Held on: Friday 24 November 2023
Present: SMG, CA, JC, CM, AB
Disclaimer: This is a transcript of a real-time discussion, and so wording and even content do NOT necessarily express properly the views of the participants. Moreover, sometimes the audio was unclear. The material is being shared for the purposes of personal reflection, to progress the discussion on contemporary economics. You may NOT cite or otherwise use this material in any adverarial way.
The main purpose of these RLDG discussions is to develop our Rethink of Economics, and also to serve as an archive of ideas and insights into economics from a pre-theoretical stance.
This 26th discussion is part of the series of the RLDG discussions, which started at the 2020 Reith Lectures. Two topics were discussed:
ACTION SMG, JC: To contact each other and discuss taking cipations technique and tool further, maybe in relation to LLMs.
ACTION SMG, AB: Make the software tool available and organise a showing of it.
ACTION SMG: Send screens of presentation.
[This is annotated notes of the 26th RLDG discussion.
AB typed notes during the discussion, then went through transcribing the audio recording, correcting spelling errors, inserting links, and notes and comments in square brackets (18 December 2023). This time there are no summaries at the end of each section, but instead there are indications of how various points have been incorporated into the Rethink. Some stumbles and blind alleys and extra words like "yknow", "basically", etc. have been omitted where they do not contribute to the meaning, but retained some where they might.
AB adopted two roles, (a) of editor, "Ed.", e.g. giving links to other material, adding "***" to important points attaching unique labels for future reference (actually only places for labels to be added later), or explaining things; and (b) of contributor ("AB:"), inserting responses to what had just been said, especially some that he would have made had be not been taking notes. AB's responses are added in order to further the discussion, especially in a way that could contribute to our Rethink. Sometimes he will criticise himself for what was said on the day!
"??xx??" indicates unclear memory of what was said. "..." indicates missing content (spoken but not written into the notes). Square brackets = content added by editor that was not in the discussion. ]
[Ed. Before recording began, the participants introduced their backgrounds]
# AB: What we see is we have got quite a wide range of people, of experience, of thinking, of perspectives. And I think that is healthy as we look at the field of economics. And we have an even wider range in the wider [RLDG] group. So, thank you all for coming.
# AB: Two main themes and topics have been put up for discussion today.
# We thought that it would be good to do GDP first. Because then SMG can use some of what we say as examples of his Dooyeweerdian thinking.
# Is there anything else that people came along with, hoping that we would discuss, so that we can add it into the plan?
[Nobody offered anything]
[AB: GDP is of course a bit topic of discussion, and its flaws are well known; it has featured in RLDG discussions many times before, but never in a focused way. We compiled a draft understanding of GDP and proposal to overcome some of the flaws. Now it is time to discuss it with focus. ]
# AB: GDP, Gross Domestic Product, is blamed by a lot of people for a lot of our ills. And a lot of people see that it is a fundamentally problematic thing, way of measuring thing.
# I think it was Kuznets who first proposed it, as a way of just measuring of the volume of an economy. He decided not to measure capital but to measure flow of money, transactions. That was quite brilliant, and governments and people ever since have found it useful as a way of measuring the size of their economy.
# AB: Strictly, Kuznets warned against doing this; it is not a measure of wellbeing, but governments tend to use it as a measure wellbeing of their people or a measure of the kudos of their government. And governments like to compare themselves with other governments in terms of GDP, or in terms of GDP per capita, per person. And they like to increase their GDP from one year to the next.
# And also, in a democratic system, they claim that they are going to increase GDP because it increases economic growth, which increases the happiness and wellbeing and everything else of the people, so they will get more votes.
# AB: So there are those three problems.
# And that sortof like, as I understand it, the background to this.
# And in Chapter 5, where we talk about values, this is outlined; there is a little section on GDP.
# And then in Chapter 7, which is on Good, Harmful and Useless economic activity and differentiating them, there is a proposal of rethinking GDP. ***
# Now, who are we to rethink GDP!! ***
# There are lots of proposals have tried to rethink GDP. And so I don't like to call it a proposal, but it is actually a proposal.
# And I would like it to at least be able to stand up [to scrutiny], with its head held high, among people who know more than we do - or at least more than I do - and not be laughed down.
# And so I would like us to discuss this.
# AB: The proposal is to, instead of having the value of good economic activity and the value of harmful economic activity added together, to form GDP, the good economic activity should then / the harmful economic activity should be subtracted from it. ***
[Ed. As an equation:
GDP = Good - Harm ]
# And that is kindof the very oversimplified basis of the proposal.
# So any part of the value of the economic activity of a nation that is doing / resulting in harm will be subtracted from this measure called GDP rather than added to it. And that is the jist of it.
# And what we do about useless economic activity /
# EF Schumacker, if anyone remembers him, talks about fleet of lorries going from London to Glasgow taking buscuits and a fleet of lorries taking bisuits from Glasgow to London, each manufactured in the other city and each biscuit manufacturer having surplus production capacity and looking for other cities to sell their biscuits - and what a waste that is, of these two fleets of lorries taking biscuits from each city to the other.
# And that is an example of what we call "useless" economic activity. Something that has got basically zero value.
# So, how we add that into GDP is a matter for debate.
# But that is the overall picture.
# And so, first I would like to hear what you think, first of all about the problems - and also the benefits - of GDP. (I have got one idea of a benefit of it.)
# And then what do you think about this proposal and perhaps modify it.
# OK? Have I been clear?
# CM: You are right. Kuznets invented it. I think it was in the context really of the post-Wall Street crash and the depresssion era in the US, if I remember my economic history correctly. Where of course there was a huge slump in demand, and the New Deal kindof kicked off a restart of the American economy and the re-employment of a lot of unemployed people, and so on.
# And so what he was wanting to do was to measure the restablishment of demand. And then indeed, with the looming clouds of war hanging in the immediate future, within the next few years, they were looking at the level of particularly manufacturing production.
# And so this is where, clearly in those days, the majority of economic activity in a developed nation like in the European countries and in the US, was primarily production: yknow, factories churning out steel, railways, trains, cars, increasingly planes, and ships, and so on, then obviously the production of consumer goods and foodstuffs and so forth.
# And so he was concerned to measure that. And that was a rising figure, generally. Because of the pumps were primed by government intervention in the economy in the Keynesian type of way. And so the thing took off.
# And that was, in a way, valid through the war and through the immediate reconstruction era.
# CM: But it [GDP] is becoming increasingly invalid, as you suggested AB because there are two things really within the nature of Western economies.
[AB: Add that into GDP. Done. 27 November 2023]
# CM: [Ed. CM then wanders through several points, which are useful] Not more and more haircuts and more and more coffee shops and eating out (there has been that and proportionately the British economy now is like 10% or maximum 20 - I think it's nearer 10% now - of actual physical manufactures.
# All the rest is imported, so there is quite a lot of economic activity that is trade, ??transport?? and so on, but not making / not adding value in terms of converting of material.
# It's actually just the added value of place [of manufacture].
# Which of course is a contrary argument, incidentally, to Schumacher's complaint about the biscuit companies. There is value added because if you want a particular type of biscuit in London and it happens to be made in Glasgow, you do need a truck to bring it. So that is a marketing game. # AB: OK, good [AB was pleased to hear of a counter to Shumacher that can be thought about]. # CM: There is a value there. Because you don't want the ones that are made in London, because they are the wrong kind of biscuit and you don't like them. ***
# Otherwise you end up with the sortof Soviet kind ov model, which I am a little familiar with because of where I work. There is only one kind of biscuit in the shops and that is the one you get.
# I mean that perhaps is a little trivial.
[AB: That added to Rethink 2 December 2023. ]
[AB: This is a challenging one. On one hand, it is valid to have some pleasure of diversity in life (Good in aesthetic aspect). On the other hand, that incurs Harm. So the question is one of responsibility. Is what is needed really a change of heart, of attitude and mindset, among affluent people, away from "I want superfluous diversity of pleasure" to "I want to use my affluence to bring Good elsewhere". A change of heart across society and within individuals. ]
# CM: But the other point about the failures of GDP how to change it: Now we have reached this state of what Jeremy Williams, and Katherine Trebeck, the Economics of Arrival, the idea that Western nations really have so much stuff, basic / ***
# They may be inequitable (that is another question) but on an average basis we have so much stuff that we are meeting everybody's needs pretty well - or we could do if we shared it reasonably. ***
# The problem with changing the accounting with GDP, I think, is that it does come down to an accountancy problem.
# And, in theory it is great, your idea that you take the valuable things and you deduct the negative things, and then you maybe leave some things out, even, as useless, as neutral but useless -
the good minus the bad excluding the useless. ***
# But the thing is, how do you measure the bads? ***
# Because there are things that are good that could result from bads. Are they still goods because they have been necessitated by bads? ***
# For example, you have a health service, and you are measuring output. (You are right, it is monetized.) So you are measuring output. So you have some measure of health service output, depending on how much money you are spending there on maintenance and capital development and particularly on the wages and operating costs of the hospitals and the clinics and doctors and so on.
# But if quite a lot of that is actually correcting bads in society /
# So let us say you have to have an orthopedic operation, yknow somebody is putting somebody back together again. But they are putting back together again because they had a car crash. And their bones ??? in the car crash. And it's the same as the thing about the car crash creating for the garage fixing cars, and that adds to GDP.
# So, are those going to be entirely bad?
# But in terms of the car repairs, well maybe you say you completely exclude all repairs that relate to crashes. But then how do you identify those within even in individual / in a body shop for a car?
# And certainly within an individual hospital, how do you disaggregate the negative things that are coming as a result of bad events that have occurred in society and the positive things that, well, they may be occurring as a result of bad events like somebody getting sick, but that is 'natural' human society event, that you cannot say is a result of anybody's fault. And so you provide that if you have a socialised health service as we have in the UK.
