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2 July 2018 | Draft

Waiting as an Experience of Fundamental Significance

Commentary on web resources on types of waiting and anticipation

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Types of waiting: web resources
Clues to "meta-waiting"?
Degrees of "meta-waiting" recognized as "deep waiting"?
Pro-active waiting and nowness
Clues to "waiting" from "weighting"?
Mysterious relation between waiting and patience?
Waiting society versus Business society?
Waiting framed by other modes of engaging with time
Future of waiting in society?


It could be readily assumed that waiting is an incidental process, experienced by all in some way, but incidental to the reality of meaningful life in any society. It is however striking to note the range of conditions in which anticipation of some kind is in fact a central experience which may endure far longer than is otherwise assumed, or is repeated more frequently than people care to recall. Striking examples at this time are offered by asylum seekers waiting for some means of getting to Europe, waiting for their case to be resolved in some processing centre, or waiting for an opportunity to move out of a precarious existence on the streets.

However extended the period, such waiting is in process of being institutionalized by the European Union (Migrant crisis: EU leaders plan secure migrant centres, BBC News, 29 June 2018; All-night EU talks deliver migrant 'controlled centres', EUObserver, 29 June 2018). The European Project is itself in crisis awaiting a resolution of the migrant crisis (Migrant crisis: EU leaders split over new migrant deal, BBC News, 29 June 2018; EU establishment appeases Italy and other anti-migrant govts in bid to salvage bloc's survival, RT, 29 June 2018). Potentially more challenging are the millions from Africa and the Middle East who are waiting to seek asylum in Europe -- now and through many decades to come -- a situation that populists are waiting anxiously for European leaders to recognize and address.

A different extreme is offered by the thousands "on death row" awaiting possible execution -- or condemned to life imprisonment if their case cannot be resolved otherwise. The example of waiting for an extensive period to die at the end of a life -- waiting "for release from pain" -- is a process which many may experience. Clearly there is also the common experience, if not a daily one, of waiting in a queue. For some, more fundamental may be the anticipation of an event such as falling in love, winning the lottery, or achieving a salary raise. The anticipation may take quite different forms, as when waiting for creative insight or inspiration, or perhaps experiencing the promise of rapture -- or "next year in Jerusalem".

Perhaps most evident is the sense of waiting for the fulfillment of some political promise through which change of social circumstances will be achieved. That promise may however be a religious one, as with those anticipating rebirth. It may be associated with the transformation expected from the use of new technology or new investment.

The purpose of this exercise was firstly to clarify the varieties of waiting, as noted in web resources. How many forms of waiting can be experienced or are considered significant -- and by whom, and from what perspective? Is that variety indicative of different qualities of waiting and anticipation, especially in terms of the nature of what is anticipated by that process?

The clarification is seen as preliminary to the possibility that there are subtler forms of anticipation to be recognized, as discussed in a concluding section. Do those waiting over longer periods, whether by obligation or by choice, shift into new modes in order to manage the waiting process more appropriately and more insightfully? Do these offer pointers to more profoundly insightful modes of waiting to which attention has yet to be adequately drawn, as previously argued (Varieties of Recognition in Practice of an Elusive Missing Dimension, 2018).

Curiously, so framed, such a shift could be recognized as a metaphor, both for sustainability and for its anticipation. Is society in a mode of waiting for a condition of sustainability, as can be speculatively argued (In Quest of Sustainability as Holy Grail of Global Governance? 2011). Does sustainability constitute a subtler form of the waiting dynamic -- collectively embodied?

Types of waiting: web resources

In Waiting in Liminal Space: migrants' queuing for Home Affairs in South Africa, Rebecca Sutton, Darshan Vigneswaran and Harry Wels seek to add texture and meaning to the experience of waiting and to explore the unique set of power relations and social processes the phenomenon may entail, arguing that:

Waiting is a common feature of everyday encounters between individuals and organisations. Government officials and private sector workers make us wait for decisions, wait for services and sometimes, simply wait our turn. Yet, little attention has been devoted to theorising and developing the concept of "waiting", and it is noticeably absent in the literature on social organisations and organisational behaviour. (Anthropology Southern Africa, 34, 2011, 1-2)

Detailed ethnographies of waiting from Japan, Georgia, England, Ghana, Norway, Russia and the United States are a feature of a comprehensive compilation (Manpreet K. Janeja and Andreas Bandak, Ethnographies of Waiting: doubt, hope and uncertainty, 2018), which arose from a panel on waiting at the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth Decennial Conference (Edinburgh, 2014). The compilation explores the social phenomenon of waiting and its centrality in human society. Using waiting as a central analytical category, it investigates how waiting is negotiated in myriad ways. Examining the politics and poetics of waiting, it offers fresh perspectives on waiting as the uncertain interplay between doubting and hoping, and asks When is time worth the wait?

A potentially relevant resource on anticipation, as framed by Roberto Poli, is however noteworthy in not explicitly highlighting any sense of waiting (The Many Aspects of Anticipation, Foresight, 12, 2010, 3, pp.7-17; An Introduction to the Ontology of Anticipation, Futures, 2014).

Although the experience of waiting is common and widespread, in times of turbulence awaiting the next crisis is an increasing concern. In societies with an increasing number of aging people, it is to be expected that waiting would be a process which many more are likely to experience in some form and to a greater degree. It could also be recognized that the high proportions of unemployed young people calls for in depth insight into the waiting process. As with the aging, what indeed are they waiting for?

The following is intended to be indicative of the variety of forms and conditions of waiting -- and how it is understood. Rather than being exhaustive, the selection of references is intended to offer a "flavour" of the experience of particular understandings of waiting -- in contrast to the analysis of the phenomenon by observers (which may include those waiting). There is clearly a case for a typology of such understandings and experiences -- but where typologies exist, they tend to be associated with particular approaches to waiting. Little effort has been made to order the following clusters, some of which await include references within indicated subheadings.

Waiting by refugees and asylum seekers: Waiting is clearly central to the refugee experience, especially when obliged to wait for months or years in refugee camps and other facilities.

Anticipating return from exile: Whether having sought asylum elsewhere, or having been exiled by some other process, there is a particular quality to the anticipation of return. This is most evident in the Middle East with respect to issues of right of return.

Waiting time in institutional and process scheduling: Many management techniques explore waiting time to reduce and manage the waste in a process and consequent loss in profitability. These include: just-in-time, Kanban, business process re-engineering, lean manufacturing, and six-sigma. Particular concerns may include waiting understood in terms of minimizing residence time, turnaround time and response time

It is to be expected that efforts would be made to apply such considerations to the management of migrants, just as they are applied by private contractors to the management of some detention centres.

Waiting lists: Those obliged to wait may be placed on a waiting list, possibly to ensure a waiting period. An impressive articulation of waiting list variants has been developed with respect to ticketing, most notably by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) -- IRCTC Waiting List Types PQWL, RQWL, RLWL, RLGN, CKWL (Rush Information):

Use of waiting lists is a common feature of the management of those awaiting resources of any kind. There are multple references in relation to health care and psychotherapy.

Waiting lines: There are many references to the psychology of waiting in line, and queuing -- as experienced by many, often on a daily basis, possibly in a designated queue area.

Waiting in line is an only too common experience for those in need.

