Maturana - Humanness LO13011

Bill Harris (
Tue, 25 Mar 97 8:47:32 PST

Replying to LO12903 -- Maturana Seminar #3 - The Origin of Humanness

Rick, and everyone,

I haven't followed all of the follow-ups to your three part posting, but I
did read some. Thanks very much for the effort you put into your summary;
I think that sort of sharing can indeed help stimulate learning on a broad


>Consider a portable radio. It is a closed system in the flow of
>electricity. The antenna does not bring in electric current. The antenna
>encounters electromagnetic waves (one domain), these affect the flow of
>electricity (a different domain) to produce sound (a third domain).

It's when you wrote this that I began to get nervous. Some may view this
as picky, but, when I hear bad scientific analogies treated as truth and
then as evidence of supposedly deeper truth, I begin to worry about the
whole train of reasoning in areas which I don't understand as well.

If you don't understand my concern, compare his sentence, "The antenna
does not bring in electric current," and the operation of a simple crystal
radio. It's just _energy_! If it doesn't get its energy through the
antenna, then I guess perpetual motion machines do exist and I'll start
trying to heat my house with an array of such radios. :-)

His questioning of people's presumptions about the nature of reality is
not bad, although, as Rol noted recently, much (but not all) of the exotic
behavior of the world is limited to domains that most of us don't
encounter very much at all.


Bill Harris                             Hewlett-Packard Co. 
R&D Engineering Processes               Lake Stevens Division 
domain:               M/S 330
phone: (206) 335-2200                   8600 Soper Hill Road
fax: (206) 335-2828                     Everett, WA 98205-1298 

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