Nous, Technos, Kyberos, Kuros - A Manifesto about Knowledge Construction in Education, Research and Society

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Nous ~~ Technos ~~ Kyberos ~~ Kuros A Manifesto

Version 1.0 28.May.2018 Mirnova Institute for Creative and Innovative Science


This document proactively addresses fundamental challenges we face in our present times, especially, in matters of education, research and communication focusing upon science and technology. There are no rigid and final answers offered here, nor are there indictments of problem origins or originators. There is a panorama presented, an outline of what is the situation and what are some ways that it can be addressed.

The title of this short essay contains four words that derive and trace their origins to the ancient Greek.

     “Nous” refers to mind, intellect, intelligence, knowledge
     “Technos” to technology and its applications including engineering
     “Kyberos” to control, cybernetics, and the mastery of how to use and direct things
     “Kuros” to ownership and control from a perspective of rule, law, and capital

We live in times of great convergence and divergence within our society with respect to knowledge, learning, and what we can do, may do, and want to do using our science and technology. These times may also be seen as being rich with both opportunities and threats, in terms of what we are doing and where we are heading. There are issues before us concerning how we are managing the data, the information, and the knowledge, which we have and that we are generating, and disseminating, in all types of circles and channels of communication – from the primary and elementary schools for our children, to our colleges and universities, to our companies and governments, and to the open and general public.

As “nous” we have the opportunities, risks, and challenges for making things clear, accurate, consistent, and adhering to scientific method and the dedication to truthfulness. As “technos” we are faced with the same with respect to how we apply our scientific knowledge, our discoveries, our tools, for use to our society, to the whole and not just an elite segment. (There is no place in our present or future world for “high priesthoods” of alchemists or any other type.) As “kyberos” the challenge is about how we as a human society will control the use of what we create in ways that are humane. We must craft plans and methods for avoiding the creation of any “Pandora's Box.” As “kuros” the challenge is about who owns what we are creating in our “STEM” world.

Disinformation and misinformation are now critical problems, along with an embattlement concerning basic critical thinking. We are faced left and right with bold and extreme claims, positive and negative, coming from purportedly reputable and to-be-believed sources. There is a vast proliferation of hyperbole. There is also arrogance and insolence, and it is often coming from institutions that the public, and many in business, finanance, government and administration of resources, funds, laws, and media access, regard as “pillars of truth.” Such institutions span academic, corporate, and governmental areas, and particularly some are involved centrally in mainstream information media, both as “search engine” providers and as “news media” providers. While these negative aspects may not be dominant, they are certainly on the rise, and through the proliferation and dependency and belief-structures of many people, attaching dominance to what is on the internet, what is on Google, what has high ratings of influencer-status and celebrity-status, our society is following a path that can lead to very dangerous and even cataclysmic consequences. It does not take long for some piece of data to achieve the kind of status that can make or break not only careers and projects but entire organizations and economies.

These twelve points are presented here as the basis of argument and discourse for establishing a new course of thinking and action within certain critical areas of research and development. These constitute claims, arguments, and starting-points for creative construction of answers and solutions. The solution-set that we have evolved, constituting the MIRNOVA Programme and Family of Organizations and Projects, has been very precisely and critically crafted to address both the positives and negatives of our “STEM” world of today and tomorrow. MIRNOVA has been cultivated in order to provide an excellent, durable, economical, sustainable and truth-adherent path forward to doing science and technology in ways that will be more truth-centered. Now is the time when these resources can and should be taken up by a collective of people who share in these dedications, vocations and mandates.

§1 Much of what we see underway in new science and technology involves the complex interaction and interdependence of multi-disciplinary skills, and people with diverse but complementary abilities. This means that we need to have new methods for communicating and for working together. Specialization is important, but there needs to also be presence, mastery, comfort and acknowledgment of generalization and broad-expanse understanding. There needs to be a place for the non-specialist, including members of the non-scientific public, to understand things in ways that do not require prerequisites of technical specialization.

