Friday, December 19, 2008

SMART EDUCATIONAL SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY (EST)



A PREFACE
appropriated from THE LAWS OF FORM by
George Spencer-Brown

"We take as given the idea of distinction ..."


"In this book, George Spencer-Brown has succeeded in doing what, in mathematics, is very rare indeed, he has revealed a new calculus, of great power and simplicity ..." -Bertrand Russell, author, with Alfred North Whitehead, of Principia Mathematica

The following quotation, including the footnote, is taken from Appendix 1 to The Laws of Form.
________________________________________
“Discoveries of any great moment in mathematics and other disciplines, once they are discovered, are seen to be extremely simple and obvious, and make everybody, including their discoverer, appear foolish for not having discovered them before. It is all too often forgotten that the ancient symbol for the prenascence of the world* is a fool, and that foolishness, being a divine state, is not a condition to be either proud or ashamed of.

Unfortunately, we find systems of education today which have departed so far from the plain truth, that they now teach us to be proud of what we know and ashamed of ignorance. This is doubly corrupt. It is corrupt not only because pride is in itself a mortal sin, but also because to teach pride in knowledge is to put up an effective barrier against any advance upon what is already known, since it makes one ashamed to look beyond the bonds imposed by one's ignorance.

To any person prepared to enter with respect into the realm of his great and universal ignorance, the secrets of being will eventually unfold, and they will do so in measure according to his freedom from natural and indoctrinated shame in his respect of their revelation.

In the face of the strong, and indeed violent, social pressures against it, few people have been prepared to take this simple and satisfying course towards sanity. And in a society where a prominent psychiatrist can advertise that given the chance, he would have treated Newton to electric shock therapy, who can blame any person for being afraid to do so?

To arrive at the simplest truth, as Newton knew and practiced, requires years of contemplation [R.Elated-ed. Note--focusing of attention]. Not activity. Not reasoning. Not calculating. Not busy behaviour of any kind. Not reading. Not talking. Not making an effort. Not thinking. Simply bearing in MIND what it is one needs to know. And yet those with the courage to tread this path to real discovery are not only offered practically no guidance on how to do so, they are actively discouraged and have to set about it in secret, pretending meanwhile to be diligently engaged in the frantic diversions and to conform with the deadening personal opinions which are being continually thrust upon them.

In these circumstances, the discoveries that any person is able to undertake represent the places where, in the face of induced psychosis, he has by his own faltering and unaided efforts, returned to sanity. Painfully, and even dangerously, maybe. But nonetheless returned, however furtively."
________________________________________
* wer = man, ald = age, old. The world may be taken to be the manifest properties of the all, its identity with the age of man being evident through the fact that man is a primary animal with a hand ('manifest' coming from manus = hand, festus = struck). Thus the world is considerably less than the all, which includes the unmanifest, but considerably greater than 'the' universe (more correctly than any universe), which is merely the formal appearance of one of the possible manifestations which make up the world

A PROPOSAL
FOR RE-FOCUSING EDUCATION ON
CO-CREATIVE (R)EVOLUTION:
Measuring Learning
Susan Koehler and Jon Ray Hamann
(A William Dale Koehler and Leslie D. Edmiston Production)


“EDUCATION” DEFINED
Education is Sign Communication between a Mind
(including Virtual Mind)
and its Self or with Other Mind
(including Virtual Minds)
intended to increase (evolve) the potential of that Mind
to ACT (Self-reflectively or via its Carrier)
and
to increase (evolve) the concomitant potential
VALUE of said ACT to that Mind,
and, as an imperative Corollary,
to the Collective (Common) Other Mind.

SUMMARY
The arguments presented herein reflect the following:
  1. There is a severe World-wide crisis in Education which is growing increasingly evident as to being uncorrectable by changing the System.
  2. Since all aspects of the Social condition depend ultimately on the continually evolving capabilities of each citizen through learning, this crisis is contagiously negatively affecting all human endeavor and diminishing Humanity Globally.
  3. Thus it is necessary to seed a Co-Creative (R)Evolution whereby education is wholly reinvented.
  4. With an ever-growing proportional scarcity in the required human resources for educating, the solution must have a significant technological component.
  5. In that the purpose of Education is to grow the Mind, this technology itself must exhibit an emerging Synthetic Intelligence.
  6. And finally, as the Human Experience becomes increasingly virtual through the Internet, so too must this Synthetic Intelligence grow into a Synthetic (Virtual) MindClone for each individual and thus serve as a personal Virtual Learning/Teaching Aide.
THE CRISIS IN EDUCATION
There are only a few remaining voices in the World which do not decry the general state of our Educational Systems. Among the concerned, there is a growing belief that the problems are foundationally innate to the Systems themselves and, hence, can not be remedied by any change to the structure and/or processes thereof. A typical view is the following:
ODE, December, 2005- “YOUR WORLD IN 2015”
Here are 10 emerging trends that could reshape your world over the next 10 years.
3. The liberation of education
Farewell to standardized tests, assembly line schools and one-size-fits all curriculum
“The liberation of education means every child has the right—not the obligation—to learn. Every child has the right to learn in as many ways as possible, following her interests and developing her unique talents. For that matter: Every adult has the same right.

Learning is an individual activity. It has to be, because we are all different. That is why compulsory education with fixed, one-size-fits-all curricula is outdated. That system belonged to the industrial revolution, when schools were needed to train a uniform, obedient workforce to work in assembly-line factories. As we have witnessed the end of the industrial revolution, we are witnessing the end of the rationale for conventional schools.

There is no need for standardized learning and standardized testing. No need for controlling what children learn. They shouldn’t study just what adults want them to know. Let’s correct one fundamental misunderstanding: Every person wants to learn something. No exceptions. By nature, children follow their interests and develop their talents. That is the very best thing they can do to fulfill their lives and to serve society. It is exactly what leading businesses have discovered: Employees flourish when they feel they have been able to make clear and meaningful contributions.

The best place to learn is not inside a building where you confine kids with others exactly their own ages. The best learning happens in an open setting that encourages people of different ages to interact in many ways. One example might be elders explaining the wisdom of the past to youngsters who then teach the older generation how to use new technology. Learning—when it is free—is never-ending, because the essence of learning is not acquiring knowledge, but finding meaning in life.”

RE-CREATING AN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM:
AN OVERVIEW OF THE NECESSARY PARTS

Ai3’s intention is to seed the Co-creative (R)Evolution in the way we educate. Grounded in Relationism as pointed to later herein, the mission—MINDing Humanity---involves growing the Learner Mind via an enabling, mentoring partnership with an individually adapted Synthetic Mind/an AutoGnome. This approach will ultimately completely reinvent education throughout the entire knowledge/age-spectrum.

