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Care, Creation, Quality, Information

An economist who is only an economist cannot even be a good economist.
- Friedrich von Hayek

Its about quality.

Contemporary social evolution, with all the implications of the reign of the image and the tyrannical pressure of effectivity, economy and profit, has shown a profound modification in the development of the affective capacities of the human being and of his disposition to live well and confidently, and this right from early childhood.

This evolution has developed, under pseudorational appearances, that which in each of us tends towards the refusal of the other person, fear, aggression, and violence. In short, it generates and reinforces a dynamic of separation and an increase of the imaginary, in opposition to those forces which aim at cohesion and symbolisation, as much within the human mind as outside, in his relationships with others and with the world around him.

Thus we can note – and not without cause to worry – that for decades now we have been able to talk about an effective conscious world” which dominates an affective conscious world” in such a way that the affective life is strongly curbed if not repressed and this in an ever increasing way: in this “world of effectivity” pragmatism and intellectual rationalism reign. There is no room for feelings, emotions: for affectivity. The dimension of feeling – and all that concerns the affective life – is considered as lacking in interest and therefore has no place in this world, as it is of no economic or political value. This dimension would only disturb, in a awkward way, the economic processes of development and production.
- Dr. Frans Veldman, Confirming Affectivity, the Dawn of Human Life

Quality of life. Of creation and consumption.

“Creativity is another of the basic principles of existence that helps to give purpose in life. The deepest joy in life is to be creative. To find an undeveloped situation, to see its possibilities, to decide upon a course of action, and then to devote the whole of one’s resources to carrying it out provides a satisfaction in comparison with which superficial pleasures are trivial.

To create you must care. You must have the courage to speak out. The world’s advances always have depended on the courage of its leaders. A measure of courage in the private citizen is also necessary to the good conduct of the state; otherwise those who wield power through riches, intrigue, or office can administer the state at will and, ultimately, to their private advantage.”
- Admiral Rickover

A review of The Sensory Order: An Inquiry into the Foundations of Theoretical Psychology, by F. A. von Hayek:

The archives at the Hoover Institution in Stanford house the original manuscript in German that Hayek wrote when he was torn between pursuing psychology or economics. Decades later, that manuscript was published as The Sensory Order. Although this is the less known piece by Hayek among economists, it is considered by many pioneers in cognitive science (such as Gerald Edelman, see Neural Darwinism) as foundational in the development of this interdisciplinary study and the examinations into artificial intelligence.

The principal thesis of Hayek’s piece is that perception cannot be accounted for by means of physical laws, since the effect of sensory stimulus is the first aspect of the complex order of perception.

Next, the mind maps the order of the external stimulus. This perceptual experience, however, is not identical to any other from a similar external stimulus since each has its own character in relation to the associations that the mind assigns to any particular sensory experience.

Our perception of external objects are, Hayek writes, “never of all the properties which a particular can be said to possess objectively, not even only some of the properties which these objects in fact possess physically, but always on certain aspects, relations to other kinds of objects which we assign to all elements of the classes in which we place the perceived objects.”

This observation thus anticipates the monist framework presented by Maurice Merleau-Ponty in his Phenomenology of Perception. This fascinating book is a must read for anyone interested in the mind.”
- Gloria Zúñiga y Postigo

Information.

“The conventional view is that matter is primary, and that information, if it exists, emerges from matter. But what if information is primary, and matter is the secondary phenomenon! After all, the same information can have many different material representations in biology, in physics, and in psychology: DNA, RNA; DVD’s, videotapes; long-term memory, short-term memory, nerve impulses, hormones. The material representation is irrelevant, what counts is the information itself. The same software can run on many machines.

Information is a really revolutionary new kind of concept, and recognition of this fact is one of the milestones of this age.
– Gregory Chaitin, The Unknowable, chapter 7

Change.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, but the one most responsive to change.”
– Charles Darwin