Prepared as an Invited Keynote Address: Culture of Peace - Intersymp 97

9th International Conference on Systems Research, Informatics and Cybernetics, Aug.18-23, 1997, Baden-Baden

Understanding and Sharing 
in a Cognitive Panorama

Heiner Benking 
Creative Member, The Club of Budapest - FAW - Research Center for Applied Knowledge Processing, Ulm

ABSTRACT:

In contrast to the metaphor of the `Second Flood' (Lévy 1996), describing Cyberculture's impact due to its 1.) `open-ended' universality, 2.) loss of meaning, and 3.) loss of context, this paper makes use of context to organize knowledge, and provides orientation by localizing `what we know and miss', by mapping relations and connections. Instead of accepting a `flat' chaotic mess of data, the concept actively addresses critical issues such as mis-use, manipulation, and under-use of messages and information, and searches for other factors, like quality, to help further discrimination of data and knowledge. Some focus is on disorientation and apathy, specialization and globalization, and specific schools, like scientific or post-modern relativist's views. Central is the idea to use space not only as a real world platform to position and share objects, but also to bridge and follow meaning into embodied context and semantic spaces which form an organic or holistic world- view. Through reflection on conceptual positions, outlining and embodying situations or topics (logical places), we can also scrutinize abstract `realities' and interconnectedness, explore participatory approaches (Judge 1980- 97), (Harman 1996), (Benking, 1988-97), ways to share more effectively and consistently in groups `where we are and what we think'

KEYWORDS

cognitive spaces, education, metaphors, mental models, orientation, world views

OUTLINE

1. A Cognitive Panorama Bridge
2. Deeper Thinking for Better Understanding
3. Inviting and Sharing Voices and Views

As the paper tries to encompass many aspects and ways to approach such a broad theme, the author had to gave up the idea to tell all to some meaningful end in a few pages. Finally he decided to follow the line of the paper and include various sources and media to construct a more comprehensive overview of the issues at stake, more comprehensive as the editors allow. The idea (As with The Club of Budapest) is to overcome dualism and show the shades between seriousness and play, science and arts, policy and chaos. The following both dismissed titles indicate further aspects presented:

`CULTIVATING INSIGHT, EMPATHY, AND OVERVIEW IN A COGNITIVE PANORAMA: An approach to augment and share understanding, policy making, and responsibility' `Building, Inviting, and Sharing Ways and Meeting Grounds to See, Imagine, Think, Talk, & Listen'.

 

We cannot departmentalize our thinking... 
We cannot think of economic principles and ethical principles 
Underneath all our thinking, there are certain fundamental principles 
to be applied to all our problems. 

Mary Parker Follett 

 

 

 

The real act of discovery 
consists not in finding new lands 
but in seeing with new eyes. 

Marcel Proust 

 

INTRODUCTION

It is a privilege to start off an address in a Symposium, chaired by Vladimir Lomeiko, by put- ting NEW THINKING as the central issue and link between our perception and action. The phrase "We have to learn to think in a new way" is from the first page of Bertrand Russell's 'Man's Peril' (1954) and is the textual basis of the Russell-Einstein Memorial. Gorbachev, after Gromyko and Lomeiko, used it later for `new thinking' to `provide the intellectual framework in which both a domestic and a foreign reform agenda could succeed'. This paper outlines such an intellectual framework, literally builds a scaffolding or conceptual superstructure of shareable information spaces, inhabitable and navigable Problem-Learning-Solution spaces. These space-scapes can be explored, transformed and merged, providing a platform for embodied lateral `deep' thinking'.

Central to the understanding of this contribution is the role of cognitive maps and their combi- nation for our world-views. A good primer for this subject is the book `Changing Visions' by Laszlo, Artigiani, Combs, Csányi (1996). The author was acknowledged by Laszlo after the completion of `Changing Visions' for his design of combining such cognitive maps into the `Panorama Bridge'. For further study, follow this `evolution' of cognitive maps into adjacent cognitive landscapes enabling us to bridge, merge, morph and edit representations (Benking, Judge 1993).

The underlying idea is to provide ways to help find orientation and understanding by proposing a layout for inhabitable information or problem-learning-solution spaces. The combination of such spaces into one simple coherent layout allows us to order, map, and edit concepts. By treating context as meta-information we can trace meanings across scales, nomenclatures and representations. The concept of rooms or space-scapes is ideal as it is immanent in all cultures; and it permits localizing, ordering, and explaining across languages. The definition of such a common realm puts to test ubiquitous `sectarian' mental territories. Even when the need for `common frames' is undisputed, the proposal of `common grids' is controversial as people are afraid of people classifying for them.

Aware of the dangers of rigid control of terminology, this proposal is only a `rough' or coarse orientation scheme which can help us to see the connections, which also need a way to be represented. Details in disarray or no array at all, is no alternative. Since such a grid should be seen as an `open space', not as a cell with boundaries, as places and regions which can be easily edited and transcended for the sake of location and orientation, maybe we can bring order not only to warehouses and homes, but to our store of knowledge!

