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Evolution of Complex Systems

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  1. Evolution of Complex Systems Lecture 8: Politics and law Peter Andras / Bruce Charlton peter.andras@ncl.ac.uk bruce.charlton@ncl.ac.uk

  2. Objectives • Society • Information subsystem: political system • Politics • Information subsystem of politics: the legal system • The legal system • Adaptation in the political and legal systems

  3. Human communications • Specialized behavioural patterns: human language • Specialized brain subsystems: language understanding and production • Human languages

  4. Society • Many organisms act as communication units • Society = system of communications between organisms • Human society = system of human communications • Human languages define human societies

  5. Politics – early times • Tribes: everybody participates in the decision making • E.g., what to do (hunt, move, etc.), how to interpret the environment (flooding, attack by animals, etc.) • Tribe leaders lead the decision making process

  6. Politics – advanced tribes • E.g., large migratory tribes (huns, gepides, etc.) • Fighters (action), priests/shamans (perception) specialize in decision making

  7. Politics – early states • Egypt, Greek city states, etc. • Fighters, priests, administrators • Administration: system of rules about decision making (e.g., selection of the ruler)

  8. Politics – early large states • E.g., Rome, China • Large and stable • Elaborated rules of politics • Large administration

  9. Politics – large integrated states • E.g., England – 17th-18th century, Germany – 19th century, France – 17th-18th century • Complicated system of political decision making • Institutionalized and uniform legal system • Parliament, parties, public administration

  10. Politics – democratic states • E.g., US, north-west Europe • Parties, elections, rule of law • Constitution, professional large public administration

  11. Politics – 1 • Description of the system of human communications • Description of how to manage memories of human communications • E.g., describes how to interpret environmental events, how to act, how to allocate resources (communications) within the society

  12. Politics – 2 • Actions: what to do, how to distribute human resources • E.g., where to build what

  13. Politics – 3 • Perception: collecting information about what is happening in the society / environment • E.g., collecting and interpreting information about the natural resources

  14. Political power • Power: decide on actions and perceptions • Power: ability to determine what should be referenced in the context of communications about resources • Power: the logic of selection of methods to manage memories of a human society

  15. Communications in politics – 1 • Politician talk: subset of society • Everybody participates • E.g., voting in elections, participation in political organizations, meetings, etc.

  16. Communications in politics – 2 • Specialist language: sharper communication rules • The sentences should be relevant from the point of view of power: who does what – action & perception / interpretation

  17. Referencing in politics • Political communications reference mostly to other political communications • E.g., the voting communications refences earlier political communications by party representatives

  18. The logic of power • Communications in politics follow the logic of power • Does the communication lead to more power, preservation of power, avoiding the reduction of power – in expectation • Political communications – communications that can be understood in the context of logic of power

  19. Political system • All social communications organized around the logic of power • Communications that follow the referencing rules of politics, referencing rules are determined by the logic of power • Communications about the society and power: information subsystem of the society • Logic of power – definition of the identity of the political system

  20. The boundary of politics • Dense communications / referencing within politics / rare referencing to non-political communications • The boundary is determined by the logic of power, communications are part of politics if they follow the logic of power

  21. Actions of politics • Political communication patterns that act upon the environment / society • E.g., set of political communications leading to the building of a highway

  22. Perceptions of politics • Changes in the political communications with respect to expectations • E.g., local power talk leads to changing voting behaviour in an MP

  23. Meaningful communications • References other political communications • Provides reference for further political communications • Follows the rules of political communications – fits the identity of the political system

  24. Meaningless communications • Communications that do not lead to continuations – faults • E.g., anarchist communications

  25. Revolutions • Communications about power but do not follow the established continuation rules of the actual political system – error • E.g., revolutionary politics in 1917

  26. Extension and reproduction • Political communications are generated to maintain/reproduce and expand the political system • The system boundaries are within the society • Overgrowing is bad • The political system should fit the society that is described by it

  27. Over expansion of politics • Ignoring the general communication rules of the society • Domination of the society • E.g., communism, everything becomes a political issue

