Re: The Tipping Point

Date: Sun Apr 15 2001 - 00:07:41 BST

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    Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2001 18:07:41 -0500
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    Subject: Re: The Tipping Point
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    On 14 Apr 2001, at 9:46, Robin Faichney wrote:

    > On Thu, Apr 12, 2001 at 09:08:55PM -0500, wrote:
    > > On 12 Apr 2001, at 10:53, Robin Faichney wrote: > > > I'm starting a
    > new thread here because I suspect Joe Dees hopes to > > quietly drop
    > his claim that the tipping point phenomenon demonstrates > > "top-down
    > causation", and I don't think he should be allowed to do so. > > C'mon
    > Joe, are you going to provide a full explanation of how that > >
    > works, or admit that it doesn't?? :-) > > > Au Contraire; although
    > it is the simplest of analogies for a process > so complex as to be
    > recursive (the emergent self), which a pile of > sand is not, the idea
    > that the entire gestalt configuration of the pile > of sand is not
    > reduceable to its components taken in isolation, but > must include
    > their interrelations, and not just those immediately > contiguous to
    > each grain, but globally, across the entire pile, is > essential to
    > the explanation of what happens when the next grain > falls. None of
    > the grains in isolation could explain that, nor could > all of them,
    > minus their interactions, nor could all of them, if only > contiguous
    > interactions are considered in isolation from the > dcomplex
    > concatenation of relations and interrelations comprising > the gestalt
    > integrity of the pile system.
    > The tipping point phenomenon occurs at the level of the pile,
    > obviously. Individual grains don't have tipping points, and nobody
    > claims they do. But you claim that, through "top-down causation", the
    > tipping point exerts an influence on the individual grain, while I
    > say, at that level, what is happening is simply interaction between
    > individual grains (and gravity etc.). Nothing in that paragraph (or
    > in anything else you've written that I've seen) supports your claim.
    Those 'individual grains' of yours are supported by other grains,
    which are supported by others, eventually involving the entire pile.
    > > Next, you're gonna be
    > > telling me that you can take the components of a TV apart and still
    > > watch BBC. What happens to those signals depends upon a global
    > > interrelation between those electronic components, and changing even
    > > one of them can alter the system beyond the point of signal
    > > receptivity.
    > You're confusing scepticism regarding vertical causation with
    > reductionism. I've said several times that I regard the tipping
    > point phenomenon as being just as real as are the individual grains.
    > I'm not a reductionist. I also think a TV show is as real as a
    > resistor. But what you're saying is that the individual components of
    > the TV are affected by the type of program that's on.
    Actually, they are; the received signal tells the electron gun where
    to aim its beams to produce the picture, and what frequencies, in
    what proportions relative to each other, issue from the speakers
    (absolute volume and brightness are, of course, locally controlled).
    Do you mean to tell me that your TV doesn't work that way?
    Besides which, the signal going to the TV is an externally
    generated one, and I would imagine that the causational translation
    between the energy 'level' and the material component 'level' would
    trouble you more than it does for the self to be able to choose to
    access locations in its material,substrate brain, since there, the
    signal is not externally generated, but emerges from the substrate
    it subsequently affects.
    > --
    > Robin Faichney
    > Get your Meta-Information from
    > (CAUTION: contains philosophy, may cause heads to spin)
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