Renaissance's Theory Capsule,
as of the Start of 1995
arrangements/natural laws a universe may fall into: so long as there
is time, and so long as there are differentiated levels of energy,
the following descriptors tend to also have bearing.....
toward disorder - standard classical thermodynamics - structure
and order are forms of energy and thus tend to break down. This
tendency acts as a pruning selecting factor the other side of whose
2. The equally
universal tendency toward order. Even "pure random chaos"
will clot itself up toward order. One description of how it does
so is thus:
(A) the definition of systems: any interaction (which also means
any event or set of events).
(B) In chaos, whatever factors are present are at least interacting,
even if mostly only bumping into each other and bouncing away.
(C) By simple variance: some interactions last longer than do others
and, sooner or later, some interactions--i.e., systems--last much
longer than do others.
(D) These systems tend to exhibit one or more characteristics--
strategies, if you will--which are what enabled them to last
(E) Over time the universe tends to accumulate more and more of
the systems which exhibit these strategies, and increasingly those
which exhibit these more effectively. Failed systems return their
elements "to the soup" to become incorporated into more
successful systems. Thus the very pruning influence of the universal
tendency toward disorder, drives the universe equally universally
toward higher forms of order.
(G) Historically in our particular universe--and perhaps more generally
as well--the most successful strategies or features enabling systems
to resist returning their elements to the soup, among others, are
(1) complex homeostasis, with all that this requires in terms of
sensing and responding to changes internal and external;
(2) self-replication, which enriched enormously the context in which
all this is happening by so increasing the "population"
of systems that they now long since comprise each other's increasingly
(3) selection itself, including selection among behavioral alternatives
which not only elaborates further # (1's) abilities to sense and
respond to changes internal and external, but allow these to express
increasingly rapidly and with less cost in terms of failed systems
and system elements.
in turn, defines "reinforcement." By sensing which behaviors
"work" and which don't "work," a system maintains
itself. Because of increasingly complex changes in its environment
(into which other successful systems increasingly wedge their way
in to further elaborate complexity), nearly all successful systems
must incorporate some of their external feedback into their own
ongoing evolution, thus opening the way for their own elaboration
a la Mandelbrot Set, by definition. Virtually all successful systems,
to maintain themselves, need to orient more to those behaviors which
are confirmed by feedback. --Which is why, among those successful
systems which happen also to be living systems, among which
living systems as happen also to be animal: behavioral
scientists and psychologists have developed their "first law:
You get more of what you reinforce." The same requirements,
however, apply to other kinds of living system including
vegetative, viral, and social, and to non-living physical
systems as well. Thus behavior and psychology clearly are extensions
of phenomena rendered intelligible in the context of the physical
universe--i.e., we do exist in one universe, with one set of comprehensive
descriptors or "natural laws." (That may not be all, but
it is certainly at least a substantial part of the phenomena with
which we must cope.) Seen from the other end: the most widely recognized
"natural law" of (animal) behavior and psychology necessarily
describes for all comprehensively complexly self-sustaining
systems human, non-human, animal, vegetative, social, and non-living
physical. From either end, this unity of domains under this descriptive
law is a key aspect of our emerging general theory and model, just
as the unity of domains of Earth and Heaven under common laws of
gravity and mathematics became crucial to physics following Newton.
The significance lies not only in that "law" applying
to this range of domains. It applies as much in the factors which
account for or "require" this law.
4. This universal
law of "reinforcement," the confluence of factors requiring
comprehensively self-sustaining systems to sense and respond to
changes in internal and external environments; to orient such systems
(and their further development) toward those behaviors which "work,"
incidentally account for the findings of such educators as
Maria Montessori and sociologists/developmentalists such as Omar
K. Moore and his "clarifying environments," and most notably
the main finding of the father of neuroanatomy Santiago Ramon y
Cajal, that learning and even the physical brain and nervous system
per se develop most effectively in response to feedback from
one's own activities, rather than from levels of stimulus or
from genetics. This crucial finding of Cajal's has never been controverted,
only overlooked or ignored. (Even our best neurophysiologists today,
though standing on Cajal's shoulders, are still hung up on the idea
that levels of stimulus determining the level of brain development,
a serious error with profound and multifaceted consequences.)