 

The greatest single achievement of science 
in this most scientifically productive of centuries 
is the discovery that we are profoundly ignorant; 
we know very little about nature and understand 
even less. 
Lewis Thomas 

 

 

 

Objective Knowledge 
The beginning of knowledge is not experiment 
but rather the observation and design of a complete picture 
on which all knowledge and all observation are integrated 
K. R. Popper / I. Kant [t]ranslated 

 

1. A Conceptual Superstructure or Cognitive Panorama Bridge

The challenge of developing an `intellectual framework' was taken up by the author unknowingly. His projects in the late 80s were in the field of visualization in all areas of application and environmental research and management. The idea evolved as the author was searching a solution for three communication problems: integrating environmental information collected in the micro- and meso-scale, see `The Flying Magnifying Glass'(German: `Fliegende Lupe') (Benking 1990), data structures for a multi-media, multi-lingual meta-database for the international environmental information harmonization project UNEP-HEM), (Keune et. al. 1991), (Benking et.al. 1992) the `gulf' between compatibility/comparability, coded/noncoded, and generalization/- specialization , and the transfer between scale platforms and `logical meeting' places. search for concepts which can be shared between different audiences and which increase awareness, as the central objective of the `GLOBAL CHANGE - Challenges...' exhibition . The answer to these challenges was to visualize spaces by realizing them physically and literally as abstract or cognitive spaces, by building a `Situation or Operation Space '. In this way it was possible to globally index abstract issues and point at topoi for topics (logical places). The proposal evolved further as a simple, common, transparent, coherent, navigable, and exploitable `Problem-Learning- Solution Space called `Blackbox' on the basis of: workshops with children, e.g.: `Our View of Life is too flat' `Be & Feel Part of Life and Nature' reviews of the Agenda 21 objectives (Brown 1994), (Benking 1994) in the Earth Summit process. When we accept that cognitive spaces are vehicles or open rooms, ideally suited to carry meaning across domains and cultures, we can think about the dimensions: width, height, and depth. The moment we agree on transparent, coherent, and adequate layouts for maps or models of what we know or miss (Benking 1996) we have made one possible decision on how to handle the immense complexity we are confronted with in our daily life. Making use of open multi-linked spaces is an ideal way to show connectedness and allows selective explorations in the worlds of understanding and orientation, as we explore physical space as if babies. To be sure, we just go for overview here, a bird's eye, not for everything in every detail, just as a map has it's scale and thematic and professional standards. It is more like a way to facilitate a selective exploratory approach using a telescope, panning and zooming, but not having the `Totale/Totality' and fine grained details concurrently.

Fig.1: The Blackbox Nature or Rubik's Cube of Ecology, an `open' space for combinations, interaction along and across scales, and exemplary illumination.

Fig.2: The Cognitive Panorama, a circumspection of `what we know and miss'. Three adjacent rooms of knowing are connected in one scheme (3Space/Time)

 

You cannot camouflage the whole picture 
by forcing focus on the specifics. 

Steve Kurtz 

 

 

 

To understand that the universe is not a collection of objects, 
but a communion of subjects. 

Thomas Berry 

 

1.1 The Blackbox Nature, a model or central switch to bridge between objects and subjects

Many thinkers have been exhibiting a deep logic and alerting humankind that we have no apparatus for observing critical, but abstract issues (for example: E. F. Schumacher - scales, G. Bateson, H. Lübbe - times, rhythms, and change, U. Eco - semantics and Babel). The proposal of the cognitive, synthetic space of the Blackbox brings together these three most critical and in themselves coherent and complete dimensions, which are necessary for understanding ecological dynamics.

The resulting space is a situation, issue or operation space which we can inhabit and share as we take on positions and look at virtual but critical issues and thereby find a way to leave our observer position which was typically more a position of apathy and feeling excluded, and instead enter this new realm of contemplation, which gives rise to identification and concern. The moment we can talk about it, share positions and views, it is real to us and we start to act on the findings.

The missing step has been to find a way to allow us to think and make real, embody, and share the above dimensions of time, size, and terms and not give up, become apathetic or aggressive, or become perplexed when confronted with dynamics and complexity? A way to imagine, point at and approach issues in the same way, regardless if talking to children, scientists, or politicians! Examples of such `simple' questions are: What is ecology?, What do ecologists do? Is ecology a discipline? What do we need to know, which field, which details?

M. Mead, M. Ferguson, D. Bohm, K. Wilber, F. Capra, and many others have pointed out, that ecology is the key to the design of a new world-view, perhaps in the direction of deep ecology, but the author didn't know about that in 1989. He had to design a way to communicate the breadth and width of ecology, and `reinvented' some of the fundamental ideas of Holism (Smuts 1926) (as Smuts was not widely available in the 80ies). The author's approach as presented here was a combination of visually and structurally ordering data as one learns in school and praxis when making use of a background in surveying, engineering, planning, organization, communication, visualization and management. Here a short synopsis of these two different but complementary views of Ecology and other cornerstones of the Rubik's Cube design:

The result of this exercise in 1990 was to build and have others discuss and share issues at hand in the `virtual reality' of a conceptual framework, a cyberworld making sense and hopefully augmenting intellect. The Blackbox invites us to imagine, touch and feel, helps us to find the positions and anchor points of our reasoning, and last but not least share it by building on the same blocks, pictures and perspectives.

