Monday, October 20, 2008

More blurred line thinking...

Integration is something that planner types love to talk about and I’m probably one of the worst. Having said that its one of those ideas that can seem to rule the world when applied in big blurred lines to more interesting things than communications.

For example researchers of the brain and how it produces conscious experience have started to think of it as a process that comes about from the integration of all of the major areas and the connection between them. I think of it like one of those transparent jelly fish where there is a constant flow of circulating pulsating lights – as long as the flow keeps going between all parts of the structure then consciousness keeps getting produced.

If integration processes are fundamental to our orientation to time and space then it is probably a good way to understand lots of things.

Sunday I was running but trying harder than this to keep up with the In Our time podcast hosted by Melvin Bragg. It was about how mathematics had had to step back from its quest to know everything in absolute terms via a movement to create a set of immovable laws. The realization was that even in pretty simple sets of numbers there were paradoxes that could not be resolved.

If I am honest I don’t really know that much about what they were on about but I do know that the implication was that Maths had to make do with an incomplete understandings of things.

Later I went to see the new Cohen Brothers film. Like most of their films I came out not knowing that well how much I liked it as so many of the traditional rules and reference points about stories were missing. I had to make do with an incomplete understanding. But then in this case I think it was the point. The film portrayed people from different strands of society seemingly bouncing off each other in incoherent and chaotic ways as if there couldn’t really be design for the way that any of it worked out.

In between these two chaotic sources of words and pictures that were swirling around together in my head I listened to Evan Davies' podcast which was about the psychology of the money market as part of the diagnosis of its current dysfunctional behavior. My understanding was again incomplete and I stopped listening in places but I think I get the main argument that the random factors inherent in the market system allow us to know little more than it will go one way or the other – in the long term the rest is chance.

So today the world seemed to be telling me in different ways that there is in everything an un-accountable element that can’t be weaned out of even simple numbers.  Three incomplete experiences that each in their own way conveyed the fundamental incomplete nature of things. They had each been separate and out there until now when they were all fed in to one integrating process in my head. I am pretty sure that no-one else had all of these in all of the same contexts and even if they did they would definitely have been different to the sum total of every other experience that had gone in before.

Therein is the potential for a new original thought to be re-circulated back into the process. The integration and blurring of experiences is the construction process of new ideas.

Not that I have any yet but I’m working on it : )

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