OPEN ENVIRONMENT
An important aspect of this approach is the requisite of maintaining an environment that fosters an individual’s natural inclination toward inquiry, inference and intuition. This quite simply implies open access to an open system through open sources. This obviously translates into specific criteria with respect to the physical space. The mission when actualized in an open environment will sustain a culture that encourages discovery guided by experienced, innovative experts/mentors(faculty) also working with AutoGnomic Aides. Such a culture will support a broad spectrum of interests providing the opportunity for students to holistically explore inter-disciplinary subject matter in an on-going, dynamic process recognizable as 24/7/365 entrepreneurism in learning.

CURRICULA/CONTENT
Curricula will include, as matter of fact and without emphasis, subject matter in the Public Sector Education Departments required fields which comply with all regulatory standards and testing requirements; however, this will not be treated as the educational goal of what will actually be presented and achievement expected, but only as a minimum compliance entry level for those individuals interested in such public certification. Performance success will be AutoGnomically evaluated on a cognitive (including inquiry, inference and intuition) as well as an emotive level. Students will be matched in their abilities with MetricGnomic Methodologies through the AutoGnome.

DELIVERY SYSTEM
Subject matter will be available in any accessible Automated Information Communication MultiMedi form and delivered locally as well as via internet access so that an anytime, anywhere attitude of access to knowledge is fostered. Students will have the opportunity to participate in cooperative learning activities that are unconstricted by age classification. Home study will be encouraged. Both parent and student participation are invited/expected within this culture of teaching, first as a contribution to our mission, but also as a means of validating their understanding of subject matter and as a method of building self esteem and competence in their ability to present complex material.

ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION
Naturally, the demonstration of acquired knowledge is critical to the success of the program and will be given due priority. Equally important is the ability to move beyond the maintenance of accepted formalities and into the realm of creativity where students develop the confidence to initiate positive change in their environment. This specifically includes students with special needs which require and deserve the opportunity to explore any fields of study and select those that open them to realization and expression of their unique potential. The advanced capabilities of Ai3’s core intelligence/knowledge/wisdom technology, the AutoGnome, will provide a superior method for mentoring, guidance, assessment and evaluation (the MetricGnome) and will provide performance indicators that prove beyond any doubt that the students’ abilities are quantifiable and measurable and that such measures are superior indicators when compared to community/society/state required standard testing.

DIFFERENTIATORS
Differentiating characteristics include the Relational philosophical foundation of the curriculum and methodology, recognizing the foundational relational proclivity of the human mind, and the emphasis on entrepreneurism. Key differentiators begin with the assumption of diversity in an open environment and entail a delivery method that utilizes high end Synthetic Intelligence technology to combine the best of expert mentors with independent and distance learning methodologies utilizing research-based best practices.

THE INIGMA OF MIND (Edited by R.Elated from the following)
Fractal Neurodynamics and Quantum Chaos : Resolving the MIND-Brain Paradox Through Novel Biophysics
Chris King
Scientific Discovery in the twentieth century has seen the unification of the microscopic and cosmic realms of physics. Molecular biology has had equally epoch-making successes unravelling the intricate molecular mechanisms underlying the genetic code. Despite these conceptual advances, the principles by which the brain generates Mind remain mysterious.

Mind and Consciousness remain so different from the usual objects of scientific inquiry that it is unclear they conform to the objective criteria usually applied to scientific description. Yet, the importance of developing a model of brain function which gives a consistent description of Mind, consciousness and free-will, is profound.

The intractability of this central unresolved problem in science suggests its principles run deeper than the conventional biochemical description. This paper develops such a model based on linkage between the fractal aspect of chaotic neurodynamics and quantum non-locality, giving brain science a cosmological status at the foundations of physical description.

This model links the structural instability of brain dynamics with quantum uncertainty. The quantum-physical brain may thus be more than just an interface between sensory input and decision-making. It may in fact be a doorway between complementary aspects of the physical universe. If so, the role of consciousness and Mind-brain duality may be central to cosmology.

THE RELATIONAL FOUNDATIONS OF MIND

What if “how and what” we think were constrained by the
language(s) [sign systems] we use?
Despite the foregoing Inigma of Mind, it is generally accepted that the human organism as a living (biological) system acts to maintain (adapt) its identity in a changing environment. These Acts are a decisional (CyberGnomic) dynamics characterizing "Mind" where Mind is generally conceded to be resident in a "Brain". A Brain in turn is composed of a complex of parts, including, e.g., neuronal nets. Further, a Brain is carried by a "Body", i.e. sensors and effectors, connecting the Brain/Mind to its environment. And finally, the key foundational assumption is that "Mind" is an image (sign/symbol)—creation/manipulation/storage/interpretation---system which itself is imaged via a Relational Science of Signs (symbols) — signification (e.g. symbolization) and communication, i.e. Relational Semiotic Systems, as a necessary basis upon which to build a General Theory of Universal Mind and technologically engineer its applications as Synthetic Intelligence--Synthetic Mind.
The Mission then is to reinvent (create) a Form of sign(symbol) system and the processes attendant thereto which express the heretofore linguistically and formally (mathematically) inexpressible Experience of Interrelated Relations (as per the Native unrecorded expression of “relations related to other relations”), said Form to be combined with the centuries-old symbolic mode of Interrelated Systems, which in its successes has carried Humanity from the discovery of fire through the evolution of language and number to deep space exploration (telescopically toward the “infinite”) and nano-science (microscopically toward the “infinitesimal”).

TOWARD A RELATIONAL SEMIOTIC THEORY OF MIND
What if the form of these sign systems constrained
the methodology of inquiry in science?
With last century’s advent of the digital revolution in information/communication technology, the methods of inquiry themselves must now be opened to form a new method of inquiry/inference/intuition. This method must be concomitantly applied to the foundations notions (philosophically, formally, and theoretically) themselves which subtend any particular experiential initiating hypotheses in inquiry thus leading to a theory of theory formation. An approach is posited herein regarding the formalization of an order and its derivative calculus, the latter taken as a formulation of the disorder experientially related to the given order, which also implies a reorder(ing) format that, within an Integrated System of order/disorder/reorder Relations (Relational Semiotic Systems), suggests The Form as a general [meta order(ing)] theory of theory formation. The Form will, in turn, be invoked in formulating a Theory of Intelligence/Mind and its technological implementations as Synthetic Intelligence/Mind. As a limited goal toward this end, we have attempted to elucidate our approach to “Semiotics in Intelligent Systems Development” as though it instantiated The Form and points to a generalized order (Boundary Logic) which, if fully realized, would translate Boolean Logic (the present form of Computational Logic) into a form that is more consistent with computation (being parallel) in contrast to language (being serial). The theoretical and applied detail developed to date is essentially confined to the AutoGnome, a semiotic machine interpreting certain of the philosophical principles of Charles Sanders Peirce who first published on Boundary Logic in 1898.