Many questions are asked about the name Blackbox, such as whether the Blackbox is like a computer system, which can help you model, display, detail, and connect on a global and general level. The answer is `No'. The cube is like a 3-dimensional map, a generalized, thematic space, an agreed upon framework, which we can use and explore in search of specific answers. Also called "magic cube", it is since 1990 an attraction at the GLOBAL CHANGE touring exhibition. It displays beauty and variety, symmetry adn harmony and includes some illumination of issues, even a motion graphics display. On the other hand it is physically, really a `black box', which we cannot enter; and we have little or no idea of the inner workings or harmonic building principles. The term `Black Box' is a convention between scientists and engineers, coined by anthropologist G. Bateson, to explain a whole which is taken as such and not elaborated to fine detail. Engineers stop at a certain point for practical and intelletual reasons with investigation and tread the `whole' as one subject, one unit, a `black box'. It is a term to signify what the whole is about or doing, but no answer to the question of how it is functioning. To elaborate in our case the physical and literal side of the `Blackbox' metaphor further; we can obviously focus and show exemplary details, we only need to switch on the light, (illuminate - as there are about 1000 Watt of light bulbs in there), but it also makes much sense to imagine, come to grips and grasping a physical model of one possible whole, manifesting abstract aspects like of wholeness and knowledge: the connectedness and interplay of order, structures, symmetries, functions, and relations.

Perhaps clearer is the picture of humankind being lost with only torch-light in a dark forest, without any map or direction. We specialize and magnify details we find, but lose the context and do not know how to move to other places with available tools. It is a very effective way of exemplary exploration, but as with the joke about the drunken man, searching for his lost keys only under the street light, we forget to care about dark spots or do not bother about the rest anyway, believing we already have the `truth'. The open Cube is a model to signify how we can penetrate behind the screen of words, sometimes....

1.2 A Cognitive Panorama

A Cognitive Panorama is proposed to conceptually categorize data and information from vari- ous fields in the same way. It is a composite of three cognitive landscapes which can be seen as spacial scaffoldings to help find and order objects, subjects, and context in one common searchable schema (global index). Central is the relationship between subjects and objects, here represented as a magic switch-room or Blackbox as covered above. Jonas Salk called two basic units of knowledge and the relationship between them `the basic building blocks of the universe' and so we have a basic conceptual foundation here, which can be followed through the history of thought (Benking 1996).

The Panorama design, a combination of the physical, contextual, and semantic space (3Space/Time), is based on the concept of space-scapes (Benking, Brauer 1994), or deep structured orders, which can be explored and approached with different glasses (lenses/perspectives/empha- sis/selection/focus). The leading metaphor is a 3-dimensional realm which can be embodied and filled, and therefore the term landscape (or physical model) best describes a (deep) map which invites an embodied experience of language and exercises a view from an elevated position (bird's eye). In the Panorama we can map, outline, merge, morph, and edit such schemes, as they have topological and orientational properties. See also the poetry of Rueckert above and the Philosophy of Science (Toulmin 1953) which show that flexibility and overcoming fixation is like mobility, and the need for shifting categories and moving boundaries between areas of investigation is acceptable in the physical world and much easier conceptually! Only when we call it mental mobility (as the cheapest form of therapy) or viewpoint transportation (Benking, Judge 1994) is it considered suspect; if we call it flexibility or imagination it is one of the most precious capabilities.

TWO POSSIBLE VIEWS OF THE SAME PHENOMENON

 

Complexity: Hostile to any participation 

Transparency: Ready for exchange and participation 

Fig.3: Position and Perspective, not only models, guide perception and create transparency or anxiety.
Morellet Sphere, Rive Gauche Gallery, Brussel, photo: A.J.N. Judge

Alternation of positions secures depth and high fidelity. How it is perceived individually and shared in groups is the next question. The pictures below show that not only can the appearance of an object be quite different, but also that there are quite different emotions connected to it.

 

The word or the language, written or spoken, 
do not seem to have any impact (role) 
in the mechanism of my line of thought. 

The mental building blocks of thinking 
are certain signs/symbols and more or less clear pictures, 
which can be reproduced and combined at will. 

Albert Einstein [t] 

 

 

 

Whoever imagines mental barriers which actually do not exist 
and then thinks them away, has understood the world. 
As space is entrapped in geometry's network of lines, 
thought is caught in its (own) inherent laws. 
Maps make the world comprehensible to us; 
we are still waiting for the star-maps of the spirit. 
In the same way that ambling through fields 
we risk getting lost, the spirit negotiates its terrain. 

Rückert , Wisdom of Brahmins [t] 

 

2. Deeper Thinking for Better Understanding

The author is deeply indebted to the concept of lateral thinking as developed by Edward de Bono. His ways to create new ideas have been described as the 'other' road, unorthodox, changing structures, positions and perspectives. What is actually done is changing the `environment' or oscillating between perspectives, making it very clear that creativity is a transformation and transportation process. Ideas are carried across boundaries or scales to new applications, and visual/geometrical terms are used to indicate that we `envision' by creating solutions from morphed or `assembled' views. The next step is not only to be aware of such combinational mental mobility or locomotion (Rückert above or Toulmin 1953), but also to focus attention onto the origin of structures and proportions. By mapping creativity we see that we carry patterns, elements, symbols, or archetypes `along and across scales' see diCastri, Hadley (1988) and chapter 1.1, trying to match problems and potentials with possible solutions. To make it more real, just take the example of bionics.

