Let's face it, humanity has a lousy definition, accompanying practice, and analysis of peace.
If peace is aligned with the circumstance called war just as we align cold with hot, up with down, heaven with hell, right with wrong, and the numerous other dichotomies whose impetus of origin comes from a mentality attached to a physiology born in an environment with an influential series of two-patterned events such as night/day, summer heat/winter cold, wet/dry, desert/forest, mountains/valleys, seaside/plain, etc..., then humanity is stuck with both and variations due to different compositions. However, in as much as the environment of Earth has various planetary born dichotomies... or at least humans interpret many events in this way, this does not mean the events noted as peace and war are actually aligned in any "natural" sense. Such a construct may well be an artificiality due to a predisposition carried forward from one generation to the next by those in authoritative and influential positions (politics, Journalism, science, research, History, teaching, etc.,) who are inclined to perceive the world in such a primitive fashion.
In different instances one may come across a researcher who provides two alternatives while at the same time suppose the existence of a third "something" as if their previous two considerations were being intellectually transformed into an unrealized equation amounting to a "1 + 1 = ?" configuration, or a "Major Premise- Minor Premise- ?" formula, or perhaps taking place in a more personalized fashion which is used to signify an extension of consciousness into a previously uncharted realm for which no current representative model of analysis is able to provide them with a sought after trichotomy that we can simplistically elaborate as A2 + B2 = A2, without having to commit oneself to using such common expressions of deductive reasoning employing inductive considerations.
For example, in reading a book entitled "The Cognitive Basis of Science (2005)" which contain a handful of articles by different researchers examining the question of when, how, who and why humanity's capacity for scientific thinking arose, we find numerous instances where considerations involve various inter-related observations attending to simple configurations which can be enumerated, yet the simple distinctions of a recurring singularity, dichotomy, triplicity (etc.,) are overlooked as a cognitive construct in and of themselves. In other words, for example, a researcher may describe a dichotomy by referencing two separate issues in the same context, but not directly signal that they grasp their thought as an expressed dichotomy, even when it is being used as such. Further more, while they may suggest the need for or possibility of a third element, the fact that their consideration exhibits a two-pattern → three-pattern articulated "growth" is overlooked as a recurring cognitive construct by many researchers. Let's provide an example by extracting a bit of information from chapter 5, page 101 by Mary Varley, entitled "Science without grammar: Scientific reasoning in severe aggramatic aphasia:"
In this chapter I will examine the role of language, and specifically grammar, in occurrent scientific reasoning. A plausible hypothesis, motivated by the unique co-incidence of propositional language and scientific thinking in humans, is that grammatical language in some way enables elements of this form of reasoning. This represents the association or correlation between two phenomena — language and science. However, one of the early elements in formal scientific training is the awareness that correlation does not imply causation. In the case of language and its co-occurrence with other unique human capabilities, there can be no simple assumption that such an association justifies causal claims of the type that propositional language determines the second capacity. A correlation between X and Y may occur because of a 'hidden' third variable that is critical to both.
And yes, it is understood that the excerpt was taken out of context and was not explicitly focused on the current topic of peace and its counter-part war, though the generated ideas clearly apply in this context. For example, we can alter the very fist sentence to read: "In this chapter I will examine the role of language, and specifically grammar, in the occurrent reasoning on peace (and war)." However, let's rewrite the information according to the present context by altering a few more words in the sentence structure in order to enable the entire passage to be viewed for the present context: A plausible hypothesis, motivated by the unique co-incidence of propositional language and "peace" thinking in humans, is that grammatical language in some way enables elements of this form of reasoning. This represents the association or correlation between two phenomena — language and peace (as well as peace/war). However, one of the early elements in formal scientific training is the awareness that correlation does not imply causation. In the case of language and its co-occurrence with other unique human capabilities, there can be no simple assumption that such an association justifies causal claims of the type that propositional language determines the second capacity. A correlation between X and Y may occur because of a 'hidden' third variable that is critical to both.
