of Science ?
....There are a great many places where it should fit, ....and too
few where it seems to.
Where it departs, Where
The real problem is figuring out how to fit it in.
It fits all over the place. All sorts of studies of dynamic systems
of change goes on, from the study of how changes of state occur, called
nucleation theory, to climatology, medicine and evolution.
Studying them as locally original dynamic systems and events is a
big departure from standard methods. The origin of this approach
was in physics, particularly an interest in fundamental scientific principles,
and how closed system theories don't quite connect together in an open
system. The degree of departure taken almost suggests creating
a parallel physics, putting aside the entire 'state space paradigm' and
its systems of equations, using mathematically guided direct descriptive
representation instead. This seems like it would be a very
giant leap, and of course it's not practical or probably possible.
DR and related methods are just new technique to augment the others
we use, even if it they also bring with them theoretical foundations that
alter the meaning of the well established techniques already in place.
I think the only real departures are: 1) abandoning
the presumption that natural processes follow the rules we find useful,
i.e. that the laws of physics are somehow imbedded in an extra universal
structure underlying physical reality, or that physical reality is inherently
mathematical, and 2) using the historical method of studying individual
events for investigating all things, even the physical processes previously
thought to be invariant and subject only to the laws of physics.
Physics is just a remarkably useful collection of accounting tokens we've
developed. Yes, physical processes do remarkably mimic the kind of
connectivity actually found only in continuous mathematical functions,
but nature uses the collected workings of discontinuous fine structure
to do it.
A more detailed understanding of the individual flows
of organization in events should concern every field, from cooking to chaos,
and medicine to metallurgy, except perhaps quantum mechanics, which is
a theory of probabilities concerning events so remote that their individual
mechanisms can not be discerned. Academic departments that would seen most
likely to make use of this work include the historical sciences concerned
with unique, ‘history dependent’ processes, such as paleontology, concerned
with the fossil record of evolution, or climatology, concerned with the
flows of energy in the atmosphere. In economics there is a need to identify
the unique dynamics of businesses and national markets, etc., as well as
applying to the 'big plan' of the design of the growth system in general.
We have much to learn about growth systems and what becomes of them from
nature's prolific experiments.
In the materials sciences the interest might be
more toward understanding the mechanisms of change of physical properties
such as changes of state and material strain. In the earth sciences
it might be used to analyze the subtle accelerations of tectonic plates.
Yes, it's physics, and in application just rudimentary methodology, in
the best sense. It's application theory, however,
is just not what physicists presently do, or think about, and the real
of making it useful for others is more likely to come from some of the
physics spin-offs, like pattern recognition or information theory, though
it's far from their field of interest at the moment too.
It's really just a discovery that scientists should look much more closely
at their raw data before they destroy it with analysis.
In mathematics the study of natural flow concerns
the relation between the implicit physical continuity of processes and
the explicit theoretical continuity of functions. The question is how to
develop mathematical structures that more accurately reflect the continuities
and discontinuities of nature, how to develop measures of natural
continuity, and to separate continuities of different scale and kind.
It's a cross between theoretical and applied analysis that seems likely
to provide for fertile ground.
Where It Branched
6/98 ed 4/00