Our knowledge of the logical and natural foundations of many field is slight, or at least dubious or imperfect. Certainly subjects differ drastically in the relative strength of their foundations, or in the apparent fundamentality of their concepts, methods, principles, theories, achievements, research, language, logic, etc.
Ideonomy can compare the foundations of different disciplines to discover analogies, differences, commonalities, interdependences, contradictions, redundancies, interpenetrations, convergences, common goals and needs, unities, etc. It can use these to suggest omissions, errors, common opportunities for research or discovery, ways to redescribe the foundations of one subject in terms of the foundations of another, reciprocal problems and fallacies, equivalent principles and entities, joint ignorance, new tests and experiments, higher standards, useful priorities, strategies of theory, etc.
It can suggest ways in which to combine or transform certain concepts or dimensions so as to generate or define 'all' possible or important concepts or things, or the spaces and manifolds thereof. Contained or implicit within such sets, spaces, and manifolds may be concepts or other things that can supplement or deepen the foundations of the subject to which they pertain.
Moreover, examining or merely experiencing such enlarged perspectives upon what is possible may lead to the realization that what has been taken to be fundamental within a subject is not really fundamental; or at least, that the foundations--or supposed foundations--of the subject are not as free of assumptions, problems, inelegant features, superfluous elements, discrepancies, idiosyncratic aspects, etc as has been thought.
Since ideonomy seeks to discover all of those natural concepts, dimensions, representations, entities, phenomena, laws, principles, relationships, etc that are supremely universal, fundamental, important, essential, minimal, logical, generative, necessary, transcendental, and pantological, it is in a privileged position to advance the foundations of arbitrary fields.
It is in fact a principal goal of ideonomy to make all sciences more scientific, and among the best ways of doing this are by rectifying, enlarging, and extending the foundations of these subjects.
There is a hint that ideonomy may be on the verge of discovering some unsuspected category of being that is more fundamental than either ideas or things, or that transcends what is meant by both the "mental" and "physical'' aspects of reality.
By placing all of the things and phenomena in a subject upon basic scales--as of duration, time, Population, importance, complexity, or entropy--ideonomy can call the mind's attention to what is only naturally the most and least fundamental in a subject, to the way in which things derive their greater or lesser fundamentality from one another, to the direction in which that which is truly or most fundamental is apt to be found, or to the properties that fundamentals or foundations are likely to or must have.
Knowledge or theory of the foundations of many subjects is impaired by a conscious or unconscious failure to identify, define, characterize, or emphasize the most fundamental, central, or final topic, concept, phenomenon, substance, law, entity, goal, or the like of the subject (or the set of such things). Then again, the supreme topic or whatever may have some terrible unsolved problem or difficulty associated with it.
Thus the supreme concern of physics is no longer clear, the arch concern of sociology is in dispute, the goal of psychology is in flux, the essential nature or defining properties of life are unknown to the science of life (or to biology), and even the basic object of study of mathematics (it cannot be number, though the nature of number is an enigma in any case), cosmology (what is the described or effable 'universe' itself a part of?), and ideonomy (ideas, as hinted above, may not be sufficiently fundamental) is mysterious.
Ideonomy can be used to define concepts in new and ever more fundamental ways, and it has already been used to define life, or to reduce it to a set of ninety-two fundamental properties. The set of 8,464 possible dyadic combinations of the primary properties have demonstrated such extraordinary interest that they promise to revolutionize theoretical biology, something which at once illustrates the importance of clarifying fundamentals and suggests that the traits that were used to define the phenomenon of "life" were indeed fundamental.
On the other hand, the same bit of ideonomic research also highlighted the problems that plague all efforts to resolve fundamentals or to get at the genuine foundations of a subject; for it was found that the same set of ninety-two basic properties of "life" have either analogs or exact equivalents in the supposedly inanimate phenomena of subjects other than biology. Thus forms or analogs of procreation, natural selection, and evolution either may or do exist in fields such as physical chemistry, geology, psychology, and cosmology. The implication may variously be that life is not limited or peculiar to biology, that life must be otherwise defined or defined via other properties, that the essential phenomena of biology should include more than organisms, or that biology should be recast into a superscience incorporating many other sciences or that--like mathematics--applies to all science.
An old way of advancing the foundations of a subject is by improving, formalizing, or axiomatizing its logic; and a new or just now emerging way, by giving the subject cognitive form, which means the form of thought itself. Ideonomy can help with both of these approaches, particularly in conjunction with computer software and hardware.
Erect Frameworks For Thought
To think about anything one needs some manner of conceptual framework, a schema upon which to hang ideas or in which to develop, interweave, and experiment upon different concepts.
Ideonomy, in effect, can enable such conceptual schemes, structures, and systems to be mass produced; it can widen their scope, diversify them, enhance their power, increase their connectivity or interrelatedness, greaten their mobility within and between fields, enlarge their rationality or make their logic more explicit, give the individual the power to freely manipulate them, etc.
The concept of mental frameworks is so important to ideonomy that it needs to be expanded upon. By it we mean an open-ended set of : schemes, structures, systems, and 'machines' of : ideas, relations, principles, presuppositions, facts, arguments, thoughts, beliefs, values, purposes, perspectives, methods, strategies, gestalts, analyses, attitudes, percepts, images, definitions, explanations, dimensions, symbols, criteria, representations, models, heuristics, postulates, generalizations, theories, procedures, wisdoms, stories, memories, analogies, rules, mental associations, etc : serving or for furthering thought.
Such mental schematizations of: experience, the environment, reality, behavior, human existence, or possibility : can be : conscious or unconscious : formal or informal : specific, general, or universal ad hoc or perpetual (evolutionary) : deductive or inductive : empirical or theoretical : categorical or experimental : developing or inert : etc.
The diverse values and uses of cognitive frameworks include: mental simplification; clustering, grouping, and classifying of ideas and facts; explication and coordination of different purposes and goals; structuring of memories in hierarchies, series, networks, trees, vergences, rings or cycles, foliations, meta-stories, etc-that are especially dynamic, powerful, natural, efficient, dense, optimal, etc; recursive, self-developing, nucleative, and self-correcting properties or effects; the multidimensional mental parallax given by a multitude-of such frameworks; provision of a stable apparatus for developing and maintaining mental skills; standardization within the mind (à la worldwide industrial and scientific standardization); provision of bases for tests, evaluations, investigations, and experiments; limitation of thought to what is necessary and obviation of trivial and repetitive thought and creativity; bases for communication among different minds and for comparisons of their contents; enabling of more precise and rigorous thought; codification of though! acceleration of thought; enabling of overviews of experience, the world, one's conduct, and the mind; greater mental flexibility and self-control; readier learning; quick or more powerful structuring of materials, subjects, problems, or situations; automation of mental habits and of ideation; heightened clarity of mind; etc.
Frameworks for thought can enable a topic to be taught, mastered, or treated more deeply or completely. They can provide clues for probing the nature of a thing. They can enable more imaginative or less prejudiced thought. They can help one to prepare for a more serious intellectual endeavor. They can help one relate one perspective to another, or permit one to grasp a new thing by analogy to an old or familiar thing.
Enumerate the Functions of A Thing
Things may, and usually do, have far more numerous and diverse functions, roles, and importances than people realize or would even imagine. If this is true, it has great significance:
Features of our world may be carelessly eliminated or altered by the ignorant march of progress or change; All existing things may have a web of ecological relationships that merit study and respect; Things may all be beneficiaries of many more things than has been thought; There may be an unsuspectedly great number of ways to change and improve the world or its things; etc.
Among the possible generic functions of things are: Mediation; Prevention; Protection; Connection; Transportation; Communication; Symbolization; Testing; Facilitation; Amplification; Imitation or substitution; Extension; Generalization; Specialization; Correction; Improvement; Balancing; Sublimation or domestication; Counteraction; Elimination; Supplementation; Complementation; Exploitation; Coping; Hiding or deception; Showing; Production; Concentration or confinement; Combination or integration; Separation, division, or liberation; Ordering; Maintenance or supply; Storage, holding, preservation, or conservation; Preparation; Initiation; Control or management; Adjustment or modulation; Transcendence, circumvention, or obviation; Orientation; Reduction or economization (enhancement of efficiency); Transformation; Etc.
