unvented reality

I’ve added this on my contribution – as Richard Green added “But the planet is not a lifeboat. It is a starship. It has huge hydroponic gardens and an almost infinite supply of solar energy… “. Suddenly I noticed the “life”-boat metaphor and the problems we have with undecidable propositions.

Life inside a lifeboat

Life inside a lifeboat

I think the situation of the lifeboat is even worse (the “life”-part, i suddenly notice, adds a funny metaphor in the perspective of my previous contribution, this is how subconscious works). As a sentence, it is a Gödel-case, a sentence of the “this sentence has no proof”-kind. The sentence is both solvable and unsolvable, irrespective any position. When in an actual lifeboat, it has no deeper meaning then “keep on rowing with what we have”; when on shore – as we are all – these are all instances of the saying: “the best boatmen are at shore”. So we’re at a paradox. Varela calls this kind of understanding “.. a sense of paradox in the linguistic domain (in “The Creative Circle”, a contribution in Watzalawick’s “The Invented Reality” – the lifeboat example is clearly an invented reality). I think, when it has this sense in the linguistic domain, that it is an actual paradox.

The planet we live on – the “lifeboat” seems both a metaphor of our situation and the actual situation – is a dynamical system with a clear boundary. Just like the lifeboat, the paradox is introduced through the boundary. As Spencer Brown (Laws of Form) proved, “making a distinction” is the only necessary – and inevitable, i’m afraid – condition for creating paradox. The paradoxes shows themselves both in the un-decidability (note the implied absence of a distinction) of the sentence being true and untrue AND in the undecidedablity in the actual situation. There exists “no solution”, not in the linguistic domain, nor in the actual space, but – as I’ve said – to go on living*). Anyone having a solution for global problems has been proven to be suffering the Utopia-syndrome. In the future, it will be worse ;-).

While writing this, i noticed that there is a hidden joke in the abbreviation of United Nations: UN. There very nature of making decisions on a planetary scale is in de word UN-decidable. The decision making process in the United Nations (like on Syria, Balkan, Central Africa, human rights, …) is failing again and again, not because the UN is – or is destined to be – a failure; it is because we’re in a whole-whole paradox and this is as good as it gets with the current level of UNderstanding.

*) the distinction between the physical, actual world (work) and the abstract, thinking world (mind), nicely reflects Spinoza’s two substances.

Over Jan Lelie

Loves to facilitate groups in complex situations
Dit bericht is geplaatst in complexiteit, Creativiteit, English, meaning, paradox met de tags , . Bookmark de permalink.

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