APPLICATIONS OF THE AUTOGNOME
The key commercial application of the AutoGnome to be implemented hereby is that of the WebGnome specifically in the form of an Intellisite (an Intelligent Website generically branded as http://www.truethinker.com/) and its derivative implementations in Knowledge Creation, Organization and Application. The IntelliSite taken as a Knowledge Development Management System (KDMS) is the adjunct tool of choice for Organized Search, Classified Storage & Retrieval, Learning/Teaching-Training, and Knowledge Management, to identify only a few of the many immediately adaptable applications of TrueThinker.com (TT.com) in it’s current stage of development.

In the sequence of added increasing IntelliSite functionality, starting from the most rudimentary of functions, i.e. Manual Categorization, and progressing through Supervised (Automated) Categorization to AutoCategorization, Ideation, Meta(Q/R)Search, Community Building, Resource and Business Management, and on to an Autonomous Entrepreneur, TT.com can be adapted at each stage of development as a potent KDMS tool by incorporating an Inheritable Context-specific (e.g. for education, medicine, energy, environmental management, strategic economic and community development planning, etc.) KnowledgeBank (content). The fact is that with only Manual and Supervised Categorization, TT.com is already showing superiority relative to known competition as a KDMS and is expected to rapidly separate itself as the prime vendor in this industry niche. With the continuing evolution of the IntelliSite into an Autonomous Scientific Intelligence, CoGnome (collective intelligence), and (cognitive network of IntelliSites), TT.com will grow into a one-of-a-kind CogWebMINDClone in the NetWork of Virtuality, and become the benchmark for a SyntheticMIND.

EDUCATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INTELLISITE
As an “immediately” available platform for revenue generation to sustain these ongoing development activities, TrueScholar.com for the HomeSchooling Movement would provide a readily accessible starting point for an already well-defined, politically active, participatory market. In particular, with an Open Source Initiative to accelerate the development of the initial KnowledgeBank, an effective learning assistance tool would be rapidly available. Moreover, from day 1 of completion of the design of the website and while the KnowledgeBank is formed, TrueScholar.com can go to market allowing users to complete their training of TT.com at the Manual and Supervised Categorization stage. In terms of decreasing ease of access to change agents for organizationally implementing Relational Education (REdu), the expected order of markets would be from Home(Independent)Schooling to Private Independent Schools to Charter Schools to Public Schools.

MEASURING LEARNING: THE METRICGNOME
With respect to the third of the 3M’s of education (Motivation, Mentoring and Measurement), a very rudimentary approach to Measuring Learning (both potential and realized) could be formulated based upon a quantification of the change in the average linkage “volume” in the Knowledge (Net)-Bank and the degree of relevancy (relative value) thereof. This could be effected by a MetricGnome in real time, all the time, as an online adjunct to MyWebGnome in TrueThinker. “Testing” then becomes a true measure related to true learning in true time of true relevance to the TrueScholar. This would stand in sharp contrast to the current norm of standardized testing as an indicator of successful Human Learning, albeit largely only of irrelevant, fabricated information.

In order to set the stage for this design effort, it is suggested that first a traditional (“How should we test?”) Survey be designed and implemented, basically to inquire of the subject learners what they would recommend as the most fair, effective and accurate means of assessing their learning.

Friday, November 28, 2008

WHAT IS A “TRUETHINKER”?

This AHA!Institute blog is intended as a locus for the CoCreative [open individual or collective creative participation] (R)Evolution [Relational Revolution in the Evolution] of the Whole of Human Experience by CoCreating Possible Universal Relational Futures Stressing TRUTH and RELEVANCE with GOODNESS, i.e. the TRUETHINKING of EveryOne.

FREETHINKING:

THE PRIOR CONDITION FOR

TRUETHINKING

Referring to a prior post in this blog re: “MINDing Politics”, November 10, 2008,

http://relatedone.blogspot.com/2008/11/minding-ones-self-through-technology-of.html

the following concern was expressed:

THE EVOLUTION/ARCHITECTING OF SOCIETIES GLOBALLY IS MOVING ON A PREDICTED COURSE TO A POINT OF CATASTROPHIC CHANGE AS WE NEAR 2013 WHEREAT THE INHERENT INSTABILITY OF THE CENTRALIZED CONTROL OF A COLLECTIVE AS THE FORM OF ORGANIZATION WILL BE COMMONLY RECOGNIZED AS DESTRUCTIVE OF INDIVIDUAL AUTONOMY AND DELIMITING OF PERSONAL INQUIRY AND CREATIVITY.

The admonition was Do Not Block The Way Of Inquiry! The first argument is that to be or become a TrueThinker, one must first ascertain that they are a FREETHINKER. The second argument implied herein is that this latter choice is again, in the cycles of history, resisted by the Benevolent Authority form of Centralized Control of the Collective State Bureaucracy. The following is suggested for individual scrutiny as to evidence for the concern.

THERE IS NO TIME BETTER THAN THE PRESENT TO REASSESS THE EFFICACY OF OUR TRUETHINKING
The Current Circumstance
With the November 4th close of yet another season of the Establishment’s National Theater production of the ongoing drama, Bureaucracy Unlimited, the citizen ticket-holders (tax-payers) have again by indirect vote (s)elected from the producer’s cast the winning team of Head Bureaucrats to Shepherd the Bureaucracy for the next four years. Of special note of the critics of this production is the smoothness (a Trillion here, a Trillion there – maybe no one will notice) of the Producer’s (Establishment’s) introduction of its crisis-creation/management “tool set” as the core “scene” of a strategic/tactical scheme through which their Capital Auditors/Controllers (Formally Rated (FR) on a scale of a to f (best to worst) by the critics as bFR re: financial capital and cFR re: human capital) have induced the citizens to undertake a credit underwriting obligating them for the indeterminate future to fund the expansion of Bureaucracy Unlimited Globally by consummating Producer control of a One Resource Bank for the World from and through which all such capital would flow. Since this production runs through December, 2012, the focus now needs to turn to re-scripting for 2013 and thereafter.

