21 June 2021 | Draft
Insignia as official mark of integrity
QR code as a heraldic shield?
Highlighting interference patterns undermining health: "polypharmacy"?
Health as integrity -- as wholth
Symbolism of PCR testing: a global recapitulation of the Book of the Dead tradition?
Insights from traditional health pentagrams: 5-dimensional scales?
Potential imbalance in symbols of national integrity
Design of a meaningful insignia of salvatory significance
Traditional hindrances to health, wholth and integrity
Global institutionalization of one-dimensional health vs Integral connectivity
Insignia evocative of imaginative travel: the stargate metaphor
Recommendations, development and implementation of some form of "immunity passport" are ever more widely evident, potentially to be required for entry to public buildings, health facilities, public transport, educational institutions, or to obtain employment.(Tony Allen-Mills: Covid Passports: a freedom certificate that may get the world travelling again (Sunday Times, 17 January 2021; Darius Tahir, How vaccine ‘passports’ could go wrong, Politico, 3 February 2021; IATA Travel Pass for Travelers, IATA, March 2021). Bills for mandatory vaccination have been considered for legislation, including California Senate Bill 277 and Australia's No Jab No Pay, all of which have been strenuously opposed by anti-vaccination activists.
Such certification has been criticized by human rights bodies as a form of Trojan Horse enabling other restrictive measures (Debate swirls on use of virus 'immunity passports', MedicalXpress, 29 April 2020; Should People Without Coronavirus Antibodies Be Second-Class Citizens?, The New York Times, 28 April 2020). These, together with their implications, are discussed separately in more general terms (Licensed to Live? Licensed to Lie? Unlicensed to Die? 2021).
To the extent that these would take the form of official documents, necessarily authorised by the highest authority, of some interest is the symbolic significance of the insignia these will bear -- as with the covers of more conventional passports. Given the implications for global health, the current status of national passports evokes other questions. In that case, each sovereign nation emits its own passport with its own unique insignia. Passports typically display the national coat of arms of the issuing country on the front cover.
The United Nations keeps a record of national coats of arms, although displaying a coat of arms is currently not an internationally recognized requirement for a passport (Armorial of Sovereign States, Wikipedia; Heraldry by Country, Heraldry of the World). Understood as a symbolic ecosystem, together these could be construed as symbolic of the integrity of the world and -- by extension -- indicative of global health to some degree.
There is no corresponding global passport, except to the extent that officials of the United Nations systems may be understood to carry a document of some such form -- as an extension of the practice with respect to diplomatic passports whereby a degree of diplomatic immunity is guaranteed.. The European Union is exceptional in providing for a common format for a EU passport -- with some adaptation for individual member countries.
Efforts to seek universal recognition of a global citizens passport -- a World Passport -- have been unsuccessful, although it continues to be produced by the World Service Authority. The situation with respect to what could be considered variously analogous to passports as a "right of movement" across boundaries is equally problematic -- most obviously in the case of global recognition of academic degrees, certification of practioners of disciplines, claims to titles of nobility, and the like. Tendencies to circumvent such lack of universality are evident in bilateral arrangements and those within professional societies according mutual recognition. In many such cases, any recognition by a group asserting some global claim results in a document with an associated insignia.
These examples frame the question as to whether "passport" calls for a more general interpretation than the conventional case. References to "certificate" suggest an extension to some notion of right of entry. This itself raises issues with respect to freedom of movement as provided by various international treaties -- with respect to traversing national boundaries. Is an immunity passport, or the failure to acquire one, a constraint on freedom of movement -- as is only too evident in the constraints on passport holders of some nations?
Potentially more intriguing is the right of entry to groups protective of their identity and integrity, whether professional bodies, clubs, secret societies, or the like. From that perspective the "health" which is the current focus of immunity passports itself merits more general interpretation. Relative lack of expertise or appropriate insight could then be understood as analogous to some form of "disease" with respect to a higher order of integrity. Tendencies in that direction are evident in the deprecation of any but the most awarded chefs, wine-makers, perfume-makers, or jewellers. Similar deprecation is accorded to unsuccessful CEOs and generals whose strategies leave much to be desired.
Given the extension of "health" to psychological conditions -- as detailed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -- there is a case for understanding "unhealthy" behaviours as similarly precluding any global certification of the health of an individual. This would follow from the traditional association of sanity with health -- framed by the ideal of Mens sana in corpore sano. Should "passports" be accorded to those with a criminal record -- as an exemplification of behavioural unhealthiness, however that may be authoritatively defined.
Taken together there is then a fruitful challenge to recognizing how integrative appreciation of "global" by an individual is the essence of health -- more generally understood in systemic terms. This could even be understood as cognitive embodiment. With the psychological health of leaders of nations -- including world leaders -- authoritiatively recognized to be unhealthy, it is appropriate to ask to what degree they themselves should be endowed with a "passport". Potentially of greater relevance is their implication in spreading the unhealthy panic so problematically associated with any pandemic (COVID-19 as a Memetic Disease -- an epidemic of panic, 2020).
The challenge is all the greater to the extent that the corruption for which leaders are so frequently indicted can be interpreted as a form of "disease" more broadly understood. This interpretation has become only too readily accepted through the framing of any form of dissidence as a "disease", notably resulting in confinement to mental institutions in some cases.
The conventional focus on physical disease -- as in the current pandemic -- can then be understood as a form of misplaced concreteness. This is potentially dangerous in obscuring the root causes of such symptoms. This understanding does not preclude the manner in which any "local" reality may be understood "globally".
It is from this perspective that the symbolic significance of insignia merits careful attention when it is the authorising reference on any document certifying "health" -- with its implication of immunity from disease.
The potential implications are all the more important to the extent that any quest for a global travel document -- a passport -- merits recognition as a relatively unconscious effort to develop an enabling articulation for a civilization variously held to be faced with collapse. Does civilization require a more general articulation of health to signal its ability to pass through the associated crisis of crises -- to be "reborn" according to current inspiration for a new Renaissance? (Post-Apocalyptic Renaissance of Global Civilization: engaging with otherness otherwise? 2018; Challenges of Renaissance: suggestive pattern of concerns in the light of the birth metaphor, 2003)
As a more provocative speculation, it might be asked whether extraterrestrial civilizations effectively require such an assessment of global health as a condition of acceptance into a galactic community -- and the right to travel within it (Anticipation of Judicial Inquisition of Humans by Extraterrestrials, 2021). Such a requirement might follow from a global adaptation of the much-cited response of Mahatma Gandhi: Global civilization would be a good idea.
There is of course an extensive literature on the insignia and emblems with which the documents of national authorities are endowed -- extending to variants in the form of badges, as in the case of those identifying members of the security and related services. Such distinctions are of course characteristic of divisions of the military services. The situation is further complicated when regional and local authorities are identified by their own distinctive insignia -- or adaptations. In larger countries this is only too evident in the distinctive "electronic passports" to authorise right of movement between states -- as in the case of Australia, for example.
In exploring what insignia might be used on immunity passports, there is necessarily a case for recognizing the traditions of heraldry and "coats of arms" which have framed the design of national insignia. These have been variously reflected in the designs of some flags as well as in those of shields, especially of the royalty and nobility of times past.
