Mapology (*)




  1. I am a map-maker.
  2. Sentence 1 as a visual map may have already become a linguistic map (etc.) within an English-reading map-maker, e.g., the reader of this paper (i.e., “You”?).
  3. Maps are more or less stable ("pre-stabilized") biases.
  4. My whole world is made up of maps, and of shifts between and within maps. This discovery of me being a map-maker − and being ABLE to play skillfully with maps − can also be called "consciousness". And in fact, there may never be any fact, act, interaction, navigation, theory, knowledge, system, pattern, network, model or space without any map and map-maker...
  5. There may be a lot of ever MORE different (differentiated, selective, selected, methodically biased) local maps, which may mutually map, modify and extend each other within an ever more global (potential?) landscape:
    visual maps, auditory maps, body maps, oculomotor maps, tactile maps, gustatory maps, odor maps, vestibular maps, tool maps ("mapping tools") … linguistic maps (including "translations", i.e., the mapping of one language onto another within an individual bilingual map-maker...), historical maps, juridical maps, economic maps, political maps, “sociological” maps, ethological maps, biogeochemical maps of "networks of interactions", physical maps (including blueprints, diagrams, voxel maps, probability maps, electron density maps, etc.), mathematical maps (including "functions", i.e., "map(ping)s"), cartographic maps, empathetic (“social”) map-maker maps, mapological maps (“theories of sciences”), etc.
    And here is the point where some mapping fallacy or ontological fallacy or ontological bias may come in: a linguistic map (e.g., the word “apple”) may not map some ontological object or matter or truth or stable thing (i.e., apple?) at all, but may ‘only’ map or refer to OTHER maps, e.g., to some visual, gustatory, odor, and/or tactile maps. Accordingly, there may be no such thing as a (recursive) "map of maps", but only a shift from one (local...) map to another map...
  6. My Self consists of all activABLE − and: mappABLE? controllABLE? − maps, i.e., my Self is the more or less smooth "Potential landscape" of all activABLE maps made by myself as a map-maker. These maps may also be called playing-cards (in German: “Spielkarten”).
  7. There also seem to be maps and shifts that CAN NOT be activated nor self-initiated nor co-controlled within my Self. These (thus) contingent maps may be called Umwelt or "Nature" ("not made by my Self") or Not-Self. This contingency or NON-controllABILITY may thus critically depend on some non-predictABLE feedback from some seemingly "outside world".
    And this "contingent uncertainty" may also be one stimulation or "reason" for a shift to "scientific" and religious maps, i.e., to some seemingly hyperstable and absolute-total maps, games, methods, biases, and detours, e.g., while seeking (more or less methodically...) for some "evolutionary-historical causes", "big bangs", "first movers", "first causes" and "explanations" within religious (and perhaps already biological-infantile) biases, i.e., the search for stability, balance, homeostasis, and "truth", and the reduction of mis-matches, uncertainties, and unpredictable shifts (including some "unknown hour of death")...
  8. Emotions are shifts.
  9. Volition is a shift or tension-tendency to a target map, i.e., a shift to an activABLE map, which may be “chosen” (selected, anticipated, expected, predicted, tended-to) out of several OTHER POSSibilities or maps within a “POTENTIAL landscape” containing myriads of such POSSIBLE “tendencies-tensions” and possible shifts from maps to maps...
  10. Some shifts − between maps, within maps, or to maps − may be discrete (i.e., more or less “abrupt”), or MORE or less continuous-contiguous (i.e., “blurred”). Thus, maps may mutually map each other in a MORE or less continuous-contiguous-coherent − and hence more or less stable − fashion. Hence, maps may be MORE or less stable or hard-wired − as in the case of prior beliefs or biases, i.e. already "pre-stabilized" maps…