Clearly, the writer appears to be oblivious of an underlying "one, two, three" maturational development sequence occurring in physiology (such as the three Germ layers: Endoderm-Mesoderm-Ectoderm) as well as the existence of an underlying symmetry and monism; along with a conservation of enumeration related to ideological constructs. In other words, there are numerous instances that humans think in ones, twos, threes and so-forth, but that there exists a conservation of construction... due to a survival requirement in an incrementally deteriorating planetary environment. This recurrence in thought within ennumeratable structures, no doubt being instructively influenced by the existence of an anatomy with a recurring "three" plan (which suggests non-coincidence... see: Let's Talk Peach page 1); indicates that language can facilitate a different type of usage of underlying patterns which human cognition can utilize in personalized ways.
Whether or not we think that peace can only occur before or after or during moments of war... and whether or not we decide this is because there is a direct causal link; belies the fact that human minds the world-over have correlated the two. If we describe this as being due to a "common sense" being referred to as "folk (naive) reasoning" (folk biology, folk physics, folk psychology, folk archeology, folk chemistry, folk mathematics, folk religion, folk dancing, folk cooking, folk mechanics, folk construction, folk sex, folk superstition, folk history, folk politics, folk music, folk archeology, folk medicine, folk analysis, folk experimentation, folk botony, folk carpentry, etc...,) that is inferred to be a lower value than that being undertaken by academic and research "professionals" who do not consider themselves to be part of the "folk" establishment; we are thus faced with another constructed social dichotomy. Not only do they attempt to speak in a different language adopted by a peer community, but they expect the "folk community" to defer to their perspectives, like aristocrats of old expecting non- "blue bloods" to accede to their inclinations because they are somehow better... even if it is to claim a more humbler humbleness.
Using an esoteric jargon or associations from multiple subject areas so as to create a supposed mother tonuge (Creole) to establish clearer thinking about a given subject created by inferences based on suppositions that may not in fact exist but sound plausible, reeks of sociologically based class pretensions found throughout history; but are concealed by referencing such as research, study, experimentation, etc., or some philosophy (that may become dichotomously argued against)... to suggest something better is possible... yet all the while yet another dichotomy is created from an attempted appeal to a proposed third element or entity.
When intellectuals engage in projects which define the same cognitive patterns used by others, albeit with different labels meant to suggest a higher order of thinking and cognitive processing, all of humanity is stuck in the same cognitive alignments that are overlooked because the same underlying content is employed in different contexts with different labels; thus concealing the presence of a like-mindedness simply embellished to give different appearances.
If one person came up with a definitive truth that no one else ever thought of or believed in once it was made known, that truth would be of no value. If the majority of a population voted on a given idea (or person) yet the election system in which the voting took place enabled the majority vote to be undermined (like that in America with its usage of an Electoral College and Gerrymandering activities); peace would never be a reality. If a third of the population did not believe in a particular definition of peace, and another third preferred war because it enabled them to acquire a type and level of resources that conditions of peace did not afford, the third who accepted the definition would nonetheless be faced with circumstances which would make the establishment of such peace a formidable task. In other words, they would find themselves having to be assertive, if not aggressive in their efforts to maintain the viability of such a peace standard.
Again and again and again we find cognitive processing involving dichotomously (two-patterned) arranged ideas contrasted to trichotomous (three- patterned) alignments, as a type of dichotomy made up with a pattern-of-two and pattern-so-three, whether or not these may include alternative suppositions or examples with more or less quantitatively described ideas. Are such patterns inherent in the material(s) being discussed, or do humans merely impose such patterns on and in topics because there are basic structural patterns incorporated in the human brain? For example, if a child is subjected to an environment were there is repeated instructions presented to them within a formula of contrasts, can we not expect this same formula to be self-generated by such experiences... or that such a pattern will be deliberately or unknowingly sought for because the "truth" embodied by contrasts supported by physical states of pain and pleasure make such a usage a viable consideration that is "felt" to be correct? And that a third state of existence... such as somewhere in-between... though it may stand at a distance from any conventionalized idea of centrality, is a possibility, a potentiality or even a probability, if only one can find the means or mechanism for realization such as when hot and cold water are mixed to produce a warm oontext?