"Waiting rooms": There are many references to the design of waiting rooms and how this can enhance the waiting experience, notably in health care institutions -- especally for psychotherapy. Presumably this could be understood as extending to the experience of incarceration, whether in prisons or refugee camps

Long-term incarceration and awaiting execution: This is an especially significant experience for those who are subjected to it and awaiting some outcome, as well as for those externally identified with expectations of the process and its outcome.

Awaiting tangible outcomes: A particular form of waiting is associated with anticipated or predicted probabilities in the immediate future

Awaiting hypothetical outcomes: Somewhat distinctive from the previous mode of waiting is that associated with questionable beliefs regarding probabilities -- typically beyond the immediate future: Waiting in relationships: There is a well-recognized agony to the process of awaiting a relationship Aesthetics of waiting:

Experience of waiting?

Philosophy of waiting and hope:

Waiting in religion:

Awaiting insight:

Clues to "meta-waiting" ?

As noted in the introduction, the clarification of the range of forms and "flavours" of waiting helps to frame the possibility that there are subtler forms of waiting to be recognized. Specifically, do those waiting over longer periods, whether by obligation or by choice, shift into new modes in order to manage the waiting process more appropriately and more insightfully?

Do those experiencing extended periods of waiting offer pointers to more profoundly insightful modes of waiting to which attention has yet to be adequately drawn, as previously argued (Varieties of Recognition in Practice of an Elusive Missing Dimension, 2018; Navigating Alternative Conceptual Realities: clues to the dynamics of enacting new paradigms through movement, 2002)? The latter clusters clues as follows:

Clues to Movement and Attitude Control Combining Clues to Movement and Attitude Control 'Ascent' and 'Escape'
...from kinetic intelligence and sports psychology
...from animal locomotion
...from animal locomotion understood generically
...from Christian vices and virtues
...from yogic perspectives on afflictions of the mind
...from Buddhism
...from the streetwise and from nonviolence
...from the martial arts
...from psychotherapy and game-playing
...from dialogue
Combining the clues framing any static perspective
Clues to integrating movement through kinetic intelligence
Clues from catastrophe theory, force dynamics and manoeuvering
Clues from navigation of multi-media and virtual reality environments
Clues to 'ascent' from Christianity
Clues to 'escape' from Buddhism
Clues to 'ascent' and 'escape' from Theosophy
Tuning and playing category arrays: methodological challenges
Patterns of aesthetic associations

"Unsaying"? The obvious challenge is how to discuss such subtler forms of experience, other than through metaphor, especially since any description may be incompatible with the nature of the experience. One approach is indicated by the understanding of a via negativa, namely a process of unsaying (Michael A. Sells, Mystical Languages of Unsaying, 1994; William Franke, A Philosophy of the Unsayable, 2014). This is characteristic of apophatic theology, namely saying only what divinity is not (Chris Boesel and Catherine Keller, Apophatic Bodies: negative theology, incarnation, and relationality, 2009). In some such mode, the quest here may be distinguished from forms of waiting noted above, namely:

In the last case however, a distinction can be made between attachment to the outcome and the manner in which the experience of waiting may be progressively transformed as the period becomes ever longer. As discussed below, this contrasts with any form of waiting which is focused on the future, rather than present experience, as is characteristic of futures research and anticipation studies:

Through metaphor, examples might then include:

In these cases there is necessarily a shift from hoping for an immediate resolution by which the waiting process will cease -- release from prison, winning the lottery, falling in love. The shift implies another form of engagement with the waiting experience. It can indeed be "thought about". However a distinction can then be made between "philosophising" about waiting in some way (potentially as a distraction) and "re-cognizing" a new and more subtle quality to the waiting experience itself. Arguably -- when not employed as a metaphor -- this is one form of distraction from the experience of waiting, one typical of waiting rooms and queuing perhaps.

"Recognition"? Irrespective of any indulgence in distraction, there is however the possible transformation of perspective associated with waiting over hours, days or years. The process might be compared to the maturation of wine or spirits over years, if not decades. The metaphor is all the more appropriate in that it occurs under constraint, within containers and undisturbed. These may be appropriately termed "stills", although the distinction between distillation and fermentation merits reflection in relation to waiting. The outcome of that process is distinctive and highly valued. There are further ironies in that monasteries have long specialized in that process -- with the "spirit" thereby engendered presumably evoking fruitful parallels with the processes of their meditative disciplines.

Such transformative comparisons merit further exploration, given the highly controversial process of radicalisation typical of those waiting in prison or detention centres -- and the subsequent efforts, through "enhanced interrogation" to "break the spirit" of anyone radicalised in this way. Use of interminable waiting may be one of the techniques used to "soften up" a person.

In the absence of any means of describing such a transformation of the waiting experience, what clues can be cited as evidence for its occurrence? Some might be inferred from the previous exercise (Varieties of Recognition in Practice of an Elusive Missing Dimension, 2018). Indicative examples might include:

Arguably recognizable attributes include combinations of presence and stillness -- especially given the delightful connotation through "still" to the production of "quality spirits". It is highly questionable whether such inner stillness can be usefully described, although it tends to be readily recognized, and distinguished from any simple tendency to silence. References to its nature include: Whether those who endeavour to describe it would be recognized as having that quality, rather than claiming to experience it, is a question (as with this articulation, necessarily). Examples might indeed include:

The philosophy of aikido is somewhat explicit -- in ki-aikido -- with regard to a transformation of experience (Eri Izawa, Aikido Principles Transposed Up Into the Realm of Spirit, MIT, 2006; Stefan Stenudd. Aikido Principles: basic concepts of the peaceful martial art (CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2016). The stages in that transformation may be recognized to a degree through rankings, although these are are only too readily confused with competitive achievement.

"Awaiting in religion"? Given the waiting characteristic of the religious life, there are potentially valuable insights to be drawn from the language variously used to describe the waiting process -- irrespective of what specifically is awaited (or the religion in question). Remarkable in this respect is the language used by Joanne Robinson (Waiting in Christian Traditions: Balancing Ideology and Utopia, 2015). The author notes that waiting, and the disappointment and hope that often accompany it, are explained in terms that are, at first glance, remarkably invariant across Christian traditions. What t will happen will happen "on God's time":

Christians wait for prayers to be answered, for an afterlife in heaven, for the Virgin Mary to appear, and for God to speak... They wait to be liberated from oppression, to be "saved" or born again, for Easter morning to dawn, for healing, for conversion, and for baptism. A study of sources from across Christian traditions shows that there is considerable complexity beneath this surface claim. Understandings of free will and personal agency alongside shifts in institutional and theological commitments change the ways waiting is understood and valued. Waiting is often considered a positive state to be endured as long as God wills, and that fundamental understanding helps keep the promises at the heart of Christianity alive. Scholars have long overlooked the problem and promise of waiting despite (or perhaps because of) its prevalence. Indeed, there are relatively few mystics, few who have undergone "sudden" conversion, and few who have attained saintly status. Many, however, have waited, and that problem remains prominent --and its solutions remain influential -- in Christian traditions today.

