A village of Walden huts

In a recent round-table session, the concept of ‘ideas’ was discussed and the question of whether ideas could in fact be stolen, and if so – is that a bad thing – was debated.

Two related thoughts were put forth. The first was from Henry D. Thoreau’s book Walden (1854).

“Be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought.” (p. 343)

The other was Matt Ridley’s, The Rational Optimist and “The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge”:

“Innovation is about the combining and re-combining of ideas. That virtually every technology that we can think of is a combination of other technologies. …That is the fuel of innovation and that’s why innovation happens where people can meet and exchange ideas.” [1]

Thoreau’s Walden bravely postulated that we should not be afraid of being open to whole continents of new thoughts. More than a century later, we find that current information technologies make possible the creation of entire villages of Walden huts. I am here not quite using the concept of Thoreau’s cabin as it was meant by Thoreau himself, but rather in metaphor of a network of connecting ideas. In such a case of an evolution of perspective and technologies over time, one could conclude that the more open the environment for the sharing of information and ideas, the greater the mutual benefit for the people.

Continue reading “A village of Walden huts”

Introduction to quantum physics 5th century: Dionysius the Areopagite

atlas CERN 2012

Candidate Higgs boson event from collisions in 2012 between protons in the ATLAS detector on the LHC. Image: ATLAS/CERN [1]

Dionysius the Areopagite

Mystical Theology

Chapter I

These things thou must not disclose to any of the uninitiated, by whom I mean those who cling to the objects of human thought, and imagine there is no super-essential reality beyond; and fancy that they know by human understanding Him that has made Darkness His secret place. And, if the Divine Initiation is beyond such men as these, what can be said of others yet more incapable thereof, who describe the Transcendent Cause of all things by qualities drawn from the lowest order of being, while they deny that it is in any way superior to the various ungodly delusions which they fondly invent in ignorance of this truth? [2,3,4]

[1] CERN 2015. ATLAS and CMS experiments shed light on Higgs properties. Internet resource at http://goo.gl/DSznjP, retrieved 27 March 2016.
[2] Stanford University, Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, First published Mon Sep 6, 2004; substantive revision Wed Dec 31, 2014. “Ch. 1: Introduction, and allegory of Moses’ ascent up Mt. Sinai.” Internet resource Continue reading “Introduction to quantum physics 5th century: Dionysius the Areopagite”

The buggy ski: an Emerson connect

“There is one mind common to all individual men. Every man is an inlet to the same and to all of the same. He that is once admitted to the right of reason is made a freeman of the whole estate. What Plato has thought, he may think; what a saint has felt, he may feel; what at any time has be-fallen any man, he can understand. Who hath access to this universal mind is a party to all that is or can be done, for this is the only and sovereign agent.” [1]

I find it rare that the outerscape connects with my own innerscape of what, how and where to. This multimodal buggy ski that made me smile is for me, an Emerson moment. A connect.

But perhaps this connect (generic) today is getting much more concrete than Plato himself could have ever conceived, as shown in Michael A. Persinger’s research on cognitive neuroscience:

Michael A. Persinger on Human Brains, Shared Geomagnetic Field, Quantitative Solutions & Implications, Future Adaptations:

“Most of the biological time the human species is continuously exposed to the more or less “steady-state” or static component of the earth’s surface magnetic field. This simultaneous immersion of about 6 to 7 billion human brains, that are effectively very similar semiconducting microstructures within this magnetic field, may be sufficient to produce a secondary field that may have biological implications for survival and adaptation. This secondary field could display emergent properties with qualitatively different characteristics. In previous approaches [8] metaphoric references to the secondary field generated by exposing large numbers of conductors (such as functionally adjacent copper wires) to an applied magnetic field Continue reading “The buggy ski: an Emerson connect”

Quest for semantic consistency in relativity

Fractals in sunset, Swedish west coast, Sweden.

