But a man shipwrecked and cast ashore upon a desert island could find himself surrounded by all the things he needs to build a happy if lonely life--the promiscuous goods that were torn from the hold of his ship and later beached by a contrite sea--and yet still be doomed to perish within a season because he is ignorant of how to combine the things so as to reconstruct civilization.
It needs to be remembered that man has advanced himself from the squalid cave to the technological opulence of present-day urban existence, not by adding to, but simply by ever more ingeniously recombining, nature's chessboard of basic elements.
Nature is a hierarchy, really, of infinitely complex combinations of combinations of combinations of things--or perhaps of nothing but combinations. Science seeks to decipher these endless but meaningful combinations; and technology, to exploit them for life's sake. A guide needed to supervise the whole operation, and ideonomy is uniquely equipped to serve as that guide.
By studying natural combinations, the rules thereof can be extracted and subsequently reapplied to create new combinations. New combinations are ultimately found to be old combinations, not previously discovered, but in the meantime they bring to light other rules, and themselves engender rules, which in turn engender new combinations, and again ultimately prove to have been present in nature all along. We are beginning to figure out the exquisite ironies of this process, and the very laws of those ironies. Because ideonomy courts paradoxes, this, too, is an ideal job for it.
Note that the reverse process, of undoing natural combinations, must itself implicitly engender new combinations, and of a conservative complexity in the infinitely circular matrix of the whole. So we should also seek to master ways of virtually combining things through equivalent decombinations, of a simple, serial, or compound kind; of course some of these decombinations can themselves be virtual, or be produced by equivalent combinations of other things, or of the same things in nonequivalent series. Although the possibilities are endless, it is important to note that they are also paradoxically few, because of their severe equivalence or combinatorial degeneracy.
Ideonomy can show how to combine the etymological roots of words to create new words, how to combine words to create new concepts, how to combine concepts to create new theories, how to combine theories to create new sciences, and how to combine sciences to create new world views.
It can show how to combine the parts of dogs to create new dogs, how to combine the parts of faces to create new or old facial expressions, how to combine seemingly disparate mathematical techniques to get more powerful tools, how to combine phenomena to get novel emergent phenomena, how to combine nonexistent jobs that separately would not make sense to produce new groups of jobs that make conjoint sense, how to recombine the elements of known phenomena to reveal undiscovered phenomena that have been hiding within them--or of known entities to reveal undiscovered aspects of those entities.
Ideonomy can uncover and publicize all of the ways in which a thing can be combined with itself, a thing can be combined with things of its kind, or different kinds of things can be combined.
Increase Understanding of Complexity
When science is young--and no sciences, as yet, are truly old--it is forced to oversimplify its account of nature, to thrust aside the things that are too complex or difficult, and to concentrate upon those phenomena, questions, techniques, and topics that are--or seem to be--simple or the simplest. Inevitably, as a result, it takes a simplistic form and constructs a simplistic picture of reality.
The real problem is that this inceptive simplism, itself venial, then becomes deeply ingrained in the whole outlook of the scientific community, that the fact of its existence becomes forgotten about-or is never recognized in the first place, and that a simplistic habit of mind becomes perpetual and ineradicable.
Another common route to oversimplification in the history of science has been the uninterrupted employment of a single method or pursuit of a single concept or goal, without any experimental trying out or adopting of additional or novel possibilities. Eventually this single-minded devotion becomes anachronistic and pathological. Other flowers come up through the soil, only to be wastefully ignored.
Modern science is also beset by a difficulty that is of an antithetical nature: illusory complexity. Things appear to be, or are treated as being, complex where they are simple, or as more complex than they actually are.
With all of these problems in the understanding of complexity ideonomy promises to help.
It can be used to reconstruct the history of sciences and to recognize the crudities that were installed in the infancy of these subjects. It can diagnose simplistic thinking and techniques almost anywhere and all the time.
It brings to the study of nature a picture of phenomena and concepts as being vastly more complex than they have traditionally been assumed to be in general. It defines the morphological, behavioral, and other codes that are the sources of complexity, and provides means for the interpretation of these codes and their treatment along simpler lines.