TRUTH and RELEVANCE with GOODNESS
Recognize first that each of these concepts exists only in a TriRelational sign form where the concept signifies an experience to a particular thinker. Hence truth to a given thinker signifies a realization of consistency between an expectation and the actual in an experience. The relevance of the experience to that thinker is a measure of the degree to which it does or can effect personal change. And finally, the goodness of the experience to that thinker is a measure of the value of that change personally, but also concomitantly to the collective other.

WE INVITE AND LOOK FORWARD TO COMMENTS ON

YOUR PERSONAL REFLECTIONS ON TRUETHINKING.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

AHA! INSTITUTE: An Overview

MIDWIFING THE METAMORPHOGENESIS of the
AGE of SYSTEM into the AGE of RELATION
by foreseeing the transhumanist Relational Form of future culture/society and CoCreating a (R)Evolution [i.e. a Revolution in the Evolution of Relation] for the long view of a sustainable form of Humanity in the (R)Evolution of LIFE ITSELF. The platform for this Strategic CoCreation will incorporate this AHA!Institute blog http://www.ahainstitute.com/ with AHA!Institute TrueThinker http://www.truethinker.com/ Communities within an (R)Evolving Intelliste http://www.ahainstitute.org/ (to be public in January, 2009).


HOW DOES ONE PARTICIPATE IN THE
AHA!INSTITUTE AS A
RELATIONAL RESEARCHER
To participate in this Global Community of Researchers/Learners, begin by Adopting-a-Gnome as per the procedure laid out in the post herein titled, Adopt-a-Gnome. Read the section entitled “What is the Adopt-a-Gnome Program” and then follow the directions under “How does one Adopt-a-Gnome?” As a TrueThinker, having subscribed through referral by the AHA!Institute (via http://www.ahainstitute.com/ or http://www.ahainstitute.org/), one immediately becomes a participating TrueRelationalResearcher simply by way of the incorporation of their personal MindClone (MyKnowledgeBank) in the AHA!Institute 7SYNs Community KnowledgeBank; this latter serves as a resource knowledge-base for this Relational Research. More specifically, however, each open-entry participant is free to engage actively in this research at whatever level of Pragmatic Knowledge Value they competently offer as assessed by the AHA! Knowledge-Valuing Community–Moderator/Builder. This assessment is currently determined by the AHA!Institute Community Moderator(s)' [invoking the "evaluation methodology" (a continuous audition)] based upon prior AHA! Community participation of the subscriber; however, this process will gradually transform into an autonomous process implementing the GnosTek’s proprietary “Knowledge Valuing” Technology.


FUNCTIONAL OVERVIEW

The foregoing chart will be the high-level guide for contined future elaboration of the development of the AHA!Institute.

DEFINING THE RESEARCH PROCESS
[Co-Intelligence in Co-Creative Research]
This AHA!Institute blog will be the key entry point inviting open participation in the evolving Community of Relational Researchers addressing THE 7SYNs: Strategic Viewpoints of Possible Relational Futures {Re-Creating the Universe Virtually}:

  • SYN1: Creation of Interrelated Relational (RO3) Sign Systems
  • SYN2: Synthesis of Field as Interrelated Relational (RO3) Sign Systems
  • SYN3: Synthesis of Matter as manifest FIELD
  • SYN4: Synthesis of Life as dependent on the origin of sign in FIELDS as RO3
  • SYN5: Synthesis of Mind as both being and meta-imaging RO3
  • SYN6: Synthesis of Language in RO3, and
  • SYN7: Synthesis of Society as Interrelated Relational (RO3) Sign Systems
See also the following regarding the 7SYNs:
http://relatedone.blogspot.com/2007/03/in-begining-was-word-and-now-mindclone.html

http://relatedone.blogspot.com/2007/12/aha-institute-relational-systems-re.html

http://relatedone.blogspot.com/2008/03/asitisinccom-portal-to-future-as-it_09.html


Research will be initiated effective October, 2008, with notice of the specific opening date for open participation to be publicized on this blog shortly in advance of said date, expected in January, 2009. The initiating high-level specs for SYN4,5,&6 will be posted before the end of 2008. The AutoGnomic Intellisite (in the http://www.truethinker.com/ application) as a knowledge development and diffusion system will be deployed as the research development and management system.


PERSPECTIVE ON INITIAL ORGANIZATION





saved

A UNIQUE PEOPLE'S RESEARCH INSTITUTE
The purpose of this blog is to serve as a communications center regarding the effort to organize a global research and educational institute (AHA!Institute). It is intended to provide an open opportunity for anyone/everyone to individually and/or collectively participate in such ultimate inquiries as the origin and nature of the universe, life, mind and society and the consequential actional implications of those inquiries for humanity. The AHA!Institute Campus (ribbon cutting in January, 2009) will be the first SyntheticMind-Endowed Virtual University. The enabling technology which makes this mission possible is the ability to extend personal intelligence via the AutoGnome TM and thus build one's own synthetic MINDclone in Virtuality (CyberSpace). This personalized AutoGnome, i.e. MyWebGnome TM, can enhance anyone's chance of an AHA! Discovery, Invention or Creation, in any form, and thereby grow the personal satisfaction, rewards and ownership derived from being a Relational Researcher. The AHA!Institute will harness the Synthetic Intelligence (AutoGnomic)-driven Knowledge Development Platform, “TrueThinker”, and GnosTek’s proprietary “Knowledge Valuing” toolsets to build a robust “Campus” of Relational Systems Researchers and Peripatetic Relational Teachers/Learners. The first step in becoming a participant in this global enterprise is to become a TrueThinker by subscribing through referral from the AHA!Institute (via www.ahainstitute.com or www.ahainstitute.org) via Referral Number 189068

Monday, November 10, 2008

MINDing Politics:[“MINDing one's SELF” through the Technology of SYNTHETIC MIND]

THE PERCEIVED CIRCUMSTANCE:
THE EVOLUTION/ARCHITECTING OF SOCIETIES GLOBALLY IS MOVING ON A PREDICTED COURSE TO A POINT OF CATASTROPHIC CHANGE AS WE NEAR 2013 WHEREAT THE INHERENT INSTABILITY OF THE CENTRALIZED CONTROL OF A COLLECTIVE AS THE FORM OF ORGANIZATION WILL BE COMMONLY RECOGNIZED AS DESTRUCTIVE OF INDIVIDUAL AUTONOMY AND DELIMITING OF PERSONAL INQUIRY AND CREATIVITY.

