Monday, October 25, 2010

Novelocity and Sustainability

Novelocity is a new term which means the rate of ‘newness’ experienced by a system or an entity. If 'novelocity' is too high, the ability to optimally react to unexpected or even standard stimuli is degraded and harm may occur. Additional energy is drawn from core competencies which subsequently undermine and weaken the system or host. If 'novelocity' is too low, habits and patterns are etched deeper in pathways and the ability of the entity or system to react, learn and adapt is hindered. Another byproduct of low 'novelocity' may be that of stagnation or boredom, which can result in some cases, in a subsequent extreme period of variance (a form of punctuated equilibrium) akin to a kick start to establish an optimal 'novelocity' once again. Change is constant, novelty not necessarily so.

Entities or systems that exhibit a drive for self-preservation (survival) will still cooperate or collaborate amongst themselves in manners which allow for the optimal creation, consumption and sharing of energy. This collaboration inevitably leads to increased production through specialisation and reciprocity in times of need. Whether intrinsic or extrinsic, in what may be deemed a sentient system, the concept of ‘enlightened self-interest’ is demonstrated. Once interconnectedness and interdependence is realised e.g. the underlying participation and involvement in a wider ecosystem, the system attempts to optimise and grow itself by cross pollinating, exploring and refining the intersections with other components of the macro system. The rate at which this exploration is actively sought may not actually be the ‘novelocity’ but is a correlate of the actual 'novelocity' rate. The energy expended in seeking this novelty (and subsequently engaging in it) can drain or dilute a systems core resources by drawing down upon the existing supply channels normally used to service core energies. This creates a negative feedback loop and overall system degradation. This suboptimal or failure mode is similar to that of a collapse or paralysis by virtue of expanding too quickly but is however predicated upon conscious/unconscious desire to seek out novelty whilst ignoring periods of required homeostasis. This is not necessarily ‘future shock’ but a cognitive and physical inability to deal with the rate of novelty.

Sustainability contains aspects of independence, interdependence and replenishment of energies. Sustainability also carries with it a concept of growth, homeostasis and self-awareness. Whether a system/relationship is two or more cells, people or planets; there is continual movement through time and space, thus, an implied ‘novelocity’. Entropy and ectropy notwithstanding, there are only so many states that one can pattern match against.

The question is what role 'novelocity' plays in sustainability? Can the aggregate survive without drawing down excessive energy from other dependent systems or overly diluting itself by constantly seeking out novelty and why?

Can elements of the local system/interdependent components both grow while satisfying the requirements of stability, safety and security all the while maintaining an optimal 'novelocity'?

Further reading:
Cohabitation in the Construct
Love 2.0
Go Deep

Sunday, October 03, 2010


As a physiological battle rages inside me, I bear witness to how my thoughts and feelings differ and how much less energy I have for others currently. As I walk along the packed St. Kilda promenade where people are playing, lazing about and enjoying the energy from the sun, a single thought haunts me like a shadow dancing in my peripheral vision, 'What is living?'.

My first reaction is to be an engineer and break down the question. Three words present themselves: 'What', 'is' and 'living'. Immediately the aggregate of 'What is?' gets replaced with 'What IS' and the application of a Zen like methodology of investigation via direct untainted experience… it recurses back in upon itself… 'IS, IS, IS, is'ing spilling forth'… thought then stops temporarily and the leaves in the tree rustle of their own accord, smells pass through me and sounds dance together in rings of folk celebration.

Then the 'LIVING' word hits home hard. The mind spiders backwards in time searching and indexing so many collected experiences, patterns played out both voluntarily and involuntarily. Patterns and models, nay... modalities of living swim in my oceanmind… individualism, collectivism, survival, procreation, shared experiences, ontologies… my heart both rises and falls simultaneously at the few times in this entity's existence that a very deep 'true love' shone through. Without grasping, seeking or searching, one wonders about the conditions and states that allowed such purity to blossom.

Meanwhile another process running in parallel is both comparing and scaling in and out of the planet, then universe, and back down to my neighbourhood where it focuses finally, fractal like, inside my body where cells fight for dominance. I acknowledge the ecosystem whereby there is no border between my mind, my bodily vehicle and its environment. At the quantum scale and beyond one vibrates while moving through the foam. This observer constantly affects and reinforces the reality it perceives. It touches us.

There is no want, need or desire. Neutral. Are only those privileged enough to have discretionary time the ones wasting it on such a question? The question repeats itself.

What is living?

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