Transformation: From Latin transformatio (trans ["across, on the far side, beyond"]) + formatio ("shape,
form"); Borrowed from Ancient Greek μεταμόρφωσις (metamorphosis);
A marked change in appearance or character; a mapping of one space onto another; the alteration of a bacterial cell caused by the transfer of DNA from another; (Source: Wiktionary)
"Man muss [Experimentalsysteme] als Orte der Emergenz ansehen, als Strukturen, die wir uns ausgedacht haben, um Nicht-Ausdenkbares
einzufangen." (Rheinberger, 2007)
What could be new when catching up with the present depends on the speed of light? Perhaps the new can be imagined like a difference, like a thunderbolt to pry open the other side of the night. Since the new is unforeseeable and the unknown uncontrollable - that is, contingent, in potentia, or subject to chance, the right conditions must be conceived to make it happen.
The term unknown alludes to the 'in-between' -- a becoming future of possibilities through dissolution and recombination -- where interaction between artefacts, consciousnesses, communications and bodies leads to spatio-temporal interferences with states of equilibrium that substantiate "life as an abstract phenomenon, a set of vital functions implementable in various material bases" (Langton, 1996). Design is a praxis of the unknown and designers should stay in contact with the unknown to be closer to life.
|➔ Melting the Crystal|
Arthur Schopenhauer devised an abstract machine to clarify interactions between matter and natural forces. He argued that the law of
causality must determine the time, space and validity of a force, or power, that will emerge with the necessary conditions in order to:
(a) take charge of the matter, and (b) reveal its proper nature. The power itself exists outside of time, becoming mere appearance once
activated until it is inevitably displaced by another when conditions change.
"[T]he law of causality has meaning only in relation to time and space, and the matter which consists in the union of the two. For it determines the limits in accordance with which the phenomena of the forces of nature divide themselves in the possession of matter, while the original forces of nature [...] lie outside these forms." (The World as Will and Representation, Second Book, Chapter 26)
Schopenhauer's machine unfolds as follows:
1) In Computer Graphics, a mathematical representation of the object is governed by XYZ world coordinates in order to specify a viewbox.
Simple two-dimensional transformations that shift, scale, and rotate a geometric outline can be accomplished by adding or subtracting
translation amounts to the XY positions of their vertices (with a subsequent redraw of connecting lines).
The [planar geometric] projection of a conceptual object floating in logical 3D space - the volume where points are represented by XYZ triplets - is sliced at the view plane and mapped into the viewport for 2D display. The view plane of a one-point perspective projection bisecting a three-dimensional scene at a distance d from the origin converges parallel lines in the z-direction and also determines the size and distances of its objects with a scale factor derived from the division of XY coordinates by Z.
2) Plato's "cosmological organization of the universe" integrated four perfect polyhedra, or basic building blocks, that were linked to the four classical elements of fire, air, water, and earth:
"In the first place, then, as is evident to all, fire and earth and water and air are bodies. And every sort of body possesses solidity, and every solid must necessarily be contained in planes; and every plane rectilinear figure is composed of triangles;" (Timaeus, c. 360 BC)
The faces of these polyhedra, or platonic solids, comprise isosceles or scalene component-triangles which, according to Plato, were "capable of resolution into one another" and could be assembled into all physical matter.
Alchemists later expanded the ancient cosmological system, including man's highly integrated relation to the world. In this sense, mercury, sulphur, and salt relate to the three principles of Alchemy representing the volatile intellect, the soul, and the body; Solis-gold is masculine, Mercurii-quicksilver is the hermaphrodite, and Lunae-silver is feminine; the four Elements of earth [cube], water [icosahedron], air [octahedron], fire [tetrahedron] - and the elementary qualities of warm, cold, moist, dry - correspond with the four trigrams of the zodiac [earth sign: cold-dry, water sign: cold-moist, air sign: moist-warm, fire sign: warm-dry] as well as the four temperaments of man [choleric: warm, phlegmatic: cold, sanguine: moist, melancholic: dry].
|liquidus, fluxus, liqueo||
1) Water follows a distant iron core that revolves about the sun. Water overcomes everything in its way by forming and
unforming. Water is a place of transformation: Sometimes light, sometimes dark; reflective and transparent; silvery or
frothy; lingering here and hastening there. You know "the only constant in life is change." Water in motion conveys
fluidity and state of flow.
