Emergence

11  bar falls 30.22  2mph NE  windchill 7   Samhain

Last Quarter Moon of Long Nights

Here is a new term (new to me) that has become important in my thinking:  emergence.  It comes from a discipline that fascinates me, but about which I know very little:  complexity theory.  Emergence describes those characteristics of life forms, human history and human economics that arise from the fact of life itself.   Emergent realities like value, meaning and history, according to this line of thought, do not break the laws of physics, but cannot be predicted by application of those same laws.

Inability to predict the next action of a man or woman, the working of the markets or the next events in  human history creates a peculiar circumstance.  It means that though they break no natural laws these emergent realities do not conform to either.   Again, according to this line of thought, this lack of predictability has two sources:  agency and creativity.

Agency is the ability to act.  Combined with consciousness in human beings this leads to creativity.  Creativity and agency make for the rich, diverse reality that is human life.

I’m not going to go too far with this right now because I’m just beginning to absorb it. I want to understand how it relates to my work on a Ge-ology and read a critique or two before I get overly excited, but it seems like an important idea to me.

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