Especially remarkable however is the language used with respect to Advent by Paula Gooder (The Meaning is in the Waiting: the spirit of advent, 2009) who concludes:

Advent, then, calls us into a state of active waiting: a state that recognizes and embraces the glimmers of God's presence in the world, that recalls and celebrates God's historic yet ever present actions, that speaks the truth about the almost-but-not-quite nature of our Christian living, that yearns for but cannot quite achieve divine perfection. Most of all, Advent summons us to the present moment, to a still yet active, a tranquil yet steadfast commitment to the life we live now. It is this to which Advent beckons us, and without it our Christian journey is impoverished. (p. 21)

"Control"? The question here is the distinction to be drawn between the experience of control implied by the cognitive shift in aikido -- for the practitioner as controller -- and the analytical emphasis on control, as argued in their introduction to the compilation, by Manpreet K. Janeja and Andreas Bandak (Ethnographies of Waiting: doubt, hope and uncertainty (2018):

A central theme that arises here is that of control (Giovanni Gasparini, On Waiting, Time and Society. 4, 1): who is able to act on time, and who is acted upon. In the work of Arendt and also Michael Jackson it is the capacity and experience of being able to act, and being acted upon, that is pivotal to a sense of well-being as well as agency... Here some element of planning and a sense of control over one's time are important but rarely does one encounter a social situation that can be tamed completely. The distinction between waiting/or and waiting on is instructive here (Schwartz, American Journal of Sociology, 1974, p. 858):

Waiting for describes a situation such as being stuck in a queue where one has little power vis-a-vis an institution, when there are scarce resources that result in waiting times coinciding with how power is distributed (Schwartz, 1974).

Waiting on, however, is choosing when to wait and when to act, a momentary 'putting to one side: a type of waiting that indexes agency.

Building on this insight, Monica Minnegal (The Time is Right: waiting, reciprocity and sociality, 2009: p. 91) writes: We wait on other subjects. There is always an interlocutor in such waiting [ ... ] And the performance that results from this engagement is crucially shaped by the way that waiting -- as reciprocal attention -- is exchanged: Thus, in the relational worlds we inhabit, we find an uncertain interplay between control and its lack, between a politics and poetics of waiting. It is our contention that anthropology is well equipped to explore this interplay, as waiting is also integral to the ethnographic method fundamental to our discipline. (p. 21) [emphasis added]

"Solitude"? It is questionable, for example, whether the sense of "waiting on other subjects" exhausts the experiential significance of waiting -- notably given the argument for unsaying. This is especially the case for those practicing some form of solitude, whether by choice or by obligation. Waiting, as experienced, is necessarily a solitary occupation of time. The following references on solitude are reviewed on the remarkable website of The Hermitary: resources and reflections on hermits and solitude:

To those reviews are added the following on silence:

"Alienation"? As succinctly summarized in the above review, seven solitudes are distinguished in chapters by Ralph Harper (The Seventh Solitude: man's isolation in Kierkegaard, Dostoevsky, and Nietzsche, 1965). These are:

  1. The Night of Absolutes
  2. Self-Isolation
  3. Hidden Inwardness
  4. Excursion into Chaos

5. The Destruction of God
6. The Great Noon
7. Journey from Paradise.

Are these to be associated with higher qualities of waiting -- of "meta-waiting"? Especially relevant are the implications of solitude under conditions of alienation, as when dwelling metaphorically in a wasteland -- to which the experience of society can be so readily compared by many.

Art of waiting: Here the arguments of Sabbar S. Sultan and Ibrahim Abu Shihab (Waiting in T. S. Eliot's ‘The Waste Land', Studies in Literature and Language, 3, 2011, 2, pp. 92-103) are of value -- especially given the explicit aesthetic dimension in a practice like aikido.

The authors distinguish this sense of waiting from that recognized by other authors:

It is worthwhile to note that waiting here is different from, say, Maurice Blanchot's experience of this sensation. Unfortunately it is not accompanied by its sequel or opposite, i.e., forgetting. In his novel, Waiting and Oblivion, Blanchot spells out the inaccessible in Eliot's The Waste Land: "Forgetting, waiting; waiting that assembles, disperses; forgetting that disperses, assembles. Waiting, forgetting" (Khatab, p.84).

..., the concept of waiting in Eliot's The Waste Land is different from that expounded by absurdists like Eugene Ionesco. In his The Chairs (1952), for example, the aging couple waits passively for guests who never show up. The same holds true to Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot (1956) where Vladimir and Estragon give the sonata of time past and awe-inspiring present.

There are many references to the need to develop, cultivate and inculcate the art of waiting. It is presented as closely related to the art of listening by Niina Koivunen (Organizational Music: the role of listening in interaction processes, Consumption, Markets and Culture, 5, 2002, 1, pp. 99-106):

Listening is difficult because seeing takes so much energy. Listening deals with the invisible, which means that no images nor menta.I pictures are needed. Even a slightest image orientates the mind to the visible and thus to seeing. Listening is closely related to the art of waiting that is one of the most difficult skills for human beings. For animals it is completely natural to wait or be aware, but human beings seem to be lost when waiting and encountering unpredictable interaction with the world. Many philosophers, especially Japanese ones and the Zen tradition have discussed this principle of waiting. One central theme has always been to abandon the mental pictures and to open the mind for something new, for something different from oneself. This proper waiting also means that we try to get rid of our introversion. We try to open our shells and communicate with the other out there, to tolerate the other and accept it. Another important issue is that one can practice these skills, waiting and listening skills can be developed....

There is the intriguing possibility that what is recognized in the performance arts as "style" of a higher order may be intimately related to a deeper appreciation of timing than is considered meaningful in other contexts. It is an appreciation of movement -- "moves" in popular jargon. This would then frame the possibility of a deeper sense of timing cultivated by some performers -- with the implication of their deeper sense of waiting for appropriate moments (Janet Goodridge, Rhythm and Timing of Movement in Performance: drama, dance and ceremony, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1999). Clearly this extends to sports and the martial arts. Far less evident is how degrees of depth are experienced even if they are apparent to the most sensitive critics. Clues may of course be found in any sense of depth of flow (Susan A. Jackson and Robert Eklund, Assessing Flow in Physical Activity: the Flow State Scale-2 and Dispositional Flow Scale-2, Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 24, 2002, 2, pp. 133-150; Giovanni B. Moneta, On the measurement and conceptualization of flow. 2012)

A valuable discussion of the problematic appreciation of "depth of style" in contrast with "breadth of style" is provided with respect to church music by the organist, Gary W. Cobb:

The expectations for breadth of styles in worship have profound implications for the rest of the spiritual life of a congregation and also for college curricula. It is interesting to note that this expectation usually centers on "breadth of style" rather than "depth of style". How can one enter into a clearly defined sense of worship in a service that does not necessarily exhibit one's best efforts or does not have a unifying thread running through it that somehow unites the Word and the music? (One Person's Plea for a Return to Focus in Worship, National Association of Schools of Music, 2003, pp. 261-267)

Degrees of "meta-waiting" recognized as "deep waiting"?

Degrees of self-reference and "control"? As implied in this argument, the quest is for insight into ever higher degrees of self-reference as they may be of relevance to the waiting process (Hilary Lawson, Reflexivity: the post-modern predicament, 1985; Douglas Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop, 2007). The latter follows an earlier study (Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, 1979) and precedes another of potential relevance to clarifying this theme (Surfaces and Essences: analogy as the fuel and fire of thinking, 2013).

