About: Supervenience - Wikipedia

The emotional and energetic spirit of my life, compressed down in time,  feels more like a flame than anything else. 

Can it be said that a flame is created by oxygen, fuel and heat?

No!  I think not. 

We need a better descriptive word  for this special relationship between something living on, yet above, details of existence and becoming  quite different than the supporting details themselves … 

might that word be “supervene”?

#Supervene #supervenes #supervenience #supervening 



  1. Supervene
  2. supervenes
  3. supervenience
  4. supervening
  5. GOL
  6. btw
  7. consciousness
  8. AlreadyAlwaysArguing


Mark de LA says
Somewhat like ingredients or components including someone to strike the spark or lite the match.
Basically  what’s wrong with the theory of evolution produced by materialists - is assuming that a bunch of ingredients is going to magically combine to produce life given enough time (whatever that is, wherever that came from)null

Seth says
yeah that’s kind of the direction i am leaning here.  oxygen, fuel, heat are not components or ingredients of a flame. 

where this first struck me was with #GOL … Conway’s game of life.  Blinkers and gliders ect are not composed of the the cells and their rules upon which they #Supervene.  the elements and/or details of the sublayers are so very different from what flames above them.   once struck one can see this same kind of relationship again and again … for example the various layers of the protocol stack of the internet.  i expect that you can see it many many places now.

#btw i did not make up these ideas myself … the Wikipedia article is an excellent introduction to the concept.  I first ran into the concept reading about complexity theory from the Santa Fe Institute.

Mark de LA says
O2, Fuel & HEAT are the ingredients of a fire;  for a candle flame –  substitute a spark. A flame/fire is the result. You can make it more complex than that, but remove any one of the 3 & you won’t get a fire; ‘tis the basics of firefighting. In the case of volcanos, the Earth is the actor.

Seth says
well by that token, your body is mostly H2O and a few more chemicals … are those the important ingredients of your body?   seems to me that your description lacks something important.   #Supervene recognizes that complete knowledge of the details at one level do not tell you anything at all about what those details entail at a level above those details.

Mark de LA says
Bad logic words like “mostly” do not work in your munging for anything to be true. Just like someone to strike the match you missed the point.

Seth says
“mostly” is a very useful logical quantifier.   fact is that oxygen, fuel, and heat are NOT ingredients of the fire process itself … rather they are necessary conditions that must be present at a lower level of description.  

here is another example.   some of the ingredients of the postage printer on my desk might be gears and levers and ink.    those ingredients of the printer are details at the same level.   but the happy occurances  of our customers getting talking products in the mail #Supervene on that postage printer and the rest of the components of the mail order  industry in which i do business.  notice how things at the same level interact while things above that level  act independantly  of  those lower level interactions even though they are quite dependent on them.  for example a manufacture replaced the gears and levers and ink in my printer with a thermal interaction and that change did not affect my customers receiving their packages.  

an even better example is that this messages flowing to you can flow from the action of my fingers over either a 3G cell phone network, a direct Ethernet connection, or a WiFi channel.  But you will read it just the same.  The communication itself supervenes on details that are replaceable with other details.   There is no way that the details of  the WiFi process are ingredients of this message.  

it would be quite a different world if nature and human industry could not stratify like that.

Mark de LA says
Well, while in the navy I went to fire fighting school in San Diego & was the ship’s fire marshal.  I had direct experience of fires.  If you need to add more words to an experience , consider why you have that need. Do you have a hard time making distinctions? drawing circles around what you are focusing upon? focusing itself?  What, in summary is your final point.  There are no points? or simply I’m right! ? XOR is it just you have found a new word #Supervene to beat around for a while. The word subsume is also interesting but mostly for intellectuals; used about 11 years ago here. null

Mark de LA says
As a matter of etymology the Latin prefixes sub- & super- will generate all kinds of words like you are using. null

Seth says
yep, “under” and “above” are relational stems that can be applied to any kind of relationship.

