassic Park. a scientist was actually saying that they could in effect clone it by putting the DNA in a chimpanzee egg cell. ha! ha! he might think more carefully about this, if they asked to try out his DNA first! but at least his clone would be able to benefit from other humans in its development, which is all-quadrant, needless to say, i.e., you gotta have a social holon, beginning with family. in other words, you couldn't clone a bunch of neanderthals, and expect they could take care of each others upbringing, without any clues from an older generation.

    ah! what would we do without TV?

    ralph

    p.s. enjoy the teaching!

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  •  01-20-2007, 9:27 AM 18488 in reply to 18078

    • Teilhard is not online. Last active: 2008-08-03, 11:09 AM Teilhard
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    Re: Integral Entropy

    Yes, that's the key point - a la 'both/and' paradoxical thinking.  That systems have 'both' open and closed conditions.  The terminology gets a little problematic though in a conventional sense I think.  We tend to categorize 'systems' science/theory in the LR, when in another context, the whole of the AQAL model can be regarded as a 'system' as well, no?  That is, if we consider both the openness (unbounded, transendent) and closed (bounded/immanent) aspeccts. 

    So this is what is paradoxical about any construction or notion of 'open systems' concepts.  It applies very much in the real world with the emergence of 'open source' communities in software development.  There's a raging warfare between teh OS and the 'proprietary' (commercial) software community - at times each claiming to cover all bases, when in fact, there are times when OS is more apprpriate and other times with proprietary is more appropriate.  Interestingly, if you dig into the OS community and any of its artefacts, you will always find some internal dependency upon propriatary software and/or systems at some level.

    {....and this is just pertaining to 'software' - don't get me going on 'data' and 'information'!! :-}

    Anyway, still hoping for a more sane world to emerge!

    Cheers, Brian.


    BE
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  •  01-23-2007, 2:19 PM 18598 in reply to 18488

    Re: Integral Entropy

    hi brian,

    it seems like we're basically in agreement and just wondering when others will also begin acknowledging that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes.  i-i can really help.  i've heard they already have thousands of pages of material they just need to get out, about 700 (on integral psychology?) for the first four (2006!) issues of aqal journal.  let's wish them well.

    ralph

     



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