Whereas different theorists and scientists have developed ideas configured on a "two" or "three" plan (or regularly repeated alternative such an one, four, five, etc...), the repetition of such patterns occurring in multiple subject areas is lost to many observers. They are like those who are more interested in the scenery of a context than any proposed destination. They are more interested in qualitative embellishments like aroma and visual appellations so that everyone acquires a shared equality, than overall individual gain of the species. Indeed, because many actually like the circumstances of war, the smells and the visual spectacles of military fashion, armaments, strategy and the like; they are less likely to speak up on behalf of peace unless it is socially required and can be used as a vehicle to propel circumstances towards some eventual military activity... as if to justify "participating in war" like a tit-for-tat turn of play because they obligingly "participated in peace". They can only think in terms of humanity with themselves playing some presumed important or contributting role that they believe can best be achieved by engaging in war against those whose own definition of peace is likewise personalized.
No matter what topic we are inclined to discuss, human cognition relies on patterns which can be enumerated. Yet such patterns are not then viewed as "basic formula"- cognitive patterns which can be linked to similar patterns in anatomy, biology and environmental... if not atomic processes... which are occurring in an incrementally deteriorating environment that we can describe as an entropic situation (entropy increases as matter and energy in the universe degrade to an ultimate state of inert uniformity": wordweb definition). The problem with using such a reference is that it may be viewed by some as that which doesn't apply to directly to the human condition because it is not linguistically pointed in that direction by using the language normall encountered in everyday conversation. In some respects it is like encountering a foreign language that one can not apply to their personal circumstances. Since the word "entropy" is not customarily spoken of in day to day conversations, it is reserved for something attributable to other-than individual concerns except in the case of learning a particular academic subject. The circumstance is worsened in that different ideas that have remained the preserve of a given science (or religion... etc.), require a different type of associative or correlative thinking, regardless if under examination a given belief is wrong or only half-right.
Let us first take a look at a short reference to cognition followed by a reference to entropy, both for those who may not be familiar with either or those who may need a slight memory referesher placed into the present context of discussion. In the following account of cognition it is of value to distinguish between "formal" and "informal" cognitive operations as well as patterns which can be enumerated from those whose enumerative value may be difficult to adequately ascertain without involving a complex form of distinction whose abstraction may either be too general or too specific, and not lend itself to anything but personalized and arbitrary applications. For example, a person from a hunter-gatherer society might well reference numerous instances of thinking in terms of twos and threes (or whatever ennumeratible way), but that to which these basic patterns is applied is not in the manner of a formal operation such as speaking in terms of nuclear parity or syllogisic trichotomies. Although "modern" culture may interpret their usage of such patterns as informal operations, they themselves may think of them as if they were quite formal... within the context of their own socialized interests. Hence, operational usage can be different from usage of a given pattern which is ennumerated. (Notice that the example of "five" jars is broken down into a "two" and "three"-patterned configuration.)
The dramatic physical and physiological changes characteristic of adolescence have an equally dramatic impact on cognitive and social functioning. Adolescents think about their "new" bodies and their "new" selves in qualitatively new ways. In contrast with sensorimotor and more limited spatiotemporal modes of thinking—which according to Piaget characterize infancy and childhood—beginning at about puberty, the formal-operational mode of thought emerges, characterized by reasoning and abstraction. In the formal-operational stage, adolescents begin to discriminate between their thoughts about reality and reality itself and come to recognize that their assumptions have an element of arbitrariness and may not actually represent the true nature of experience. Thus, adolescent thinking becomes somewhat experimental in the scientific sense, employing hypotheses to test new ideas against outward reality.