Ideonomy can help answer such questions about functions as:
How do functions overlap?
What functions are competitive? What functions are cooperative, complementary, or synergistic?
What functions are illusory, misleading, or ambiguous?
What are all of the degrees of functions of things? What are the maximal, minimal, and optimal functions of things? What are all of the intermediate functions of things?
What functions are absolute or relative? What makes them absolute or relative? What are all of the ways in which they are absolute and relative? What are all of the absolute and relative functions of a thing?
What functions conflict with, contradict, or negate what other functions?
How do things acquire--and lose--their functions? How do or could functions originate, develop, evolve, diminish, or disappear?
How do different functions compare? What are all of the ways of comparing all functions? What functions are identical, equivalent, analogous, or related to what other functions? What functions differ or diverge from, or are opposite to, what other functions? What are all of the degrees, bases, circumstances, and implications of these things?
What are not the functions of things, and what functions do not exist or are impossible?
What are all of the generic and specific : properties, dimensions, elements,
mechanisms, effects, signs, manifestations, criteria, etc of all
generic and specific functions?
What functions are arbitrary or necessary? What functions are artificial or natural? What are the degrees and causes of these things?
How can the: prediction, classification, recognition, examination, evaluation, explanation, creation, development, application or use, intercorrelation, synthesis, differentiation, description, definition, modification, control or government, etc : of the functions of arbitrary things be mechanized and automated in the future, when the needed technology and methodology emerges7
How can different functions, and different species and genera of functions, be combined to synthesize novel, desirable, or arbitrary functions--or systems of functions--or to enlarge, transform, or relocate old functions?
What functions of familiar or known things have been neglected, forgotten about, or overlooked? What are the idiosyncrasies of the ways in which people in general, or certain groups of people, classify, perceive, rank, or utilize the classes of functions of classes of things? What is good, bad, or simply significant about these idiosyncrasies?
What are the characteristic and comparative ratios of our ignorance about to our knowledge about different (key or comprehensive) functions of different (key or comprehensive) things in different (key or comprehensive) situations?
What are all possible or important categories of ignorance and knowledge about functions? What are the actual extent, qualities, and forms of our ignorance, knowledge, and skills within each of these vergent categories? What are the total-known or hypothesizable--costs, values, consequences, and implications thereof?
In what meta-structures: series, networks, hierarchies, trees, lattices, rings, circuitries, vergences, knots, line-clumps, 'crystals' (e.g. of intersecting hyperdimensional planes or curved surfaces), plexures, 'soils', matrixes, clusters, 'blobs', conoids, helicoids, aegagropilas or Peano curves, 'onions', fractals, chaoses, paths, 'catastrophes', tessellations or 'jigsaw puzzles', topological monsters, etc : do or could functions : exist, originate, operate, interact, develop, metamorphose, vanish, combine, coalesce, reproduce, cooriginate, coevolve, invert, exhibit singularities, etc?
How do such meta-structures themselves: behave, associate, interact, evolve, originate, function, etc?
How could or must the meta-structures of functions be used to describe, explain, discover, manipulate, create, alter, etc : particular or arbitrary functions?
What are all the particular or recurrent : goods, bads, defects, imperfections, limitations, etc.: of all functions of all things?
What are all known or possible functions of a single, particular or random, thing--and how are they structured inter se?
Conversely, what are all of the actual or possible things that have or could have a single, random or specific, function? What do they have or not have in common, that explains or relates to their shared function--or that does not do so?
What are all of the self-functions of things?
What set of questions should be asked when treating functions? How should they be ranked in relative importance? In what order should they be asked-or set of orders, depending on particular circumstances? What explains their diverse importance? Which of these questions are and are not currently asked; or how efficient is the asking and answering of these questions? What decision-tree should govern the use of these questions, and what are its proper and possible anastomoses? What are the ways in which some of the questions can and should be iterated?
As results piled up worldwide from the habitual, ubiquitous, and standardized use of such an encyclopedic, all-purpose, or universal questionary, how could they be systematically and efficiently compiled, collated, colligated, promulgated, and exploited?
Illustrative examples of functions include the function or functions of: Telephones in creating commercial nexuses; Human skin microflora in (hypothetically) preempting sites upon which pathogens can establish themselves and from which the pathogens can invade the macrosymbiontic body; Ball bearings in minimizing frictional contacts of overpassing surfaces; Lightning in maintaining biogeochemical cycles and (by deflagrating forests and prairies) ecological successions; Clowns in lighting up the hearts of children; Taverns in sublimating life's horrors; Axons of neurons in shuttling and multiplying data in the brain; Grammar in inducing neural impulses, data, or patterns to organize themselves into vergent hierarchies in the brain; Expletives in dissipating, condensing, or civilizing excessive emotions; Sidewalks in keeping pedestrians and children off streets-and cars off the former; Marriage in stabilizing, reproducing, and subdividing society; Rugs in simulating grass, creating thermal barriers (conserving heat or coolness), and stopping sound (perfectirig-privacy); Buildings' foundations in stabilizing and economizing frames; Spiders' webs in trapping flying, hopping, and climbing insects who do not notice them or who mistake them for stems, giving their creators' midair nests inaccessible by lumbrous predators, and telegraphically or resonantly forewarning their seismoceptive occupants of the approach of more funambulatory enemies; Cloud cover in regulating terrestrial insolation and Earth's albedo--and hence in stabilizing climate to the advantage, or conceivably in the Gaian service, of the bios; Money in mediating, stabilizing, equalizing, universalizing, codifying, recording, rationalizing, virtualizing, coordinating, lubricating, temporally broadening, quantizing, algebraizing (sensu making more perfectly distributive, associative, transitive, commutative, etc), institutionalizing, formalizing, unifying, mechanizing, 'vocalizing', 'intellectualizing', etc the exchange of goods and services; Cosmetics in role-playing, seduction, intrasexual competition, feminization, and beautification of the social landscape; Maps in collation, abstraction, and communication of geographic data; Roots in recovering rainwater from the sponge-like soil; Stars in manufacturing larger atoms and animating planets (or at least one planet); Windows in half-admitting the outdoors into buildings; Rulers, in quantizing the dimensions of objects; Dolls in preparing children for adult life, as surrogate parents, and as mirrors enabling kids to look upon themselves or to explore the worlds of intersubjectivity; Glue as an ersatz nail (at once cheap, nondestructive, hammer-less, all-size, always-singular, etc); Genes in remembering, immortalizing, transmuting, and 'generalizing' organisms; Etc.
Many things can be done to functions; they can be: Enlarged or diminished; Multiplied and diversified-or the reverse; Created or or ended; Broadened or narrowed; Sophisticated or simplified; Connected or disconnected; Integrated or unified; Differentiated within or from other functions; Obviated; Temporarily suspended; Redirected or realigned; Molded or modified; Replaced by others; Relocated or rearranged with respect to other functions; Extended to include other things; Combined; Permuted; Transelemented; Redefined; Facilitated; Perpetuated; Perfected; Fixed (frozen); Slowed or quickened; Elevated or reduced in importance -or made central or peripheral; Modulated; Etc.
Foster Wisdom About the Future
There are many ways in which one could be wise or wiser about the future; e.g. one could simply attend to it more closely, or appreciate better the fleeting nature of the present or of things as they now are; one could systematically examine the range of future possibilities; one could visualize the various alternative courses the world might take in the future, and the things apt to determine which particular set of courses the world will actually follow; one could identify the world's needs in advancing into the future, and endeavor to provide for those needs and wants; one could help to educate all present and future humanity to deal with the future; one could attempt to influence the actual course the world will take tomorrow, or to push it toward what would be good and away from what would be evil or inferior; one could labor to produce general methods for foreseeing or altering the future; etc.