It characterizes the welter of alternative methods, concepts, and goals that may severally or simultaneously apply in given cases.
As for the illusion of complexity, a primary thrust of ideonomy is upon the identification of things that recur, often unknowedly, in science after science and phenomenon after phenomenon: of laws, patterns, effects, relationships, concepts, etc that may be differently described, given different names, justified in different ways, or modified in various respects, and yet that everywhere are essentially identical.
Many of the excessive complexities in the operation of civilization, and in our theory of the universe, that were tolerable in the past are no longer tolerable today or at least will no longer be tolerable in the future. The increasingly integrated and technological nature of civilization can make certain forms of complexity that are not controlled or not understood perilous.
The unification of the world's economy, and the automation of the management of stocks on a large scale, may make the continuation of our ignorance of--or of our failure to allow for or control--chaotic phenomena arising from nonlinear dynamics, unacceptable in the future.
Reveal the Many Concauses of A Thing
Concauses, or causes that act together, are worth knowing about for a variety of reasons. Alone, or independently, they may be unable to cause or explain a thing; or a thing may be impossible without the coaction of arbitrarily many different causes.
Where many different concauses are necessary to produce an effect or thing, the existence, possibility, or character of same may be hidden or obscured.
Since just a few things, when combined with one another, are sufficient to produce an enormously large number of diverse things, there may be stupendous numbers of things, and of causes and possibilities of things, of which we are ignorant.
The concept that things tend to have simple and single causes prevails in science and may well be one of those grand misconceptions we spoke of above that in the infancy of science were expedient and necessary oversimplifications, but which have subsequently become deeply implanted in the conscious and unconscious world view of science, wherein and wherefrom they have done--and stoutly continue to do--great mischief.
The reality, or the measure of truth, does however require to be found out, and ideonomy can assist with this basic investigation. For ideonomy to play such a role is indeed only natural, for its central concern is with the discovery, measurement, clarification, and extension of all possible forms, degrees, and phenomena of universality--as well as with the limitation of universality.
We need to learn exactly and comprehensively which things do and do not depend upon a plurality of causes or the cooperation of concauses, what the interrelated and discriminable types of things and types of concauses are, what the deep modes and mechanisms of concausation are, what the limits, geneses, transformations, degrees of freedom, and laws of concauses are, what the relative importance of singular causes and concauses is, what characteristic and fundamental errors in scientific theory and belief are traceable to a neglect of concausation, how concausation may be masked and yet per se remain demonstrable, how different orders of concauses may fit together like nested Chinese boxes, how alternative groups of concauses--that are not themselves or mutually concausal--may be multiplexed in phenomena and events, and many other things.
Once we know these things, and only once we know them, the construction of a science of concauses will become feasible.
To what relative and absolute extent are the following things a product of concauses, rather than of causes that act alone and are omnipotent: human intelligence (in an encephalic or else in a general sense), biological evolution, the bursting of a dam, an economic depression, a volcanic eruption, a drought, a rumor, the victory of a football team, the onset of cosmic expansion, any single quantum event, the historical commencement of mathematical inquiry, miscarriage-in embryogeny, or moral maldevelopment of one's child?
Knowing whether the disastrous failure of a dam had one or many causes could be important in the legal determination of responsibility and liability.
Is man's transanimalic intelligence mainly the result of a single circumscribed but all-important change in brain anatomy or physiology that happened in the course of primate evolution-perhaps discontinuous in time or isolated from other changes; or did it result on the contrary from many, diverse, holistic, intricate, or mutually necessary concauses?
It is important to know whether biological speciation is in any fundamental sense monogenic, or instead always tends to essentially be a product of the interplay of many concauses. If the latter is the case, this might, for example, imply that the stability of a species is greater, and the transformability of a species by man is perhaps less, than ordinarily assumed.
To what extent are absolute or changing pressure or temperature, or chemical transformations, of the magma in the central vent, or structural failures of the vent cap or plug, concausal of volcanic eruptions?
