Patterns, Control and Shoretz
Variety of phenomena could be uniformly described with concepts of Patterns and Control.
One can discern a Pattern in a system, when one:
1. defines characteristics of phenomenon
2. divides them into two groups
3. classifies changes of values of characteristics belonging to first group, while values of characteristics belonging to second group do not change, as a state of the system and all together as a pattern.
Control is moving the system from one state to another with relatively small effort. The effort is defined as small from the point of view of one who controls. For example, it could be small level of energy needed to move the system from one state to another, or a small mental effort.
One concept, which allows definition of stable states, is still missing. For example, in mechanics a state is stable, when minor changes of system's parameters do not change its state, as in case of a ball in the depression in the ground - minor changes of ball's mechanical parameters do not cause ball's movement out of this depression.
This concept should capture the plurality, multiplicity of similar small actions, for example caused by similar objects moving and acting, where we cannot differentiate between objects, but analyze consequences of their collective actions. For example, perpetually moving water molecules push small particles in water, or bacteria in some area collectively change environment, etc.
We call this the Shoretz.
In the presence of the Shoretz, some states are stable and Control is moving the system from one stable state to another.
Different sets of characteristics can be used to describe the system and different sets of states can be defined as stable and different groups of Control actions could be used to move from a state to a state. Hence, the entire conceptual construction of Patterns and Control depends on a model of the reality.
Biological Evolution is clearly observed in bacteria, insects and other organisms with short reproductive cycle. It is explained with "random" changes in state of organisms (particularly, genetic mutations), survival of organisms, which are in balance with existing circumstances (environment), and reinforcing the "acceptable" state of organisms.
The concept of "random" changes (the Shoretz) is central to this model.
In a market-based society, there is a large number of producing and consuming entities. Market-based society could exist only, when these entities produce in excess of what is consumed. This excess creates a push of what society produces on society's consuming side. This push utilizes society's trading system and assures dynamic equilibrium between society's producing and consuming sides.
The "excess" has to be produced randomly, because there is no precise knowledge where it could be "pushed". This is a vital Shoretz part of the Market.
It is already obvious that various and growing in number consuming desires of members of market-based society are a basis of healthy operation of the market. This causes the Shoretz of consumption.
Changing society in a changing environment needs descriptions of its environment, descriptions of itself and descriptions of its possible actions - intellectual descriptions.
Different descriptions logically contradict each other and people accepting one description have tendency to suppress and even destroy contradicting descriptions. However, the society often has to make difficult decisions and it needs the variety of different descriptions to choose a fitting one at moment of decision-making.
Hence, viable societies adopt Pluralism - a system of protection of variety of descriptions. This is usually expressed in a form of protection of freedom of speech. With such protection, members of the society engage in perpetual generation of descriptions. This is Shoretz.
Highly developed system of consuming desires hardly could coexist with poor satisfaction of intellectual desires. Hence, a stable state of market-based society usually includes Pluralism.
Changing circumstances require frequent changes in social structures; otherwise, a society arrives into a severe conflict with reality, which is resolved through rapid and painful drastic social changes (revolution, war).
Experimentation with small social changes could be initiated by a narrow social group. However, such narrow approach rarely leads to sufficient degree of experimentation. In a viable society, these small social changes are initiated by a broad group of members of society. This is another form of Shoretz, which existence is assured by Political Freedom.
Highly developed system of consuming desires hardly could coexist with poor satisfaction of desires to affect social structures. Hence, a stable state of market-based society usually includes Political Freedom.
It makes sense to define the Shoretz of Desires in general. Different forms of it cause the Shoretz of:
This Shoretz of Desires is important for well-being of a person and of a society.
This Shoretz could be suppressed through despotism, hard living conditions, bad experiences, illness, etc. Such suppression leads to diminished growth and viability of individual or society.
Desires are constructs of a Mind: a new Desire is build on Patterns of existing Desires. A new Desire is added to a pool of existing Desires and often causes recognition of new Patterns.
Hence, left unchecked, the Shoretz of Desires has tendency to grow. It is actually used as an engine of growth.
In the case of absence of bounds on growth, it is reasonable to assume that the incremental change in number of Desires is proportional to number of Patterns, which could be recognized in the current body of Desires in a given period, and this one in turn is proportional to the current number of Desires.
This means that number of Desires growth exponentially.
This theoretically exponential growth of number of Desires is a foundation of theoretical exponential growth of wealth produced in a market-based society and exponential growth of wealth per capita.
Theoretical speed of growth is not observed because of bounds imposed on the body of Desires.
There is a natural association between a Desire and examples of its satisfaction. Satisfied Desires shape a new Desire and strengthen it with hope of satisfaction.
In vibrant societies, public knowledge of examples of satisfied Desires is broadly supported. It is customary to know, what kind of Desire a neighbor have satisfied and want the same. It is customary to observe rich and want to emulate their satisfaction of Desires on a smaller scale.