Considerable use of distinctive insignia continues to be made in various chivalrous societies as a means of distinguishing the grades of their members and the possibilities for their advancement. Ritual use of aprons is made by Freemasons, for example. As with those used by nobility, including the identification of royalty, the designs can be understood as implying progressively deeper association with holiness, as an exemplification of integrative health (notably if the spiritual dimensions is ignored). In a purportedly secular global civilization, this might now be recognized as a form of "secular holiness". For any proposed Global Reset, this understanding would then be reminiscent of aspiration to a new variant of the Holy Roman Empire.
Given the integrity with which they are associated, insignia can be fruitfully recognized as a secular articulation of the much-cited "pattern that connects". In framing that as a meta-pattern, Gregory Bateson remarked: Break the pattern which connects the items of learning and you necessarily destroy all quality. Any effort to reimagine the design of insignia therefore merits recognition in terms of a collective quest for meaning, as argued by Jeremy Lent (The Patterning Instinct: a cultural history of humanity's search for meaning, 2017).
In the case of the European Union, implementation of a EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC) enters into application throughout the EU from 1 July 2021. It was previously termed the Digital Green Certificate and is intended tol facilitate safe and free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic within the EU. It is a digital proof that a person has either been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result, or recovered from COVID-19. National authorities are in charge of issuing the certificate.The digital version can be stored on a mobile device. Citizens can also request a paper version. Both will have a QR code that contains essential information, as well as a digital signature to make sure the certificate is authentic. Member States have agreed on a common design that can be used for the electronic and paper versions to facilitate recognition -- presumably a deign based on the Flag of Europe.
The coat of arms of the Chairman of the European Union Military Committee (CEUMC), the highest-ranking officer within the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), depicts the European emblem as a coat of arms, i.e. emblazoned on an escutcheon. In heraldic terms, the European flag is the banner of arms, i.e. the flag design derived from the coat of arms.
From a design perspective, there is a strange convergence between a heraldic "coat of arms" and the digital QR code -- now seen as potentially associated with the future form of an immunity passport. Then to be understood as an indicator of the health of an individual, the immunity indicated could be recognized as a form of shield -- a term long adopted for the badge of some security agents. Immunisation is indeed to be recognized as a protective shield against infection.
Individuals may now be expected to identify themselves with such a QR-based shield, as an extension of the electronic badges presented (or used) to enter institutions requiring degrees of security clearance. This reinforces the manner in which there is a convergence (or conflation) between security and health -- evident in increasing reference to "health and safety" regulations. This suggests further justification for a much broader understanding of "health" in relation to integrity.
With the creative design of the masks now widely mandatory or recommended, there is the further curious possibility that future QR codes will be imprinted onto mask material -- a technology currently evolving. The mask is then both reminiscent of the traditional shield and of the facial tattooing esteemed as a vital indication of identity in some cultures. There is however a degree of irony to the role of a mask as a "contraceptive device" with respect to viral infection -- given any sense of a memetic analogue in interpersonal communication.
For those countries that have resisted any systematic requirement for a national "identity card", it has already been noted how the response to the pandemic is effectively enabling such identification by other means -- in this case justified by verification of health in relation to potential threats to national security, given the perceived threat of the pandemic to such security. With the range of personal details held to be necessary for health purposes, the inclusion of an ever greater range of details bears consideration -- if "health" is to be understood as broadly as might be variously advocated.
Of some relevance from a health perspective is the intriguing metaphoric reference to the "body politic" -- raising the question of how that might be understood as vulnerable to some collective form of disease, especially in the event of a pandemic. Analogies have long been drawn between supposed causes of disease and disorder and their equivalents in the political field, viewed as plagues or infections that might be remedied with purges and nostrums.
Given such various forms of conflation, It follows that a case could be made for inclusion of details such as the following into a "health passport", whether of relevance to the integrity of an individual or of a collective.
|Examples of categories for possible inclusion in any health passport|
|hereditary bloodline||caste, nobility, lineage||eugenics, racial purity, degeneracy|
|intelligence quotient (IQ)||assumption that greater IQ is an indicator of greater health|
|emotional intelligence (EQ)||assumption that greater IQ is an indicator of greater health|
|psychological health||neuroses||irrational decision-making|
|sexual orientation||potentially proscribed by some conventions||vulnerability to blackmail|
|beauty||as required by the fashion industry||assumption that beauty is necessarily an indicator of health|
|religious orientation||contrasting religious beliefs||unbelief (potentially as a manifest ion of evil)|
|criminal record||fraud, influence peddling||recidivism|
|corruption||corruption perception index||Vatican|
|security clearance||confidentiality||trustworthiness, leakages|
|financial health (wealth)|
|status / reputation||followers / precedence/ conflicts of interest|
Clearly far less evident are those indicators of "health" which might otherwise be associated with creativity, insight, wisdom and responsibility -- whether manifest in charismatic leaders, inventors, polymaths, or carers. One sense of this is offered by reference to "well-rounded" (in non-physical terms) -- a person "for all seasons" -- or to the capacity to engender an integrative perspective. Of some relevance is the form of "health" recognized in the case of individuals capable of engendering a "reality distortion field" (RDF) -- and the "disease" which this may engender in others (Models, metaphors and reality distortion fields, 2017).
From a collective perspective, this frames the question of how the "health" of a nation or a civilization might be understood -- as might figure in evaluations for development and investment purposes. Of some relevance are historical references to a "golden age" -- potentially implied by current commitments by national leaders to making the country "great again".
Ironically a related question might be asked of the "health" of institutions like the World Health Organization, in the light of recent controversy in that regard (David P. Fidler, The World Health Organization and Pandemic Politics, Think Global Health, 10 April 2020; Sam Cooper, Why is the World Health Organization accused of mishandling the coronavirus pandemic? Global News, 16 April 2020). The problematic dynamics of WHO leadership have been the subject of extensive commentary (F. William Engdahl, Can We Trust the WHO? Global Research, 22 May 2021; Hanah Lola Johnson, Can We the People Still Trust the WHO? Inside Over, 29 April 2020).
Given the broader understanding of health suggested above, the role of remedial medication merits consideration as a valuable analogy -- as the primary corrective for conventional understandings of disease. With advancing age, individuals tend to accumulate the number and variety of medications they need to sustain a semblance of health.
Understood as polypharmacy, this is most commonly defined as the use of 5 or more medications daily by an individual. However, the definition of polypharmacy is still debated and can vary from 2 to 11 concurrent medications. Some studies also generally define polypharmacy as the use of multiple concurrent medications or simultaneous long term use of different drugs by the same individual. The prevalence of polypharmacy is estimated to be between 10% and 90% depending on the definition used, the age group studied, and the geographic location. Polypharmacy continues to grow in importance because of aging populations.
The question is whether any immunity passport should record the unprecedented number of vaccines in an individual's body, especially with advancing age and in the light of the number now recommended and scheduled in official immunisation regimes. As selectively collected, evidence may indeed confirm that any one vaccine protects against infection by a specific disease -- for some at least, if not for many. Far less evident is how one vaccine may interfere problematically with one or more other vaccines -- or what kind of effect n might have in an unforeseen combination, whether delayed or not.
