A New Beginning

Where this whole inno­va­tion cat­a­log will con­tin­ue to evolve…

Wel­come to this Beyond sec­tion: an adden­dum to Chang­ing Mat­ter, which went to print in Decem­ber 2019. Now, from an end of sum­mer 2020 per­spec­tive, how very much has hap­pened since then? With­in this last year alone, the accel­er­at­ed rate of change is stag­ger­ing. And not just in terms of num­bers, but real­ly in terms of feel­ing the seis­mic shift of deep, struc­tur­al, mean­ing­ful change.

With the col­lec­tive pause caused by our inter­de­pen­den­cy, and glob­al reset brought on by covid-19. With the glob­al­ly ampli­fy­ing echo across cen­turies demand­ing basic human decen­cy in recog­ni­tion that Black Lives Mat­ter. With the glob­al awak­en­ing that we must hon­or and learn from indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties liv­ing in dia­log with the Earth for mil­len­nia. With con­tin­ued out­bursts of injus­tice, vio­lence, and dehu­man­iza­tion that are too many to count yet each has a name. With wild­fires inten­si­fy­ing along with hur­ri­canes, floods, and oth­er con­sis­tent indi­ca­tors of our cli­mate in cri­sis. From with­in society’s many sep­a­ra­tions and short­falls, we are remind­ed why we so bad­ly need new mea­sure­ments to guide human life on Earth and elsewhere.

In the phys­i­cal laws of our plan­et, every action has an equal an oppos­ing reac­tion. That dual­i­ty can be expressed as cre­ativ­i­ty and resis­tance, or con­ser­v­a­tive and lib­er­al, hot and cold, day and night… what­ev­er we choose to give our atten­tion. In regards to the dual­i­ty between jus­tice and injus­tice (by which our world is still cur­rent­ly pos­sessed), the jour­ney toward a just, heal­ing, and regen­er­a­tive civ­i­liza­tion will take as much time as it takes to fig­ure out how to bring all our dual­i­ties, and all of our­selves, into a healthy bal­ance. We seek a state of being that is inte­gra­tive of all activ­i­ty and knows how to process the neg­a­tive and pos­i­tive charges such that we begin to accel­er­ate along the moral arc of the Uni­verse as it bends toward justice.

“Entropy as Time’s Arrow”, R Nave

Our cur­rent cul­tur­al moment is in dis­or­der. On a holis­tic lev­el, infor­ma­tion, includ­ing envi­ron­ment, is in a state of entropy. Entropy describes pat­terns of change from order to dis­or­der and back again. The word entropy comes from en-2 ‘inside’ + Greek tropē ‘trans­for­ma­tion’. In infor­ma­tion the­o­ry, entropy is a log­a­rith­mic mea­sure­ment of the rate of trans­fer of infor­ma­tion in a par­tic­u­lar mes­sage or lan­guage. Per­haps entropy can serve as one of our renewed stan­dards of mea­sure­ment for a world in total flux.

In terms of arrang­ing con­stituent parts such that they are in appro­pri­ate rela­tion­ship and cir­cu­late resources effec­tive­ly, we can learn from the dis­ci­pline of cyber­net­ics. The word cyber­net­ics comes from Greek kubernētēs ‘steers­man’, from kuber­nan ‘to steer’, and is the sci­ence of com­mu­ni­ca­tions and auto­mat­ic con­trol sys­tems in machines and liv­ing things. Feels pret­ty fit­ting for exact­ly what we are: bio­log­i­cal crea­tures with imag­i­na­tion enough to cre­ate tech­ni­cal appa­ra­tus­es and even appendages that extend our sens­es and capa­bil­i­ties into realms of vast unknown poten­tial


“Cyber­net­ics, Art, and Ideas”, Jasia Reichardt, 1971

And in this spir­it, so we go toward a new chap­ter in the PCH sto­ry: Beyond what we’ve antic­i­pat­ed. Beyond what we’ve known. And beyond any­where we’ve been, as indi­vid­u­als, as a species, as a whole entire environment.


Aug 28, 2020