Until we can answer diverse and random questions of this sort, we will be unable to make predictions about the world's concausational patterns based on average or statistical knowledge. So much of human intelligence is based upon analogical reasoning that ultimately refers back to special types of knowledge or experience! Yet in the psychological community there is little awareness of this fact (or of the analogical phylogeny of knowledge).
When one encounters a conflict one may find oneself asking questions such as these: What caused it, how did it originate, what is its history, how has it developed and changed, what is its mechanism, what is controlling it, what are its needs and requirements, what is maintaining it, what is directing it, where is it going or where might it go or how might it end up? What is it, what are its properties and dimensions, what are its laws, what are its amounts and rates, what are its capacities and limits, what are its hierarchies and levels, of what is it made up, what are its parts or What does it contain? What are its circumstances and the context or environment in which it exists, and how is it being affected by or in turn affecting or interacting with its environs? What is it producing or what might be its eventual products, effects, or corollaries? What is it analogous to, what is it different from, and how or why is it these things? What is its interest or importance? What do I know about it, what do I not know about it, what should I find out about it, how can I find it out? What thoughts about the thing can I have or should I pursue? What is ordinary and unusual about the conflict? What errors may I be making about the conflict, what illusions about or misconceptions of it may I have? What preceded it and what will follow it?
Ideonomy can both prompt one to ask these questions and help one to answer them.
The conflict that one wishes to analyze need not be between people or even between organisms. Instead it may represent strife, competition, contradictions, or battles between molecules, different geological processes, atmospheric winds, industries, machines, cellular automata, or physical forces. It may be a conflict within a thing or of a thing with itself, or even a conflict of the conflict with itself.
By introducing one to all of the strange, subtle, indirect, complex, and self-propagating effects that one has--or could have--upon things, ideonomy can heighten moral awareness.
It can also do this by enumerating all of the major and minor types of evil and good, endlessly re-illustrating them in terms of all of the world's things and situations, systematically defining their characteristic causes, processes, and effects, and interweaving into this instructive picture every dimension of our humanity.
It can give a child a panoramic preview, and an adult an aerial overview, of the totality of life's distinctive and important events--both probable and possible. It can enable the life of the individual, and the life of society as a whole, to be modeled in innumerable ways, at every hierarchical level, and with respect to any aspect or theme. It allows life, in effect, to be lived and relived in advance and in an infinity of ways.
Such a wealth of virtual experiences, and mobile acquaintance with them, could instill the deepest possible understanding of what life is, encompasses, means, allows, and requires of each of us.
Ideonomy can be used to highlight the elusive threads of meaning, value, and purpose that wend their way continuously and essentially through all of human existence.
It explicitly names, explains, and justifies the entire spectrum of human responsibilities.
Show What Is and Is Not Conserved
This is a double devoir and yet half what it might seem. To search for the conserved portions of nature is to find along the way, almost incidentally, the nonconserved portions that complement, contrast with, belie, or hide aback the former, or that surface through the process of elimination (in a trivial sense being paradoxically conserved).
And vice versa: the search for that which is not conserved in the universe will exhume that which is conserved, much as the erosion of a geological surface will strip away the unconservable matrix of soil that obscures great underlying rock structures.
All conservation may be relative or illusory, but the illusion can be arbitrarily strong, subtle, embracive, and refractory, and when change or loss comes at last it may be discontinuous, abrupt, completely instantaneous, and instantaneously complete--a mere quantum event--even if preceded by an eon of fixity.
It is also possible that all nonconservation is relative or illusory, at least in a sense; but obviously, once again, the illusion can be almost undetectably--or incogitably--perfect. Species of organisms may be conserved after their apparent extinction in a variety of ways or senses: perhaps tiny populations survive in transitional refugia from which they are able to reemerge-at a later date; or there can be massive, coordinated, and synchronous changes of the polymorphisms of a genospecies that permit one species to on occasion temporarily disguise itself as another; or the genome or genospecies is so polygenic as to be virtually holistic, and evolution is as a result reversible to the extent that at least some vanished species are more or less reevolvable from other congeneric or distant species; or the heterodox lateral gene flow-not the orthodox lineal gene flow-is in fact the major mechanism of evolution and heredity, in the extreme sense that the collective genomes of the bibs are interdetermined and that which mainly governs, originates, and specifies the diversity and individuality of all species, and this Gaian monad has an holistic ability to recreate extinct species; or we perceive species imperfectly, wrongly, or in terms of what is least essential or defining of 'species', and we should reconceive them in other ways or through other means-as higher-order and autonomous processes, via analogical transformations, via myrioramic re- combinations, holonomically, or the like-that would falsify or render irrelevant the picture we have of species being discrete, denumerable, transitory, and monomorphic things.
