The Jim Rutt Show

The Jim Rutt Show

Currents 053: Matthew Pirkowski on Grammars of Emergence

February 28, 2022

Jim talks with Matthew Pirkowski about new frameworks in the study of emergence...

Jim talks with Matthew Pirkowski about new frameworks in the study of emergence. They discuss the concept's roots in the work of J.S. Mill, 19th-century tensions between reductionism & vitalism, Terrence Deacon's ententional properties, ententionality as a result of constraints, giving reality status to relations, pruning rules as key to emergence, possibility space as unconstrained, chirality, spin glasses, viewing the Ukraine-Russia conflict in terms of preference regimes, communication speeds & emergence in the French Revolution, viscosity in political systems, Ilya Prigogine's dissipative structures, using waste as energy, emergence without emergencies, complexity catastrophe & viscosity, social media platforms as memetic reactors, race-to-the-bottom dynamics in social media, the possibility of non-trivial positivity within volatile online spaces, knowing communities by their fruits, grammars of differentiation vs grammars of integration, the project of synthesizing hyper-specialized languages, and much more.

Episode Transcript
Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter, by Terrence W. Deacon
The Emergence of Everything: How the World Became Complex, by Harold J. Morowitz
Emergence: From Chaos To Order, by John H. Holland
"Adjacent Possible: A Talk with Stuart A. Kauffmann"
The Origins of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution, by Stuart A. Kauffman
Adaptation in Natural and Artificial Systems: An Introductory Analysis with Applications to Biology, Control, and Artificial Intelligence, by John H. Holland
JRS - Currents 051: Douglas Rushkoff on the Once and Future Internet
JRS - Currents 049: Ashley Colby & Jason Snyder on Doomer Optimism

Matthew Pirkowski works at the intersection of software, psychology, and complex systems. These interests first took root while studying Evolutionary Psychology and assisting with Behavioral Economic research at Yale's Comparative Cognition Laboratory. From there Matthew began a career in software engineering, where he applied these interests to the development of software interfaces used by millions around the world, most notably as a member of Netflix's Television UI team, where he worked on experimental initiatives conceptualizing and prototyping the future of entertainment software. Presently, Matthew consults on systems architecture, advises companies within the startup space, and writes about topics related to the evolution of human socioeconomic, technological, and representational systems–in particular the emergence and impact of cryptoeconomic protocols, as outlined in his Crypto Beyond Capitalism essay series. He spends most of his free time maintaining, restoring, and growing food on 6 recently acquired acres of Oregon woodlands.