Friday, June 28, 2013

Beyond The Roots Of Coincidence

In the post titled "Edge Science" , I mentioned an interesting essay on precognitive dreams, which leads back to the foundations of PSI Theory, specifically to Arthur Koestler, a name you may or not be familiar with. I thought some may be interested in a short series highlighting a few of the pioneering theoreticians and scientists who have nothing in common with the interests of the great unwashed of popular culture when it comes to the current spate of paranormal programming aka infotainment that has little or no grounding in much beyond archaic superstition in the 21st Century. Perhaps not surprisingly, if you are familiar with this blog, these are gentlemen whom I admire for their courage of exploration. Many of the regular subscribers to this blog as well as myself are haunted by visions of what we do not know regarding our own existence, as temporal as this situation may be, and this was also a chief feature of Koestler's personality, and he was one of the handful of pioneers and theoreticians of possible conceptual models to pin anomalies for further exploration by creating a path rather than an explanation. An accurate summary of Koestler's conceptual modeling is found here:
"A holon (Greek: ὅλον, holon neuter form of ὅλος, holos "whole") is something that is simultaneously a whole and a part. The word was coined by Arthur Koestler in his book The Ghost in the Machine (1967, p. 48). Koestler was compelled by two observations in proposing the notion of the holon. The first observation was influenced by Nobel Prize winner Herbert A. Simon's parable of the two watchmakers, wherein Simon concludes that complex systems will evolve from simple systems much more rapidly if there are stable intermediate forms present in that evolutionary process than if they are not present. The second observation was made by Koestler himself in his analysis of hierarchies and stable intermediate forms in both living organisms and social organizations. He concluded that, although it is easy to identify sub-wholes or parts, wholes and parts in an absolute sense do not exist anywhere. Koestler proposed the word holon to describe the hybrid nature of sub-wholes and parts within in vivo systems. From this perspective, holons exist simultaneously as self-contained wholes in relation to their sub-ordinate parts, and dependent parts when considered from the inverse direction.
Koestler also says holons are autonomous, self-reliant units that possess a degree of independence and handle contingencies without asking higher authorities for instructions. These holons are also simultaneously subject to control from one or more of these higher authorities. The first property ensures that holons are stable forms that are able to withstand disturbances, while the latter property signifies that they are intermediate forms, providing a context for the proper functionality for the larger whole.
Finally, Koestler defines a holarchy as a hierarchy of self-regulating holons that function first as autonomous wholes in supra-ordination to their parts, secondly as dependent parts in sub-ordination to controls on higher levels, and thirdly in coordination with their local environment."
A short biography of Koestler is to be found here:

If you read the biography of Koestler and his theories of the paranormal, you may want to visit wherein a research group based in the Psychology Department at the University of Edinburgh.that continues his work. 

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