# You provide that, and that improves society because people are no longer sick; they are healthy. They have a better life and maybe get back to work and so forth.
# And so I think that is where it may be difficult because you cannot actually get your hands so easily on all of those yknow the itsy bitsy accounting stuff.
[AB: Interesting that CM should focus on that. We actually address this in a simple way of saying that we do not include that in our consideration of Useless. Maybe we should think more carefully. 2 December 2023 modified that page. ]
# CM: And I understand that GDP, producing a GDP figure actually takes a lot of work from government statisticians these days, where they add all these things together. They accumulate these data and add them all together and that is how they come up with a GDP figure.
# Which is one of the reasons why sometimes they then come a year after / they have issued some numbers for say 21-22 and then in 23 they suddenly come back and say "Oh, the numbers we gave you at the end of 22, which was our fiscal year 21-22, they were a bit wrong; we have got to make some adjustments because there are some things that we did not get quite right.
# They do that now. With this technique with this plus and minus I think it would be even more difficult.
# Anyway, I do not want to shoot it down before it is even off the ground. Because it is a great concept, I think. But I am not quite sure how to do the accounting. ***
# AB: Great; thank you very much.
[AB: We do briefly mention that difficulty, but suggest that since it already takes a lot of effort, that shows that it might in principle be possible. I have added more about it. ]
# JC: In response to CM's perspective, I think it is a to-whom problem. ***
# We can figure out the disaggregation of your example the car crash compared to climate change, and to whom.
# Wherein, like, you can create some sort of aperture that expands the negative score based on the number of individuals where the bad thing happens.
# Your example, the car crash, the individuals in the car crash, you can create some some sort of way to percentage discount something.
# That would be a way to have a simple one-one ??wigglemancy?? [relationship?]. There is some sort of weighted average or weighed amount or something that can float across a GDP measurement. That takes ??no account?? that sort of either lens or aperture of the number of the people affected.
# Or certain things, the type of damage that is done.
# I think if we take that approach, does that make sense?
# AB: Yeah. So, weighted averages and so on.
[AB: The idea of weighting added in to Rethink. ]
# SMG: I was just going to say that, it seems to me that the conversation is straying into territory that is making me think of, is it Sandell at Harvard's talk, about right and wrong and ethics.
# This whole question of trains coming down the tracks, and if it carries on it is going to kill 10 people but you can switch it onto another track and it will kill 3 people. What is the morally correct thing to do?
# And they are very very difficult questions to answer. Is it morally correct to allow the train to continue and kill more people? Or does it change depending on the people age? If the 3 people are consultant heart surgeons, who save hundreds of lives and the other people are yknow a gang of kids that are just causing trouble?
# And so you get into all this complexity very very very quickly.
# And so quickly that in fact it almost defies analysis. And so therefore you cannot / and that is really what /
# If you start to try to use GDP as to do any of that stuff, I think you are essentially going to tie yourselves up in knots the way ethicists do when they try to think of some of these things.
[AB: Good point. We are getting into ethics territory here, which is not surprising because of multi-aspectual approach, so we need to draw on the wisdom that the ethics community has built up about it. Added in. ]
# SMG: I think that most of your objections to what you are saying about GDP are the fact that, not so much you are not objecting to GDP as a measure, you are objecting to the fact that it is used by politicians and it's the wrong measure.
# You need another measure.
# AB: I remember that CA, some discussions back, emphasised that it is not economics that is bad, it is how we use it.
# I'll come back to that in some minutes, because I think that aspects might belp a little bit with that. [Ed. See below]
# But, CA, what are your thoughts?
# CA: Yes. I was just thinking: When we measure something, for example when we talk about making a decision on which project we want to choose.
# So, we do not come up with 1 measure but we come up with many mesaures, we have like four or five or six different measures, which all are looking at different aspects of things, to then use them all together as a tool to make an informed decision.
# So, let us just look at GDP.
# GDP is not taking into consideration the environment, or the social factors. Yeah, because GDP is not designed for that; GDP is only designed for how the economy is doing. So if there is a growth in the economy, and then that will have an effect on the inflation. And how the relationship GDP and inflation. So, if we are at the moment we have have high inflation, and if we have the GDP growth which is happening, then we will have higher and higher inflation.
# So the measure is designed to work based on /
# OK, so what can we do now? We have to try to think how, if we want to bring inflation down, we have to think of other ways to bring the inflation down.
# So it is more on economics, it's designed to look at the growth of an economy, and how is one country doing against another, and it is designed for that.
# But if you say, "OK, let me just look at how is the growth of the economy doing, based on let's say the environment or the social factors, then why do we not look at the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) because that does the job. ***
# So we cannot just / We have to know the tool that we have in our hand, what is it used for? And use that accordingly for what we are looking to do.
# And I think that if we really want to look at how every aspect is working in harmony or not in harmony with growth of the economy, then we should look at the GPI.
# So why are we not looking at that? Why do we keep looking at GDP? This is the point. ***
[AB: CA raises an important question. In effect, why bother with GDP; might it not be better just to use one of the other indicators instead. like GPI? We do actually address that question, but this discussion caused me to tidy it up a bit. Reasons include: GDP is entrenched, and GDP actually has a little validity as a multi-aspectual measure. See Possible validity of GDP. ]
# SMG: Can I make a reflection on that?
# I very much agree with what CA said, but I want to propose another angle, that reflects the same thing she is talking about.
# GDP is a macro economic indicator, not a micro economic indicator.
# And so, AB, in an information theory perspective, a macro economic indicator has higher entropy. It does not have the information in it for you to distinguish further down. And so you end up with a problem where in effect you cannot discern what you want to discern, because the information content simply is not there. ***
# So that, I think, / From an information science perspective, I think that is a fundamental limitation on the use you could put a macro economic indicator to.
# And, to CA's point you kindof have to match the theoretical information content in an indicator to the task that you are trying to put it for.
[AB: Good point; good way of understanding its limitations. However, I wonder whether it is entirely so even though strictly it is so, for two reasons. 1. When one has a dashboard of multiple variables that are added together to give GDP, then there is more information, before adding them together. 2. If one makes interpretations of why GDP has changed, such as the pandemic, one might be able to 'get' more information. However, in that case, one is actually putting information in, and one's interpretation might be misleading, or some possibilities might be overlooked. Yet, use of aspects might help interpretation to be less misleading. Nevertheless, the main point is information is lost. ]
# CM: I would agree with that.
# CM: CA mentioned GPI.
# There are a lot of different indicators out there already. ***
# And, as SMG has pointed out, they are essentially all macro indicators - although they may be built up from aggregation of micro foundations.
# But, in terms of the result that you see and the information you get when you are told that number, it does not tell you anything about that, that disaggregation.
# Well, some of them do. I'm sorry, I correct myself. Some of them do, when they are specifically oriented towards understanding the variability of outcome across a society. So you have various measures of income distribution, Gini Coefficient, other things, whatever (that's the most famous), things that do indicate inequality measures and such-like.
# But again they are basically working just off money numbers, off income numbers, for example. ***
# But you have things like GPI, the original early one was the HDI, which was basically combining education and health outcome indices with the macro economic GDP per capita index.
# And then you have to have some clever maths to normalise things and than take weighted averarging across several different metrics. Because obviously the units, the dimensions of those metrics, are different. One is in money, one is in educational years, or something. So you have to find ways to average them out or normalize them, and then produce an index from that.
# That is all kind of accounting and mathematics.
# But I think SMG's point is a key one, that a lot of things are too much macro. Or the macro figure is not / when it is being built up, it is being built up from base data which is already aggregated.
# So GDP, you have, not only different ways of producing it, but you for example have the consumption accounting basis, where you look at expenditure in the economy: so what everybody is spending money on and you add it all up, and that gives you the GDP figure.
# But that does not tell you that half the population are doing rather nicely and spending a lot, and the other part of the population are miserable and not spending very much. And you need another measure to find that out.
[Ed. On 21st November 2023, the Guardian UK newspaper ran an article showing that the carbon footprint of the 10% richest people in the EU, US and UK is about 15 times that of the 10% poorest, mainly because of what we spend our income on: such "jets, pets and eating out". That richest 10% includes anyone in affluent nations paid more than $40,000 per year. ]
# And you could continue using the basic numerical data, but by finding out what those data are, or you could try and get some other kind of data, either by surveys or sampling or by actual mass data acquisition.
# Then you end up with the Bhutan idea of the Gross Happiness Index or Gross National Happiness, or whatever they call it, rather than a Gross Domestic Product.
# You need always to get the data. You need to get what people actually think, what they feel ("Are you feeling well-off?" and so on) and they try to interpret those data in some way.
# And they you find that the vast majority of the population don't feel well-off, and they are feeling unhappy about that. But actually they are pretty well off, the vast majority of them. But the thing is there are other people who are a lot better off. And they then envy them.
# And then you get into a completely different aspect, nothing to do with the money. It is relative rather than absolute numbers that start to become important, being a genuine measure of the wellbeing of the society.
[AB: What we believe about ourselves, and with whom we compare ourselves, is our pistic functioning (mindset); the mindset prevailing in society. ]
# AB: That may be a good lead into the next thing I was going to say, which answers one or two of what you have said.
# AB: It is a way of calculating harm and good.
# CA raised a question just now of why use GDP and not GPI. And I think that is a valid question, and there are reasons for and against, and I would like to discuss those. But in order to put it into context, I would like to expand a little bit on the thing I said at the beginning.
# AB: And that is: This is a research programme. It is not done-and-dusted by any means. [So we are still exploring and discussing.] ***
# But if we define Harm by aspect.
# So, for example,
# And so, with any economic activity, let us say the selling of bicycles, you can see in which aspects it is good and in which aspects it is harmful.
