ABSTRACT: Alexander Wendt begins his paper “Why a World State is Inevitable” with the following concise formulation of his intent: “In this article I propose a teleological theory of the ‘logic of anarchy’ which suggests that a world state is inevitable …” (Wndt, 2003). I offer the following equally concise opposition: In this article I propose a teleonomic theory of the ‘logic of panarchy’ which suggests that a world state is not inevitable. I suggest that the stable “state” for this teleonomic process is a global “complex adaptive system,” or governance network, in which the ‘logic of anarchy’ gives way to the ‘logic of panarchy.” It is essential to note that Wednt and I agree on far more than we disagree, but the pointson which we disagree are fundamental.
Core Quote: “In a teleonomy, the focus is on the adaptive rules, i.e. the processes by which the system explores and exploits new possibilities. Because the system’s identity is enacted through a program and not by virtue of an outcome, lourality, diversity, democracy, abnd the navigation of competing rules and norms take on a new urgency. That urgency is enshrined in the voluntary and “freely given” intentionality that is possible only in panarchy.”
ABSTRACT: This paper presents examples of macro-societal change, the nature of social interaction in highly stratified societies, and principles of stability and instability in hierarchies, and it discusses the choices that humans, of high status and low, made and which affected their lives in the most profound ways.
CORE QUOTE: Stuart Kauffman (1993, 1995), working at the SFI, points out that systems that are too highly connected (or hypercoherent) can suffer a “complexity catastrophe” because the parts are too interdependent such that the impacts to one or some will cascade into others, an “avalanche of coevolutionary changes” (in a phrase echoing Bak’s avalachnes of piles of sand). “Robust” systesm for Kauffman are those which are flexible enough to maintain “structural stability.”
Core Quote: “Under the condition of double contingency, every self-commitment, however accidentally arisen or however calculated, will acquire information and connective value for the action of others. Precisely because such a system is formed in a closed and self-referential way — namely A is determined by B and B by A — every accident, every impulse, every error is productivec [of the social system]….Without ‘noise,’ no system.” Citing Niklas Luhmann, Social Systems, Writing Science (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1995), p. 116.
ABSTRACT: In his book, Linked: How Everything is Connected to Everything Else and What it Means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life, Albert-Laszlo Barabasi gives us a detailed analysis of the typology of the WWW. In so doing, he makes many errors from which we can derive important lessons about ways not to study the WWW or complex networks in general. These lessons are crucial from the point of view of the philosophy of science, and suggest that more care and reflecivity is called for in pursuing WWW research. This paper is intended to provided imputus for meaningful thought and further discussion.
Introduction: Quality and Quantity
Network Analysis (Analytical Dimensioins of Networks, Robot Typology, Network Density, Assessing the Value of Hubs and Non-Hubs, The Effect of Search Engines on Typology)
Static Quality (Proportional Linkage, Website Design, Valuable Referrers, The Effect of Closeness)
Dynamic Quality (The Myth of Fitness, Competition is Cooperation, Survival of the Fitters, Innovation Changes the Landscape, Limits to Growth, Alternative Norms to Preferential Treatment
Conclusion: Getting It Right
ABSTRACT: The Information Revolution combined with connective technologies creates a unique global social network. This network is vulnerable to cascades of information, norms, and coordinated action. The inherent unpredictability of the information society demands new kinds of governance that focus on rapid network-coordinated response over centralized predictive planning.
CORE QUOTE: “Power, as the capacity to impose behavior, lies in the networks of information exchange and symbol manipulation, which relate social actors, institutions, and cultural movements.” Citing M. Castells, End of Millenium (Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers, 2000), p. 379.
Summary: The rigid hierarchy that characterizes state bureaucracies has also been embedded into internaitonal institutions, and it is this architecture that can be vastly improved by restructuring it into a multiscale network. There are both descriptive and prescriptive reasons for doing so: 1) increases in functional efficiency and robustness, and 2) improvements from a normative perspective. As we enter the 21st century, the international system already exhibits many aspects of multiscale networks, but there are typically seen as liabilities and not assets. By providing a richer understanding of multiscale networks, this paper proposes an alternative to Cox’s “with them or against them” ultimatum.