Of course the future being referred to need not be that of the world as a whole or represented by the future in its entirety, but on the contrary might be arbitrarily modest: one's own future lifetime, perhaps, or tomorrow's events or the events of the next minute, or the momentary or instantaneous outcome of a scientific experiment that someone is performing or whose performance is simply being contemplated.
Becoming wiser about the future might mean nothing more than divesting oneself of prejudicial ideas, attitudes, beliefs, or world views, becoming friendlier--or more hostile--to innovation, reducing the irrational inertia of institutions, or paying more attention to the patterns and lessons of history that might be analogous or relevant to the future.
Among the fallacies that diminish wisdom about the future, and that ideonomy could help to combat, are that: the future will simply repeat the past; the course of the future is predetermined and inalterable; the world of the present represents the best of all possible worlds; human knowledge and wisdom are nearly complete and perfect--and our ignorance small and unimportant; the future is too complex or esoteric for us to anticipate its character or possibilities--and past failures and inability to correctly foresee the future were unavoidable, and should be looked upon as a warning that all prophecy is folly; etc.
Ideonomy could be used to: devise new, or suggest all possible, methods for studying future possibilities; survey, describe, compare, evaluate, criticize, correct, extend, integrate, and transcend all past and present prophetic methods, endeavors, and results; identify the totality of things that can or should have their future possibilities considered; predict the future interrelationships and interactions of these things; indicate the future's most fundamental dimensions, structure, forces, elements, patterns, laws, etc; formulate principles for treating the future; develop novel means for representing and dramatizing the future's possibilities (e.g. diagrams, organons, computer software and simulations new types of books, special language and idea spaces, artificial intelligence programs, etc); suggest all possible causes, effects, and conditions of future possibilities; rank the relative and absolute probability and importance of all future possibilities; indicate the different roles and functions that things are apt to have in the future; and so forth.
Some of the specific questions and other issues that ideonomy could help to address are: What should be maximized and minimized in the future? What new rights may become political issues in the future? What human freedoms must ultimately be restrained for the good of all? What present concerns of government will be retired and what new concerns will take their place? What means are there for maximizing the future diversity and complexity of civilization? What were the laws of history, insofar as they apply to the future as well? How ambiguous is the future or are its possibilities? What meta-structures are applicable to the study of the future or will actually describe its possibilities: incl. chains, series, trees, networks, hierarchies, vergences, etc? What elements of the present will disappear or endure in the future? What new discoveries, inventions, creations, and other innovations are possible, probable, or certain in the future? What developments can continue ad infinitum and which must have limits? In what ways is the future apt to surprise us? What are all the future possibilities of a single, random or particular, thing? What future possibilities would be synergistic or antagonistic? In what order must different things happen?
Illustrative examples of specific future possibilities are: Elimination of the need for sleep; Chinese democratic revolution; Life discovered elsewhere in the cosmos; Legalization of prostitution; Replacement of stores by teleshopping and robotized delivery of goods to homes; Evolution of a single panhuman language; Reduction of physics to 'pure' logic; New age of dirigibles; Exploration of a single cave 'pushed' to 100,000 kilometers (using miniature humanoid teleoperators); Mechanical pets and computer- simulated plants more popular than biological organisms; Family car replaced by a flying equivalent; irrefutable scientific proof of the existence of 'God'; Temporal metric system adopted; War fought using beams of elementary particles so exotic that they have not yet been imagined; Time's apparently unique and irreversible flow shown to be a physical illusion; Mining of Earth's mantle; Every organism on Earth transformed into a different species; New human sexes added to the traditional two; Complete obsolescence of the family; Lamps made to last centuries; immortality made compulsory; Ethics remade into an exact science; Deliberate suicide of the human race, subjectively rendered irrelevant by its own transhuman mechanical creations; Ideonomy taught at all grade levels in all schools; War everywhere ended by the introduction of "peace pills" (irenic psychopharmaceuticals); Etc.
One can use ideonomy to help to generalize or even universalize any and all notions and things.
Over time things often prove to be insufficiently generalized. That is, the essential idea or set of ideas associated with them turn out to have greater meaning, scope, or application than what is initially --or perhaps than is ever at any finite moment--thought to be the case.
Actually it is probably true that in some sense the generality of all concepts, and all concepts of things, must always be at once inadequate and excessive.
But according to an ideonomic principle it is of the utmost importance that the generality of all concepts constantly be enlarged over time, or advanced toward infinity. Naturally in the course of such progressive generalization the concepts will undergo fundamental metamorphoses, yet a form of semantic continuity may be apparent in retrospect that was prospectively invisible or even meaningless.
It could be said that all concepts are inherently infinite in meaning, and even that this infinite aspect is close to their essence.
To generalize - according to the dictionary - is to make general reduce to general laws : give a general form to; to derive or induce (a general conception or principle) from particulars; to derive or induce a general conception, principle, or inference from; to make general (as by existential or universal qualification) : render applicable to a wider class; to give general applicability to; to modify or eliminate (nonessential details) for emphasizing some particular feature; to portray or emphasize general rather than particular features and characteristics of.
Illustrative examples of generalizations of ideas and things:
Historically, the generalization of the legal concept of a person
to include corporations and other organizations, even though these contain
many human beings; Energy has been generalized to include mass;
Some quantum physicists would generalize the concept of a physical phenomenon
to include the apparatus used to measure the phenomenon, the observer,
or even the observational or mensurational act; A few physicists would
go even further, and define any phenomenon as perforce including
the whole universe or all of spacetime; Certain modern composers generalize
the notion of musical scale to include any systematic or recurrent
arrangement of notes on which a composition is based; The concept of intelligence
has been generalized to include animals that were formerly regarded as
mindless; Skeletal and muscular systems have been generalized to
include the cytoskeleton and other purely intracellular systems and structures;
Analogous generalization of the nervous system to include equivalents
in unicellular organisms--and perhaps plants--may be imminent; Concepts
of star and galaxy should perhaps be generalized to include one
another--since stars (as superstars) may equal or exceed (dwarf) galaxies
in size; The progressive generalization of the concept of number in the
history of mathematics to ever more abstract, strange ' numerous, and 'less
number-like' things (imaginary numbers being one of the more famous products
of this process); Over history the concept of evolution has become
ever more generalized--to embrace not only biology (life; the phylogeny
of species, ontogeny of bionts, and life-long biosynthesis of molecules,
organelles, etc) but geology (Earth and other planets; the evolution of
continents, mountains, geospheres, etc), astronomy (stars, galaxies perhaps,
and the universe as a whole), physics (matter, energy, space, time, physical
laws and constants perhaps, etc), society, industry, economies, the mind,
ethics, the arts, etc; Mental illness has been generalized to include
normal mental states and individuals (on the belief that the difference
is only one of degree, perspective, or concern)--and mental normality
has been generalized to include mental illness (e.g. based on the belief
that the latter may be rational, coherent, or productive when viewed internally,
from a different or larger perspective, or with an awareness that society
is universally illogical and insane); Learning might be generalized
to include selective forgetting, unlearning, and progressive inhibition;
The concepts of publishing, book, and magazine can be generalized
to include novel forms and products of electronic publishing; The concept
of color might be generalized to include the static and dynamic
meanings of pseudocolors in different or all possible situations--or simply
to perceptual and cognitive patterns apparent in temporal successions
and combinations of regular colors; Over the course of history the
concept or subject of science has broadened unremittingly, to the extent
that it now includes the study of: art qua aesthetics, musicology,
philology, etc.; money, wealth, and economic systems qua economics;
governments and governance qua political science; reasoning and
intelligence qua logic and cognitive science; battle and peace qua
military science; techniques and
engineering qua technology; society qua sociology; history qua historiology; the psyche qua psychology; ideas qua ideonomy;
administration qua management science; language and languages qua linguistics; forms qua morphology; chance qua stochastics; science itself qua metascience; farming qua agriculture; etc; Etc.
