Tuesday, July 14, 2015

There's A Very Simple Lesson In All This. Tuning Our Envelope Of All Known Tolerance Limits

Take our embarrassing example of Greece & EuroZone Policy, PLEASE! Before more citizens get lost in the fog of fiscal war.
In other words, how the eurozone helped lead to Greece's crisis.

These are the same people who built CERN?

How did they NOT see this coming? Why aren't Europeans probing the fundamental structure of their own cultural aggregates?

And why are they taking it out on the citizens and plebes of Greece, instead of on their own reckless lenders & profit seekers? And why are citizens & plebes across Europe egging on their own feckless leaders, and encouraging them to flog the neighboring serfs all the harder?

This is the usual plight of people who know more & more about less & less, until they know everything about nothing (especially their own context)
Lissencephalic policy apparatus, convoluted cultural outcome paths.
Or, how flat-earth level, slow witted ideologues produce criminal politics, when allowed to, by citizens acting like innocent bystanders, & pretending not to be active accomplices.

It's only when policy-forming processes are nuanced enough to be adaptive, that culture evolves.

Right now, with so few paying attention to the most simplistic fundamentals of inter-dependencies, our vast stockpile of detailed data sits unattended, as everyone assumes that policy is unimportant enough to leave to the presumed process owners. Whom everyone privately agrees are idiot politicians! Go figure. Denial is perhaps most rampant among PhDs begging the excuse of being "specialists," and thereby absolved from involvement in evolving democracy. You couldn't make this up.
Have data, won't use it to drive aggregate selection. Only nitpicking.
There's a very simple lesson in this.
Recombinant aggregates can't adapt if emerging components don't get emerging feedback & then practice contributing to aggregate selection, early and often enough. There has to be overall tolerance limits for the variance allowed across the entire envelope of tolerance limits (including time constants*) for all aggregate processes.

That's the essence of system tuning, and that's how autocatalysis slowly occurs.

For those who don't understand that paragraph .... here's:

Human Systems for Dummies

1) Recombi-NATION. A human culture or nation is a massively parallel recombinant system (even more so than a forming nervous system or a whole organism growing from an embryo). Well Duh!

2) What is a recombinant system? Recombinant systems "connect everything to everything" and then relax briefly to a selected form, before doing it all again. Again, Duh!
Evolution of species illustrates a steady progression of recombination occurring less stochastically, and more smoothly & continuously. Human culture now recombines by continuous production & education of children, in pre-k & K-12 learning systems, plus a proliferating array of adult "disciplines."

3) Connecting everything to everything, before selecting what form of relaxation is briefly safe. To be blunt, if kids don't get exposed to the entire range of human thought, soon enough & often enough, then aggregate knowledge (context awareness) cannot grow smoothly, and we instead just stockpile data-minus-context in inaccessible journals & other archives.

4) Practicing Aggregate Selection is a group exercise. Our cultures & economies can't meet the challenges of selective pressure if we can't generate adequate adaptive tempo. That only comes with early & frequent practice at addressing whatever the moment-of-selective-pressure is, i.e., our biggest policy challenges. It just never helps enough, to have students tied up for decades paying attention ONLY to trivial errata that rarely, if ever, helps extract context from excessive amounts of data.

5) Tuning our whole system, not just the components. Our culture & economies also can't generate enough adaptive tempo unless we actively involve a threshold level of multi-generational involvement in pressing policy issues. If success means surviving an endless succession of unpredictable challenges in unpredictably transient contexts, then our #1 goal is not to optimize current skills, but to develop education & training systems that maintains adaptive recombination skills and doesn't let them wax & wain with too much variance. We want to survive the hour (or the business quarter, or the budget year), but we want every new ripple of graduates to be able to solve tomorrow's challenges, and we want every new generation to be able to handle the challenges that will come 2 decades out.
Zero predictive power? Seemingly unlimited adaptive power? What would you do? Try to do too much (of the wrong thing) until you're gone? Or, prepare your kids to take over AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, and then ALSO train them to have kids soon enough ... & know how to train the grandchildren to again take over in their turn, as soon as possible? That's how to keep our species ship afloat, and our culture growing.

Term Limits is not enough, by far. We always need an annotated package of Adaptive Limits that includes:
term limits, plus ...
early education minima (mis-education limits),
lifelong exposure to aggregate challenges (mis-exposure limits),
lifelong training & education & work (human mis-allocation limits),
lifelong involvement in policy formation (mis-recombination limits).

This is simple biology-101 and anthropology-101. Every recombinant process on this planet meets that entire envelope of challenges ... or soon disappears from the stage.

Data is meaningless without context. It doesn't matter what we know, only what we know how, and why, to use ... to survive ... in the future, as well as today. We won't get there by knowing more about less, any more than we will by knowing less. Nor by arbitrarily paying attention to less of everything.

Above all else, we need to be agile about what and how we contribute to aggregate selection, and how we train to help our aggregate survive natural selection.

 * A "Hamiltonian" is the presumed equation describing some aspects of a hypothetical system. Similarly, members of any human team or aggregate eventually come to appreciate the critical interplay between the time constants of multiple processes. For some outcome to occur, many different, interacting processes have to occur with some minimal tempo, and deliver local outcomes within some critical period, i.e., with a maximum time constant. This is the basis of orchestral or band music, for example. It would be useful for students to formally grasp this as a named concept and ponder it, from pre-k onwards. The Grumbletonian? :)  Timing of cooperation is an inherent part of cooperation, and something that humans are geniuses at, even as babies - if that talent is developed, rather than neglected. Aggregate tuning is all about reducing NET frictions. Managing that begs for a consensus definition, and delivery of the summary data to track it.