Transitions and transformations

Transitions and transformations

Panta rhei...

(attributed to Plato as well as to Heracleitus of Ephesus)

Miroslav S v í t e k

Ladislav Ž á k


This essay builds on the previous texts, Paths of Complexity [1] and On the Move - Step by Step [2], and forms a trilogy with them. It also draws on the three essays in Behind the Looking Glass [3], delving even deeper into the essence of what makes our world our world, including the phenomenon of life. While the first essay was about the shape of the journey in today's complex world, the second essay was about each step and the decision in which direction to take that step. Transitions and transformations are about uncertainty, indeterminacy, innovation and the sudden moment when events themselves fold into an unexpected, emergent outcome, coupled with a leap in qualitative or quantitative parameters.

The search for connections led the authors to the question of possible transitions and transformations between the worlds of human imagination and reality. They repeatedly accessed and returned to the notions of observation, discovery, thinking, consciousness, and the use of artificial intelligence tools, which are ultimately what shapes our world and mediates  our connections to its other actors.

Images of the forms of our world are a curious combination of chance, causality and synchronicity, but they are also responses to questions and stimuli that we ourselves, as living beings, send out into our environment. We therefore have our share of responsibility not only for our world, but also for the worlds of others. Shakespeare aptly stated that life is a theatre and men and women are the actors in it. The scenery changes, the play is different, but the actors also change just by the technical tools they use in their work. 

1. Introduction

The essence of our world that we can consciously perceive is movement. It is motion in all its possible forms, not just the Newtonian one from point A to point B along a certain path in a certain time. This raises the question of the relationship between the continuity and discontinuity of our world, because we have known since our schooldays that our world consists of a microworld and a macroworld, as Roger Penrose writes about it [4]. Recent experiments at ETH Zurich have shown that quantum-mechanical objects that are tens of meters apart can be much more strongly entangled (entangled) with each other than previously thought. For this experiment, superconducting circuits were used for the first time [5] and therefore we can start to speak with some caution that quantum mechanics allows for non-local correlations also in macroscopic structures.

On the other side of the planet, in Sydney, Australia, scientists have confirmed experimentally that time does not run at a constant speed, but that at the beginning of the universe time ran up to five times slower than it does now. Building and conducting a similar experiment to observe two hundred quasars was far from easy, but the result confirmed assumptions that had been made based on the theoretical work of Christian Doppler and Albert Einstein, among others. An allegory is offered with the well-known fact that time passes faster for old people than for children, but this is more of a psychological question. However, the aforementioned experiment yields a physical observation that confirms Plato's saying in the header of the text - panta rhei – everything, including us, flows, which is a succinct but all the more apt expression of Heracleitus' fraction do not enter the same river twice...The river is constantly changing and new waves are constantly rolling in on those who enter it. But he changes and so does the man who enters the river. He is changed by good and bad experiences, he is different from five years ago, a year ago, a month ago. Above all, the Sydney experiment shows that not only life, but the very physical properties of the inanimate world change and evolve.

This fact is also pointed out in Thomas Hertog's book [6], which summarizes Stephen Hawking's recent ideas precisely about the evolutionary variability of the early universe and time. The book shows an alternative possibility of exploring the world from top to bottom, i.e. from the present to the past to its origins. This idea, combined with the traditional idea of bottom-up exploration, brings a new quality of knowledge because two views are always better than one, as one of the founders of cybernetics, Gregory Bateson, writes [7]. 

Transitions are closely linked to transformations. In the microworld, they are still difficult to find, describe, model, and even more difficult to verify experimentally. In the macroworld, we are literally surrounded by transitions and variables, and they are a source of knowledge about our environment. It is not only transitions between two environments, i.e. ecotones, but also transitions between epochs, i.e. transgressions. Underlying cybernetics is a model of transition called the unit-jump response. The unit jump is usually described by the Heaviside function [8]. Its derivative leads to the notion of a Dirac distribution sometimes referred to as the Dirac delta function.  Besides, there is a parable in common parlance called the bridge too far, which describes the fact that the unit jump was too large to be associated with a real transition function under the given conditions.

Another model is the phase transition. This is generally known from elementary school physics, dealing with changes between states of matter. Phase transitions are associated with the formation of superconductivity, ferromagnetic phase or piezoelectric properties. Phase transitions are also applied in the microworld, in the transition between the microworld and the macroworld, and ultimately in cosmology. There is even talk of a possible phase transition of the entire universe.

A quite special category that cannot be ignored is the idea of phase transitions in the minds and thoughts of humans and human groups. They differ in their views on politics, fashion or the results of scientific research. Phase transitions in value orientation or in the exploration of philosophical or theological issues deserve special attention. The necessary presence of transition and transformation leads, for example, to such topics as the necessity of the existence of purgatory.

The inevitability of transitions and transformations in generational, demographic, economic, energy and environmental terms leads us to recognize that the basis of our world is changeability. Understanding biochemical, geochemical and cosmochemical transitions and transformations at various levels at various times from the Big Bang to the origin of life, from the first cell to artificial intelligence, can lead to what might be called a necessary distance from the environment of which we are a part. Such distance can never be perfect, but it can improve as our knowledge develops.

The issue of transitions and transformations is, however, far from being the sole concern of science. It is a great, eternal theme for art and muses of all kinds. Ovid's Transfiguration, Caro's On Nature, and undoubtedly the many works of William Shakespeare are inexhaustible sources of artistic approach. Nothing comes from nothing, says, for example, his King Lear.

But literature is far from the only artistic expression of the mutability of the world. Painting and other visual arts offer thousands of forms of mutability in shape and colour. Perhaps even richer is music, of which František Burian used to say that it is painting that we look at with our ears. Art speaks to us about the variability of the world through all our senses, including gourmet experiences.

It is also necessary to deal with the transitions and transformations caused by local or temporal changes in the quantity, quality or form of certain elements of a particular space-time. It is about restoring the dynamic equilibrium of systems through migration, and it also changes in the parameters of space-time itself, both in its contraction, transition or expansion phases. This general phenomenon is observable throughout the history of mankind and is an integral part of our evolution.

Attention must also be paid to the particular transitions and transformations we witness in our natural environment. It is the transformation of an embryo into an adult, of a seed into a plant, flower, grass or tree. It is, for example, the blossoming of a bud and then the transformation of a flower into some   fruit. It is a question of birth, corporeality, extinction and the record of these, which recalls one of the definitions of life, that it is a born, corporeal and semiotic system with a history. Can we even observe life and natural events as external movement? Or can we only experience it, through the inner movement of our mind, as Zdeněk Neubauer asked [9]. Perhaps we only inwardly assume the transformations as transitions between two states, as we do when watching a filmstrip, where there is nothing but a series of static images that, at a certain speed of movement of the strip, we perceive as the smooth motion to which we are accustomed in the surrounding world. But is this really reality...?!?

There is a saying change is life that we find in various forms in different cultural circles all over our planet, across human civilization. It's amazing how on the one hand almost everyone knows this saying, quotes it often, but on the other hand very few follow it, let alone realize its impact on all domains of our lives. All sorts of balances and attempts to maintain the status quo enjoy far greater favour.

The classic example is economics, which has difficulty accepting that change or innovation is an endogenous part of any economic process. Successful innovation is the essence of what is called capital and the investment process. Yet the deep contradiction between Smith's invisible hand of the market and the division of labour can be overcome precisely through a proper understanding of innovation. Innovation can be created by each of us for our own benefit, without the ambition to make a profit from it, and at the same time to make it available to all. Among other things, it is a way of bringing us back closer to nature and humanity. We can thus be creators, producers and consumers of innovation at the same time, and this makes us independent of the exchange that is at the heart of all those who levy taxes and live off legal barriers to innovation, such as copyright. It is a fascinating return of the ancient communal pasture, which was full of tragedies of scarcity, to a communal innovation pasture where, thanks to its digital form, there is enough for everyone.

