Bulletin 1


Bull. 1. May 1, 1997. Announcing start of a fairly open and free university devoted to dissemination of the homeokinetic physics of complex systems.

Our overall course of study will consist largely of a pursuit of all the ‘antinomies’ of understanding – from a physical point of view, of all the threads that are involved in the matter-energy universe around and within us. As such, we consider this school to be a continuing branch of Aristotle’s ‘peripatetic’ school.

Antinomies, loosely for our purposes, are considered to be the paradoxes, not quite contradictory arguments and processes, that describe what is happening out there. We continue on, attempting a static and dynamic resolution. As such, we shall be concerned with stability of states and changes that ‘nature’ and ‘mind’ deal with.

Note: Whenever you see a term in single quotes, take it at face value to mean what a good dictionary or encyclopedia offers as its meaning in a so-called ‘natural’ language. Then, in time, we will help you – in a Bayesian sense – understand the term in a homeokinetic sense. Is that ‘hermeneutic’? You bet your bippy. We claim that all science is hermeneutic in that sense. You do not understand until you have studied a great deal. We enjoy Kleene’s comments in a basic book in metamathematics. In introducing the propositional calculus, he defines mathematic or symbolic logic as logic treated by mathematical methods, noting that the book is also a study of logic used in mathematics. He immediately confronts the paradox: ” . how can we treat logic mathematically (or in any systematic way) without using logic in the treatment?”. “The solution of this paradox is simple . . “, he states. We put the logic we are studying into one compartment, and the logic we are using to study it in another. These “compartments”, he informs us, are “languages”. The language we use for study is the observer’s or metalanguage. The language we study is the object language and the object logic. Thus the program is that the metalanguage and its logic is capable of developing mathematical methods which can be used to study symbolic logic. He points out that for “any student who is not ready to [use the observer’s logic to study the object logic], we suggest that he close [Kleene’s] book now, and pick some other subject instead, such as acrostics or beekeeping.”

On an other hand, Russell and Whitehead use the propositional calculus to derive the fundamental set properties of numbers, and thereby serve up an introduction to mathematics. Russell always maintains that mathematics and logic are identical.

We operate from a related point of view. We do not intend to broker mathematics or logic. We are willing to accept what experts in those fields say their foundation or foundations are. But then we permit ourselves the required mathematical-logical mind space to move somewhat off their bases to accommodate the laws and principles of physics. Otherwise, we too, so enlightened, send prospects who can’t accept those terms to beekeeping or acrostics, alternatively Ping-Pong, bridge, or playing the violin.

To dispose of almost all of our administrative details, in one paragraph, at present there is a chairman of the board, our ancient mariner, Arthur Iberall; there is or will be a chief executive officer; there is a group of founding faculty; there is or will be additional faculty; there will be auditors; and there will be students. Because this is meant to be a public service but not quite a charity (except with our time and loving care), we expect that some out of pocket expenses, such as making printed or published material and mailing or calling expenses, will be picked up by our students, until or unless we stumble on an adequate sponsor. The making of money is not our end. But time flies and we have to make haste. In time, we may have an editor. For the time being, administrative clarifications will appear under the coding COB:

For definitions of some of these terms: an auditor is anyone who has paid us some respectful attention, and perhaps has debated with us – we will only do this if we feel that his/her training is sufficient to offer adequate understanding and knowledge about the subjects; a student is one who has literally conducted arguments in a teaching-learning sense, one or more times and wishes to continue; a faculty person is one who has entered into such discourse with us willingly, shown that he or she can help bring an argument to a resolution in a teaching sense and is willing to continue with collegiality. A visiting scholar is anyone who has asked or been asked to add to our commentaries, in particular subjects, and can contribute from the vantage of some considerable body of knowledge. There is no pay; the spirit itself has to move the process. If it works it will grow. Meanwhile we shall attempt to perform as much social and public enlightenment as we can.

At this point we can throw out a few principles that may tend to localize our beliefs a little better. We believe that the major method of exposition that we shall use is a combination of engineering physics and a more academic pure physics. We intend to show that we use and have to use both to produce a physical science for complexity. This may surprise or offend a considerable part of our potential audience. However, we very strongly believe that explanations for complex systems lie in the many details that have to be assembled. While on the pure side, our ‘god’ figures are Newton and Einstein (we do not have to complete the rest of the choir of persons making up that pantheon), in engineering physics, we think of von Karman, Prandtl, Buckingham, Steinmetz. We are not kooks, and we do not want to encourage kooks to our deliberations. Since we have not defined complexity here – you can find it in Iberall, Soodak, Science, August 1978 – in a few sentences, a system to us is a collective of interacting ‘atomistic’-like entities (‘atomisms’, standing both for the entity and the doctrine), As is known from ‘kinetic’ theory, in mobile or simple systems, the atomisms share their ‘energy’ in interactive collisions. That so-called ‘equipartitioning’ process takes place within a few collisions. Physically, if there is little or no interaction, the process is considered to be very weak. Physics deals basically with the forces of interaction – few in number – that influence the interactions. They all tend to emerge with considerable force at high ‘density’ of atomistic interaction. In complex systems, there is also a result of internal processes in the atomisms. They exhibit, in addition to the pair-by-pair interactions, internal actions such as vibrations, rotations, association. If the energy and time involved internally creates a very large – in time – cycle of performance of their actions compared to their pair interactions, we say that the collective system is complex. If you eat a cookie and you do not see the action for hours, that is complex; if boy meets girl and they become ‘engaged’ for a protracted period, that is complex. What emerges out of that physics is a broad host of changes in state and stability transitions in state. Namely, in our opinion, if we view Aristotle as having defined a general basis for systems in their static-logical states and tried to identify a logic-metalogic for physics, e.g., metaphysics, we view homeokinetics to be an attempt to define the dynamics of all those systems we may meet in the universe. What marks them?

We prefer to refer to them as found often in or as nature, life, humankind, mind, and society. By the definition of their complex behavior we consider them memory laden and stormy or changing weather systems. In somewhat simpler form, they make up the memory laden character identified as rheology. That deals with simpler peculiar engineering materials such as paints, asphalts, rubber, sewage, silly putty, plastics and the like. Physically, they are even more difficult to understand than the homeokinetic systems, because almost all of the peculiarities lie in the almost nongeneralizable details. Enough for a start. Long delayed complex systems give us a clear chance for a start.

If you are attracted or uncertain, copy this Bull., refer to it at times and come back for more. You can even drop us a line when you feel ready. If you really want to see us succeed, without incessant advertising cash flow, which we do not have, make the specific effort to tell ten (10) intellectual friends of yours about us – a so-called talking drum channel of communication . That way we might have a chance to serve you and other fellow humans.