One reason i brought up these (apparently new to you) relationships now is that both you and nathan have been talking about higher-worlds,  higher-activities,  higher-thinking-feeling.   And you talk of those high-minded things as if they existed as something totally apart from lower-natural-behavior.  As if it was its own world entirely … as if there was a higher-spiritual world which was independent, apart, and unconnected with the natural world.  Well i don’t think that is the way things naturally stratify.  Rather  higher-worlds  #Supervene  on the natural worlds.   #consciousness (even higher-consciousness)  #supervenes on the the lower-things that my friend thinks, feels, and does.

Mark de LA says
XOR that’s your guess about something outside you. Higher/Lower being relative depends upon your predilection to tilt the Tree of Life upside down or the other way as it is for me or perhaps the third dimension.  I mentioned several times the importance, often ignored, of those pesky little prepositions in,out,etc. & some of those other little words like adverbs up,down, etc...

Seth says
i characterize what i am doing more as a “grasping” than a “guessing”.

There is no exclusive or between me expressing what i am expressing and what you enjoy characterizing me as expressing.  Strange how you keep sticking your apparently favorite conjunction in what you say.  Habitual?  What supervenes on that habit?  anything?

i think we both have discovered how to make relationships with prepositional stems.  i recognized you noticing that the first time you brought it up years ago.

Mark de LA says
Hmmm… pondering grasping implies there is something there to grasp.  Before you did not much care for hierarchies have you changed your mind?

Seth says
a heirchal relationship is not a supervenal one.  that is the point.   with a heirical relationship there is a direct vertical control from one layer to another … whereas with a supervenal relationship the control stays within its own layer.   for example the rules of the WiFi protocol do not control in any way what i am saying to you in this message … nor visa versa … nevertheless this message will be communicated to you over the WiFi protocol … WiFi is essential for you to get this message because i am still in bed on my laptop.

#btw, grasping does not imply there is something there to grasp … anymore than creating implies that something being created already exists.

Mark de LA says
So basically you have munged things back into a glob with at times a “requires” relationship but you do not want to go as far as a hierarchy; almost string theory without the strings & without a theory. null It is obviously you don’t like the word control (maybe look at that someday) but you acknowledge relationships of requires, depends, contains etc.  To me, your #supervenience is a hohum word. Draw a mentograph of it & see what shows up on the shafts of the arrows.

Seth says
huh?  what i am saying is quite the opposite.   things are not all one blob. 

i used “control” here just to talk about cause and effect.  the rules of English grammar are not controlled by the rules of WiFi … nor visa versa.  There is no cause and effect between layers.  That is the reason the design works.

Mark de LA says
so whats between the layers – why do you mention layers – what distinguishes one layer from another except munge-ma

Seth says
well in the case of the internet the layers were intentionally designed to be independent of each other yet to support each other.

the thing to notice is how the world naturally developes layers.  its fun as you do to wonder why they don’t just  munge up in one blob.  i could rattle some off the top of my head … but if you notice them yourself then finally my work here will be done.

you can get this from the Wikipedia article or elsewhere in the study of complexity.  you seem to have a problem with getting new ideas from me.

Mark de LA says
You keep on layering – such is just programming – been at that for years. Top-down etc. otherwise known as a hierarchy.

Seth says
… nope heirichy is a different stratification than superveneing as i said above.

Seth says
here is an excellant example.   Human society #supervenes on human psychology.

Mark de LA says
& yet that doesn’t say anything really cuz you could say the exact opposite:
Human psychology #supervenes on Human societynull

Seth says
hmmm … good question.  i am not so very sure that psychology supervenes on society.  gliders and blinkers supervene on the rules for cells to change in #gol.   could we switch that around … i do not think so.

Mark de LA says
Yep, don’t think any of it says much.  Enjoy batting it around for a while, informing everything you blog about. Maybe even see if it makes sense to your Socrates group.
Censorship proves that your arguments are just a pile of #AlreadyAlwaysArguing that means nothing! 
Good Boy! null

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