The variety of references to "deep waiting" suggest that there is intuitive recognition of this potential. The question is what it is that brings a sense of "depth" to the waiting experience. Whilst "deep time" has been appropriated to refer to geological spans of time, some use of the term has been made for cognitive purposes with respect to the flow state. It could be expected that the term would resonante with practioners of deep cultural memory. There is a case for associating and experience of "deep waiting" with "deep time".

The questionable preoccupation with control, deprecated as an "anal" obsession from a Freudian perspective, can be reframed through clues from cybernetics as the science of control. More intriguing is the evolution of thinking within that science, framed as the cybernetics of cybernetics -- or second-order cybernetics -- namely the recursive application of cybernetics to itself (Heinz von Foerster, Cybernetics of Cybernetics, 1974).

The question then to be asked is whether this shift in perspective applies to a potentially fruitful dissociation from the mundane form of waiting -- "first-order waiting"? Indeed it might even be asked why cyberneticians felt the need for such a shift in perspective to second-order cybernetics. More intriguing, and of even greater relevance to this argument, are the further developments of such thinking in relation to cybernetics -- although perceived as of progressively less relevance to cybeneticians as such, in terms of their priority preoccupations. As described separately (Consciously Self-reflexive Global Initiatives: Renaissance zones, complex adaptive systems, and third order organizations, 2007), the developments include:

This is a more intrinsic (embodied) methodology and shows the ongoing convergence of all the various systemic disciplines, as part of the general world paradigm shift noticed recently towards more integrated approaches to science and life. In 21st Century systematics, boundaries between systems are only partial and this implies that we must evolve with our systems and cannot remain static outsiders. Thus our mental beliefs echo our systemic behaviours, we co-create our realities and therefore internal and external realities become one. Understanding this mutual control, exhibited by us on our world and our world on us, takes us into the metaview outlined here, where we can see ourselves as being part of the system under examination.

Because of the intimate connection with reflection on social constructivism and constructivist epistemology, the use of "second order cybernetics" has been interwoven with various proposals for a "third order cybernetics". David Pocock (Loose Ends), offers a critique of such usage in family therapy -- an obvious example of "mutable worlds". Another discussion speculated on the distinction: 1st order cybernetics is spectacular; 2nd order cybernetics is simulating potential fields with request/response; 3rd order cybernetics is potential fields, smell [more]. Note also the discussion by Kent D Palmer (On the Social Construction of Emergent Worlds: the foundations of reflexive autopoietic systems theory. 1996).

Concern has been expressed that any third order human system configured on the metaphor of autopoiesis would necessarily be oppressive, inhuman, and parasocial (William P. Hall, Are Third Order (i.e. Social) Autopoietic Systems Necessarily Autocratic? 2003). Discussion of "observers observing observers", namely certain forms of strategic management consultancy, is held to require such a third order cybernetics by Vincent Kenny and Philip Boxer (The Economy of Discourses: a third order cybernetics? Human Systems Management, 1990).

Central to this effort is the application of a unique, critical theory inspired by the works of Anthony Giddens (1971, 1990; see discussion on modernity and reflexivity) and John Francois Lyotard (1979; see discussion on postmodernity) to the cybernetic theoretical framework. The epistemological orientation of the theory proposed here is that of multiple realities shaped by social, cultural, economic, ethnic, gender and disability values, which centralize on the asymmetric power relations in society

Fourth order cybernetics is thus understood as concerned with how multiple realities are shaped by, and impinge upon, power relationships within society.

Although understood in terms of degrees of self-reference, the question of how such shifts are experienced in relation to waiting remains to be addressed. Further insight, notably in relation to progressively higher degrees of self-reference, is implied by the arguments of Cadell Last (Towards a Big Historical Understanding of the Symbolic-Imaginary, 2017):

Are there forms of waiting which exemplify fifth, sixth and higher orders of self-reference? As discussed with respect to learning modalities (Progressive self-reflexive learning, 2007), a fifth stage might for example echo insights into a "fifth discipline" (Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline: the art and practice of the learning organization, 1990; R. L. Flood, Rethinking the fifth discipline: learning within the unknowable, 1999)

The need for other understandings of control and time is implied by tentative aspirations to a circular economy in a context of surrealistic breakdown of mutual confidence. Through the cultural significance of the complex circularity of the Wu Xing, this may provide particular advantages to the global leadership of China. Is that 5-fold dynamic to be recognized as a higher order cybernetic feedback system to be understood from the perspective of jouncing -- or beyond (as discussed separately)?

"Higher derivatives of time"? As the latter highlight, and as implied by "self-reference", the progression raises the question of the identity of the "controller" and how that identity is experienced and reframed through progressive understanding of the process of ("post-anal") "control" -- most notably in waiting. For Manpreet K. Janeja and Andreas Bandak (Ethnographies of Waiting: doubt, hope and uncertainty, 2018): some element of planning and a sense of control over one's time are important (p. 21). Clues to the relationship between time and control were sought in a previous discussion (Cognitive Implication of Globality via Temporal Inversion: embodying the future through higher derivatives of time, 2019). This drew on the succession of distinctions made with regard to learning/action cycles by Arthur Young (The Geometry of Meaning, 1976):

Note that the fifth observation is to establish a position... and the sixth a change of position. Thus categories five and six repeat the cycle, the fifth falling into the position category and the sixth into the velocity category... the sufficiency of four categories is demonstrated. (p. 18)

As noted in the earlier discussion, Young's 12-phase learning / action cycles. can be variously adapted (Typology of 12 complementary strategies essential to sustainable development, Typology of 12 complementary dialogue modes essential to sustainable dialogue).

This approach to time was used in separately exploring Clues to distinguishing "degrees of intensity" (2018). This necessarily frames the challenge of Engaging with Insight of a Higher Order: reconciling complexity and simplexity through memorable metaphor (2014).

Again, of relevance to this argument is how these relate to the experience of waiting, notably in the light of any (undue) anticipation of change. How may such distinctions be embodied in the waiting process as experienced?

Identity of the "waiter": who waits? Any cognitive meta-shift through the waiting process necessarily implies a challenge to identity and to how -- through higher orders of self-reference -- the "self" is then framed, comprehended and distinguished from otherness to which the waiter is "subject" (Reframing the Dynamics of Engaging with Otherness, 2011; Recognizing patterns in the Greater Game with Otherness, 2013). The question is emphasized by the above-mentioned writings of Douglas Hofstadter (I Am a Strange Loop, 2007).

The experiential challenge of otheness is notably recognized in terms of acedia in the resources on solitude provided by The Hermitary (Acedia, Bane of Solitaries): Acedia (or accedie) has a narrow religious definition but is a far larger and wider psychological and spiritual term relevant to the history of eremiticism and solitude. Arguably it also merits particular attention with respect to migrants and refugees and their detention in holding centres.

The succession of such meta-shifts could be understood as a potential feature of the individuation process -- as progressive self-realization, This offers the curious perspective of the waiter being "awaited" by a potentially emergent identity -- much as the oak awaits the development of the seed from which it grows.

If this emergence is from the unconscious (according to a Jungian perspective), this suggests a form of "indwelling intelligence" whose nature can be variously explored (Implication of Indwelling Intelligence in Global Confidence-building: sustaining the construction and dynamic of psychosocial reality through questioning, 2012).

