Evolution

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Full Title or Meme

The gradual process of the changing morphology of living entities in a natural ecosystem.

Context

  • Evolution and Disruption are the ying and yang of the process of change in any ecosystem. In the General Theory of Living Systems the case is made that an identity ecosystem has all of the characteristics of living ecosystems.
  • All evolutionary change occurs within a living ecosystem. Each change must improve the success of the species in the exiting ecosystem. Disruptions do occur, but even they must succeed in the existing ecosystem, even as they change it.
  • Amara's law[1] tells us that we tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run. Since in the long run we are all dead (including all of the known enterprises), the short run is where we have the most opportunity to improve our odds of success, as well as the place where mistaken judgement will result in no impact on the evolving ecosystem.
  • Unicorns are those special enterprises that are early to provide a solution for long term change, but they will need some means to find a way to survive until the big change comes. Their concerns are not addressed here.
  • The field of Evolutionary Epistemology has developed in the past century[2] as an Framework of the manner in which Evolution applies to the theory of all knowledge, which, perforce, includes the identity of objects of our ecosystems.

A Brief History of Information and Identity

This taxonomy of history is derived from one described by Popper.[3]

  1. Hydrogen and Helium fuse to form the heavier elements by rules that physicists claim to have mastered.
  2. The world is formed as an identifiable object by rules that physicists claim to have mastered.
  3. Liquids, crystals and other material objects are formed by rules that physicists claim to have mastered.
  4. Life forms and the ecosystem is altered in ways that no rules are known to predict. Although Chaitin claims to have made biology Mathematical, it is not predictive.[4]
  5. Animals become sentient and can identify one individual, and one species from all the others. Linneas creates a taxonomy of identities.
  6. Human consciences learns of the permanence of identity and its loss to the world at death.
  7. Human societies form and create languages and theories about identity and death.
  8. Human societies create a surplus which allows some individuals to specialize in the arts and sciences, including the meaning of identity.
  9. Human's invent thinking machines, which they claim are the result of intelligent design, but experience proves otherwise.[5]

Now we are at a place in society were no known rules can tell us what to do next. We need to try new things and evolve new technologies that will continue to the next, unknown, new level of information and identity.

Problems

While change has been discussed by philosophers, at least since Heraclitus 500 years BC, human history has been marked by the search for invariants. First with religion and later with physics humans have focused on trying to find the causes of the way of the world. The book of Ecclesiastes in the Hebrew bible teaches that "there is nothing new under the sun." But the final chapter of the book of causes will not be written until the last bit of free energy is expended forcing changes to continue to create confusion among the various purveys of prophecies. Only then it will be true that "there is nothing new under the sun." Darwin was the first to create a succesful theory of change that has since been applied to most areas of knowledge. Ernst Mach in 1896 phased the part played by accident (aka mutation) in evolution of all areas of knowledge with this quote. [6]

"After the repeated survey of a field has afforded opportunity for the interposition of advantageous accidents, has rendered all the traits that suit with the word or the dominant thought more vivid, and has gradually relegated to the background all things that are inappropriate, making their future appearance impossible; then, from the teeming, swelling host of fancies which a free and high-flown imagination calls forth, suddenly that particular form arises to the light which harmonized perfectly with the ruling idea, mode or design Then it is that that which has resulted slowly as the result of a gradual selection, appears as if it were the outcome of a deliberate act of creation. Thus are to be explained the statements of Newton, Mozart, Richard Wagner, and others, when they say that thoughts, melodies, and harmonies had poured in upon them, and that they had simply retained the right ones"

We all, human and corporate, do need to make our way given the ecosystem that we do inhabit. The most successful are those that detect imbalances developing in the ecosystem and are able to anticipate changes that will thrive given other changes that are already underway. It is clear to most of us that change in the identity ecosystem is afoot. Our problem is to discern the solution that will profit from that change.

Solutions

Given that we cannot know, in advance, which solutions will succeed in the identity ecosystem. We still can lay out some Framework where solutions might be expected. Solutions in identity ecosystems must be advantageous to three types of entity, where all interesting decisions are generated by the first two:

  1. Users or Consumers with a large bundle of desires for goods or service and fear of the unknown.
  2. Resources of goods or services that are relying on the identity of those users for their survival.
  3. Service providers to either users or relying parties who are evolving to meet the needs of both.

References

  1. Roy Amara, Wikipedia 1972 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Amara
  2. Gerard Radnitzky +1 editors, Evolutionary Epistemology (1987) ISBN 0-8126-9037-7
  3. Karl Popper +1, The Self and Its Brain. (1977) ISBN 0-415-05898-8
  4. Gerogory Chaitin, Proving Darwin: Making Biology Mathematical. (2012) ISBN 978-0-375-42314-7
  5. Edward E. Lee, Is Software the Result of Top-Down Intelligent Design or Evolution? (2018-09) CACM 61 No 9
  6. Ernst Mach, In the part played by accident in Invention and Discovery. Monist 6 (1896) p 174 (also Radnitzky ibid p. 63)