I have mentioned before that I will use various object-oriented perspectives in my future book on blogging about the “2012-phenomenon”. A crucial component here is how the 2012-object/2012-hyperobject/2012-system interacts with its environment. What does this interaction look like? Can there ever be any communication between New Age and science-based knowledge systems?
In this post I follow Levi Bryant’s use of autopoietic systems theory which he uses in his book The Democracy of Objects. When facing a vast array of various real and imaginary objects in our environment we as individual systems/objects or the systems/objects we somehow interact with make a distinction by marking what is of relevance to us. This means that there always is an unmarked space outside this distinction. The distinction is transcendental with respect to indication. The indicated does not precede the distinction but it is the very condition under which the indicated comes into being for the system drawing the distinction. This means that the 2012-object/system make other basic distinctions than the academic “Mayanist system” do. Distinctions are contingent and they can always be drawn otherwise and therefore produce other objects as effects. The Mayanist system excludes alien space crafts and divinities as possible objects in their system of knowledge. The 2012-system includes these imaginary objects.
Operations of the autopoietic system only refer to itself. Communication takes place in a system but never between systems. A system cannot communicate with its environment and vice versa. This means that the Mayanist system never truly communicates with the 2012-system. Outside objects/systems may perturb and irritate the 2012-system, as I constantly do through my blog, but what I write is not information for the perturbed 2012-system. Any information that may enter the system is constituted by the distinctions that belong to the organization of the system itself. The same perturbation can therefore affect different systems and produce different information. What happens is that systems transform or translate perturbations.
The autopoietic systems are characterized by unrest. In a communication system it is not enough to maintain equilibrium or homeostasis. Something new must be added to make it exist. All systems are affected by entropy and only the production by new elements or events will make them persist. Therefore, new information constantly perturbs the 2012 communication system through blogs, twitter, forums, conferences, etc.
The most interesting part of the autopoietic systems approach is that these system both constitute their own elements and are operationally closed. This means that the human 2012ers are not part of the 2012-system themselves. They are withdrawn from each other. The 2012ers are simply the environment of the 2012-system. The 2012-system is a communication system and it is operationally closed in relation to the mental systems of each 2012er. Thus, it is communications that communicate in the 2012-system, not the persons. The 2012-system has created its own distinctions, themes, etc. that is different from those made by each 2012er. Information is purely system-specific and it only exists for that system. There is therefore no pre-existent information. Information is only internal achievements of systems.
Let us now see how this information can perturb and be translated within the 2012-system (or the Mayanist system).