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LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

[document] Submitted on 27 June, 2019 - 14:20
Keywords CONTINUING THE TRADITIONS OF ISSS: SYSTEMS SCIENCE IN THE SERVICE OF HUMANITY LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
Standards groups

So what are the implications of all this to our understanding of our very selves, of our apparently dualistic nature of ‘mind and matter’? First of all, we should remember that, much as biological evolution may ‘wish’ – whether by direction or stochastics – to implement a ‘template’ it fi nds all around in crystals and molecules, it is always dependent on what it already achieved – it cannot
(easily!) ‘start over again’. Consequently, although the relationship we fi nd between unit cell and macroscopic III-V crystal may be elegant, evolution would be hard put to reproduce such a simplistic ‘carrier-signal’ relationship at the highest level of our being. And yet this seems to be the case.

The two hemispheres of our brains appear to approximately correspond to the two interleaved ‘structures’ of a natural hierarchy: one is somewhat ‘logical’ (reductive towards localization), the other somewhat ‘creative’ (reductive towards delocalization). Most interestingly, although splitbrain patients sometimes refer to a ‘duality of consciousness’, this is more generally a singular
phenomenon, which is surprising for a brain which is divided into two parts! The hemispheres are connected by a massive ‘information highway’ – the corpus calossum. A number of researchers have suggested that the 40Hz EEG waves associated with consciousness couple the two hemispheres together through the corpus calossum – a reasonable conclusion. But is that all? Is it possible that
these waves are primarily the carrier which supports the emergence of an integrated high level of awareness from brain-wide informational ‘signal’ fl uctuations, thus delivering consciousness?

If so, then life corresponds to a resonance between the quasi-ordered and quasi-disordered carriers of the two sub-hierarchical ‘structures’, and the evolution of high-level awareness in organisms would most likely follow that of the corpus calossum.

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Document identifier
VOLUME XXXVIII
Date published
2009-02
Document type
bulletin
Pages
42
Replaced/Superseded by document(s)
Cancelled by
Amended by
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2009_GeneralSystemsBulletin.pdf application/pdf   205.63 KB English DOWNLOAD!
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