C-60. Three (maybe four) signal behavioral events

Three signal happenings, to be more precise. The last, involving composition, isn’t that far along and the other two, involving communication and cognition, still have more than a little ways to go. But for convenience, let’s call them events. In human history, they play out roughly in a sequence whose minding components we can extract from a correction of the flawed “entity” agenda of “Or: Od => On” (C-54). This correction states:

Og(cog): Od => Mg(cmu) => On(cog+cmu) (Where Od may be an On or part of one – e.g., a thingk [X])

The first event is the emergence of communication as a functional substitute for whole body movements (Mgcmu), as in directing someone else’s attention to a particular entity (a point AT). The second event is the emergence of communication and cognition symbiotically (III) to make more of minding’s productivity (VII) via cognition’s relating function (Ogcog), employing communication’s capability to objectify anything (e.g., relations; thingk as well as thing) – so as to make it observable. The third event is the emergence of compositional capability (Oncog+cmu), so as to make something (here: an observation) for the future and not just of the past – i.e., to turn our minding (C-58) toward the future by (literally) making and giving expression to an observation (for one’s short and/or long term memory if not for others’ use).

These are economically significant events (App. XIII): the CMU Event saves energy (see “least effort”) and defeats “less action at a distance”; the CMU+COG Event is productive of new relationships; the Turn-Around (compositional) Event is productive of consequent productive relationships, changing the course of history.

If we were to write a brief history of behavioral events (see App. XI-XII), as by starting with Big Bang, then on to particular collisions – formative and destructive of behavioral entities (BE), then on to (some) orbiting BE, then on to (some) multi-step BE, then on to some of those multi-steppers becoming better able to arrange and/or avoid collisions – wherein these three events would emerge and become increasingly consequential … if such a history were to be penned, the staggering neglect of BE’s behavior might become more apparent in the increased number and variety of consequences attributable to each event.

This is why we picture Comte’s pyramid tipped over, and altered in shape to a cone and in focus from observers to the observed. Communication, cognition and composition constitute penultimate, explosive behavioral domains. Community is the potential 4th signal event because it comprises two degrees of composition: the building of community and then also of what community is able to build – especially solutions to our most difficult problems (0: P).

Many of the “communities” familiar to us, like those of “Decline and fall” (C-51), barely hint (as products) at the compositional functionality required. The “Tragedy of the Commons” illustrates our failure to compose community, and thus with that lack of conceptual independence an inability to handle the dynamic relationships (XI) of individual x community, impeding technological solutions which are, indeed, possible. (“Government” does not have to be “It” or “Them.”)

(c) 2012 R.F. Carter