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Paul T. Kidd 3/14/2016
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Is intellectual flexibility more worthy than it is profitable? Is global intellectual citizenship a road to perdition? Might simultaneously inhabiting all four domains, or all the silos of enlightenment, entail a loss in disciplinary expertise and research proficiency? Perhaps. Still, you can’t have one without the other: central (disciplinary) vision will get you far, but peripheral (antidisciplinary) vision will get you farther. So while the ability to occupy all four domains simultaneously requires the kind of expertise that sacrifices expertise, it is a sine qua non for a worthy spin.
So while the ability to occupy all four domains simultaneously requires the kind of expertise that sacrifices expertise, it is a sine qua non for a worthy spin.
We need people who can do this - I coined the term Life Systems Architect to cover this. Architects need specialists, and specialists need the Architect. Without the Architect the specialists are lost, fragmented, caught in their reductive view. The Architect brings to the activity that which the specialists cannot, sees the whole, and looks towards costs, utility, as well as aesthetics.
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Danny Chambers 3/22/2016
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I am glad this was highlighted, and addressed as a counter point. To this point in the development of technology (read: tools) we have made the tasks of the single dicipline expert much more effcient. Consider adobe suite for creatives and matlab for engineers and scientists. While new tools for communication certainly enable the “life systems architect” to do a better job, I see technology first and foremost addressing the needs of concise tasks. Fortunetely, this increased efficiency and automation frees up the humans who would other wise be working in strict silos to consider the entire landscape and focus on creating connections.
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Michael Dila 1/20/2016
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can intellectual digestion—the kind that demands you shift views and perspectives—make you constantly intellectually rich?
The CreATP hypothesis is an interesting one. As important as a theory of digestion is, it is equally important to advance a theory of ingestion, or diet. In fact, we need a theory of diet and exercise to complement the theory of metabolism you propose here. Metabolism is a mechanism in energy production, as you point out, but what kinds of energy are produced by feeding the mechanism different “foods” (ideas, observations, experiences) and how is the mechanism affected by “exercise” like argument, conversation and reflection?
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Jon Leach 4/28/2016
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I think this is a truly great piece of work.
As someone who went to university as a prospective biochemist but ended up graduating in “HPS” (the History and Philsopy of Science") i love the scheme
I have a career in advertising where, to use your language, i bring the science and the engineering to the designers and artisists. And what we do is intensely utilitarian (“sell or else”, David Ogilvy) but has an effect on popular culture.
Finally, i have found myself needing to sharpen my design skills and even my artistic skills as my trade become more entangled. I need to this to help make the knotty objects today.
While i like the model and the energy (inc. gyroscope) analogy i see it (also) as a carousel. You can feel the energy at any point and - crucially - you can add energy to it at any point. Arguably, you must add it at several points.
I think Krebs is actually a circular but ultimately linea “factory” where acetyl choline (from sugar, fats etc.) is fed in at one end to spit out ATP (the universal energy chemical) at the other, and then by a circular path the factory resets. i.e. it has in and an out doors.
I think the beauty of your system is that there is no prescribed in or out. Any of the four domains could be (should be) the input or the output. It really is a Circle of Life.
Great stuff…
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Paul T. Kidd 3/14/2016
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All roads lead to the “Bermuda Quadrilateral.”[4] In 2007, John Maeda proposed a diagram under this name, based on the “Rich Gold matrix.”[5] The map—a rectangular plot—was parceled into four quadrants, each devoted to a unique view by which to read, and act upon, the world: Science, Engineering, Design and Art. According to Maeda, to each plot a designated mission: to Science, exploration; to Engineering, invention; to Design, communication; to Art, expression. Describing the four “hats” of creativity, Rich Gold had originally drawn the matrix-as-cartoon to communicate four discrete embodiments of creativity and innovation. Mark your mindset, conquer its little acre, and settle in. Gold’s view represents four ways-of-being that are distinctly different from one another, separated by clear intellectual boundaries and mental dispositions. Like the Four Humors, each is regarded as its own substance, to each its content and its countenance. Stated differently, if you’re a citizen in one, you’re a tourist in another.
if you’re a citizen in one, you’re a tourist in another
I know the feeling - in fact if you try to operate in two areas, those in one area will say that “you are not one of us, you are one of them”, while in the other area they will say “you are not one of us, you are one of them.” And so you learn that this is indeed the case and that you are in fact a person from the ‘spaces between spaces’, and few if any will be able to understand you.