feedback into one's behavior and development generally, as we systems
of various stripes all must; and in particular the Mandelbrotian
definition of evolving systems incorporating some portion of feedback
into their ongoing evolution; necessarily means by definition--
intermodulation of ongoing system (or organism, or person)
behavior with the feedbacks upon that behavior. That in turn means
this aspect, of ourselves and of our universe, in our particular
universe at least if not more generally, corresponds--
to the descriptions or "natural laws" or regularities
observed in our two intermodulation sciences, interference-pattern
physics, and fractile chaos theory. In both sciences, such intermodulation
necessarily gives rise to enormously more complex and sophisticated
orders of phenomena.
physics, including holography, first arose in the study of acoustics.
Closely similar tones intermodulate into a beat frequency third
and subsequent tones and harmonics. Even the slightest change in
one of those input tones creates enormous differences in these tonal
and harmonic outputs--but in orderly, predictable ways, creating
enormous room for information-handling. Closely similar, parallel
and coherent beams of light, including split-beam holographic photography,
demonstrate the same dynamic of richer information-handling but
in visual terms. Any closely parallel, more or less continuous streams
of event, allowed to intermodulate, give rise to immensely complex
sophisticated orders of phenomena.
B. Chaos theory
subsumes interference-pattern physics: there, intermodulation produces
huge differences in outcome from slight changes in input, but in
many different kinds of orderly, as-yet unpredictable, way.
C. In either
instance, intermodulation produces extraordinarily complex, sophisticated
high forms of order, and articulates that order into a very large
and varied series of alternative iterations.
D. These iterations
from intermodulative outcomes, and iterations from complex relationships
generally, "entrap" more and more of the substance of
the universe, one dimension of the universal tendency toward higher
selection driving toward systems superior in their resistance to
dispersal, and this entrapment of the "stuff of the universe"
into successive complexes of iterative complex relationships, account
for why so very much of the phenomena surrounding us and engulfing
us and comprising us corresponds to these very descriptions or "natural
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narrower focus, many other important "natural laws" appear
to collapse back on or be derivative from the above. For example,
the two most widely-acknowledged "laws" of neurophysiological
development can be seen to be particular examples of the first behavioral
law--that you "get more of what you reinforce."
find what is working. Go to the boundaries of what's working
and practice to greater degrees of refinement from there."
"Working" means that relevant feedback is perceived and
acts as "reinforcement." Getting greater degrees of refinement
means to sophisticate the range and detail over which feedbacks
can be perceived and can serve as reinforcement. Without behavior's
"first law," this "first law" of neurophysiological
development could not pertain or would be meaningless.
awareness, then the ability to act through that awareness."
Without perceived feedback (i.e., reinforcement) to guide, no action
can proceed very far or with skill. Even where skills pre-existed,
as in a cramped leg which has "gone to sleep," skill falls
apart until "awareness can be gotten back into" that leg
- i.e., until feedbacks can again be perceived and can serve again
of these two derivative laws, with each other and with the original
law of reinforcement, appear to be highly productive of an enormous
range of potential human benefits, ranging from radical improvements
in learning (one of Project Renaissance's programs is developing
a way to develop Mozart-like musical skills in preschoolers within
a few pleasant days or weeks; another is to develop full mastery
and comprehension of the first dozen or so years of school math,
in preschoolers, within a few pleasant days or weeks)--
improvements in learning, to human development and the building
of intelligence; to human repair. Example: from these three simple
principles has now been defined a program of proposed treatment
which should enable full restoration and normalization of even the
virtually brain-dead, long-term comatose whose outcomes historically
have virtually always been death at best, prolonged vegetative status
leading to death otherwise. These and other unconventional results
stem from simple application of these three simple principles in
varying combinations. (No secret here: the obvious instructions
are freely provided for this effect, from Project Renaissance at
the address below.
focus still further still leaves us with enormous ranges of phenomena
and outcome implications to account for. For example:
A. Each time
one expresses, records or otherwise acts upon a perception, he or
(1) That particular
perception. Hence our Principle of Description, from the earliest
days of Project Renaissance: the more you describe something which
you are observing, while you are observing or examining it,
the more you will discover about it. (Especially if you describe
it aloud to a live or potential listener.)