# And things like the healthcare thing, yes, there is some good to overcome the harm that has already been done.
# So, we can perhaps / it is a kind of hypothesis that we can make this more tractable by breaking it down by aspect. Harm and Good in each aspect. ***
# One of you mentioned different metrics, normalise, then produce an index, yknow money numbers and so on. Now, you think it is a huge amount of work. But as I think CM already said, it takes a year to produce GDP figures anyway. It is a huge amount of work to do those. So it is actually in the ballpark of what we [i.e. the government etc.] are doing already, even if it might mean a little bit more work. ***
# So, any comments on that before we return to CA's question.
# CM: Well, can I just jump in and say: One thing I forgot to mention before, was that many of these alternative measures that are already around, like HDI and so on, I think that what is interesting to note is that they have generally been produced in a different branch of economics than the mainstream of economics for Western developed nations.
# They are mainly coming out of the Development Economics community. Because they are normally applied only in countries which are less developed than advanced manufacturing and service economies. ***
# So they are very heavily used / I mean HDI for example is very heavily used as a simple measure of the progress of a late-developing country. which has a low GDP per capita, and where you are concerned that you cannot just work on that, you need to work on "Ah well, but they are actually getting on making good progress on, say, education." Or on perinatal mortality and things that go into the health index.
# And I think that is something to think about.
[AB: This is something not yet put into the Rethink. Especially about the status and origin of various indices, and the motivation behind them. Again we find mindset and attitude coming in, in the form of motivation. That is for Chapter 6, maybe. Put into Chapter 5, with a section discussing indices, 29 November 2023. ] ***
# CM: And I like the way you are referring to aspects because, for a more complex society, you have to use something like aspects.
# You cannot just use the rate of infant mortality, or whatever, in somewhere like the UK, because it is incredibly low. So changes are going to be very much on the margins.
# Whereas something like - I would be interested to hear about SMG's comments about trust. Sortof transparency indices or levels of trust that people have in society: do they trust the salesman selling them something. Those kind of measures of the general, social wellbeing of society, rather than just the fundamental needs. ***
# [Example of fundamental needs that get measured?] You don't die before you are 5, and you get an education, and you have a reasonable amount of money or virtual money in terms of goods and material going through your household; that you have a decent sort of life.
# That is the sort of thing that Development Economists are trying to measure because they are trying to lift people up from a very low base. [AB: A motivation]
# What we are at is this kind of plateau, in the Trebeck-Williams idea in The Economics of Arrival, this plateau, where really we do not need to grow, what we need is to improve which is not the same thing.
[AB: I think that the benefit CM sees in aspects is that they are more general than specific basic needs, and so can be applied more widely. For example, if "get an education" is seen as a lingual good, in which late-developing countries fare badly and developed ones well, then we might also ask about other lingual goods and bads. For example, are there lingual bads in developed countries that are less in late-developing countries? When I went to Uganda, I found a huge amount of generosity (ethical aspect good) which is absent in Britain. So maybe we should add a short discussion of the benefit of using aspects to guide our measurements and indices. This would probably be in Chapter 5. This, by the way, opens the way to aspectual GDP. ] ***
# SMG: Just to reflect on that, CM. AB, I think that the old adage "If you cannot measure it you cannot manage it" - So, when CM is saying they want to intervene, that is another way of saying, I think, that they want to manage it.
# i.e. they want to take action to move it from state A to state B. Where state B has got some qualities that they have defined as an improvement or whatever.
# And so, I think that if you want to do something about addressing the kind of indicator that GDP is, the first thing you need to say is "What is it / this is when you say / when you hint early on about things that are lacking from it, the things that are wrong with it, they are like quasi statements of intent that you've got,
# that is not necessarily explicitly laid down yet. Your old thing about, if two experts disagree there is a hidden assumption? # AB: OK, yeah yeah.
# SMG: So I think there is an element of, a strong element I think of, indicator design that is required.
# And that comes from the purposes that you use which is they use it for. ***
# And those purposes I would suggest will not be economic in terms of a Dooyeweerdian aspect; they won't be qualified in the economic aspect, they will be qualified many of them in the ethical, many of them in the social, many in the physical. ***
# So there are all kinds of / So basically I would expect that, if you look at an aspectual map of those design intents, I would expect them to be a full spread across all the aspects.
# Then you are going to use economics as a way of trying to measure the change that you are trying to drive, in that case. ***
[AB: This clearly points to a multi-aspectual indicator, which expresses multi-aspectual purposes, multi-aspectual design intents, multi-aspectual improvements. Have included SMG's argument into r5-val, 30 November 2023. ]
# JC: SMG, when you brought that up, I was ??making note listening to?? your previous comment.
# As a way to wrap these things things in an aspectual way, you can see how they are dependent on one another by an activity that occurs within the environment that is, is it a restorative action? (Let's go back to your car crash thing). You have a restorative activity that brings someone back to health, that creates economic activity down chain, sort of thing.
# You also have generative support. Where you have a new, maybe more ethereal, type process - software package, something like that - that creates new in-flows.
# Then you have the depletive, where you have depletive activities. Kind of a / the two lorries going, just crossing on road. Obviously we can go into ??for a lot of biotic attenuation of quality, whether environmental or health. That is a way that shows things that have depletive effect.
# So, taking in those three things, listening to your ??method/messaeg??, so that we have a way to critique the effectiveness of GDP as a measurement within these micro-measured things. So restorative, generative and depletive aggregations that weight some of the variable that we are talking about. ***
# Am I making sense of what SMG said? Those are some of the things that I am thinking of.
# CM: I like that.
# SMG: I like it. I think that / So if I was going to chatagorize those (forgive me if I do), but what I would say is that they are all value judgments. Just those three words themselves are value judgments. ***
# And so they are axiological statements from a philosophical point of view.
# So what you are doing, then, is you are bringing now an axiological framework that you can use to value judgments about the activity that is happening there.
# And then, the reason that you do that, I would imagine, at a larger scale, is because you say "We want to have fewer of one kind and more of the other kind. Because that will change the quality." # JC: Exactly.
# SMG: I like it.
[AB: Nice. In terms of GHU, maybe Generative is Good, Depletive is Harmful, Restorative is Good overcoming Harm? ]
# CM: I am getting slightly fired up about - and I like what SMG just said as well - but I am getting slightly fired up about the idea of a new measure of social or societal or even indeed national (depending on what division you want to use), [a new measure of] national wellbeing that has 14 terms in it.
# A big equation: you have 14 terms and each of those is related to the aspects obviously. And that is why there are 14.
# And then you use what J just said about the positive progressive the restorative or the negative within each of those terms.
# So now we have got 42 values, that you put together in a nice bit of number [crunching?] / ***
# I mean 42, that is trivial mathematics! And these are people that are dealing with databases with thousands if not millions of cells in them, to aggregate these numbers. And then they come up with 0.1% growth year on year! That is the end result of all that work! But here we have got something where /
[AB: That idea is already in our rethink, but not in quite that form. Have added a new section in Ch 7 30 November 2023. ]
# But then to come back to the issue about axiom. Of course if you are saying this is going to be a national measure, in some sense you then have to have a degree of national agreement, within a sortof liberal democratic sense, you have to have some sort of agreement that these axioms are actually acceptable, and they are what people think are genuinely good or bad or indifferent, or whatever.
# And that has to be part of some kind of a participative, consultative process. That is in order to come up with that. Rather than it being just Simon Kuznets sitting in his office in wherever it was he was sitting in the US Finance Management Department and coming up with a formula.
[AB: Excellent point. Incorporated into Ch 7. ]
# AB: [AB. I was misled by "fired up", thinking it might be a negative rather than positive reaction, so wanted to find out.] CM, I want to just clarify: Which way you are saying? We have got 42 and then they have got thousands. Are you saying /
# CM: The thousands is the basic data from what is physically literally in the banking system, in the shops and all the rest.
# AB: What I am wondering is: Are you saying our 42 is horrendously complex, or are you saying /
# CM: No, no! It is not trivial (I said it's trivial, but it's not trivial). But once you have got the data, once you have got the three numbers against each of those 14 columns as it was as well, the three columns / a number in each of the three columns against each of the 14 list of aspects, then you have got the answer.
# Obviously you have to do normalising, you have to work out what the metrics are for each of those numbers. So that they are all on some kind of normalised scale, but then you can come up with a result.
# The thing is that you have got the possibility of disaggregating that, because you have made that clear, that you have got those 14 lines. So people can say
"Well, we are doing OK, but actually we are not doing very well on the ethical aspect, because the level of trust has gone down these days"
- or whatever - and then you know that as a society you need to be addressing that.
# SMG: So that takes you, in my mind at least (...), that immediately goes to what is traditionally called an Action-driven Balance Score Card? So you now look at it and say "Across the 14 aspects, we have a set of objectives in each one", or whatever, and the point of the balance score card is that just achieving one and not the others is not acceptable; you need to achieve across the spectrum.
# And then you come up with / you already have an existing language like "vital few actions", "corrective actions", the set of standard tools that are used around that. So there is a definite model there, I think. ***
# CM: This is what businesses are into already, aren't they, with the triple bottom line balance score card approach, with ESG and all those kind of things included, rather than just "The purpose of business is business" a la Milton Friedman, and "to make profits" and "to give shareholder value". It is not. It is stakeholder value, and it's got a lot of other aspects to it than just bottom-line, profitable, money and dividends. ***
[AB: "Purpose of bz is bz" actually demonstrates the key Dooyeweerdian understanding that kernel of an aspect cannot be expressed in terms of others, but it then has to be embedded in other aspects; added in to Ch 4 30 November 2023]
# CA: What I was saying before was that we have a few measures that we bring together to then put them together to make informed decisions.
# Yknow just like how we are looking at Dooyeweerd, we something on law, something on economics, something on biotic, it is like that. So we will have differnet measures which we will bring together to then use them together to form a decision.
