Monday, December 7, 2009

Uncertainty and Media in Creative Systems

There are intrinsically uncertainties for realization of discovery. In other words, discoveries hardly come about due to the uncertainties. One of the uncertainties is an uncertainty of association of idea. Thinking newly means that there is no guarantee that the association of idea is possible to apply. Another uncertainty is related to far-reaching consequence of association of idea. It is quite difficult to get consequences by thinking about complicated logic. Although there are such uncertainties, some kind of evolutional achievements, called "media" in autopoietic systems theory, support for realization of discovery to overcome the uncertainties.

Against first type of uncertainty, that is uncertainty of association of idea, theories and rule of thumb work as media. Theories would reduce the complexity for selection of idea and association. They do not mean deterministic laws to strictly follow, rather spotlights to pay attention for selection. Typical theories in the discipline are sometimes helpful, and theories in other disciplines are also helpful to get idea or how to make association to it. Borrowing the words of Nobel-prized physicist Richard Feynman "mathematics is not just another language. Mathematics is a language plus reasoning; it is like a language plus logic. Mathematics is a tool for reasoning. It is in fact a big collection of the results of some person's careful thought and reasoning. By mathematics it is possible to connect one statement to another." (Feynman 1967; p.40)

Against second type of uncertainty, that is uncertainty of far-reaching consequence, several kind f tools work as media. For example, tools for computer simulation help to get consequence through complicated calculation. Likewise, tools for network analysis, text mining, and statistical analysis are helpful. Although obtaining far-reaching consequence does not necessarily require such tools, they contribute greatly to decrease the possibility to stop in midcourse by enhancing efficiency rather than human labor.