Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bottom-up & Top-down: Two sides of a coin

I came across an old conversation with my friend Elliott where he linked me to an article titled "The Dialectic of Bottom-up and Top-down Emergence in Social Systems" by Christian Fuchs & Wolfgang Hofkirchner. It provides a more integral approach to understanding evolutionary systems and social systems, and provides answers to the questions -- Do evolutionary systems dominate the elements and thus create the way the elements are currently organized? or do evolutionary systems emerge out of the way the elements are currently organized? --and similarly -- Do social systems constrain and enable us, and thus create us as we are? or do our actions create social systems as they are? The answer is both to both sets of questions.

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