Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Thoughts about rules and their universal application

The following extracts from John H. Holland's "emergence, from chaos to order" book grabbed my attention and triggered thoughts in my mind. I quote from p.126: "translate the notion of rule (e.g. the rule of jumping in checkers, or Hebb's rule) into the notion of mechanism" and "as with rules for games, or laws for a physical system, mechanisms will be used as the defining elements of the system".
In a likewise manner rules and the mechanisms derived hold for the events that determine our lives. Rules that extend from the laws legislated in parliaments to the highway code, to codes of conduct in almost every establishment, companies, hospitals, universities, schools and even unwritten rules, the rules that define the conduct of individuals in respect to other individuals as well as their immediate environment. I feel compelled that I should find a guide to make sense out of them, analyse them, using techniques such as meta-knowledge, knowledge about knowledge as the definition prescribes, which I see it as an introspection on the effects each rule has on our lives and in the lives of other individuals around us and the surrounding environment. Questions to be answered would be 'Why did I do that?', 'For what purpose?', 'How did that affect me?', 'How did affect people around me?', 'How did it affect the place I live in?' Answers to questions along these lines, will help in defining our responses, the mechanisms we employ while we apply the rules that abide to the particular environment we find ourselves in. The end result would be, to avoid being a user, and the following states elaborate the term user; a feeling of being dragged along, helpless pawn, overwhelmed by the circumstances, caught unaware, left baffled, unprepared. Instead develop educated responses which will enable a better understanding of the motives behind our actions and the actions of the people that surround us.
An obstacle in such an attempt has to do with the enormous amount of information that we have to deal with, which is apparent to us as chaos and the situations as chaotic, we have to bear in mind that as John H. Holland proclaims "the mechanisms allowed are few in kind and simple to describe". So by continuously sorting out the rumble that we come across in our every day lives, we will be able to define the elements, the simple mechanisms that bide the systems we live in, our code of behaviour and conduct with other individuals in our surroundings, and become immune to ways alien to our character and personality, to adopt a coherent mode of life.

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