Union of the Whys (CONTEXT MAP) University of Earth Union of Imaginable Associations Cognitive Fusion Reactor (ITER-8)
Union of the Whys

Dynamic Union of the Whys

- / -

See also resource documents; See also significance of web domain

Comprehending and communicating its nature: In considering the dynamic of a Union of the Whys, the question of "who" might form part of such a collective identity, or "what" its purpose might be, can usefully be treated as of secondary concern, as with the questions of "where" it might be located, "when" it emerged or with "which" priorities it is faced. The concern here is rather with "how" it might be understood to function and how its dynamics might possibly be described.

Preoccupations: essential vs mundane: As an archetypal roundtable, any Council of the Whys, embodying the dynamics of such a Union, might then be understood as at the centre of a pattern of concentric circles (spheres or hyperspheres). In the innermost, the preoccupation would then be with the multiplicity of "whys", whereas outer circles (spheres or hyperspheres) might be successively preoccupied with "whats", "wheres", or "whens". The outermost might then be usefully associated with "hows". This suggests a progression from "external" mundane, concrete preoccupations to "inner" essentials or existentials.

Why-questions: Why-questions might indeed be understood as closely associated with the so-called "essence of humanity" and how this is distinguished from the consciousness of animals (and possibly of plants). The latter typically have effectively to formulate or answer questions of:

  • "when to engage" in some behaviour in response to a pattern of stimuli
  • "who is that", notably when there is any form of bonding
  • "what is that", in detecting threat and sources of food
  • "where to go" in avoiding threat, seeking nourishment or moving to breeding or nesting grounds
  • "which to do" in deciding on action priorities
  • "how to act" in obtaining food, shelter or avoid vulnerability

Is there any implication that animals (or plants), however "curious" or "puzzled", are confronted with the question of "why" as such, rather than its reduction into other WH-questions? By contrast, it is through why-questions that the framing of questions is challenged -- potentially they are a "mise en question" of extant patterns. It is for such reasons that the 5th Annual Edge Question (2002) of the World Question Center (of the Edge Foundation) was: "What is your question? Why?" This was considered to reflect the spirit of the Edge motto:

To arrive at the edge of the world's knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves.

Domains of emergence: Fundamental to the domain of Whys are of course the perspectives from which questions of "why" might emerge. Such perspectives might be understood in part as defining sectors of human preoccupation as conventionally understood: health, education, security, employment, environment, technology, relationship, etc. The "inner" concentric circles might then be understood as concerned with the particular principles or values associated with each perspective, however much these seemingly distinct sectoral preoccupations became interwined, entangled and reframed within the dynamics amongst the "whys".

In more conventional terms, the distinction between "inner" and "outer" circles might then be crudely seen as:

  • inner: engendering "health, wealth, happiness" for existential satisfaction
  • outer: engagement with the "other" through "fix-it" recipes of every conceivable variety