Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Constant Value in a Changing World (2):

A New Model of Understanding

Moving frame + Uniformity/Nonuniformity + Constant value = General Theory of Value (? + 0/1 + c = cValue)

The second component: Human beings cannot live with the uncertainty and disorder of a moving frame of reference. Therefore, we use our ability to distinguish between sameness (uniformity) and difference (nonuniformity) in order to impose linguistic order on the disorder that we sense all around us. I have borrowed “0/1” from mathematics and digital computers as an icon to represent this classification process, a process which distinguishes, for example, between self and other, male and female, black and white, right and wrong, etc.

The uniformity/nonuniformity model (0/1) is a nondiscriminatory classification process that comes into play once privilege is eliminated and everyone is relegated to the same status. Nondiscrimination is guaranteed because the identity of an individual (or group) is sometimes associated with uniformity and sometimes associated with nonuniformity, depending upon whose point of view is being considered. Uniformity describes “me and my group” from my point of view, and nonuniformity describes other individuals and other groups also from my point of view. Equity exists because the same model is used to describe other points of view.

The model frustrates “us vs. them” discrimination because I am both uniform and nonuniform -- uniformity from my own point of view and nonuniformity from the point of view of other individuals and groups. The classification process points to the fact that differences exist rather than to the nature of the differences. The uniformity/ nonuniformity model is a classification process -- not a measure of value. There is a need, however, to consider the question of value, and that need is addressed with the third component.

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