Entwined, Enmeshed, Entangled – Three modes of ‘being’ pertinent to our cyborgization process
By redesigning the conceptual landscape of our networked inter-relationality we may finally disentangle ourselves from the all-pervading occlusion of the cyborgization process and allow a fresh recognition of the manifold human sensorium extended in hyperconnectivity.
In the re-conceptualizing of our cyber existence we may need relinquish a few cherished objects of identity such as man machine interface, virtuality and man machine co-existence but more importantly the dualistic distinction between ‘real’ life and our virtual extensions as existence.
All of these descriptive objects of identity I suggest should become ‘naturalized’ in a new cyber-existential language.
This is the first part of a three pronged approach to what I believe is the foundation of a future philosophy of and for the hyperconnected individual.
I will try to show that these three modes of beingness are the quintessential infrastructures necessary for a future of a technological civilization aiming for the firmament of freedom and equality, personal responsibility and open access culture.
A civilization, which roots, we currently inhabit but that promises changes to the perception of ourselves, the understanding of the universe and the manner by which we may develop in tandem.
The three lines of approach that will be used are: Entwinement, Enmeshment, and Entanglement.
Each of these terms represents a similar but different manner to realize the state of affairs of hyperconnectivity as the threshold infrastructure in the process of becoming a citizen of the future, a cyborg netizen and perhaps a posthuman.
Entwinement, Enmeshment and Entanglement each represent a different level of intimacy in the infocology (see lexical index) one exists in and partakes of. The three terms offered here are suggestions for an illustrative strategy that will allow a deeper and more accurate description of the state of affairs of our cyber existence. Each of these terms will be expanded upon later, for now suffice it to say that the terms are distinguished primarily by the amount, depth and extensiveness of the connectivity between minds in the hyperconnected infosphere. Entwinement stands for the lowest level, Enmeshment for the medium level and Entanglement for the highest or deepest level.
“Chance Favors the Connected Mind” (Steven Johnson)
Between our digital reputations taking hold of our old tribal systems of acknowledgement and trust and the new cyborg existentialism a tension is made manifest.
This tension that I will expound upon in a moment can be seen primarily in its hyper complex fragility and tendency to ambiguity.
The tendency for ambiguity, itself a by product of the de-potentialization of the known factors of trust moving into new realms of unknowability, increases exponentially as networked decisions are made manifest (e.g. ‘like’ clicks).
The cyborg existentialism is a new domain of relationality residing between the tribal homophily and hyperconnected heterophily.
The cyborg existentialism (CE) is a fresh approach to ‘freedom’ as the ultimate ground of human beings’ capacity to relate to the world, extended and enhanced in the world via technology.
Cyborg existentialism implies that sensory attunement via the embedding of technology in base line human bodies reveals a coherent understanding of the precedence of existence to essence. In short the idea is that the existence of the individual as an extended techno-sensory awareness mechanism belongs to a category in and of itself and should be looked at as the atom of the future (hyperconnected) cyber-civilization (see- The rise of the Cyber Unified Civilization ).
*Notes: I will use existentialism as a general kind or manner of thought and not as a systemic philosophy. Existentialism in this regard is an approach or an attitude, putting the individual sense of being as primary.
But first we need introduce a new term:
(A neologism construct from the Greek arkhaios, “ancient”+ Data- The word data is the plural of datum, neuter past participle of the Latin dare, “to give”, hence “something given” + the Greek noun λόγος (logos, “speech”, “account”, “story”).
Archeodatalogy – Noun.
Meaning: Archeodatalogy is the study and analysis of the Meta narrative emerging out of the accumulated information about an individual in a multiplicity of infocologies.
Short version: The study and analysis of emerging meta-narratives in hyperconnectivity
The premises of Archeodatalogy:
1. A hyperconnected individual ‘is’ and ‘has’ inherently a multiplicity of identities.
2. The multiplicity of identities a hyperconnected individual is made of, are manifested primarily in the infocologies this individual partakes of.
3. A hyperconnected individual then is a multiplicity of identities embedded in a multiplicity of infocologies; the coupling between these infocologies can be strong or soft, discreet or continuous.
4. A hyperconnected individual exists as a spectrum of identities correlated but not necessarily closely coupled with the fields of interests manifested as, and in, the infocologies this individual partakes in.
5. The study and analysis of a hyperconnected individual in a given infocology is the subject matter of Archeodatalogy.
6. Archeodatalogy assumes that the inter relation between a hyperconnected individual and the infocology in which she exists is a thematic environment from which emerges a particular narrative. This particular narrative is one of many such narratives, each of which represents the interrelation of the particular hyperconnected individual to a particular thematic environment or infocology.
7. Each narrative has a particular environmental theme that can be described as the story of ‘this individual in this infocology’. Each such narrative has its own characteristics and attributes and though at times might correlate and or superimpose upon another narrative, the particular narrative carries its own peculiar and idiosyncratic coherence.
8. The purpose of Archeodatalogy is to create a Meta account of the multiplicity of narratives (of a hyperconnected individual in multiple infocologies) and to allow for the emergence of a Meta story descriptive narrative, from which arrays of predictions can be summarized.
9. Archeodatalogy assumes that no particular thematic narrative can capture the totality of the hyperconnected individual, therefore only a Meta descriptive chronicle of the multiplicity of interrelations can permit a full understanding of a hyperconnected individual.
