Saturday, April 21, 2018

367. From tribes to systems and back again

One form of collaboration is based on mutual dependence, with a shared fate, in long-lasting, highly personalized relationships, with a shared ethic of mutual support and altruism. It can only exist on a small scale.

This functioned in nomadic tribes of hunter-gatherers during much of human evolution, until the settlement in sedentary, growing agricultural communities, some 10,000 years ago.

Such tribes are vulnerable in three ways. One is the risk of infiltration of egotistic opportunists who prey on indigenous altruism, getting the upper hand in evolutionary competition. As a remedy for this, humanity developed ‘parochial altruism’, as discussed earlier in this blog, with altruism within the group and mistrust and discrimination with regard to outsiders coming in.

A second risk is lack of internal variety, of genes, which yields inbreeding, and of skills and cognition needed to yield division of labour and to breed innovation. However, there is evidence that tribes managed to exchange ideas and occasionally people (brides) with other, different tribes, in trade relations, carefully conducted, at arms length.

A third risk is inside domination of the population by a dictator or a small ruling elite that exploits a population that has no opportunity for escape. However, that happens also in larger groups. But, apparently, often in small communities there was a highly democratic political system, with rotation of leadership between members of the community.

Conditions changed in the emergence of large agricultural communities. Relations became less direct and more impersonal, in the emergence of legal systems and hierarchies, with a divergence between those levels, and between socio-economic groups, and the emergence of classes, which brought inter-group rivalry into society.

However, it also brought scale advantages of specialization and shared resources, more internal diversity, and more mobility between inside groups than had been the case between outside groups.

The personalized tribal order eroded. I quote from Stoelhorst & Richerson (2013)[i]: ‘Modern organizations are cultural work-arounds that build on tribal instincts that originally evolved to sustain cooperation on a much smaller scale’.

Perhaps present populism can, in part, be seen as a revolt from such tribal instincts, against depersonalized, elite-governed, centralized bureaucratic societies that yield what before, in this blog, I called ‘system tragedy’.

The challenge is to find a middle between the two: between small, closed, inward turned tribes, and large, anonymized systems.

One solution is what in network theory is called ‘small worlds’. There, small scale communities with strong internal ties, in combination with weak ties with other such communities. This allows for tribal-like coherence as well as variety from exchange ad contacts. As I indicated above, there is evidence that ancient tribes engaged in such structures.

For advantages of collaboration between groups that are diverse in competence they need not integrate into larger wholes. In fact, staying apart, in more or less durable alliances, is more productive, more flexible, and better at reserving and feeding diversity. It also gives more opportunity for smaller scale communities that fit better with our tribal genes.

However, wave after wave of mergers and acquisitions between firms have overruled that potential, with the urge to profit from economies and politics of scale to meet challenges and opportunities from wider markets, in globalization. Economies of scale are a familiar phenomenon. By politics of scale I mean the opportunities for global firms to press governments for advantages, under the threat of taking their employment and investment elsewhere. For the ‘platform’ organizations, such as Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc., a new advantage of large scale is that information on choices made in consumption, voting and contacts yields more combinative value, for selling the data for targeted advertising, with the number and range of data, to the point that these organizations build monopolies.    

In the process, the advantages of large scale are paraded and the disadvantages are downplayed or hidden.

Now, the clamour of populism demands more influence of citizens on government. That may be achieved by decentralization of decision making to local communities, such as municipalities, which is now under way. People are also gradually forming small communities to share housing, a windmill, a bank of solar cells and a vegetable garden. Also, increasingly young people are surrendering employment opportunities to offer their own services of many kinds independently. Some large firms offer far-going independence to divisions.  

So, in the long run, society seems to have been moving first from tribes to centralized systems, and then, via system tragedy, back to tribal forms again.         

[i] J.W, Stoelhorst & P.J. Richerson, ‘A naturalistic theory of economic organization’, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2012, p. 554.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

366. How to extend the boundaries of trust

In item 205 of this blog I discussed the phenomenon of ‘parochial altruism’ and in 208 its implication for the integration of refugees. To recall: there is altruism within the group at the cost of suspicion and distrust regarding outsiders. That may explain the problems concerning refugees. For their integration, then, the boundaries of the group need to be extended to include them in trust.

