The most exciting thing that happened to science is complexity theory, as extraordinarily articulated by James Gleick in his book “Chaos” describing the ruminations of Brian Arthur out of which the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico – Valerie Plame Wilson’s refuge in the desert from the travails of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) – was born, in the environs of Trinity, the test site for the atomic bomb prototypes which later became Little Boy and Fat Man that annihilated Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Economic concepts such as lock-in and increasing returns have since become the staple of explaining one aspect of technical change, followed by concepts such as inflection points and disruptive change out of the wintel duopoly, Bill Gates’ Microsoft Windows and Andy Grove’s Intel corporations.
I have argued for long that it is all natural order. That there is no chaos and scientists always need a new conceptual framework, a fad, albeit un-fundamental, to latch on to explain reality. At issue is the structure of that order and the dynamics or multitude of variations that structure engenders.
It is useful to remember the Pultizer Prize winning book Godel, Escher and Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by the Stanford Artificial Intelligence (AI) researcher (AI has its roots at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT’s, AI lab, founded by Marvin Minsky) at a time when Apple released Siri, the natural language application on iPhone 4, to understand both the beauty and the surreal nature of reality in his analysis of Kurt Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem (incompleteness of any system because of inconsistencies in system construction), M.C Escher’s sketches and Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations.
Complexity is but variations of simplicity.
The biology of four (4) chemicals of life out of a bottle – Adenosine (A), Thymine (T), Cytosine (C), Guanine (G) – of de-oxy ribonucleic acid (DNA) consisting of five (5) elements – Hydrogen (H), Oxygen (O), Nitrogen (N), Carbon (C), and Phosphorus (P) which make up all the four building block chemicals A, T, C and G of all life as know it, and of reasoning by language in human beings.
The physics of the three (3) dimensions of perceptive space within the domain of the homo sapien which form the basis of the synthesis of Euclidean geometry of non-curved “earth is flat” spaces; the three (3) dimensions in curved “earth is spherical” spaces (mass, length and time; time is not the fourth dimension by the first principles of the subject, though differently presented by Albert Einstein as the fourth dimension in his papers on The Theory of Relativity).
The art of M.C. Escher’s and Salvador Dali’s masterful manipulation of perception in two-dimensional space to depict 3-dimensional and curved spaces and Bach’s variations on a composition to illustrate the myriad consonantal possibilities for human hearing with the eight (8) basic notes of music have come before writing was invented, also parsimoniously by the creation of the alphabet.
The mathematics of counting on the abacus using the ten (10) digits of homo erectus may have come earlier, followed by the octal (8), hexadecimal (16) and finally the binary and boolean (2) parsimony of information and communication theory behind the electromechanical ENIAC and much later Andy Grove’s electrical microprocessor.
This same parsimony found in the biology of our creation, the physics of our perception, the art and music of our illustrations of the nature with which we are one, and the infinity of the mathematics of its knowledge contained between and including the binary numbers of zero and one, are the elemental rules of order represented just as parsimoniously in the American constitution.
No other structuring needs to be superimposed on these natural rules of order, archetypes of strong creativity.
Skill in human endeavors is displayed in the improvisation, once the technique has been mastered: the simple logic of creation becomes embedded as the complexity of emotion: “do you have the feel for the subject matter?” “is it under your skin?”
Emotion, the basis of behavior, in its infinite shades, is the indispensable input of understanding and science, and the chemical and ultimately the electrical (or electrochemical – my new approach to systems biology) instinct behind survival, giving meaning to living.
Language, the holy grail of replicating intelligence, is but its expression – from thought and speech to prose and poetry, from the literature and the law of the scriptures to the literature about the human condition.
There is neither love nor trust. Merely chemistry and enlightened self-interest.
All human interactions are but transactions of homo politicus and homo economicus, together constituting the homo sapien.