The quantum-mechanical wave function may not collapse, in which case 'our' universe may be splitting continually into an endlessly branching and nowhere anastomosing tree of other so-called parallel universes that collectively realize and conserve 'all possible' universes, futures, and things. Surely a reductio ad absurdum of the conservationist point of view.
Yet the Eleatic philosopher Parmenides (b. ~BC515) went even further, by absolutely denying the occurrence of change anywhere in nature. If there is no change, then all is conserved. On the other hand, he thought that all things are actually mere self-manifestations of a single self-identical, eternal and omnipresent, reality ("Being"): a notion that really altogether transcends the very concepts of conservation and nonconservation.
Ideonomy can be used to define, address, and remember all possible types of conservation and nonconservation.
Thus saying that a thing is not conserved could variously mean that it : does, could, must, or will : decay, age, change, transform, diminish, retrogress, evolve, grow, unite or coalesce with another thing, cease to be measurable, pass without or be lost 'to' some other thing, seem to vanish, acquire a different external status, temporarily quiesce or cease to exist, become inactive ('die'), cease to have (specific or any) virtual existence, change its universal significance, divide up into parts or emit any part of itself, become redundant, lose or violate some symmetry or law, cause some other thing to not be conserved, diffuse, lose specificity or exactness, cease to perform some function or to have some role, cease to be replaced, regenerated, or maintained, e/vc.
Conversely, to say that a thing is conserved could mean the opposite of these things, or that it : does, could, must, or will : NOT do any or all of those things. In other words, a conserved thing might: endure, be immortal, be indestructible, be immutable, be increate, be invariant, be everywhere or for everything the same, be definite, be discrete, be saved, be wearless, neither grow nor diminish, never evolve, be owned, be self-existent or sovereign, be fully known, be indivisible, be indiffusible, be completely symmetric, be irredundant, have a unique function or role, never change its relationships, be unabsorbable, e/vc.
Of course, a thing can be conserved in one way and not be conserved in some other way, or for some other thing, or in some other sense...
New forms of conservation are continually being found, and old forms of conservation proving violable; also, apart from the last, new nonconservative aspects of things are forever being discovered.
Ideonomy could be used to systematize and expedite this entire process.
A surprising discovery that occurs repeatedly is that things are conserved to some degree or in some form or sense, or things that are conserved exist that were not previously known to exist, in situations that one would have thought to be fatal to such, or perhaps to any, conservation. For example, things are conserved despite: chaos, extreme violence or temperature, attempts to randomize or destroy things, extreme transformation, negation of laws, translation to a wholly different medium, context, or regime, the passage of vast quantities of time, revolutions, extreme complexity or complication, injury or disasters, noise or entropy, great interference or distortion, extreme simplification, substitution of one phenomenon or science for another, recourse to a disparate method, conversion to a different system, reference to another person,. or fanatical attempts to prevent conservation.
Illustrative examples of some of the discoveries that might be made in the future, regarding tendencies of things to be conserved, are: that no information can be lost from the universe, that memories undergo curious transformations in the brain but are never destroyed or never cease to be active, that many-body systems conserve 'memories' of their earlier states or history, that social problems are surprisingly conservative, that certain almost arbitrary patterns that accidentally developed in the extreme infancy of life on Earth persist to the present day and virtually permeate the bodily systems of every living organism, that the population of certain classes of singularities in the universe--or perhaps their spatial density--must be absolutely conserved, etc.