What determines the boundaries? Here I adopt an idea from Carsten de Dreu that the boundaries of a group are determined by proximity, similarity (in appearance, conduct, habit, religion, political views. ideology, …), and a sense of a shared fate.

Immigration yields proximity in space. Similarity is slow to develop, in cultural assimilation. And then there is a vicious circle of immigrants being discriminated against, then sticking together and maintaining their dissimilarity. How, then, to speed up the growth of similarity, and to achieve a sense of a shared fate?

The practice of crowding immigrants together in large centres then is counterproductive, in settling a fate that is shared only between them, secluded from the host society.

It is better to get them into jobs or shared projects with indigenous people, where they become mutually dependent and need to share ideas, practices, goals, understanding.

Rather than waiting until they are sufficiently integrated and trained before entering jobs, it should be turned around: jobs provide the platform and the incentive to integrate.

In practical action, in  projects, ideologies fade, do not help, and people find out, often to their surprise, that they are much more similar, with similar needs and imperfections, than they were aware of.

The principle applies more widely, to overcome the segregation of a population into different, rival social, cultural groups, in what is sometimes called a new ‘tribalism’. That is enhanced by the ‘filter bubbles’ that emerge in the use of internet: people are fed and choose information congruent with views they already have, in social media and advertising tailored to their previous conduct and choices.

This tendency is especially pernicious with people seeing their identity in terms of the group they belong to and the stands that they take concerning current issues, such as climate, gender, economics, democracy, public debate, freedom, …. Then disagreement is not just a difference of view but is felt to constitute an attack on one’s identity, which enhances culture wars and separation of populists and elites.

Part of this correlates with differences in education levels, employment and prosperity. People of different social groups segregate in different neighbourhoods with different price levels of housing, amenities and the furnishings of public space with coffee shops, bistro’s, delicatessen, etc. Here the group determinants of proximity and similarity diverge further rather than converge.

To counter this, citizens should be involved more in joint work, recreational activities, and political involvement in local development and execution of public policies.

This connects with my earlier plea , in item 283, to move away from a politics of positioning, voting for a political party with a pre-arranged set of policy proposals, every four or five years, to a politics of process where people are involved in the making and execution of policy.

There is an additional argument for this, mentioned also in the foregoing item in this blog. Democracy is by its nature imperfect and messy in its process, never satisfying everybody. Being excluded from the process, citizens seem to increasingly see this at best as incompetence and at its worst as a conspiracy against the people by an elite. By involving citizens in the process they become complicit in the mess of democracy, more understanding of it, and learn to live with it, rather than seeking recourse in the illusory efficiency and coherence of a totalitarian regime.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

365. System tragedy, populism and conspiracy of the elite

In this blog, in items 109, 159, 187, I discussed what I called ‘system tragedy’. In many areas of society, such as banking, education, housing corporations, health care, defence, policy makers get entangled in Gordian knots, sticky spaghetti, of partly shared, partly rival interests, roles and positions, interests, self-interest, ideologies, personal ethics, diffusion of responsibilities. As a result, people are compelled to compromise themselves with policies that are against their ethics and sense of justice.

They may like to change the system, or rebel, or quit, but cannot afford to do so until others do so as well. This constitutes prisoners’ dilemmas that lock people into what they know is not right. The obvious case is that of banks.

In my discussion of trust I distinguished between trust in competence and trust in intentions. I see system tragedy mostly as a matter of system incompetence rather than bad personal intentions.

In the emerging populism, however, system tragedy is framed as a matter of  bad intentions: conspiracy against the people by the ruling elite. Thus it becomes a matter of high political urgency to somehow mitigate system tragedy. How is this to be done?

People should have more character and courage to follow their ethical sense and rebel against the system. But that is easy to say, if the price is being ostracized, isolated, or expelled from the system.

It is known from system theory that strong coupling of disparate parts decreases the adaptability of the system. Therefore, perhaps the system should be decoupled for the sake of ability to change, in dynamic efficiency, even if that yields some loss of static efficiency of scale or complementarity, and an increased need for negotiation between uncoupled parts. Internal, invisible haggling then becomes more visible and subject to public scrutiny.

In the case of the banks: separate the saving and loans activity from the investment and trade in shares.

Many systems, in business and public services, have become entangled out of a perverse drive towards integration, in an excess of mergers and acquisitions while staying apart and collaborating in alliances would yield more flexibility and adaptability.