Pro-active waiting and nowness

Pro-active waiting as strategy? There is a tradition with regard to emperors of China and Japan that their primary function was to "do nothing". In that sense it is not surprising to discover the following argument made by Donald Sull (Strategy as Active Waiting, Harvard Business Review, September 2005):

Managers can rarely manufacture a golden opportunity, nor can they predict its precise form, magnitude, or timing. That said, there is much they can do to prepare their firms to capitalize on a golden opportunity, or weather a sudden-death threat, when one arises. In explaining their success, the managers in our sample emphasized the preparation they took during periods of relative calm rather than their heroic actions (or rivals' boneheaded blunders) in the heat of battle. To survive and thrive in volatile markets, managers can pursue a strategy of active waiting, which consists of anticipating, preparing for, and seizing opportunities and dealing with threats as they arise. Like an advancing army, a company proceeding into an unpredictable future can follow a general direction, probe the future for potential opportunities and threats, keep resources in reserve, remain battle ready, and, when the big opportunity or threat arises, strike hard.

The wording can be seen as confusing and conflating the manner in which the degree of "doing" is contrasted with the degree of "waiting". Presumably the latter would increase in the higher echelons of the organization -- with most of the doing delegated to junior functionaries -- as in the case of an "emperor". Also questionable is the implication of strategy and its sense of intentionality. These could well be profoundly reframed, as with the sense of identity of whoever was "doing the waiting". It is in this sense that the patience characteristic of some forms of fishing is indicative -- especially when the objective is associated cognitively to a far higher degree with the process than with any outcome.

This offers a reminder of the distinction to be explored between actively awaiting a strategic opportunity (as with any hunter waiting to pounce) and the more passive strategy of awaiting a potential surprise, and of being "open to it" (as with a flower awaiting a pollinator). The contrast is reminiscent of gender role extremes and therefore invites reflection on the potential range of intermediary forms and of how they may be arrayed. The extremes are conflated in the saying: Everything comes to those who wait.

Nowness? Various authors have focused in some way on an heightened appreciation of the present moment and a sense of "nowness" -- defined as the quality or state of existing or occurring in or belonging to the present time:

The question pursued in this argument is the potential distinction of "degrees of nowness" and how this might relate to a more profound experience of waiting. This might be explored in terms of an "aesthetics of nowness" (Gary Delaney DeAngelis, Zen and the Art of Teaching: the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom, Diotima: a philosophical review, 2, 2001, 1): is tied into mortality and a deep awareness of the frailty of life, beauty and love. This awareness leads to a heightened sensitivity to and appreciation of the immediacy of things or the nowness of life. This is most clearly manifested in the Japanese concepts of mono-no aware and yugen.... I think that aware could also be translated as a sensitivity to things, an incredible and profound sensitivity to life in its very 'beingness' or 'isness'--a sensitivity to the wonder, beauty and pathos of things because of the transitory nature of life....

If we add to this the notion of naka ima, with its emphasis on living in the purity of the present moment, we perhaps come closest to the uniqueness of the Japanese religious worldview. It is here that we see a vision of life not based on rational abstractions and artificial social conventions but in emotional and aesthetic sensitivity to the beauty and pathos of life.

This understanding is quite elusive at the rational level--so, how does one acquire this? Where does one look? This leads us to the notion of yugen. Yugen is a symbolic word used to describe the mysterious, the profound, the remote--things not easily grasped nor expressed in words--a region lying well beyond form....The yugen is this elusive place, this silence which lies beyond our rational grasp. It may be impossible to explain the yugen but we can intuitively sense it....

What needs to be emphasized here is the centrality of pure feeling, experience and sensitivity of the quality of the lived moment. For the Japanese the realization of truth at this level is what makes life extraordinary.

Aspects of this quest can be explored in terms of "rendering present" both the past and the future (Presenting the Future: an alternative to dependence on human sacrifice through global pyramid selling schemes, 2001; Engaging Macrohistory through the Present Moment, 2004). This contrasts with projection of present perspectives into the past or future, criticized in historical and literary analysis as "presentism" -- although relating to arguments of the philosophy of presentism, namely the view that neither the future nor the past exist. How does such a perspective relate to the waiting experience?

One approach can be explored in terms of the quest for cognitive simplicity (Psychodynamics of Conscious Simplicity, 2005). How "present" can one choose to be? How does this then relate to "degrees of presence"?

Physics of "curled up dimensions"? Fundamental physics, most notably through the speculations of string theory, has given a degree of credibility to the "existence" of extra dimensions of spacetime for their mathematical consistency. In bosonic string theory, spacetime is 26-dimensional, while in superstring theory it is 10-dimensional, and in M-theory it is 11-dimensional. Physics seemingly has little interest in the cognitive relevance of such extra dimensions -- despite the claim that they are essential to a coherent explanation of reality (however that explanation is to be understood as experiential).

The possibility implied here is that there are various cognitive modalities in which people may well readily engage. These suggest a degree of intuitive engagement with "dimensions" which could be considered "extra" -- without being conflated with speculations on the supernatural -- as summarized separately (Varieties of Recognition in Practice of an Elusive Missing Dimension, 2018). As argued there, these could well be undestood as "curled up" in an articulated experience of nowness and the present moment.

The question is whether extended waiting encourages and enables progressive shifting into these extra dimensions -- indicated here in terms of "meta-waiting". Those who are obliged to "wait" for extensive periods (or choose to do so) can then be understood as shifting cognitive gears to subtler understandings of waiting.

This understanding accords to some degree with the understanding of the human being as multidimensional -- if not hyperdimensional -- in ways which the future may explore more fruitfully. Authors variously addressing the possibility of a sense of hyperreality include:

"Gravity" and "Arrogance"? There is a strange relationship between gravitas as a traditional virtue (potentially to be recognized in those of greater presence), the gravity recognized by physics, and the gravity models of the social sciences. The memetic entanglement is evident in the title of a work of the Christian mystic, Simone Weil (Gravity and Grace, Routledge, 2002). Further complexity is evident in the arrogance readily attributed to those with presence -- and potentially to those who have waited insightfully for extensive periods of time. Whether arrogance or otherwise, there is extensive commentary on the reality distortion field engendered by the former.

Are there particular insights intuitively associated with recognition of certain complex problems as "grave" -- especially given the other meaning of the term? The challenge is how to distinguish gravitas from arrogance in a person of presence -- if that is indeed significant.

Of particular interest is the mysterious manner in which arrogance is then associated with belief systems and their iconic exponents, as discussed separately (Arrogance as an analogue to gravity -- equally fundamental and mysterious, 2015). There it is noted that:

Little attention is however accorded to arrogance in psychosocial systems, and specifically with respect to that associated with the promoters of particular models in which others are called to believe. A valuable exception with respect to arrogance and "cultural gravity" is extensively discussed by Rajiv Narang and Devika Devaiah (Orbit-Shifting Innovation: the dynamics of ideas that create history, 2014). Another with respect to business cycles -- recalling the understanding of gravitational collapse -- is that of Michael Farr (Avoiding the Arrogance Cycle: think you can't lose, think again, 2012). It has been a concern since its articulation as hubris in Ancient Greece (Ariston, On Arrogance; Michael Dewilde, Hubris: the psychological and spiritual roots of a universal affliction; Valerie Tiberias and John D. Walker, Arrogance, American Philosophical Quarterly, 1998)

Arrogance (perhaps framed as egotism) is frequently cited as a factor undermining global initiatives. Military arrogance is an ever-present phenomenon, perhaps to be usefully recognized as characteristic of the security and intelligence services in general (Alistair Horne, Hubris: The Tragedy of War in the Twentieth Century, 2016). Elites are readily accused of arragance (Thomas Schaller, The Difference between Elitism and Arrogance, The American Prospect, 16 April 2008; Bob Shoup, Elitism or Arrogance, Canada Free Press, 30 August 2010; Paul Hockenos, Elitist arrogance in Brussels could tear the EU apart, CNN, 14 February 2018).