Recall Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In this enchanting yet stunning allegory of our world, the Heart of Gold, a metaphor for wealth, drives the spaceship, a wondrous driving force on the principle of infinite improbability. If we consider the reality of the highly improbable arrangements of our environment represented by life itself, or by all of cultural and natural evolution, then the thesis is that it is change and innovation that is the infinitely improbable drive of our world and the essence of life, which is also arguably the greatest innovation in our world in its entire existence.

2. The activation of change

So far, we have tried to describe the behavior of a complex system using the mathematical tools available, with various forms of simplifications or approximations at a certain level of resolution, so that the model best captures the behavior of the system in the detail chosen to fit the particular application. The chosen approach to simplification always varies - sometimes we are more interested in long-term statistics where we do not need to examine the behaviour of the system in detail at the micro-level, while at other times we need to appropriately influence the micro-level and are not interested in long-term evolution. Each model needs to have a guaranteed level of resolution to give the right results. This is a kind of denial of universal solutions, because each model works only under predefined conditions associated with its creation, or it may be limited by other conditions that arise during its operation.

The opposite approach to knowledge was advocated by Johann Wolfgang Goethe, who sought to find the basic archetypal knowledge components from which a corresponding model of a complex system could then be assembled. It seems that our consciousness is closer to this approach, where we have different versions of experienced situations stored in our brain in parallel - one with positive, the other with negative emotions, and we can move freely over this colourful landscape and compose different stories, comparing them with each other, but also with the signals received by our senses when observing the real world.

The choice of a particular story is often decided by a mere moment [10], a partial detail that automatically transports us into a virtual space of consciousness from which we can, of course, leave by rational reflection. The power of detail can be the imaginary mover in complex systems that convinces us to take the necessary step into the unknown.

We know ourselves that it is often an insignificant detail that decides whether we like a particular painting - the painters mention that the painting must work. A detail that is perceived similarly by multiple people can evoke the desired atmosphere of a painting, with which we then perceive the overall work of art. If, with each new observation, there are more interesting details that work, it is a profound work of art that is able to speak to us.

A similar situation occurs when choosing partners - someone focuses on the eyes, another on the hands, another on the color of the voice, etc. The first moment of a relationship, a partial detail, is the imaginary spark that must jump and only then can the relationship develop further. It is said that a young man must marry out of stupidity, because he would not do it out of reason. The same goes for girls, of course. Through rational reflection, young people would realise the implications of their decision, divorce statistics would begin to be projected before their eyes and the risks associated with marriage and parenthood would begin to prevail.

In the field of chemistry, a process called catalysis, which affects individual substances in such a way as to greatly increase the likelihood of their meeting and combining, is worth considering. Where previously there were a number of different variations that could occur, the process of catalysis greatly narrows these variations down to the point where only the right combination will dominate. In cross-catalysis, symbiosis still occurs, where the formation of one preferred compound simultaneously promotes the formation of another and vice versa. If more elements are imagined, the rate of preferred combinations increases manifold. Using the mass-parallel property of the quantum level, one can imagine that catalysis occurs in parallel between all combinations of elements. It is therefore possible to search for the right combination in a very short time, which we perceive as a step change in the properties of the environment, and thus speed up the otherwise very slow natural selection.

The step into the unknown in social areas is certainly influenced by the field in which people work. There are jobs that require a steady daily performance, e.g. a bus driver has to be in good shape every day and it is not acceptable for him to endanger the passengers with his, even short-term, lapse of attention. On the other hand, freelance professions, such as painters or composers of music, have a different style of work. They may be away from reality for long periods of time, seeking inspiration in various activities, but the important thing is that they manage to produce original work several times in their lives. Trial and error is part of the profession for an artist, composer or even a scientist. A bus driver, on the other hand, cannot afford this comfort.

In his works, Professor Milan Zelený speaks of metamorphosis or the transformation of one form of life into a completely different one [11]. An example is a caterpillar that grows and has no room for further evolution in its current life form. But nature has worked it out so that the caterpillar transforms at the right time into a butterfly that can fly and thus can use a larger part of space-time. We could find more similar natural transformations. For example, the amoeba is composed of individual organisms, where each organism finds its own food and behaves autonomously. If the food runs out and the amoeba needs to move to another location, the individual parts are put together to form a new organism, which as a whole, moves to another location. At this location, it breaks back down into sub-autonomous parts that no longer need to operate within the whole.

Creativity, imagination, intuition, which are associated with transitions and transformations, can be partly learned. It is the great good fortune of each of us if we have come across good teachers or guides in this unknown world in our lives. The wiser members of each generation come from the enlightenment and knowledge of past generations. Even if everything is different in our fast-changing world, our ancestors can at least show us which way the road does not really lead.

It's not just parents and teachers, but specialists of various kinds. Obviously, thanks to smart mobile phones, we have a lot of information at our disposal, but we do not know about these possibilities until someone shows us and teaches us how to use them. Fortunately, there are many people around us, especially students, who are always trying things out and from whom we can learn a lot. The psychologist Waldo Emerson used to say that every person is better at at least one thing than you are, and you become their student. It is beautiful to be a lifelong learner, as co-author Ladislav Žák has embedded in his name.

3. Context

Questions of origins have been dealt with by perhaps every philosophical movement or belief system in the history of human civilization. It usually takes the form of a singularity or dual system. We have the Tao, the yin and the yang, the Hermetic Emerald Tablet of Herman Trimegistus... Only some older Paleolithic schools of thought and some later Hellenistic systems need multiple actors for the creation of the world.

Also, the scientific world has its own form of beginning, which it calls the big bang. It is the singularity from which everything arose. Space, time, the microworld and later the macroworld with its laws that science tries to describe with different models at the level of actual knowledge, which it calls laws of nature.

The almost perfect deterministic view of the world that science seemed to have at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was shattered not only by quantum theory, relativity theory and chaos theory, but also by Kurt Gödel's incompleteness theorems [12] and not least by new findings from neuroscience. Our macroworld has become fluid, non-deterministic, chaotic, and much closer to the elusive microworld from which it arose. The relationship between our outer and inner worlds, consciousness and being, is beginning to reverse. The Big Bang is not a reality, it is again a mere model that defies common sense. As a model, it can be successful until it encounters an experiment that disproves it.

What the models of the beginning have in common is the circumstance that in them our world seems to emerge from something amorphous, fluid, and indeterminate. Recall the Revelation of St. John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. It was with God in the beginning. All things came into being through it, and without it nothing that is came into being. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. And that light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not swallow it up...

Today we might say the beginning was the context... Context is that from which a text emerges describing specific information that arises as a result of a phenomenon. And that phenomenon or event catches our attention because it is constituted by a difference or imbalance.

Ontology is one of the features of context describing in a machine-readable way the individual objects of a system, including the relationships between them. Extended ontology is related to knowledge graphs [13], first used by Google in 2012 for its web search engine. In the simplest case, knowledge graphs are represented as a set of triples, where each triple consists of a subject, a predicate and an object. The subject and object are entities, while the predicate represents the relationship between them. Knowledge graphs visually capture and display answers to different and varying questions. How...?!? Why...?!? With what perspective...?!? In what causal relationships...?!? Where is the cause of...?!?!? What will be the consequence of...?!?!? It is in this way that new and new links are added to the knowledge graph. The resulting increasingly complex and often non-linear structure of links can point to connections that are not visible at first glance in an initially simple system with few linear links.

Context in computer science is the most general representation of reality and is related, among other things, to the different perceptions of objects by different actors. The multi-context approach [14] is being developed by a team led by Dr. Leonard Walletzky at Masaryk University in Brno. The basic point of view is a mental model of objects and their interrelationships arranged according to a specific situation. A different point of view offers a connection between these objects and real-world actors. This point of view helps to solve situations where different actors look at the same object differently. The description of the context seen in this way is a set of manifestations of the part of reality that attracts the attention of a particular actor. For example, the object electric car manifests itself as a vehicle in the context of transport systems, or as an energy consumer in the context of energy management of a territorial unit, or as an electrical device in the context of information and communication technologies. In all these contexts, the electric car exists in different relationships, contributes to different services and also uses different resources.