That is due, in part, to misguided, exaggerated expectations of efficiencies from a large scale, with neglect of its inefficiencies.

But it is due more, I think, to an established mental frame of hierarchy.

Another aspect of system tragedy lies in a separation, a distancing between management and work. That is due, in part, to the need, in a large scale organization, for intermediate layers of hierarchy between the top and the ‘front line’ of the work floor. Here again, a break-up into smaller, more autonomous units is required.

But perhaps most important is he need for a shift towards a mental frame of virtue ethics, also pleaded for elsewhere in this blog, with the classical virtues of reasonableness, courage, moderation, and justice. Reasonableness in seeing the merit of other views. Courage not to become complicit in system failure. Moderation, in not being obsessed with one’s own interest and reward. And justice in maintaining equity, rights, and inclusiveness.            

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

364. Dynamic ontology

In this last item of the present series on ontology, I summarize the ontology that I propose. For this I use a few formulas.

Ont. (Ontology) = Ob (Objects) + C (Change)
Ob = I (inside) x O (outside)

As noted by Harman[i], science is the analysis of the inside (I), the coherent structure of components, while phenomenology lies in the much less coherent outside (O), of use, experience. An object cannot be reduced to either.

The inside (I) is a coherent structure of components, connected in some way, in some architecture, e.g. in a network. The connections can be spatial, causal, material, associative, sequential, legal, organizational, employing a shared resource, grammar, syntax, sense, morality, rules, … An example of sequential coherence is that of the sequence of neurons in a string of DNA. Another is that of a restaurant, with a sequence of nodes of component activities, discussed before.  

The whole as well as the components may be dynamic and yet stable, as in a standing wave that arises from the superimposition of component waves. Also, the composition may remain the same while the components change. Examples are a body with changing cells, or a restaurant with changing modes of payment. But the composition may change, as in genetic engineering, where genes may be taken out or added, forming new objects of life, or the transformation of a service restaurant into a self-service one, as discussed before.

To qualify as an object, this coherence must be stable relative to the time perspective (T) taken. An object can be stable in the short term but not in the longer term (e.g. due to decay).

Objects are nested, one object being a component of another, as genes on a chromosome. This is modelled with the concept of a script, discussed before.

Objects can be misapprehended as compact, as Garcia[ii] called it, where the outside is folded into the inside, to become a ‘thing in itself’, autonomous. An example is the Platonic idea, independent from its particulars. Another is the Cartesian idea that thought is autonomous, not dependent on reality, and corresponding with reality due to divine intermediation. And the notion of essences, also independent from the outside.

The opposite can also happen, where the object diffuses into its outside. An example is perhaps wave dynamics, as in quantum-dynamics, where location and momentum are ‘adjoint’, not simultaneously determinable, and the strange phenomenon arises of ‘entanglement’, where two objects change their state simultaneously, acting as a single object, while no causality or other connection can be found. This is speculative and requires further thought.

The outside consists of other objects, which may include the focal object as a component, or may affect the structure of its components, or may be affected by it, in processes of change.

C (change) = T (Time) x O (outside) x I (Inside) x S (scale)

Events of change arise from the interaction between the inside (I) and the outside (O), typically but not necessarily in networks of connections, in some form or other of causality. For example: In physics fields of force; in chemistry chemical bonds of molecules; in biology composition and decomposition of cells, and recombination of genes, even artificially, in genetic engineering; in language sensemaking by means of connotations; in the brain synaptic adaptation of neurons, in the modification and generation of neuronal networks.

Change takes time (T), but is relative to the time frame taken: what is an object in one time frame, with a stable composition of elements, may be a process of change in another, where the composition changes.

Change is also relative to scale. I define the change of an object as a change of the structure of its components, but while that is stable, the components may change. The example I used, in terms of scripts, was the change of payment in a restaurant while that remains a restaurant.

In sum, every object in some time perspective and at some scale, is subject to change.

Change arises from interaction between objects, in some form of causality, such as Aristotelian causality. There is also an apparently universal drive, in nature, to carry what survives, and in that sense is successful, into a different environment, where the need and the means are found to adapt to the new circumstances, which through trial and error yields a novel object, according to what I called a ‘cycle of discovery’.