Quantum reality. Fractals that appear and disappear as probabilities, when the observer is standing teetering from left to right to peek at the sunset between. “Classical systems are supposed not to be disturbed by measurement, for the state of a quantum system measurement is crucial” [1:1174]. By ‘measurement’ it is also understood that what is being measured depends upon the position from where the measurement takes place, as when Heisenberg suggests “I believe that one can fruitfully formulate the origin of the classical ‘orbit’ in this way. The ‘orbit’ comes into being only when we observe it. [13:73 in [1]]
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

As the field of quantum physics advanced in theory and discoveries in the past century, what scholars have noticed was just how inadequate language is to frame what Robbert Dijkgraaf calls ‘the study of nothing’ [2]. It is this very topic of language and reality that was addressed in Brigitte Falkenburg’s [1] paper on Peter Mittelstaedt’s contributions to the philosophy of physics. His works addressed a constant quest for semantic self-consistency in the field of quantum mechanics.

Mittelstaedt’s quest for semantic consistency has to do with how relativity and quantum theory get into conflict with traditional philosophical assumptions about the structure of the physical world. Continue reading “Quest for semantic consistency in relativity”

Carl G. Jung on reductionism, and its implication on homo oeconomicus in the era of big data analytics

Carl Gustav Jung, on reductionism in science, with in my view, implications for the current dominant paradigm of theories of human cognitive development, and culture. Transcript from a 1990 documentary of Jung [1] based on his works [2, 3].

“Mythology is pronouncing of a series of images that formulate the life of archetypes. So the statements of every religion, of many poets and so on, are statements about the inner mythological process, which is a necessity because man is not complete if he is not conscious of that aspect of things. So you see, a man is not complete if he lives in a world of statistical truths, he must live in a world of his biological truth, that is his biological truth that is not merely statistics. Yet our natural science makes everything into an average, reduces everything into an average, and of course, all the individual qualities are wiped out. That of course is most unbecoming, it is unhygienic, it deprives people of their specific values where they are individuals. It deprives them of the most important experiences of their life where they experience their own value, the creative background of their personality and we think we are able to be born today with no history. That is a disease. That’s absolutely abnormal. Because man is not born everyday. He is once born in a specific historical setting, with its specific historical qualities and therefore he is only complete when he has a relation to these things. It is as if you were born without eyes and ears when you are growing up without connection to the past. From the standpoint of natural science, you need no connection to the past, you can wipe it out. And that is a mutilation of the human being.” [1: 45:43-49:25] Continue reading “Carl G. Jung on reductionism, and its implication on homo oeconomicus in the era of big data analytics”

Time, through and within

Leonids Over Monument Valley. NASA’s astronomy picture of the day. Photo by Sean M. Sabatini

Over the past years, I’ve been increasingly interested in the concept of Time, due to a singular observation that if nothing goes faster than the speed of light, then what happens in the non-void between the musical notes / frequencies from a grammarphone as the needle touches the record, to when you actually hear the music? Time would have passed in seeming linearity, and in that non-void, space would be created. The two are co-created, interdependent and interwoven, thus the concept of spacetime. And if you could play the record backwards and listen to it being played backwards, why was this spacetime still moving forwards?

A group discussion a few days ago ensued about the concept of Time. Ideas were shared on whether one felt that Time was linear or circular in nature, whether individuals shared the same time if they were sharing the same space, or if time was felt differently by different people. The ideas sharing led me to do some small further research on the topic [1-5], pulling up journal articles gathered from various disciplines. Continue reading “Time, through and within”

Transdiciplinary language: coloured by coloured metaphors

Travel Book Shop, Zürich, Switzerland

A travel bookshop in the heart of the old city of Zürich, Switzerland.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

I read with interest a 2006 research article by Grupo de Estudio de Sistemas Integrados [1] in Argentina on the topic of transdiciplinary unified theory that discussed the importance of establishing a common language of transdisciplinarian concepts, defined as a language of “interconnected significant isomorphies” [1:621] not just among systems but among our understanding of models of systems. The push towards this new practice of research methodology has been generally founded in the workings of Industry 4.0, where changes in the knowledge demography that comes with more dispersed and varied education systems contribute to a shift in the landscape of knowledge production in the era of the global knowledge economy [2].