Examples of things that it might be discovered are not conserved are: truth (say its definition or state, over great time or sociogenesis, through scientific revolutions, or for all possible minds or artificial intelligences), undisturbed protons, life based upon nucleic acids or carbon (if there is life elsewhere in the cosmos), personal identity (or self- identity) over a lifetime, 'energy', the laws of nature that we look upon as fundamental, timeless, and universal, the meaning of a word between any two uses or over any two applications, the properties of seemingly identical classes of stars in different galaxies, molecular structure in different molecular environments, molecular structure throughout the lifetime of a molecule, certain ethical precepts or judgments that we would consider to be truly timeless or absolute, the morphogenetic tendencies or laws of the atmosphere--e.g. in the production of cloud patterns--over geological time (or vastly greater but still finite, and supposedly thermodynamically equivalent, time), etc.
To what extent is the "characteristic" structure of a cell actually conserved over the cell's whole life or that part of its life when it is supposed to be absolutely fixed? This is important to know because it might have implications for the nature, measure, causes, and effects of organismal aging, for example; even if the structure turns out to be extremely conservative, since then some small residual element that is not conserved, or that is extremely evolutionary or clocklike, may have disproportionate importance.
Ideonomy may have a remarkable ability to predict the unknown or inaccessible content of things through indirect analogical reasoning combined with sophisticated statistical methods that are able to reveal surprising mathematical structures existing in the world of ideas or that are implicit in ordinary thought.
The ideonomic discovery that the most important or truly essential things in nature recur everywhere, in everything, all the time, in infinitely many ways, and in infinitely many forms, certainly must apply to the content, composition, and parts of things as well. One rather simple reason for this is that the notion of 'content' includes many things to which the enunciated principle does apply: e.g. shapes, properties, laws, and processes occur within things, often enough, and they always do so in certain senses; also, all examples of them of which we know are necessarily included within innumerable larger, or more inclusive, things. (Ideonomy derives much of its power from deceptively simple truths and reasonings of this sort, whose inconsequentiality is merely apparent.)
Content, it should be understood, includes both spatial and physical content, and content of a nonspatial or abstract nature.
We are largely or totally ignorant of the possible or actual content of many physical phenomena and conceptual objects. Often the reason for our ignorance is a matter of a present lack of tools or other means or ways for gaining access to content. This is one reason why it would be so delightful if the new science of ideas turned out to confer upon scientists and other intellectuals new and unique powers to examine that which things may or do contain, or the general system of containments of all things in the infinitely complex and strange fabric of reality.
In one sense it would be as if there were to be made available for research a universal x-ray machine for every sense of black box there is.
Generic questions worth asking and answering about the content of things include ones about: the order in which things are contained in the spatial, temporal, or qualitative content of things (e.g. the radial sequence of successively more internal layers or geospheres of the Earth, or the successive sub-plots or sub-symbols of a novel), cIassification of the content, total and virtual content, transformations (both physical and abstract) and equivalences of the content; clustering, mereology, and interdependences of the content, and contents at once shared with other things; hierarchic aspects of content, self-similar and self-dissimilar internal structure and composition, that in or of the content that is necessary or is instead accidental, fallacies and illusions regarding content, dispersion of content, variability of content; the causes, origins, geneses, histories, and dynamics of content; the effects, importances, interests, values, uses, and corollaries of content; addable, subtractable, and alternative content; related and unrelated subsets of content; non- content (nonexistent contents), etc.
Ideonomy can help discover, formulate, and perfect procedures, methods, tactics, and systems for treating the content of particular and general things.
The general phenomenon of containment is apt to give rise to various generic subphenomena of containment; or similarly, the general concept of containment should be associated with generic sub-concepts of containment.
Containment implies a limit and a boundary, for example, and things : such as exclusion, compression, fitting, compromise, local interaction, accomodative processes, internal organization and efficiency; distortion; stratification, compartmentation, and compartition; temporal cycles, organization, sequencing, specialization, development, and branching; formation of poles, gradients, channels, interfaces, gates, evaginations, and invaginations; symmetries, asymmetries, inequalities, equilibria, vergences, paths, etc : that may or may not be related to such a boundary and limit.
