Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Encounter with a Consilience theorist at IGIA

While waiting in line to pass through immigration at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, in Delhi, India, on my way home to Colombo, I met Marc Ragsdale, a fellow working on his version of TOE or on Consilience. He had spent 4 years in India traveling, learning, and working on his theory. A citizen from Oregon, USA and was returning home for christmas to surprise his parents. We exchanged some notes on our theoretical ideas in the cafe sipping on Coca Cola.

I had working experience with the Simple Hierarchical Ordered Planner (SHOP), which uses the concepts of 'atoms' to define axioms, operations, and methods to construct a domain and uses states and tasks to construct a problem in the efforts to formulate and solve assignment problems. The concept of atoms extends to system of systems.

I was not able to get a clear picture of Marc's work, perhaps the paragraph below explains why. My thinking was - missing the element of applied experience and simply lingering in the purerist domain may be the dilemma.

Extract from an email he sent me - "As for my work, I am looking forward to getting together a general primer this upcoming year. Though I have been developing the core principles for the past six years they have led to such divergent conclusions that I was often at a loss as to consolidation. Even to this day the topics I touch upon range greatly, from systems organization to political science and physical theory, and though I know that someday they will aggregate into a common framework, it could be be some time before that happens. Nowadays I seem to be focusing more on social and political elements..."

Since then we've exchanged a few notes, I wish him well and success in his work.