(2) The behavior
of being perceptive, which is more significant than any particular
perception. (If you do not express, record, describe or otherwise
act upon to reinforce a perception when it happens, you are reinforcing
the behavior of being unperceptive!) Example: every program
of systematic creative method or CPS teaches the practice of carrying
around a notepad or other recording device and using that to "capture
your ideas" when they happen. As pedestrian and unglamorous
as such a practice might seem, every CPS method has found it to
be hugely important to building and sustaining creativity, whether
or not any use is made of those notes afterward. It's the act of
making those notes or recordings which is reinforcing.
(3) To the
extent that some perceptions thus reinforced are at first subtle,
they arise in regions of the brain which are mostly or wholly offline
from where we are verbally conscious. To reinforce such subtle perceptions,
reinforces onto line with verbal consciousness those offline regions
of the brain, cumulatively bringing those regions--and their resources,
and their intelligence--more immediately online and available
seems to be no apparent limit to available gains by this process,
at least on any scale wherein we now measure "intelligence"
by whatever definition though most of the effects appear to be of
a numinous kind which are presently unmeasured and mostly even unspecified.
(B) Into this
point of the discussion, integrates the whole of the accompanying
paper, "Next Step in Evolution?"--the reinforcive role
of speech as the magnifying lens for perception, drove the expansion
of the brain as the most distinguishing and possibly earliest characterizeably
human step in the emergence of our species. --And appears to be
fully capable of at least as much further evolution, once appropriately
8. One simple,
generalized application out of all the above, is that to the extent
that we conform our behaviors to the Mandelbrotian condition--sustaining
a flow of expressive events such as describing--under conditions
of (reinforcive) feedback, incorporating some portion of that feedback
into our ongoing flow: we evoke intermodulation and open the way
to extraordinarily higher orders of phenomena and perception.
9. Other applications
as powerful may derive both from the above constructs, and from
other constructs resulting from efforts to collapse systems of natural
law back upon their most comprehensive, simplest root elements.
10. Our series
of Double-Festivals, an annual conference held one weekend each
November in the Washington, D.C. area. This festival engages theory
at various levels, presenters and participants together in the unique
configuration and intellectual reverberation system of "Dynamic
Format." Each festival is a further step in the process of
attempting greater clarifications, simplifications, and useful applications
for both #'s 8 & 9. Much of this grand clarification and integration
was accomplished in 1995's extraordinary Double-Festival V, and
much more at the recent Double-Festival VI. We approach culmination
in Double-Festival VII this November 13-15, 1998 at the Holiday
Inn in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
What else is
unique about the November weekend series of Double-Festival Conferences,
on Creative Method and Enhanced/Accelerated Learning Method?
1. The unified
theory models already developed, from which the series is working
further. The scope and perspective brought immediately into clear
view are tremendous.
2. Its search
for strong theory presentations before so mixed a nonetheless high
such theory not only intelligible for lay elements of the audience
but productive for that audience's involvement,
converting the last third of each formal presentation into a highly
interactive thinktank a la "Dynamic Format," presenter
and participants together questing further development of the main
issue of that session.
5. The high
levels of audience understanding and contribution which result from
this format of involvement.
6. This particular form in which we rig conditions of feedback to
revive the ancient Greek School tradition, enabling leading thinkers
and perceivers to develop their perceptions further by describing
them to a quality audience. Conditions in this regard are matched
only by the annual Creative Problem-Solving Institute in Buffalo
and, on occasion, by the annual conference of the International
Alliance of Learning, and then through somewhat different dynamics.
Each of those two annual events enjoy a unique history and situation.
The effects and procedures of the annual Double-Festival are easily
replicated, so that this may serve as a model for many other conferences
and symposia in future.