There is seemingly little systematic evidence regarding how the effects of any new vaccine will interfere with those of many others in the human body -- which may themselves affect it in some problematic manner. Again it is difficult for anyone to foresse the long term consequences of this vaccine cocktail to which many have volunarily subjected themselves on the advice of health authorities. Such authorities simply rely on their capacity to assert that unknown problematic effects sre incidental and negligible.
Clearly there is a case for any digital "health passport" to hold such information -- possibly to be evident in a QR-style code -- and especially if the vaccination features in an official regime, possibly dating from infancy. Of particular relevance is the sense in which there is any interference between drugs prescribed by health authorities, as well as with and between drugs and other psychoactive substances sought without such expertise (and possibly framed as dangerous). Other than those used in any response to COVID-19, or its possible adverse effects, the issue of drug interaction is well recognized with respect to drugs and medication:
Understood as "medication", a question to be asked is how any problematic interference might be highlighted between the remedial measures against the forms of potential ill-health implied by the table above. Again there is an obvious case for reflecting such potential interference in a "health passport". This would correspond to the practice in individual profiling, especially in corporate environments where some particular patterns of interference would be flagged as a potential security concern -- especially by intelligence agencies.
Recognized, but unexplained, some conditions of ill-health in the general population -- deemed of ever increasing concern -- could well be considered evidence that all is not well with humans in which a cocktail of vaccines is swirling around. This is despite the commitment to pumping in ever more vaccines, of which those for COVID-19 are merely the most recent. The situation is rendered even more complex because of the extent to which people are "on medication" in addition to the recommended regime of vaccinations.
As noted above, there is a recognized ideal framed by Mens sana in corpore sano. The physical and psychological extremes could be understood as associated in a sense of integrity. However, just as recognition of degrees of physical health is controversial, this is equally the case with respect to psychological health. It is therefore to be expected that the controversy would be all the greater with regard to any notion of the integrity by which they are integrated.
As separately explored -- and beyond "well-rounded" -- how are notions of a "whole person" to be recognized and distinguished (Wholth as Sustaining Dynamic of Health and Wealth: cognitive dynamics sustaining the meta-pattern that connects, 2013)
|Varieties of integrative thinking
Elusive nature of the pattern that connects
Experiential implications of wholth
Wholth: Theology vs. Mathematics?
Wholth through mathematical echoes of religious preoccupations
Wholth through religious echoes of mathematical preoccupations
|Eliciting wholth through associating mathematics and theology
Engaging with mathaphors, isophors, analogies and correspondences
Wholth as essential to health
Contextualizing wealth as engendered by wholth
Whole and hole in the light of the stealth of wholth
Health/Sanity: Although associating physical and psychological health may be problematic, it is appropriate to note how a form of "disease" may be imputed to:
Both cases recall the traditional treatment accorded to lepers -- if only in metaphorical terms. Are the"hindrances" recognized by by Buddhism to be recognized as "diseases of the soul" (as discussed below).
Degrees of health-sanity-wholth? The potential degrees of integrity are indeed a matter of controversy -- exemplified by criticism of the frameworks such as integral theory, which itself avoids reference to degrees of physical well-being. Claims are however frequently made as a focus for aspirations in both cases. It might be asked whether global health reporting usefully clarifies degrees of ill-health of individuals or of populations in a manner which might be usefully highlighted by QR-coding.
Reference may be made to various degrees of physical health, notably in contrast to degrees of physical disability. To a lesser extent, reference may also be made to degrees of psychological health, however this is related or associated with emotional health and mental health (Jack Krupansky, Multidimensional Degrees of Mental Health and Mental Illness, 22 November 2017; James Hawkins, The Spectrum of Mental Health, Good Medicine, February 2011; Mental wellbeign as a continuum; Richelle Putnam, What Does It Mean To Be Mentally Healthy? Southern Roots Magazine, 16 July 2016).
Whether it us to be understood as a continuum, a spectrum, or in some way "multidimensional", it is clearly far more controversial to recognize higher degrees of mental health than higher degrees of mental disorder. This may however be a preoccupation for some roles -- although this concern is not apparent with respect to the mental health of many leaders. The question of degrees of spiritual health is of course even more controversial -- although apparent in any consensus regarding spiritual leaders. Of some relevance are the understandings of degrees of rebirth and intiation, as recognized by some cultures (Varieties of Rebirth: distinguishing ways of being born again, 2004).
The speculative exploration by Aldous Huxley (Brave New World, 1932) could be understood as implying degrees of health. This is set in a World State of unified government administering the entire planet, with a few isolated exceptions. The motto of the World State is "Community, Identity, Stability", as summarized by Wikipedia (World State in Brave New World):
The citizens of the World State constitute a eusocial consumer society whose individuals are produced in hatcheries by application of "Bokanovsky's" and other techniques to the hatchery line to produce the five classes or castes named after letters of the Greek alphabet: alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and epsilon. Society is controlled by Alphas and their subordinates, Betas. Below them, in descending order of intellectual and physical capacity, are Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons. Each caste is further subdivided into Plus and Minus (with Epsilons having the additional classifications of regular or semi-moron), and are distinguished by colour-coded work clothes. Epsilons are dressed in black, Deltas in khaki, Gammas in leaf green, Betas in mulberry, and Alphas in grey. At the very pinnacle of society sit Alpha Double-Plus, who serve as the future scientists and top administrators of the world.
There is now some irony to the adoption of that Greek terminology to distinguish variants of COVID (Josh K. Elliott, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta: WHO officially names COVID-19 variants of concern, Global News, 1 June 2021; Edna Mohamed, Covid-19 variants to be given Greek alphabet names to avoid stigma, The Guardian, 1 June 2021).
"Unhealthiness"? Authorities throughout history, and especially in recent centuries, have been obliged to find ways of dealing with those who avoid or refuse what is deemed appropriate in the light of a prevailing ideology. This dissidence is readily defined authoritatively as "unhealthy" and may be reflected in the official documents by which they are identified -- most evidently in the case of the Nazi regime. There is therefore a case for reviewing what forms of socio-political behaviour should be considered in this light -- potentially to feature in any more general certification of health. Such categorization is of course made by security services, most obviously in elaborating "no fly lists".
The manner in which such unhealthy forms of behaviour has been authoritatively distinguished featured in an earlier discussion (Learning from policy playbooks of the past, 2021). It noted the following as inviting comparison with the mainstream framing of vaccine hesitants:
Vaccine hesitancy has of course been identified by WHO as one of the top 10 threats to global health. Those adopting such attitudes, whether passively or actively, are now increasingly caricatured as "anti-vaxxers", as a "selfish danger to the community", or even as "domestic terrorists" (California State Senator Richard Pam, Anti-vaccine extremism is akin to domestic terrorism, The Washington Post, 1 March 2021).
Vulnerability: Missing would appear to be explicit recognition of how degrees of integrity -- of wholth -- ensure higher degrees of immunity from forms of ill-health of any kind. Curiously the potential failure of integrity is more explicitly explored with respect social organization and infrastructure (Variety of System Failures Engendered by Negligent Distinctions: mnemonic clues to 72 modes of viable system failure from a demonic pattern language, 2016).