§2 Increasingly we are faced with the predominance of what can be termed “extreme complex systems” (XCS) in all facets of life. Our science, technology, engineering and mathematics (“STEM”) must offer realistic solution-paths for XCS problems. Such XCS involve uncertain and undefined state-spaces, stochastic and random conditions, non-linear and catastrophic behaviors, and NP-Hard computability. These XCS abound and increase in presence, variety, scale, volatility, and overall complexity of relationships, for which classical system models and numerical-centric algorithms are increasingly unsuitable. A new methodology is required in order to adequately address these types of XCS problems which often emerge without notice and without the time and other means for classical study and solution-building. But these new methods and tools must be usable by more than a limited “high priesthood” of specialists.

§3 Randomness, stochastics, turbulence, noise, decoherence and coherence, resonance, mistakes, wrong-turns, trial-and-error, and making wild guesses is all essential to intelligence in biology and in technologies developed to perform intelligently by intelligent biological organisms such as humans. A new understanding must be cultivated with respect to the meaning, use and value of such phenomena as noise, turbulence, randomness and stochasticity. These elements must be included in the design and development of synthetic intelligence (SI, a.k.a. “AI” and machine-learning). The absence of such thinking in our approach to intelligent computing and decision-making machines is an error that needs to be addressed in order that such SI systems will be able to accommodate the challenges of XCS.

§4 A new perception and understanding is required about the very nature of such concepts and terms in physics such as uncertainty, superposition, entanglement, gravity, and more broadly, randomness, stochastics, dimensionality, and coherence, in order to proceed effectively in developing a new physics that will enable the new advances for quantum technologies, space propulsion and robotics, and other XCS challenges.

§5 There needs to be closer connectivity between groups engaged in STEM education, research and general communication. This can be enhanced through actions like apprenticeship and internship programs that are both online and onsite. There must be a greater continuity in STEM projects that will enable participants, especially youth, to participate more closely with research and business groups, and to move forward from one year to the next and stay connected to similar projects and team-members.

§6 The communications and engagement between the Arts and the Sciences (“STEM” as a whole) is extremely important for creativity, for invention and innovation, and for the cultivation of humane directions for what we do with our STEM. We must find more ways by which to sensibly enable interactions between artists and scientist-technologists, especially in ways pertaining to how we communicate STEM to the general public.

§7 Knowledge constructor networks and implementations tools such as CUBIT (Constructors for Understanding and Building Intelligent Technology) can be used effectively by both human and synthetic intelligent agents are necessary in order to solve many types and instances of XCS problems. Such a network as CUBIT offers the basis for such tools, and in the process, they provide resources that can be used, in highly distributed parallel network computing, for solving of certain XCS, for simulation in “real-world” contexts, and for applications that may not be extremely complex systems but sufficiently complex and complicated that conventional non-network approaches to problem solving and knowledge construction are inadequate.

§8 Fundamental physics including the framework of space-time geometry and topology evolution, quantum mechanics and the phenomena interpreted as superposition and entanglement, special and general relativity, the fundamental particle taxonomy (as described in the “Standard Model”), and quantum biology, are taken as being critical, essential topics that require re-examination, reformulation and resolution, in order that effective and useful solutions can be developed to overcome technological challenges.

§9 “Open-source” must be combined with “open-use” or “open-destination” in ways that adequately reward and compensate discoverers, inventors, makers, and disseminators (including marketers). There needs to be a new model, a truly new “paradigm,” for intellectual property, transcending old-era “patent” thinking.

§10 There is need for a new model of what it means to invest in the future, for STEM and for other ventures. The “Silicon Valley” model is outmoded, obsolete, and counter-productive for the whole society. “Long-term” and “very long term” must be incorporated in ways that enable consistent and logical work that may simply take a long time and with no profits for years or even, in some cases, for decades.

§11 There must not be censorship imposed upon creative and even seemingly radically-alternative ideas, theories, and technologies, merely because of institutionalism and “ego” forces. The attention-mania to “influencers” and “influence ratings” and such nomenclatures and enumerations is a detriment to al of the STEM fields.

§12 Here is how we have done our best to address all these challenges. We offer this, the MIRNOVA Prospectus, and our website, as an Introduction, something for everyone, every man, every woman, every child, every adult, every scientist and technologist and all other professions. We offer this as a model and as a specific organized and operating real set of tools. Now is the time to Do Something with these tools, as with others. Let's Work Together!

http://mirnova.org/papers-public/mirnova-prospectus-24may18.doc

MIRNOVA http://mirnova.org contact@mirnova.org