As the future is unknown and uncertain, it is important to be able to look at it through the eyes of the different actors that make up the environment in the case of complex systems. We can reasonably assume that each actor sees a different picture of the situation depending on their context or knowledge, the interests of the group they come from. Thus, we have before us different variants of the future development depending on individual perspectives. Economists like to talk about scenarios - most often optimistic, realistic or pessimistic.

A particular scenario can be part of the past, present and future simultaneously. This leads to the idea that what we call the present is not merely a dimensionless break between the past and the future. Then what we call causality or causation would be meaningless. On the contrary, the present is a richly structured space in which literally everything takes place. What we call causality, which imposes on us a temporal sequence between cause and effect, is a possible but not necessary result of the composition of events that take place in the present. It is only one of many possible images of the present, just as the commonly known and accepted straight Euclidean space is only one of many curved spaces, whether elliptical or hyperbolic.

A more sophisticated approach to context comes from the multi-world interpretation of quantum physics, where we can add a phase parameter to each view of the future, thus de facto evaluating the different variants against each other. The phases make some trajectories cancel each other out and others add up. This creates a situation similar to that in quantum physics, where Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize winner in physics, took all possible trajectories of the future, including the associated phase parameters, and performed the famous Faynman sum over all trajectories. The result was the laws of classical physics. However, his model allowed for the possibility of a different evolution, albeit with a low probability value.

In our case, it is proposed to take into account all the views and models of the different actors, including the unlikely ones, and to assign phase parameters to them, which may make it possible that the more diverse views and models we have, the more we can approach several plausible variants of future developments. This is contrary to the expectation of classical systems theory, for which the more complex the system (having more elements or processes), the more possible variations of evolution we can expect.

4. Umwelt as a kind of context

If there is a stabilization of the process of interpretation, a unification of interpretation, and the picture of reality acquires a clear and single meaning for all, then we begin to talk about habit. Under certain circumstances, the habit can be loosened again and the interpretation process can start anew. A typical example of this is when the group that has adopted the custom undergoes a significant quantitative or qualitative change. Either newcomers or new knowledge emerge.

Habits are related to the distinction between signals and signs or symbols. A signal is a technicist construct or manifestation of a habit. It has to be obeyed and directly requires a pre expected response preferably again at the level of signals. A signal is far more resistant to distortion, to indeterminate interpretations, which is why signals are the domain of machine communication.

A sign or symbol, on the other hand, can be interpreted in different ways, is ambiguous, its message can be ignored or disobeyed. These characteristics of the sign lead to many surprises, paradoxes, jokes, puns, humour and many others difficult to decide and unexpected, but life-enriching, situations. Art is a good tool to get used to the mentality of a sign or symbol, because it affects us with all our senses and engages our emotions and spirituality.

In the early 20th century, one of the founders of ethology, Jakob von Uexküll, called the perceived environment an umwelt, which has not been translated into English for over a century. In our previous texts [1, 2, 3] we described that our environment is not only a spatiotemporal arrangement of imbalances, but also a phase space of its own changes. It is through the changes, or rather the signs, symbols and signals that co-create the changes, that we are able to perceive, observe, describe and also change our environment. What we observe as one of many living beings is largely determined by our abilities and experiences, both as individuals and as members of particular communities.

Our connection to the environment is limited to some of its qualities through which we seek to understand it. For understanding, we offer a loose quotation from Werner Sombart Forest as an objectively given umwelt does not exist. There is the forest of the gamekeeper, the forest of the hunter, the forest of the botanist, the forest of the hiker, the forest of the woodsman, the forest of the romantic, the forest of the painter, the forest of the blueberry picker, the forest of the mushroom picker, the forest of the gingerbread house or Little Red Riding Hood. The number of these meanings is multiplied when we consider who are capable of perceiving their environment. We have, for example, the forest of the deer, the forest of the jay, and through the forest of spruce, oak and mushroom we come to the forest of individual bacteria. Today there is undoubtedly also an umwelt, that is, a forest of machines, which is limited by the range of possibilities to detect these machines and to complete the picture they create. But the forest of machines remains an umwelt at the level of signals.

Each of the aforementioned meanings of forest of someone is different. What is important about umwelts related to a single concept is whether or not they are connected in some way, whether or not they form a community of some kind, ranging from closely connected multidimensional families to chains in a single line. In the case of non-connectedness, there can rarely be a devastating clash of who is who, but far more likely is complete miscommunication and non-communication.

Science is direct expression, not expression through something, and therefore does not support symbolic knowledge. Rational knowledge requires the correction of errors, but as knowledge grows, the number of errors naturally increases. Analytical sciences see one thing alongside another, while system sciences see one thing in another - it becomes a symbol of another thing. Material things reveal ideas that are embodied in them, and in the end we see one in all and all in one.

With machines, the compatibility of their umwelts is clearly given and predictable. Their compatibility creates, changes and reshapes meanings and views of society. The important thing is to find the right and, if possible, complete structure of the umwelts that are decisive in shaping the image of society. Until now, it has been the case that it depends on what society agrees on, what synthesis of relevant umwelts prevails and creates the current paradigm or spirit of the times. Increasingly, however, we are witnessing a reluctance on the part of individuals and entire social groups to submit to the spirit of the times, or even to participate with their umwelt in its search. This further disintegrates society and reduces the capacity for collective action. It is important to remember that the umwelts of machines are completely immune to such processes.

5. Backward and forward feedback

A continuum without changes and differences is difficult for our consciousness to grasp. Similarly, we find it difficult to perceive phenomena and events for which we have not formed in our consciousness the basic components of knowledge and experience arising from the general rituals, traditions, and rules of a particular niche (the place of an element in a system, in ecology the position of an organism in the structure of an ecosystem). The results of neuroscience claim that people who are confronted with a form for which they have not formed the necessary niche see nothing and are unable to perceive it.

What we are able to perceive around us may be merely the tips of a quantum mechanical iceberg. On the one hand, evolution shows the changes in our world along the arrow of time, including evolutionary changes in its laws. Similarly, we follow the movements of what we call inanimate nature along the arrow of time. But as quantum physics teaches us, both animate and inanimate nature are superpositions of an infinite number of possibilities represented by an infinite number of quantum states.

We know that in the microworld, there is no timeline or time. But we firmly believe that in our macroworld it cannot work without them. We may not be asking the right questions. After all, it is clear that the past is certain and the future is uncertain. But is it really true, always and everywhere...?!? What if we can model the present as an interplay of past and future events...?!?

Our experience tells us that we need to keep learning and continuously model our behavior by closely examining our lived history. In cybernetics and control engineering, the feedback model plays a major role. In its framework, the past evolution of a system is used to predict future behaviour, which we are able to influence at a given time using appropriately chosen input signals. We tacitly assume that the environment is invariant and therefore either do not include it at all or assume its existence only in close proximity to the system being modelled, where its properties are reflected in its feedback. In this case, the state vector carries information about both the system under study and its immediate environment.

If we have created a model in which input and output signals affect the state vector, which is a kind of memory and captures the necessary feedback, we can predict the future evolution of the system. That is, we can search for the correct control strategy of input signals that will lead us to the desired resulting future state, if this state is reachable, that is, if there is any trajectory to it at all. Thanks to a fairly sophisticated mathematical systems theory, in today's technical world we are able to regulate a whole plethora of technical devices, create autopilots, introduce autonomous vehicles and make appropriate use of the available technical conveniences of our time.

If we think more deeply, we should include in our considerations a model of the changing remote environment in which our system under study operates along with other systems. Therefore, we cannot do without a more accurate prediction of the behaviour of the remote environment. We can talk about forward constraints that describe how the predicted future evolution of the remote environment will affect the current behavior of our system and how to incorporate the dynamic model of the environment into the prediction of its behavior. But also, conversely, how to model the changes of the remote environment caused by the behavior of our system in it.