In philosophy, this drive has variously been called: thymos (Plato), conatus (Spinoza), absolute Spirit
(Hegel), and will to power (Nietzsche).

This is found in child’s play, imperialism, missionary work, art, science, and capitalism. It solves a puzzle from Hegel’s (and Schelling’s) philosophy of how from the realization of potential, in the actual, one can go on to a new potential, a new possible.

Where does this come from? My hunch is: evolution, because this path to discovery contributes to survival and adaption.  

Puzzles remain, such as the mysterious phenomena in quantum mechanics that are incomprehensible when put in ordinary language. I suspect that here we may run into what I have called ‘object bias’, where we see things according to metaphors from material objects moving in time and space and affecting each other, which is embedded in the very structure of language with objects (nouns) doing things (verbs). To avoid the bias we may have to escape from ordinary language into the different languages of mathematics. The question is what this does to the ontology that I propose. 

[i] Graham Harman, 2018, Object-oriented ontology, Penguin.
[ii] Tristan Garcia, 2014, Form and object, Edinburgh University Press.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

363. The causality of concepts

In preceding items in this blog I adopted ideas from ‘object-oriented ontology’ (3O). An object has an inside, of components that cohere in some way, with a certain endurance in time and across conditions, and it has an outside, where it has effects and from which it draws influence.  

In the dynamics of change of objects, in the interaction between what ‘is in them’ and what ‘they are in’, for interactions in which humans are involved I use the multiple causality of Aristotle, with its efficient cause (actors), final cause (goals), material cause (things used), formal cause (method, knowledge, theory, technology), conditional cause (circumstances), and exemplary cause (such as role models). 

Are concepts, universals, abstractions objects? Platonic ideas are eternal and identical across contexts. Do they have components? For universals, presumably the components would be its particulars. What is their coherence? One might say: by an essence of the universal, but I don’t believe in such essences. The particulars have overlapping connotations. New particulars can arise, and they may shift the universal, in a shift of connotations, which raises some doubt about its endurance. For an example I used the case where someone used a stuffed cow for a chair.

Concepts do take part in causality. They produce effects. They can act as an efficient cause: playing a role in an argument. As a final cause, a goal: a concept to be analysed. As a material cause: the stuff of discourse. Formal: the method of investigation. Conditional: effects from the educational system, symbolic order/ideology. Exemplary: act as a paradigm.

According to Harman events are also objects. He gives the example of a collision between two airplanes. First there are two objects: the planes. Then a third object: the collision. Then a fourth object: the consequences of the crash. That seems odd. Yet there may be some argument for it. It does satisfy the criterion for an object of having components, with coherence in the form of succession in a causal process. But the coherence is hardly stable.

Take a stumble on the stairs. What are its components’? The initial loss of balance, bumps along the hobbling down, the final smack on the floor, the sprained ankle and a broken arm? What is their coherence? Stages in a process of causality? How stable is that coherence?  

The crux of an object is (relative) stability of composition. It does allow for change at some ‘lower’ level, of the components, but not their structure. For example, a body that stays the same while changing its cells.

By contrast, the crux of an event is change, of the structure of an object (its ‘inside’) or of its relation to its ‘environment’ (movement, metabolism, effects, phenomenology). A train is a coherent object that moves in space.

Acts are also events, and in them actors can create objects, demolish them and affect them even while they retain their identity. If I say something to someone, and he/she understands and learns from it, he/she is affected while staying the same person. So, here again, there must be a way of affecting objects while they retain their identity, and for that I employ the notion of a script, as described in the preceding item in this blog.

Is a book an object, as 3O claims, or only a node in a network of sense, as Foucault claimed? I can be both at the same time, like an object as a node in a script as an object. But the network of meanings in books seems tenuous, as an object. What is the coherence of sense? Two books will share many words, but if sense varies with the context, those words have many different meanings across books. They do share grammar, within a language. Coherence will increase in a genre of books, or as an item in the oeuvre of a specific author. But the coherence within a book is much stronger: in spatial continuity (the book), coherence in a plot, continuity of characters, or line of argument, lettertype, font size, paper, authorship, readership, publisher, bookshop/website, reviews.