In forming hypotheses about the world, adolescent cognition can be seen to grow along with formal, scientific, logical thinking. Consider, for example, a problem of combinatorial thought: An adolescent is presented with five jars, each containing a colourless liquid. Combining the liquids from three particular jars will produce a colour, whereas using the liquid from either of the two remaining jars will not produce a colour. The adolescent is told that a colour can be produced but is not shown which combination produces this effect. Children at the concrete-operational stage typically try to solve this problem by combining liquids two at a time, but after combining all pairs, or possibly trying to mix all five liquids together, their search for the workable combination usually stops. An adolescent at the formal-operational stage, on the other hand, will explore all possible solutions, systematically testing all possible combinations of two and three liquids until a colour is produced. As another example, consider adolescent thinking in respect to certain types of verbal problems—for instance, as represented by the question "If Jane is taller than Doris and shorter than Francine, who is the shortest of the three?" Concrete-operational children may be able to solve an analogous problem (e.g., one using sticks of various lengths, with the sticks actually present). Abstract verbal problems, however, are usually not solved until the capacity for formal operations has emerged.
Formal-operational thought does not seem to be a stage characterizing all adolescents. Studies of older adolescents and adults in Western cultures show that not all individuals attain formal operations. In turn, in some non-estern groups there is a failure ever to attain formal operations. Some researchers have attributed these differences to the differences between rural and urban societies and the different kinds of schooling offered by each. There is, however, little evidence for socioeconomic or educational differences being associated with the achievement of formal-operational thought.
Formal-operational thinking also has limitations, predicated in part on the fact that adolescents often think about their own thinking. Just as the infant is preoccupied with his physical self in a world of new stimuli, so the adolescent may be preoccupied with his own thinking in a world of new ideas. Such preoccupation often leads to a kind of egocentrism, which can manifest itself in two ways:
Although the formal-operational stage is the last stage of cognitive development in Piaget's theory, the egocentrism of this stage diminishes over the course of the person's life, largely as a consequence of interactions with peers and elders and—most importantly—with the assumption of adult roles and responsibilities.Marc H. Bornstein, Ed.: Head, Child and Family Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland. Author of Development in Infancy: An Introduction and others.
Richard M. Lerner, Ed.: Professor of Family and Child Ecology and of Psychology; Director, Institute for Children, Youth, and Families, Michigan State University, East Lansing. Author of Concepts and Theories of Human Development and others.
Source: "Human Behaviour." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.
(Entropy is) the measure of a system's thermal energy per unit temperature that is unavailable for doing useful work. Because work is obtained from ordered molecular motion, the amount of entropy is also a measure of the molecular disorder, or randomness, of a system. The concept of entropy provides deep insight into the direction of spontaneous change for many everyday phenomena. Its introduction by the German physicist Rudolf Clausius in 1850 is a highlight of 19th-century physics.
The idea of entropy provides a mathematical way to encode the intuitive notion of which processes are impossible, even though they would not violate the fundamental law of conservation of energy. For example, a block of ice placed on a hot stove surely melts, while the stove grows cooler. Such a process is called irreversible because no slight change will cause the melted water to turn back into ice while the stove grows hotter. In contrast, a block of ice placed in an ice-water bath will either thaw a little more or freeze a little more, depending on whether a small amount of heat is added to or subtracted from the system. Such a process is reversible because only an infinitesimal amount of heat is needed to change its direction from progressive freezing to progressive thawing. Similarly, compressed gas confined in a cylinder could either expand freely into the atmosphere if a valve were opened (an irreversible process), or it could do useful work by pushing a moveable piston against the force needed to confine the gas. The latter process is reversible because only a slight increase in the restraining force could reverse the direction of the process from expansion to compression. For reversible processes the system is in equilibrium with its environment, while for irreversible processes it is not.
To provide a quantitative measure for the direction of spontaneous change, Clausius introduced the concept of entropy as a precise way of expressing the second law of thermodynamics. The Clausius form of the second law states that spontaneous change for an irreversible process in an isolated system (that is, one that does not exchange heat or work with its surroundings) always proceeds in the direction of increasing entropy. For example, the block of ice and the stove constitute two parts of an isolated system for which total entropy increases as the ice melts.Gordon W.F. Drake: Professor of Physics, University of Windsor, Ontario. Editor of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics Handbook.
Source: "Entropy." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.
