Challenges to Comprehension Implied by the Logo
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1st June 2006 | Draft

Complementarity and Self-Reflexivity

between nuclear fusion and cognitive fusion

- / -

Annex A of Enactivating a Cognitive Fusion Reactor: Imaginal Transformation of Energy Resourcing (ITER-8)
[See also website of ITER-8: Cognitive Fusion Reactor]

-- Experimental challenge of fusion for ITER
-- Experimental challenge of "cognitive fusion" for ITER-8
-- Complementarity between ITER-8 and the ITER fusion project
-- ITER-8 self-reflexive design
-- Torus dynamics common to ITER and ITER-8
-- Dematerialization | Virtualization | Correspondence between the virtual reality of ITER and ITER-8
-- Complementary fusion metaphors: "plasma dynamics" and "attention dynamics"
-- Towards a language appropriate to dynamic engagement
---- Form and dimensionality | Embodiment | Didjeridu playing
-- 3-fold Complementarity (nuclear fusion, didjeridu, cognitive fusion)
-- Helical threading of "incommensurables"
---- Snake metaphor | Incommensurable rings and the challenge of cognitive fusion
---- Cognitive "traffic" around a "hole" | Spiral dynamics
---- Supercoiling and field effects in cognitive organization (of knowledge)
---- Simulation possibilities
-- ITER-8: a necessarily underdefined entity
-- Resonant associations to other "ITER" projects
-- People | Institutions | Technologies
-- Myth and indigenous knowledge
-- Archetypal symbolism indicative of the fundamental dimensions of ITER-8

Complementarity between ITER-8 and the ITER fusion project

The reservation above regarding the parallel between the "burning plasma" and "burning attention" processes, as necessary to any form of "fusion", is fundamental to any understanding of the distinctive methodology of ITER-8 in contrast with ITER. Whilst both are focused on "fusion", ITER-8 is necessarily far more open to "cooler" approaches. Without necessarily seeking parallels to "cold fusion" possibilities, ITER-8 might be fruitfully understood as exemplifying "cool fusion" in terms of the distinction drawn by McLuhan. ITER-8 seeks to benefit from the insights most capable of engendering psychosocial energy sustainably. The sophisticated thinking and modelling incorporated into the design of the fusion processes of ITER are therefore a rich source of insight to fuel the design processes and implementation of ITER-8. But other sources may also prove valuable.

Of necessity, ITER-8 can have no conventional formal relationship to the complementary preoccupations of ITER. "Formal" is here to be understood as a descriptor in the standard project logic of conventional legal, financial and other arrangements. Nor is ITER-8 to be understood as an "alternative" or "shadow" lobby -- now typical of many intergovernmental initiatives and conferences (eg TOES: Toward Another Economic Summit, World Social Forum, etc).

However, irrespective of the absence of contacts of this form, ITER-8 maintains a close "formal" relationship with ITER in the following senses:

It may be argued that the total financial investment in fusion reactor processes far exceeds that in the complementary processes of concern to ITER-8, and that therefore the understanding of the principles and operational considerations from an ITER-8 perspective are of insignificant relevance. This argument unfortunately avoids any recognition of the millions of people, in a wide range of cultures, that have experimented in various ways with "cognitive fusion" over hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

The question for ITER is whether its advocates are totally confident that their design principles do not conceal fundamental flaws -- possibly known in other terms in other frameworks -- that may well result in disaster. The implications of the blinkered arrogance of the designers and operators of RMS Titanic, and of the reactors at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, should not be forgotten. It should also be recognized, that given its contrasting nature, the potential outcomes from ITER-8, in response to the energy needs of millions, are likely to emerge before construction of ITER is completed in 2016 (if the priorities of the international community do not change radically over that period).

ITER-8 self-reflexive design

The enaction process through which ITER-8 is designed, given form and activated, can perhaps be usefully described in terms of the interplay of the following cognitive "devices":

Torus dynamics common to ITER and ITER-8

This topic is extensively explored in a separate paper (Comprehension of Requisite Variety for Sustainable Psychosocial Dynamics: Transforming a matrix classification onto intertwined tori, 2006)

From matrix to torus
Systemic sub-systems vs Preferred modes: "Columns" vs "Rows"
Generic matrix
Distribution of significance on torus surface
Interlocking tori: combining the two alternative representations
Dynamics of interlocked tori
Distribution of significance "within" a torus: using a third dimension for "Engagement with reality"
Contiguity of paired circular cross-sections
"Empty" centres and four-dimensionality
Psychosocial relevance of torus-related dynamics
Coherence, instability and failure of psychosocial systems
Resonant associations and comprehension of feedback vital to sustainability
Beyond the plane: form and medium in terms of the calculus of indications
Resonant association of psychosocial identity with intertwined tori
Memorability: musical clues to psychosocial system sustainability
Possible immediate applications of relevance to sustainability
Choosing the dimensionality of living
Potentially problematic consequences

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