Is Alice wonderland an object? I think she is. What are her components and the coherence between them? They are not empirical. To investigate them you have to ask the author, who is likely to say that whatever is not mentioned in the book you would have to imagine yourself. Could she appear in a book as a cosmonaut?  Perhaps. As a sausage? Hardly. Outside relations are with other characters in the book, the red Queen, for example, who tells her that you have to run to stand still. Coherence in fiction might be logical, though that does not always apply, not in the Snark, for example, who is probably hunted precisely to dodge logic. Whether it ‘works’ is a literary or dramatic matter, judged by critics. It has real effects, such as a reader buying the book, or being spired to write one him/herself.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

362. Relational ontology

I argue for a dynamic, relational ontology, where objects develop in relations with other objects that form, enable, object and oppose each other, in relations.

Andrew Benjamin also argued for a relational ontology[i]. He posited that the relation is primary to the singular object, because the individual object arises from the relation. I find it difficult to claim which is primary, since the relation between the object and the relation is circular: singulars produce relations, which produce singulars.

One thing is clear: the ‘thing in itself’ that has produced so much debate in philosophy, does not exist..

Relational ontologies arose before, among others with Alfred N. Whitehead and Bruno Latour. With the latter, the human being is constituted in networks. Against such ontology, two opposite objections have been raised.

The first objection is that relations change constantly, and if a human being is determined by those relations, then he/she no longer has a stable identity. And when they thus adapt to circumstance, they lose their role as opposing objects.

The second objection is that if all objects are formed by relations with all other objects then that also applies to those objects, so that there is only one all-encompassing object.

According to the first objection there is no identity, and according to the second there is only one single identity.

These objections are easily waved aside. The first assumes that with a change of relation an object changes entirely. The second assumes that there are relations with all other objects. Both can be untrue. A relation may affect only parts of an object, and most relations concern only some, not all other objects.

The question then is how an object can change only partly, not entirely or essentially. Is there, then, an essence that remains the same? As I argued earlier in this blog, I don’t believe in essences. How, then, can it work? How can an object change under a change of relations and yet maintain an identity, without having an essence?

According to Tristan Garcia the identity of an object is determined by what goes in and what goes out, in particular the difference between them. That reminds of the notion of added value of the added value of a firm, in economics: the difference of value of sales and value of purchases, as a measure of production (and the basis for VAT). But I want to open up the black box that transforms inputs into outputs.

That can be elucidated with the concept of a script that I discussed before (see the preceding item in this blog). I used it in my studies of innovation, and it is useful here also. A script is a network of nodes, connected by lines that can represent succession in time, causal effect, inference, or sharing of things (resources, ownership, legal identity, …). The structure constitutes identity, without need for any notion of essence.

The system is recursive, i.e. the nodes are themselves also scripts (subscripts), and the whole is embedded in a wider script (superscript). Take the example of a restaurant. That has a script of nodes of entry, seating, ordering, eating, paying and leaving. Paying itself has a script, or a collection of scripts, such as paying cash, by card or an app on the phone. The restaurant is embedded in a wider script of location, parking, supply of goods, monitoring by health authorities, insurance, safety measures, …

This yields an operationalization of the idea, adopted from ‘object-oriented ontology’,  that an object has two dimensions: of what is in it, here the the nodes and their subscripts, and what it is in, the superscript. The script can change in several ways: in its component nodes, e.g. a novel method of payment, in the restaurant script, where the basic character of the script, its overall structure, remains the same. Or it can change in its structure, the composition, say, in the transformation into a self-service restaurant, with a different sequencing of nodes: first selection of food, then payment, then seating and eating. Note that this has consequences for the nodes and their subscripts:  selecting food now entails carrying a tray. Note also that it changes with many things, but not with everything: consumer tastes, new dishes, regulations, but not ice skating, mountain climbing, or elections.

Is there an essence? Eating, perhaps? But the service and self-service restaurants would then be essentially the same. And one can also eat at home. Is the essence ‘eating out’, then? That also applies to a picnic.

Does this solve the philosophical puzzle, and with that the criticism of relational ontology?

