Showing posts from July, 2014

Autistic Institutions (Part 1 Double Contingency)

Edvard Munch ‘Self-Portrait in the Garden at Ekely’ 1942 I shall now discuss the resemblances between institutional and autistic obstacles to functional social interaction, and also the resemblances between institutional solutions and autistic ways of overcoming or compensating for social interaction deficits. I will not be claiming that “we are all autistic” in our relations with and through institutional subsystems... not yet at least. Nor is this exploration of overlapping concepts a sly effort to prepare the ground for a subsequent claim that those clever institutional designers of the 17th and 18th centuries were classifiably autistic. Goodness, no!  Rather the purpose is to explore some intriguing organic parallels between individual and institutional functional cognition systems, and to ask whether observed correlations between cognitive deficits and strengths of high-functioning autistic individuals may offer avenues for improving existing ways of thinking abo

Hellerian Institutional Interactions

Frederic Leighton ‘The Antique Juggling Girl’ 1853 I shall try -- simultaneously like a juggler with five balls in hand -- to consider the structural  system  pressures and the conscious  action  pressures driving institutional evolution. And I fully expect to observe that these two models (one abstract, the other concrete) exhibit revolutionary  as well as  incremental characteristics concurrently, in the same mind, in the same milieu, in the same institutional space. When discussing the institutions of the modern social system we need refer only to the three state subsystems - law , administration , politics . The topic of primary interest here, after all, is only  governance in economic history. I am simply simplifying with relative accuracy about spheres of the state in society in order to explain something grander -- how governance evolves through time.     It is undoubtedly true that if the social system is a complex of interactive relationships, then

Neoliberal Solutions to Uncertainty

Frank Auerbach 'Bacchus and Ariadne' 1971 Last week I described ‘discovery procedures’ that facilitate the tricky process of social interaction. Suppose now that in spite of available discovery procedures it remains impossible to find out what another person is thinking or intending when they act. Because nobody acts in a social setting without interacting, communication becomes indispensable. You cannot discover another person’s goal or meaning by communicating, yet obviously communication is needed in order to interact. Communication is a precondition for all discovery procedures, although different discovery procedures may require different modes of communicating.  The question then is, under what constraints does communication operate? In order for communication to help discovery as an aid to interaction there must be a high degree of freedom in the social system. Let’s think of this as a neoliberal view of the social system loosely equivalent to the neoliberal