There is an Einstein quote that says that smart people successfully solve future problems, but brilliant individuals anticipate them and create the future themselves. In other words, the future can be effectively influenced in the present and the past to best fit the system we are studying. One can imagine a range of possible future developments of a distant environment, sometimes called the life line, from which one can make sophisticated choices with the aid of consciousness, will and knowledge. As an unnamed adviser to an unnamed American president used to tell journalists, the events you try to predict and describe inaccurately, we shape...

On deeper reflection, even researchers writing grant applications are in principle creating a virtual future in which they anticipate achieving specific future outcomes for estimated funding. This is a backward evolution against the flow of time from the future, where specific outcomes are assumed, to the present, where the project is still being created using historical experience, or determining which outcomes are reasonably achievable for the proposed amount of money. Thus, past experience and knowledge (feedback) meets the idea of several variants of the planned future (forward linkage), leading to a realistic proposal of achievable goals. In this vein, we can use Seneca's quote... luck is when preparation meets opportunity... It is one of the classic forms of the winged saying that fortune or heaven itself favours the prepared.

6. Final nexus

The final nexus is a three-layered process that is a useful tool for describing human striving, wanting, desiring, hoping, in short, all the unspoken, unacknowledged tendencies that lie only in our thinking [16]. It is also a description of what could be called the innovation process from the point of view of the human mind.

The first layer, which is entirely in the virtual world, consists in the creation of an idea of a specific need, a new good that belongs to a not exactly defined future.  It is in this layer that imagination is required of the particular individual. The human individual, standing objectively on the boundary between the real and the virtual world, directs his imagination into the sphere of satisfying his needs and creates his authentic idea, his image of them. He is in the virtual world of his fantasy even when he observes the object of his desire or need located in the real world or when this image of the object of desire or need is somehow mediated to him from his external environment.

The second layer is based on the gradual placement of partial goals and the means to achieve them back and forth between the idea of the need or good as the ultimate goal and the reality in which we find ourselves. As a result, a certain chain of successive goals and means to achieve them emerges, with a possible plan for their realization appearing in our imagination or somewhere on paper (papyrus, parchment or other medium). The various means contain the various resources needed to achieve the goal. This requires not only imagination but, above all, a sufficient level of knowledge and a corresponding understanding of the reality to which the idea of realising future needs or goods relates, as well as the ability to recognise possible scenarios for the future development of that reality. However, the whole second layer takes place mostly in the virtual world.  Partial or complete plans may enter the real world on actual media or through interpersonal communication. Within the second layer, therefore, communication between the virtual and real worlds may take place, and this communication has its origin in the virtual world.

The third layer follows, in which we try to implement the planned actions and thus obtain the desired goods, to satisfy our need, which, if successful, will become an integral part of our new reality.  Imagination or knowledge is no longer enough here. Skill and perhaps a little wisdom and humility are required. The implementation of the plan is naturally linked to the discovery of minor or major errors or mistakes made in the planning process. In such a case, to correct the problems, it is necessary to go back to the whole three-layered process again from the position of the newly achieved reality, regardless of whether the control and management will only be concerned with the achievement of the immediate sub-goal, or whether a check of the whole life cycle will be made, including the initial perception of the requirement. In either case, during the implementation process, there is communication between the real world and the virtual world, but this time this communication comes from the real world. Implementation, as the third layer of need satisfaction, must lie in the real world and take place in real time, which does not preclude re-communication with the virtual world.  In the third layer, human individuals move in real time simultaneously with the realisation.

In addition to satisfying a particular need or creating a new good, the third layer of the final nexus also brings another important outcome to the individual, which is experience. The initial experience is given in the second layer of the process. In the process of realization, experience and skills gradually accumulate and remain in the possession of the human individual even after the completion of the work. The experience and skills are the result of the feedback, as well as forward-binding communication that took place in the third and partly in the second layer between the virtual and the real world. Experience and skill becomes an integral part of the real world the moment it is stored in some medium or is in any way transferable or even institutionalized.

In the structure of the final nexus lies the basis of the functioning of the mind and imagination of the human individual, whether it has its roots in the conscious or the unconscious. What is overlooked in various accounts is the fundamental characteristic of the final nexus that the present is knitted from events in the past and future.

If the three-layered process is a way of creating innovation and satisfying needs, then we can say that its instrument and its essence is organization. This conclusion also answers the question of whether the organisation is an institution or a process. In general, it can be concluded that it is an institutionalised process. In other words, the essence of the organization is the described process of the final nexus, which becomes a key factor for understanding creative processes.



7. The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Historically, the first industrial revolution was associated with the use of steam, the second with the use of electricity, and the third with the development of automation of production processes, particularly in the automotive industry. The ongoing fourth industrial revolution enables the communication of all smart elements and processes of the entire product life cycle from development, through production, marketing, use and disposal. This is generating large amounts of data that can be used to achieve mass-individualised production, which until recently was economic nonsense. This means that each product can be tailor-made for a specific customer in distributed, interconnected production units that may be part of different territorial units - Urban Production. We are even beginning to talk about Production as a Service, similar to mobility, energy, etc. 

The fourth industrial revolution is technically characterised by the interconnection of individual components in the so-called Cyber-Physical System (CFS), which ensures the communication of the virtual (digital) environment with the real production enterprise, following the model of the final nexus. It is clear that Industry 4.0 will not only lead to changes in the production processes themselves, but will also fundamentally affect the environment surrounding individual manufacturing companies, such as energy, security, logistics or transport systems, water or waste management systems. No production unit can be isolated in principle, and therefore the movement of input components, distribution of final products, waste removal, transport of employees, etc. must be monitored.

These conclusions logically lead to the concept of a smart territorial unit (neighbourhood, city, region), which uses knowledge-based systems linked to available sensors for its management, starting with physical detectors and ending with the processing of space imagery (weather forecasting, urban temperature maps, emission maps). It is important to note that in this concept, even the vehicle or mobile phone itself becomes an intelligent sensor providing important data. Thanks to the current technical possibilities, the fourth industrial revolution is penetrating into all areas and causing various transformations, which is why the term Society 4.0 has been coined.

The tool for interconnecting the sub-systems within Society 4.0 is the so-called Digital Twin, which enables the acquisition of a digital image of a given physical reality (manufacturing plant, urban unit, industrial zone, etc.) and serves both professionals and the general public to achieve better results of advanced decision-making based on the knowledge acquired. This creates a continuous backward but also forward link between the physical reality and its digital image, including human decision-making interventions.

In order to achieve the expected functionality of the digital twin, continuous collection of selected actual (on-line) data from the observed physical reality, extraction of useful information such as localization of available data, verification of its accuracy, security and reliability, conversion of validated data into a standardized format, and gradual creation of a knowledge base in the form of specialized models and simulations are required.

The digital twin must be designed in accordance with the expected use for which it was created. According to the individual use cases, the parameters of data, information and knowledge are defined, including the presentation and visualisation of the modelled reality: the Human Machine Interface (HMI).

Typical examples of digital twin use cases include:

-        Advanced analysis of historical events as support for dispatching decisions about an emergency situation - the knowledge-based digital system stores the methods and evaluation of past events and the lessons learned from them. The digital twin is able to analyse the situation (according to on-line data) and search for a similar situation in history including the solution used. Thus, there is a link between physical reality (online data), historical experience (digital representation of similar solutions in the past) and human factor (controller's decision according to available knowledge).

-        Current management of the physical system, where for each physical component there is a digital model of it with all attributes (on-line monitoring, diagnostic information, preventive checks, required maintenance, etc.) including future planned replacements/investments. The digital twin can offer the operator both preventive diagnostics and maintenance planning with respect to its effectiveness and to address potential breakdowns. It is again a combination of digital model, physical reality and operator, which thanks to the functions of the digital twin can better react to situations that arise and at the same time can remotely serve larger territorial units.