Examples of things that may have been inadequately generalized or that may be generalized in the future:
Humor: If precursors, rudiments', theriomorphic variants, or analogs of laughter or a risibles are eventually found in animals other than man, generalization of the concept or phenomenon of humor (its origin, functions, mechanisms, types, properties, referents, states, logics, degrees, scope, etc) may turn out to be desirable or necessary;
Machine: The concept of a machine may have to be generalized so as to include biological phenomena (e.g. genomes, protein molecules, micelles, organelles, cells, organs, biochemical networks and processes, bodily macro- systems such as the nervous and immune systems, organisms, ecosystems, and the hypothetically Gaian bios), various phenomena and entities in pure and applied mathematics--or even logic, chemical reactions, crystals, diversely intelligent computers; models, simulations, and even scientific theories; human languages and computer programs; geological and meteorological phenomena such as volcanoes and storms, the 'universe', man's mind or society, pure or real-world ideas, physical laws, statistical and quantum phenomena in physics, economic systems, political ideologies, ethical systems, and symphonies;
Food: This should include 'nutritive' atmospheric gases; conceivably organisms get some genes or genic influences directly from food (via "lateral gene flow"); the body is forever 'consuming itself' (in strange and little- known senses); even inanimate phenomena 'eat' or require 'nutrition' from their environment; conceivably the seemingly stable and self-existent macroscopic world, with its delomorphic baryons and leptons, is in reality being dynamically maintained and replenished from below, or by chains, fountains, singularities, plexiform or vergent hierarchies, or the like ascending from the ultramicroscopic level of zero-point, Bore], Dirac- vacuum, Wheeler-prespace, or Bohm-implicate order fluctuations; and the mind 'eats' ideas;
House: This concept should be generalized to include the diverse homes (-nests, burrows, cavities, interstices, webs, mounds, hollow trees, logs, host exteriors and interiors, atmospheric dust and cloud particles, etc) of all organisms; shells, exoskeletons, skin, bodies, the skull and blood-brain barrier, etc; cells, plasmalemmas, misc. membranes, etc; ecological niches, ecosystems, and the bios; as well as the 'houses' of inanimate phenomena: atmospheres, planets, the heliosphere, the galactic atmosphere, the universe, factories, etc;
Universe: Generalizing this terribly presumptuous concept might be appropriate if there are other universes or quasi-external parts of our universe, Everett's Many-Worlds Cosmology is real, most of the mass of the universe is invisible and exotic stuff, there is an infinite microcosm, Bohm's Implicate Order exists, etc; or to take account of Wheeler's Superspace, the omniverse (all of spacetime), physicomental "reality", and the Ideocosm.
Important genera of generalizable things, or of things whose treatment
it will often be important to generalize, include: Effects; Causes;
Laws; Analogies; Differences; Criteria; Definitions; Criticisms; Decisions;
Beliefs; Answers; Questions; Assumptions; Acts; Abilities; Bads; Goods;
Appearances; Concepts; Corollaries; States; Governments; Arguments; Discoveries;
Doctrines; Domains; Errors; Events; Fields; Functions; Fundamentals; Generalizations
(sic); Goals; Hierarchies; Dimensions and properties; Histories; Hypotheses;
Ignorances; Illusions; Individuals; Instances; Instruments; Interactions;
Interests; Inventions; Knowledge; Languages; Levels; Limitations; Mathematics;
Mechanisms; Metaphors; Methods; Models; Forms; Motions; Needs; Negations;
Networks; Niches; Nonexistences; Responsibilities; Opportunities; Order
types; Origins; Paradoxes; Paths; Patterns; Plans; Possibilities; Predictions;
Principles; Probabilities; Problems; Processes; Proofs; Purposes; Quantities;
Relations; Representations; Resources; Roles; Rules; Scenarios; Senses;
Series; Shortcuts; Simplifications; Solutions; Spaces; Speculations; Stories;
Strategies; Systems; Taxons; Theories; Things; Transcendences; Trees; Unifications;
Uncertainties; Uses; Values; Virtuals; Wants; Wisdoms; Behaviors; Combinations;
Commonalities; Complexities; Conflicts; Cooperations; Correlations; Cybernetics;
Geneses; Disjunctions; Alternatives; Circumstances; Perspectives; Analyses;
Clusters; Chains of consequences; Changes; Chances; Chaoses; Economics;
Elements; Equivalences; Essentials; Excuses; Experiments; Extensions; Futuribles;
"Groups"; Equalities and inequalities; Equilibria; Manifolds; Connections;
Practices; Norms; Statistics; Mappings; Centers; Tendencies, trends, and
directions; Standards; Cycles; Symmetries and asymmetries; Invariants and
conservations; Convergences and divergences; Measures; Etc.
Senses, methods, and types of generalization are:
Things, concepts, methods, resources, etc that are ordinarily used in only a limited way can be tentatively or permanently applied elsewhere, to other things, domains, elements, tasks, subjects, etc, or universally;
Words, concepts, things, loci, structures, operations, functions, etc can be added to, combined with, included within, subsumed or treated under, identified with, etc something: one or a set of : things, concepts, words, functions, subjects, concerns, investigations, etc;
Other forms of a thing, concept, or whatever can be created, discovered, postulated, treated, used, etc: one, many, or all;
Something can be transformed into something else, of a similar or dissimilar nature, or something else can bederived from it;
Finite boundaries of what a thing is, can be, applies to, etc can be precisely discovered, investigated, described, referred to, defined, assumed, or imposed - and arbitrary or false boundaries or limits can be invalidated, removed, or transcended;
Larger meanings or implications of a thing or concept can be added, sought, hypothesized, found, researched, described, referred to, made use of it, etc;
Other examples or instances of a thing, concept, etc can be found, described, validated, indicated, etc: one, many, or all;
Something : supposedly or actually : particular, individual, concrete, derivative, virtual, unique, anomalous, accidental, conditional, dependent, transitory, minor, indeterminate, meaningless, peripheral, etc : can be : transformed into, imagined as, or treated as : what is instead instead : general, plural, abstract, nomothetic, primary, fundamental, real, variable, universal, normal, categoreal, necessary, absolute, independent, enduring or eternal, major, determinate, meaningful, essential, central, cognitive or ideonomic, etc;
Taxon or category : can be : given, treated as having, virtually given, Tound to have, or postulated to have higher : taxological, existential, or cognitive : status or nature e.g. a species may be turned into a genus;
Thing may be assigned to a higher taxon or category;
More and more relationships of a : thing concept, etc : to more and more : things, concepts, parts of the world or reality, etc : may be : discovered, postulated, described, treated as existing, implied, sought, differentiated, created, etc;
Analogs, equivalents, homologs, associates, etc : of a thing, concept, or whatever can be : discovered, conceived of, postulated, surveyed, grouped quantitatively and qualitatively relative to the 'thing', connected thereto, investigated, unified or synthesized with or treated as being identical to the 'thing', treated conjointly with the 'thing', etc;
In a larger and larger way just one or a few : dimensions, properties, aspects, elements, relationships, types, examples, etc : of a thing, concept, or whatever may be : investigated, discovered, described, created, perfected, extended, postulated, or otherwise treated; Etc.
Questions about generalization that ideonomy can help to ask and answer include: What are the meta-structures of, connected with, and relevant to generalization overall or specific generalizations: e.g. hierarchies, networks, trees, series, vergences, rings, lattices, matrices, circuitries, plexures, differential-topologic structures, fractals, chaos, Peano curves, tessellations or 'jigsaw puzzles', spheroids, convergences, divergences, etc? And all canonical sub-types thereof?
What are all : reciprocities, interrelationships, Interdependences, intertransformations, symmetries, asymmetries, co-probabilities, sets, equilibria, antisyzygies, redundancies and irredundancies, mereologies, cycles, interoperations, combinations and combinatorics, algebras, laws, interrepresentations, morphisms, myrioramic. patterns, coevolutions, 'cellular-automaton logics', logics, etc of all or particular sets of generalizations?
