Novelty through Emergence

How Creativity emerges
Conversation Starter

Novelty through Emergence

Parts and Wholes

The world can be constructed as 'systems' - assemblages of diverse interdependent entities (parts), that interact in non-linear ways, to produce a greater organisation (whole). Broadly, there are ecological, biological and social systems. Examples of social systems include civic, political, economic, and cultural systems. Lets consider a few examples of how these systems come about.

Consider the formation of a musical ensemble, where individual musicians come together to perform. Each musician, proficient in their respective instrument, represents a unique entity. However, when they unite, a process of musical integration occurs. This melding of talents and sounds leads to the emergence of a collective symphony, an experience that transcends the mere sum of individual contributions. It's not just a gathering of musicians; it's an orchestra, a system where every note, rhythm, and harmony aligns to create a piece of art that resonates with listeners.

Marriage is another example of a system. It transcends a mere mathematical summation where 1+1 equals 2; it is an equation where 1+1 becomes something unquantifiable, undefined, and profound. At its core, marriage represents the intricate integration of two unique individuals. This union encompasses social, psychological, and financial fusion. It is, essentially, an emergence of an entirely novel entity, distinguishable from its constituent parts. This amalgamation precipitates emergence of a new level of organization, one that is both quantitatively and qualitatively distinct from its individual components. The characteristics of this synthesis cannot be delineated merely by examining its parts. As these components continually adapt and evolve within the larger structure, they transform beyond mere aggregation into a cohesive system.

Parts and wholes are of course self-similar, in that they have the same properties of being systems in their own right (the construct of 'parts' and 'wholes' is only a construct of our frame of reference - a part can be a whole; and a whole can be a part).

Relationships as Ontology

When examing systems, we tend only to see half the picture. We conflate an individual entity - a person or cultural artefact - as having intrinsic identity that is seperate to its environment.

Novelty as emergence

Novelty is a function of emergence and interruption. Em

Open Architectures

When it comes to Novelty then, we must examine whether Novelty is able to thrive in environments. What environments are conductive to novelty? There are political, economic, ecological and cultural constraints to novelty. In almost every case, novelty is constrained by the cybernetic nature of feedback systems which exist in these constraints. For example, an autocracy may sense the emergence of revolution, but will quickly squash it before it takes root. A market economy would see the emergence of a new trend, but competition would allow new entrants to come together and

Cultural Emergence


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