The proposal is to not only map the generation of new thought by following some known traces or paradigms, but to also create maps which help us to locate and share issues, and to realize that this engendering takes place by moving ideas across schools of thought. A prerequisite is to understand, that in contrast to the Nominalist's view we present here an embodied Conceptualist's view , . If we structure our knowledge accordingly (Jaenecke 1995), for example along Dahlberg's ICC (1980- 96) or Judge's Functional Classification (Judge 1994/95) we are able to have a view on integral order and dynamics of usages, the connections between clusters and patterns. For details and a broader view on Dahlberg's work, especially in relation to Aristotle, Kant, and Haase,.... see also Heinrichs (1986, 1996), but also for the universal organic whole (Laszlo 1996), (Smuts 1926) and the presentation of `Schau-Logik' (Wilber 1995). Based on such a multi-hierarchical, orthogonal framework we can imagine organisation lenses ; we can in this way not only see terms in their relations and differences, their halos or neighborhoods, but can also tackle the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the information glut in innovative ways, addressing the dilemma of message overload fundamentally! (Jaenecke 1995). The layout or operation space for such creative thinking could revive and engender a figurative, synthetic, plastic, or a more living, embodied language, within common frames of terms!, concepts and contexts (Benking 1996).

With children we have often sought an order for areas we can know. When the puzzle is solved, we know that temporarily the order is complete. New things and details will always be found and will find their place. But there is no need in `overview ` mode to change the matrix, as long as schemes, like the proposals of Dahlberg (1980-1997) and Judge (1980-97) suffice . When science and philosophy were still one subject, 200 years ago, visual knowledge organization was ubiquitous. With the information flood, knowledge trees, hierarchical classifications for many domains, and subjectivity prospered, - but overview - was lost. As universal and holistic do not mean total, only coherence in the sense of overview and connectedness, we can lay open a central crack in our modern understanding. Afraid of totality, which always had a political and dogmatic tint, society has developed into overspecialization. Here we might have discovered a central crack as universal knowing is knowing where things have their place. This applies in no way to all things we can know or not know. Maybe disorientation and confusion of scales, segments, and levels of knowing and maps and their communication structures are central issues and misunderstandings of modern times, and surely this has widest repercussion on education, sciences, politics and ethics.

To be sure: What we mean here is the possibility to know the place in the scheme of things. Not the only scheme, map, or dogma, but a simple, coherent, and adequate layout or scaffolding, one which is useful and easily picked up conceptually by children at about the age of 10-12. Before that age, they have fun with puzzles and the real environment, later, as abstract reasoning comes in, they should be able to find answers themselves, instead of complaining that our `View of Life is too flat' !

As there is a widening rift between `schools', and children suffer form a lack of orientation and consistency, a general remark seems to be indicated: The anxious debate of the `Sokal Hoax' between postmodern realism and the objective scientific schools shows that a framework and broader education is desperately needed if we ever want to be less vulnerable to dualism and dogma. At present the gap is widening and tolerance decreases, and definitions are used as weapons to support the archaic fight for territories, this time conceptual territories. The central confusion seems to be in the identification of a term with an object or concept, ignoring the context (level, time, culture) on or in which a meaning was expressed. The upcoming cyberculture and robots and automatic agents `serving' us, will have a severe impact as the idea of orientation and a feeling for coherence, context, source, proportions, and consistency may be impossible to develop.

 

The village is a small world 
Where the greater world is at stage. 
(is put to test) 

Holger Magel 
Können wir die Zukunft unseres Dorfes sichern? 

 

 

 

T - Qualification 
Specialist and Generalist 
In depth specialist qualification (in one field - vertical) 
plus domain transcending orientation (horizontal bar). 

R.E. Machol (1965), G.Ropohl (1975), H.P. Dürr (1987) 

 

3. Empowering by inviting and sharing voices and views in group processes

This is done by sharing interests in groups or gatherings, and cultivating the art of the arts - conversation - visualizing the flow of communication and interests. Gatherings and meetings have to cross two deep canyons ! The first barrier is to somehow spot through awareness and empathy where the other person is, his/her frame of mind, where she/he (is in his mind's eye), what she/he might be seeing or contemplating about with her telesopic or organization lenses or `glasses'. It is not only the internal but also the external orientation, to understand focus and perspective, proportions and background of the specific cultural environment. The second barrier is how to channel and orchestrate interests in the group giving room for surprise and dynamic change of focus and emphasis as a dialogue moves forward, typically having to meet given time frames or external conditions.