Entropy, negative entropy, and redundancy (communication)
Another concept, first called by (Claude) Shannon a noise source but later associated with the notion of entropy (a principle derived from physics), was imposed upon the communication model. Entropy is analogous in most communication to audio or visual static—that is, to outside influences that diminish the integrity of the communication and, possibly, distort the message for the receiver. Negative entropy may also occur in instances in which incomplete or blurred messages are nevertheless received intact, either because of the ability of the receiver to fill in missing details or to recognize, despite distortion or a paucity of information, both the intent and content of the communication.
Although rarely shown on diagrammatic models of this version of the communication process, redundancy— the repetition of elements within a message that prevents the failure of communication of information—is the greatest antidote to entropy. Most written and spoken languages, for example, are roughly half-redundant. If 50 percent of the words of this article were taken away at random, there would still remain an intelligible—although somewhat peculiar—essay. Similarly, if one-half of the words of a radio news commentator are heard, the broadcast can usually be understood. Redundancy is apparently involved in most human activities, and, because it helps to overcome the various forms of entropy that tend to turn intelligible messages into unintelligible ones (including psychological entropy on the part of the receiver), it is an indispensable element for effective communication.
Messages are therefore susceptible to considerable modification and mediation. Entropy distorts, while negative entropy and redundancy clarify; as each occurs differentially in the communication process, the chances of the message being received and correctly understood vary. Still, the process (and the model of it) remains conceptually static, because it is fundamentally concerned with messages sent from point to point and not with their results or possible influences upon sender and receiver.
To correct this flaw, the principle of feedback was added to the model and provided a closer approximation of interpersonal human interaction than was known theretofore. This construct was derived from the studies of Norbert Wiener, the so-called father of the science of cybernetics. Wiener's cybernetic models, some of which provide the basis for current computer technology, were designed to be responsive to their own behaviour; that is, they audited their own performances mathematically or electronically in order to avoid errors of entropy, unnecessary redundancy, or other simple hazards.
Certain types of common communications—holiday greeting cards, for instance—usually require little feedback. Others, particularly interactions between human beings in conversation, cannot function without the ability of the message sender to weigh and calculate the apparent effect of his words on his listener. It is largely the aspect of feedback that provides for this model the qualities of a process, because each instance of feedback conditions or alters the subsequent messages.
Other models of communication processes have been constructed to meet the needs of students of communication whose interests differ from those of quantitatively oriented theorists like Shannon, Weaver, and Wiener. While the model described above displays some generality and shows simplicity, it lacks some of the predictive, descriptive, and analytic powers found in other approaches. A psychologist, Theodore M. Newcomb, for example, has articulated a more fluid system of dimensions to represent the individual interacting in his environment. Newcomb's model and others similar to it are not as precisely mathematical (quantitative) as Shannon's and thus permit more flexible accounts of human behaviour and its variable relationships. They do not deny the relevance of linear models to Shannon and Weaver's main concerns—quanta of information and the delivery of messages under controlled conditions—but they question their completeness and utility in describing cognitive, emotional, and artistic aspects of communication as they occur in sociocultural matrices.
Students concerned mainly with persuasive and artistic communication often centre attention upon different kinds, or modes, of communication (i.e., narrative, pictorial, and dramatic) and theorize that the messages they contain, including messages of emotional quality and artistic content, are communicated in various manners to and from different sorts of people. For them the stability and function of the channel or medium are more variable and less mechanistically related to the process than they are for followers of Shannon and Weaver and psychologists like Newcomb. (McLuhan, indeed, asserts that the channel actually dictates, or severely influences, the message—both as sent and received.) Many analysts of communication, linguistic philosophers, and others are concerned with the nature of messages, particularly their compatibility with sense and emotion, their style, and the intentions behind them. They find both linear and geometric models of process of little interest to their concerns, although considerations related to these models, particularly those of entropy, redundancy, and feedback, have provided significant and productive concepts for most students of communication.
Applications of formal logic and mathematics
Despite the numerous types of communication or information theory extant today—and those likely to be formulated tomorrow—the most rationally and experimentally consistent approaches to communication theory so far developed follow the constructions of Shannon and others described above. Such approaches tend to employ the structural rigours of logic rather than the looser syntaxes, grammars, and vocabularies of common languages, with their symbolic, poetic, and inferential aspects of meaning.