2) Like energy, capital follows the path of least resistance to preserve itself or grow. If there is confidence & trust, an object without intrinsic value can attract liquidity at quasi any price. In a "liquidity white bubble" (Mainelli, 2007) price rises produce more buyers and fewer sellers, contributing to further rises. If, however, everyone converts to cash, an object with fundamental value ends up worthless on the market.* In a "liquidity black hole" price falls produce more sellers and fewer buyers, contributing to further falls. Both phenomena contradict the supply and demand model, but can be explained from a behavioural finance perspective (Daxhammer, 2018).
* Banks, E: 2009, Risk and Financial Catastrophe, Palgrave Macmillan.
"Prices had soared far above the stormy levels of the preceding winter into the blue and cloudless Empyrean. [...] This was a new era. Prosperity was coming into full and perfect flower." (Allen, 1931)
In 1716, John Law implemented a new banking- and monetary system in France involving: (a) the establishment of the Banque Générale and the monetisation of government debt, (b) the founding of new public companies, and (c) the acceptance of shares as collateral for loans (Binswanger, 2015). The banknotes issued by the bank were to replace the existing gold and silver coins as a medium of exchange and became legal tender for the payment of taxes. When the French Crown became sole shareholder of the bank, the partial precious-metal backing of the currency was abandoned [so banknotes could no longer be converted into gold].
Moreover, the Compagnie des Indes originally founded by John Law, had by 1719 gained the right to levy taxes and even incorporated the royal mint. The more shares of this company people owned, the more credit they could obtain to buy more shares, driving up prices, and the more people became rich, the more others believed the rosy hype [of future gains in the colonies] and also started to buy. At the peak of the "Mississippi Bubble" the shares of the Compagnie des Indes (which had by then merged with the bank) had risen from 500 to 10.000 livres.
"A cross-border financial flow [is] the transfer of a medium of exchange, from the buyer to the seller, whose inseparable counterpart is a flow of other gross financial assets that crosses the border in the opposite direction, without any role for physical resource flows." (BOE, 2020)
In February 2020, Covid-19 hit the financial markets - or more precisely, the future expectations of the financial markets, triggering a 'dash for cash'. It also marked the onset of credit tightening, liquidity hoarding, capital flight, and value destruction. The reallocation of funds into safe assets and safe havens caused a negative feedback loop: Fire sales led to price declines and value adjustments, resulting in capital losses which had to be compensated through more sales for additional liquidity in order to meet margin calls. Even the gold price fell initially which may seem counter-intuitive.
The immediate shock of the pandemic had repercussions on global capital flows with significant outflows from emerging market economies to be observed.
A stimulus-response mechanism comprising a sensor, an effector, and some connecting wire can act as a simple agent. With different
sensors, with straight connections, crossed connections, excitatory and inhibitory connections, or by utilizing threshold devices
and functional dependencies, the agent becomes more complicated. Internal modeling, memory and object recognition will, moreover,
permit method and deliberation which outsiders might attribute to intelligence "just from the observation of behavior." The
designers of the agent, however, would be aware of the sequence of steps which led to the state of the art, and probably also
that "all specified complexity must ultimately rise from simplicity by some kind of escalatory process"
(Dawkins, 2006). In this light, it could even be argued that the human brain is no ultimate explanation of the complex artefacts
it creates since it couldn't recall the simple evolutionary beginnings of itself - that is, "smartness arising out of nothing,
or rather, out of not-so-smart premises" (Braitenberg, 1984).
The Goddard Agent Architecture consists of several software modules that implement functionality, subscribe to or publish information, monitor their own state, and interact with other modules. An agent typically receives system or sensor data as input which is modelled together with state information in order to formulate goals. The steps of a resulting plan are then ordered, sent off to be executed by various effectors, and their completion status is reported back.
|➔ State of the Practice|