Fig.4: share, invite, listen

Fig 5.: many models/viewpoints

Fig.6: see who sees - reflections

Illustrations: Tim Casswell

For the history of time credits, how they have been used to share interest, manage surprises and dynamics in groups, and reorganize meetings and gatherings (conferences) see A.J.N. Judge (1980- 97) and reports by the author from the International Peace College or the UN Climate Summit ` 95.

SUMMARY

The objective of this paper was to help us be more aware and conscious about what and how we perceive and share information about our environment. This environment may be very close to us, as we in a senso-motor fashion explored it in all aspects from our bed and room as a baby, and within physical reach as the house and village we learned to know in every corner as a child. But this is not enough. As we grew up and modern society developed new means, we created effects and are subject to these effects, even when they are out of sight and out of reach, we change our `global environment' in the widest sense, and change ourselves by changing our traditional patterns and values.

We have shown that our thinking is fragmented, it is in disarray, or worse, in chaos, in `no array' at all, without any predictability and orientation. It is obvious that without frames of reference we have no scheme to connect emotions and values. As we have shown above, modern information technology can be misused, and the basic structures of our communication are very sensitive. This can lead to further loss of orientation, guidelines, trust, and the art of exchanging our feelings and attitudes. If we proceed to produce messages without context and meaning, coherence and reference to the world, we can threaten the whole social system.

The message of this paper is look out for common understanding and use all vehicles and approaches possible to increase sharing as the glue to social cohesion. The proposed building blocks are space and perspective if only we define and agree on some conceptual frameworks, and try to use our potentials to bridge from the physical to the conceptual world. The design of attached situation spaces in a cognitive panorama is one possible way to index and find things. It is a scheme to have order, at least from a high stand, creating in a distance between us and the details.It is a way to at least regain some overview, some world-view which is so desperately needed.

The project is not the project of any person and should not be protected and copyrighted as this is the way our economic system creates territories and domains, and the wish to compete for our neighbors garden. It is a proposal for a basic right of `orientation and understanding' not the right to access data, but to have a basis for meaning generation. If we can not find a common ground, a commonwealth, also for intellectual exercises, we have Babylon right in front of us. Cyberculture's prophets tell us that cyberculture cannot be stopped or reversed; the only way out is a cultural catastrophe, but lack of orientation is an individual and civilizational catastrophe.

The challenge is to put emphasis on quality communication, not just boosting the amount of data and messages, akin to the role of the microscope in the sixteenth century. And to find ways to share understanding, secure values, and guide responsible, sustainable action in the service of the Whole. This paper wants to make us aware and feel responsible for abstract factors and dimensions, `Anschauung' is essential as it can guide us `from the view of all, to the feeling of responsibility for all' (in German: `Sicht auf's Ganze, Pflicht fürs Ganze'.

Children told the author that their `view of life is too flat', and they subscribed to the vision of the orientation space of the Blackbox presented, an imaginary world of meaning which can be explored and played in, for the sake of finding reason and understanding. Many world pictures can co-exist and we can co-create more every day if we check our models and visions, first as they are built the way Nature is and if they create a climate of peace and co-existence.

In a nutshell: We live with and by our pictures and visions; and if we do not create or find visions to subscribe to, we are subject to `implanted' pictures. On a sublime, unconscious level, implanted vision becomes the reality of catastrophe and chaos. This paper is written to oppose metaphors like the `Second Flood', a development without alternative ! and propose instead the play with different competing alternative representations, perhaps a bouquet of metaphors. The author feels, that the Information Society should not be built by focusing primarily on the development of information filters, brokers, and robots, but instead by looking for locations and proportions in agreed-upon knowledge maps. In this way we have a resource for co-creation, joint imaginations and shared visions, by thinking one further level or `deeper'. Some `Pathfinder Projects' are on the way to chart our course and to provide maps, from which we can build on new understanding based on an evolutionary and holistic fundament. If we watch out for our metaphors, Flood or Ocean, Desktop, Tree or Space, we will abstain from only surfing, but will focus more on the context, on the feeling for proportions and harmony, and finally avoid the surfing and instead go for diving and flying, taking over control about where we are and what we do in ensembles of morphed, inter-operable metaphors (Judge 1980-96).

The best way to summarize the scope and width of this paper is by subscribing to the objectives of The New Evolutionary Paradigm by Loye (1990), which includes: 1.) improved forecasting, 2.) improved interventional guides, 3.) participatory rather than authoritarian problem solving, 4.) providing clearer long term goals and humanistic images.

 

To solve a puzzle, 
you have to use all pieces... 

T. S. Kuhn 

 

 

 

Responsibility lies in the heart of ethics, 
namely with space and time horizon. 

Hans Jonas 

 

 

 

Imagination is more important than knowledge 

Albert Einstein 

 

Acknowledgments: I thank Anthony J.N. Judge and Ingetraut Dahlberg for their ideas. The contributions to the topic covered here is so large that they could very well be the author and take the credit themselves. I am indebted to Ralph G.H. Siu for his cheerfulness and personal encouragement in the right pace, quality, space and time. And last but not least to Steve Kurtz for his work of polishing and editing this text and helping me to understand some subtleties of the English language. Please note that this paper is an extract only, a comprehensive summary of a book to appear soon: `The Co-Creation Edge: Orientation, Communication, and Understanding in a Cognitive Panorama'.