Containment may imply, among other things: energy, work, movement, maintenance, the possibility of failure, differentiation, ownership, individuation, induced patterns on smaller and smaller scales, extensive couplings of processes, tension, stress and strain, co-optation, homology, predestination, inversion or eversion, reciprocal exchange, discontinuity, autonomy, heteronomy, discriminatory mechanisms, containment elsewhere (and hence multicellularity), reciprocal containment, 'quantized' containment, progressive containment, simplification, network development, thresholds, dynamic feedback, etc.
For a variety of reasons it is important to know 'fine' content: it may be a source of trouble; it may perturb, distort, corrupt, or otherwise alter a thing; it may have disproportionate importance, be central, or take on an organizing role; it may represent a critical but unresolved background or continuum; it may be the beginning or end of the more gross content; it may be what interlinks two whole things that seem unconnected or unlike; etc.
The content of a thing may contain its: history, basic elements, surprises, raison d'etre, defined potentials or limitations, governing program, etc.
As an example of how the contents of one thing may have a heuristic power to suggest the contents of some different thing, the contents of a molecule and the contents of the atmosphere might be speculatively compared. Might a molecule contain any direct or subtle analogs of such atmospheric constituents or inclusions as: clouds, jet streams, meridional circulation cells, storm fronts, rainbows, tornadoes, lightning, clear air turbulence (CAT), regional climates, aerial blobs (discovered by Fritz Zwicky), geochemical cycles, precipitation phenomena, hot and cold air masses, Rossby waves, and Greenhouse Effects?
Conversely, might the atmosphere contain analogs of such molecular constituents or inclusions as: bonds, van der Waals forces, the mobile parts of fluxional molecules, electronic clouds, molecular branches and chains, rings, associated molecules, functional groups, electron pairs, and heavy- metal centers?
Where the contents of things include, or are arranged in, a sequence of mutually contained (e.g. spherically concentric) layers, there are often holes or tubes between or that cross the layers: witness the pores on the nucleus of a cell (and analogs on the plasmalemma itself), radial tubes that are revealed in the cross section of an apple or tree trunk, central volcanic conduits and plumes that (at minimum) cross Earth's crust, atmospheric sinks and convection cells that cross one or more layers, pores crossing several layers of skin, etc. Might like elements be contained in, or characterize the layered contents of, things such as: atoms (their electron shells and/or nuclei), geodes, stalactites, stars, galaxies, or the ocean?
There might also be recurring sub-features of these holes or tubes among multiple layers that would have further predictive, heuristic, and directive value.
One of the most important methods of thought is dialectical reasoning, which often postulates that things will give rise to their antitheses and these spontaneous or internal contradictions will then lead on to creative syntheses.
But contradictions and their identification are important for many reasons.
Inconsistencies in logic or procedure may be indicated that can vitiate results or needlessly complicate undertakings.
Contradictions may prove to be the source of problems; and knowledge of the classes of contradictions that occur universally can be translated into knowledge of problems, and of the possible classes of solutions to both contradictions and problems.
Where contradictions exist they are apt to be associated with certain existential signs and diagnostic clues, whose treatment ideonomy could formalize.
As with everything else in ideonomy, hypothetical and actual contradictions occur in elaborate hierarchies, networks, lattices, chains, progressions, vergences, idiomorphous manifolds, etc, and these meta-patterns can be isolated, described, explained, and applied in ever more universal, complete, and powerful ways.
Contradictions may be arbitrarily distant, diffuse, subtle, and abstract, and yet remain crucial. Ideonomy could help to call attention to the existence of such contradictions and assist, generally, with the working out of their consequences or with their actual resolution.
What are the fundamental reasons why contradictions arise?
Do things in general really tend to cause, attract, or be associated with their opposites--or perhaps things of an inconsistent, antagonistic, qualifying, moderating, subversive, incompatible, totally different, or transformative nature?
Does the start of a thing really contain the seeds of the thing's ultimate undoing?
Do things depend exquisitely on their pristine environment, so that the moment they originate they must paradoxically modify that environment and modify themselves, and hence create a problem for their own existence that is equivalent to a contradiction, or perhaps to the start of an infinite series of growing contradictions?
Do the symmetries and asymmetries that define things produce contradictory asymmetries and symmetries?