Dominant ideologies have had a well-recognized practice of testing the "health" of their members (broadly understood). Examples include:
Notably in the case of the current pandemic, there is a sense in which the testing process recalls that imagined with respect to divine judgment in the afterlife, most elaborately articulated in the Book of the Dead of Ancient Egypt with regard to the "weighing of the heart". The personification of justice balancing the scales dates back to the goddess Maat, and later Isis, of that culture. The Hellenic deities Themis and Dike were later goddesses of justice with Dike depicted holding a set of scales.
In the Egyptian case, the preoccupation with that test is now said to have been a cultural obsession. This recalls the argument of Jared Diamond (Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, 2005).
As variously understood with respect to health, the process lends itself to metaphoric description -- however controversial the appreciation of that description may be in a "soulless" secular society. The binary nature of the PCR test does however invite visual reframing in the light of the Egyptian tradition -- potentially appropriate given the absence of any such memorable visualization in the case of PCR.
|Indicative images of scales in Book of the Dead of Ancient Egypt|
|Reproduced from Wikipedia|
Of potential relevance with respect to any broader understanding of health are the two classical health patterns based on use of the pentagram in Western and Eastern cultures, as discussed separately (Memorable dynamics of living and dying: Hygeia and Wu Xing, 2014):
|Comparison of traditional Eastern and Western integrative understandings of health|
|Hugieia Pentagram of
||Chinese 5-phase Wu Xing cycle|
|Reproduced from Hygiea entry in Wikipedia
(G. J. Allman Greek Geometry From Thales to Euclid, 1889, p.26) with labels added
|Adapted from Wu Xing entry in Wikipedia
black=generating; white= overcoming
Both could be fruitfully recognized as "non-binary" scales of justice with respect to the broader understanding of health each implies. The conventional depiction of scales of justice -- and that of the Egyptian Book of the Dead -- could then be seen as a binary simplification of that implied by the traditional 5-fold patterns. The fundamental argument being the more complex understanding of balance implied in each case -- balancing 5 parameters rather than 2.
Mechanical adaptations of both schematic representations could then be understood as scale mechanisms of greater complexity -- recognizable to a striking degree in the designs of the more sophisticated weighing scales. These may be required for greater sensitivity than the conventional weighing scale, or for the challenges in practice of weighing items placed off-centre in the weighing pans, as with the Roberval balance designed with 6 pivot points.
Of particular interest is the relationship to conventional binary scales achieved by using any one of the points of the pentagram as a pivot point -- a fixed point around which the configuration as a whole rotates. This would then exemplify a form of bias characteristic of the imposition of a binary understanding of "justice" on a more subtle sense of justice -- one that is potentially more relevant to the complex dynamics of a global understanding of healthy sustainability. Any singular choice of pivot point by which justice is defined then gives rise to a biased sense of balance -- as otherwise implied by justice -- potentially suggested by the many potential sources of error in weighing. Does justice call for such sensitivity?
This interpretation is suggested by the simplistic animations below. That on the left uses "water" as the pivot point with respect to which balance is determined -- as might be the case with any preoccupation with water justice , especially given its vital role with respect to health. That on the right uses "wood" as the pivot point -- as might be the case with any preoccupation with (de)forestation, given its vital role with respect to the health of the global environment. Clearly the two schemes each invite four other such animations of imbalance.
|Animations indicative of comparability of integrative patterns to 5-fold scales of justice|
|Hygeia||Scales of Justice||Wu Xing|
|Reproduced from Wikipedia|
The 5-fold patterns call for metaphorical interpretation of the traditional labels in order to recognize the 5-dimensionality of health as traditionally understood. Despite the current importance of such 5-fold understanding to many in Eastern cultures, the articulation by Ayurveda is strongly dismissed as quackery and peudoscience according to the criteria of health defined by Western medicine. A striking illustration of that pattern is presented below.
3 elemental bodily humors and 5 elements from which they are composed.
|Krishnavedala, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons|
Given the problematic role of the pharmaceutic industry ("Big Pharma") in relation to the pandemic and health in general (Big Pharma conspiracy theory), the continuing controversy with regard to understanding of health itself offers useful strategic metaphors (Remedies to Global Crisis: "Allopathic" or "Homeopathic"? 2009).
Exacerbating this controversy is the role of the World Health Organization in supporting approaches otherwise strongly deprecated as pseudoscience by the pharmaceuitcal community (Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine, WHO; WHO traditional medicine strategy: 2014-2023, WHO, 2013; WHO global report on traditional and complementary medicine 2019, 2019 ). 170 Member States of WHO have aclnowledged their use of traditional and complementary medicine since 2018.
As a complementary medicine, this apparent contradiction is especially evident in the case of homeopathy -- experienced as a commercial challenge by the pharmacuetical industry (B. Poitevin, Integrating homoeopathy in health systems, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 77, 1999, 2; Oona Mashta, WHO warns against using homoeopathy to treat serious diseases, BMJ, 2009; 339)
Birds, and especially wings, remain evident in national symbols (on flags and seals), but their systemic implications would seem to have been completely lost. The heraldic eagle is however a common feature of empires from the period of Imperial Rome to its present use by the USA. The following images are reproduced from an earlier discussion (Counteracting Extremes Enabling Normal Flying: insights for global governance from birds on the wing and the dodo, 2015).
|Heraldic eagles of empires past and present|
|France (Napoleonic)||Germany||USA||Russia (1917)||Spain|
If such images are indicative of normality -- of a state "flying normally" as conventionally imagined -- then it is appropriate to explore visual representations of the abnormality with which the pandemic and responses to it are associated. This is suggested by the animations below -- with each state oscillating between extremes of imbalance typical of the dynamics between opposing factions in government. Balance is then understood as an essentially unattainable ideal.
|Animations of potential systemic imbalance implied by conventional national insignia|
Beyond the QR-code: The strange heraldic symbols of such importance to official sovereign indication of systemic balance suggest the possibility of their interpretation as systems diagrams elaborated in the light of paradigms of the past. It might be asked whether those traditional national insignia to be associated with an immunity passport invite a form of "interpretative conversion" into systems diagrams. Visually there is for example some irony to the depiction of a unicorn given the current global focus on inoculation.
From a design perspective it is curious to note the transition from use of bar codes for a wide variety of consumer products to the square form of a QR-code as a means of integrating information on the health of individuals who are their consumers. Further design, and potentially more appropriate, design developments might then be envisaged. Would a circular or spherical form indeed be more appropriate as an integration of health -- even one which took dynamic form, now that the technology invites that possibility?
Stereogram? Popularized in a series of books (Magic Eye: a new way of looking at the world, Magic Eye Inc.), one striking indication of future possibilities is the integration of autostereogram technology with QR codes. As described by Wikipedia (with examples), an autostereogram
An autostereogram is a single-image stereogram (SIS), designed to create the visual illusion of a three-dimensional (3D) scene from a two-dimensional image. In order to perceive 3D shapes in these autostereograms, one must overcome the normally automatic coordination between accommodation (focus) and horizontal vergence (angle of one's eyes). The illusion is one of depth perception and involves stereopsis: depth perception arising from the different perspective each eye has of a three-dimensional scene, called binocular parallax... A hidden 3D scene emerges when the image is viewed with the correct convergence.