Cybernetic theory and computer technology require rigorous but straightforward languages to permit translation into non-ambiguous, special symbols that can be stored and utilized for statistical manipulations. The closed system of formal logic proved ideal for this need. Premises and conclusions drawn from syllogisms according to logical rules may be easily tested in a consistent, scientific manner, as long as all parties communicating share the rational premises employed by the particular system.
That this logical mode of communication drew its frame of discourse from the logic of the ancient Greeks was inevitable. Translated into an Aristotelian manner of discourse, meaningful interactions between individuals could be transferred to an equally rational closed system of mathematics: an arithmetic for simple transactions, an algebra for solving certain well-delimited puzzles, a calculus to simulate changes, rates and flows, and a geometry for purposes of illustration and model construction. This progression has proved quite useful for handling those limited classes of communications that arise out of certain structured, rational operations, like those in economics, inductively oriented sociology, experimental psychology, and other behavioral and social sciences, as well as in most of the natural sciences.
The basic theorem of information theory rests, first, upon the assumption that the message transmitted is well organized, consistent, and characterized by relatively low and determinable degrees of entropy and redundancy. (Otherwise, the mathematical structure might yield only probability statements approaching random scatters, of little use to anyone.) Under these circumstances, by devising proper coding procedures for the transmitter, it becomes possible to transmit symbols over a channel at an average rate that is nearly the capacity of units per second of the channel (symbolized by C) as a function of the units per second from an information source (H)—but never at rates in excess of capacity divided by units per second (C/H), no matter how expertly the symbols are coded. As simple as this notion seems, upon determining the capacity of the channel and by cleverly coding the information involved, precise mathematical models of information transactions (similar to electronic frequencies of energy transmissions) may be evolved and employed for complex analyses within the strictures of formal logic. They must, of course, take into account as precisely as possible levels of entropy and redundancy as well as other known variables.
The internal capacities of the channel studied and the sophistication of the coding procedures that handle the information limit the usefulness of the theorem presented above. At present such procedures, while they may theoretically offer broad prospects, are restricted by formal encoding procedures that depend upon the capacities of the instruments in which they are stored. Although such devices can handle quickly the logic of vast amounts of relatively simple information, they cannot match the flexibility and complexity of the human brain, still the prime instrument for managing the subtleties of most human communication.George N. Gordon: Emeritus Professor of Communications, Fordham University, Bronx, New York. Author of The Languages of Communication and others.
Source: "Communication." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.
If we view peace (and war) as a type of communication subjected to an entropic development (such as peace deteriorating to war or viewed in the opposite manner by those who favor war activities over peace activities), and that in the perspective of being a type of "communication" whose entropic characters can be offset; are we merely engage in a fanciful self-delusion of cyclicity whose accomplished equilibrium is not viewed in a larger context of the Universe in which a larger value of entropy is taking place? Just because we use the model of "entropic" considerations in the context of communication and voice a consideration of being able to stop entropic degradation to an acceptable level, does not mean the entropy of the Universe can likewise be offset. While the model may be a useful intellectual exercise, it should not be used as a philosophical perspective which excludes the "real" entropy (of the Universe) from participating as a variable.
Another aspect of the communication process which can be applied to cognition that is applied to the present "peace" discussion, is that noted as 'feedback'. Are peace and war feedback of one another... like that of a sonic boom or echo or shadowy images cast on a cave wall such as that described by that referenced in "Plato's Cave" idea? In as much as different analogies might be applied to the peace (and war) context, some which may appear to be more lucrative in surrendering an advanced form of appreciative understanding for the purposes of prediction and control; we must not only ask why such analogies can be made but why we would want to if peace and war are their true identities and not generalities "seen in the eye of the beholder"? If peace and war are false images of human conduct and cognition, have we arrived at a clearer beginning of analysis or have we found ourselves in the thicket of a convoluted over-analysis?