There is considerable irony to the extent to which arrogance functions as an "invisible" force in the sciences, as exemplified in a commentary on a proposed revision by the American Physical Society of its 2007 statement on climate change (Arthur Smith, The Arrogance of Physicists, 13 October 2009).

Given the mysterious nature of gravity, it is perhaps no surprise that there is considerable difficulty for the sciences to address its role in the elaboration and promulgation of systems of knowledge (Knowledge Processes Neglected by Science: insights from the crisis of science and belief, 2012). A strange relationship is however recognized between arrogance and creativity (Neel Burton, Bad Genius: The Link Between Arrogance and Creativity, Psychology Today, 6 September 2017; Tom Jacobs, The Focused Arrogance of the Highly Creative, Pacific Standard, 8 July 2011) .

Comprehending the potential significance of higher derivatives of time in relation to gravitational models is necessarily challenged by their subtlety -- however this is understood in relation to subjective experience. Clearly there is a sense through which the "internal" reframing of identity through extensive waiting engages and encompasses the supposedly "external" environment in ways which merit reflection in terms of the role of gravity. Can elitism be explored in this light?

Clues to "waiting" from "weighting"?

If aesthetics and mnemonic considerations are of significance to comprehension of waiting, the memetic entanglement in relation to gravitas, gravity and the grave, is delightfully enhanced through metaphoric use of "weight". This is evident in reference to spiritual and intellectual "heavyweights" and their necessarily "weighty arguments" to which the "masses" may be expected to be attentive. A play on words takes the challenge further given the phonetic equivalence of "weight" and "wait", and of "waiting" and "weighting". The association is the focus of an intriguing exploration by Joseph H. Kupfer (When Waiting is Weightless: the virtue of patience, The Journal of Value Inquiry, 41, 2007, 41, pp. 265-280).

There is a degree of irony to the manner in which people must wait years to be qualified through any educational system -- only then being able to "throw their weight around". This implies a form of transformation of the experience of waiting into "weight". Over shorter periods this is evident through any process of "waiting one's turn" -- as with rotating leadership.

With respect to higher orders of the waiting process, particular insight might well be derived from the process of weighting. This involves emphasizing the contribution of some aspects of a phenomenon (or of a set of data) to a final effect or result, giving them more weight in the analysis. It is most commonly applied to measurements of light, heat, sound, gamma radiation, namely to any stimulus that is spread over a spectrum of frequencies. Of relevance to its cognitive role in potentially distinguishing distinct orders of waiting, recent research has explored its role in control (Jiska Memelink and Bernhard Hommel, Intentional Weighting: a basic principle in cognitive control, Psychological Research, 77, 2013, 3, pp. 249-259):

The weighting of features in perception may be called "attentional" weighting since it affects the way attentional processes operate. Nevertheless, we claim that the weighting processes are not any different from the weighting processes that are affecting action selection, which is why we summarize and relate both types of weighting by referring to "intentional weighting" -- so to indicate that the weighting processes are a direct consequence of the current intention to perceive and to act.

In the waiting process, attention is variously attracted to the stimuli "spread over a spectrum of frequencies", namely light, sound, etc. The concentration of meditation typically engages in a weighting process in distinguishing between distractants and attractants -- as suggested by recent research:

Together these point to the intriguing possibility that higher orders of waiting could lend themselves to being distinguished in terms of "frequency curves" associated with such stimuli -- as usefully depicted in the Wikipedia description of weighting. The possibility acquires greater credibility in the light of any wave theory of being (Encountering Otherness as a Waveform, 2013; Being a Waveform of Potential as an Experiential Choice, 2013; Being Neither a-Waving Nor a-Parting, 2013; On being "walking wave functions" in terms of quantum consciousness? 2017). The latter follows from the arguments of Alexander Wendt (Quantum Mind and Social Science: unifying physical and social ontology, 2015).

Another association of interest through "weight" is the sense in which degrees of meta-waiting could be understood as articulated for mnemonic purposes as with the periods of the periodic table of chemical elements. This would then associate the "cognitive heavyweights", corresponding to those of higher orders of waiting, with the heavy metals in the later periods of such a table, as can be variously explored (Periodic Pattern of Human Knowing: implication of the Periodic Table as metaphor of elementary order, 2009; Periodic Pattern of Human Life: the Periodic Table as a metaphor of lifelong learning, 2009). Such a pattern then emphasizes the distinctive roles and characteristics of modes of waiting.

Mysterious relation between waiting and patience?

Patience as a religious virtue: Significantly with respect to any argument for their equivalence, although waiting is itself seldom framed as a virtue, patience has long been esteemed as such by religions:

Patience as an experience? It might be expected that corresponding to any form of meta-waiting would be higher orders of patience, if such a comparison is appropriate. Do higher orders of patience indeed correspond to higher orders of waiting? Is there then a clear distinction to be explored between waiting and patience -- or more specifically between waiting as an experience and "being patient", especially to the extent that the latter implies an external perspective on an internal experience?

Rather than the panel on waiting at the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth Decennial Conference (Edinburgh, 2014), which was a source of the above-mentioned Ethnographies of Waiting: doubt, hope and uncertainty (2018), could this have had the same significance in this period as a "panel on patience"? Is the population now called upon to experience "patience of a higher order"?

Basic to this consideration is whether it is fruitful in experiential terms to frame the much-acclaimed virtue of patience as a noun rather than through any associated dynamic -- as argued separately with respect to the range of value categories (Freedom, Democracy, Justice: Isolated Nouns or Interwoven Verbs? Illusory quest for qualities and principles dynamically disguised, 2011). As queried there values as verbs -- but of a higher order? -- hence the challenge with respect to patience as a noun, in contrast with the experiential dynamics of waiting implied by the verb. It is unusual to find virtues explored in systemic terms (Denise Vigani, Construing Character: virtue as a cognitive-affective processing system, City University of New York, June 2016)

Further confusion appears to be due to the failure to consider how any distinction between patience and waiting might be made in other languages, especially when "patience" might be framed more dynamically as a verb and "waiting" more statically as a noun. Why is it that virtues are recognized as nouns and not through the dynamic by which the quality in question is experienced and embodied?

Contrasting distinctions: The following contrasting approaches to the distinction between patience and waiting may themselves offer further insight into their mysterious relationship:

Patience as defined: As distinguished in many commentaries, the varieties of patience all tend to be presented definitively and unquestionably as descriptive characteristics framed by external observers.