A proposal has been made for steganographic integration of autostereograms with QR codes (SIQR Codes: Steganographically Implemented QR Codes, 30 April 2014):
The difficulty in changing the way QR Codes look is that their functionality, their capability to store and deliver digital information, is pictographically encoded. Hence it is the way they look that makes them functional, and changing their look would remove their functionality.
The solution outlined here is to use steganography, specifically stereography, to change the QR Code image. Steganography is the practice of hiding information for later retrieval. However, the object here is not to obscure the information, but to use the hiding methods to gain options in how we can present the same digital information.
Human-readability: Of further relevance is the value of adding a "human-readable" aspect to the design, rather than relying on the potentially alien "machine-readable" designs of the bar code and its QR variant. Human-readability could be fundamental to any future insignia of global health -- given their symbolic importance. As with heraldic symbols however, multiple levels of readability could characterize the design. Such an insignia is effectively the visible expression of a pattern language.
Such a proposal serves to highlight the challenge of interpreting deeper significance in the presentation of any information as a pattern of some kind. This is most evident in the case of symbols which can be variously interpreted -- possibly dependent on the depth of insight. Heraldic shields clearly require a degree of insight, especially for many who are unfamiliar with them. Given the manner in which heraldic symbolism is entangled with national insignia, whether and to what degree these currently lend themselves to meaningful interpretation merits attention -- especially if such insignia are to be associated with immunity passports.
Medals and badges of office: In the quest for human-readable design, it is appropriate to recall the the widespread use of medals as presented below -- an enriched design in comparison with the QR code. They are readily understood as an adaptation of the heraldic shield.
|Service Ribbons (reproduced from Wikipedia)|
|Admiral of the Fleet
Ecuadorian General of the Army
|Examples of arrays of medals typical of full dress formality|
Wampum? The images above feature in a more general presentation of future possibilities for insignia design (Quantum Wampum Essential to Navigating Ragnarok, 2014). This notably included discussion of:
|Collapse of confidence, value, meaning, honour, options and patience
Wampum and its modern variants
Wampum is a term used by the indigenous peoples of North America for traditional shell beads and could be understood as an early predecessor of the QR code (see Wampum History and Background). Threaded onto strings, like beads, such strings of wampum were also used instead of writing, most notably to record historical events and to codify treaties -- such as the The Hiawatha Belt (Aionwá:tha and the Great Law of Peace (Gayanashagowa) of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee). Wampum had some functions similar to the Quechua recording devices (Quipu) of the Andes region -- made of knotting and dyed strings.
Exploring wampum, with its current variants and analogues, highlights the manner in which both it and they can be understood as being a vehicle for a spectrum of values -- of which any use as a monetary substitute implies only one.
Confidence and suspicion: An immunity passport is clearly designed as a means of enhancing confidence. Badges of office are an exemplification of the framing of confidence, with military medals exemplifying that offered by just war theory. One challenge is how best to frame legitimate suspicion in a period when public trust as been remarkably eroded, especially with respect to health (James Herer, Why Experts and other People Do Not Trust the World Health Organization (WHO), Weblyf, 2020; Richard Gale and Gary Null, Can We Trust the World Health Organization (WHO)? Global Research, 6 February 2021).
In the quest for a degree of human-readability, a somewhat ironic possibility is offered by the heraldic convention of a bend, namely a band running from the upper dexter (the bearer's right side and the viewer's left) corner of the shield to the lower sinister (the bearer's left side, and the viewer's ight).
Although outside heraldry, the term "bend (or bar) sinister" is sometimes used to imply illegitimacy. In the context of universal COVID vaccination, this suggests that the QR-style passport insignia could be structured with a readable diagonal bar as an indication of an individual's unvaccinated status -- to the extent that this status is held to be "illegitimate" in some way. Such a possibility recalls the associations to "bent" and being "struck off", raising the question as to whether the design should make evident any degree of misconduct, dishonour or criminality.
Circlets and mandalas as design metaphors: In considering the design of insignia of relevance to global health there is a case for exploring the widespread engagement with circlets of prayer beads (or their "worry bead" analogues), as discussed separately (Designing Cultural Rosaries and Meaning Malas to Sustain Associations within the Pattern that Connects, 2000).
With respect to the 5-fold framing of a broader understanding of health, a different approach can be taken in exploring the possible design of a mandala of concord (Concordian Mandala as a Symbolic Nexus, 2016). This explored the dynamics of a pentagonal configuration of nonagons in 3D.
Design of EU Digital COVID Certificate? As noted above the QR-oriented certificate implemented from July 2021 has a common design for the EU countries. The visual representation is seemingly as yet unclear. Possibilities will almost certainly be based on the 12-star theme of the Flag of Europe which itself invites other designs, as discussed separately (Imagining the Flag of Europe otherwise? 2018). The examples below are merely indicative of some possibilities, whether or not the emphasis is placed on a 12-star flag or a 28-star flag (plus or minus one).
|Design exercises for animated 28-country Flag of Europe based on 28 rotating stars|
|Simple rotating circle of 28||Counter-rotation of alternate stars||3-orthogonal circles of 28||Borromean ring configuration|
The key issue is how to combine a QR-code with such heraldic symbolism. Of some relevance, the above exercise was further developed (Navigating Europe's 12 "dimensional space": 12 rotating stars on icosahedron as "propellers"? 2019). It remains questionable why the EU is so inexplicably dependent on contrasting interpretations of the symbolism of a 12-fold articulation of stars. With respect to the discussion here, a relevant interpretation could be in terms of the Dodekatheon of Ancient Greece ("The Twelve Olympians"), later adapted by the Roman Empire (Dii Consentes)..
Insights from a 5-fold game: The 3-fold "scissors-paper-stone" game metaphor has been extended to 5-ring and 7-ring Borromean configurations (Marc Chamberland and Eugene A Herma, Rock-Paper-Scissors meets Borromean Rings, Grinnell College, 2014), as discussed separately (Engaging globally with knots and riddles -- Gordian and otherwise, 2018).
As with the 3-ring game, the authors argue the case for 5-part and 7-part games with contrasting "weapons", noting that the number of such "games" has been extended to 13. Of relevance to this argument is whether the "weapons" are nations, as with the Group of 5 Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, the Group of 7, or sets of mutually overriding strategic priorities of governance.
Do 3-fold groups invite similar insight (Trilateral Commission, Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat), as with the UN's 17-fold Sustainable Development Goals? What then of the viability of any cartel or crime ring, most notably triads?
The images below contrast such games with the configuration of the Discordian mandala.In the case of the 5-fold pattern, the question would obviously be how the significance of the Wu Xing pattern merits understanding as a set of Borromean rings.
|Borromean Rings understood as weapons in a "Rock-Paper-Scissors" Game|
|The Game||Discordian mandala||5-fold Borromean rings||7-fold Borromean rings|
|Reproduced from Wikipedia||Reproduced from Chanberland and Herma (2013)|
With respect to an insignia, further insight might be derived from consideration of vaccination as a metaphor of salvatory cognitive significance -- as suggested by the following:
The 5-fold pattern might then be presented in 3D as follows (below left), with an indication of analogous treatment to the Wu Xing pattern (below-right). Given the universal phamaceutical use of the symbolism of the snake-encircled Bowl of Hygeia (as mentioned above), it is possible that the pattern below is a topological transformation of perspective of it -- further highlighting its symbolic significance.
|Exploration of 3D mapping of 5-fold windings framing a torus|
|Metaphors of vaccination?||Angled 3D perspective||Wu Xing variant|
|Reproduced as described separately (Visualization in 3D of Dynamics of Toroidal Helical Coils: in quest of optimum designs for a Concordian Mandala, 2016)|
The implied dynamic of a vortex offers the mnemonic suggestion of "trans-portation" through a portal -- now popularly imagined with respect to transport through a wormhole to the far reaches of the universe. Could vaccination be fruitfully presented in that light, as effectively traversing the "eye of a needle" -- of tbe Talmud and the New Testament -- to a normality enabling travel through the heavens? The metaphor also appears in the Qur'an 7:40: Indeed, those who deny Our verses and are arrogant toward them - the gates of Heaven will not be opened for them, nor will they enter Paradise.
