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Concept of open systems - as the paradigm shift
In his long interview with Franz Kreuzer, Karl Popper calls himself ‘one of the last to join the Enlightenment’ 1(OGOU: 22). He affirms his faith and continuity with the age of reason, at the same time declaring the end of a glorious epoch. Implicitly calling for the paradigm shift 2 ‘I may be wrong and you may be right’—is a paraphrase of Voltaire and reaffirms Socrates’s awareness of our boundless ignorance2 (TIR: 28–29). Contrary to the first appearances, it cannot be taken in favor of relativism which diplomatically agrees each other , whereas the principle of pluralism implies that we may both be wrong. He replaces the comprehensive rationalism with the critical rationalism . ‘Faith in reason, even in the reason of others, implies the idea of impartiality, tolerance, and rejection of any authoritarian claims’3 .
Popper’s "war effort", to counter the fascism and totalitarianism when the possibility of civilization being destroyed was quite real , both claimed to have the sovereignty of reason and historical support, as was demanded by the social thinking prevailed during the ‘Age of Reason’. rationally exposed the Platonic edifice and its enlightenment counterpart ‘Hegelian historicism’ Popper’s assertion that ‘a theory which was initially genuinely scientific degenerated into pseudo-scientific dogma’4 is equally applicable to every discipline .Rather than agreement between different schools, the disagreement regarding the fundamental questions of epistemology and ontology of essence ,contributed to the propensity of theories having better verisimilitude .
René Descartes laid the foundation for Seventeenth -Century rationalism, followed by Baruch Spinoza and Gottfried Leibniz, counter arguments and polemics by the empiricist school of thought consisting of Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume, enriched the logical foundations of both . His "Cogito ergo sum" rejected any idea that can be doubted, Copernican Revolution attained its glory with observations of Galileo, geometric fabrication, and axiomatic foundation supplied by Newton. Seventeenth Century Mathematics with its rigor, vigor , aesthetic harmony and consistency supplied the required logical sufficiency to the fundamental premises of classical mechanics.
‘Un doubtful’ validity of classical mechanics contributed to the practice of applying the same beyond its domain of validity, Cartesian determinism and redundant reductionism began to show its limitations. More dogmatic Laplacian determinism entails ‘Everything in principle is knowable’ and deterministic. Even great scientists like William Thomson, in 1900 famously proclaimed that Physics was over , except for two small clouds on the horizon. These "clouds" turned out to be the clues that led to quantum mechanics and relativity. Famous ‘Hilbert program’ was for the formalization of all of mathematics in axiomatic frame work, he was successful in correctly enlisting the clouds in such an enterprising endeavor. ‘Gödel’s incompleteness theorems gave immediate technical correction to such a dream, axiomatically deduced the inconsistency of axiomatic formulations ! Appears to be an example of ‘liar’s paradox ‘. Deeper realization of Gödel’s theorem can be found in Karl Popper’s prophetic realization in ‘The Logic of Scientific Discovery ‘ ‘Science does not rest upon solid bedrock. The bold structure of its theories rises, as it were, above a swamp. It is like a building erected on piles. The piles are driven down from above into the swamp, but not down to any natural or ‘given’ base; and if we stop driving the piles deeper, it is not because we have reached firm ground. We simply stop when we are satisfied that the piles are firm enough to carry the structure, at least for the time being.’5 (LSD: 111) still physicists are talking about ‘Theory of everything ‘and formulation of the complete theory of Quantum Gravity .During ‘Enlightenment’ reason was elevated to the status of a new authority .After the Enlightenment glory ,Search for truth ended up in proposing ‘closed systems ‘ with immunizing dogmas incorporated in to its very essence .In spite of tremendous progress in technology and various branches of science conquering new frontiers , overall picture especially during the first and second decade of the 21st century is that of an ‘age of unreason ‘. I shall give a sketch of my thesis of ‘open systems’ with fractal Geometry as the choice of nature ,Philosophy of Karl popper with ,Gödel’s theorem as its mathematical counterpart , together with developments in non linear dynamics ,non equilibrium thermodynamics, collective phenomenon ,self organized systems and Chaos with an ‘an irrational faith in reason’ 6(OS II: 461; RR: 39; CR: 357)which espouses, Individual freedom, liberty, democracy, openness, plurality, inclusiveness, decentralization, and sustainable development after giving my background and relevant details .
Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in mid 1800 ,about the French Revolution began with "a push towards decentralization...[but became,]in the end, an extension of centralization." It seems to be true in the whole history 1. After freedom struggle in India ,2.After J.P movement for democratic rights .3. Recent anti corruption movement , exponential growth of the new party and final degradation to centralism, It was true in Greece after Pericles and Democrats -Plato's royal lie and philosophy of his 'utopia ' -'The republic' dominated the seen .Early Christianity slipped to 'Constantine and dominance of Catholic church and roman Empire . age of reason ended up with Hegelian historisism -then to Fascism and totalitarianism, in science it moved around Cartesian determinism,extreme reductionism of closed systems which dovetails parochialism .
