A NEW BOOK:
Global Insanity: How Homo sapiens lost touch with reality while transforming the world
Written/Edited by: James A. Coffman & Donald C. Mikulecky
2012, ISBN 9781938158049 (160 pages), Emergent Publications
The Global Economy that sustains the civilized world is destroying the
biosphere. As a result, civilization, like the Titanic, is on a collision course
with disaster. But changing course via the body politic appears to be well nigh
impossible, given that much of the populace lives in denial. Why is that? And
how did we get into such a fix?
In this essay, biologists James Coffman and Donald Mikulecky argue that the reductionist model of the world developed by Western civilization misrepresents life, undermining our ability to regulate and adapt to the accelerating anthropogenic transformation of the world entrained by that very model. An alternative worldview is presented that better accounts for both the relational nature of living systems and the developmental phenomenology that constrains their evolution. Development of any complex system reinforces specific dependencies while eliminating alternatives, reducing the diversity that affords adaptive degrees of freedom: the more developed a system is, the less potential it has to change its way of being. Hence, in the evolution of life most species become extinct.
This perspective reveals the limits that complexity places on knowledge and technology, bringing to light our hubristically dysfunctional relationship with the natural world and increasingly tenuous connection to reality. The inescapable conclusion is that, barring a cultural metamorphosis that breaks free of deeply entrenched mental frames that made us what we are, continued development of the Global Economy will lead inexorably to the collapse of civilization.
Coffman and Mikulecky take on the pillars of Enlightenment science—determinism, conservation and the continuum—and leave them in rubble. They see the scientific wisdom of the 20th Century departing ever further from reality, casting society into a breach of deep cognitive dissonance, a.k.a., insanity!
Robert E. Ulanowicz
Department of Biology, University of Florida
Hooked on growth and headed for collapse. It is a depressing story. But Coffman and Mikulecky offer hope in focusing on the rebirth that will follow. And more importantly, they provide the intellectual tools for comprehending the broad sweep of what is taking place. A 21st Century analysis for a 21st Century problem.
Science writer and author of Going Inside: A Tour Around a Single Moment of Consciousness
This is a very current critique. The authors assemble input from most of the unfolding perspectives in science—self-organization, complexity, development, emergence, Aristotelian causal analysis, and internalism/semiotics... to suggest ways of formulating our cultural and social problems in hopes of generating a rational standpoint for confronting them.
Professor Emeritus, Biology, City University of New York and Visiting Scientist in Biological Sciences Binghamton University
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THE CHAPTER THAT LED TO THE NEW BOOK:
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A BOOK BY A. H. LOUIE:
MORE THAN LIFE ITSELF: A SYNTHETIC CONTINUATION IN RELATIONAL BIOLOGY
A. H. Louie’s More Than Life Itself is an exploratory journey in relational biology, a study of life in terms of the organization of entailment relations in living systems. This book represents a synergy of the mathematical theories of categories, lattices, and modelling, and the result is a synthetic biology that provides a characterization of life. Biology extends physics. Life is not a specialization of mechanism, but an expansive generalization of it. Organisms and machines share some common features, but organisms are not machines. Life is defined by a relational closure that places it beyond the reach of physicochemical and mechanistic dogma, outside the reductionistic universe, and into the realm of impredicativity. Function dictates structure. Complexity brings forth living beings.
A Whole Volume full of new work by Rosen's Students, Colleagues, Critics and others
System Theory and Biocomplexity
(Commemorative Issue, Robert Rosen)
Chemistry and Biodiversity: Volume 4. Issue 10 October 2007
EDITORIAL: ROSEN, HIS STUDENTS AND HIS COLLEAGUES: A GLIMPSE INTO THE PAST AND THE FUTURE
CAUSALITY AND COMPLEXITY: THE MYTH OF OBJECTIVITY IN SCIENCE
COMPLEXITY SCIENCE AS AN ASPECT OF THE COMPLEXITY OF SCIENCE
Worldviews, Science and us
pp 30 - 53
Calos Gershenson, Diedrik Aerts and Bruce Edmonds, Editors
World Scientific 2007
The circle that never ends: Can complexity be made simple?
appearing in "Complexity in Chemistry, Biology, and Ecology", D. Bonchev and D. H. Rouvray, Eds., KLUWER Academic, New York, 2005.