Following the preceding post on “Minding the Economy: EcoGnomics”, the present post on “Minding Politics” in socio-economic structuring pursues a reversal of the current global imbalance in the form of Societal organization which favors centralized control of the collective at the expense of individual autonomy.
The approach here tendered will focus on a Transhuman view of the completion of the third stage of the Age of Information via a Semiotic Relational Systems formulation and mechanization of a Synthetic Mind resident in an augmented embellishment of the Sixth Universe as a Universe of Autonomous Synthetic Minds InterRelated in Virtuality, but maintaining a MindClone connection to the Individual Human in Reality. This politically permits collective decision making (see the EcoGnomics conjecture), but maintains the commitment to the Individual-as-Whole as the ground for persisting personal autonomy.

DIALOG WITH EPI-VIRTUAL MINDS
To clarify a process expected to be used regularly in the AHA! Institute, beginning with this blog, the following explanations are in order. The focus of concern is on the fair use of the semiotic records of other minds (be they physically practicing at the time of such use or available only through the persistence of the media upon which during their physical sojourn, whether ongoing or lapsed, they so entrusted their acts). The dilemma then has to do with the “truth, relevance and goodness” of the recording of acknowledgement of the creatorship of those records so used, whether used intact or modified by the user, but without consent of their creator(s). Current practice has rules for uses such as the following, which, however, do not include the use intended herein: Citation – simple address of or pointer to the source, thereby simply admitting the possibility of some relation; Report – identifying the source, but attempting to maintain maximum emotional distance from the content conveyed; Interpretation -- identifying the source, but conveying the content with a sense of a sympathetic [syn, “together” and pathos, “feeling”] relation; Argument -- identifying the source, but conveying the content with a sense of a empathic [en, “in” and pathos, “feeling”] relation.

As to the use intended herein, the semiotic records of another mind, herein referred to as an Epi [epi, “beside”]-Virtual Mind (see the post in this blog entitled “MINDing one's SELF” through the Technology of SYNTHETIC MIND: Minding the Economy), will be copied (with minor editing for context consistency, this obviously being a filter of this post’s author’s mind) to re-express a thought which seems to this author’s mind to also be in part conveyed by the circumscribed expression of the Epi-Virtual Mind. Hence, the DIALOG WITH EPI-VIRTUAL MINDS.



COLLABORATIVE FUTURES VISIONING

As an instantiation of this Dialog, we begin with one who is a first among firsts in the Mind Trust of the AHA!Institute, Eugene “Gene” Pendergraft, who retired from this physical plane in 1997, but now continues in the collaboration as an Epi-Virtual Mind. One such contribution to the Dialog, bringing novelty with each new reading, is the following privately distributed (1993) book which we (through As It Is, Inc. and The AutoGnomics Institute, Inc.) expect to print and publically re-distribute in the near-term future. What follows below in this Section are a few edited excerpts from this book assembled into a short supporting statement for the argument of this post.


THE FUTURE'S VOICE
Intelligence Based on Pragmatic Logic
by
Eugene Pendergraft
June 1993
“Henry David Thoreau (1984) lived in the woods at Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts, from 1845 to 1847. I see young men, my townsmen, he said, whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, barns, cattle, and farming tools; for these are more easily acquired than got rid of. Better if they had been born in the open pasture and suckled by a wolf, that they might have seen with clearer eyes what field they were called to labor in. But men labor under a mistake.

That men labor under a mistake, under the inherited idea that they receive rather than create information, is the field of argument that Charles Sanders Peirce was called to labor in.

The study Peirce first called ‘pragmatism’ introduced into philosophy ‘a method of ascertaining the meaning of hard words and abstract conceptions’. The specific purpose of this pragmatic method, according to its inventor, was to clarify traditional metaphysical questions by assessing their conceivable practical effects.

The significance of Peirce’s philosophical argument lies in his profound sense of the fallibility and yet supreme values of honest, persevering inquiry by individual minds sharing a common desire to learn and a common faith that an indefinite community of such investigators must sooner than later discover the truth and the reality corresponding to it. To this attitude Peirce gave the name ‘scientific intelligence’.

Upon this first, and in one sense this sole, rule of reason, that in order to learn you must desire to learn, and in so desiring not be satisfied with what you already incline to think, there follows one corollary which itself deserves to be inscribed upon every wall of the city of philosophy: DO NOT BLOCK THE WAY OF INQUIRY!

Modern industrial society, as presently organized, is colliding violently with our planet’s ecological system. Will this juggernaut continue to devastate the earth no matter what any of us does?

Not so! The weight of history is against such a conclusion. Humankind has always responded to the possibilities of a better logic by taking up its intellectual habits, the new patterns of thinking that it recommends. This is not to say that men and women listen eagerly for or to logical arguments. Practical men do not study logic, Peirce observed wryly, because invariably they believe they think logically already. An obsolete logic, one prone to error, cannot be cajoled or shamed out of existence; it must be bypassed by corrective logical arguments. So the makers of innovative logical arguments, of which Peirce is a prime example, must have above all a clear conception of why and how this bypassing of unwanted error can be done.

The good news is that central economic planning, as done by bureaucrats in the common interest of society, has become a discredited industrial policy. The bad news is that the free-market economy, as run by high-salaried executives in pursuit of one’s own interest in competition with others, is on the way to becoming, and is destined to become, a discredited industrial policy.

Peirce’s philosophic vision is able therefore to play an increasing role in shaping our philosophical attitudes to the central problem of our contemporary culture: the humanizing of the sciences and their dealings with the moral and educational phases of our industrial age. Peircian pragmatism may best be viewed as American thought regarding the problem of creating attitudes among scientists and the public that will converge on mankind’s common afflictions of bigotry, ignorance, poverty, war and disease.

In sum, I offer this image of our future. The market place of ideas, the rough-and-tumble of one idea struggling against another for a place in existence, probably must succumb to purely formal tri-relative analytical, classificatory, and valuational procedures which implement semiosis, a potentially intelligent, continuously evolving sign process. Every operation of semiosis is governed by law, and is mechanizable. Actual mechanization of man-like modes of semiosis, now in prospect, will spark the third and final phase of our information age [from information processing to robotic(artificial)intelligence to semiosis as synthetic intelligence].

The way out of ignorance and into a better light is that the public, as against the professional, learn a sufficiency of scientific facts and principles. Still, many creative people will prefer mystery. Religions and exotic cults will expand their scope toward administering emotional support to quixotic men and women, for whom lasting relationships will reflect an addiction and willingness to change. Inhabitants of the sixth universe will be autonomous men and women, unmanageable though quite open to suggestion.