Really excited to see the most relevant ingredients of an open society with liberal democratic world view were well included in the constitution and vision documents of the new party,AAP I was nominated as the state committee member of the party . Within a short span of one year Mr. Arvind Kejriwal , AAP supremo became the Chief Minister of Delhi, just for forty nine days! , much before his resignation, it appeared to me that the leadership started practicing evils of the society with utter disrespect to its own constitution, Inexperience ,lack of vision and commitment ,’infantile narcissism ‘ and Quixotic adventures all contributed to the set back. Dirty tactics and conspiracy with fascist credentials from the opposing camp now in power is also contributed its share. It reminded me of Alexis de Tocqueville who wrote in mid 1800 ,about the French Revolution , “began with a push towards decentralization...[but became,] in the end, an extension of centralization." 7It seems to be true in the whole history civilization .In India 1. After the freedom struggle 2.After J.P movement 3. After recent anticorruption movement .This compelled me to have a study a of history of civilization Started re-reading almost all available works of Karl popper , H.G wells , Bertrand Russell and Plato and references therein .Trying my level best to find arguments against my approach and article criticizing Poppers approach for the last one year spending more than 12 hours a day , few shallow criticisms and counter opinions were found –During my literary survey found an article ‘open society by George Soros, written on October 29, 2009 expressing doubts about the actual practice of democracy “ In a democracy political discourse is not aimed at discovering reality—that’s the cognitive function, but getting elected and staying in power—that’s the manipulative function”. 8It seems to share my own experience in India .Following links, come to know about O.S.F. and hence this project proposal ,decided after discussing with my friends having similar world view
It should be noted that the thousands of committed volunteers who spend their time, energy and money for the party AAP was in disappointment and frustration. It become just another party in the fray .Sycophancy become the survival criteria! . Party failed to get even a single seat in Delhi for the recent Parliament election where the party was in power just two months back!. My repeated letters were totally ignored .State unit has insulted me and even suspended me from the state committee for addressing a meeting and English translation of the talk is available in my blog http://thenewindianrenaissance.blogspot.in/ .Good number of informed volunteers suspended just through phone , by the state secretary and later he got also expelled. Thousands of party workers tried to form new party ,I was able to convince them to be assertive and wait . Fact is that the state unit never respected rule of law or propriety! National leadership at that time seems to have encouraged the aberration . Few of them including me is planning to form an N.G.O , details will be worked out adopting the principles of democracy and decentralization , I have not yet resigned from the party ,but for the last one year fully engaged in the re-reading of Philosophy of Science , Physics and Mathematics and History with an intension of developing comprehensive Liberal democratic Philosophy for an open society relevant to the Indian context .This interlude was really productive. While I was preparing this project proposal the state unit of AAP was dissolved by the national leadership and I was contacted! with apology but my humble reply was that I shall cooperate with the party but will not take any official position and more matured state unit is now leading the party in Kerala .The Introspection mode of the party was productive and the party is again gaining strength .The Delhi state assembly elections would be held on 7 February 2015 with results being announced on 10 February 2015. Studying surveys and contacting my friends in Delhi my contention is that the Mr Arvindh Kegeriwal will be the next Chief Minister in Delhi bagging more than 40 seats out of 70...........
Fractal Nature of dynamics of civilization
Brief sketch of points in my proposed book and articles
Heuristic approach to study any complex system is reductionism , Various branches of science ,epistemology, art, literature and almost every institutions evolved , has its own history, reciprocally enriching each other. Let me call it Components of Civilization (CoC). Every Component can further be reduced to epochs with names epitomizing the underlining spirit. The whole History was an interplay between Decentralization(D) and Centralization (C) . Karl Popper suggests, in a brief review, that the long period stretching from Antiquity to Hegel may be interpreted ‘in terms of the conflict between the open and the closed society’ (OS I: 252).12
Justifying the name Renaissance it bears striking similarity with the Greek civilization From invention of art of writing ,development in literature(Homer), astronomy ,Mathematics ,Democratic concepts reflected in the famous funeral oration at least by Pericles , then the period of anarchy, thirty tyrants ,trial and death of Socrates where similar to invention of printing to French revolution then - Plato to Aristotle is like Hegel to philosophy of science and liberal democratic concepts ,Neolithic revolution might have started with articulate speech , number systems, calendar and agriculture then slipping to tribal taboos. After Plato, Aristotle tried to repair the damage in philosophy and epistemology . Roman conquest , Constantine espousing Christianity and enforced dynasty and Centuries of Dark age followed . It can logically be under stood as the self similarity of fractal pattern it again help us to understand the dynamics of all civilizations in different part of the globe –Greek civilization and renaissance as inductive corroboration to the more fundamental dynamics which can axiomatically be deduced . It should be noted that in India almost similar pattern has occurred ,Atomic theory of Kanada (B.C.E 200),Buddhist philosophy and materialistic world view concept of democracy –cast system –dark ages Indian renaissance movement for a short duration of less than 50 years during the first half of 20th century.