# So I do not see why one measure has to look into every aspect, and every thing. Because it is very difficult to capture. Even like we were talking about GDP on its own, for it to capture everything is a struggle.
# So now we are going to have another metric that is going to capture every single aspect. That is going to be difficult. ***
# So we have the measure that only captures one angle, and we use them all together to make an informed decision. ***
# AB: OK, so what you are saying is not one thing but recognise that it is a matrix.
# CA: Yes. We will use different measures and bring all of them together to form a decision, instead of just looking at just GDP and then asking the question, "Why are we not taking consideration of the climate / And also even now, as we speak, we do not have a proper measure for even the taxes we have to pay for the carbon emissions. We do not even have a proper measure for that. ***
# So it is difficult to bring everything together.
# But it would be helpful if we have a few measures with us, to inform our decision. ***
# This is what I am thinking.
# AB: Thank you very much.
# I think I will bring all this on GDP to an end, because I see that an hour has passed! [AB: I remember feeling that we had covered a lot of good material ]
# CM: Can I just come in and say one thing. I'll try and be brief.
# On this, I agree with what CA has said, but the thing is, we do have a lot of measures already: but they are not harmonized and balanced.
# And that is why I got a bit fired up when we started thinking about using the aspects. ***
# The problem is, at the moment, that we have measures of various elements of social welfare and communal value, which are not normalized against each other. They are based on specific phnemomena. ***
# So, we have the pplice data published regularly about crime and what kinds of crime - and how much knife crime has increased, and so on. And that is a bad measure but: how does that relate to the others?
# And that is when I think that the aspectual frame perhaps enables us to tease out from each of those phenomena based measures such as how much crime there is, and is it burglary or is it knife crime or car crime, or whatever it is, or drugs and so on, and to somehow take from each of those things / ***
# we have already got all of this data. We have loads of health data and educational data about educational performance, and a lot of other things.
# Some areas we might find we do not have very much data, things like trust and higher levels of human interaction, what we might call the higher aspects, we perhapshave a bit less. I mean: the pistic aspect [laugh]: church attendance, is that directly correlated to pistic, in a sense? But then ??? believe a lot of stuff, irrespective. And maybe they feel spiritually quite happy, yknow because that is the only thing they have got left; they might feel pretty much bust financially!
# So I think we need to try to work out /
# That is why I think stepping back, using aspects, and then the Good, the Bad and the Indifferent, as the framing, maybe enables us to think about all the data that are already available, and then somehow think about what's missing and how what we have already got can be synthesized. ***
[AB: What I find interesting there is not just the idea that aspects, split into Good, Harmful and Useless can provide a multi-measure framework, as mentioned also earlier, but that we might be able to apply this to existing data. ] ***
[AB: Note: Various triples have been suggested above: restorative, generative, depletive; good, bad and indifferent; etc. They are all axiolological, and all multi-aspectual. In our rethink we have Good, Harmful, Useless. We have to decide what we use. Generative and Depletive align with Good and Harmful, and might sometimes be better wording. But Restorative does not align with Useless, but is a different dimension. Need to think this through. ]
# AB: Right, thank you very much. There is a lot more to be said [and all the above will be worked into the Rethink].
# AB: But one of the things we promised is SMG is going introduce Cipations.
# We are going to switch gear. [JC clapped.] We are switching gear from more-or-less pure economics to more-or-less pure philosophy - no, not pure philosophy, because there is going to be application to economics.
# AB: And I would like to share a screen with you. My screen.
[AB shared screen with table as follows]
# Now, can you all see: it is a green background with a table. [Yes they could see]
# I sent this round as / it is part of our chapter on functioning, that is, economic activity and functions, and so on. And I sent this round with this table of "Why do people supply" (going back to old Adam Smith and so on: people supply goods to others, and people demand goods from them) and so on. And why do people supply? And why do people demand?
# This is based not just on my thoughts but on what I have read, and various people have said and so on.
# And it seemed to me that you could answer this using aspects.
# And so pistic aspect: "I've got this life commitment; I want to beat my rivals. So I supply more. Or I supply X, Y and Z." Or "I demand it because I am worth the baubles and the trinkets that I am demanding."
# Or the juridical aspect: "We are contracted to supply" Or "I have a right to these baubles."
# (I am using "baubles" in the way Adam Smith did.)
# AB: And SMG came back [after sending this table round] and said, "Hey, each of these is meaningful in more than one aspect."
# And SMG had this idea of cipations. And I am going to try to unshare screen [stopped sharing screen] SMG said "This idea of multiple aspects are used in my thesis; would you like me to share it?" I said "yes please!"
# AB: So, SMG.
# AB: Now, SMG said he is going to go fast, it is going to be philosophical. And so, just take it all in and questions at the end. He is going to do a presentation. Thank you very much, SMG.
# SMG: I have to share my screen again now. [SMG shared screen]
# SMG: So, AB's question repeated.
# Can you see the screen?
# I am going to go quickly.
# SMG: The precise topic is "The Power of Analogical Moments in Dooyeweerd's General Theory of Modal Spheres"
# And I am going to start off by making a statement: "Everything I tell you I believe is true." I believe it can be justified. And in fact a large part of my PhD defence rested on this.
# So this is not my theory; this is an observation I have made about Dooyeweerd's theory, which I have then applied.
# Which is not widely acknowledged or even accepted - just to be fair.
# Analogical moments: I call the "cipations" because you have anticipations and retrocipations in Dooyeweerd. So I just call them "cipations" as an abbreviation. ***
# I did this as part of the formal methodology I developed for my thesis. And the methodology was for aspectual analysis of an ill-defined domain.
# SMG: Sorry about the density of this slide; this is just to explain what I am going to say, and then it goes to mostly pictures after this.
# The hierarchy here is: my arguments rest on Dooyeweerd's Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea. So not just on the General Theory of Modal Spheres.
# They do rest on the General Theory of Modal Spheres, but that in turn is based on Dooyeeee [Dooyeweerd's Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea] / and you can see why: it will become very clear why.
# So basically, the hierarchy at the base is the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea. Then the specific General Theory of Modal Spheres. Then specifically the analogical moments. And I will explain everything to you.
[screen 1. establish a common context]
# SMG: I started doing this work trying to calculate a trust quotient, which I calculated. It became a European / Salford University got paid quite a chunk of money; it was a deliverable in a research project. DS [SMG's first PhD supervisor] said I could write it up and I could get my PhD. But I did not believe what I was writing. And I did not want to get it for something I did not believe.
# And then I faced a problem: I could tell DC why wnat I had calculated was not trust, and why it did not answer that question. But I could not explain what trust is.
# So I began a very very long process; from 1997 until 2017. A 20-year process.
# During that time, I had to teach myself a fair amount of philosophy, go away and do reading, and I was working full time at the same time, and everything. So this was a mission of love.
# SMG: So, my PhD philosophical stance.
# I was looking at trust. I developed a methodological requirement statement, that was derived from a chapter I wrote called "The Philosophical Character of Trust", that was derived from a very extensive literature review.
# (When I say "extensive literature review" - can you see me? So that is my thesis [two volumes]. They had not had / the book binders had not had a thesis that required two books for a long time. That is Volume 1 and that is Volume 2 [SMG showed the physical books]. Volume 1 is the literature review.)
# It is what AB called library research. I am not apologetic!
# So, my argument was that trust is fundamental to knowledge. This is my argument to defend my thesis. Trust is fundamental to knowledge. In other words, most knowledge is taken on trust. You do not know most of the things you know because you have gone out and ??? it, you know it because you trust the basis, the social basis of it.
# An obvious corollary of that is that philosophical analysis of trust cannot rest on an epistemological foundation. i.e. on the existing body of knowledge. It has got to be based primarily on an ontological foundation. ***
# That was one of my key things, which was accepted.
# So, if I put that into simple terms (because I am a simple guy), that is the primary question, I have to say, is: "What is there?" That is the ontological question.
# And that leads to questions of "We know what there is, what can we know and how can we know it?" They are the epistemological questions.
# And then that in turn raises questions, which we have been talking about just now, "What do we value?" And then, once we know stuff, "What do we value? What is the value judgements that come out of that? And how do we make them? And why do we make them?" So they are axiological positions.
# I based the ontology on the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea. Unapologetically. That in a nutshell is that reality is created by God.
# So the fundamental [ontological] stance questions, What is there? As the philosophical question.
# Then to say that humans experience reality in its fulness as a naiive coherence. So you get this from Dooyeweerd. You know this is nothing controversial here I guess.
# And then the epistemological stance comes from Dooyeweerd's insight - and this is really important - that ways of being also define ways of meaning / sorry, also define meaning. So, each aspect has its own special science. There are different ways of knowing for each aspect. Each aspect has its own irreducible and sovereign contribution to the naiive fulness of meaning.
# So these are just statements - axioms if you want to call them that, a priori statements or whatever.
# The axiological stance (this is just what AB has just said) is based on Dooyeweerd's concept of the heart and its direction. So in other words, AB is saying in each aspect we can have functioning for good or functioning for bad.
# And Dooyeweerd actually goes a bit further. He says that within an aspect Good is only functioning in that aspect when the heart is directed towards the Creator. So there is a specific arrow there that points it. ***
[AB: Philosophy: Interesting that SMG roots axiology not just in the normativity of the aspects but also the orientation of heart. Presumably, one thing that this refers to is that since meaningfulness and goodness originate in Creator God, then accepting each aspect's idea of them is tantamount to being oriented towards the Creator. ]
# Then, basically, my argument was that this approach then means that there are, what I call, no epistemological islands. Or, said another way, epistemological islands that are caused by incommensurability in research approaches are all accommodated within a different irreducible sovereign aspect.
# And that meant that I was able to take this and then say, "I am going to apply this to an ill defined domain, trust." ***
# An ill-defined domain is an area where you have circular definitions, where there is confused and contradictory literature, and where experts disagree.