 

The scientist, like the artist, 
is consitently faced with the problem: 
`How do you organize and comprehend the world' 

Lesham and Margeau, Einstein Space & Van Gogh Sky 

 

 

 

The most productive and yielding research 
is that which pleases the thinker and 
supports mankind at the same time. 

Doppler 

 

 

 

Scale is more than size 
it is size with proportions and consequences 
when proportions are no longer in harmony, 
or consequences are unanticipated, 
we have a problem of scale. 

A. Buzacott 

 

 

 

Müßet in Naturbetrachten 
immer eins wie alles achten; 
Nichts ist drinnen, nichts ist draußen; 
Denn was innen, das ist außen..... 
Kein Lebendiges ist Eins, immer ist's ein Vieles. 

J.W. v. Goethe [t] 

 

REFERENCES
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Benking, H., Judge, A.N.J., Uhlir, P.: (1993) Linking Hetereogeneous Environmental Data for Multipurpose Applications - A Conceptual Superstructure, Outline; NAS-NRC, Washington, in cooperation with UIA.
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Benking, H. (1997): Weltbildkompositionen in anschaulichen kognitiven Räumen - ein notwendiger phylogenetischer Schritt, KONRAD LORENZ Institute, Altenberg
Benking, H.: Panorama of Understanding, IISII Internatioanl institute for Systemic Inquiry and Integration, PRIMER SIG of ISSS, 1. International Electronic Seminar on Wholeness, http://www.newciv.org/ISSS_Primer/semianr.html
Brown, N.J. (1994): Agenda 21: Blueprint for Global Environmental Sustainability, New Opportunities for Earth Systems Management, 7th Remote Sensing Conference, Melbourne
Budin, G. (1996) Komplexität und Dynamik wissenschaftlicher Informations- und Kommunikationsprozesse, Fachsprachenforschung Bd. 28,Gunter Narr Verlag, Tübingen
di Castri, F., Hadley, M. (1988): Enhancing the Credibility of Ecology: 3. Trilogy, Interaction Along and Across Hierarchical Scales, GeoJournal, Vol. 17.1, pp. 3-36, Kluwer
Dahlberg, W. 1980: Wissernsstructuren und Ordnungsmuster, p.15-27, Wissensmuster und Musterwissen im Erfassen klassifikatorischer Ganzheiten, p. 294-315, In: Wissensstrukturen und Ordnungsmuster, SK) Gesellschaft für Klassifaktion, INDEKS, Frankfurt

Dahlberg, I.(1992): Knowledge Organization and Terminology:Philosophical and Linguistic Bases, Int. Classif.19, No. 2, 65-71, INDEKS, Frankfurt
Dahlberg, I.. (1996): Library Catalogs in the Internet: Switching for Future Subject Access, Advances in Knowledge Organization, Vol. 5 p. 155-164, INDEKS, Frankfurt
Doxiadis, C.A. (1967): Eksitics, An Introduction to the Science of Human Settlements, Athens Inst.of Techn.
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Harman, W. (1996): Bringing about Transition to Sustainable Peace, p.1-18, Sustainable Peace in World System, and the next Evolution of Human Consciousness, ISSS 40th Annual Meeting, Budapest
Heinrichs, J. (1986): Die Logik der Vernunftkritik Kants Kategorienlehre, UTB 1412, Franke,Tübingen
Heinrichs, J, (1996): Ökologik - Tiefenökologie als strukturelle Naturphilosophie, Schriften zur Triadik und Ontodynamik, (eds. Beck, H., Schadel, E.) Bd. 12, Peter Lang, Europ. Verlag der Wissenschaften
Jaenecke, P. (1995): To what End Knowledge Organization? Knowl.Org. 21, No. 1, 3-11
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Jaenecke, P. (1996) Elementary Principles for Representing Knowledge, Knowl. Org. 23, No.2, 88- 102
Judge, A.J.N.: Functional Classification, App. 4, Vol.3., p. 1753-1772, Yearbook of Int. Organizations, see UIA
Judge, A.J.N.: (1980-1996): http://www.uia.org - besides papers like: Representation, Comprehension and Communication of Sets: The Role of Numbers', UNU, Commonwealth Science Council, 1980, `Time Sharing in Meetings - Centralized planning vs. Free-market economy)', Sustaining the Coherence of Dialogue through Apartness - patterns of systematic configuration of entities through hypertext, and about further 50 papers of first choice are noteworthy to be listed here, but are available on the WEB. We strongly recommend the homepage and select from the listing of selected papers on: Information and Knowledge Organization, Language Culture and Visualization, Sustainable Dialogue, Community and Conferencing,... Please also see the UIA reference below and note the acknowledgments. Keune. H., Murray, B., Benking, H. (1991): Harmonization of Environmental Measurement, GeoJournal 23.3 249-255, Kluwer Academic Publishers
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I.A. (1995): Resisting the Virtual Life; City Lights Books, San Francisco
Laszlo, E., Artigiani, R., Combs, A., Csányi, V. (1996): Changing Vision: Human cognitive maps: past, present, future, Praeger Studies on the 21st Century
Laszlo, E. (1997): The Wispering Pond, A Personal Guide to the Emerging Vision of Science, ELEMENT
Lawton, J. (1987): Problems of scale in ecology, Nature 325, 206
Lévy, P. (1996): The Second Flood - Report on Cyberculture, Council of Europe, CC-CULT (96) 27B
Lundstedt, S. (1993) : Cybernetics, Systems Research, and Panetics: A Gloabal Scientific and Humanitarian
Issue, 4. Intern. Symp. on Systems Research, Informatics, and Cybernetics, Aug. 2-8, 1993, Baden-Baden
Loye, D.: (1990): Moral Sensitivity and the Evolution of higher mind. World Future: The Journal of higehr Evolution, 30,41-52
Toulmin, S. (1953): The Philosophy of Science, Hutchinson's University Library UIA - Union of International Associations, Encyclpaedia of World Problems and Human Potential, 4th Edition.
3 Vol., Sauer, Yearbook of International Organizations, 3 Vol, Sauer, München, plus CD-ROM versions