6-fold value portal: One speculative exploration of the possible dimensions of such a design focuses on a 6-fold pattern rather than on a 5-fold pattern, as explored above in the case of the pentagrammic Hygeia and Wu Xing. The case for the 6-fold pattern is presented separately, employing rhyming words for mnemonic purposes (El-Attractor -- Timeless Complex Dynamic: Health, Wealth, Stealth / Youth, Couth, Truth, 2007). Arguably the pattern holds a variety of extensions of the preoccupation with physical or psychological health.
|Attribution of fundamental values to a 6-fold insignia|
Star of David pattern
|Winding pattern framing a torus|
|Animations indicative of degrees of imbalance
when contrasting values function as a pivot point
|Truth as pivot||Health as pivot||Couth as pivot||Stealth as pivot||Youth as pivot||Wealth as pivot|
The set of animations can be experimentally combined together offering an implication of (im)balanced development -- shifting from one pivotal point to another.
|Experimental combination of animations into a cycle
(shifting pivot counter-clockwise)
(shifting pivot clockwise)
With respect to the pivot metaphor, of some relevance is the Zen Buddhist In the current world of "spin" and "smoke and mirrors", the controversial arguments with respect to the ambiguity of the results of PCR testing is fruitfully anticipated by the classic remark of Chuang-tzu (The Pivot):
Tao is obscured when men understand only one of a pair of opposites, or concentrate only on a partial aspect of being. Then clear expression also becomes muddled by mere wordplay, affirming this one aspect and denying the rest. Hence the wrangling... each denies what the other affirms, and affirms what the other denies. What use is this struggle to set up "No" against "Yes", and "Yes" against "No"?.... When the wise man grasps this pivot, he is in the center of the circle, and there he stands while "Yes" and "No" pursue each other around the circumference.
8-fold value portal: With the quest for normality framed as a form of secular nirvana, there is a case for adapting the elements of the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism to a visual form consistent with those above. The Eightfold Path is understood as a summary of the path of Buddhist practices leading to liberation from samsara, namely the painful cycle of rebirth. The pattern typically features in the design of mandalas -- a form of insignia in their own right.
The elements distinguished are right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. Use of "right" fruitfully recalls the complementarity between "justice" and the "right", as noted above.
| Values of Eightfold Path
attribution to windings framing a torus
12-fold strategic portal: As previously noted there is a remarkable collective enthusiasm for 12-fold articulations with strategic implications (Checklist of 12-fold Principles, Plans, Symbols and Concepts: web resources, 2011; Eliciting a 12-fold Pattern of Generic Operational Insights: recognition of memory constraints on collective strategic comprehension, 2011).
Any such articulation could be explored as an intuitive collective recognition of global health -- hence the 12 Olympians, their subsequent Roman adaptation -- and an embodiment in the 12-star emblem of Europe. The attraction of "El" in the speculative reference above to "El Attractor" could be seen as consistent with the derivation regarding "El" as articulated by Athena Despoina Potari (The Light of Hellenism, Embodied Philosophy, 21 April 2021; The Light of Hellenism, Paradigm Explorer, 2020, 1):
Ιn Ancient Hellenic language, "El" stands for the Light of Being -- or spiritual Light. As its root-syllable expresses, (H)El-lenism is a worldview, a civilization and a spiritual tradition which centers around the ontology and practice of Light. The Sciences, and above all Philosophy, are methodical routes towards self-liberation and the realization of Light. Focusing around the notions of eros and universal consciousness, Hellenism is, in its very essence, a path of En-lightnment.
The design of a 12-fold portal is discussed separately (Time for Provocative Mnemonic Aids to Systemic Connectivity? Possibilities of reconciling the ""headless hearts" to the "heartless heads", 2018).
Attractive "portals" implied by the passport metaphor -- "passportals" or "transportals"? Use of both circlets of beads and mandalas is very strongly associated with the cognitive significance of engagement with them as mnemonic devices. Clearly there is a case for any insignia of global health to invite and engender interpretation in this light. In this sense, as with circlets and mandalas its role in relation to a "passport" is as the framing of a cognitive portal -- especially given the sense in which it enables travel and the traversing of boundaries.
Whether with respect to the afterlife, or travelling the globe, the "heavens" imply a degree of unboundednesss. This has fundamental implications for the thematic and institutional boundaries imposed on cognitive movement between disparate topics and themes. Beyond "inter-national", this is evident in interdisciplinary, interfaith, intercultural, and other highly bounded discourse.
Does each of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals have a portal for which some kind of passportal is required? Together these 17 imply far more complex considerations of sustainable balance in global health. How could they be configured to act as a "transportal"?
Given the current importance of qualification and certification to pass through thematic portals, should the absence of such certification feature on individual insignia of the future -- incorporating degrees of expertise, or their absence, as indicative of health in a cognitive sense? Should voters be thereby constrained on matters requiring popular consultation?
There is recognized resistance to global calls for action, notably implied by the title of a recent report to the Club of Rome (Come On! Capitalism, Short-termism, Population and the Destruction of the Planet, 2018), as discussed separately (Exhortation to We the Peoples from the Club of Rome, 2018). In the quest for greater insight into such resistance, there is some relevance to the 20-fold pattern of Upakleshas of Buddhism, noted above, namely the 20 secondary "hindrances" binding people to illusion. These are:
|20 Secondary hindrances according to Buddhism|
|Reproduced from Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia|
These derive from various schools of Buddhist psychology (Abhidharma) as they might be held to correspond to sin in cognitive terms -- and the forms of memetic disease potentially relevant to the above argument. Especially recognized are 5-fold and 10-fold sets of hindrances (Kleshas), namely mental factors that hinder progress in meditation and in daily life. One articulation is:
The table above is reproduced from an exploration of web resources on sets of 20-fold strategies, rules, methods and insights (Requisite 20-fold Articulation of Operative Insights? 2018).
As applied to the 20 hindrances, the following animations offer an indication of possibilities.
|Animations of experimental mapping of "hindrances" onto symmetric polyhedral duals|
|Use of 20 vertices of dodecahedron||Use of 20 faces of icosahedron|
|Prepared with Stella Polyhedron Navigator|
Of particular interest in that respect is the acknowledgement in the Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia that there are many different systems of Abhidharma -- memeplexes? -- each with its its own articulations of mental factors, many potentially to be interpreted as memetic diseases. As a phenomenon in its own right, such disparate articulations frame the question as to the nature of the memetic disease which reinforces such incompatibilities. That disease would be at the root of the conflictual relation between ideologies, religions and disciplines, as can be variously discussed (Nicholas Rescher, The Strife of Systems: an essay on the grounds and implications of philosophical diversity, 1985).