For all or particular : specific or generic : generalizations of all or particular : specific or generic : things, what are all generic and specific: Limits; Infinities; Goods and bads; Rules and errors; Questions; Principles; Concepts; Mechanisms; Analogies and differences; Possibilities; Data; Tests, experiments, and proofs; Alternatives; Spectrums, ranges, quantities, measures, and scalings; Mathematics; Probabilities; Dimensions and properties; States, spaces, conditions, and environments; Events, processes, procedures, methods, operations, and strategies; Contents; Assumptions; Gedankenexperiments; Decisions; Problems and solutions; Names, definitions, classifications, and descriptions; Neural correlates and bases; Paradoxes; Emergents; Elements; Essentials; Evaluations; Extremes; Fields; Paths, courses, flows, motions, behaviors, changes, and transformations; Functions, roles, purposes, uses, goals, and values; Corollaries, interests, and implications; Geneses; Games; Futuribles; "Groups"; Histories; Knowledges and ignorances; Illusions; Appearances; Complexities and simplicities; Harmonies and disharmonies; Languages; Negations; Opposites; Networks of consequences; Levels and niveaus; Nonexistences; Order taxons; Origins; Paradigms; Achievements and failures; Pathoses; Requirements; Possibilities; Sub-types; Realms; Recursions; Chances; Representations and ideograms; Resources (instruments and materials); Sets; Shortcuts; Stories; Surprises and discontinuities; Linearities and nonlinearities; Nonmonotonic manipulations; Systems; Theories; Transcendences; Wholes and gestalts; Wisdoms; Research programs; Interdisciplinary relationships; Etc?
What are all possible, all nonequivalent, all specialized, and all hierarchical generalizations of or regarding a single, random or particular, thing?
How can or should all things, or all sets of types of things, be progressively generalized into, with respect to, or on the basis of, one another?
What are all human motivations for generalizing and not generalizing any and all things in any and all ways in any and all circumstances; and what are all of the psychodynamics thereof? What are the total ideonomic interests of these things?
What are the current frontiers of generalization of things by mankind?
Many enterprises are launched, conducted, and even consummated with almost no attention paid to their possible, actual, or appropriate goals.
Yet this can cause many problems and have many costs, e.g.: Inefficiency; Failure to make adequate or correct provision or preparation; Inability to notice and rectify a faulty course; Taking of excessive or unnecessary risks, perhaps unconsciously; Blindness to opportunities; Indecision and inaction in crises; Indirection and aimless wandering; Lack of plans and priorities; Inability to optimize the use--and mindless wastage--of finite resources; Anarchy; Distractibility; Inaction; Anomie and tedium; Lack of motivation; Inconsistencies, contradictions, and disharmonies; Impossibility of cooperative endeavor; Inability to structure existence; Fragility of an enterprise and a tendency for it to degenerate and fragment; Inability to discriminate good from bad--or to recognize what is best and worst, vital and unimportant, central and peripheral, significant and irrelevant, etc; Anonymity to the world at large or external confusion and misreaction; Etc.
Ideonomy can be used to suggest goals that are: new, alternative, contrasting, successional or progressive, maximal or optimal, safe, certain, transcendent or revolutionary, unconsidered or overlooked, realistic, easy, expedient, productive, ultimate or supreme, simpler or more complex, indirect, contingent, secondary or tertiary, suited to oneself, complementary to situations or circumstances, compatible, synergistic, logical, less costly, multidimensional or multipurpose, subtle, definable, proportionate to one's resources, unorthodox, contra-intuitive, irredundant, finite or infinite, equivalent or analogous, specific or general, universal, etc.
Goals are often pursued that are the wrong ones, but they are not abandoned because they have never been made explicit. When some goal is made explicit it becomes possible to study its real meaning and importance and the relationships it has to other things that are being done or that might be done. The things that are required for the goal to be achieved can be investigated, decided upon, and implemented.
Ideonomy by its nature encourages the comparative study of every sort of goal in every sort of field, and profitable knowledge can be derived from this of the larger and more efficient ways and means of pursuing arbitrary or all goals. Mistakes that are apt to be made in selecting and achieving goals can be identified, along with ways of avoiding those mistakes or of dealing with them when they occur.
Other characteristic problems that are associated with the pursuit of goals include an overdramatization of the importance of a single goal, token attention to the goal, a tendency for a goal to be misformulated or misinterpreted, failure to appreciate that a goal is apt to be more than a simple name or definition and may embrace the simple insights that are apt to accrue in planning for and advancing toward the goal, the error of relying upon a single method or path for achieving the goal, etc.
Illustrative examples of goals are: Putting the first men on the Moon; Target in an enemy country of an intercontinental ballistic missile; Downing and eating of a gazelle as the goal of a lion that is stalking it; Student's goal of passing an exam; Finding a needle in a haystack; Landing someone as one's spouse; Solving some great unsolved problem in mathematics, as by finding a proof of Fermat's last theorem; Breaking an Olympic record in poll vaulting; 'Pineapple's goal' of reaching the standard size specified by the genome of the pineapple plant; Zinc atoms' 'goal' to deposit themselves on the cathode in the electrolysis of zinc chloride solution; Break-even point in research to achieve controlled thermonuclear fusion for industry; 'Goal' of a column of magma ascending through Earth's crust to reach the atmosphere and erupt lava on the Earth's surface; Goal of a company to recover its investment in developing a new product; Puppy's goal of reaching its mother's teat while fighting its littermates for the same objective; Goal of a detective to discover the identity of a murderer; 'Goal' of the disturbed surface of a pond to settle back into hydrostatic (gravitational) equilibrium; Etc.
Although the concept of a goal in the realm of inanimate nature is momentarily discountenanced, several fundamental questions are in fact begged by this exclusion, and--certainly with revision--the concept may one day be be resurrected. At the very least it may be decided that the word should be redefined so that it can function in this more embracive way, since dead matter can be observed to behave in ways that by analogy suggest the pursuit and satisfaction of goals by organisms or minds. The 'goal' may simply be the thermodynamic end-state of a physical process that is relaxing toward equilibrium-regardless of whether that end-state is known, specifiable, or even meaningful in advance, or of whether it is uniquely implicit in some set of mathematical equations. It is also true that it is premature to absolutely exclude the possibility of teleological phenomena or of "final causes" from physical nature. Excluded possibilities in science have a funny way of reentering the picture years later in radically different dress, although this is a lesson that scientists have been slow to learn.
Show Paths To Goals
It is possible to know, or even to prove, that a goal is attainable while at the same time remaining ignorant of how to actually achieve it. Even if all of the necessary resources and methods are at one's disposal, a critical sequence of steps or concatenation of things may elude one. An objective may hover an instant, layer, cell, operation, or decision away and yet be impossible to reach simply because the path to it is not known, well-defined, or available.
Ideonomy can teach general and specific ways to discover or create paths to specific and generic goals, and train the relevant skills.
It can also suggest: Whether a desired or imagined path exists or not or would or would not be feasible; Costs and requirements of finding, constructing, altering, or using paths; Things paths should avoid or their general hazards; Different types of paths that are possible or appropriate; Likely and proper quantitative dimensions of paths; Consequences or side effects of using different paths; Etc.
To clarify good it may be convenient, desirable, or necessary to first or eventually consult, define, investigate, portray, or even create bad. Bads and goods are both primary concerns of ideonomy.
Basic classes of goods are: Helps and assistance; 'Net goods'; Virtues; Excellences; Benefits; Advantages; Ideals; Wishes and aims (desired things and conditions); Needed and useful resources; Good luck; Pleasures and pleasurable things; and 'Non-bads' (absences of bad; everything that is not actually bad).
The goods that interest ideonomy need not have anything to do with human beings or human values. Inanimate phenomena and entities--and 'pure ideas', whatever they are--have their own agathokakological orders. All goods of all things should be inquired into, systematized, and reduced to ever more universal laws.
How can good be served, maximized, and evolved if we are ignorant of its kinds, possibilities, and laws? If we do not understand its complexities, problems, contradictions, and illusions? If its elements, fundamentals, needs, mechanisms, processes, and manifold relationships to the other things of the universe are unknown?