# And so how on earth do you make sense of that. And that is what I applied it to.
[Ed. The following is a good, clear statement of Dooyeweerd's approach to philosophy. ]
# SMG: So, the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea
# Just a couple of quick statements here.
# The very famous expression, the summation of Dooyeweerd's philosophy on the second page of his magnum opus:
"Meaning is the being of all that has been created, and the nature even of our selfhood. It has a religious root and a divine origin." [NC,I, 4, emphasis in original]
# So, meaning meaning is central.
# Then, you see down at the bottom in the highlighted part (this is from Clouser), A corollary of the transcen/
# So basically the presumption of religious root is inescapable.
# For me, personally, this is the huge life-changing discovery when I read Clouser. Up until that time I had been confused about "how do I write this thesis and justify an argument that is based on belief in a Creator God?" Then what I realised when reading Clouser was that I did not need to do that, because everybody has to have a concept of the Divine, and I am just making a selection about it. ***
# And actually it is a good selection because I can challenge everybody else's, I believe, with sincerity and effect.
# So he says, "Any conception of reality is contingent either on the cosmos itself [i.e. it just existed] as divine or the cosmos being transcended by the Divine [i.e. summat made it]. Does not matter which, from a philosophical perspective. The necessary presupposition of a religious root, that does not mean God; that means either the Cosmos depended only on itself or that a transcendent God created it.
# It is of fundamental significance to Dooyeweerd. And the reason it is fundamental is because he says that a corollary of transcendent divinity is the exclusion of ontological reduction. ***
# So a necessary thing from Dooyeweerd's Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea is that having a transcendent divinity means that reality can basically be regarded as having a non-reductionist ontology.
# And so, Clouser then says, "Dooyeweerd's project was then to develop a theory of reality that is systematically non-reductionist account of the nature of things and of the cosmic order."
# Hopefully nothing controversial here.
# On the same thing, Chaplin said, "Dooyeweerd's conception of the relationship between philosophy and religion reaches into a debate reaching back before Augustine."
# And this is from (I'm quoting myself here) "Dooyeweerd repudiating the notion that the relationship between religion and philosophy are irreconcilable. He sought a basis for their conceptual integration. He assigns philosophy to the role of directing the theoretical view of totality over the Cosmos. It looks into the whole, and how all things blend."
# OK, we are nearly there.
# Now we get to Meaning.
# So, Basden wrote in 2008: "Most Western philosophical thought presupposed Being as the most universal." So, German philosophy pretty much as "indefinable and self-evident". Dooyeweerd's held that Being must be understood as Meaning.
# And then Chaplin, "Meaning here denotes the radically dependent nature of Created reality."
# So, the two statements treated above / and here I am going to / just back up / this is 1 and 2 and 3 and 4. So reality has a religious root, reality has a divine origin, and then meaning and meaning.
# The two sets of statements, 1 and 2, 3 and 4, meet in the General Theory of Modal Spheres.
# So we have gone from the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea, and it basically ??rate?? requiring an ontology. And now we are coming into the theory of modal spheres.
# And the same ??? basically saying, So deRoo "Fundamental to Dooyeweerd's ehtire philosophical project is his unique understanding of meaning as inseparate from ontology."
# So you can see basically that we are building up a philosophical approach here.
# So, one of the things I claim for my thesis is that anybody else who wants to write a thesis based on Dooyeweerd can use this defence to graft on, because most of what I / (AB was there; I think we spent about 5 hours, didn't we, AB?, arguing just on these points; it was literally philosophical defence.)
# And then this one other thing, and this is from Chaplin,
"Systems Theory in post-war political science amounts to a skewed attempt to account for large-scale and complex networks of interactions of political actors and institutions, in terms of a conceptual apparatus originally applying within cybernetics. In each case, Dooyeweerd would not sweep such enterprises aside as worthless, but expose the specific kind of reductionism involved. Affirm whatever valid insight it sought to capture and urge a multi-dimensional explanatory methodology appropriate to the subject matter in hand."
[AB: I am not sure that Chaplin's statement does justice to Systems Theory. But it is at least partly true. ]
# SMG: So I want you to take away from this the word "multi-dimensional" and "explanatory methodology".
# SMG: Now, aspects: we all know them. These are the 15 aspects.
# And what we tend to do when we have aspectual analysis, is that we try to think in terms of these aspects and their specific functioning.
# But I want you to think of slightly different. I want you to think - and I argue and I think I can defend it - Dooyeweerd was actually talking about something a bit deeper than this. Dooyeweerd was saying that human beings exist in a reality that is created by God. An ontology that is created by God. But I have already hopefully shown you that, and he also said that, ontology is inseparable from meaning. So, in order words, what he is saying is that human beings exist in what AB calls "an ocean of meaning". We exist naiively, our naiive experience is of, a set of meaning that God created.
# And that meaning basically is provided by the fifteen different flavours of meaning that are here in the aspects. They are always mixed up, we cannot discern them, we experience them. When we start to think about them they break apart.
# So Dooyeweerd actually talks about this [Ed. a prism refracting meaning into its aspects].
[screen: Newton's experiment]
# This is the actual sketch, of Isaac Newton, of refracting white light into its colours. This is also the sketch of what he got, so he said "We take that and the light breaks up into these colours" and he had different ways of measuring it.
# Dooyeweerd, he says:
"In order to bring this cosmonomic Idea, in its theoretical focusing upon the modal aspects of meaning of our cosmos, nearer to the vision of those not schooled in philosophy, I use a very old symbol [a prism], which of course should not be interpreted in a physical sense." [NC,I, 101]
[screen: meaning split up]
# It is hard to read, so let me explain it. He basically says this: On the left, you can see here, our naiive pre-theoretical experience of reality is as a coherence of meaning. So, if you look at the quote from Dooyeweerd there, underneath, (this is the analogy he is trying to explain in that previous quote) "The unrefracted light, using the Newton metaphor, is the time-transcending totality of meaning of our cosmos with respect to its cosmonomic side and its subject side."
# The problem with this for most readers in English, right, is "time-transcending totality of meaning". It becomes very difficult for people to understand because of his reference to time. I am going to explain how we reconcile that.
# But the point that he is making is still that there is a coherence, that he explains what it is. And then he says that
"The prism that achieves the refraction of colour is cosmic time, through which the religious fulness of meaning is broken up into its temporal modal aspects of meaning." [NC,I, 102]
# of meaning. So, in order words, when we start to think about something, it is meaning that is diffracted into these groups.
# So, Dooyeweerd then tells us this. This is the structure of aspects.
# Now, I am a software engineer; this is the way I think.
[SMG put up screen ===]
# You can see that we have got there / can you see the red dot? So, we have the meaning-kernel. These are just aspects. We have a meaning-kernel. And then he says, "OK, we have got some anticipations for this. These are retrocipations. They join up."
# So, for anticipations, "modal meaning moments maintaining the coherence within the law-sphere of a later position." And then here he says, "modal moments for retrocipations or meaning that establish the coherence within the cosmically earliest spheres."
# There is something really really important that I think AB was telling me the other day when I talked to him about this. He said that he only really understood it for the first time in 20 years of reading Dooyeweerd.
# These two little comments here are really, really, really important.
# What Dooyeweerd says is that when you have an anticipation, in this case when it goes forward, it maintains the kernel meaning of the aspect that it is coming from. So if it is going from there to there, if it is a retrocipation then / because you can have an anticipation or a retrocipation so you can have ethical-pistic or pistic-ethical. Pistic-ethical is a retrocipaton; ethical-pistic is an anticipation.
# The difference is that an ethical-pistic anticipation is ethically qualified and a pistic-ethical retrocipation is pistically qualified. I will will come back to it in a minute but this is basically the structure of it.
# And then so we have / (I guess you have seen something like this before. This is typically how books on Dooyeweerd explain cosmic time.) They explain cosmic time as being the ordering of the aspects from the quantitative all the way up to the [pistic]. And the idea is that the complexity of each aspect depends on its foundational position in cosmic time. In other words, the pistic is the most complex. Because the pistic is founded on all the earlier aspects.
# But Dooyeweerd also says that the fact that the first terminal sphere [Ed. quantitative] lacks retrocipative moments can never be a reason to absolutize its structural meaning. [Ed. I.e. the quantitative aspect is not abzolute in the sense that it depends only on itself.]
# What he is saying is, that there is not a beginning and an end. [AB: Hmm. Surely the word "terminal" of an aspect suggests a beginning and an end. So does SMG mean something slightly different? Needs explaining, that.]
# Well, this really interesed me. There is not a beginning and end and the diagram that shows these as linear is fundamentally wrong. And the reason it is wrong is this. He says, "When the transcendental direction of time is also taken into account" (not the cosmic direction of time, the transcendental) "the difference is that the cosmic direction of time is the order in which the aspects build up - the first diagram, that which everybody shows. The transcendental aspect [Ed. direction?] of time, takes them all as being equally sovereign.
# And so, what happens in that reality looks like this:
[SMG shows screen with circle of aspects]
# Now, what you have got there, are fifteen aspects, and every aspect has got a set of analogical moments, right.
# And the analogical moments, my contention is that, the analogical moments themselves are as important as the aspects. Remember because they are part of the theory. The reason they are so important: these aspects are sovereign. That means / and they cannot be reduced. So you cannot take the ethical aspect and say "Oh well it's got all of the ethical functions." Ethical functioning is defined / By definition, ethical functioning is all of the other aspects functioning within the kernel meaning of the ethical.
# That means - what I am saying is - ethical functioning (let's say that is self-giving love) OK. So we have ethical functioning. But we can now think of a richer meaning of that if we think about the pistic aspect. Because we say that the ethical-pistic, the pistic functioning is inside the ethical aspect, now it does not have its own kernel meaning, it is now pistic functioning within the ethical aspect. And so that would be self-giving love to do with faith. [AB: In what sense "to do with"?]