Hence, rich people play a vital social role, when they experience new forms of Desires and satisfy them. Some of these new forms of Desires eventually migrate to other strata of society. Note that in medieval European society, rich (aristocracy) were main driver of market economy.
The body of Desires (Desires of society or Desires of individual) is bound by available Resources needed to satisfy them. Actually, a "Resource" should be defined as a bound of the body of Desires.
Importance of Resources is defined by the degree to which it limits the body of Desires.
As the body of Desires changes, the importance of Resources changes. Some of them fade away - they stop being a bound and hence stop being a Resource. For example, flint (stone) stopped being a Resource, when society moved to metal with its tool making. Hunting grounds stopped being a Resource, when society moved to agriculture.
There are Desires, which being satisfied could cause dangerous destabilization of society or biosphere. A society is often aware of this danger and places special Hard Bounds on Desires. These bounds often manifest themselves as moral limits. Unlike bounds-resources, they could be violated, but consequences of such violation are severe.
Different social groups exist in different circumstances; hence, they have different Hard Bounds (and different moral values). However, there is a large degree of similarity between Hard Bounds in different groups and this similarity grows with diminishing detachment of these groups from the rest of society.
A stable society has a mechanism in place, which suppresses creation of Desires going beyond Hard Bounds.
Mechanisms supporting Hard Bounds are effective and there is perpetual temptation to use them or similar mechanism to support additional Bounds.
Parents set Bounds to shape behavior of their children in a way convenient for parents (and often not useful for children in their future life).
A religious institution sets Bounds to make itself stable and able to shape society in a long run.
A government sets Bounds to be able to direct will of a society as a whole to achieve some goals, which it sees as important for a society as a whole.
An Ideologue sets Bounds to create an artificial social structure and modify social behavior the way he sees proper.
Management in a firm sets Bounds, which create an artificial structure (the firm), which manifests itself as a relatively independent social entity.
Groups, which can either generate stream of information (rogue political groups) or filter it (media outlets) create and maintain temporary Bounds to shape decisions of society.
These are Artificial Bounds. By their nature, they channel energy of Shoretz of Desires in direction convenient to their creators. Being artificial, rather sooner than later, they cause conflict with reality.
A driving desire of a living being is to expand. This desire could be suppressed, but as soon this severe suppression is lifted, this desire emerges.
The desire to expand is translated into desire to loosen restrictions. There are many ways, how this loosening could be done:
Bounds-resources are put into a system, which replaces a Bound with a set of more manageable Bounds.
Hard Bounds are a subject of perpetual discussion, especially by each new generation learning them, and some Bounds, which are not Hard Bounds, but artificial ones pretending to be Hard Bounds are eliminated.
Artificial Bounds are in the process of perpetual reintroduction, and in a viable society, there is a process of perpetual removal of them. This is a special conscious process, because creators of Artificial Bounds put a lot of efforts into maintaining and regular reintroduction of these bounds.
Introduction of a Bound causes contraction of the body of Desires and dramatically reduces speed of its expansion.
Let say there is a body of Desires and a Bound is introduced, which removes a half of this body.
Desires in remaining part, which relied in their definition on Patterns supported by the Desires in removed part, disappear.
Speed of growth of the body of Desires is proportional to a size of current body of Desires. Hence, it also drps in half.
This shows that it makes sense to remove all unneeded Bounds.
It also explains seemingly disproportional reactions of the market to introduction of additional restrictions.
A person raised in oppressive environment could exhibit symptoms of a particular disorder, when the person
· does not have own Desires, and because of that is passive and seeks someone with Desires to ride them;
· does not violate moral boundaries, but in the same time does not see much harm in their violation, because does not have emotional experience of their analysis;
· has undeveloped emotions, because there is no experience of emotional behavior: it was not many occasions, when own Desires caused emotions and emotions occurred only in response to Desires of others.
This is a Disorder of Suppressed Desires.
Because creation of Desires is natural and automatic, the cause of this disorder is in presence of too large number of (reinforced) Artificial Bounds in the person's body of Desires.
The treatment is simple: removal of Artificial Bounds. However, the first step of such treatment should be removal of reinforcement of Artificial Bounds, which often difficult to do on one's own.
Various natural and artificial systems use Shoretz as a driving force. They shape it to achieve their goals.
An ecosystem, a human society and an engineer designing a new product face similar problem: finding acceptable solutions and among them optimal solutions. For an ecosystem and the human society, the goal is minimization of efforts, while maintaining balance among different sides of oneself and balance with limited resources. For the engineer the goal is minimization of cost, while providing all needed functionality.
They all have a possibility to test different variants of solution, discard unacceptable ones and improve on promising ones.
In the ecosystem, this is biological evolution - a variant is a set of unique creatures in given circumstances and their interactions. In the human society, this is market - a variant is a particular set of producers and consumers, goods and services in given circumstances with various trading interactions. The engineer computes a variant of the product for given set of parameters using a product's model.