TEACHING SCIENCE THAT MATTERS: REFRAMING THE QUESTION IN SCIENCE
WHY DO WE BELIEVE WHAT WE DO
LECTURE AT VCU CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF BIOLOGICAL COMPLEXITY
OCTOBER 9 2006
ROBERT ROSEN AND GEORGE LAKOFF: THE ROLE OF CAUSALITY IN COMPLEX SYSTEMS
DOWNLOAD POWER POINT PRESENTATION
RELATIONAL SYSTEMS THEORY AN APPROACH TO COMPLEXITY
DOWNLOAD POWER POINT PRESENTATION
REDUCTIONISM AND COMPLEXITY: CONTINUUM OR DICHOTOMY?
Download the Power Point Presentation
Don't look at the whole organism: Framing the question in science
Download the power point presentation
Published in Evolution and Cognition vol 10:98-113.
Talk Given February 4, 2003: The world is complex: How to distinguish complexity from complication
Download ppt version
Talk Given February 20, 2003:
Functional Components as a basis for complex system description: Some examples and discussion
dOWNLOAD PPT VERSION
Talk Given March 13, 2003:
download ppt version
A RELATIONAL SYSTEMS THEORY MODEL OF A BUSINESS This was done for the fellows of the Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence (ISCE).
A TUTORIAL ON NETWORKS AS AN INTRODUCTION TO RELATIONAL SYSTEMS THEORY
These may be of interest to
They appeared in Elsevier's "Computers and Chemistry" vol 25, 2001, all authored by D. C. Mikulecky
1. Research Review:
Network Thermodynamics and complexity: A transition to relational systems theory. pp
2. Methodological Review:
The emergence of complexity: science coming of age or science growing old? pp 341-348
3. Feature Article:
Robert Rosen(1934-1998): A snapshot of biology's Newton. pp 317-327
IF THE WHOLE WORLD IS COMPLEX, WHY BOTHER? (University talk) download
THE COMPLEXITY OF SCIENCE AND THE SCIENCE OF COMPLEXITY: HOW TO SURVIVE IN A SELF-REFERENTIAL WORLD (Talk to the Public) download
REVIEW OF ROSEN'S NEW BOOK "ESSAYS ON LIFE ITSELF"Columbia University Press (Due out in November,1999)
AND ROSENS MODELING RELATION
W. B. Dress
ROSEN IN CYBERSPACE........A HYPERTEXT INTERPRETATION OF ROSEN'S WORKS WITH APPLICATIONS (Under construction)
DEFINITION OF COMPLEXITY
DEFINITION OF COMPLEXITY TRANSLATED INTO ROMANIAN
ISSS PAPER -ROBERT ROSEN: THE WELL POSED QUESTION AND
ITS ANSWER-WHY ARE ORGANISMS DIFFERENT FROM MACHINES?
For the Belorussian language translation by Martha Ruszkowski: http://blog.1800flowers.com/international/robert-rosen-be/
ABSTRACT FOR THE 43RD ISSS MEETING: "ROBERT ROSEN: THE WELL POSED QUESTION AND ITS ANSWER-WHY ARE ORGANISMS DIFFERENT FROM MACHINES?"
SEMINAR: NETWORKS IN NATURE: SOME THOUGHTS ON TIME, SPACE AND THE EMERGENCE OF LIVING SYSTEMS
Steve Kercel's Feb. 1 Seminar:"Endogenous causes and bizarre effects"
TAPED INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT ROSEN
NOTICE: ROBERT ROSEN PASSED AWAY ON DECEMBER 29, 1998
WE WILL MISS HIM VERY MUCH!
TWO CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE COMMEMORATIVE HELD AT VCU ON FEBRUARY 17, 1999:
ALOUISIUS LOUIE: A ROSEN REQUIEM
WILLIAM DRESS: EPISTEMOLOGY AND ROSEN'S MODELING RELATION
Come see Professor Murkywaters expound on complexity and related topics to two of his best students! A self-teaching module(in progress)
Talk to me: email@example.com
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Courses Currently Taught
Application of Network Thermodynamics to Problems in Biomedical Engineering, NYU Press, NY, 1993, ISBN 0-8147-5490-2
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
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The Gallery, Mathews VA...Permanent Exhibit
Rapahannock Art League
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St. Mary's Hospital Show December 1998 - January 1999
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Bank of America Mathews, VA March 2000, October 2003, 2007
Chesapeake Bank Mathews, VA September 2002, 2007
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Last Update: 12/01/12