Topic VIII: Singularity Requisite

The capacity of the whole body to move itself (e.g., toward or away from another entity) in but one direction at a time implies a requisite singularity from minding.

Somewhat similarly: “Don’t bother me; I’m busy!” Focal attention and its successors, cognizing and moving, argue for a singularity in behavior.

But what of demonic jazz drummers? The several body parts allow what the whole body does not (e.g., speaking while walking). And what about multi-tasking? The multi-step capacity, further developed as capabilities, opens up a nonsingular potential in extended behavioral molecules (“actions”). (The non-singularity is more apparent than actual: an observer’s interpretation.)

Perhaps the most consequential feature of the singularity requisite is the role of non-singularities in cognizing, where they serve to punctuate the end and beginning of steps.

Where the minding capabilities can operate in various combinations and sequences (e.g., cognizing to govern focal attention) within the step, there remains a between-the-step need for cognizing to bring some steps to a stop and keep other steps from beginning – because of a non-singularity.

The actor/BE can use four kinds of cognized non-singularity: Cybernetic; Elicited criterion; Uncertainty; Ignorance.

Cybernetic: We should come to a stop if we are “off course,” if we have deviated from a given (e.g., intended, implied) direction. Cybernetic mechanisms are familiar (as invented) product-tools in use. As the section on impediments) implies, humanity has been off-course for a long time in respect to the Nature of Things. (Also see re “in accord.”)

Elicited criterion: We should come to a stop if we note that a condition encountered is discrepant from a value, standard, or knowledge that we possess, held in memory, from prior experience. As experimental as we must be in trying to solve problems, we must venture forth, more or less tentatively. Using elicited criteria, we can draw on a multiplicity of useful values, standards and knowledge, applying them as they become relevant (e.g., saying “No!”). No need to be an ideologue and operate just cybernetically.

Uncertainty: When two or more options obtain, they must typically be reduced to one – a multi-scoop ice cream cone excepted. Indecision is a familiar manifestation. It plagues decision makers whose attention is focused on available solutions and the problematic situation to the exclusion of the behavioral problem – until, of course, they do something (anything?) just to resolve their dilemma. They are often hung up in a decision-making mode when problem solving would be more to the point (because the Psit requires making a new step, and perhaps a new product with tool potential, not just a choice). The consumer culture, promulgated by marketing and advertising, fosters uncertainty.

Ignorance: The lack of any instruction, so to speak, is discrepant with the need for one. This is not learning-type ignorance, although it can be interpreted that way, either by actor or observer. This is partial order, that general persisting condition, manifesting itself as incomplete instruction. Our next step, then, is free to begin anew. This condition of functional ignorance is essential to realizing possibility. (If one is not a confirmed decision maker, this is a good time to think constructively, to introduce new ordering.)

Uncertainty and ignorance suggest that one should stay stopped until cognizing has had a chance to make an informing contribution. (“Think ahead”)

While these cognitive non-singularities figure crucially in one’s self control, they also come into the picture in collective behavior. Attempts to stop others (e.g., you supply the cybernetic or elicited criterion; you note the opportunity to think anew) often fail to work. When behavior is so poorly – incompletely and inaccurately – understood, as it currently is, helping or cooperating with others is not easy.

When being communicated with, any of these four non-singularities gives us reason to stop (then perhaps to think, to ask a question, to disagree). Interrupting may not be possible (e.g., broadcasts, recordings) or it may not be popular (e.g., with authoritative personalities). Or it may not be easy (e.g., with someone speaking). But reading makes it feasible to bring cognized non-singularities to bear – a very good reason to develop reading capability.

(c) 2010 R. F. Carter


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