Notes for All My Relations

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Notes for "All My Relations"

Useful References:

“You are built from networks, you make networks, and you live in networks. You should understand how they work and how you can influence them.” Csermely, Peter. Weak Links: Stabilizers of Complex Systems from Proteins to Social Networks. 2006. Springer Verlag. P. 273.

“An additional intriguing set of questions concerns the interplay between the ecology and the biological design of the organism. We currently have more information on the detailed structure of biological circuits than on the environment in which they evolved. We know little about the constraints and functional goals of cells within complex organisms, and are only beginning to understand the optimizations and trade-offs that underlie their design. It is an interesting question whether it would be possible to form a theory of biological design that can help unify aspects of ecology, evolution, and molecular biology.” Alon, Uri. 2007. An Introduction to Systems Biology: Design Principles of Biological Circuits. Chapman & Hall/CRC. Pp. 238-9.

“Life itself, with all its decision points and multi-landscapes, and all the possible but mostly not followed pathways, can be imagined as a network. We have very few major decision points, and a large number of small ones. At the big decision points, we might go in a thousand directions, while at the small decision points, we may only select from a very few options.” Csermely, Peter. Weak Links: Stabilizers of Complex Systems from Proteins to Social Networks. 2006. Springer Verlag. 308.

“At any given time, there is a region within my world in which I am engaged with my tools; the region within which everything is ready-to-hand for me and thus not observable. And this region, I maintain, is me in the most unambiguous sense possible. The pattern of activity that occurs within that region is primarily what embodies me: it includes, but is not limited to, the activity in my brain and body. When I observe something, or relate to it in any other way, it becomes part of that region of activity, and thus, in a nontrivial sense, part of me.” Rockwell, W. Teed. 2005. Neither Brain nor Ghost: A Nondualist Alternative to the Mind-Brain Identity Theory. MIT Press. Pp. 106-7.

“Human beings are adaptive systems continually producing and exploiting a rich world of cultural structure. In the activities of the navigation team, the reliance on and the production of structure in the environment are clear. This heavy interaction of internal and external structure suggests that the boundary between inside and outside, or between individual and context, should be softened. The apparent necessity of drawing such a boundary is in part a side effect of the attempt to deal with the individual as an isolated unit of cognitive analysis without first locating the individual in a culturally constructed world. With the focus on a person who is actively engaged in a culturally constructed world, let us soften the boundary of the individual and take the individual to be a very plastic kind of adaptive system. Instead of conceiving the relation between person and environment in terms of moving coded information across a boundary, let us look for processes of entrainment, coordination, and resonance among elements of a system that includes a person and the person’s surroundings.” Hutchins, Edwin. Cognition in the Wild. 1995. MIT Press. P. 288.

“What distinguishes behavior from morphological plasticity, then, is neither condition sensitivity nor freedom from genetic influence on component elements. Rather, it is the greater time delay between gene expression and gene-product use, and the number and reversibility of permutations or reorganizations of elements that can occur during the lifetime of an individual. Phenotypic recombination, or reorganization of the phenotype during development or evolution, resulting in the assembly of new combinations of traits, is common during the ontogeny of morphology, especially at the molecular level. It is one form of pleiotropy, for the protein products of a single gene may be incorporated into several or many phenotypic traits at different levels of organization. But ontogenetic phenotypic recombination of behavioral subunits is far more extensive. This has been succinctly stated by Trewavas and Jennings in contemplating the differences between plants, which are noted for their physiological and morphological plasticity, and animals, noted for their behavioral plasticity: ‘The adaptiveness of animals lies in the brain, in the almost endless number of combinations in which the different tissues can be made to work together to produce different types of behavior.’” West-Eberhard, Mary Jane. Developmental Plasticity and Evolution. Oxford University Press. 2003. P. 77. [Subquote from Trewavas, A. J. and Jennings, D.H. 1986. Introduction. In: Plasticity in Plants, D.H. Jennings and A.J. Trewavas (eds.). Symposia of the Society for Experimental Biology, No. 40. Company of Biologists Limited, Cambridge, pp. 1-4.]

Actors consist of networks deploying partially shared histories, cultures, and collective connections with other actors. The volunteers who trained in Oxford, Ohio, during June 1964 were joining and transforming a well-articulated network of activists.

“Such actors, however, almost never describe themselves as composite networks. Instead, they offer collective nouns; they call themselves workers, women, residents of X, or United Front Against Y. They attribute unitary intentions to themselves, and most often to the objects of their claims as well. They recast social relations and network processes as individuals and individually deliberated actions.” Tilly, Charles. Identities, Boundaries, & Social Ties. 2005. Paradigm Publishers. P. 61.

“The notorious Liu Ling (ca. 221-300) used to go naked in his house. To a shocked Confucian visitor he retorted, ‘The world is my house, and these walls are my garments. What, then, are you doing standing in my pants?’” Collins, Randall. The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change. 1998. Harvard University Press. P. 171.

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