One way to begin the scientific study of good would be to examine the nature, circumstances, and existence of a single-random or particular-thing in an effort to discover all goods of or connected with the thing, or every way and degree in which any or every thing is or is not 'good' for the thing or 'from the thing's perspective'.
Were the thing to be given such comprehensive agathological scrutiny an ant, for example, one might ask and try to answer these questions: Is the presence of a minimum amount of water in the soil important to the ant's hive? Which traces of chemical elements are good for the ant's diet, even though they are not essential nutrients? Are there diseases of other soil organisms that benefit the ant when they occur? What polymorphisms are good or best for the species of ant? What wind velocity at the mouth of an ant's nest is optimal for the colony, in good weather? Are there certain early life experiences that are good for an ant to have, say because they trigger the emergence of latent instincts, orient the ant for life to the peculiarities of its environment, or institute certain skills in the then- plastic nervous system of the ant?
Lessons here could be carried over experimentally to the possible goods for other animal species. Discrepancies, adaptations, and supplementations noted through such series, networks, and hierarchies of comparisons could lead to an even more powerful generalization of agathological knowledge, methods, and skills, and eventually make possible the treatment of arbitrary goods of arbitrary things.
Another valuable ideonomic exercise would be to construct a diagram with the names of a random set of related or maximally diverse things scattered about but enclosed in ellipses. Arrows would be drawn between certain ellipses to indicate which things are or might be, in some sense or degree, good for which other things. Arrows could be: one-way or two-way, simple or branched, connected only to ellipses or also referent to or from other arrows (à la vergences, networks, circuitries, hierarchies, or other meta- structures), weighted by being thickened, colored to signify senses of good or goodness, etc.
Complementary sets or suites of the diagram could be created to exhibit or investigate the difference that various arguments, circumstances, or perspectives make for the possible or actual relationships, incremental but rational and natural changes in various directions (e.g. that of scaled time or probability), how different people would render the same diagram, etc.
Such an agathological diagram - or agathogram - could be programmed on a computer in a matric or dynamic form. Multivariate analysis, multidimensional scaling, cluster analysis, artificial intelligence techniques and programs, etc could be used to discover and explore an agathological universe - or agathocosm - of : meaningful, contrasting, interdependent, orthogonal, nonexistent, evolutionary, anamorphic, circular, cyclic, autopoietic, mathematically diverse, arborescent, stochastic, chaotic, aesthetically appealing, "implicate" (in David Bohm's sense), etc : idea spaces, permutations, combinations, clusters, chains, series, "rotations", inversions, representations, games, systems of motions and transformations, morphogeneses, other types of ideograms, etc.
All of the : senses, categories, types, subtypes, taxons, and natural taxological systems : of special or universal goods need to be identified, described, named, evaluated, reduced to operations and logic and transformations, etc. They should be used to : discover, imagine, investigate, characterize, compare, interrelate, synthesize, criticize, perfect, exploit, transcend, teach, etc all goods of all things.
What are all known or possible dimensions for scaling goods or the goodness of things, and all actual scalings and co-scalings of all abstract and concrete goods, e.g. per: closeness, redundancy, co-representability or comparability, orthogonality, oppositeness, cost, frequency of exemplification, typological diversity, confinement to man (anthropomorphism) or contrary exemplification throughout nature, human importance, human agreement about, degree of clustering, logical containment or hierarchy, universal symmetry, conceptual simplicity, etc?
How does the same type of good vary when it is exemplified in different phenomena or sciences?
What are all of the goods and bads that converge in and/or diverge from single events?
What transvaluations of goods, or of the goodness of things, are possible, desirable, or inevitable?
Some illustrative genera of good are: order, harmony, efficiency, simplicity, reliability, strength, success, improvement, wealth, balance or proportion, security, freedom, opportunity, utility, diversity, transcendence, wisdom, power, control, productivity, flourishing, peace, 'health', problemlessness, salubrity, wholeness, meaning, challenge, consummation, certainty, purpose, direction, preservation, beauty, challenge, responsibility, 'fairness', good fortune, cleanliness, clarity, sophistication, assistance, synergism, truth, self-mastery, etc.
All causes of good need to be discovered, defined, distinguished, quantified, explained, synthesized, systematized, mastered (technologically and methodologically), etc. Yet the causes of both specific and generic goods are often esoteric.
Some possible or known causes of good are: one or more other goods; universal laws and relationships; nature's pervasive or absolute self- similarity; the subjectivity of 'goods' and the spatiotemporal invariances of human minds; striving for good; plans; methods; cooperative and coevolutionary tendencies of natural phenomena; evolution--incl. self- evolution and cosmic evolution-of things and goods; the pervasive tendency of the universe to order and organize itself; moral and legal laws; the sense of beauty; fractal, harmonic, hierarchic, vergent, cyclic, and other meta- patterns and meta-structures; man's habits of collecting, preserving, nursing, and combining goods or good things; early agathology; etc.
Some illustrative species or narrow examples of good are: humility, honesty, sanity, kindness, reverence, trust, stability, civilization, good habits, tolerance, gentleness, magnanimity, eloquence or mastery of language, longevity, altruism, grace, happiness., comfort, leisure, community, scientific and technological progress, economic growth, wit, family strength, quiet, nonpollution of the environment, learning, teaching, husbandry of human resources, thrift, military peace, good government, manners, integrity, refinement of taste, and the doing of good.
Ideonomy might be used to investigate what is good for, in, about, or otherwise in connection with such diverse particular things as: soil, the family, enzymes, the human voice, an enemy, a friend, spiders, a spider's web, grape flavor, starlight, yard sales, religion, atheism, the Golgi apparatus (dictyosomes), war (sic), bads (sic), virtue, the crossword puzzle, seed dispersal, the honeybee waggle dance, filter feeding, Earth's winds, cosmic gravity waves, binary star systems, beaches, time, Reynold's number (Re = rnL/h), the alga, earth tides, psychoanalytic transference, intelligence tests, oneself, the unconscious mind, heat diffusion, proton precession, striations in electrical discharge, radioactivity, adjoint groups, paracompact space, exterior algebras of linear spaces, Fourier transforms, saddle points, overteaching, ring whizzers and other fluxional molecules, monomolecular films, certain choices of starting materials in chemistry, marine upwelling, the sea's internal waves, ocean spray, a falling birth rate, acculturation (intercultural borrowing), twinned crystals, the semicolon, taxation, the Swiss system of government, German character, boldness in war, military night operations, astronomy, historiographic periodization, goodwill in commerce, expressionist painting, the design of a safety pin, one person's handwriting, leveraged buyouts, corporate disclosure, FM (frequency modulation) radio transmission, the gear, formal education, the metaphor, crying, touristry to the Third World, divinities, the universe, the mathematical point, play, birds' nests, the chair, the theater, the Dirac quantum mechanical vacuum, competition, philosophy, the pinna, examples, music, continental drift, ultramicrophysical strings, etc.
The ideonomic treatment of good and bad can be pandisciplinary in two senses: not only can ideonomy help to treat the content or phenomena of all subjects, but it can at the same time be used to evaluate, criticize, and improve the work, organization, and structure of entire disciplines.
Thus it could be used to answer the question: what in the methods, research programs, tools, goals, foundations, concepts and theories, language, research foci, institutions, pedagogy, publications, etc of present- day biology is good and bad?
Help Treat the Hardest Things
At any moment in a given field certain problems, tasks, questions, methods, phenomena, domains, unmet needs, goals, concepts, subfields, etc explicitly or implicitly exist that are the most difficult ones of all in that field; and a subset of these things will be the hardest things in human knowledge and endeavor as a whole.
Breakthroughs in these cases are apt to cause the greatest excitement, have the largest consequences for those fields or for civilization, shift paradigms or upend cherished beliefs, reorient or revolutionize theoretical or experimental inquiry, initiate new fields of investigation, conclude or commence the longest-lived and most emotional squabbles, etc.