  28. Individuals and politics • Everybody performs as communication unit for the political system • The political communications of communications units may differ significantly (e.g., cast or class system) • There are some units which produce large amount of communications that are part of the political system  politicians

  29. The state • The organizational context of the political system – structural constraints on political communications • Makes politics more structured – sharpened continuation rules • Societies with elaborate states are likely to be more complex

  30. Professional politics • Communication units specializing in political communications • They follow the fine details of the political communication rules • They generate the largest part of the political system • E.g., parties, Parliament

  31. Political institutions • Institutions: systematic rule sets that channel political communications and provide meaning for them by making them reference the rules of the institution • Institution – coherent set of structure constraints • E.g., speech in the Parliament vs. speech at home • Political institutions compose the state

  32. Subsystems of politics • Specialist political communications • They may form by the establishment of corresponding political institutions • The same institutional framework may lead to the formation of several subsystems • E.g., parties, Parliament, elections

  33. Parties • Specialized political communications about power in some particular power paradigm (i.e., particular set of communication rules) • E.g., socialist, liberal, conservative • Parties develop together with ideologies

  34. Elections • An institutional context for low level political communications; add content to simple communication acts (i.e., voting) • It is about choosing the best fitting identity of the society

  35. Parliament • Institutional framework for high level political communications • Parties are represented according to election results • The dominant party or coalition represents the currently valid interpretation of the society model by making legislation about the society and power distribution within the society

  36. Identity violations – Political system • Fault: communication that is aimed to be political communication but does not fit the logic of politics – e.g. a political speech about the right of penguins to wear guns • Error: lack of continuation of political communications – e.g. lack of public participation in elections • Failure: massive shrinking of the political system – e.g. revolution

  37. Adaptation – Political system • Would-be politicians with senseless speeches are marginalized within the party • The party changes its policies to gain more public support and more votes at elections • The parliament changes the legislation to fit changed interests of the society • The revolution leads to a new political system

  38. Laws • Rules regulating the distribution of power • Reference actions and perceptions of the political system • Laws are made in the Parliament • E.g., laws regulating elections, highway constructions, penal procedures, etc.

  39. Regulations • Rules of power distribution in various organizations (e.g., schools, companies) • Refer to actions and perceptions of the power system of the organization • Constraints on political communications

  40. Legal communications • Communications about the rules of power distribution • They are descriptions of the political system • Describe how the power distribution / the political system works

  41. Examples • Rights of participation in politics • Criminal justice • Disputes between neighbours

  42. Legal communications - types • Making the laws • Interpreting the laws • Applying the laws • Complementing and modifying the laws

  43. Legal communications - memories • Legal communications describe how the political communications are organised – represent a memory of these communications and facilitate the reproduction of these communications • Legal communications (laws, regulations) are memory communications of the political system

  44. The legal system • Laws and communications about and referencing other laws • Legal system = the information subsystem of the political system • Legal logic: legal or illegal – identity of the legal system

  45. Legal system - language • System language defined by the applicability of the legal logic • A communication is part of the legal system if it can be assessed / referenced in legal / illegal terms

  46. The boundary • Dense communications / references to other legal communications • Rare references to other communications • E.g., lawyers, judges discussing the application and interpretation of the law

  47. Actions • Legal communications that lead to changes of the model of power distribution; e.g., application of the law that solves a previously unresolved issue, new legislation • They should fit the logic of legal / illegal in the context of the existing legal system, refer to other communications (e.g., laws) and provide basis for new communications

  48. Perceptions • Changes in the political system / power distribution system lead to changes in legal communications • These changes may trigger modified actions of the legal system • E.g., extension of voting rights

  49. Meaningful • Communications that fit the legal system and contribute to further extension of it – fit the identity (logic) of the legal system • E.g., good application of laws, rule of law

  50. Meaningless • Communications that do not fit the rules of the legal system • E.g., revolutionary legislation (confiscation of property), corrupt judicial process • Faulty communications, errors • Lead to the destruction of the legal system