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max noble 1/18/2017
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Great paper. I think with  the help of Big Data we could train an AI to identify Knotty media And also create knotty media. Whether or not the AI created knotty media would have value, would again have to come back to human subjectivei?
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max noble 1/17/2017
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Is that a registered trademark on evolution?
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Jim Williams 5/20/2016
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Welcome to the Metaverse. You will learn your way here eventually. You need to start by realizing that a lowly dress designer in the Metaverse understands the armature of the human body and the topological mesh of the human form better than you do. Entanglement might describe a moment, but not an Age.
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Salomon Saachz 4/4/2016
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Very well crafted paper, this is great to see this ideas pushed forward, thank you.
As an alternative cardinality we can took the main aspirations behind these archetypes and discover that each lies on two realms : Spiritual (north), Intellectual (east), Physical (south), and Emotional (west).
The North is quintessentially abstract & pure in its search, the South is concrete & materialist; The East advantages its left brain, thinking in numbers (logical, analytic), whether the West prefers its right side and thinks in shapes (intuitional, synthetic).
I first seen the Maeda-Gold concept a few years ago on a Ken Perlin’s presentation and really dig the idea. It is both powerful as a cooperative scheme as it can be for an individual creative process, and in a way is akin to a ‘creative individuation’ where one detaches itself to a defining label put by the natural conditioning of education.
In a way this theoretical frame came close to the Renaissance Man culture, quite similar to the Hacker Scene of our age, where creation is seen as a borderless land, neither to be narrowed by a vernacular nor the seal of approval of a society.
The interesting question is : can it be teached as a natural process for future generation ? (Or does this will solely emerges from adversity ?)
To quote from my experience I was driven to enter the field of Computer Graphics to blend this concepts together : Art / Science, Research / Application, but has yet to see anyone detaching themself from the studies or subculture they came from. Many times in the industry you will see this inevitable clivage between “artist” vs “engineer” and trying to begin to discuss about the eventuality and potential interests of a merging is just not something that compute (yet). It surely possible, and might need an overall change in our education model by questionning what outputs do we value more in people (self-reliance and self-efficacy might be a good start).
Oh I’m still young, I have hope.
PS : we should totally call this the OMG diagram, because frack yeah three letters acronym.
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Tyler Miller 3/15/2016
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The KCC, in its current form, does not yet express transitions in physical scale. But, of course, you can consider the four domains as four objective lenses of an imaginary microscope through which to view, and act upon, the world. The way we view our environment, and interact within it, is ultimately dependent on the lens through which we choose to see it. Choosing is no innocent act. A material scientist will generally explore the physical composition of matter through the lens of properties. A biologist, however, looks at the world not through the lens of properties, but rather through the lens of function. Both live in the same reality, but experience it altogether differently, and therefore act upon it in a singular way. If they could see both views simultaneously, they would link properties and behaviors.
transitions in physical scale
Can you elaborate on a reason that the KCC should address scale?
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Paul T. Kidd 3/14/2016
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The role of Science is to explain and predict the world around us; it ‘converts’ information into knowledge. The role of Engineering is to apply scientific knowledge to the development of solutions for empirical problems; it ‘converts’ knowledge into utility. The role of Design is to produce embodiments of solutions that maximize function and augment human experience; it ‘converts’ utility into behavior. The role of Art is to question human behavior and create awareness of the world around us; it ‘converts’ behavior into new perceptions of information, re-presenting the data that initiated the KCC in Science. At this ‘Cinderella moment’—when the hands of the KCC strike midnight—new perception inspires new scientific exploration. For example, in As Slow as Possible, John Cage transports the listener into a state where space and time are stretched, offering a personal interpretation of time dilation and questioning the nature of space-time itself.
The role of Science is to explain and predict the world around us; it ‘converts’ information into knowledge. The role of Engineering is to apply scientific knowledge to the development of solutions for empirical problems; it ‘converts’ knowledge into utility. The role of Design is to produce embodiments of solutions that maximize function and augment human experience; it ‘converts’ utility into behavior. The role of Art is to question human behavior and create awareness of the world around us; it ‘converts’ behavior into new perceptions of information, re-presenting the data that initiated the KCC in Science
These roles seem dated. What about medical science? This does the job of explaining and developing solutions. Art is also more than questioning behaviour and creating awareness. If the theory that art reflects the life of the community is taken as valid, then art also explains, discovers, etc.