The Shoretz allows trying of variants. These variants expose hidden bounds and lead to an optimal solution.
The process goes in parallel with changing reality - as hidden bounds change the optimal solution is changing. The ecosystem is stable, the economy of human society is stable and the engineer has a good model, when hidden bounds do not change fast. In this case, the optimal solution changes slowly in long periods.
Still, there are moments, when a small change in hidden bounds causes a large change in optimal solution - the system flips the state, but this is a separate subject.
In the ecosystem, the hidden bounds are defined by resources of the ecosystem's location and most of all by limitations of biological creatures comprising this ecosystem.
In the market, the hidden bounds available resources, but most of all by structure of the relationships between market participants, particularly by law, regulations and culture.
For the engineer, the hidden bounds are defined by limitations of nature, but most of all by limits of engineer's imagination and creativity and limits of knowledge allowing comprehensive modeling.
Carefully designed limitations on one's activity, which have nothing to do with limits imposed by available resources or limits assuring stability of society, create a system running into a perpetual conflict with the Shoretz of Desires. Each time a Desire comes in conflict with such limitation, the process of analysis and reexamining of the nature of limitations and current one's understanding of reality emerges.
This process causes destruction of rigid logical schemas, which have come already into conflict with ever changing reality.
This is an important tool of monotheism.
Some use it consistently and develop fine tools of control of own actions.
Others try to protect themselves from a possibility of going beyond limits by suppressing certain classes of Desires. People engaged in such activity gather together and reinforce such suppression. After a few generations, they become quite good at it. The result is a Disorder of Suppressed Desires.
A Model of the world, which a Mind creates for itself, or which science creates for benefit of society, or a model of an existing ever changing complex object, which a specialists creates for particular decision-making, require updates, as the world and knowledge about it is changing.
There are two types of information, which could be used for such model update.
One type of information consists of descriptions of reality structured according to points of view of creators of such descriptions. This is often called "observation".
Another type of information comes from decisions made on basis of the model, following actions and consequent evaluation of discrepancy between model's prediction and results of actions. This is often called "experimentation".
Descriptions of reality have unknown validity. Large number of such descriptions allows some validation of all of them on basis of validation of some of them and comparison of all of them with validated ones.
Analysis of discrepancy between reality and model's prediction requires large number of "experiments" to arrive to a valid update of the model.
Hence, one needs Shoretz to setup a process of perpetual model update. One type of such Shoretz is a Shoretz of Descriptions (some made by others, some made to improve the model); another type of Shoretz is a Shoretz of "experiments" (some are caused by actions, which are initiated using the model as a part of routine decision-making, some are caused by "small" actions initiated to gather information for the model improvement).
The Mind creates and updates this way the Internal Model.
In the scientific community any scientific description (the model) is in a process perpetual attempts to improve it based on new scientific data and in a process of perpetual comparison of its predictions and results of experiments.
A well-managed model of an existing object is a subject of a process of perpetual update the way it is described here.
In the system driven by Shoretz, Control is done by waiting for the moment, when the system moved by the Shoretz appears in situation that a small action could flip it into another stable state and performing such flipping.
As a result of such flipping, new bounds could be created (and reinforced) and old bounds could be destroyed. Many control actions aim for these changes in bounds and could be described by their goals:
Breeder creates a new bound in the society, which causes selection of desirable features in particular type of creatures.
A psychotherapist destroys an Artificial Bound in person's Mind, which limits person's Desires and hence limits person's activity.
A politician convinces society of need for some social changes and gets a mandate to implement new bounds and destroy old ones.
A Desire is suppressed at the moment of its creation, when it is weak.
If an "owner" of the Desire realizes early, that the Desire violates a bound, then there is a good chance that it is suppressed.
From this one could arrive to a simple rule of reinforcement of bounds. A bound should be associated in a multiple ways with large number of other bounds. This increases the chance of early detection of violation.
Creators of Artificial Bounds know this trick. Such reinforced Bound is difficult to destroy: the destruction requires preliminary analysis and removal of all associations of this Bound with other Bounds.
A favorite bound to associate an Artificial Bound is a Hard Bound, which manifests itself in moral values. This produces a powerful feeling of guilt in one, who violates or even thinks to violate an associated Artificial Bound.
Another trick is in creation of very large number of associations with other bounds, including other Artificial Bounds. The very number of them creates an impression of something rooted in reality.
Artificial Bounds, which have regular if weak reinforcement, acquire status of "ancient" ones, with an impression that they must be rooted in reality, because they survived for so long.
One cherishing freedom should know and recognize these tricks.
A system with self-reflection (with a model of itself) could engage into a perpetual buildup:
1. Studies of Patterns of oneself
2. Defining Control actions
3. Incorporating Control actions as elements of oneself
4. Studies of Patterns of new oneself, and so on.
Life could be defined as such system with self-reflection and perpetual buildup.
Growth of complexity in such system is natural.