  11. Emotional shifts that are mapped may (thus) become feelings, i.e., “conscious” emotions, which may then be mapped and co-controlled further by linguistic maps ("linguistic detours") in turn, e.g., by words like “envy”, “jealousy”, “hate”, etc. One of the perhaps most crucial feelings is the feeling of a mis-match or conflict, e.g., between two maps that may "feed back" and map (on-)to each other... Besides, contingent mis-matches and feedbacks may also be methodically & voluntarily produced and pursued by some "critical scientific-technical" methods (investigations, lab-experiments, tortures).
  12. Maps that are mapped in turn (e.g., by OTHER maps) may thus become conscious, too.
  13. There may be activABLE maps that CAN be mapped in addition (“explicit memory”).
  14. There may be activABLE maps that CAN NOT be mapped further (“implicit memory”).
  15. Different(iated) maps may map or co-control or “inhibit” each other mutually within a map-maker -- and within some “to-be-balanced” static-dynamic “Potential landscape”.
  16. Some maps and shifts may even become methodical detours, and thus co-controls with regard to OTHER maps and shifts.
  17. The POSSIBILITY of a map-maker to co-control its own games, maps and shifts by OTHER (different) maps, playing-cards, and detours (shifts) may be called Self-control (maps mapping maps), i.e., the mutual co-control of maps within a map-maker or Self.
  18. The MORE differentiated the maps within a map-maker, and (thus) the MORE POSSIBLE detours this map-maker may POSSESS, the MORE sensitive, RICH, and capABLE of Self-control such a map-maker may be.
  19. Empathy is the "social hypothesis" (i.e., the map) according to which “other” bodies than just “my body” may also be ABLE to make maps. That means: a map-maker’s hypothesis that there may be "OTHER” (synchronized, synchronizable) map-makerS or SelVES than just I or my Self. This pseudo-symmetric (mirroring, synchronous) mapping of map-maker features or SelVES onto “other” bodies (i.e., "similar" body maps), and this fatal intermingling of bodies and SelVES may be called hypersocial fallacy or hypersocial bias. This bias may be extremely dangerous in some daily “social practice” (i.e., "social interactions", "social simulations", "synchronizations", and "mind games"), as in social feelings or idola fori like “envy”, “jealousy”, “hate”, "death", “we”, “humans”, “our society”, "our brain", “we Germans”, “the Jews”, “the Americans”, “the capitalists”, “females”, “males”, “children”, “parents”, or in “socio-politic-economic” and “game-theoretic” maps in general. But there are no "Jews", nor some "Aryans", nor some "Germans", nor some “Afroamericans”, but only bodies (or perhaps individual genomes) that may all "struggle" for some "stability", with individual strategies to perpetuate themselves (their bodies, their Selves, or their maps), i.e., that may all "want" to be sustained & "understood" (vulgo: "to be loved")... Accordingly, physicists and physicians only have to map bodies, irrespectively of these bodies calling themselves being "Jews" (etc.) in addition.
  20. Some maps may be fictitious carrots (i.e., fallacies...) that stimulate the (PRO-)CREATION of maps, i.e., the production, extension, and expansion of ever MORE maps and biases... For example: the idea (i.e., the map) of some “History” − the historical bias − may be a fictitious carrot or some pretext fuelling the (pro-)creation of ever MORE historical maps (texts, stories) via historical methods (detours), including detours and contingent mirrors like visual maps (e.g., paintings, sculptures, books, films) or linguistic maps (e.g., textual (re-)sources, written documents, archives, libraries). Accordingly, there may be no "History" at all, but only stories or historical maps told by more or less "intelligent" (more or less RICH) story-tellerS or map-makerS.
  21. The most difficult job may be teaching, i.e., DIRECTLY playing with maps & map-makerS within DIRECT dialogues between (not more than two...) map-makerS.
  22. Esthetic and technical methods may consist of Self-stimulating (and more or less systematic) playings (games) with contingent and non-contingent maps and shifts within a map-maker. For example, musical artists play with auditory (etc.) shifts and maps − for the sake of playing with shifts and maps! − and try to expand and extend and refine these maps ever MORE... And: for the best (and mostly anonymous) artists, maps (i.e., invisible works of art) have never been a dirty “means to an end”, but always a pure and perfect “end in itSELF”...
