Challenges to Comprehension Implied by the Logo
of Laetus in Praesens
Laetus in Praesens Alternative view of segmented documents via Kairos

7th June 2007 | Draft

In Further Quest of "Meta-Union"?

Interplay of generic dimensions of any "union of international associations"

-- / --

Development of the argument in Dynamic Reframing of "Union": implications for the coherence of knowledge, social organization and personal identity (2007). The argument below includes, and extends, a separate simpler presentation (In Quest of "Meta-Union"? 2007)

Strategic initiatives exemplifying characteristic styles of "union", "inter-" and "associations"

Table 1 is a (very tentative) exercise in generalizing the significance of "union", "international" and "associations". The upper portion of the table highlights "union" as emergent identity, "inter-" as indicative of a generic form of bonding across boundaries, with "associations" as the content of what might be potentially interrelated by the previous two. The domains of the Mandelbrot set are used experimentally as metaphors to distinguish these, together with contrasting traditional symbols.

The table highlights the particular features of the strategic initiatives (separately described) that correspond to generic understandings of "union", "inter-" and "associations". Again these are tentatively associated with two quite distinct sets of metaphor, namely those of the fundamental forces of physics and those of traditional categories. It is possible that the 12 zones of that portion of the table are indicative of 12 "languages" appropriate to sustainable governance [more] -- as an extension of Edward de Bono's metaphorical argument for "6 hats" and "6 shoes" in strategic management dialogue .

The references below the table point to related explorations of these issues -- although other references are indicated as resources on the websites of the four strategic initiatives linked below.

Table 1: Distinction between 4 strategic initiatives in terms of their exemplification of 3 ordering characteristics [tentative]
  Union (Inter-) Associations
bonding (across boundaries) potential associations
strategic initiatives metaphors      
. . Mandelbrot
set domains
order chaos/order boundary chaos, complexity (uncertainty)
. traditional
. cardinal fixed mutable
. . fundamental
. . .
Union of Imaginative Associations air,
electro-magnetism coherent (design) concept / pattern (unforeseen) connections significance
Fusion Reactor

configuration enabling improbable focus /
tail-biting self-reference
arrays requisite diversity
University of
gravity viable ecosystemic integrity / biodiversity as a self-sustaining process /
"grounded" insight
relationships /
feedback loops
Union of the
weak nuclear existentially coherent self-questioning / paradoxical transcendence (catastrophe theory, koans) (intriguing) challenges to assumptions of coherence /
riddles / humour
inexplicables / incompatible insights / catastrophe / tragedy

In an effort to interrelate the four strategic initiatives in Table 1 in the light of their three-fold attributes, the logo used in various orientations for each of them calls for some further comment. [Note that access to the websites of each initiative can be achieved by Disabled clicking on the corresponding coloured circle -- as is the case from each of those websites]

Laubauru symbol (superposition of right and left-facing variants)

The image has the merit of holding the 4 contrasting initiatives, each indicated in a 3-fold manner. Arguably the circles holding each of the 4 can be associated with the particular understandings of "union" -- with the particular "associations" in the outermost (coloured) smaller circle within, whilst the "inter-" dimension is held by the (uncoloured) inner circle. Faintly circumscribing the whole is a circle indicative of some form of "meta-union". In an effort to focus these concerns on engagement in immediate global challenges, the symbol (derived from the Basque lauburu ) was first used in a "playful exploration of ecopsychological embodiment of climate change pathways" (cf Playfully Changing the Prevailing Climate of Opinion Climate change as focal metaphor of effective global governance, 2005).

Of course such a 2 dimensional image raises interesting questions as to whether an appropriate "roundtable" representative of the 12 "languages" would be more fruitfully represented in 3 dimensions to avoid diminishing (or privileging) the signifance of any.

The implications of such a representation have been discussed separately (Union of Intelligible Associations: remembering dynamic identity through a dodecameral mind, 2005) -- notably with respect to its implementation (or recognition) in a virtual environment (Spherical Configuration of Interlocking Roundtables: Internet enhancement of global self-organization through patterns of dialogue, 1998).

Conventional preoccupations exemplifying characteristic styles of "union", "inter-" and "associations"

An extension of Table 1, in the form of Table 2, highlights the significance of the contrast between the generic understandings of "union", "inter-" and "associations" with the conventional preoccupations of values (faith), knowledge, strategy, organizations, problems, information and law. Efforts at their interrelationship are evident to some degree in the strategic initiative of the Union of Intelligible Associations (now terminated) and the diversity of databases that arose from it (and are still accessible online). Tentatively, again, these are clustered into real/imaginary, tangible/intangible in the spirit of the distinctions of the complexity sciences.

Table 2: Distinction between conventional preoccupations in terms of their exemplification of 3 ordering characteristics [tentative]
  Union (Inter-) Associations
bonding (across boundaries) potential associations
complex dimensions preoccupations . . .
intangible imaginary faith, values union with the transcendent (as a community or individual embodiment) inter-faith relationships / challenge of unbelievers diversity of beliefs
real knowledge synthesis (theories of everything) classification subjects
strategy / policy (global) plans, resolutions, action frameworks, policy coordination cooperation, collaboration actions, proposals, initiatives
organization (social, group) (global) unions, conferences, federations, coalitions, meetings, parliaments

international, inter-regional, inter-disciplinary, inter-cultural, inter-sectoral (networking)

themes, topics
tangible imaginary problems (strategic, tactical) crisis (of crises), (global) insecurity inter-sectoral, cross-disciplinary, international disruptors
real information integrated information systems (world wide web, internet, telecommunication system) compatibility across boundaries, standards and technologies, hyperlinking content
law harmonised (international) legal framework compatibility across boundaries, reciprocity specific laws

WH-questions exemplifying characteristic styles of "union", "inter-" and "associations"

Table 3 explores the possibility of combining the above distinctions with those derived from an experimental ordering of the set of WH-questions in terms of Arthur Young's integrative "Rosetta Stone" of meaning (see Functional Complementarity of Higher Order Questions: psycho-social sustainability modelled by coordinated movement, 2004; also Conformality of 7 WH-questions to 7 Elementary Catastrophes: an exploration of potential psychosocial implications, 2006)

Table 3: Distinction between 4 strategic initiatives in terms of their exemplification of 12 characteristic pairs of questions [tentative]

Union (Inter-) Associations
bonding (across boundaries) potential
.     Future Present Past
.     Motive Means Suspect / Accomplice
.   WH-questions Why? How? Who?

University of

in spatial context
(Where to go?, Where is it from?)
Provenance: Where does that come from? Why is it significant?
Where am I?
Where is the knowledge?
Who has it?
Who discovered it?
Fusion Reactor

operacy in functional context Which?
(Which way? Which to choose?)
Which transformation and why?
Which response?
How to respond?
Which belief?
Who to believe in?
Who believes?
Union of the
kairos (in temporal context) When?
(When to start? When to stop?)
When to be like that?
Why be like that?
Spontaneous act
When to act?
How to act?
When to start?
Who is so impelled?
Who to impell?
Union of Imaginative Associations attractor
(What is it? What to do?)
What have I done?
Why have I done it?
What do I do?
How do I do it?
What evidence is this? Who says so?


Although these experimental juxtapositions of categories are useful pointers to possibilities, all such orderings call for refinement through a conceptual "tuning" of the arrays. The musical metaphor is also helpful in pointing to the possibility that quite different "tuning systems" may be significant and useful.


Anthony Judge:

Website of the Cognitive Fusion Reactor (ITER-8) Website of the Union of the Whys Website of the University of Earth Website of Union of Imaginative Associations

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