Symptomatic of that memetic disease has of course been the conventional lack of consideration accorded to traditional articulations of such diseases by the editors of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) or by the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) produced by the WHO. In any quest for a richer understanding health, it might be asked why WHO does not take responsibility for the articulation of an International Classification of Healths (or "Wellnesses") in contrast to which pathologies might be more clearly appreciated. Could an enhanced health certification in a QR code more appropriately reflect any absence of health rather than the presence of any form?
This has been partially addressed by the inclusion of a new diagnostic category in 1994 in DSM-IV -- Religious or Spiritual Problem -- of which David Lukoff is a co-author (DSM-IV Religious and Spiritual Problems). Does such inclusion exhaust the understanding of memetic disease implied by traditional articulations, such as that of the Abhidharma? Issues in relation to DSM and the ICD are discussed by Edo Shonin, et al (Mindfulness and Buddhist-Derived Approaches in Mental Health and Addiction, 2015). The question can be framed more generally in the light of the challenge of cognitive biases and "fake news" -- both symptomatic of memetic disease (Memetic and Information Diseases in a Knowledge Society, 2008; Varieties of Fake News and Misrepresentation: when are deception, pretence and cover-up acceptable? 2019).
There is a case for interpreting each of these hindrances for individuals in terms of their collective implications. The preoccupation of WHO with vaccination could then be usefully contrasted with an understanding of the nature of a healing society as articulated by the World Emergency COVID-19 Ethics (WeCope) Committee (Ethical Values and Principles for Healing Society in the Light of the COVID-19 Crisis, Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics, 31, 2021, 1).
Reconciling a 20-fold and 6-fold pattern: Irrespective of the coincidental clustering by Edward de Bono of 20 "thinking tools", his main focus has been on a 6-fold articulation (Six Frames: For Thinking About Information, 2008). Curiously these make specific use of 6 mnemonic forms which are potentially related to coherent mappings in 3D (circle, triangle, square, diamond, rectangle, and heart). Some of the issues have been discussed in relation to the use of such forms on playing cards (Radical Localization in a Global Systemic Context: distinguishing normality using playing card suits as a pattern language, 2015).
Implicit symbolism of the "coat of arms" of the World Health Organization -- imagined otherwise? Previous exercises explored a reinterpretation of the laurel wreath framing of the world typical of the logos of the Specialized Agencies of the United Nation (Transformation of Global Governance through Bullfighting: visual symbols and geometric metaphors, 2009). One such exercise focused on the additional significance potentially evident from the dynamic representation in 3D of the laurel wreath framing, as reproduced below (Helical insights from 3D representation of Laurel wreath and Caduceus, 2019).
|Helical insights from 3D representation of Laurel wreath and Caduceus|
|Laurel wreath: static symbol of binary completion or sacred flame||Laurel wreath spiral upright
|Laurel wreath spiral inverted
|Rotation of Caduceus in 3D
Of particular relevance to this argument is the central role in the design of the logo of WHO of the snake-encircled Bowl of Hygieia. Of related symbolic significance is the role of both the double spiral evident in the Caduceus of Western culture, now a symbol of both healing and commerce and the overlap with the Rod of Asclepius -- a Greek deity associated with healing and medicine. A 3D animation of the Caduceus is presented on the right above.
The animation on the left below follows from the argument above regarding the techncial possibility of moving from bar codes through the square QR code layout to a spherical animation -- in this case by simple projection of a stsndard QR code onto an incosidodecahedron as one approximation.
The animation on the right follows from the argument that the diseases can be traditionally understood as being of demonic nature. Distinctive sigils exist for a set of 72 according to that tradition in the Ars Goetia, as described separaely (Engaging with Hyperreality through Demonique and Angelique? Mnemonic clues to global governance from mathematical theology and hyperbolic tessellation, 2016). A corresponding set of 72 angels is also distinguished -- presumably understood by many as associated with the healing process (List of angels in theology).
Of potential relevance, however, it is not possible to map a set of 72 images onto the faces of a convex polyhedron in 3D -- although possibilities exist in 4D, thereby suggesting the elusive nature of both disease and health. For that reason a set of 32 demonic sigils is presented in the animation on the right for illustrative purposes.
With respect to the assumption that the coronavirus was characterized by 72 protein spikes, an earlier exercise developed an animation showing those spikes positioned on the 72 vertices of a polyhedron (Reimagining Coronavirus in 3D as a Metaphor of Global Society in Distress, 2020; see mp4 video). A subsequent exercise used the individual spikes to hold the 72 demonic sigils, and separately the angelic equivalents (Cognitive Engagement with Spike Dynamics of a Polyhedral Coronavirus, 2020; see mp4 videos: "demonic" array and "angelic" array).
|Experimental animations towards reimagining the design of a more relevant insignia for WHO|
|Spherical projection of OCR code||Experimental dynamic insignia for WHO||Array of selection of demonic sigils|
With respect to a possible WHO insignia, a static variant of the spherical OCR representation is positioned in the central animation above using static variants of the laurel wreath. Clearly dynamic variants would suggest more imaginative enagagement -- and the above experiment itself suggests many improvements. The animation focuses on use of a snake-encircled syringe as being more central to the current preoccupations of WHO than those symbolized by the current design which uses elements of the traditional Rod of Ascelpius or the Bowl of Hygiea.
Arguably, of considerable symbolic significance, WHO has now effectively substituted the syringe for the rod so central to the current WHO logo. The proposed design merits reflection as due diligence with regard to the heraldic process of augmentation of arms.(or "augmentation of honour"). Of potential relevance in symbolic terms is a new interpretation of the contextual laurel wreath -- as indicative of the array of plants valued by traditional herbal medicine and homeopathy -- including the laurel leaf. Its use by the UN Specialized Agencies is somewhat ironic in this period given its ambigious symbolic associations with both victory and the commemoration of the deceased, notably on the occasion of funerals..
Design of an EU Digital COVID Certificate -- a caricature? Given the argument above, a case can be made for the design of an animated insignia of the EUDCC combining contrasting preoccupations. It is appropriate to note that the common symbol for pharmacy included in the animation combines both the Bowl of Hygieia and a set of scales (clearly reminiscent of the scales of justice)..
|Experimental animated design for
EU Digital COVID Certificate
Presented in this way, the QR code could be seen as curiously indicative of the typically fragmented condition of individuals and society -- in contrast to claims with regard to healthy normality.
Singularity focus? History may see as extraordinary the degree of global consensus on a singular solution to the challenge to global health -- namely universal vaccination. In contrast to the relatively ineffectual institutionalization of response to the variety of other challenges, there is arguably an institutionalization of a one-dimensional framing of health.
Curiously the syringe by which this global strategy is implemented is itself symbolic of one-dimensionality. The "nail" of the well-known saying -- if all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail -- is effectively replaced by a syringe.