A starting point for scholars could be establishing a common understanding and definition of the words interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and transdiciplinary in the context of academia, in order to facilitate more effective meaningful exchanges of ideas on systemic theories and complexity management. In general, transdisciplinarity foregrounds an integrated, holistic perspective [3-5] that recognises systemic behavioural patterns as organic and evolving. Continue reading “Transdiciplinary language: coloured by coloured metaphors”

The Singapore identity beyond SG50: an integrated systemic approach

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Singapore at 50, SG50.

View of Boat Quay, Singapore.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

SG50: Singapore at 50, 2015

I read with inquisitive delight the introductory paragraph cited below, in a book entitled Reframing Singapore: Memory – Identity – Trans-Regionalism, a collection of scholarly articles in exchange of ideas of the different narratives of Singapore, edited by Derek Heng and Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied published by the Amsterdam University Press, 2009.

“Any tourist who strolls along the Singapore River will find picturesque cityscapes that evoke paradoxical mental images in the mind. Skyscrapers are juxtaposed with shop houses that have been synthetically pre- served so as to suggest memories of the island’s past. Painted black and raised high on a concrete pedestal, the statue of the colony’s British ‘founder’, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, stares at the modern, durian- shaped Esplanade Theatres on the Bay. Colonialism was here, and so were the Japanese. A tour of the Asian Civilizations Museum adds to the sense of confusion and ambivalence. Impressed by high-tech dis- plays of the tapestry of cultures that evolved over the last two centuries and the migration of men and women from far-off lands, the tourist wonders why Chinese, Malays, Indians and ‘Others’ are the only categories, which have been accorded demographic significance. She would be informed later of the authoritarianism and the technocracy. But the orderliness, security and comfort she has enjoyed thus far tend to disguise the assertions of injustice. Continue reading “The Singapore identity beyond SG50: an integrated systemic approach”

Well said, well done! The Richard C. Malmsten Award for Best IBT Master Thesis 2015

Maria Strandberg, Cheryl Marie Cordiero, Jasmin Denghani Malmsten Award 2015

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, standing with Maria Strandberg (L) and Jasmin Dehghani (R), who are winners of the Malmsten Award 2015 for the best Master of Science thesis in International Business and Trade (IBT).
Text & Photo © S Ravi, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

The Richard C. Malmsten Award for Best Thesis is awarded each year to the best thesis within each Graduate School (GS) Master Programme at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. These awards have been given since the beginning of the GBS/GS Master programmes in 1997.

This year, I’ve had the pleasure to work with Jasmin and Maria as main supervisor to their International Business and Trade (IBT) master thesis entitled Well said, Well done: Language as a Source of Power in Multinational Teams. Continue reading Well said, well done! The Richard C. Malmsten Award for Best IBT Master Thesis 2015″

Systemic functional linguistics (SFL) in All Quadrants All Levels (AQAL) model

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro SFL AQAL 2015

Figure 1. A representation of Halliday’s (1994) systemic functional linguistics as a language system in Wilber’s (2006) All Quadrant All Levels (AQAL) model. This SFL AQAL model places the metafunctions of SFL into the eight primordial perspectives of the eight methodologies, rendering a sixteen dialogic perspective of language theory and structure situated in a four-quadrant model.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

I love modeling. That is, fitting pieces of concepts that build a collage of sorts with neat corners. I have been contemplating if I could fit Halliday’s systemic functional linguistics (SFL) as a language system into Wilber’s All Quadrant All Levels (AQAL) model. Models derived from general theories are not always practical, but as Hjemslev (1970:105) argues of creating a general theory of linguistic structure:

“we must start with some definition of language of the kind we have been considering, because the establishment of such a theory is not simply, or even principally, a matter of experience, but rather of calculation. Experience is no adequate basis for a theory of linguistic structure: it would be impossible to go through all existing linguistic texts, and, moreover, it would be futile, since the theory must be valid not only for the texts that have been written or spoken up to now, but also for those that will be written or spoken in the future. Continue reading “Systemic functional linguistics (SFL) in All Quadrants All Levels (AQAL) model”