10. The results of an Archeodatalogy analysis permit a mapping of an hyperconnected individual correlated to her fields of interest that may or may not parallel this individual immediate existence, nevertheless it is the assumption of the Archeodatalogy method that a high enough approximation can be realized.
Part 1: Entanglement is an event – Enmeshment is an episode- Entwinement is circumstantial
In a state of Entwinement the correlativity of interest and mutual cross-fertilization is low to very low.
Currently the state of Entwinement is the most widespread.
A circumstantial state in hyperconnectivity can be defined as an accident of (at least initially) secondary importance in which two or more minds find themselves in the same infocology for reasons that are not necessarily pertinent and or interesting to their personal agenda (membership in the given infocology excluded)- example: one may join the network of twitter and because one twits with the hashtag of #Science he or she will be grouped in a Science list and by extension be correlated to all other minds (and possibly bots) that use this hashtag. As a consequence one may find himself being followed by a number of members of twitter and be labeled in the same fashion, namely ‘Scientist on Twitter’ or alternatively ‘Twitting about science’. This level of correlativity between the minds involved will be called here entwinement. However the level of ‘intimacy’ between these minds is (again, at least initially) practically non-existent, so though ‘Jon’ and ‘Mary’ may both be part of the infocology titled ‘ Scientist on twitter’ the amount of information that can be gleamed from this fact is very small if interesting at all.
In a state of Enmeshment the correlativity of interest and mutual cross-fertilization is medium and can be averaged.
Currently the state of Enmeshment is in the exponential increase.
To continue the same example from above then, an episode in hyperconnectivity can be defined as an extended session of interest between two or more minds that are of medium correlation such as might happen in a Google hangout or Skype chat or alternatively an extended period of loosely coupled membership in the same infocology- such as a comment section in a particular site.
An episode in hyperconnectivity will be called here ‘Enmeshment in hyperconnectivity’ and can be a single episode (as in ‘we had a few exchanges on the comment board of..”) to a multi episode connection (as in ‘ we are in continuous contact via the comment section of.. but it never extended beyond that’). The importance in understanding the enmeshment state of affairs lies with the amount of information that can be pertinent to the individuals involved. In a very wide sense the scope of possible ambient intimacy is extended beyond that of the accidental or circumstantial (as in Entwinement) and thus allowed for reciprocal influence, but did not reach a critical level of mutuality such that might exist in the state of Entanglement.
In a state of Entanglement the correlativity of interest and mutual cross-fertilization is high to very high, the difference resulting in a closely coupled relationship that may engender a relationship of extended duration. Entangled states in hyperconnectivity are currently quite rare (though in continuous increase) but offer us a glimpse into the future of inter-relationality and intersubjectivity as the web progresses and the Internet spreads globally.
A short lexical index:
Infocology: Information ecology – Basically the sum total of a particular kind or set of information, related to a particular domain of interest. Infocologies are nested and carry a given set of characteristics defined by the design and function of the infocology in question.
Infocologies stand for the ambient ecology of minds in a hyperconnected situation.
Infocologies should be considered as complex adaptive cultural contexts of hyperconnectivity in which transformative and processual properties extend the being of a particular mind
Infocologies can be seen as inter-relational spaces extending the biological autonomy of the individual mind into new forms of being manifested as the cyber-autonomy manifold.
Facebook for example is a medium size infocology nested within the larger infocology of the overall social networks infocologies of the net, themselves nested within the larger framework of the Web. (Of course also within FB there exists a continuum of nested infocologies, defined by friends or acquaintances and so on)
(It is my view that as the complexity of the web continues to increase both in size and widespread, the babushka effect reflected in nested infocologies will grow exponentially and in consequence the importance of Archeodatalogy will develop in tandem. )
Some other examples of infocologies:
The set comprised of all commentators on say CNN or the NYT current news page.
The set of all Wikipedia users as an ensemble represent an infocology.
With the advent of “anticipatory computing,” or “information gravitation”, (though I am not certain I go with these descriptive terms), the search will be gravitational and come to us no doubt about that, in this case the search itself might be reflected upon as an infocology.
Following the above the next step in the sequence per necessity will be self-mapping in hyperconnectivity. (Self-mapping in infocologies is the main tool we should get acquainted with, it is via the agency of such an activity as self-mapping that we will allow the myriad identities of our minds to carve a mind habitat on the net that fits and accommodates, our passions and our interests, our complex life. In the second episode of the rise of the cyber unified civilization asymmetry is being explored as the initial attribute of self-mapping in complex infocologies.) See: The Natural Asymmetry of infocologies.
Part 2: Entanglement is a spectrum – Enmeshment is a gamut – Entwinement is particular
Part 3: Entanglement is multifaceted – Enmeshment is involved – Entwinement is exclusive
This is a work in progress and belongs to the Polytopia research projects. Please use with discretion and elegance. It is a fresh neologism meant to help us in distinguishing the next step in the evolution of hyperconnectivity. Though I do not accept the copyright idea in principle, please refer to this first paper when referring to the term Archeodatalogy. As of February 2013 search results in all major search engines has given zero results therefore I am not aware that the term exists anywhere in any fashion remotely similar to the way I present here, it is therefore my assumption that this is a first exposition of a term that I believe will be of great importance in the coming future.
Please use with elegance and grace.