This singularity of focus is consistent with other forms of dependence on singularity as a response to to humanity's challenges (Emerging Memetic Singularity in the Global Knowledge Society, 2009). The range of singularities discussed there includes:
Cognitive singularity |
|Globality as singularity
Symmetry group singularity
|Singularity of planetary consciousness
The focus is all the more curious when placed in an environmental context with the challenge of climate change -- now so systematically neglected. The irony could be seen as lying in the manner in which vaccination is framed as essential to the need to get people travelling again -- a return to the normality which has proved to be so significant in engendering global warming. Symbolically this is evident in the need to ensure that fuel can be injected into vehicles to enable such travel -- readily comparable with a form of "vaccination".
Integral connectivity? The argument above highlights the multidimensionality of "health" -- of which the preoccupation with the a single virus (and its variants) is but one dimension. Arguably global civilization currently suffers from a multiplicity of "diseases" -- whether individual or collective. It is striking to note that these tend to be recognized, framed and addressed separately, if they are recognized at all. This phenomenon could itself be recognized as a form of institutional disease reinforcing a pattern of information diseases (Memetic and Information Diseases in a Knowledge Society: speculations towards the development of cures and preventive measures, 2008). The global panic in response to the pandemic can indeed be recognized as one such memetic disease (as noted above).
With respect to individual disease itself, it is remarkable to note the challenges to health professionals of integrating seemingly disparate approaches to physical, emotional and mental disorders -- a pattern reflected in the unresolved contradictions within the World Health Organization in its relations with the pharmaceutical industry. It is a;appropriate to ask where "institutional diseases" are effectively explored (Sambit Bhattacharyya, Institutions, diseases, and economic progress: a unified framework, Journal of Institutional Economics, April 2009).
Reference was made above to the "pattern that connects" and to the loss of quality resulting from breaking it. Arguably it is precisely that cognitive "connective tissue" which is at risk with the implementation of a narrow one-dimensional approach to health.
"Polypharmacutical zombies"? The focus on vaccination in response to the current pandemic is remarkable negligent of the issue of polypharmacy. As noted above, this is understood as the multiplicity of forms of medication on which many are now dependent. Little is said either about the interferences between them or the potential interference of COVID vaccinations with them -- whether now or in the future.
The issue is all the more serious given the accumulation of vaccines and other medications in the human body -- now strongly recommended from early infancy. Development could well be caricatured as ensuring the increasing dependence on drugs of one kind or another, of which pharmaceutical products are the most "acceptable". The use of psychoactive drugs obtained otherwise can be understood as a means of rendering developed reality "acceptable".
Given the ideal of "wellness", to what extent does such dependence suggest that many could be caricatured as already partially "dead" -- were it not for the support provided by drugs of one form or another? Again, this suggests a different interpretation of the argument of Jared Diamond (Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, 2005). To what extent does development now engender "polypharmaceutical zombies" -- people who are only alive to a limited degree? Surprisingly there is a remarkable degree of concern with the threat of zombies (Preponderance of references to the eradication of zombies, 2014).
Lying, killing and dying: The relation between lying and killing has long been a matter of debate informing just war theory (David Decosimo, Just Lies:: finding Augustine's ethics of public lying in his treatments of lying and killing, The Journal of Religious Ethics, 38, 2010, 4), There is no lack of recognition that lies can kill. The issue could be seen as central to the preoccupation with misinformation regarding vaccines as being a major threat to public health.
Less evident in the normality of global civilization is the dependence on lying and on living a lie -- and how that may indeed be a feature of Jared Diamond's sense of "choosing to fail" (Dying to Live, Living to Die, Lying to Live, and Living a Lie, 2015). It is appropriate to ask how the lies by which society is sustained are to be recognized -- and how they may be killing us (Existential Challenge of Detecting Today's Big Lie: mysterious black hole conditioning global civilization? 2016; Global Economy of Truth as a Ponzi Scheme Personal cognitive implication in globalization? 2016).
The much-cited argument by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson (Metaphors to Live By, 1980) could then be said to sustain narratives which are effectively a threat to the survival of civilization. Of interest, given the predictions of civilizational collapse, are the metaphors by which that process might be framed (Metaphors To Die By: correspondences between a collapsing civilization, culture or group, and a dying person, 2013).
The case in travel terms for immunity passports is primarily made in terms of the return to normality associated with national and regional travel. To a lesser degree, but esteemed of particular importance for global travel, the passports acquire greater symbolic significance. Of potentially greater significance is travel "to the stars" -- as widely cultivated in the popular imagination by movies and other media.
It can be variously argued that the key to the future of human civilization lies in the imagination (Engendering 2052 through Re-imagining the Present, 2012; Imagining Attractive Global Governance, 2013; Reimagining Coronavirus in 3D as a Metaphor of Global Society in Distress, 2020; Imaginative Reconfiguration of a post-Apocalyptic Global Civilization, 2012).
Both the phrase and the technological challenge of "getting into orbit", suggest intuitive recognition of what is required and implied by "getting to the stars". With respect to any imaginative design of an insignia appropriate to a travel worthiness document, there is every justification for exploiting the portal metaphor traditionally celebrated in tales of communication with magical spaces. The modern variant can be recognized in the stargate metaphor as framed by movies such as Contact (1997) and the film/TV series (Stargate, 1994; Stargate SG-1, 1997, etc). The metaphor can itself be imagined through metaphor (Topology of a Renaissance "Stargate" of Higher Dimensionality: Complementary ways of imagining engagement with otherness, 2018).
These can all be understood as secular reframings of "getting to the heavens" and travelling freely there. A passport is then readily interpreted as an "entry ticket" to spaces of the imagination -- whether or not these are understood as a return to normality. Is normality effectively balance -- but to be understood otherwise?
Both the topology of globalization and the necessarily paradoxical form of any stargate invite speculations such as the following
The process of testing is highly reminiscent of the weighing of the soul, as it notably featured in medieval Christianity -- preceded by the weighing of the heart in Ancient Egypt (as noted above). Is the PCR test to be recognized as a secular reframing of "Judgement Day", reduced to a focus on physical health. In that sense is there a symbolic relationship to be explored between quarantine and purgatory? The possibility invites further speculation (Anticipation of Judicial Inquisition of Humans by Extraterrestrials, 2021).
It is of the course the case that response to the pandemic has virtually obscured all meaningful debate on other global issues such as climate change -- together with others framed by the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
It has been argued that the pandemic, whether engineered or not, is in process of being exploited as part of the Great Reset agenda promoted by the World Economic Forum (Tim Hinchliffe, The ‘Great Reset’: A Technocratic Agenda that Waited Years for a Global Crisis to Exploit, Global Research, 27 May 2021; Peter Koenig, The Twilight Zone: Covid, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Eugenics, Global Research, 19 February 2021).
|A banner with a strange device... a global insignia?|
Jared Diamond. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. Viking, 2005
Aldous Huxley. Brave New World. Chatto and Windus, 1932
George Lakoff and Mark Johnson. Metaphors to Live By. University of Chicago Press, 1980
Jeremy Lent. The Patterning Instinct: a cultural history of humanity's search for meaning. Prometheus, 2017
Nicholas Rescher. The Strife of Systems: an essay on the grounds and implications of philosophical diversity. *** 1985
Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker and Anders Wijkman. Come On!: Capitalism, Short-termism, Population and the Destruction of the Planet. Springer, 2018 [review]
For further updates on this site, subscribe here