In an abstract and generic sense the hardest things are apt to be or relate to: Demonstrations that a postulated or implied entity or relationship exists or does not exist, or is possible or impossible; Firm proofs or disproofs of a proposition or hypothesis; Unifications of an entire field or theory; Proofs of the equivalence or nonequivalence of two fundamental things; Universality of some concept, law, relation, or phenomenon; Demonstration that a certain thing is truly fundamental or more fundamental than anything else known or possible; Falsification or modification of what are assumed to be universal or absolute laws, constants, theories, etc; Gaining of absolute or overriding control over some system, process, or phenomenon; Obtaining complete knowledge or understanding of a thing; Advances involving extremely complex or chaotic phenomena; Matters that require breakthroughs in pure or applied logic; Etc.
For a variety of reasons ideonomy may in the future play an important role in the treatment of the hardest things: It may be a fallacy that the hardness of solving certain classes of problems is fundamental, intrinsic, and irreducible--and ideonomy may help challenge this highly influential fallacy; it may be a fallacy that there is only one way to solve certain problems or answer certain questions--and ideonomy may have a peculiar power to bring to light the actual richness of possibilities; One of the spurs for the creation of ideonomy in the first place was the attempt to furnish the human mind with some universally more powerful instrument in the treatment of extreme difficulty and complexity, and in the handling of the special problems being created by the explosive growth of human knowledge, technology, and endeavor; Unexpected analogies may exist between the hardest things in different sciences, the concepts and methods pertinent thereto, the importances thereof, and even the basic solutions to the problems represented by such things--analogies that ideonomy can help to reveal and treat; Ideonomy can be used to ascertain and dramatize the absolute and relative need, importance, and consequences of achieving the hardest things; Ideonomy can systematize, coordinate, accelerate, and maximize the imagination and discovery of the totality of hardest things; Usually few people know of the existence, nature, and implications of the hardest things, and ideonomy can make such knowledge more broadly available, both within the relevant field and outside it; Etc.
Some illustrative examples of the hardest things are: Whether, in mathematics, there are fractional alefs, or whether alef one is or is not equivalent to the power of the continuum; Nature of measurement in quantum theory; Fundamental relationship between quantum and relativity physics; How our brain thinks or computers can be made to think as well or better; Fundamental relationship between the physical and mental aspects of nature; Basic nature of mathematical truth; Question as to the ultimate safety of scientific and technological progress, or of how to insure its safety; Many- body problems in mathematical physics; What the essential nature of life is; Whether actual infinities exist in nature or nature is wholly finite and discrete; Why nature itself exists in the first place; Extent to which our picture of nature is reducible to one or a few things (e.g. laws, forces, entities, sciences, theories, representations, phenomena, relationships, processes, principles, substances, problems, concepts, etc); Unification of gravitation with the other known fundamental physical forces; Isolation of the fundamental, quantitative, and predictive laws of society or of social behavior and development; Automation of artistic creation; Creation of a fully consistent, or comprehensive, theory of probability; Logical foundations of physics; Nature of randomness or its contribution to the physical world; Scientific basis of ethics; Why physical space is--or seems--tridimensional; Structure and dynamics of Dirac's quantum-mechanical vacuum; Ergodic theory; Information theory; Prediction of patterns given cellular automata will produce, or of the cellular automata that can generate desired or noted patterns; Initial conditions of 'the universe'; Long-term future of civilization; Measurement of gravitation's fundamental velocity or coupling constant to other basic forces, or detection of gravity waves or gravitons; Basic nature of time, or whether reversible travel backwards and forwards in time is feasible; How life began, and a priori probability of its origin or repeated origin (around the universe ); Basic structure of the universe; How to civilize human nature or the earth--or extinguish war and crime; How much of the human mind is inherited from the human genome; What the quantity of nonsense in the world is; Etc.
What are all of the hardest problems and possibilities that are connected with a single, random or particular, thing?
Where would all of the examples of hardest things that were mentioned above fall on a universal scale of degrees of hardness? Which of the things would be most ambiguous or hard to place on such a scale?
What hierarchies of hardest things are there? Also what series, networks, trees, rings (sic), clusters, etc?
Which of the things listed above should be tackled first and last --and why?
Are there things that are by definition, or that can be proven in advance to be, infinitely hard to accomplish or know?
Where would the examples of hardest things above all fall on a scale giving the imagined quantity of future time that will or must elapse before that which they speak of becomes known or is achieved?
What are the basic reasons for the hardness of each of those things?
Which of those apparent or supposed hardnesses may in fact be illusory?
On the other hand, which of all those things that would seem to us easy to accomplish or know in the future, may actually turn out to be hard or among the hardest of possibilities?
What were the hardest problems historically and how were they solved? Moreover, what resulted from their solution or explanation-and what lessons may there be for us now as we confront those things that for ourselves are the hardest to come to terms with?
From the point of view of ideonomy, an infinite number and variety of hierarchies may well exist in and as nature, and all things, in some sense, may be hierarchical or possess hierarchical aspects, elements, and relationships.
The foreseen task is to find and define the totality of such hierarchies and hierarchical relationships, to identify the laws thereof, and to progressively exploit the opportunities implicit in such things.
Of course hierarchy represents just one of the basic genera of so-called meta-structures that presumably pervade the universe or 'reality', but the exemplifications, meanings, and possibilities of each such genus must be thoroughly investigated and elaborated. The case of hierarchy can serve as a general example of what must be done and of what is apt to follow upon the doing of it.
What is meant by the word or concept of hierarchy? One way to answer this question is by seeing what hierarchy could mean--or what hierarchies may in fact, or could in theory, exist--in connection with a variety of things. For example:
Could there be a hierarchy of snowflakes? Actually there could be many such hierarchies: Presumably there is a probability spectrum for different flake shapes; Formative mechanisms may be plural or subject to complication or external influences, in which case either the causes or their effects may canonically progress in chains and branch in--chronological or nomological-- trees; Probability or existence of certain flake forms may be a function of the set-theoretic statistics or combinatorial clustering of other flake forms; Etc.
A hierarchy of winters? Perhaps winters can be multidimensionally described and there are certain types of winters that are only likely to to occur after, or somewhere in the middle of, certain sequences of other types of winters; Perhaps there is a hierarchy of descriptions or of descriptive elements, such that certain descriptions or elements are more fundamental or at least simpler than others, and it is appropriate or necessary to 'move along' the hierarchy in attempting to characterize winters; Etc.
A hierarchy of stars? Certain stars generate chemical elements and isotopes that are then recycled in other stars and without which those other types and generations of stars are impossible; Similar stellar hierarchy may exist thanks to the production, recycling, multistage transformation, or control of different molecular species by generations--or perhaps by synchronic hierarchies--of stars; Hierarchical sets of stars may create different physical conditions at a variety of levels (e.g. of stellar density) that induce special types of stars, or of stellar behavior, at those levels; Etc.
Possible or actual properties, dimensions, or features of hierarchies or of their contents include: Elements; Sets, subsets, and supersets; Levels; Degrees; Layers; Ranges; Intervals; Gaps; Folia; Partitions; Stages; Chains or sequences; Series; Harmonics or powers; Units and multiples; Domination and subordination; Supreme commander; Tops, apexes, vertexes, etc; Bottoms, bases, roots, foundations, etc; Starts, origins, first things, a single beginner, etc; Stops, finishes, last things, etc; Greatest or maximal thing; Least or minimal things or thing; Thresholds; Transformations; Rhythms, cycles, iterations, reappearances, etc; Poles, orientations, etc; Inversions; Transitivity; Asymmetry; Antisymmetry; Control, government, or regulation; Ranks; Superiority; One-many relationships; Trees or arborescence; Direction; Unidirectional action; Dependences, independences, and interdependences; Monotonic progression; Emergence; Equivalent and nonequivalent elements; Simplicity; Internal structure and external form; Completeness and all- inclusiveness; Horizontal and vertical relationships; Rules; Defined or exact relationships; Continuity; Universality; Pyramidality; Discrete and continuous aspects; Opposites, antipolarity, and antisyzygies; Uniqueness or singularity; Unity-in-diversity; Spectrums; Convergence, divergence, and vergence; Orthogonality; Etc.