Is the natural world to be reconceived as a system controlled by the flow of some analog of information, with which, however, tiny errors or discrepancies are associated from which natural 'contradictions' continually and progressively evolve?
Are all things so much more complex or specific than believed that they are only naturally associated with contradictions, both in the physical world and in the human mind?
Or is it that all our ideas about things are so unsuspectedly complex, specific, and contradictory? Or that there are infinitely many ways in which things can be contradictory; that contradiction itself, in other words, is infinitely complex and multifarious?
The infinite universality and interconnectedness of phenomena that is revealed by ideonomy imply that whenever an apparent contradiction is discovered in nature or thought, an infinity of corollary contradictions must also have been discovered or must also exist, even in the most disparate fields.
Thus a discrepancy between the predictions of two economic theories or hypotheses, should it amount to a contradiction, may imply or require the existence of identical, analogous, or abstractly derivable contradiction in the theories, hypotheses, formulated laws, reported data, concepts, or postulates that exist within, at once: physics, mathematics, logic, chemistry, biology, astronomy, sociology, ethics, art, geology, psychology, etc.
To the extent that such universal contradictions, or contradictory universals, are not known, or are not possible within the framework of current science, science as we know it is empirically, theoretically, and logically imperfect.
Map the Structure of Controls
What are the ways in which one thing controls or governs another, or in which all things are mutually controlled and governed?
Ideonomy can be used to progressively map out such cybernetic structures; or, in other words, to universalize the science of government--a subject that should never have been restricted to the formal means by which people govern themselves, or to human beings at all. Organisms govern themselves, as also do machines, nature's inanimate phenomena, minds, and ideas in minds. One is tempted to say that political science is the most artificially restricted of sciences; but then one thinks of economics.
What are the general types--or genera--of things that can be controlled or governed, or that it would be especially interesting or important to discuss or investigate the control or government of? Probably such things as: growth, flow, self-maintenance, transformation, behavior, cooperation, processes, environments, hierarchies, networks, sequences, languages, evolution, interaction, conflict, mechanisms, events, phenomena, and communication.
On the other hand, some of the more specific or particular things whose actual or possible government or control would be worth treating are: human thought, perception, action, psychology, consciousness, values, or creativity; dog fights, plant movements, biochemical cycles, psychogenesis, ontogeny, sociogenesis, military battles, corporate management. the legal system, linguistic evolution, plot of a novel, meaning of a painting or sonata, operation of a television set, computer program, genesis or course of an earthquake, volcanic eruption, crystaliogeny, disease course, football game, mob's riot, chemical kinetics, anthesis, planning and subsequent construction of a bridge, progress of a chess game, cosmogony, course of a storm, birth of a star, Brownian movement of a particle, rock exfoliation, flocculation, combustion, marine upwelling, and the structure and expression of the Mandelbrot set.
When a thing is governed or controlled, what are the generic: qualities, dimensions, parts, functions, levels, rates, subsets, relations, cycles, wholes, potentials, paths, ranges, domains, combinations, permutations, equilibria, nodes, forces, tendencies, errors, reactions, etc.: that tend to be governed or controlled or that government or control tends to involve?
What are the kinds of ways in which such things may be controlled or in which government may involve them? What are the recurring combinations and systems of the things, or the ones that produce given types of effects or serve different classes of ends?
What are all the possible forms, senses, and degrees of government and control? Where are they applicable or exemplified? What are their systematic interrelations and interdependences?
What is ungoverned or uncontrolled, or such in various possible ways?
Where would diverse things fall it placed on scales of degrees of general or special government or control; or if the governed or controlled aspects and elements of those things were so placed?
What forms and systems of government and control do not exist?
What are all present and possible values and uses of governments and controls?
Science to date has successfully analyzed the government of things only in the most superficial ways. In connection with the government of virtually anything whatever there remain thousands of unanswered--and unasked--questions and thousands of unsolved and momentarily insoluble problems. There is a battlefield visible but the battle has not yet been fought, and one is almost tempted to add that a state of war has yet to be declared.
Yet mastery of the control and government of things is a supreme goal of all science and of all technology.