# So now you can suddenly start to explain a whole set of richer concepts.
[screens above: =====
# 5. prism
# 6. circle
# 7. ;;
# 8. 2 circles
# 9. 3 circles.
# 10. order of cosmic time]
# Now, if you were to take that and apply that to the poor, it would look like that.
[screen 11. 4 circles. ]
# The ethical-pistic meaning, that space of meaning that is defined by ethical and pistic aspect, there is also a social functioning, and within that social functioning there is also a juridical.
# So we get a chain: ethical-pistic-social-juridical. That is charity. That is basically people who go out and build houses for the poor and "Love thy neighbour" and do all of these things.
# And we can pinpoint the specific meaning now. Almost like a taxonomy. ***
# Doing a PhD thesis, this is like classification and labelling.
# Except that we have got a reporducible, defensible set of labels that are arbitrarily long if we need them to be.
# So I wrote some software, because this started to get a little complex, to help me think about these things. This is what it looks like.
[screen 12. pink blue. aspects on own.]
# SMG: Let us just think about aspects on their own for a second.
# This is an analysis I did in the early days from Stomker. It was his analysis (a Polish guy) / He has a thing called The Two Sociologies.
# And you can see here that the two sociologies have been in competition, with the first sociology dominating the field but now losing the conquest to the second. His analysis, if we look at in aspectual terms, is like this. So we can see these two sociologies. That is pretty much the way he thinks about it.
# But when you analyse the two sociologies of action with an aspectual analysis, you can see the actually it is not so simple. You can see that the first sociology, which is in blue, comes across here. And the later sociology actually just refines it.
# So, you can use aspectual / this is not an example of cipation pairs, it is just an example of how you can use aspects, just the 15 aspects /
# This as a basis has real consequences for researchers. They can argue about: instead of these being conflicting, these are also complementary literatures that you can build on. ***
# So, remember this. We are going to go beyond the 15 categories now. Remember this about multi-dimensional explanatory methodology.
[screen 13. beyond 15 categories]
# Each modal aspect requires the other modal aspects to express its meaning, This is the fundamental point. This is what I have been trying to explain to AB. Each modal aspect requires the other aspects to express its own meaning.
# As such, they are inherently interdependent, through the analogical moments of meaning, and no single or subset of aspects can be thought of as having primacy or priority.
# The really hard consequence of this, that is that the fifteen individual aspects do not have primacy over all these cipations, if you like. They are all equally valid. And an analogical modal moment remains qualified by the nuclear meaning of its law-sphere but always refers to another nuclear meaning.
[AB: Interesting that individual aspects have no primacy over cipations, i.e. multi-aspectual meaning. I suppose that is correct, in that reality is a coherence of meaningfulness rather than individual aspects, and cipations are a step close to this coherence than individual aspects are. ]
# So that is what I was explaining before, AB did not understand the order [in e.g. pistic-ethical]: how do I get the order right? The qualifying functioning really matters for how you think this through.
# Here is Dooyeweerd's quote: "a modal meaning moment lacking the qualifying character of a nucleus can never be original, but always refers to another meaning nucleus lying outside the modal aspect concerned." [Ed. ask SMG for ref, since it is not in NC I, II =====]
# So that is the place in Dooyeweerd that really justifies /
# Hopefully all that I have done so far with pictures explains it so that sentence makes sense to you now as you read it.
[screen 14. long table on right]
# SMG: Troost says "One should guard against the notion that there exists a definitive exemplar [he is talking about kernel meanings here] for modal analogies." And he observed that, regarding aspectual meaning nucleii, "In the nature of the case, of course, it will always be possible to correct the hypothetical designation of a meaning nucleus and replace it with a better one."
# What he is basically saying is, if we really sit down and think about it, we cannot be super-specific about what the kernel meaning of an aspect is. And we can always find one that is better suited to our needs or more specific.
# So, here is an example (because AB wanted some examples) /
# I made a table, and I will show you the rest of it on a slide in a minute. But basically if you think about the difference, if you think about investigation, then you can say investigation is analytical-juridical. And jurisprudence is juridical-analytical.
# So,, by reversing the order of the aspects, we come to quite a fundamentally different concept.
# A contract, which is lingual-juridical, and a covenant, which is lingual-ethical.
# So, they are fundamentally different ideas.
# Then here is / this is just the first step, like the first tranche of it.
# Now, to try and make this real, so that I am not boring you.
# This I think was really useful. I used this by way of example to talk about the difference between translation and interpretation. The text here is from Oxford Dictionary 2015. It is written by someone who does both.
"When putting pen to paper, the professional translator must express the source text ideas in the foreign language, with precision, remaining faithful to the content, the style and the form of the original. The translator is focused on dissecting a written text, scrutinizing it to identify its meaning, its intricacies, its shape, its colours. It is an activity that requires time, reflection and constant rewriting to ensure that nothing is lost in translation.
Interpreters, however, are permitted a margin of artistic license in order to overcome one of the major constraints to dealing with the spoken word: time or lack thereof. The interpreter must work quickly and demonstrate sponteneity, working both in simultaneous and consecutive interpreting modes. "
# That's translating while or after the /
# Hopefully, you can see that there are two very very related concepts but they are very different.
# So now I use cipation pairs.
# So both of these, I hope you will agree, are clearly lingual-analytical. They are both to do with the spoken word and they are both analytical. It is equally clear that lingual-analytical, that characterization itself, does not capture the essence of their functions sufficiently to differentiate between them.
# They can, however, be differentiated by what I call cipation triples.
# That is by considering the analogical moments, because the do have them, of the cipation pair lingual-analytical. So, interpretation, I am suggesting, seems to be characterized as lingual-analytical-kinematic. It is the flow, the constant flow of the language. Whereas translation is characterized by lingual-analytical-formative, as in where we are trying to build a cultural artefact here.
[screen 16. aspectual analysis of translation v interpretation]
# So, using cipation triples provides a means of lingual signification.
[AB: I might differ on some of the aspects; for example juridical for translation to do justice to the text. But I will let that pass, because the important thing here is the technique. ]
# So, in other words, and this is the truth. I have got lots and lots of examples of trying to analyse the trust literature. And the problem I had is, when I came back to each one, I really struggled to actually I thought "What did I think that for? How did I get there?" And it took me some time to get my head back into the groove of why I had thought it.
# When I came up with technique, I could sit down and I could immediately get back into the same mode of thinking. ***
# Not only that; if I was trying to explain weights - you've seen these things where there are like bar graphs for aspects - well you have to justify the weights you have put on them. And so your conversation becomes about whether you have got the right weights. And it is just a waste of time. ***
# This way, if people argue with you, you are making the picture richer rather than anything else. ***
# Another example here is the concept of logos. I will not go into this, but there is another example. You can look at the different ways of thinking.
# Here we have a concept of logos. So now we can think of the different ways in which it is referred to. Social-analytical: dialectic is characterized by discussion and debate. Lingual-social-analytical: we might consider this applies to language. Pistic-social-analytical: if we take truth as qualified pistic functioning.
# The point I am making here is that you can then use this to pinpoint the specific meaning that you have when you are trying to tease apart very closely related concepts. ***
# Trust is an ill-defined domain. Economics is an ill-defined domain.
# This gives you the ability to be very pinpoint specific on what it is that you are actually / what the meaning is that you are highlighting.
# And once you have pinpointed two specific meanings, you can then start to produce an analysis that is defensible and other people can understand. ***
# Martha Nussbaum, who is a wonderful / she is a lawyer but she is a philosopher too, wonderful. She make me think about vulnerability. She make me think about fragility versus vulnerable. They are related concepts but they are different concepts.
[screen: Fragility and vulnerability]
# Somehow, for me, these two pictures capture the difference.
# So, fragile: is things going to break. Vulnerable: she is vulnerable. That is a fragile phone.
# And we have things like anti-fragility that we can bring in.
# So, using the software that I developed, I could label ??on?? of these.
# So we have got the formative aspect. So the formative-pistic. Then the / I cannot read what I have written. Basically I could put labels on each of these and use them as a means of documenting.
# This is what fragile looks like, and this is what vulnerable looks like.
[screens 19, 20: aspects of fragility and vulnerability]
# And you can see that if you look at the difference, you can see that vulnerability / (This is my analysis; you might come up with a different analysis.) But my analysis of vulnerability is that it is a much richer concept than just fragility was.
# So, multi-dimensional and explanatory methodology.
[screen: 21. beyond 15 categories]
# So, I think it is explanatory. And the multi-dimensionality comes of it if you are interested in fractals or recursion. It is because of the fractal nature of Dooyeweerd's philosophy, and that comes of it because of his non-reductionist ontology and the fact tat the spheres all depend on each other to express their meaning.
# And therefore the retrocipatons / and so you can go down.
# So cipation pairs mean that instead of having 15 labels or categorizations, you have now got 240 available. And triples, you have got 3615.
# But the cipation triples themselves function aspectually. So that means, if we just go to the next level, then you have got 54,240 levels. You could go further, but it becomes of no practical benefit once you start to beyond that.
# So I found there was no need to go beyond cipation triples in any of my analyses.
# And that is it. That was my attempt to explain cipations AB.
# AB: Thank you very much.
# AB: If anyone wants to leave, please do [Ed. because over the standard hour had passed].
# So, comments. There is a lot to take in.
# JC: This was better than Christmas for me!
# You have no idea how much I have wanted to hear what you have just said.
# But not because I did not know it, but what AB's been pointing to for so many years, and these individual ??begrands?? that experts bring to this, you have created a specific tool for it now.
# My mind is on fire right now, with thought.
# Effectively, this could be with Large Language Models [Ed. AI] on just different weighted averages on the ??quick this?? and that.
