Saturday, June 8, 2013

Between PROGRESS and PROTONS : "The Missing Middle" , where we actually live

Thirties Reductionism said that once scientists knew the behavior of one of the Protons that made up Winston Churchill's body (and multiplied it by a trillion trillion trillion identical protons), they could then predict Churchill's behavior over the 1936 Abdication Crisis.

Thirties Reification said that Human Progress is real and concrete and since it was so clearly evident that Human Progress 'wants to get ever bigger and bigger',then dividing Human Progress up into the two billion individual people that existed in the world in 1939, would allow us to predict that particular individual Scott Nearing would also approve of things getting ever bigger.

But in fact he became famous for disagreeing bigger is better.

The average behavior of heterogeneous aggregates does not let us predict the behavior of an individual human being , anymore than than the behavior of  individual proton helps us predict the average behavior of  a heterogeneous aggregate.

Heterogeneous , because Churchill was not a vast crystal of trillions upon trillions of undifferentiated protons but rather a very  stratified collection of protons in a great variety of differently-sized and differently-arranged components that led each component to very unexpectedly different behavior.

And Human Progress had no protons, or even human individuals, within it, because it was simply an abstract idea rather a concrete physical object.

What most Thirties intellectual thought was desperately missing was in giving adequate attention to the vast "Missing Middle" between Protons and Progress, because inside that "Missing Middle" lies the life we actually live, including our twin delusions of reductionism and reification.

However, I believe that the prism of Commensality does allow us to re-capture that "Missing Middle" , and thus allows us to better understand Thirties intellectual thought's sad grandchild, WWII .....

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