Processes of Science and Art Modeled as a Holoflux of Information Using Toroidal Geometry | Dirk K. F. Meijer

An attempt is made to model the structure of science and art discovery processes in the light of currently defined ideas on the societal flow of knowledge and conservation of information, using the versatile physical concept of toroidal geometry. This should be seen as a heuristic model that is open for further development and evolution. The scientific process, has been often described as a iterative and/or recurrent process. Current models explain the generation of new knowledge on the basis of a number of sequential steps (activities) operating in a circular mode. This model intrinsically assumes this process to be congruent for all individual scientific efforts. Yet, such a model is obviously inadequate to fully describe the whole integral process of scientific discovery as an ongoing interactive process, performed in a cumulative fashion. This implies that any new cycle starts from a different perspective or, optimistically seen, is initiated from a higher level, in a spiral mode, that takes into account the ongoing rise of scientific perspectives. Also, any model that attempts to picture the scientific process, should include potential interactions of concepts or hypotheses, in the sense that concurrently developed concepts may (mutually) influence each other and even may be mixed or superposed or, alternatively, may even result in concept extinction. Science and art progression, both seen as an individual effort and as a historically-based flow of events, is inherently a non-linear or even sometimes a chaotic process, where quite suddenly arising visions can cast a very different light on main-stream scientific thought and/or seem to remove existing barriers in more traditional “habits of the mind”. In contrast to the rather gradual evolution of science, the history of art sometimes even shows complete rejection of preceding conceptualizations and styles. The dynamics of cognition and perception are fruitfully suggested by the rotational dynamics of a torus as a basis for its “self-reflexive” property. Also, the torus exhibits contraction/relaxation loops, in which the torus turns inside out in a vibrating mode, implying strange loop trajectories. This suggests that the toroidal geometry embodies a cognitive twist, relating the “inside” to “outside” of knowledge as with a Möbius strip, a phenomenon that can be seen as the basis for self-consciousness. The torus geometry may also be applied to the art process on the basis of personal experience, intuitive vision, intention, imagination, and technical realization of the becoming piece of art. The finalization of the art concept can be conceived as a sort of knotting of the spiral information process: By literally connecting both ends of the toroidal information trajectory, the spiral is closed and a final product is created. Importantly, both scientists and artists may be inspired by intuition and serendipity, possibly through contact with an underlying knowledge field, as identified in modern physics. Unfortunately, science that often claims objectivity, sometimes seems dominated by a range of subjective human attitudes, not different from any other field in society. One factor is the deficient science-philosophical education of our students in the current curricula and loss of academic worldviews in university careers, in which “time is short” and necessary moments for reflection scarce.

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