March 2, 2018

A view from the Sun: #4 Imagination as laboratory

imagine, it is

An imaginary event is a real experience. Imagination can explore the unexplorable to learn about something, like traveling at near light speed to learn about space and time. And it has the advantage of being experiential, rather than only theoretical. Therefore an imagined scenario is a laboratory. A novel may explore human experience in a fictional setting. A scientific or philosophical thought experiment is conducted in the imagination.

In this experiment the Sun is the setting for a lived experience of fast and deep change. In Stable patterns in a changing social field, social change is modeled on fluid dynamics. In this case it is modeled on plasma dynamics. What is the difference? What distinguishes plasma from fluids in this context is electromagnetism. In the fluid metaphor, particles (perhaps as if people) are guided in their actions by gravity and bumping into each other. In the plasma metaphor, particles can interact _at long distances_ via electromagnetic force. The result in the Sun is that rich, flickering and tangled patterns of interaction occur, which extend to Earth and throughout the Solar System.


I sing the connectome electric:

The sizzling electrical quality of these extending patterns of interaction suggest the quality of human connection (not always evident) in the tangled, buzzing network of meaning on Earth, as in the Semantic Web. The personal, emotional implication of this potential is that we now have the ability to talk, reason and empathize among ourselves, in the greater connectome, in rich variety and surprise, and to take flight from the “tyranny of categorization and prioritisation of one thing over another.” -Teodora Petkova, Texts on the Semantic Web: Cracking Linearity


I am going to step away now from the laboratory bench in my house on the Sun. Social plasma dynamics is hard work! Before I have supper I am going to head out to the fiery fields out back, where Anthony the sundragon is playing, to give him his dinner. He loves plasma! 


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top image – Ron Scroggin, “Imagine, it is”

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