Kurt Gödel in 1931 proved two Theorems known as Gödel's incompleteness theorems established the inherent limitations of axiomatic systems , hypothesis surly needs no proof by definition as it is accepted by agreement. If any of the hypothesis can be proved it becomes a theorem rather .But It should be asserted weather there is a contradiction or inconsistency within the set of hypothesis .It is just like trying to prove the validity of the hypothesis .This was the Second problem enlisted by Hilbert . We know the story of Euclid’s fifth postulate and later developments . Adding or removing a hypothesis we can make another system but consistency of a system cannot be proved from within ! It needs infinite regression of arguments. It again proves the inconsistency of any closed system . Karl popper introduced the concept of verisimilitude to solve the problem and it is the genesis of falsifiability It is the realization of the fact that “Our knowledge can only be finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite.”
There will always be a deference between objective reality and our perception of it , One reason for the same is the pre-editing of our senses . Falsifiability is the guarantee for the progress . If we consider ontological systems including our society , can there be a closed system? .My answer is no and all closed systems are reductionist constructs and approximations , stability of solar system and three body problem were the hot subject studied extensively by Henri Poincaré’ and a new branch of non linear dynamics developed known as chaos theory with a different kind of possible order known as fractals .
Entropy is defined as a measure of disorder but without entropy there is no growth .Last fifty years has witnessed tremendous progress in non equilibrium thermodynamics .Central theme is the open system capable of exchanging entropy with surroundings .Ilya Prigogine, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1977 for his work on the thermodynamics of non equilibrium systems and author of the famous book Order Out of Chaos declared in his Nobel lecture “at all levels of physical reality a global ordering principle is operating by an appropriate exchange of entropy with surroundings” . Nicolis ,Davies , El Naschie, Iovane, Nottale, Castro etc are the prominent contributors published related results.
Chaos theory remained a curiosity until the advent of high speed computers. In 1961, Edward Lorentz’s result “The Butterfly effect” showed the unpredictability of weather .In the 1970′s Benoit Mandelbrot added fractals to chaos theory. Fractals are the patterns left behind by dynamically changing systems.
Taking two competing parameters for cohesion and dispersion and noting that the rate of growth of cohesion depends on existing numerical strength of cohesion (proportional as a first approximation)and opposed by forces of dispersion, set of first order differential equation can be formed similar set can be formed with each Component of Civilization It will be like Lotka–Volterra equations, also known as the predator–prey equations ,Numerical solution of the same shows the fractal structure with unexpected peaks and depressions. Growth in any CoC (Litarature ,Mathamatics , science etc ) contribute to the other components in some phases and opposite way in some other phases as both are fluctuating patterns , like resonances or avalanche in glaciers or unexpected population growth of pests or epidemics there are mutually enriching cumulative growth in all components of civilization – delayed over reaction is the underlying physical property it is common to all self organized systems .
Whole is similar to its parts in space and time is a remarkable property of fractals .Stock market price variation for a period of 10 years or 10 days, shows remarkable similarity ,same is the case with different parts of a cloud .
The fractal nature of dynamics of Self organized system is quite general ,it explains the distribution pattern of different species on this globe , self similarity along time axis explain why different species from unicellular organism to homosapiens co-exists . Returning to the dynamics of our civilization this fractal nature gives the reason why different civilization or culture from hunter- gatherer to the most civilized is existing in different parts of the globe .Geographical boundaries ,language ,immunizing strategies of closed societies are all contributing to this fact .
To bring home the idea further if we interview 100 persons selected at random from our own locality and patiently listen to their world views and problems it will contain fragments of almost all cultures and civilizations from tribal taboos to the present
We cannot seek further inspiration from Enlightenment as such. The right philosophy of open society is yet to acquire propensity ,what is required is the social engineering to have polemic both for and against the required philosophy. Most of the Scientist and technocrats are happy with parochialism. Educated youth in most part of the globe is busy in resume building .Those who are lagging behind seeks the consolation in liquor , drugs or struggling with unemployment .Intolerance, brutality, emergence of tribal taboos all disturbing me very much .Very difficult to defend the pessimistic note that this is the age of un reason. Only consolation is “that our civilization has not yet fully recovered from the shock of its birth—the transition from the tribal or “closed society”, with its submission to magical forces, to the “open society” which sets free the critical powers of man’ (OS I: xiii). Logically we are passing through the stage of infantile disorders.