-        Strategic management of the physical reality consisting in determining the schedule of necessary investments for the renewal of physical components according to the available funds with minimal impact on the operation of the entire system. The solution includes various types of "what-if" scenarios, dynamic simulations in which potential losses are minimized. In this case, the human factor is either the investor/developer, the state or local government, or the owner of the physical reality, who uses a digital twin with historical and online operational data for advanced planning and strategic decision making.

According to the mentioned Use Cases, it is necessary to define both an appropriate time scale for the digital twin, e.g. in minutes, hours, days, as well as a spatial scale, e.g. number of square meters, selection of specific streets, city areas or even entire cities and regions. For a given use case, modelling and simulation algorithms such as micro-simulation, macro-simulation, machine learning, artificial intelligence, etc., are appropriate.

It is reasonable to assume that in the future, a number of specialised digital twins will emerge that will have the ability to communicate with each other, predict future developments, negotiate with each other and coordinate their sub-decisions. For example, the UK's national Digital Twin programme CDBB, coordinated by the University of Cambridge, is being formed in this way [17]. For example, the smart city project in this concept is made up of interconnected digital twins from transport, energy, industry, education, etc. The digital twins of each city can be interconnected with each other and gradually create smart regions up to a smart state.

Smart solutions seek to collect and process large amounts of BigData and make maximum use of advanced machine learning algorithms to find the best response to unexpected events that occur or to changes in the behaviour of different actors. Historically, machine learning was introduced with the assumption that we know what the outcome should look like. Gradually, we were able to teach, for example, a neural network to respond correctly to training data. The result of the learning was "generalization", whereby when new input data was inserted, the learned network returned a usable output. When we talk about learning without a teacher, we often mean analyzing data and understanding its previously unknown structure.

In terms of complex systems, a very interesting tool is the so-called reinforcement learning system, sometimes referred to as feedback machine learning, which offers an evaluation of the different trajectories that a software agent executes in a state-space model. The total reward assigned to a particular trajectory is computed using a reward function with the understanding that the path - the states that the software agent will traverse - is not known in advance. At the same time, it must be assumed that the reward amount is not available during the path, but only after some time or upon reaching selected regions of the state space.

An illustrative example is a computer game with many states and decision options. A software agent controlled by the respective player makes a selection of a specific action at each time instant. Assume that the agent is in a particular state and due to the chosen action it transitions to a new state. By traversing the state space, the agent collects as many points of the cumulative value function as possible to move to the next round of the game. The resulting points, i.e. the reward function, are only seen at the end of each part of the game, including the conclusion whether the agent has succeeded or failed.

Reward reinforcement learning tries to best estimate the cumulative value function associated with a state-action pair based on historical traversals of the state space. Typical algorithms are Deep Q Networks (DQNs), whose input is a description of the state the agent is in. The output of the neural network is a valuation of the individual actions that the agent can perform in that state. The goal of the agent is to continuously explore the state space and, through learning, gain valuable knowledge for future use. Experience is stored in memory in the following structure: state, action, reward, and new state. This creates a knowledge base for future autonomous traversal of the state space with the largest possible reward function.

8. Consciousness

In a deeper analysis of the fourth industrial revolution using the technical means of artificial intelligence, we realize that the most perfect twin of the human being so far is our consciousness, which allows the human species to survive in the long term evolutionary way and to react appropriately to sudden transitions and changes in the environment.  

Among the existing definitions of consciousness, let us mention the definition of Prof. Vondráček, used in his lectures by his successor Prof. Josef Faber [18]: the state of normal consciousness is the state in which we correctly perceive and correctly feel that we perceive, correctly think and correctly feel that we think, correctly feel and correctly feel that we feel, correctly want and correctly feel that we want and correctly state this in relation to our own self.

In the seminars on consciousness, organized by Prof. Zdeněk Votruba, the thesis was accepted that intelligence is a tool for ordering, i.e. for reducing the entropy of the object and its immediate surroundings. The decrease in entropy can be considered as a measure of intelligence , which we intuitively consider as a condition for the emergence of consciousness. A fundamentally simple approach to the concept of intelligence was proposed by Peter Cochrane [19]:



Where S denotes the number of sensors; A the number of actors; P the processors in units of information output, e.g., bits/s; M the memory in bits; and K the constant according to the units used. The more technical and computational resources we have, the more sophisticated we are able to influence the nearby environment. Let's imagine that the environment does the same and tries to influence us in a similar way and also that we involve an artificial intelligence such as Chat GPT - Generative Pre-trained Transformer.

Neuroscience knowledge is leading to the conclusion that the basic component of human consciousness could be the thalamus, where various information from our senses plus other non-specific information is converged and evaluated. We are now able to measure brain activity by EEG. A deeper insight is provided, for example, by magnetic resonance imaging or other newer methods that allow us to better describe the processes involved in brain activity and human consciousness.

In medical terms, the basic principle of consciousness seems to be thalamo-cortical reverberation, which describes the information link between the aforementioned thalamus and the cortex, which represents the cerebral cortex with its six layers arranged in different memory columns called columns. Reverberation is the process of periodically sending information processing requests and then evaluating the results. Each time, however, the request is sent to a different processing location, a different column, and thus to a different algorithm.

This creates an interesting information structure that evolves in the brain's memory: what I see now, what I saw and experienced in the past, how I reacted to it, what was the success rate of that reaction. In doing so, it is possible to disconnect the sensors for a while and move only in the space of consciousness itself. On the basis of these reflections, it is possible to hypothesize that all the patterns obtained are overlapping in information and are therefore entangled (entangled) in a similar way to specifically entangled particles in quantum physics. It is the advanced folding in the form of multi-models of the surrounding reality, including the imagination of what-if scenarios that provides us with an effective tool that can already be called, with some caution, a consciousness of sorts.

From an informational point of view, consciousness allows us to acquire different emotionally colored views of the surrounding reality, to generate and compare variant stories with each other, and to build useful models of reality thanks to the parallel availability of all this knowledge. When time is short and one needs to act unconsciously, a particular closest model is selected, which may not prove successful, but is still a better strategy than having no model. With each experience, one can learn, correct the model, and be better prepared for the next challenges of destiny.

New discoveries [27] in neuroscience have found that most signals do not flow from the eye to the brain, but vice versa. The brain expects to see something, based on what it already knows and has encountered before. It works out its image, which it assumes the eyes should see. Only if there is a significant difference will the neural circuits send a feedback signal from the eye to the brain. This PCM - Projective Consciousness Model - is based on the hypothesis that consciousness is a specific activity of the brain that constantly tries to predict inputs that are permanently changing due to the variability of the world and to minimize errors in predictions by using observed deviations.

In our research on consciousness, we think of Geometric Algebra [24] as a suitable representation of real objects in a multidimensional state space formed by a neural network. The interaction of one object with another can be modeled in Geometric Algebra by the geometric product of generalized vectors representing the objects. During these transitions, both expected outcomes and new components in higher dimensions emerge, but these are projected into observable lower dimensions.

Contextuality is a technical term referring to the property of quantum physics [27] that things exist only in context. An isolated object considered by itself, independent of any interaction with its environment, has no concrete state. At most, we can attribute to it certain probabilistic dispositions by which it may manifest itself in one way or another. Within the contextuality of quantum physics, let us mention quantum holography [20].

In optical holography, we can record the intensities and phases of reflected waves after illuminating a 3D object with coherent radiation (laser). In reconstruction, a reverse algorithm can be used, where the original 3D object is reconstructed backwards thanks to the recorded wave reflections. In quantum holography, instead of coherent radiation, we can imagine superimposed features obtained as a reflection of the manifestation of a specific real event, which is objectively only one, but yet is perceived differently by human senses and manifested by different emotions. Thus, a superposition of often contradictory (non-exclusive) observations in various contexts is created, thus recording the colorfulness and complexity of a given event from different perspectives.