NOTES:

  1. How to address complexity is the central question. This approach combines three connected orthogonal reference systems (3Space/Time) to have a coherent global index for issues, resources, problems, and solutions.
  2. (inter-transdisciplinary) - across disciplines, - between applications,- comparability, -bottom-up. (sectoral) - along subjects, -within procedures, -compatibility, -top-down, (BENKING 1992). See also footnote 9.
  3. GLOBAL CHANGE traveling exhibition, opened in May 1990 in the Federal Chancellery in Bonn. A central exhibition piece is the "blackbox” concept for scale integration and interaction, This subtitle is one of the requests which were put forward politics under the title "Challenges in Search for Policy” to challenge science to contribute in order to meet the stipulations set in AGENDA 21, as established at the EARTH SUMMIT in Rio de Janeiro. As the relation to this paper is explained in the Forword, it needs to be indicated that further attemps along the mandat (EEES 1987) are also on "hold” (BENKING, JUDGE, UHLIR 1992), ***** and the LOCAL and GLOBAL CHANGE exhibition, inviting international organization to present their research and co-ordination tasks and presenting concepts under the title: "Integrated monitoring and modeling bridging measurements, theory, and validation” -”for Environmental Research and Management” to fuel the discussion on integration via scale platforms and other "tricks” like "conceptual meeting points”.
  4. WACR MÜNCHEN Situation SPACES
  5. CHILDREN WFSF UND BUDAPEST
  6. The mandate was put forward by the Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in New York was: (extract) establish common frames of reference, Develop common understanding, common levels of co-operation and common strategies, mobilize best and brightest, harness capabilities, initiate more solid foundations for policies and strategies, gauge the human prospectus, .... The author was invited to present conclusions and proposals on behalf of that Director, to present results from such internationally long requested initiatives, e.g. G7 summits or world wide expert hearings, has worked in this harmonisation projects under the auspices of UNEP (in co-operation with the widest rage of organisations (GO's and NGO's, industry, academia, public, ..
  7. Personal exchange with Prof. Hiroshi Shimizu, Ba research institute with focus on bioholonics, see Shimizu 1995, contribution to MIND Revolution, Akademie zum Dritten Jahrtausend, Munich and (Schimizu 1987).
  8. From Wisdom of Brahmins, Cassirer. E. - Symbol, Technik, Sprache - Mythischer, aesthetischer, theoretischer Raum (p. 93 - 117) see also Stephen E.Toullmin, The Philosophy of Science. An Introduction, London 1953
  9. Webster: All universal or abstract terms are mere necessities of thought or conveniences of language and therefore exist as names only and have no general realities corresponding to them.
  10. The author is very well aware that typically English speaking experts of philosophical terminology, influenced through the positivistic School of Thought of Vienna, do not accept the notion of concept. They stick to the times when terminus was considered to include the notion of thought, that is the conceptual element. But we live today and refer to Dahlberg (1980) and Heinrichs (1986) for further, hopefully dia-logic argumentation.
  11. see for the metaphorical embodyment of meaning in science and daily life: Bies (1996), Luyten, N.A., Meessen, et.al. (1986), or Awald (1980) or the phenomenological origine. If we do not follow Lambert 1774, but Hegel (1806), reducing the phenomena according to extention and intension (Dahlberg 1980) we come to the `T'(footnote ), the combination of endeavor in width and depth, which is basic to this synthetic embodied approach. We stick here to Hegel, avoiding the hermeneutic interpretations of concealed LOGOS in the line of Husserl, Scheler, Heidegger,.. and go on to highlight and access common harmonical aspects along and across scales and categories by making visually explicit, trying to clarify humanity's concepts.
  12. The work of Dahlberg and Judge can not be summarized here. As far as the semantic space as part of the Panorama is concerned, see chapter 2.2. We recommend Dahlberg 1980-1996 ****, and Judge 1980-96 ****.
  13. Wilber (1994) uses the kind of plastic imaginative language the author is talking about. He uses not only the term Schau, Anschauung , and Weltanschauung, but also terms like `flatland' holists and `flatland' atomists to signify a shallow approach to deep concepts, for example for subtle reductionism p. 183 the reduction of intention to extention, quality to quantity. See also `phenomenology' chapter in this paper and (Smuts 1927).
  14. Optics, panning and zooming were seen as the first and major amplifications of mental realms. Computers are seen to be tools, like optics before, to open new horizons. This paper argues, that organizational glasses (like `looking glasses' with Alice) apply for the mind's eye. They provide a window for conceptual and creative panning and zooming, but not only telescoping along their magnification axis, but omnidirectionally. This echos the simple well-packed questions of children, for example the Little Prince (St.Exypery) or Alice in Wonderland. What we mean is criss-crossing, mental locomotion, merging and morphing of tools, finding overview and getting the and orientation and proportions right. Exactly this facility, human creativity and imagination, is the real treasure; automated search with computers is not conceptual research, but is on the lowest logical level- finding the same alphanumeric strings as the smallest common denominator. Augmenting the human Intellect, maybe very much along with Douglas Engelbart (*****) means developing and maintaining overview, seeing the connections, proportions, and consequences, inviting new questions and being able to talk it over. In a nutshell: The possible vistas for amplification of creativity and imagination are seen in the combination of 1.) inner order and coherence, 2.) quantitative data processing, accessing and managing the data volumes, and 3.) imaginative combinations, engendered by qualitative aspects, developing the feeling, `inner eye' or eye of experience and overview. Focus on structure and quality (Jaenecke 1995/97) and harmonical aspects is the response in view of the increasing helplessness towards the `Second Flood' (Levy 1996). Fatal is not only that the avandgarde thinkers to not look for alternatives, trying to avoid the `FLOOD', but that they, supported by information science industry and experts (Schatz 1997), reinventing the wheel and make questionable claims. They promised `Concept Search' on the Web by 2010 by computers inverting gigantic matrices and establishing hit rates and relations statistically between single words! not cross-cultural usancen. Making not explicit `their' definition of concept search, which is close to a blind flight (or search) in messages without indication of source or quality. Such results have nothing to do with meaning between the lines, languages, scales, cultures, semantic and syntactic context, and do not provide a motion towards coherence, repeatability and predictability of searches. As such a selling of `unreal' futures with strong marketing appearance is good for `harvesting' research funds, but having on the other side strong repercussions on the `Knowledge Society' and its transparency, see also Boden, M.A. (1995).
  15. the magazine `Ethik und Sozialwissenschaften' Streitforum für Erwägungskultur, Westermann Verlag Bd**** recently cpublished the contribution of Dahlberg: Die Begriffskultur der Sozialwissenschaften, lassen sich ihre Probleme lösen? (see also letter (Benking 1997) bd vol page** , and the footnote
  16. T-Qualifications, the concept of deep specialization in one field and the learned ability to apply it somewhere else (horizontal bar) (see: Machol, Ropohl,Dürr in (Benking 1994), and C.P.Snow. In foodnote 2 the same principle is applied to the compatibility/comparability- standardization/harmonization debate (Benking 1994), (Benking, Budin 1996). 1 Symposium on Culture of Peace - Intersymp `97 - Invited Keynote Address - 9th International Conference on Systems Research, Informatics and Cybernetics, Aug.18-23, 1997 Baden-Baden