Valuable clarifications are provided in the review by Shirong Luo (Philosophical Reviews, 1 September 2016) of the book-length study by Matthew Pianalto (On Patience: reclaiming a foundational virtue, 2016). The author argues:

... patience is not a one-dimensional virtue, but rather a multifaceted one. As such patience includes self-possessed waiting, uncomplaining endurance, forbearance and tolerance, constancy and perseverance. This broad notion of patience has certain theoretical advantages and plays a crucial role in responding to critics and rectifying misunderstandings, but it also leads to some questions. It seems that all the aspects of patience -- endurance, forbearance, tolerance, constancy and perseverance -- are virtues in their own rights.

Degrees of patience? Are there then degrees of "self-possessed waiting", as might correspond to degrees of "meta-waiting" or of "deep waiting"? With respect to the possibility of "higher orders of patience" the following is of interest by Adam J. Johnson:

The tension throughout Scripture between God's patience and the outbreaking of these temporary and symbolic manifestations of his wrath (no matter how harsh they may seem to be to us) is ultimately a tension that takes place within a higher order of patience -- the patience of God directed towards the work of Christ when he justifies himself passing 'over former sins' (Romans, 3.25-6). (God's Being in Reconciliation: the theological basis of the unity and diversity of the Atonement in the theology of Karl Barth, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2012,

The unresolved difficulty is that, as typically used, all virtues are objective descriptors -- from an observational perspective -- and do not address the nature of the subjective experience exemplified here by the types of waiting indicated above. Curiously, in the eyes of others, it is possible to possess a virtue, even to embody it -- but without it being clear how the possessor experiences that virtue, or whether it can be experienced to a higher degree.

References to "patience of a higher order" are neither as rich nor as evident as might be assumed (The Three Types of Patience: how to be more patient (Instinctual Wellbeing, 15 September 2014). More evident is the highlighting of "depths of patience" by Allan Lokos (Patience: the art of peaceful living, Penguin Random House, 2012).

Questionable discrimination? Most dubious is the discriminatory sociopolitical implication that virtues and values are attributed and accredited by authorities in support of their dominance. In this case patience is righteously enjoined by various power structures upon the waiting population:

The masses are thereby framed as potentially subject to a regretably unrestful dynamic -- a destabilization of the prevailing order. Is "waiting" then to be recognized as well-framed as a condition of less virtuous order in comparison with patience, as implied by Joseph H. Kupfer (When Waiting is Weightless: the virtue of patience The Journal of Value Inquiry, 41, 2007, 41, pp. 265-280)? Does waiting tend to be framed "negatively", in contrast with a "positive" framing of patience?

Patient society? Ironically some insight is to be derived from the sense in which those who are most formally recognized as practioners of patience are "patients". In languages in which patience takes the form of a verb, this would then tend to resemble "pacification" processes -- possibly thereby framing the transformation of "waiters" into "patients".

This evokes reflection on a "patient society" as one in which all are a focus of some form of "health care" -- for which patience is enjoined, if not actively ensured (Lawrence K. Frank, Society as the Patient: essays on culture and personality, Rutgers University Press, 1948; Michael E. Staub, Society as the Patient: Madness Is Civilization, University of Chicago Press, 2011; Ananta Kumar Giri, Society as a Patient: metapathology, healing and challenges of self and social transformations, Social Alternatives, 33, 2014, 2). Global civilization might then be understood as a "waiting room" -- reinforcing some religious beliefs and fuelling some conspiracy theories with regard to extraterrestrials.

Perhaps surprisingly, given the contrast made below between a "business society" and a "waiting society", patience is of particular significance in economics:

In contrast with the cost of waiting, indicated above as a waste in economic terms, patience is framed by these references as an asset -- a virtue in economic terms. Ambiguity is evident in that, for a business, a pool of waiting customers could indeed be framed as an asset -- although potentially a wasting asset, if there is a risk that they may be attracted to competing initiatives.

Further distinctions may or may not be associated with "acting patiently", "actively waiting" and "patiently waiting" -- all of which are relevant in any enterprise.

Aesthetic clarifications? Finer distinctions may be evident in the poetry of patience and the poetry of waiting -- with many of the latter clarifying those made above with respect to types of waiting:

Poetic distinctions
Distinctions in aphorisms and quotations

Waiting society versus Business society?

Busyness society? Those who practice solitude and stillness in some manner, possibly through being obliged to wait, notably contrast their experience with the "busyness" of society preoccupied with "business". Curiously it is the practice of business by some which frames conditions in which others are obliged to wait. It could be argued that business would be acclaimed as successful if many were waiting to consume its products -- whilst many others were waiting to be employed by that process. The latter are recognized through the term labour pool, curiously conflated with workforce. This reinforces the implication that those who wait to be employed are perversely framed for some purposes as part of the workforce, whether or not they have any prospect of ever being remuneratively employed -- or desire to be so.

The situation is echoed in the processes of government, typically claimed to be successful to the extent that the majority of the population is waiting (patiently) for delivery of change -- as identified in electoral promises and commitments. Many of course await the possibility of employment in government administration, seen as exemplifying long-term security. Whether in business or in government, those employed may well wait for career advancement and a pay rise -- as well as waiting patiently for retirement.

To assume that all those in Africa and the Middle East awaiting migration to Europe are part of the "workforce" from an economic perspective is naive hypocrisy of the heightest degree. Most can be understood to be "employed" otherwise -- in waiting. Curiously this blinkered economic view has been characteristic of the exclusion of the "work" of those at home -- housewives, the aged, children, etc -- from inclusion in any understanding of GDP. They are presumably to be understood as "waiting" at home, however they are obliged to employ themselves..

So framed it could be argued that "business models" are in effect associated with "busyness models" and imply them as a hidden complement. This is most evident in the detailed attention to scheduling and the management of time. As noted above, the minimization of waiting is vital to business profitability. Waiting is then recognized as a waste. Curiously it could then be seen that in engendering waiting, whether deliberately or inadvertently, business could be said to outsource that process as incompatible with a profitable business model. Without necessarily seeking financial profit, this is also the case with government administration. The waiting populating is outsourced notably into queues and queue areas -- or ignored. No effort is made to calculate the cost. Curiously this is also the case with respect to democratic voting procedures in which voters are expected to queue if they wish to vote (or are legally obliged to do so).

Waiting society? The variety of forms of waiting, and the extent to which people are variously obliged to wait, suggests that global society should also be explored as a "waiting society". The argument for doing so is that collectively people are fundamentally in a waiting mode -- effectively awaiting fruitful outcomes from global governance and other promises, as much as from regional, national and local governance. As noted above, collective expectation of sustainability places society collectively in a waiting mode.

Expressed otherwise, it could be said that society is "expectant" -- namely "pregnant" in anticipation of some form of "renaissance" (David Lorimer and Oliver Robinson, A New Renaissance: transforming science, spirit, and society, 2011). Rather than a "waiting society", this offers the notion of an "expectant society". The sociopolitical crises of the times could be only too conveniently framed as "labour pains" through which some new order is being born.

References to some understanding of a waiting society include the following -- however they are to be interpreted:

The Economist actually observed a few years ago that citizens in developed nations were increasingly divided into those who had money but not time and those who had time but not money. The latter group, with time on its hands, literally waits for and waits on the moneyed group. This is becoming the Waiting Society. Because we do this through increased technological sophistication such as apps that instantly ping us with new opportunities, we can reduce the waiting process somewhat.

