C-144. The other “missing link”

Wow! Another discovery of ancient humanoid bones! Advancing on the missing link between primates and humans!

But what if that “missing link” is not the key to “know thyself” that we need? Perhaps what this missing link is talking about is just a piece in a progression of body (and body capacity) differences along one viewed line of biological evolution? Won’t there always be yet another of such a missing piece?

What if there is another missing link of far greater consequentiality for humanity? For the aims of humanism (App. VIII)?

There is.

If we take the question of “Course?”to be a more productive line of inquiry (than “Source?”) for our understanding of the human condition (C-139), then this other missing link becomes apparent. The missing link is needed functionality, NF.

NF is Realization’s beginning point (App. XIX; C-111), as in Edison’s point about invention. NF is also the Nature of Things’ consequence (III: behavioral necessity). NF links the general persisting conditions of the Nature of Things with the developmental conditions (Grasp and Involve; capabilities and composed technologies) of Realization’s expanding functionalities.

NF is the moving historical point that we have called the Frontier (C-118). It is not the “connection” between storied past and reported present – the stuff of histories. It is the nature of history. This is about G-change, not just p-changes (C-138). This is about NF as the “engine” of biological -- and beyond -- history (C-105), about humans becoming more consequential (e.g., composing solutions for unsolved problems [of behavior per se: I:Pbeh and of situation: Psit] to improve quality of life [0]).


NF also points us backwards, from its place as the consequence of the Nature of Things, toward an important resource of behavioral principle, to behavioral necessity’s Requisites and Imperatives (VI-XI). We are no longer limited to principles derived after the fact from the behaviors we have essayed (e.g., norms, statutes, actuarial results). Now we have access to these additional principles before the fact of attempting behaviors. (Not to mention a resource for diagnosing after the fact some of the reasons for dysfunctional efforts.)

Consider, for example, matters of economic behavior introduced earlier (C-122). It is the before-the-fact principle of the Balance requisite (XI) that introduces and gives us control potential beyond the normative (e.g., ethical and compassionate behavior) and actuarial (e.g., “the invisible hand”) – i.e. those principles predicated on particular behaviors after the fact. The Nature of Things’ Balance requisite adds governing potential; it eschews policies and practices that violate the balance – and thus violate productive interdependence – of, say, valuation, V, and Realization, R. It also looks to the problem of unbalanced balancings … the unavoidable (managing) consequence of so many functionalities in consequence of so many needed functionalities (C-82,115).

(There has been with us a second “invisible hand” – that hand invisible because it has not been at work. This is the lacked guiding hand that a ratio of V/R >1 could have triggered … a ratio we now see in evidence, vividly if not so clearly, in such matters as short-term investments, financial services’ derivatives, consumerism’s anti-tax sentiments and politics’ big-money electoral campaigning.

Regulation after the fact of dysfunctional mischief is not up to the challenge of the Control imperative’s “control need = control capability” [VI]. As noted in Topic XI, App. XVII and again in C-120, this matter extends far beyond concerns about economic behavior. But given what we have seen of decision making/problem solving >1 [C-98: That other climate change] and the lack of fit between needed work and available jobs [C-141], some priority might be assigned to seeking a more principled approach to economic behavior.)

The point TO back to the Balance requisite from NF then goes on to point TO the stunting effect of imbalance on interdependencies (C-71). Interdependencies are an essential part of behavioral architecture (C-90) … initially via those of body and step, minding and moving, Grasping and Involving … then onto the hugely productive cognitive and communication interdependency (App. III) -- still only partially developed via language technologies, and still inadequate for our needs (C-141).

Needed functionality, it should be noted, is precisely the gap between control need and control capability discussed in the Control imperative (VI). “Control Central,” we might say. (But this is no mere rhetorical concept [C-124]. It is a theoretical construct, anchored by the Nature of Things and by Realization [C-81].) See C-148.

Needed functionality is criterial. It is what is called for (C-110). It is fundamental to an R-sense of what it is to be an R-entity (C-128,147) – i.e., the entity that all of us, individually and/or collectively (e.g., union: C-112), need to be.

(c) 2016 R. F. Carter