Wednesday, November 30, 2005


This book was an interesting read--a kind of case study of the complexity that formed the complexity theory. That I enjoyed. My question is, where does this all fit?

With the heavy emphasis on computation, it would seem that the participants in the Sante Fe institute built upon cognitivism in approaching cognition. However, their work was in reaction against reductionism, and the heavy emphasis on symbolic representations and cultural universals (Shore) found in cognitivism would be contraditory to their approach. The emphasis on complexity--that systems self-organize--could be seen as enactive (Varela), but there isn't a lot of discussion placed on the dual emergence of environment, plus all of this happened in the 1980s before enactive approaches really took off. Does that mean we lump the approach into connectionism?

This class is an example to me of self-organizing systems. We have been bombarded with a ton of new ideas and concepts, and together, through the use of the blog and class discussions, we have created order and meaning to the mess. In fact, the past readings have been so tightly ordered in my mind that I have assumed they logically led in succession and no other order would make sense. That's partly why I don't know where to stick complexity.

Last thought. Wouldn't it be cool to be so smart that someone would invite you to a Sante Fe Institute to sit around and shoot the breeze?


Blogger Alison said...

Yes, I want THAT job.

8:41 AM  
Blogger mdl said...

Wow. Interesting questions about how these concepts relate to what we've seen so far this semester. Perhaps we can figure some of this out in class discussion?

2:59 PM  

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