So we will journey to our future world, the sixth universe of humankind, by our own mental efforts. Will the people follow? The ‘laws’ that we guess out probably must become the myths of this anticipated ‘New Age’, simply because men and women of an information age will desire to learn ‘most speedily’. For everyone, the new conditions for survival will be: to take habits from others; to inquire, ‘Where am I now?, ‘Where do I want to be?’, ‘How will I get there?’; and to adopt for oneself the admirable case, the desirable result, and the trustworthy rule.

I do want to discuss the processes and products of scientific consciousness, though only in so far as they bring to reflection organizing principles for the new reality pressing upon us. Most of the principles to be discussed have been long at hand within technical literature. Simply by doing our homework, each of us may know and use them privately. Against these principles ordinary people should be able to measure things in order to see whether those parts of their world are trustworthy. What significant things, things we cherish or despise, can be expected to endure or drop out of existence?

By ‘organizing principles’, then I mean principles that shape our expectations about tomorrow. They communicate to us the FUTURE’S VOICE.”

DO NOT BLOCK THE WAY OF INQUIRY!
The drive to Inquire, being the natural state of the Individual Human Mind, will generally sustain the individual unless blocked by other’s acts. This is not to dismiss the constant presence of unforeseen acts of “nature” which can circumstantially render a person ineffective if not dead. But, in order to learn one must continue as an individual to desire to learn. Yet, the history of the evolution of human forms of collective organization, from group to community to society and state, evidences a tendency of the collective form, at whatever level, to emerge as a system with centralized control of its parts, i.e. the people as individuals. This is true throughout the range of forms of the controller from individual or small group dictatorships through specialist managers to the rule of the majority. The result is that the process of inquiry favors the collective need at the expense of the individual’s self-determination with a resulting diminution of self-motivation. Recognizing also, however, that organisms of most, if not all forms, have increased chances of survival through cooperation in collectives, Humanity with its current philosophy of centralized control in collective organization faces the zero-sum dilemma of a choice between individual autonomy vs. collective integrity. The resolution of the dilemma requires we look beyond the notion of a collective system to that of a system-as-whole.

THE COLLECTIVE VS. THE WHOLE
TOTOSYSTEMS vs. HOLOSYSTEMS
The common experience of a Collective-as-System is of a total-system (picture puzzle) reality in which a TotoSystem is achievable by having all of the pieces in the right place at the right time. By contrast, a whole-system [holo(graphic)] reality requires the presencing of the The Whole (HoloSystem) in each part. However, The Whole is No-Thing and hence can not be represented as a System alone, but is in essence Relation, specifically Interrelated Relation.

THE PROBLEM/DILEMMA/PARADOX IN SIGNIFYING “THE WHOLE

The very nature of all existing formal Sign(Image) systems is that all Relations are assumed to be between/among Systems, i.e. to Interrelate Systems. Hence, Experience in and of Relations between/among Relations, i.e. Interrelated Relations, is by default precluded from our expressible/expressed Knowledge. The problem-dilemma-paradox is that the foregoing Intersystemic Relational circumstance, which constrains the nature of known signs to a TotoSystems form, actually “filters” the Essence of Relation from signified Experience and hence prevents the Human Mind from discovering the form of sign appropriate for signifying The Whole.

RESOLVING THE PROBLEM/DILEMMA/PARADOX OF TOTOSYSTEMS: APPROACHING THE WHOLE AS HOLOSYSTEM
The notion of System (and of subSystems) has two fundamental realizations. In one form a system is assumed to be identical with the totality of its subsystems (components). In this case, the system is viewed as existing only through the interrelation of its parts, the latter thus being prior to the totality. In the second form a system is assumed to be a whole which presences in each of its subsystems (parts). As such, the system and subsystems are mutually existent, neither being prior to the other.

The notion of system-as-totality, representable through the interrelation of components, is the form which has dominated the evolution of modern science and society and which characterizes the bulk of research and social structuring recognizing only (General) Systems.

Given the historical preeminence of the General Systems paradigm in Societal Organization, it must also be noted that it is common experience that systems-as-totalities are paradoxical, i.e. they work poorly or not at all and, when working, seldom work as expected. Nearly everyone is familiar with “Murphy’s Law”; if anything can go wrong, it will. Fewer, however, know of “O’Brian’s Law” which simply states that “Murphy was an optimist”. Perhaps the most cogent summary of the problems/dilemmas/paradoxes of General Systems is the work of John Gall on SystemAntics in which the first systematic presentation of why systems fail is presented. To place this in philosophical perspective, there is endless work on the paradoxical nature of reality. However, it has been in the study of the foundations of mathematical systems (including mathematical physics) that there have emerged the most profound insights into the paradoxical inconsistencies of general formal systems. Three exemplary milestones in this research are Russell’s Paradox, Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem and the ERP (Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky) Paradox.

Restating the foregoing, this course of the historical evolution of Experience as cumulative Human Knowledge of (General) Systems, SystemAntics (the Systematic Science of why Systems fail), and SystemAntilectics (R.Elated’s invented designation for the Science of Systems therapeusis) has not been unlike travel in a “maze” on a dead-end, no-exit path. As in Flatland, the awareness/vision of the dilemma is only possible from a “higher dimension”. The problem is that the maze in any specific known formal form, e.g. mathematics, is only a manifestation of a paradox inherent in the very nature of all existing formal sign(image) systems, i.e. that all Relations are assumed to be between/among Systems, i.e. to Interrelate Systems. Hence, Experience in and of Relations between/among Relations, i.e. Interrelated Relations, is by default precluded from our expressible/expressed Knowledge. Now suppose that the foregoing circumstance, which constrains the nature of known signs, actually “filtered” the Essence of Relation from signified Experience and hence prevented the Human Mind from discovering a form of sign appropriate for signifying The Whole.

THE SIXTH UNIVERSE (OF MIND)
The last half of the 20th century evidenced a growing unrest with our present conceptualizations of experience, in particular, in socio-economic-political organization. This trend is now rapidly approaching a crisis point which will necessitate a major shift in world view. The emerging paradigm is one in which the “deep structure” of the universe is viewed as a super hologram. The data underlying this conceptual revolution comes from various areas of the “frontiers of research” which are “other-than-norm”. The unifying feature throughout this data is the concept of The Whole as a system which presences in each and every part. In the large, orthodox research and applications development has always actively resisted or passively ignored all data which is “other-than-norm”. The current crisis in knowledge has been cogently summarized in the suggested need for a different scientific methodology for each (altered) state of consciousness. The fundamental resolution of this crisis, however, necessitates a shift (or broadening) in paradigm such that the present sole concern with system-as-totality is extended to emphasize the system-as-whole. It is no longer questionable as to whether this shift (to the Sixth Universe of Mind) will come; it is of concern, however, as to how long it will take since it has been previously observed that major conceptual changes may require 50 years (the passage of 2 biological generations of Humans).