7. The extent
to which presenters "get to pick the brains of their participants,"
on the issues and topics most important to them and crucial in their
8. Our newest
conference feature "implosion sessions" in which related
presentations are conducted together in panel and then thinktanked
9. Nearly unique,
seen in only a few other events besides these Double-Festivals,
is the concluding Grand Panel of the Whole, where most of the various
presenters interact with each other and with the audience on topics
and issues of general concern and common interest. Fully unique
to these Double Festivals is our use of other processes besides
discussion for discovering consensus and solution and fresh insights,
in interactive group procedures as part of this Grand Panel.
Please get your presentation proposal(s) in as soon as possible
toward Double-Festival VII, at which a strong unified theory sub-theme
or theme, at least, will be continuing. The sooner these inputs
are in the more opportunity we'll have to orchestrate further synchronies
of effect. We are seeking hard to go up to "another level"
in all regards in Double-Festival VI, far above even what has transpired
to date. We intend to make this the kind of historic event that
you will be extraordinarily pleased, even twenty years later, that
you were part of it.
We are looking
for well-founded theory, noting three different kinds of foundation
for "truth" are empirical (evidence of the senses, usually
taken to mean experimental data); reason or strength of logical
argument (an issue in relationships); self-evident or intuitive.
Before a theory can be considered a "paradigm," it should
have substantial concurrence from at least two of those three legs
of the piano stool. Before an hypothesis can be considered a theory,
there must be found at least some formal support for it from among
these piano stool legs. We are happy also to entertain hypotheses
which have not yet gotten such support, so long as we can find a
way toward testing it.
We also seek
relations between theories and between models. For example, mapping
geophysics and especially plate tectonics onto social and civilizational
phenomena, is very productive of further understandings in the field
of sociotectonics. Even better, that ultimate relationship structure
which descends and integrates from some comprehensive "unified
field theory," the single descriptive statement from which
all else derives.
For the sake of the laymen in our audience, note Jerome S. Bruner's
famous statement: any idea or theory can be taught in intellectually
respectable form to any child at any age level, so long as this
is done in his own cognitive vocabulary. Note also that if you seek
to explain your own theory to children, you will understand it better.
What you present
doesn't have to be already proven, but should be at least well supportable
by evidence empirical, argument or in other regards self-evident.
Its dismissal by the establishment does not disqualify it, obviously,
but in and of itself that does not automatically qualify it either.
Remember the dictum, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary
proof" -- also the feature of science wherein you can never
really prove a thesis, only support it until such time as it gets
We also seek
strikingly useful applications of such theory to practical human
benefit. While "nothing is more practical than good theory,"
at some point the theory has to be able to give us a handle on making
things happen more the way we desire in the "real world."
While the prospective benefits may indeed be the cause of resistance
from people and systems reflexively more comfortable with what's
been sitting for so long in their rear view mirrors, its those benefits
in prospect which justify the whole enterprise and render this to
be something more than just an exercise in intellectual or mental
self-indulgence. Once we find ways to step around such resistance--including
the status-quo-seeking resistance in our very selves--most of you
receiving this brief know that towering positive human miracles
of many kinds are now in immediate easy reach. Our pursuit together
in context of the Double-Festivals will go a long way to bringing
some of these various positive miracles into immediate focus.
other way: if you have a strikingly effective technique to present,
especially for improving the human condition, human performance
level, the quality of human experience - even if you haven't a clue
as to what makes it work, it just does, bring it in. Chances are
that in this dynamic a setting, we - and you - will understand what
makes it work before the Conference is done!
at your VERY earliest convenience to: Win Wenger c/o Project Renaissance,
301/948-1122 or Box 332, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-0332, email@example.com.
1998 by Win Wenger. You may freely, however, copy this document
for friends, in whole, including this notice, but not in part.
©1998 by Project Renaissance (regarding this internet version
only, other copyrights may apply). While we encourage the free distribution
of this article (complete text only, including this notice and acknowledgement
of source), we do require that expressed permission be granted by
Project Renaissance for any major republication. For minor printing
and sharing, we only request that you notify us.
reach Win Wenger, please visit his website at Project
originally published on Anakin's
Brain (now Genius By Design)