Challenges to Comprehension Implied by the Logo
of Laetus in Praesens
Laetus in Praesens Alternative view of segmented documents via Kairos

28th May 2006 | Draft

Coactive Contextual Relationships

necessary underdefinition and resonant associations of ITER-8

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Annex C 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

ITER-8: a necessarily underdefined entity

An understanding of the relationships of ITER-8 to other entities and processes necessarily raises the question as to the nature of ITER-8 and its relationship to ITER.

Unconventional entity: Conventional responses to the question as to what precisely is ITER-8 are to some degree inappropriate to its nature. Such questions are formulated in a language that expects answers in the same frameworks as that of the question, namely in the form of:

ITER-8 may however be better understood as a pattern, a metaphor or paradigm, engaging activity with a range of other entities in a variety of ways consistent with its preoccupations. The concept of entrainment may be relevant (cf Attitude Entrainment: Communicating thrival skills and insights, 2004 ). In terms of process, it may be understood as a "transitional object" (Giovan Francesco Lanzara, Capturing Transient Knowledge in Design and Innovation Processes, 2006)

It is useful to reflect on the emergence of the various types of conventional entity named above over recent centuries. Their current denotation of the "existence" of a psychosocial object is a recent phenomenon and not as definitive as is conventionally assumed. A case can be made for the future emergence of new kinds of entity that are less unambiguously definitive than is implied by any of those terms. Just as the industrial revolution gave definitive form to such entities, reinforced by the programmes of governance and funding over the past century, other forms of entity may be required for the challenges of the coming century.

Method: New methodologies are called for in response to turbulent times -- however they integrate methodologies of the past. ITER-8 can in part be understood as an imaginal method or posture. Methodologically, ITER-8 is neither science nor art, neither belief, nor fiction. The following are indicative processes of ITER-8:

In the promotion of ITER, the point is made that it "iter" is the Latin for "the way". The methodological challenge in the case of ITER-8 can be well expressed by the much-cited first line of the Tao Te Ching: The way that can be named is not the Way. This work is one of the most important in Chinese philosophy and religion, especially in Taoism, but also in Buddhism -- and the most translated publication after the Bible. Given that China is also a participant in ITER and that Chinese culture will help to frame the challenges of fusion in new ways (as clarified by Susantha Goonatilake, Toward a Global Science: mining civilizational knowledge, 1999), these and other such insights are of relevance to articulating the methodology of ITER-8 (cf Hyperspace Clues to the Psychology of the Pattern that Connects in the light of 81 Tao Te Ching insights, 2003).

"Field effect" relationships: ITER-8 is not well understood through being positioned in terms of its conventional relationships to other entities and processes. Specifically, because of the processes it enacts, detachment from entities of that type is important to avoid quenching effects noted above. This can be clarified as follows:

Together the above points are indicative of how the operation of ITER-8 is dependent on the "arm's length" nature of its relationship to other entities. Whereas relationships between conventional entities are typically understood in terms of metaphorical "bonds" and "networks", possibly defined in legal and contractual terms, in the case of ITER-8 the relationships are better understood in terms of "field effects" engendered in relation to "non-members", "non-partners", and "non-supporters". These field effects define the nature of its co-existence with other psychocultural entities. Indeed, in a conventional sense, ITER-8 may even be understood as having a "non-vision", a "non-strategy", a "non-program", and "non-deliverables".

The increasing dependence of modern governance on "spin" at the highest level (as sustained by the best academic think-tanks) is an indication of the coherence of this understanding -- notably in response to "terrorism", now understood as being driven by an idea or an attitude rather than by any conventional understanding of an organization or a strategy **. The management challenge of ITER-8 could therefore be described in part as the "non-management of non-relationships" in order to avoid quenching, game-playing and obsolete patterns

"Image management": In endeavouring to describe and understand ITER-8, there are therefore a number of challenges:

Resonant associations to other "ITER" projects

Given its psychocultural bias, ITER-8 necessarily seeks to respond to the dimensions of the Zeitgeist that echo a preoccupation with "iter". The challenge for ITER-8 is to embody and reframe those dimensions in more powerfully significant ways.

The intergovernmental ITER fusion project is not the first project to use that acronym or to benefit from the various associations to the term "iter". In Latin "iter" means "the way" or "the way ahead", as in "itinerary" -- also including the notion of "journey" or "expedition". Many with aspirations to high office in governance frame their strategic vision as "My Way". As such "iter" has inspired a range of institutional projects and initiatives that contribution to the articulation of the psychocultural framework of ITER-8:

People / "players" / non-participants

*** In process ***

Institutional "dancing partners" / non-participants

*** In process ***

Technologies and "modelling partners"

*** In process ***

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