Changing Patterns Using Transformation Pathways
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 12 Jan 2015
Exploring “Camp-Us” Inspiration by an Alien World View as a Metaphor
The following exercise derives from recent discoveries relating the codons of the genetic code governing life to patterns of numbers, as reported by Christopher Kemp (Is the answer to life, the universe and everything 37 ?, New Scientist, 20/27 December 2014). The report reviews research by Maxim Makukov, a cosmologist and astrobiologist at the Fesenkov Astrophysical Institute in Kazakhstan, in collaboration with the mathematician Vladimir shCherbak (The “Wow! signal” of the terrestrial genetic code, Icarus, 224, 2013). That title follows from a rare “Wow” moment in the SETI process in 1977 (J. R. Ehman, “Wow!”:– a tantalizing candidate, 2011).
Kemp duly notes the recognized existence of 64 codons resulting from various 3-fold combinations of the 4 DNA primary bases (A, C, G and T). It is the patterning of this array of codons that is the focus of the recent discovery. The preoccupation of the authors is with the possibility that a signal of extraterrestrial origin had been deliberately embedded in the code — a code within a code.
Flippant or otherwise, the assumption that a pattern discovered in this way would be the answer to life, the universe and everything (from the perspective of mainstream science) calls for some reaction — given the inadequacy of science to frame meaningful approaches to the challenges of life on this planet for much of humanity at this time. This concern has been argued separately (Challenges More Difficult for Science than Going to Mars — or exploring the origins of the Universe or of Life on Earth, 2014). Especially interesting is the presumptuous manner in which the natural sciences and the report — true to those patterns — avoid the psychosocial implications of “life”, as many are obliged to experience it, and as previously reviewed (Knowledge Processes Neglected by Science: insights from the crisis of science and belief, 2012).
The concern here is with how an “answer” might be represented in order to be meaningful to the enhancement of the engagement with life as it is lived by many worldwide, as may be speculatively explored (Engaging with Insight of a Higher Order, 2014). The argument here uses the framing of the Kazakh preoccupation to consider how recognition of the elusive “extraterrestrial” insight is remarkably mirrored by the challenge to Western science of recognizing the subtle insight of terrestrial “aliens” — in particular that of the Chinese. For, although remarkably well written and documented, the Kazakh argument fails to acknowledge the potential relevance of a very similar pattern of 64 elements long valued (and studied) in Chinese tradition with respect to governance and decision-making.
The code “embedded within the code”, then to be explored, is that relating to problematic patterns of polarization and disassociation characteristic of the unfruitful dynamics of “life” in global society. To this end, the focus here is on reframing the relationship between the “us” of the conventional world view (“camp-us”), as inspired by the alien insights of “them” — potentially experienced as meaningless or terrifying (by “camp-us”). The code within the code is therefore about the memetic challenge of “us and them” in this respect (Us and Them: Relating to Challenging Others — patterns in the shadow dance between “good” and “evil”, 2009). As a literary device, use of “camp-us” in this context also suggestively includes the “US camp” in its quest for world domination at this time — despite controversy with regard to the increasing role of China in global society. The patterning of the distinctions illustrated by the four DNA bases (A, C, G and T) is used here as a source of valuable guidance to that exploration.
The basis for the following approach is that if an ultimate “answer” is to be as meaningful as imagined, then it should be comprehensible to a far higher degree by a wider proportion of the population — effectively governed by that answer, both within their biology and within their psychology, as potentially recognized by biosemiotics. For “them”, an image takes people to places where explanations by “us” struggle to follow.
This suggests a requirement that people be able to engage with the pattern rather than be simply confronted with it by informed elites, as separately explored (Engaging with Insight of a Higher Order, 2014). This concern is in the spirit of various authors (Joseph Campbell, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: metaphor as myth and as religion, 1986; Henryk Skolimowski, The Participatory Mind: a new theory of knowledge and of the universe, 1994; George Lakoff and Rafael Núñez, Where Mathematics Comes From: how the embodied mind brings mathematics into being, 2000).
The argument here focuses on the use of symmetrical polyhedral forms as a means of ensuring coherence and memorability, whilst enabling new modes of interaction. This is in the spirit of meaningful symbols used in the past. Familiarity with multimedia technology could prove significant in this respect — in contrast with academic reliance on text with only those most limited use of memorable imagery of integrative value.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 12 Jan 2015.
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