Our hypothesis is that thalamo-cortical reverberation gradually produces quantum descriptions of interrelated views of specific events. Since everything is entangled in the quantum description, one can look for answers such as what the experience will be when one combines, for example, the visual perception of one event with the noise perception of other events, and so on. It is a gradual filling in of incomplete patterns, white spaces in the space of cognition and the associated expectations and preparations for when the situation actually occurs in reality.

9. Composing thoughts

Let us try to think about the principle of human creativity and creativity. Consider in the simplest case the linking of two different ideas A and B, which can be represented in bits by probabilities P(A) and P(B). As we begin to unify these ideas in our consciousness to form P(AUB), the following two possible variations emerge [28].

The first one represents analytic thinking, which is associated with positive intersection (Figure 1), where we find common properties of both ideas, their information overlaps, similarities, and concurrences, and thus maximize their information content. Analytical thinking is generally associated with the left hemisphere of our brain.

On the other hand, there is the less discussed synthetic thinking, which is associated with the negative intersection (Figure 2) of our two thoughts. Negative intersection points to missing parts within a coherent thought concept. It is a creative force that encourages us to keep learning and to keep adding to our thought concept.



Fig. 1 Unification of ideas P(A) and P(B) - positive intersection (the intersection is there twice, indicated by the black colour or we can use it elsewhere, thus creating a supply)


Fig. 2 Unification of the ideas P(A) and P(B) - negative intersection (the intersection is completely missing or disappears, which is indicated by the white colour, or a demand for completion is created)

Our consciousness naturally leads us to group, compare, and connect different ideas, which can be viewed with some exaggeration as the results of different non-exclusive observers, because they were created under different temporal and spatial circumstances. Through this mechanism, our horizons are constantly expanding and the demand for new knowledge is increasing. Creating different stories, connecting them and filling in missing parts is often attributed to the right hemisphere of the brain.

The illustrative example of two ideas can easily be extended to multiple ideas and their unification can be explored in pairs, triples, or even tuples. There will be positive intersections between some combinations and negative intersections between others, which in the analytical domain will lead to better sorting of the knowledge gained, and in the synthetic domain it will increase the demand for new knowledge.

Due to the multi-dimensionality of the problem, thought resonances may arise, leading to both a sudden epiphany or enlightenment (seeing the connections and realizing the various overlaps and correlations) and hence a sudden reduction in complexity in the analytical part or an increased demand for quite specific missing knowledge. This principle can be used to justify the process of leapfrogging, which is naturally accompanied by both quantitative and qualitative variables. Famous scientists, but also artists and creative people in general, often mention the inner desire for knowledge that eventually led them to create the unique work associated with the exclamation "eureka".

The unification of ideas is not necessarily limited to the consciousness of an individual, but it also works for a team of people who understand and listen to each other. Presenting the ideas of different participants can generate more and more ideas that would never have come about on their own. These methods are commonly known as brainstorming.

Exaptation is a systemic feature involving the unforeseen, unplanned use of existing ideas, processes, theories, technologies, products in entirely new applications. It is an unexpected leapfrog evolutionary process without violating any physical laws, when a random transition or transformation to a new quantitative or qualitative level occurs. Exaptation has appeared several times in science when, for example, a group of mathematicians were working on a seemingly useless theory that soon proved to be a key apparatus in describing string theory and leapfrogged the fundamental physical sciences.

In our thinking, we can extend this concept even further and imagine that every activity, process or knowledge we have involves a known use for which we do it, but it may also involve applications that are hidden from us, but of which, unfortunately, we are not yet aware, even though they may already exist in reality. It may happen that by chance, or at the instigation of a personality with a broad outlook, new contexts are discovered and hidden knowledge is subsequently revealed. Often one hidden knowledge leads to the discovery of another, and their connection already leads us on the way to more and more knowledge, and suddenly a whole new picture of the world is assembled before our eyes.

The process of enlightenment relates to the described unexpected interplay of thoughts, various events, when a certain picture of reality is composed in our consciousness as if spontaneously, during which we suddenly become aware of a whole new set of possibilities. This process was vividly described by John Steinbeck in his novel East of Eden:

Sometimes something like a glorious halo lights up in a man's head. It happens to almost everyone. One can feel it preparing or building up inside one, like a fuse burned through to dynamite. He feels a strange sensation in his stomach, a lust in his nerves and in his fingertips. The skin savors the air and each deep breath is bliss itself. At first, it gives us pleasure, like a thorough yawn and stretch; suddenly our brains sparkle and the whole world lights up before our eyes. For example, a person has lived his whole life in grey, the landscape and trees around him were gloomy and dark. Events, even important ones, passed him by like pale, insignificant shadows. And suddenly - that glorious glow! - and the singing of crickets lulls his ears, the scent of the earth sings in his nostrils, the ragged patches of light under the trees dazzle his vision. The man suddenly spills out like a torrent, in a full stream, and yet he is not diminished. And I think that man's importance in the world can be measured by the intensity and number of such bursts of radiance.

10. The phenomenon of time

One of the key concepts that has a fixed and also a substantially limited form in our minds and consciousness is the concept of time. Firstly, it is the Christian concept of linear time from resurrection to salvation that is deeply ingrained in us. It suppresses in us other concepts of cyclical time, timelessness, or eternity. The time that we read off in the globally accepted unit of a second with a watch, stopwatch, or atomic clock is time in the form of duration.

Time in physics degrades to a number, a model that can be quantified, and with which it can be further reckoned. If anyone has ever seen time, glory be to him, but who has ever seen a square root or a power of time...? But one can also accept imaginary time, and God knows what else, with a clear conscience, if one can return from these ends of mathematical modelling and the underworld to the divine world, to reality, and this model from the underworld works in it.

Nor have we yet become accustomed to the Jungian synchronicity that is so common in Eastern thinking, because we remain mostly trapped in the paradigm that everything must have a cause and effect. Consider the simple example of whether it would be possible to teach history from the present to the events that preceded it. This would have a number of interesting effects, including the fact that some of the crucial issues of prehistory would not be covered at the end of the lesson, whereas today there is no time for contemporary history, knowledge of which is surely more important.

If we think of the universe as the object of cosmological considerations, then there is what cosmology calls a top-down approach [6]. We dive beneath the globe of light that surrounds the universe and move forward into the past as far as we can.

Observing, exploring, and learning about our world should awaken people to think about the roots from which we rise and also the branches that grow from us. When we look at nature's roots and branches, we see that they develop simultaneously. Plants do not grow from roots to branches or from branches to roots. The past is not fixed, and the future is not a mere chimera. 

As in the microworld, so in the macroworld, the role of the observer depends on which events and their relationships he accepts into his model of the past or the future. Our environment can be defined as what could be, both in the so-called past and in the so-called future. Observation, taking place in the so-called present, is the mechanism for selecting what can be called a model of reality.

The question remains how to describe the so-called present of the here and now. It is certainly possible to conceive of a point or area in space-time in standard theoretical terms and to operate on it in mathematical models, but it is clear that this is insufficient for a more comprehensive picture. Stuart Kauffman [26] introduces the notion of the nearest next, and it is open to consideration whether not to introduce the nearest previous as well, and to model the present as a kind of layer in which, among other things, states that would be standardly future can influence those that would be standardly past. Such a tiny step backward between steps forward. The idea is therefore offered to us that the present will be differently thick in this model in different views and conditions at different phenomena and events.

The question of the present, its form, its relation to the future and the past has been and is being addressed by poets. Recall T. S. Eliot's lines from his 1944 collection Four Quartets: the present tense and the past tense are perhaps both present in the future tense, and the future tense is contained in the past tense. If all time is eternally present, no time can be redeemed...

The greatest thinkers of different ages have grappled with time. Among the greatest of these is undoubtedly St. Augustine of Hippo. Recall Augustine's statement: when no one asks me, I know well what time is; when someone asks me, I do not know what I would answer. The basic idea that is central to Augustine's reflections on time is that God did not create the world in time but created it with time. Thus, by creating the world, time was also created, there was nothing before it, it wasn't even before it. The world was created out of nothing. And so also everything that has to do with time is the will of God, and at his bidding the moments pass.

