C-97. Late-stage functionality

If “late-stage functionality” calls to mind (so to speak) late-stage cancer, then that’s all to the good. For, like late-stage cancer, late-stage functionality points to a perilous condition.The four stages of consequentiality (App. XIX), beginning with the Nature of Things, tell us to continually develop our capabilities (V), to increase our knowledge in every way (C-93: KT as well as KF), to meet our incompletely instructed condition as an opportunity and not just as a handicap (III: A World of Possibility), to develop new technologies (especially behavioral — see C-90: Behavioral architecture’s making the step we can then take) … and, most definitely, not to settle for just learning, and deciding among (C-98), the behavioral solutions already available … not while we have so many problems not yet solved (0; C-98) – or solved with unsatisfactory outcomes (i.e., derivative problems such aswarped minding [0: S-P] and a smothering variety of pollutions [0:Ps]).

Humanity suffers from late-stage functionality (L-S F). So too do particular individuals and communities suffer. Humanism (App. VIII) as a betterment initiative is weakened because of L-S Fand so too are individuals and communities further weakened (C-98).

With late-stage functionality, behavior is governed by model and conformity, by normative principles after the fact (Stage 4: structure => function) rather than before the fact by the behavioral principles implied by the Nature of Things (Stage 3: function => structure), most pointedly ourbehavioral requisites and imperatives.

With L-S F, we look to science and technology of the artificial to relieve us of the chores of structure-dictated behaviors (e.g., as via robotics), rather than looking to possibility – indeed, to a science of the possible (C-93: KT), toward developing a fusion of humanism, art and science (HAS: App. VIII) to advance our progress in this World of Possibility.

With L-S F, our sensory vision (C-96) is impaired. It becomes sclerotic. In problem terms (0), we have brought about blindness by the intellectual tools (0: S-P) we employ. We have erected the escarpment (App. XVI) we must now try to surmount. We fail to see that developments (Stage 4) can stand in the way of development (Stages 1-3). We even compare our L-S F developments with those of others less fortunate, mindless of our modest score on needed minding capability. Mind(ing)-bound indeed!

Late-stage functionality is fad and fashion, routine and habit, learning at the expense of knowing, reused compositions instead of original composing … a persistent tending toward the rote performance that is so inimical to Presence (C-96), so constraining on self-realization.

This is the stuff of human tragedy, of self-imposed injury and insult.

(c) 2013 R.F. Carter