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maybe also see the updated version with some LATE NOTES and the broader context of this CULTURE OF PEACE EVENT from 1997 at:

http://benking.de/culture/Culture-of-Peace-IIAS-1997.htm

and this very VERY LATE NOTE (2009):

I was just with some participants from the Culture ofd Peace event 12 years ago. The events were intense and political in Baden-Baden at that time, so we remembered why my topic and contribution was extended, and I had - beside the paper – a 2 page had-out delivered before the lecture, and how this assault on Systems and Science by questioning Overclaims & Oversimplifications  was receicved not only by the organiszers, not only that the long paper of the invited “keynote” was not inculded into the proceedings ! we remembered that the discussions were ranging much further thand just over- claims and – simplifications on the individual or personal level, but also about over- extensions and exploitations on the group or collective level.

It seems worth to recall that the work on multi-perspectivity and –positionality was already 7 years “old” – but not established as it is now being included in the International Encyclopedia of Systems of Cybernetics. For me this neglect of anything new and different is typical for the ingroups and turfs we face not only in science – but in many areas – see the work on group-think and clan-think by John Warfield, or the original work in the formative early years of the Club of Rome: Ozbekhan, Jantsch, Christakis…

I can only point to the presentation and paper for Hans Jona’ 90th birthday  (by he way also not included in the proceedings) and the work of Nathan Keyfritz about Interdisciplinarity at IIASA, Laxemburg…. See my letter to Lynton Caldwell an the paper SHOW or SCHAU. In retrospect I feel it is time that neglected and ignored papers should be collected by any author and should be voted for, ranked, and revisited to see if pragmatic or ethical – societal aspects are good enough to see if they fit not just a certain audience, but other times and places….

 

SOMEHOW STRANGE and TYPICAL – the 3 contributions above – whicha re very dear to me event 15 years later did never hit the streets – I feel I really should think about the idea to collect not just the “others” but also the “other models” !! and the “odds”!….