Two completely different times appear here. The earthly one, which is a constant cycle of creation and dissolution, and then there is another time - God's time, which is infinite and eternal. Nothing would exist if God did not want to create it. But where did the will come from where there was nothing before? If a will appeared where nothing was before, then that will cannot be eternal, because it has a beginning.

Eternity decides what has been and what will be without itself being in the past or the future. To the question after the contingency of time Augustine says: There would be no past time if nothing passed, no future time if nothing came, no present time if nothing lasted. But the past time is no more, and the future time has not yet come. Then they cannot be. But it is impossible that there should be only present time all the time, for then it would no longer be present, but eternity. For this not to be the case, every present must one day turn into the past. Everything must therefore come to an end. Then, of course, we cannot even say that time exists, because we would also be saying that it is coming to an end, that it will one day cease to exist.

If we remember our childhood, it appears in our imagination as present. We think of it right now, as it is happening before our eyes right now. In the same way, we prepare future actions in our minds as if we were doing them now, so that the future also passes before our eyes as the present. We cannot predict the future, but we can infer it from present manifestations (as we infer that the sun will rise when we see the morning reds). But how can God show the prophets things to come when there is no future for Him alone, only eternity? In this case, Augustine admits that he has no idea. To divide time resolutely into past, present, and future he does not find right. It is better, he thinks, to speak as follows: There are three tenses, namely, the present tense with reference to the past, the present tense with reference to the present, and the present tense with reference to the future. We cannot identify time with motion, but motion takes place in time.

In order to measure the duration of a movement, we must witness the beginning and the end of that movement. Then we measure the duration from the point of beginning to the point of end. We measure the passage of time, a kind of duration of motion. If we want to measure the duration of a sounding voice, we have to measure it at the time of passing. If we then want to say that some spoken word was short, we are already talking about the past, it no longer exists and cannot be measured. So we measure in our mind, where we remember the voice as present. We cannot say that there is no past because we have it in our memories, and we cannot say that there is no future because we are still expecting it. In order for the past to pass into the future, it must be present in between, even though it passes away in the moment. Above it all, then, stands the eternity of God. God created the world by His Word; before that there was nothing. God is the Beginning, God is Wisdom, God is Eternity.

11. The knowability of the world

Through the above considerations we have come to the realization that what we are able to perceive of our environment is primarily only a tiny part of all that is given to us. It is not just the number of bits that come down from our environment into our consciousness. Altogether it is about one two hundred millionth of all the bits that are available to us every second. But that's just a number. Just as a mere number is only four percent of our ability to know our cosmic environment. The rest is dark energy and dark matter, which we are not yet able to decide if and how they are being made known to us. It is a long term focus of our consciousness on the rather unimportant things offering themselves to us in our environment in the first instance. Hence the Socratic, I know that I know nothing. This is not a mere philosophical bon mot, but is an objective fact in terms of quantity and quality.

The great advance of knowledge in recent times has been the realization that some manifestations of reality in our environment are nothing more than mushroom spawn growing from a mycelium about which we know very, very little. We suspect that the roots of various species of plants and trees communicate with each other, forming a rich rhizosphere in which countless animals from the animal kingdom actively participate, but again we know very little about the form of this communication. We know even less about the communication of the above-ground parts of the plant, i.e. the stems, leaves or fronds. All we know today is that it must exist, but it remains for us an empty box in Mendeleev's table, where we know that there must be an element, there is even some assumption about the arrangement of its atoms, but its physical revelation is still a mystery to us.

Hawking's posthumous thoughts [6] tell us that the usual framework for prediction in physics presupposes knowledge of the laws of evolution, initial (boundary) conditions, and the results of observations or measurements. For most scientific questions, this distributed framework is sufficient. But the puzzle of design in cosmology goes deeper, because it asks about the origin of laws and our place in the grand cosmic scheme, which requires a more general framework that links these three entities together to provide a quantum view of cosmology. The sketched interconnected Hawking-Hertogov triptych (HHT) in Figure 3 forms the conceptual core of a new quantum theory of the cosmos in which evolution, boundary (initial) conditions, and the role of the observer are folded into a single holistic scheme.


Fig. 3 Hawking-Hertog Triptych (HHT)

The interconnectedness of the elements signals that any laws in quantum cosmology arise from a mixture of all three components.  In addition to the model of cosmogenesis and evolution, this approach includes a key third element, namely the role of the observer. The role of the observer in this triptych is not unlike looking around while riding a bicycle. Observation in quantum cosmology represents a more fundamental quantum act of perception. It is the process by which one particular outcome out of a range of possible outcomes is transformed into reality at branching points in history. While this process always involves some interaction, it is by no means limited to human observation, and the resulting facts may have nothing at all to do with life itself.

Physical reality, according to Hawking's account, comes into being in two steps. First, all possible expansion histories of the universe are grouped together, each with its origin, say, in a boundaryless beginning. The histories branch out - each branching involving chance - to form a physically efficient branch of a higher level of complexity. This incomprehensible realm of uncertainty and potential describes the universe in a kind of preexistent state. At this level, there are no predictions, no unifying equations, no global notion of time, in fact nothing concrete - only a vague spectrum of possibilities. But there is a second step, an interactive process we call observation, which transforms something from what could be into something that is and is happening.

An allegory for this idea might be Tom Raddle's blank diary in the Harry Potter books. The same is true of the universe. The realm of what is possible contains the answers to an infinite number of questions, but it only tells us about the world what we ask for. In the quantum universe - our universe - tangible physical reality emerges from a wide horizon of possibilities through a constant process of questioning and observation. In addition to Harry Potter, the thought naturally arises as to whether our consciousness, which has unsurprisingly similar properties to the Cosmos whose form it shapes and mediates for us, might not be described by a similar method.

12. Symbolic representation

The aforementioned HHT triptych (Fig. 3) is reminiscent of the scheme of sign and symbol formation in semiotics (Fig. 4). By far, not only in that both schemes are triangular, but also in the similar content of the individual components. What distinguishes them is the different conception of the relation to reality, and above all the different conception of the dynamics of the schema, which is different for symbol formation and the cosmological HHT triptych.


 Fig. 4 Peirce's schema of sign and symbol formation in semiotics [21].

Let us think about how complex the formation of a sign or symbol is. Let us try to remember the winged truth or saying there is no smoke without fire, which is usually associated in our culture with the great Christian thinker, St. Augustine. For the sake of argument, let us add that there is likewise no smoke without ashes. Many of his ideas lie at the heart of today's semiotics.

Augustine's saying tells us that something points to something else, but how and to what must be decided by something third, that which somehow interprets the relationship. Neither of this trinity is, of course, that reality which semiotics names the dynamic object (DP).

Fire, without which there is neither smoke nor ashes, is not a reality and is only a certain image, perhaps as when we observe an object, such as a tent, from a sketch, a floor plan, and a side view, and see once a triangle, once a rectangle, and once a square. That which is shown to us, or that which we are able to perceive, is called by semiotics the immediate object (BP). The smoke, or that which is shown to (BP), is called representamen (R), and the interpreter, the interpreted, is called intepretans (I). The strange names are given in order that, above all, the theorists of semiotics, who conceive, incidentally in accordance with the present-day classics of quantum cosmology, literally everything in the universe as intepretans, do not give cause to the idea that the interpretans must be exclusively human.

For simplicity's sake, let's stay more in English and stick with the terms reality (S) instead of DP, image (O) instead of BP, representative (P) instead of (R), and interpreter (I). Here we have a representative of the image to be interpreted. For each representative, the smoke is something different - a different fire, but at the same time, it is also perceived quite differently, or not at all. For example, the smell of a horse means something different to a rider and something different to a wolf. For some it means nothing and for others it means not a horse but a memory of summer holidays. Hay smells different to horses and different to lovers. This shows that the roles of images, representatives and performers are not static but dynamic. The ever-changing images ultimately change our view of reality itself.