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Paul T. Kidd 3/14/2016
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To every age, a relic: a loom, an automobile, the PC, a 3D printer. L’Encyclopédie[1] was its period’s signpost, cataloguing and concretizing the boundaries between the disciplines, which emerged from the “long eighteenth century” of the Enlightenment. For the next quarter of a millennium, we remained indoctrinated to the shibboleths of this relic, operating within discrete silos-of-thought. At the dawn of the new millennium, the meme “antidisciplinary” appeared, yanking us out of Aristotle’s shadow and into a new ‘Age of Entanglement.’ [2][3]
Entanglement
This I think is the right word. In my artistic practice I have been working on entangling all of my work as a way of exploring this idea symbolically by entangling plastic and descriptive expression. Part of the motivation is to demonstrate also the power of art as a means of thinking about complex issues. Also I would say that entanglement opens up a better way to unify knowledge than the old science “reductive” approach of Edward O Wilson (Consilience) which just seems to reduce everything to the matter of genes, which is not much use if one is trying to unify knowledge to achieve a different view or address complex challenges. If one is designing mirco-electronics for computers, then electrons are appropriate, but if one is interested in using computers for solving problems, then programming is more useful.
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Paul T. Kidd 3/14/2016
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The Krebs Cycle is a metabolic pathway made up of chemical reactions. One of the earliest established components of cellular metabolism, all breathing organisms could not exist without it. Its outcome, through the oxidation of nutrients, is the production of chemical energy, carried throughout the cell in the form of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). ATP can therefore be considered a molecular unit of currency for energy transfer. The Krebs Cycle is akin to a metabolic clock that first generates, then consumes, then regenerates currency in the form of ATP over time. Crudely expressed: good metabolism will make you constantly rich. By the same token, can intellectual digestion—the kind that demands you shift views and perspectives—make you constantly intellectually rich?
, can intellectual digestion—the kind that demands you shift views and perspectives—make you constantly intellectually rich?
Yes! When one has within one mind both art and, say engineering, one can see the world in a different way from the artist, or the engineer, and there is no communication problem of the kind that can exist between artists and engineers. The communication problem shifts to one of trying to explain your weird view of the world to others, be they artists, engineers, scientist, …
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Max Shen 2/25/2016
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The creation of knotty objects is just as knotty. In fact, the techniques to create them, as well as their ultimate physical expression, are intellectual mirror images of each other: the process reflects the knottiness of their related products. Bluntly, a knotty creator must simultaneously occupy all four domains of the KCC, and bring together insights that are as profoundly scientific as they are artistically insightful.
The creation of knotty objects is just as knotty.
This does not strike me as true. It is known that Satoshi Nakamoto had a decent idea about the potential social impact that Bitcoin would have, and perhaps smartphone manufacturers had dreams of the kind of global influence they could have, but I don’t think the ancient invention of the brick requires a “knotty creator”.
As defined, all objects are knotty. That is fundamental beauty and truth of our reality. It doesn’t require a “knotty creator” to create knotty objects - one may mindlessly produce trash, but it may be a knotty piece of gold to others.
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Mike McCartin 2/25/2016
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Interesting to tie “entanglement” to quantum entanglement. Additionally, the Krebs Cycle reminds me of the diagram of a quantum bit or Qubit.
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Paola Antonelli 2/24/2016
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During the Knotty Objects summit at the MIT Media Lab (July 2015), Paola Antonelli, Kevin Slavin and I focused on four knotty objects-as-archetypes: a phone, a brick, a bitcoin and a steak. Each posed a particular context for their knotting: communication, the built environment, commerce and gastronomy. But each also begged to be explored through many realms.
Each posed a particular context for their knotting: communication, the built environment, commerce and gastronomy. But each also begged to be explored through many realms.
