[· Portrait of the Master in Selfpainted Suit ·]
(© Martin Gisser ca. 1999)
I am not Jupiter Fulgurator (the lighning bolt throwing god). Florifulgurator means “Man fulgurating flowers”, fulguratio being emergence in Konrad Lorenz’ language.
Once in pre-Internets age I got named Florifundator by my friend Glorionestus Vastarius von Teisenberg…
Dianthus deltoides: Wild (pink) and cultivar (red). Dunno if the busy bumble bee brought in the genes of the wild one – or perhaps it just back-fulgurated from the cultivar. The wild one is much more beautiful and blooms longer. The cultivar is missing the characteristic white spots. A typical product of Homo S “Sapiens”. Why do they produce and sell such BS? (Update: Blume des Jahres 2012)
I don’t actually fulgurate flowers. I let them fulgurate by providing them opportunities to do so. Same goes with brain stuff.
I learned the term “fulguratio” from Konrad Lorenz’ charming book Behind the Mirror: A Search for a Natural History of Human Knowledge (1973). At least the German original is a charming read. Excerpt:
Theistic philosophers and mystics in the Middle Ages invented the term fulguratio to denote the act of creation. By an etymological accident or perhaps through deeper, unsuspected associations, this term is far more appropriate than … for designating the coming into existence of something previously not there. If for example, two independent systems are coupled together … entirely new, unexpected system characteristics will emerge of whose appearance there was previously not the slightest suggestion.
Lorenz then illustrates this with coupling a coil and a capacitor to “fulgurate” an oscillator. Well, that’s perhaps not a perfect example, since the oscillator’s characteristics are to be expected from the theory of electrodynamics.
The question of whether some macroscopic laws may be fundamental statements about nature or may be deduced from some ‘theory of everything’ remains a topic of debate among scientists [S. Weinberg, R.B. Laughlin]. In this article we strengthen Anderson’s claims by proving that standard notions of reductionism cannot generally hold in a widely studied class of collective systems, the infinite square Ising lattice. We show that for a large class of macroscopic observables, including many of physical interest, the value of those observables is formally undecidable, i.e., cannot generally be computed from the fundamental interactions in the lattice.
Stuart A. Kauffman also makes the case for emergence (in the strong resp. ontologic sense) . He has a short essay, “Beyond reductionism: Reinventing the sacred” (2006) and a similarly titled book (2008), not yet read (like many others) — I will come back to this in a different part of this blog.