Waiting framed by other modes of engaging with time

As noted above, useful distinctions can be recognized between exploration of the future, through futures studies and imaginative speculation (in fiction), their reframing in terms of anticipation (notably with respect to financial "futures"), and the busyness of business society. The latter notably frames and engenders a waiting society as clarified here. The relationship might be represented as follows (bottom left), with the core indicative of cognitive degrees of "meta-waiting".

The separations indicated are obviously a matter of controversy, with overlaps between zones to be variously envisaged. This argument offers the even more controversial suggestion that the direction of progressive shift away from heightened experience of the present moment is a case of "wrong way -- go back".

2D Framing of higher orders of meta-waiting Possible insights from 3D configurations
Framing the possible higher orders of meta-waiting
Dynamic virtual reality model of intertwined tori

As a catalyst for reflection, there is a case for switching from the 2D representation on the left to a configuration in 3D on the right, whether as a simple torus or through the dynamics of intertwined tori, as argued separately (Comprehension of Requisite Variety for Sustainable Psychosocial Dynamics, 2006). The dynamics of the intertwined tori can be viewed as an animation in virtual reality.

The 3D variants are indicative of the possibility that the central zone of the 2D version is in some way cognitively contiguous with its speculative outer circumference -- through a form of "wrapping". The circumferential rings are then suggestive of derivatives of time of different orders. These are currently a feature of alternative gravity models, as discussed separately (Temporal inversion and higher derivatives of time, 2018). As a complement to insight into the astrophysics of black holes, such implications recall the arguments of Peter Russell (The White Hole in Time: our future evolution and the meaning of now, 1992).

There is clearly a paradox to how the centre is understood experientially as contiguous with the circumference of the 2D depiction -- a "cognitive twist" typical of interpretations of the Mobius strip and the Klein bottle (Steven M. Rosen, Science, Paradox, and the Moebius Principle: the evolution of a transcultural approach to wholeness, SUNY, 1994; How Can We Signify Being? Semiotics and Topological Self-Signification, Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 10, 2014, 2).

The geometry of the 2D depiction of above is unnecessrily restrictive in that a spiral relation between the concentric zones is more indicative of a developmental relation. Especially suggestive is a distinctive use of interrelated tori below, as discussed separately (Symbolizing Collective Remembering Otherwise Encompassing: the "headless hearts" and "heartless heads" through their dynamic entanglement, 2018). The images suggest a form of interlocking between distinctive cognitive modalities. Missing (or implied) is an additional spiral pathway between the modalities of which the central animation is indicative, as discussed separately (Visualization in 3D of Dynamics of Toroidal Helical Coils: in quest of optimum designs for a Concordian Mandala, 2016).

Heart-pattern using juxtapositioned cross-sections of two 3D tori
(Reproduced from Cognitive heart dynamics framed by two tori in 3D, 2016)
2 horn tori of major radius
in proportion of phi
Animation of Lissajous curve
on horn torus
Stacking 3D heart patterns
(based on horn tori)
Heart-pattern using juxtapositioned cross-sections of two 3D tori Animation of Lissajous curve  on horn torus Stacking 3D heart patterns  based on horn tori
Adaptation, with permission, of animation
by Wolfgang Daeumler (Horn Torus)
Reproduced, with permission,
from Wolfgang Daeumler (Horn Torus)

Such considerations raise questions as to how time may come to be embodied otherwise, whether individually or collectively. Possible indications are;

Speculations regarding expansion of the universe from a Big Bang -- in anticipation of its subsequent contraction to a Big Crunch -- have potentially significant cognitive implications. These follow from the manner in which the experiential "universe" expands and contracts during the waiting process. Given the astrophysical metaphor, this invites reflection on the "shape of the universe" -- of the experiential universe whilst waiting.

Given the fundamental importance of the Euler identity, ranked the most beautiful equation in mathmatics, the remarkable possibility that it may hold insights into the waiting process is suggested by the work of Anthony Sofo and Pietro Cerone (Generalisation of a Waiting-Time Relation Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications 214, 1997, 1, pp. 191-206; Generalisation of Euler's identity, Bulletin of the Australian Mathematical Society, December 1998 58, 1998, 3, pp. 359-371). The latter cites the former. The various attempts to offer an intuitive understanding of the Euler identity offer pointers of potential relevance to the waiting experience (What is an intuitive explanation of Eulers identity? Quora; Intuitive Understanding of Euler’s Formula, Better Explained)

Future of waiting in society?

Any sense of a waiting society, or of an expectant society, offers a reminder that it is "anticipated" that the society of the future is expected to become primarily a "service society". Ironically this may however encourage a reframing of the seemingly humble current role of "waiters" (in contrast with "patients"). In that respect it is appropriate to recall that the early Christian Desert Fathers -- as hermits -- wove baskets to exchange for bread. In medieval times hermits were also found within or near cities where they might earn a living as a gate keeper or ferryman.

How would the dynamics of society be experienced if "waiters" were the primary practitioners cultivating a sense of "pro-active meta-waiting"? This understanding offers scope for speculative science fiction. Given the argument for higher cybernetic orders of self-reference, "ordering" from such a waiter would potentially then offer a quite unusual experience. The question is relevant to the consideration of the increasing "soullessness" of service environments (Dreamables, Deniables, Deliverables and Duende: global dynamics "at the table" inspired by dining and wining in practice, 2015).

Given the possibility of pro-active meta-waiting argued above, it could be claimed that the future will see a convergence between the reduction of wait time sought by process management with a reframing of waiting by any "waiter" -- namely a far higher degree of focus on nowness and the present moment. Ironically the higher wealth production associated with the reduction of wait time by business would then be complemented by the greater access to "inner wealth" through meta-waiting.

The increasing role of artificial intelligence is now actively anticipated even with respect to dialogue (Computer AI passes Turing test in 'world first', BBC News, 9 June 2014; Thomas Hornigold, How Close Is Turing’s Dream of Conversational Machines? SingularityHub, 27 September 2017; Pei-Hao Su, et al, Deep Learning for Conversational AI, NAACL, 2018).

For those awaiting meaningful conversation, there is the intriguing possibility that in the expected capacity of robots -- as "waiters" par excellence -- their programming may readily distinguish between lower and higher orders of cybernetics in an interaction, namely the appropriate degree of self-reference in response to an "order". With respect to any prospect of "meta-waiting", this suggests implications for a Forthcoming Major Revolution in Global Dialogue (2013), namely a challenging new world order of interactive communication.

Reverting to the argument of Douglas Hofstadter (I Am a Strange Loop, 2007), to whom is what meant by such a strange loop in the process of meta-waiting? How might that be understood collectively, as separately explored (Sustaining a Community of Strange Loops: comprehension and engagement through aesthetic ring transformation, 2010)?

For what, at this time, is anyone not waiting?

The monolithic human statues on Easter Island (the Moai) suggest a poignant insight into a culture heavily invested in anticipation of externalities. They seemingly await patiently an event whose nature now eludes them -- readily associated with cargo cult societies in that region. The collapse of the culture on Easter Island is cited by Jared Diamond as providing one of the best historical examples of societal collapse in isolation (Collapse: how societies choose to fail or survive, 2005).

Poignant representation
of an anticipation society?
Statues on Easter Island -- the Moai
Moai: Easter Island
Reproduced from Wikipedia
where the image has been rated one of the finest in that collection


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