  23. Philosophical methods may consist of some Self-s(t)imulating (Self-referential, Self-critical, "introspective") play with (seemingly?) non-contingent maps & shifts within a map-maker. That means: shifting around with my maps within some simulation mode or "day-dreaming" or "default-mode" for the sake of generating, extending, and expanding ever MORE possibilities and possible maps (i.e., "new ideas")... Hence, for philosophers (but not technical scientists), maps are not (only) a "means to an end", but foremost an "end in itSELF".
  24. Within neurobiological maps, the linguistic term “map-maker” may be replaced by the linguistic map “brain” or “nervous system”, and the word “map” may be replaced by “neural map” (i.e., “neural activity pattern”). However, strictly (mapologically) speaking, it is neither some “brain” nor some “State” nor some “Society” nor some "folk" that CAN “feel”, but only a map-maker. - And: mapological problems might always persist as along as “brains” are not DIRECTLY linked with each other…
  25. Within neuro-computational maps, the term “map-maker" may be replaced by "POTENTIAL landscape", and the terms “maps” and “shifts” may be replaced by “attractors” (or: “attractor landscapes”) and "dynamic" “trajectories” (or: "transients") respectively. Out of such a dynamic “Potential landscape” virtually (potentially...) containing myriads of superposed and permanently shifting attractor landscapes, only a few POSSibilities or maps or “states” may actually be active, realized, retrieved, reached, or attained in this very moment (“here and now”).
  26. Within evolutionary-biological maps, there may be the primordial idea of GROWTH, i.e., the idea of a shift to some ever MORE & ever BETTER & ever MORE predictABLE: e.g., the shift to ever MORE neural synapses, neural maps, cancer cells, bodies, mathematical maps, paintings, songs, riches, and money, or to ever MORE (Self-stimulating, Self-simulating…) and ever MORE differentiated maps and co-controls, i.e., ever BETTER mappings (and technical manipulations) of some Self, SelVES, body maps, and some contingent “Umwelt”...
    Accordingly, maps − i.e., historically stabilized biases and temporarily stabilized prior beliefs that can still be modified and adapted − do never have to be ontologically or eternally true; they only have to be "good" (i.e., "fitting" or stable) enough for some rather ARBITRARY and short-living "survival" and continuous "replication" of ever MORE bodies (or genes, publications, papers, texts, books, or WHATever)...
    Similarly, "scientific" maps and (experimental) mappings by so-called "scientists" do not have to be true either, because they only have to "function" within functional (methodical, technical, social) circuits and networks.
    The historical growth of short-living stabilities and stabilizations (evolutionary selections) may ONLY be a Self-organizing consequence of all those "blind" growths and mutual mappings and mutual (historical) stabilizations & synchronizations... And: "growth begets variability begets stability", i.e., there is no (populational average) stability without any (slightly and ever shifting...) variability.
  27. There is no such thing as "science", there may only be technical manipulations and the arts (including rhetorics).

  28. Not all map-makerS may be “damned” to make maps − and some few map-makers may already have become "aware of" (i.e., have been able to map) the problem of maps, and the problem of stability & shifts on all levels...

  29. And the ones who have the “best” maps... (and tell the best stories...)

(Oliver Elbs, April 2005 ff.)

Keywords: map-maker, map, mapping, shift, stability, synchronization, latest and most advanced theory of knowledge (philosophy of science, epistemology)

(*) As you can see in point 24 above, this my philosophy is the only philosophy in history to have a clear use-by date ("as long as brains will not be linked DIRECTLY"). - A similar text like the one above has already been published in the short book entitled "MAP 2020" (Munich, 2006) while Mapology itself was introduced by the same author in his thesis in 2005— see Publications.



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