C-79. A serviceable story

The BFPS … BFEPS transformation just noted (C-78) recalls a previous comment (C-63) that contingent emergent materiality makes a good story line. What could make it very good would be the service it would render as a companion story. Which is to say that it could accompany us, supportively (II), through life … responsive to the loneliness of the NoT’s discontinuity condition and the incomplete instruction of NoT’s partial order condition.

We see such support and story lines in the functionality of community membership, in a perceived oneness with nature, in a fellowship with gods, in cultural myths, in a presumptive underlying order to things, in a sense of history – even in the ongoing communicative relationships we share with verbal and musical languages.

Why does this point about story serviceableness arise? Because all narratives are less than complete and accurate. (BFPS, for example, is hardly correct in depicting “Big Bang.”) However the main reason is that the other stories, while rendering support, compete dysfunctionally with each other. They come across more as alternatives for decision makers than as steps forward for problem solvers.

The various stories compete in their respective oneness, as in this vs. that community or history, or as in creation stories vs. science’s underlying order assumption. They violate the Balance imperative (XI; App. XVII) of similarity/difference =1, and the NoT’s general persisting condition of partial order. Separateness and incomplete instruction may give behavioral entities reason to seek oneness (e.g., of connection, of direction), but increased consequentiality via realized functionality and problem-solving positivism suggest a reason not to seek a ONE. The various oneness stories do not serve the progress of humanity (0-I) so much as they block it, singly and together (0:S-P, IV).

If we continue to ADOPT one or another of the various oneness stories (violating behavioral balance: Decision making/problem solving > 1), thereby inviting decline and fall for humanity (fiddling while more than a Rome burns), then a better fit for all the particulars observed becomes moot. Our needed functionality is for a story that serves our forward progress, a supportive scaffolding for the composing we have yet to do – including, somewhat ironically, the construction of unities (James).

The attractions of oneness stories for authority (e.g., science’s facts as natural authority) and authorization (e.g., “God’s will”) are undeniable. Responsibility is ceded. But consider the interdependence of responsibility and capability in light of what we have come to know about these two aspects of consequentiality. Their interdependence (C-71) is crucial to effective behavior: We have a responsibility (to ourselves) to become more capable; capability should determine assumed or assigned responsibility. If we cede responsibility then we pretty much abandon capability development – and thus remain unbalanced and weak in the face of needed consequentiality.

As a serviceable story, BFPS works as a hypothesis of sorts, a working hypothesis for behavior before the fact to complement the working hypotheses we use after the fact to describe behaviors (e.g., AOTBE: all other things being equal [which is far from being the most consequential thing they are!]). In service the BFPS story is tested too. As a question – as hypotheses are – it is open to change, in contrast to the “closed case” quality of some other stories heavy with explanatory promise.

(c) R.F. Carter