Possible effects, values, or uses of hierarchies include: Arbitrarily large sets of things or elements can be connected, reduced, related, or traced back to, or derived from, just a single thing, element:, point, event, law, etc.--via a path that is at once maximally short, powerful, comprehensive, logical, necessary, central, self-similar, ubiquitous, etc; Causation, perturbation, government, etc can be shown to be, or treated as being, completely unidirectional and an incremental and comprehensive flow over an arbitrarily large set of identical or diverse things, processes, phenomena, domains, effects, changes, events, etc; Time-asymmetric evolution of an entire system or universe; Flows in two opposite and paired directions can be enabled or defined--flows of an opposite, complementary, reciprocal, or independent nature or content; Things or processes of every possible size, number, or complexity can all be 'reduced' to the dimidiations, doublings, bifurcations, partitionings, iterations, recursions, fractal structure, or the like of a single thing, process, pattern, or the like--so that the smallest and largest scales or sets, first and last things, whole and parts, e/vc of the hierarchy are mutually derived, antisyzygially, in an exact or approximate way; Generalization, specialization, and their interdetermination; Alternative descriptions, classifications, or treatments of things can be rigorously excluded; Possibilities can be constrained; Different and disjunct trees of possibilities can be differentiated and selected; Things can be described or controlled via the simplest language, code, logic, or information-theoretic structure; Operations or actions can be reduced to uniquely consecutive and finite decisions; Variables can be treated as constants, and constants as variables, at successive 'levels'; Those degrees of freedom that enable the self- organization of a phenomenon or realm can be increased or maximized; Potential or actual self-interaction, self-government, self-connection, autocorrelation, self-description, complexity, heterogeneity, proteanness, e/vc of a thing or phenomenon can be maximized; Use of resources can be optimized, or need for resources minimized; Redundancy can be minimized, irredundancy maximized (and vice versa, paradoxically); Etc.
In a simpler way, hierarchies or hierarchization can serve, i. a.: classification, description, definition, development, morphogenesis, evolution, transformation, revolution, generalization, specialization, integration, isolation, amplification, analogization, distinguishing, specification, individuation, universalization, organization, self- organization, control, government, meetings of opposites, simplification, complexification, randomization, localization, innovation, distribution, centralization, decentralization, self-reference, operationalization or processualization, conservation, conceptualization, mechanization, simulation or modeling, proceduralization, stratification, cooperation, diversification, nomogenesis (sensu either the discovery of laws, or their emergence and evolution), systemization, correction or adjustment, adaptation, stabilization, selection, search, checking, supervision, coordination, communication, compilation, colligation, assimilation, convergence, divergence, 'parsing', counting, etc.
More specifically, hierarchy or hierarchization serve or are exemplified in or by: e.g. memory (or memorization and recall), recognition, thought, bodily action, feeling, psychogenesis, social evolution, biosynthesis, the evolution of life, cosmogony, parallel computation, industrialization, human government, military organization and strategy, nervous systems and artificial neural nets, computer hardware and software, evolution and classification of mathematical ideas, the process or result of painting, accounting, language translation, literary analysis (as of a novel), family relationships, the immunal system or immunogenesis, ecological structure and processes, genomic structure and function, ontogenesis, social stratification, structure and traffic dynamics of a nation's road system, etc.
Universal genera of hierarchies include hierarchies of: abilities, acts, alternatives, AMBIGUITIES, analogies, ANSWERS, ANTISYZYGIES, appearances, assumptions, bads, beauties, behaviors, beliefs, causes, CHAINS, CHANCES, CHANGES, CHAOSES, circumstances, clusters, coevolutions, COMBINATIONS, COMPLEXITIES, CONCEPTS, conflicts, connections, CONSERVATIONS, contents, controls, CONVERGENCES, cooperations, COPROBABILITIES, corollaries, COURSES, criterions, CRITICISMS, CYCLES, decisions, defects, definitions, descriptions, differences, discoveries, disequilibriums, disjunctions, DISTRIBUTIONS, DIVERGENCES, doctrines, domains, ecological things, ECONOMIC THINGS, EFFECTS, elements, emergents, ENVIRONMENTS, EQUALITIES, equilibriums, EQUIVALENCES, errors, essentials, EVALUATIONS, events, examples, EXCELLENCES, excuses, expectations, EXPERIENCES, EXPERIMENTS, EXTREMES, fields, FIRST PRINCIPLES, FLOWS, forms, functions, FUNDAMENTALS, FUTURES, FUTURIBLES, games, GENERALIZATIONS, geneses, goals, goods, "GROUPS", hardest things, heuristics, HIGHER REALITIES, histories, HYPOTHESES, IDENTITIES, IGNORANCES, ILLUSIONS, IMAGES, implications, IMPOSSIBILITIES, INDIVIDUALS (sic), INEQUALITIES, INFINITIES (and INFINITESIMALS), INFORMATION- THEORETIC THINGS AND ENTROPIES, instances, INSTRUMENTS, interdependences and reciprocities, interests, inventions, INVERSIONS, KNOWLEDGES, languages and linguistic things, LAWS, limitations, LOGICAL THINGS, MANIFOLDS, mathematical things, MATRICES, MEASUREMENTS, MEASURES AND DIMENSIONS, mechanisms, METAPHORS, methods, MINDS AND INTELLIGENCE, MODELS, MOTIONS, needs, NEGATIONS, NETWORKS NETWORKS OF CONSEQUENCES, NICHES, NONEXISTENCES, operations, OPPORTUNITIES, ORDER TAXONS, ORIGINS, PARADIGMS, paradoxes, pathoses, PATHS, patterns, PERSPECTIVES, phenomenons, plans, possibilities, practices, PREDICTIONS, preparations, THE PRESENT, principles, PROBABILITIES, PROBLEMS, PROCESSES, proofs, PROPERTIES, psychological things, PURPOSES, quantities, QUESTIONS, REACTIONS, realms, RECURSIONS, relations, RELAXATIONS, representations, resources, responsibilities, RINGS, roles, rules, SELF- EFFECTS, SERIES, sets, SHORTCUTS, SIMPLICITIES AND SIMPLIFICATIONS, SIMULATIONS, SOLUTIONS, SPACES, speculations, STATES AND CONDITIONS, STORIES, strategies, SURPRISES, systems, tactics, taxons, TECHNOLOGICAL THINGS, THALWEGS, THEORIES, things, THOUGHTS, TOPOLOGICAL THINGS, transcendences, TRANSFORMATIONS, TREES, types, ULTIMATES AND ENDS, ULTRAFUNDAMENTALS, uncertainties and doubts, unifications, the 'universe', uses, VALUES, VERGENCES, virtuals, wants, wholes and GESTALTS, wisdoms, and WORK.
Particularly or peculiarly interesting genera of hierarchies in this list are in upper case. Many suggest fascinating problems, questions, and possibilities--which ideonomy will eventually address.
Actually many things need to be learned about all of those genera. Thus what are all of their: exemplifications, specializations, causes, effects, roles, interrelations and interactions, laws, activities, structures, transformations, histories, futures, evolutions and retrogressions, fine structure, etc?
Hierarchy can be defined in many different ways. The dictionary distinguishes: (1) The arrangement of objects, elements, or values in a graduated series; (2) A series of objects, elements, or values so arranged; (3) In logic, a series the members of which are grouped in accordance with a principle (as of importance, perfection, or priority); (4) The stratification so achieved; specifically, a table of statistical correlations having a constant proportional relationship and graded from high to low; (5) A body of persons or things ranked in grades, orders, or classes, one above another; a system or series of terms of successive rank, used in classification (as in biology).
Additionally, of the adjective "hierarchical" it says: (6) Having the power to control; influential.
A more ideonomic characterization of hierarchy: (7) At the top or upward is the thing or set of things that controls, dominates, influences, limits, expresses, indicates, facilitates, e/vc the meaning, importance, behavior, degrees of freedom, changes, possibilities, relationships, aspects, costs, needs, outputs, e/vc of that below or dot-inward.