Let us then call a symbol or sign something that gradually takes shape over the dynamic circling in the triangle (OPI). It is a highly unstable creation precisely because of the ongoing process of interpretation that changes all the components of (OPI) and thus shifts the form and meaning of the symbol or sign itself. The symbol or sign, as a representative of the dynamic process of change (OPI) and its relations, mediates the idea of reality. It is an idea with different meanings that allows for different interpretations by those to whom it is addressed, thus the interpretive process unfolds again and again. The meanings of a symbol or sign do not only vary from one moment to the next, but also over time, in which significant shifts and changes occur. It is evident that the formation of a symbol or sign is not concerned at all with the relationship between image and reality, and therefore a sign is just as possible with an image that is faithful as with an image that does not correspond to reality at all.

We can now return to the question of the similarity of the triptych and the semiotic search for the symbol or sign. Incidentally, it is precisely communication in symbols/signs that is one of the fundamental properties of communication between humans, whereas communication in signals is more inherent in machines.

The Hawking-Hertog triptych of HHT lacks the dynamism brought to the triangular scheme by the observer who, like the intepretants in the semiotic scheme, changes evolution, initial conditions and self. In the HHT, evolution seems to be responsible for the dynamics, and the triptych explicitly suggests this as well. Likewise, the HHT seems to be constructed implicitly as an image of reality and its symbol or sign at the same time.

Let's try to think about how to give the triptych of the HHT more dynamism, to let it circulate and form symbols, and at the same time connect it more obviously to some reality, whether in the macroworld or the microworld. Then the role of the image in HHT would presumably be played by evolution or origins, a dilemma not unlike the questioning of the primordiality of the egg or the hen. The idea that we would seek, semiotically speaking, macroscopic immediate objects (BP) of microscopic dynamic objects (DP) and create, in the role of intepretants (I) together with their reprentantaments (R), their symbols in our macroworld is appealing.

Equally appealing is the idea of looking for manifestations of the little-known world of dark matter and dark energy in the more luminous world that we think we know somewhat more about. There are indeed many such transitions between worlds around us, and some of them are used by science - for example, the one between the real world and the netherworld, where magical mathematical operations are performed on images and models of the real world, but the result must somehow work again when it is brought out of the netherworld into the light of day.

13. Conclusion

Let us try to summarize the considerations so far about possible transitions and transformations in complex systems. It turns out that the interconnections and interactions of sub-systems are the tools for their realization [28]. Two subsystems have relative information about each other if they can be in fewer states than the product of the number of states each can be in separately.

The regions that are related to each other must first be determined.  This requires data, information, knowledge and skills, including the use of a historical knowledge base. A major challenge is to understand our consciousness, or to use digital twins as technical support for interconnecting and modelling the interactions of different multidimensional subsystems.

For example, to succeed in business, one needs a good idea that can be imagined as a vacancy in the marketplace in the form of a specific demand that is determined by the negative intersection of several interconnected existing ideas or products. It is also necessary to find the people and resources that will enable the practical implementation of the specific plan. Only in this way, through a very complex process, can a real innovation emerge that will be part of that unlikely drive of our world. The final nexus is a description of how the human mind makes its way to innovation in a complex way, trying to connect it to the reality we wish to change.

Artificial intelligence algorithms can help simulate the impact of different strategies, from which we can select the most appropriate one at the moment, while adaptively responding to changing environmental conditions by modifying those strategies. This, however, requires a detailed description of the context, including a unified ontology, so that individual software agents can predict their future evolution and negotiate effectively with other agents [22], seeking a state of equilibrium (equilibrium) that is not a winner-take-all optimization, but rather manifests itself in a live-and-let-live fashion. These conclusions imply, among other things, that we all have our place in the sun, and the smart thing to do is to realize that together we can achieve more.

For very complex and intricate systems like our consciousness, the cosmos, etc., we must accept that we will never know the reality (R) itself in Figure 5. In general, these systems are hard to control because their model would be very complex. However, it is possible to influence them in a meaningful way.    


Fig. 5 A generalized model for the representation of complex and complicated systems

From reality (R), partial realities (S) emerge, which in our view is the best holistic model currently available to us, and which we refine over time through more detailed observation of reality (R). Qbism (Quantum-Bayesianism) [27] can be interpreted (I) to mean that the quantum wave function carries information about what we know about the world. When we make a measurement, the information increases. The relational interpretation of quantum physics, on the other hand, examines how each physical object appears to all other physical objects. Every interaction between two physical objects can be considered an observation (P). The quantum model then describes the manifestations of one physical object to the other. The properties of an object are the way in which the object interacts with other objects, and reality is the network of all these interactions.

The reality model (S), however, is impractical and represents more the level of current scientific knowledge in the form of a superposition of intertwined (entangled) knowledge. Each knowledge (interaction, property) may be the result of one of many non-exclusive and overlapping observations obtained through a plethora of different agents (P), which are different non-human actors to whom only partial relations appear in the form of images of reality (O).  

The more representatives (P), the more views of reality (O) and the more colorful the model of reality (S). At the same time, with each new view, the form of the symbol or sign is refined as archetypal compressed knowledge reminiscent of Feynman's famous summations over the trajectories of all possible views of reality (R).

Archetypal knowledge may take the form of a proverb, folk wisdom, a proverb, a fairy tale, a particular ritual, or a work of art that we perceive holistically with all our senses and from which we derive all other properties and principles [15]. By linking archetypal knowledge, we gain a simplistic view of the complex world around us, but retaining a depth of knowledge that helps us to influence this world at a certain discerning level and seek the desired harmony and balance in it.

In the words of Johann Wolfgang Goethe: As we increase our cognitive abilities, we simultaneously refine the world we see, until finally we see the ideal in the real as archetypal phenomena - to which we ascend and from which we can descend to understand specific phenomena. Archetypal phenomena naturally contain a moral as well as a sensual component; we experience in them the beautiful as well as the useful, the human as well as the physical. Thus, archetypal knowledge base spaces naturally emerge, which can be used to model the most important properties of complex systems.

From a systems science perspective, so-called entropic forces, such as Verlinde gravity [25], which arise at points of change in the entropy of the environment, are very inspiring. Stephen Hawking [6] also concluded that the curvature of spacetime is possibly caused at the lowest level by quantum entanglement (entanglement) of particles, which can be interpreted as a change in the entropy of the environment.

The change in the entropy of the environment induces polarization of the sub-elements at the micro-level, but also at the macro-level [28]. Let us imagine that we have two polarized groups of people, one believing in one leader and the other in the other. Normally nothing happens, people go to work and the system shows no changes. When by chance a conflict occurs - the environment becomes polarized and quantum entanglement suddenly becomes apparent. If I pick a person from one group and another, I am sure they will be opposed in opinion because they are from opposite camps. Social space becomes warped and polarized by these principles. If quantum entanglement is not 100%, it depends on the circumstances which side a particular individual joins. In parallel, a whole series of entanglement waves can arise, affecting our entire population in different ways.

In addition to the systems sciences [23] that have been emerging for some time, new systems technology options are slowly beginning to emerge that will be able to increasingly leverage virtual digital environments to realize desired transitions and transformations in complex environments. Apparently, we are already close to the milestone referred to as Societies 5.0, where all the above ideas could gradually start to be put into practice.

 However we examine society or the world around us, there is only one certainty. The only thing that is permanent around us and that we can rely on is change. Change is not only the driver but also the essence and manifestation of our world. There is far more change in the macro world around us than we are able to capture with our consciousness. Some authorities claim that for everyone perceived change there are up to two hundred million unperceived ones. But these two hundred million changes, every single one of them, are only the result of the complex Feynman summation of countless events in a vastly changing microworld.

As the dying rabbi said, everything is different. Our world is not fixed by anyone or anything. If we can accept this, we can understand that the world around us is also our creation, the creation of our mind and imagination. We are its co-creators and users, and we are responsible for it.

It is our shared world...





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