Inhabitants of the Sixth Universe (of Mind) will be autonomous men and women, unmanageable though quite open to suggestion. So we will journey to our future world, the sixth universe of humankind, by our own [individual] mental efforts. [From “The Future’s Voice”, see above]

CONJECTURE: REALIZING PERSONAL AUTONOMY IN A COLLECTIVE VIA THE AUTOGNOME AS AN INDIVIDUAL’S MINDCLONE IN VIRTUALITY
(Re-building socio-political-economic systems today from the perspective of a Transhumanist Society of post-2036 to 2063 which subsumes a Virtual CyberSociety of Autonomous WebGnomes)
This approach proposes the AutoGnome(TM) (Synthetic Mind) as a technological solution to the World-wide societal crises due to the collective diminution of individual personal autonomy, but now exacerbated by the growing scarcity in distribution of resources necessary for human sustainability. The immediate technology is the IntellisiteTM, an Intelligent Website branded as TrueThinker(TM) (http://www.truethinker.com/). Functioning as a MINDClone(TM) (Virtual Self) for the Human user in Reality, this technology will dramatically Augment Human Intelligence while moving toward an Autonomous Synthetic Intelligence/Mind. This strategy pre-views an approach in retrospect from a vision of a Transhumanist Future Culture/Society imported into the current thinking regarding societal reform. This work, now in commercial deployment, is intended to foster a revolution which is expected to ultimately (as we approach the Human-Posthuman Singularity between 2036 and 2063) completely reinvent society throughout the Globe.

See also the following posts in this blog:



Thursday, October 30, 2008

MINDing the Economy: [“MINDing one's SELF” through the Technology of SYNTHETIC MIND]

MINDing (or To Mind)”
Definition (in the present context): To Mind (or Minding) is an act intended by the acting mind to increase the Intelligence &/or Knowledge &/or Wisdom of the subject as mind(including that of self), or as affected by or effected through mind, where each such mind can reside principally in Reality or Virtual Reality or Virtuality.

Definition: Virtuality is an Autonomous Semiotic Universe in which a sign (e.g. a piece of information) is taken to be transferable (communicatable) only among (virtual) minds resident in this Virtuality and relatable to (Human) Reality only through the Virtual Reality of the Internet/Web.

Definition: Stages in Synthesizing Mind as a Semiotic Relational System
From computerized raw data/information
to First Stage
INTELLIGENCE TECHNOLOGIES
involving
Perceptual Processes
focused on Syntactic Patterning

to Second Stage
KNOWLEDGE TECHNOLOGIES
featuring
Conceptual Processes
focused on Semantic Patterning

to Third Stage
WISDOM TECHNOLOGIES
being
Valuational Decision Processes focused on Pragmatic Patterning
i.e. Action Selection
[Wisdom (defined): the expression in acts of value through knowledge]

EXPERIENTIAL INSTANCES OF “MINDing (or To Mind)”
The uses of the term “MINDing (or To Mind)” in our culture are so numerous and varied so as to make it near-unconsciously common in examples such as – she’s minding the store – where the implication is one of focus of attention or care or concern. Herein the intent is to extend this “focus” to augmenting, enhancing or improving mind in its functional parts as it reflects or affects subjects such as the World, Humanity, Society, Community, AgReCulture, Research, Technology, Arts, Education, Business, etc. In subsequent posts we intend to address various of these subjects from time to time with a query as to how to Mind them. The specific subject for focus to initiate this process in this post is MINDing the ECONOMY.

MINDing The ECONOMY: EcoGnomics [This latter term is not conceptually originated from any reference to David Bowie’s “Not at the London School of Ecognomics!” from his lyrics of the Laughing Gnome, or from any other prior use, but was formed simply to convey “the intent of bringing Gnosis (knowledge/wisdom) explicitly into re-formulating the disciplines of Economics”, i.e. MINDing Economics]

Despite the near-total negative global impact of the current crises in the World’s Financial Institutions, triggered specifically by massive failure in the US Lending system, and ignoring, for the simplification of the present argument, the disparity in presumptive foundations, formal theories, applied models and means of results measurement in Formal Economics, albeit many Nobel Prizes have been awarded for aspects thereof, the proactive inclusion of Synthetic Intelligence/Mind is rarely addressed.

RELATIONAL SEMIOSIS as SYNTHETIC MIND:
Some Partial Descriptions
[See http://relatedone.blogspot.com/2008/03/mind-creating-mind-cocreative-re.html, MIND Creating MIND: A CoCreative Re-Evolutionary Act {Re:SYN5-Prologue1} SYNTHESIZING MIND: A PERSPECTIVE]

Semiotic Relational Systems
A Semiotic Relational System is a system of relations exhaustively admitting all forms of interrelatedness among systems and/or relations and with certain systems or relations taking the place of (i.e. imaging (signifying)) other systems or relations.

AutoGnome(tm)
The AutoGnome is a self-knowing general purpose software system of automated (autonomous) inquiry, inference and intuition exploiting a mechanized carrier system for relational semiosis as a virtual (synthetic) mind.

Intellisite(tm)

The Intellisite (an Intelligent WebSite) is a constructed software environment (a Website) with an embedded form of the AutoGnome known as a WebGnome(tm), an intelligent agent residing in this cyberspace environment which, with its continuous adaptive learning from mimicking the user’s behavior, will grow into a likeminded replica (MindClone(tm)) of a user-self acting in the Virtual Reality of the Internet with the synthetic mind capabilities of the AutoGnome.

CoGnome(tm)
The CoGnome is a selected WebGnome which, inter-connecting two or more Intellisites in a Network of Intellisites, provides a computerized collective intelligence, an automated co-intelligence, i.e. the Collective-AutoGnome (Auto(Co)Gnome) or simply the CoGnome.

CogWeb
The CogWeb is the Network of Intellisites implemening the CoGnome for Network Decision-Making by autonomously formed Intellisite-defined groups, organizations, communities and societies.

ECOGNOMICS
THE STATE OF THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
We are in the midst of sweeping global economic and social transformations where creativity will increasingly replace physical labor and large-scale bureaucracy as the key source of community and economic growth. This derives largely from the explosive growth of an information-based, chaotically changing environment in which success depends on the superiority of continually accelerated Innovation.

Not surprisingly then, one of the most significant remaining unmined potentials is in the rich base of human, social, relational and intellectual capital to be found in small (including from one up to a small handful of entrepreneurial persons) to medium size enterprises. A strong and independent small enterprise system disperses economic power, localizes economic decision-making, and protects the potential for voluntary cooperative organization.