# Instantaneous value tomorrow! (That is your language; I should not be saying that to you; I apologise; you know that stuff.)
# My goodness gracious!
# This is what we move forward with, AB, if you want to do ??professional?? [zoom mumble] In some sort of technical package, that!
# AB: Right. Thank you. That is good praise.
# I think you have each other's emails, so why don't you go ahead on that?
# ACTION SMG, JC: To contact each other and discuss taking cipations technique and tool further, maybe in relation to LLMs.
# AB: Any others? CA is nodding.
# AB: Where I felt this was useful /
# I mean, there is a lot of philosophical background there which actually has its own usefulness.
[AB: It is rare to start with deep philosophy and end up with something amazingly useful in practice! But that is what SMG has just done! ]
# But what I felt about the idea of cipations, i.e. being able to bring aspects together in a kind of structured way (not just lumping them together, but in a structured way) could help us clarify issues and ideas and concepts in economics.
# SMG: It really could.
# So, the example is, when you talk about an ocean of meaning, the first cipation takes an ocean and brings it down, like doing a search in the sea, brings it down to a square mile, let's say. Then when you go to the next level down / So you can zone in on a very very specific meaning.
# It does not change; it is stable in time. So you can go back to it, you can refer to it.
# If you then have two and you want to differentiate between them, if you have got two points in the same cipation triple, and you want to differentiate between them, then you can go down one of the levels.
# I did that just before with the example of / for example, when you were talking before about what you would do with GDP, AB, and I was thinking about - we were talking about some of the things around, it was mentioned, inequality.
# So measures to address inequality: Inequality is not economic; it does not belong in the economic aspect. So where does it belong? Well, it does not belong in any aspect. [AB: Maybe in the quantitative? But we are talking about inequality between humans, which is not quantitative except by analogy. ]
# Inequality, by its fundamental nature is social, in the context we are talking about. So, it is qualified in the social aspect. But then it is juridical. It has got something to do with what is correct and what is right, and owed to other people. So inequality exists as a social-juridical cipation in my opinion.
# So I key performance indicator, then that is kindof where I /
# Another way when you were taking earlier, on how you would come along this. You can just take the ??enaisis?? - it is five pages long, the first expansion of it. So you can just take those five pages and go through and figure out a metric for each. And you have just managed to do 240 aspects at the first pass.
# AB: That is useful, in saying about inequality, because that is one of the sections we have: What is poverty and what is inequality? And to say it is qualified by the social and then it is juridical, that is helpful, because, in a way, if we look into what people [think about] why inequality is 'bad', then it often it is bad because of the juridical. A feeling that / it is not just mathematical inequality, one person having X and one person having Y - it is that there a feeling of injustice in there. Is that right?
# SMG: Yes. And the reason for that is that the qualif / the juridical brings still with it this notion.
# Remember that I said that the axiological (so in other words, what do we value and why do we value it) component of philosophy, that also comes from the aspects. But in Dooyeweerd's philosophy, that the heart being directed towards the Creator God.
# We would think about it as moral or ethical, but it is more than that, because it explains, if you want to talk about, AB, when you are talking about the environment and how do you say what is good and right there, well this is where your concept of stewarship comes into it, because the environment should be looked after because it is God's Creation. So there is a way can see the environment. There's a way we can see family.
# So every aspect, pretty much.
# I actually have some disagremeent with first four aspects, and I think modern physics is moving beyond those quite fast. But fundamentally we do not need to [argue about aspect kernels?] /
# So, social-juridical is inequality.
# Somebody was talking about welfare; if you think about welfare, that is social-ethical.
# Once you start to think like this, you cannot unthink it. You cannot suddenly think of welfare as being ethical any more; it is not; it is social (qualified) and then it is ethical. ¡
[AB: Actually, Dooyeweerd and Clouser might go even further. SMG gives us pairs or triples etc. and the only distinction between the aspects it their order. But Dooyeweerd and especially clearly in Clouser, gives the aspects roles: qualifying, founding, leading, internal leading, etc. I wonder whether SMG's saying that welfare is social is putting the founding aspect first and the qualifying aspect after.
# SMG: Here is a mind-bending one. I don't know if this is true or not; it's just something I wrote down while I was listening to you talk. But I was thinking about the economy. And the rather worrying thought came to me, that the economy is not qualified in the economic aspect. The economy is qualified in the social aspect. ***
# AB: Why?
# SMG: Because you do not have an economy without social / it is social. You have an economy between people.
# And so you then start to get things like: you now have social-aesthetic. That is harmony and balance within society. And then you can express that then with frugality and the qualifying aspect of the economic.
# So a really core aspect of what we think is the economic is: social-aesthetic-economic.
# As a teasing of these meanings.
# Now the problem / as I say, this is a fantastic tool for labelling and enabling you to have a really really reproducible deep conversation with someone, based on aspects.
[AB: ===== add some of the above into r3. ]
# SMG: So, CA, I know with your professional job at Durham, one of my hopes /
# SMG: Part of the journey that God took me on, was AB invited me to go to a meeting with him, where GK would talk about her practice thesis defence. And I sat there and GK was basically was explaining to AB and to myself all the challenges that she had got during her thesis defence.
# And I got really angry and the reason I was angry was because the questions were really about the defensibility and the validity of using Dooyeweerd. And in particular the notion of God at the centre of it, that GK had talked about.
# So, one of my objectives in doing all of this work, ... one of my objectives was to actually create that other students could use in the future. And simply use it as a labelling and classification mechanism.
# So if you go to somebody who does not know anything Dooyeweerd, who is in a social sciences department, let's say a nurse, who has got an atheist suprvisor, who does not know anything at all about Dooyeweerd and does not want to know anything about Dooyeweerd, but would accept a research based on a specified classification and labelling scheme that they could then do the labelling, do the normal textual analysis, produce some conclusions and submit it, that they then could use my work to rest, to build on that knowledge, and then basically to ??seem to be able to?? graft what they've done onto what I've done. ***
# But I would really love to know if you think it could be useful.
# CA: Yeah, I think it is a clear, good idea, because even in our field in banking and finance, we use a lot of classification. And we are always finding ways to see how we can classify certain things. And there are many many methods.
# And when I was talking about The Children of the North / We are working on this project on the Children of the North. And I was talking to AB about this, and I was asking "How do we actually do the classification of the Children of the North-East?" Because the poorest children in the whole of the UK, live in the North-East. I was talking to AB about this and AB said that we need to look into classification.
# And I think this is something that we will be interested in. And our department will be interested in. And I am sure these people from Marketing and Management would be interested in it, because they are also looking for classifications and things like this.
# SMG: Well, David S, who / so my examiner on it was: I asked for Paul Faulkner /
# I do not know if any of you have heard of Paul Faulkner; he is a philosopher at Sheffield but he is probably the leading authority on testimony, and so, trust on testimony and how you can rely on / he is also a Christian.
# And David Spicer who was the head of the Business School at the time. And DS was very excited about it. But he was excited about it because of the consequences of trust, and what we can say is a result of trust.
# SMG: So another thing I will just explain then /
# AB: Before you do, SMG: Presumably your software is available? Could CA use it?
# SMG: Yes. But it's not available. Basically I can put it on the web; I can make it into a web tool. I wrote it 2018. It is all written in C# and it just runs on my PC. But at the moment, there is a thing called ".net-blazer" and I can basically move that. So it can just run in the web. That way people cannot steal it either.
# AB: Would any of you like to use it? [JC put hand up] Well, JC would.
# Right there you go; pop it on the web. How much work does it take to put it on the web?
# SMG: Take me a couple of weeks, I think. But I can do that.
# You have not seen half of the software. There is another thing, called an Aspectual Workbench, which / because I found it really hard to have all these different things that you have to refer to with Dooyeweerd.
# So you have go to keep going to the glossary, you have got to go look at the Dooyeweerd Pages. # AB: Yes, I remember that.
# So I wrote a tool that, when you are thinking about something, you can pull all these things together and then you can save your thoughts in a database. So that you can come up with a kind of list.
# AB: Right. It might be useful to have a special seminar for you to show this. And not just RLDG but other people as well. Especially if you are willing to make it available.
# SMG: I have been treading water. I started trying to make it available in 2019, when Blazer came out. But thenBlazer was not as good as I thought. [Ed. Software things seldom are!!] I thought it was going to take a year to get better. So that is when I went and did my Master of Laws degree. But anyway, they have just come out with a version of it that is really good at the moment.
# SMG: One other thing I would like to show you before / another conversation.
# AB: Well, it is three minutes, then we are at the two hours - our longest-ever discussion! Sorry about / [AB. People seemed happy] Well, if you are happy, carry on.
# ACTION SMG, AB: Make the tool available and organise a showing of it.
# CM: I'll just give SMG a moment to find whatever he is looking for. Just to say, "Yeah, wow, great; thank you very much."
# And also the comment about the economy of course is not an abstraction; it is embedded in society. Society itself is embedded within the natural created world.
# Which is a big issue in terms of our misuse of that created world, of course, due to our brokenness. And resource depletion and so on. It is not just about climate. There are other things as well.
# I am also slightly disillusioned that I thought I had a nice simple framework, I thought I had 14 aspects / (I cannot remember whether it is 15; I have lost one somewhere - was it the quantitative, I think, the bottom one; maybe different presentations have different numbers, don't they.) # AB: You are forgiven!
# CM: List of 14 with three columns - we just have to put the numbers in each of those, and there we are, Hey Presto! But, as the Red Queen said, "I could have done it in a more complicated way." Now, she said that because she was a Sophist! But this is important that we now get these interactions [between aspects].
# CM: It makes sense to me. I think more engineering systems rather than anything else. But it makes sense that there are all these interactions. That is where the actual, or if you like, the reality, lies. That is where the meat in the sandwich is. Yeah. ***
# Actually, that is a good analogy: the meat between the two pieces of bread. The two pieces of bread on their own are not very useful, but with the meat then you get somewhere.