The system of serial and parallel controls whereby a plant's genome directs and monitors the blossoming of a flower is certainly at least as complex as the system of mechanical and electrical controls that regulate the flight of a plane or the production of various distillates from crude petroleum by a refinery.
If we can crack the problem of how an atomic nucleus or the Dirac vacuum governs itself, we will probably be able to tap stupendous latent energies and powers. The self-governing laws of the vacuum may be the key to at last understanding in a fundamental way the nature and origin of the universe.
Perhaps if we understood the self-governing laws of the individual neuron, comprehension of the brain's large-scale mental processes would be but a hop, skip, and jump away.
What are the universal paradoxes of government--such as that power can mean impotence, that what governs least may govern best, that what governs is governed in turn by what it governs and as a direct result of governing, that government may have the problem of being itself ungoverned or even ungovernable, that government may be a cause of anarchy, that freedom may be necessary for government (as government may be necessary for freedom), that the creation of government may presuppose government, that government may obviate itself, that government generates a need for more government, that the attempt to govern a thing disturbs and alters the nature of the thing and engenders a need for a new approach to governing, etc?
What are the different ways of achieving government, or the diverse things that mediate it, such as: information, communication of orders, general instructions, control over supply, laws, programs, plans, procedures, primary structure or substance, indirect influence, catalysts, habits, goals, incentives, interventions, supervision, training, force or compulsion, proxies, 'Paths or channels, rewards, inhibitions or negations, answering, isolation, induction, mechanization, rigidification, reconstitution, distribution, cybernetics, delegation of responsibility, self-control, calculation, problem-solving, thought, etc?
What governments of governments of governments ... (or controls of controls of controls...) are there? What are their meta-structures: hierarchies, networks, chains, etc?
To what extent can the control structure of one thing be mapped onto the control structures of any or all other things? How can different governments of different things be compared, and in what diapason of ways are they analogous, different, and orthogonal?
What are the limitations, errors, and defects of the controls and governments of things? What would the things be like without their controls and governments?
Ideonomy can be used to define or visualize all possible things and categories of things, all the uses and values of the things, all ways of constructing or achieving the things, and all human needs and wants.
It can look beyond what already exists or has been previously imagined to entirely new things wholly unexemplified in civilization or nature.
In particular, it could be used to suggest, schematize, or prefigure new works of art that might be of interest to artists who are searching for ideas concerning what to do next or who wish to 'shop around' and compare the various alternative possibilities.
Composers might use ideonomy to conceive of novel musical forms, sounds, instruments, combinations of instruments, melodies, themes, rhythms, procedures, relationships, systems, chord progressions, mathematics, qualities, effects, and 'probabilities'. Or inversely, composers who independently think of such things might subsequently turn to ideonomy to express or explore all possible variations upon them.
But consider the full spectrum of the genera of things whose creation ideonomy could stimulate or suggest, including new, novel, or revolutionary: institutions, laws and regulations, political programs and parties, human rights and values, building designs, styles or pieces of dress, book types and structures, mathematical graphs; words, word-forms, and linguistic systems; foods and tastes, smells, haptic textures, life events, industrial goods and services, taxons of molecules and chemical reactions, joke types and modes of humor human character models , types of creations, politicaI systems and mechanisms, life-styles and careers, logical arguments (sic), academic courses and curricula, teaching methods and goals, machine types, furniture types, recreations and games, rules of thumb and mnemonics, tests and experiments, research techniques and instruments, laboratories and professional teams, forms of interdisciplinary research, subfields of science and mathematics, drugs and medical therapies, appliances and other personal machines, computer architectures. media and divisions of art, names for people and places, logograms, museums, -philosophical systems, robots, organons and calculuses, human genomes, species and kingdoms of organisms, dimensionless numbers and physical constants, scientific laws, metaphors and symbols, business contracts, corporate and industrial structures, electronic circuitry and components, types of crime, colors, dance movements, forms of remark and conversation, neural nets, ways of raising children, types of fireworks, and forms of human progress.
In this role ideonomy could be spectacularly coupled with computer graphics, animation, simulation, and design--and with computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and artificial intelligence--programs and systems.