Behind the scenes, Knotty Objects was a great opportunity to test the “bottom-up world-reading” approach. In Neri, Kevin, and my hands, the steak, the bitcoin, the brick, and the phone certainly implied sterotypical contexts, but also stood in as doors into entangled universes of meaning and questioning. This was shown in particular in four videos, each starring one of the objects. In two short minutes and a half, the phone led us to ponder issues related to manufacturing; market share and control of the product vs customization; the relationship between China factories and worldwide distribution; good design vs bad design, and much more (https://vimeo.com/134128443). The brick connected masonry (with a small ‘m’) to biology, moving through a connection between play, assemblage, and thinkering in fields ranging from toy design to electronic circuitry (https://vimeo.com/134128442).
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Iain Perkin 3/24/2016
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But how can we become constant travelers within a border-free, and lingo-legible ‘intellectual Pangea?’ How can we traverse a cerebral supercontinent, where the analog of world citizenship governs our identity as thinking—and creating—beings? How can we navigate an atlas that is charted not for four hats, but for one pair of shoes, and with which we can—including some luck and a quantum leap-of-faith—inhabit multiple places at once? Can a scientist invent better solutions than an engineer? Is an artist’s mindset really all that different from a scientist’s? Are they simply two ways of operating in the world that are complementary and intertwined? Or, when practicing art, is perhaps what truly counts less the art form and more one’s (way of) being? Ultimately: is there a way to understand the culture of making which transcends a two-dimensional Euclidean geometry—four plots to match four hats—to a more holistic, integrative and globe-like approach?
Is an artist’s mindset really all that different from a scientist’s? Are they simply two ways of operating in the world that are complementary and intertwined?
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Iain Perkin 3/24/2016
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The German Chemical industries research into dyes comes to mind with scientist finding new methods of getting new colours to the artists (both those inside and outside industry).
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Matt Nish-Lapidus 3/23/2016
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In his recent film, Particle Fever (2014), Mark Levinson documents the first round of experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), investigating the origins of matter. The film opens with the initial firings of the LHC, designed to recreate the conditions associated with the Big Bang. It closes with prehistoric cave paintings, and an intriguing assertion by Savas Dimopoulos on the connection between Art and Science: “The things that are least important for our survival are the very things that make us human.” Both Art and Science can be understood as human needs to express the world around us. Both require suspension of disbelief, offering speculations about our physical and immaterial reality prior to proof. And both—as has been the case since the painting of the Chauvet Cave some 40,000 years ago—have no rules and no boundaries. The artists who produced these paintings did so in order to first face, then make sense of, their reality. We do Science with precisely the same motivation. Similarly nebulous are the boundaries between Design and both Art and Engineering. Design, in its critical embodiment (Critical Design), operates through speculation, devising unforeseen strategies that challenge preconceived assumptions about how we use, and live within, the built environment. In its affirmative embodiment (Affirmative Design), Design operates by offering practical, and often utilitarian, solutions that can be rapidly deployed. The former carries the mentality of Art, while the borders between the latter and Engineering are at best difficult to parse. Similar vagaries exist, too, between Science/Design, Engineering/Art, and Science/Engineering. It is likely to assume that if what you are designing carries meaning and relevance, you are not operating within a single, distinct domain.
It is likely to assume that if what you are designing carries meaning and relevance, you are not operating within a single, distinct domain.
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Matt Nish-Lapidus 3/23/2016
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But how can we become constant travelers within a border-free, and lingo-legible ‘intellectual Pangea?’ How can we traverse a cerebral supercontinent, where the analog of world citizenship governs our identity as thinking—and creating—beings? How can we navigate an atlas that is charted not for four hats, but for one pair of shoes, and with which we can—including some luck and a quantum leap-of-faith—inhabit multiple places at once? Can a scientist invent better solutions than an engineer? Is an artist’s mindset really all that different from a scientist’s? Are they simply two ways of operating in the world that are complementary and intertwined? Or, when practicing art, is perhaps what truly counts less the art form and more one’s (way of) being? Ultimately: is there a way to understand the culture of making which transcends a two-dimensional Euclidean geometry—four plots to match four hats—to a more holistic, integrative and globe-like approach?
our identity as thinking—and creating—beings
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Rayna Jhaveri 3/15/2016
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Design and Science
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Rayna Jhaveri 3/15/2016
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^ How do I make a highlighted comment? I wanted to suggest the subtitle be corrected from “An inaugural essay for the Journal of Design of Science (JoDS)” to “An inaugural essay for the Journal of Design and Science (JoDS)” [emphasis mine]