[AB: In my experience, we can start off with just the list of 15 aspects. But, once we have done that, we go deeper with (a) breaking down functioning or value in each aspect into good, bad and maybe other (CM's 3 columns), (b) bringing in other aspects as pairs or triples. It is progressive rather than either-or. ]
# SMG: I am going to show the screen again. Can you see this?
# This is not related to cipations (well, it is in a way, but not necessarily in the way you might think).
# This is from a book about wine and food. This is the way taste is described. If you wanted to describe taste, these are kindof non-reduction. You do not eat food that is just piquant. You get salty-sweet or bitter, or whatever. So, when you eat food, you are expressing /
# It is like a neural net, they might fire, a set nodes that fire. Or a sub-coherence. So you have got that idea that we could put different weights on these, and that would express what the taste of the food is like.
# Well, I will show you what I conclude that trust was.
[screen: pink cirles of trust. ]
# That is trust. That is my conclusion on what trust is.
# When we do Dooyeweerdian analysis, we cannot throw all the other aspects away. We do all the time; we kindof say we have this functioning or that. But all aspects are there.
# So, the way I described it, I said, Well all the aspects are obviously there but from my analysis of the literature, I identified that this set of aspects, these aspects / I did a Pareto analysis. So these aspects cover 80% of the literature on trust. And then having done that, I then analysed / so my aspectual conception of trust looks at each of the labels there, and talks about specifically what it is.
# So I called this a sub-coherence. So what I was trying to get across was the concept that / OK, we have the coherence of reality, but trust is such a fundamental thing to human beings is that when we get it / when it diffracts, it does not diffract in a way that goes / it remains as a sub-coherence, a concept that is still a sub-coherence of this set of things. 80% of it is this.
# And I think you will find exactly this when you look at the economy. You will not find the economy or economics inside the economic aspect; you will find it [the economy] is a sub-coherence.
# And you could do the same thing; you could do a Pareto analysis identifying which are the most important aspects and then look at /
# I looked here at the analogical moments, and the best example of this that sticks in my mind immediately is that if we think of the juridical-physical retrocipation. Juridical is about laws; physical is about force. That is about the force of the law. So, the force of the law is about the power of a jurisdiction; it is one of the most important things about where people choose to place contracts.
[AB: That cipation is one using analogy. In other places the cipation is about dependence instead. e.g. the lingual-physical of coins is that the physical is actually a physical medium that enables the value of the coin to be signified symbolically. There is no analogy there, but foundational dependency, We must be aware of the difference. ]
# The UK has that as one of its key GDP measures, right. The law is supposed to be so well-regarded that people choose to come here and contract here. That is contained in the juridical-physical retrocipation. And so and they trust in the law when they do that; they trust in the UK jurisdiction. And that is what it means.
# So I thought I would show you that it is simplicity has its place but I think some of these concepts are inherently multi-dimensional, multi-aspectual. But you can define it.
# Having said that, I am not sure that anybody has ever read the entire document. AB included [Ed. AB was SMG's PhD supervisor].
[AB: The multi-aspectual nature of things is very important. SMG's idea of cipations helps us tackle that in a systematic way. That is the value of the idea. (But, as just said, it probably needs augmenting with the difference between analogy and dependency.) ] ***
# CM: I am just very interested. You focused on trust, SMG, in much broader concept.
# But I am thinking, coming back to some narrower economic ideas, there are two that come to mind when trying to create a similar diagrem could be interesting.
# I am probably not the best person to do it because I am not very familiar with aspects.
# But what is money? There is a lot of debate about what money is.
# And of course it is an intangible thing; that is not a contradiction in terms. It has functions but it / as what it actually is, its ontology, an intangible idea.
# But in some ways, in the history of the development of money, n terms of anthroplogy and the development of human societies, the increasing use of money relates to the decreasing amount of trust. Because when you have money, you close a deal. You take something from somebody; you pay them. It is done; you both walk away; you are satisfied. (Assuming you made a mutual agreement and if there is no credit involved.) ***
# And so, that would come up presumably with a very different diagram to your trust diagram, because it does not / it is almost a contrast with trust in terms of its social function.
[AB: Interesting: money correlates with lack of trust. Add that into r8. Have aspects meaningful to money. ]
[AB: Money allows and encourages payment. What about unpaid value? ] ***
# CM: And similarly, what is the Commons?
# You are talking about the law and contracts. That is the opposite of commons, typically where it is about covenantal, relational, social context, which then results in the proper management of commons. ***
# SMG: The commons is obviously social, it is a social thing. We regard it as / the Common Law, it is / if you think about it culturally, it is part of our culture. It has emerged; nobody owns it; it exists within our society.
# So it is social-formative, right, then it is applied as a way of doing law.
# So, and I did actually analyse it, so the commons is social-formative-juridical cipation triple.
[Ed. Are they talking about two different things there? It sounded to me as though CM was talking about common resource, as in Hardin's Tragedy of the Commons, while SMG is talking about Common Law. ]
[AB: It is no doubt, however, that both are social. The commons is social-economic, the Common Law is social-juridical (and maybe other aspects in both). ]
[AB: Why formative? That question opens up the question of how one assigns aspects in such tuples. I would do so by asking "Which aspects are necessarily meaningful in this?" and then, "Which of those aspects makes this problematic or good; which aspect has caused us to think about this? why is it important to do so?" and that would point to the aspect that should come first. We need to set out a technique for doing this. Research ]
# And money is interesting, because money itself has changed. Money used to be based on the physical rarity of shells or whatever, so it was a physical and a rarity. But in actual fact, money is based entirely on trust, because what has happened over time is you have started to abstract away. So instead, Caesar put his stamp on it. When Caesar put his stamp on coins, what happened was that people's trust shifted from the physical rarity of the content (no need to bite it any more) and instead was placed into the power of the state. So that was a social-physical cipation pair.
[AB: Helpful. For example is it the physical that makes it money, or the rarity? It is the rarity. Which aspect is rarity? Economic. ]
# SMG: Then what happened, if you look at Bitcoin and things like that. So, now what is happening is that people now looking at analytical [aspect]. So they start to look at anaytical, and then whether it can be hacked.
[AB: Why analytical? I would have thought that Bitcoin at least goes back to rarity, in that it is prospecting for prime numbers, which give it value. ]
# But the value of what money is rests on two things. So money can be exchanged; its value can be extracted; so it is an indirection on value. It can be extracted. But it rests very much - all of it rests on the force of law with which you can use to defend it.
# When I was doing this, people did not agree with this about cyber currencies. But you have just seen with the guy who has just been sent to jail in the [United] States, with ethics and so on. What actually happened is that people lost their money, and they went to court and had the guy put in jail.
# And they regulate the Bitcoin exchanges. So it is not the Wild West any more than the Internet turned out to be the Wild West in the eighties.
# CM: well, it is the Wild West but Wyatt Earp showed up!
# CM: I do not hold that crypto are actual proper money. But that is a bigger discussion. It does not function as money in the right way; it is more of a speculation and it is a ponsy scheme. Which is what that guy was into. Bankman Pried or something he was called.
# CM: Anyway, that is very interesting. I am interested that you have actually looked at some of that.
# JC: I have to run; I have to be a good husband and take care of my kids.
[zoom confusion of voices]
# [zoom distortion] this is important.
# I really do appreciate. SMG, is it OK if I email you? Could we have a conversation somehow. [JC's greetings]
# AB: It is great that you were able to come, JC.
# SMG: I always get excited when I am presenting; I never know how to regulate that. # AB: You're forgiven! [laughter]
# AB: Is that sufficient for today?
# CA: Yes
# CM: I think my brain is about done! [laughter] Not to say that I am totally wiped out, but I need to digest. Done quietly with a glass of wine or something.
# AB: Has your brain got enough power to close in prayer for us? # CM: Yes it has.
# CM: But just one question at a practical level. You have been recording. What about SMG's slides? Without wanting to actually go and read your whole thesis, which you accused AB of not having read all of anyway [laughter]. I am glad to hear that other people skim things a bit sometimes when they have an obligation. Needs must.
# Do you ??like?? the slides? Or have you got a TED Taak or something like that where you /
# SMG: Funny enough, that is the first time I presented it. But the slides, I can make them into a pdf and I'll send that to AB and he can circulate it.
# CM: That would be great. I'll keep looking that that and I will have a further think about it. It is interesting.
# ACTION SMG: Send screens
# CM: [finished in prayer, in which Father God was especially thanked for being the foundation of all things, and for gifts of wisdom and the ability to share in this adventure together. ]
# AB: What I will do is I will make the recording available. It will take me a long time to transcribe them, I think. But I will see what I can do. I am wondering if there is a transcription service I can send the recording to.
# AB: Is there anything that you are aware of that you would not like to be made public any of you? Were any of you aware during this time when you thought "Oh, I don't want that made public"?
# CM: No, because, when we introduced ourselves, I talked about my work in xxx, so that was not recorded, was it? # AB: No, no.
[Nobody else mentioned anything]
# AB: OK, I have, in the previous conversation, I got rid of the mention of xxx. Because I thought it was best to do so.
# CM: It is in the public domain actually, so the fact that I am there is not ???. Video of Vimeo. "Educating xxx" it is called.
# AB: OK, thank you very much.
# SMG: I am going to leave. Thank you. Bye. # CM: Thank you very much, SMG.
# AB: CA, great to actually see you again instead of just over the phone or whatever.
# CA: Yeah, we have to meet to talk about the Child of the North, and how we can do this work, because / # AB: I will stop recording.
Clouser R. 2005. The Myth of Religious Neutrality; An Essay on the Hidden Role of Religious Belief in Theories. University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, Indiana, USA.