Next Meetup

Explore: "Supervenience: how emergent minds and money seize power over matter"
First step towards "book" briefly introduces 18 candidate "chapters" in quest of early input. Ties together a few earlier Meetup topics. Too Funny for Words Sharing a story with occasional reference to mathematical concepts aiming to convince you that cultural reliance on words and numbers both facilitates and impedes our experience of the world and our capacity to act. Multiple Paths to Emergence To study Emergence is to look at things which could not have reasonably been predicted based on prior knowledge but which can subsequently be seen to be clearly within bounds. Major mechanisms include: synergistic/symbiotic pairings, larger population organisation, formation of persistent patterns within a dissipating gradient. Better than Out of Control Kevin Kelly’s 1993 book was the first popular account of growing interest in Complex Systems. Misconceptions about the roles of emergent Order and Chaos motivated an unproductive search for a boundary between, obscuring the possibility that they are partners in creating the universe that begat life and us. Here Now Succession Process Traces Time Causation? While we make productive use of treating time as a dimension, this may have been overplayed in ideas like the Block Universe. We live in the here and now, though life developed pattern recognition based on traces that persist in condensed matter which DNA and neuronal networks dynamically encode. Towards Healthy General Knowledge The amount of accessible knowledge is growing rapidly. It is way beyond an individual to be across most fields. We need to respect others’ areas of focus. We and they also need knowledge grounded on foundations that stand scrutiny. I might have wider and deeper knowledge across the broad sweep of sciences, but only fragments about popular entertainments. Abstractions, Category Errors, Epistemic Cuts Thoughts about something, not even detailed descriptions, can do no more than represent that thing incompletely. Thinking is assisted by recognising what kind of thing you are thinking about and not accepting a contestable placement. Laws governing behaviour emerge with the entities concerned, enabling focus to be kept without spurious back reference. Constraints and Degrees of Freedom Concepts which are formalised in mathematics sometimes provide insights into worldly behaviour. Too much choice can be as inhibiting as too little. Given a blank slate, identifying external constraints can help discover a productive path. Mathematically, adding constraints correspondingly reduces degrees of freedom. This translates well to physics and to life. Seek sweet spot. Information, Maps and Territories Late modernity is so obsessed with information technologies that even serious scientists have proposed that the world is built on information. More productive to see information as useful abstraction while allowing usual philosophical disclaimers. Don’t confuse maps with territories. Treat the patient, not the clipboard. Codification and Communication Our proliferation of coding systems are one more variant on an old trick for collecting and using knowledge, preceded by DNA and neuronal nets. Lynne Kelly explained monumental transition in oral memory methods needed to support agriculture. Bill Hall explained post literate growth with climatic impact. The Inside View: knowing when you're dreaming Science is casting off its behaviourist blinkers in important areas but still averse to doing a lot with subjective accounts of mental processes. So for now we are stuck examining our singular experiences informed only by general worldly awareness. Noting our own transitions to and from sleep and dreams may help. (Meetup limits this so the last 8 are just headings.) Life on an Active Planet Birds and Others Urban Hydrology out of Sight Exploiting a Dissipating Gradient: creaming, trickle down Verbal Blindness The Two-edged Sword Dystopian Utopias and Science Fiction Accepting Cosmological Responsibility

Seminar Room B309, Engineering Block B

via Grattan St Entrance, University of Melbourne · Melbourne

What we're about

Via monthly Meetups, related presentations to other groups and larger events, we share understanding of the natural emergence of escalating complexity and its application to organisational development and decision-making. Members have backgrounds from the sciences, knowledge management, software development, interaction design, education, and community groups. Theoretical perspective include non-linear systems, general evolution, self-organised criticality, path dependence, and philosophy of science. These find practical application in urban and transport planning, community engagement, narrative studies, planetary and materials sciences. Students interested in these areas are particularly welcome.

These Meetups were originally founded by Melbourne-based knowledge management practitioners and are currently organised and sponsored by members of Kororoit Institute (

Members (304)

Photos (67)