IDENTIFYING THE REQUISITE CHANGE
The need in order to effectively engage this resource is for new processes and technologies for improving personal and organizational effectiveness in “Knowledge Development” implemented through an organizational and management architecture respecting autonomy throughout its hierarchical and heterarchical levels by effecting co-intelligence in a cognitive network for Rational Collective Decision Making to support and extend individual Innovation. See, for example, the following:

Dynamics of the Informational Interface: Statement Of Relevance
Edwina Taborsky
(Edited slightly for the context)
“The twentieth century's momentous introduction of the network as the operating infrastructure of our global socioeconomic reality has set up a new socioeconomic structure, a 'complex adaptive system' composed of multiple and fluid connections, operating within hierarchical and heterarchical levels, to access and process a wide range of resources. Networks have the capacity to process not only goods and services but also information in a manner that promotes wide-ranging involvement in strategic planning and decision-making rather than unilateral transference. If we were to consider the major component of a network that enables such collaborative interactions, it would be the Interface, the spatial and conceptual gaps or gateways that act to both separate and connect its multiple parts. As intermediary zones between different sides, so to speak, interfaces are sites of resistance, exchange and negotiation. Globalization of the new economy and its knowledge base does not eliminate borders. Instead, borders change from functioning as closures to acting as major opportunities for the collaborative reconstruction of resources, services and information. We consider this border, the interface, to be the crucial site for the interactional processes that enable the multidimensional operational productivity of our new global economy.

Our networked economy and knowledge system requires a mode of exploratory information processing that acknowledges the reality of our global diversity and builds on this diversity by enabling the processes of decision-making to be co-held by tactical alliances of users in different domains of the complex system. A major characteristic of this new economy is that questions that investigate information are also questions that investigate the operational reality of the economy, for the two are intertwined. What is the organizational and management architecture of this economic and informational network - and what are the conditions that enable robust interface interactions in both fields? And importantly, how does a global economic and informational network negotiate the ecological and cultural disparities that are our historical legacy?”

FORMULATING THE COGWEB ARCHITECTURE
The CogWeb is, by definition, the implementation of a computerized collective intelligence [automated co-intelligence] through the adaptation of the AutoGnome Technology (as the CoGnome) for Network Decision-Making by IntelliSite-defined groups, organizations, communities and societies. While the IntelliSite itself was focused on the development of a semiotic engine as an Individual Intelligence, the extended potential of individual intellect, be it human or machine, can be realized in groups; hence the reason for the Automated Community Builder functionality of the IntelliSite. This collective creativity, while related to the intelligence of the individual, is actually a feature not only of the Decision Network’s inference/inquiry/intuition processes (the CoGnome), but more generally of the Network Architecture.

A proprietary “breakthrough application” of the CogWeb, as an example, is the following approach to Rational Group Opinion Assessment. Assume the group targeted for a survey is a population of users of MyWebGnome via an IntelliSite subscription. Instead of statistically extrapolating useful data from a well-drawn small sample group (with all of the attendant margins of error), the response is taken by the CoGnome from a user’s WebGnome standing in as the user’s proxy. Hence it will be common to effect virtually a 100% response in every Assessment.

In general, a CogWeb is the first True approximation to a Rational Collective Decision Process accomplished without constraining the Network to being a top down organized system since each and every IntelliSite WebGnome responding to a query can also pass the query on to it’s closest neighbors, and so on, until the entirety of the Network has been mapped by the query, which could have been initiated by any individual WebGnome or the CoGnome itself.

Since it is increasingly evident that smart aggregates of humans can frequently be more effective decision makers than individuals, this CogWeb architecture collectively technologically enables Co-Intelligence Via Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution.

QUERY
What if, rather than, or in parallel with, the construction of models for realizing a specific formal socio-economic theory, we were to build out a virtual society (Virtuality) of synthetic minds (WebGnomes), a CogWeb, as a Virtual Reality-connected Human Reality Societal Test-bed for doing real-time experimentation on global economic issues. This approach, EcoGnomics, would actually provide a first real opportunity to explore a People’s Economics, particularized to the individual WebGnome and computer-implementable in “real time”?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

AgReCulturing the WORLD

RURAL TRANSFORMATIONS, INC.

Rural Transformation, Inc. (RTI) was created as a joint enterprise between the Rural Learning Center (RLC) (http://www.rurallearningcenter.com/) located in Howard, SD and TrueFarmer, Inc. (TFI), a South Dakota subsidiary of As It Is, Inc (Ai3) (http://www.asitisinc.com/) located in Buffalo, NY. RTI development is an outgrowth of the RLC’s desire to develop and market new learning and community development practices and Ai3’s interest in augmenting these practices through the integration of its virtual synthetic intelligence (http://www.truethinker.com/) technologies in rural communities. TFI is focused on the Ag(ricultural) aspects and RTI on the ReCulturing aspects in AgReCulturing the WORLD. To this end RTI staff are also engaged as consultants with the RLC in communities across the region conducting rural economic development/community revitalization activities. It is from this community work that the concept of “social satisfaction” as an economic development strategy was developed by the visionaries behind the RLC.

RTI Blog: building a deep conversation about the future of rural
http://www.reimaginerural.com/, an outgrowth of the Rural Learning Center (see below), is a blog for rural residents who want to be a part of building a new future for their communities. It’s no secret that most rural communities have struggled in recent decades with outmigration, poverty, and general decline. We belive this downward slide can be turned around by the people who take time to reimagine and work towards a different future.

A movement of change is rolling across the rural landscape as many communities pioneer a new future. Rural communities are coming alive with big ideas and people are connecting to each other and to the world of opportunity.

We hope to be a part of these connections. In fact, we hope that by sharing ideas on this blog, we will inspire rural residents to “reimagine” their communities and become a part of this changing rural landscape.

RLC VISION: renewed hope is the driving force
The Rural Learning Center (http://www.rurallearningcenter.com/) is a product of visionaries. Both organization and place, it is a platform for rural people to discover, teach, share and reimagine--together. In the midst of Miner County, South Dakota's quiet, remarkable transformation from dying town to place of hope and opportunity, this small rural community has become a living learning laboratory for innovative and sustainable solutions.

Now, as a centerpiece for the work in and out of Miner County, the RLC and dozens of partners are building a learning and demonstration center in Howard, SD (http://www.opportunityhoward.com/). The Maroney Rural Learning Center facility will be a one-of-a-kind conference and training center - a living showcase of innovations in rural sustainability, a gathering place to share and experience rural community learning, and the home of an innovative workforce development experiment.