[i] Andrew Benjamin, 2015, Towards a relational ontology, Suny Press. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

361. Incomplete specification

In the preceding items in this blog I have been following Graham Harman (and Tristan Garcia) in the idea that a thing has two dimensions: ‘what is in it’ (components), and ‘what it is in’ (its use, effects). In item 358 I followed Harman in the claim that one cannot completely specify anything. How ‘deep down’ would you go ‘inside’? Down to molecules, or further ‘down’ into ‘strings’? ‘Outside’, use, effects and experience are relative to context and to users, and open-ended, with new possibilities and uses emerging. I also mentioned the notion of ‘tacit knowledge’, where one can be competent in some practice without being able to catch it in complete protocols. That applies to bakers, engineers, doctors, comedians, and politicians.

In the literature on business and organization there is a stream of literature on ‘communities of practice’, where this is studied. To master the practice, people must engage in such a community for a time to master the tacit knowledge involved.

Often, one should not even TRY to specify something as much as possible, but leave it unspecified, in part, on purpose. That arises in the Aristotelian notion of the exemplar and the notion of the enthememe, discussed by Harman[i]. One form of the exemplar is the role model. Rather than even trying to give a complete specification of an activity one gives an example to imitate. The advantage of that is that it leaves room for interpretation, style and improvisation, which enhances motivation.

This is related to the notion of trust, which entails giving room for action, not imposing everything, accepting the risk of error or misunderstanding involved.

The implication, not widely known, or ignored, by regulators, is that the practice cannot be caught in closed protocols to eliminate error and fully codify best practices. Some slack must be allowed to deal with the tacitness of knowledge, the richness of professional practice, its variability due to the creativity of practitioners, the emergence of new problems and opportunities.

The exclusively analytic view, with the pretense of full paraphrase, specification, yields an atomization of work, organization, and communities, the loss of a sense of properties of the whole, emergence, of what is added in the whole, which is part of intrinsic value of action and participation.

In my discussions of meaning, in his blog, I proposed the notion of sense as the way in which one classifies, sees an object, as a chair, say. It entails a set, a repertoire, of connotations that are largely personal, subjective, collected along one’s individual path of life.

The enthememe gives a mere pointer that triggers one to pick one’s own choice of connotations. That gives more room, more freedom, an appeal to one’s own signification, as a trigger to select from one’s own repertoire of connotations, bringing the intended point ‘closer to home’, which is agreeable. A joke is no fun when you explain the point of it. Art mobilises creativity of signification rather than giving a specification or explanation.     

Harman gives Socrates as an exemplar. I have long been irritated by his unwillingness to commit himself to an answer to the riddles he poses (in Plato’s dialogues), acting only as a midwife (in maieutics) helping to give birth to ideas or assumptions by the interlocutors. After Harman, I see the point of it: there is never a final, correct answer.

In the practical wisdom, phronesis, of Aristotle, one cannot supply universal moral recipes since moral judgement depends on contingencies, where different virtues have to be weighed against each other depending on the specific context. There also one can only learn from the exemplary mastery and tacit knowledge of an experienced judge.  

When I was teaching at universities, students demanded recipes, and I had to explain that such universal recipes don’t exist and at a university students had to learn to make their own recipes depending on the situation at hand.

In this blog I want to offer an ontology which takes change and variety, needed for change, as the crux of existence. This is in line with my arguments throughout this blog, in my discussion of the change of meaning along the hermeneutic circle, my approach to universals and their particulars, and the cycle of discovery that I proposed. In this area, I have also used ideas from Wittgenstein (the later, of the Philosophical Investigations), such as meaning as use and language games. However, the shortcoming here of the game as a paradigm is that games have fixed rules, while here rules may change. How that can be is the central challenge.  

What does all this do to the proposals, in this blog, for truth as warranted assertibility, and debatable ethics? The warrant, of a proposition or ethical judgement, consists of such considerations as relevance, intent, available information, perspective, and enabling and constraining conditions, which all depend on the context. This includes arguments of fact, logic, meaning, workability, plausibility, and metaphor. Plausibility is coherence in a wider whole. Metaphor serves to loosen thought, to see something from a different perspective.     

The analytic, scientific perspective can appear as an ingredient in the pragmatic whole. Mathematics can help to contribute rigour of argument, given basic assumptions or axioms whose relevance and adequacy depend on the wider warrant of the context. Philosophy can help science in its embedding in a wider whole. The pragmatic, the consideration of what ‘the thing is in’, is primary, to decide what is relevant in the potential of the analytic, in ‘what is in it’.

[i] Graham Harman, 2018, Object-oriented ontology; A new theory of everything, Penguin.