Globalization of the Knowledge-Based Economy -- Computing Anticipatory Systems (CASYS05), Liege, Belgium, August 2005

Loet Leydesdorff loet at LEYDESDORFF.NET
Sun Apr 3 06:26:45 EDT 2005

Hyper-incursion and the Globalization of the 

Knowledge-Based Economy


In the case of biological systems, the model which makes the system
anticipatory, can be considered as naturally given. Human languages enable
psychological systems to construct and exchange mental models of the system
and its environments reflexively, that is, without the necessity of a
materialization. The social system of interhuman communication contains the
distribution of agents as an additional degree of freedom. When this
communication system is functionally differentiated, for example, in terms
of an economy and a subsystem of scientific communications, the subsystems
can be expected to entertain different models and to update with different
frequencies. Using this additional degree of freedom the social system can
become strongly anticipatory.


Over time each subsystem can provide the events with its respective meaning
or value from the perspective of hindsight. For example, the market operates
according to its own rules. Because the economic relations are codified
(e.g., using currency), the network can retain value from the exchanges. By
using prices the capitalist system contains an economic model of itself
(Marx, 1869). Analogously, the science system has increasingly developed its
own codifications since the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century. The
sciences develop and differentiate rewriting their history along
trajectories over time, while market clearing occurs at each moment in time.
These two anticipatory mechanisms can be expected to develop along nearly
orthogonal axes.


The interaction of two anticipatory mechanisms allows for coevolution and
stabilization, but additionally for meta-stabilization and globalization
using a hyper-incursive routine. The hyper-incursion can develop into a
third axis of codification if decision-rules coevolve among the subsystems
which are organized by them at the level of the social system. A triple
helix can thus endogenously be generated. Historically, the interfacing of
economic and scientific communications since the late 19th century has first
stabilized a techno-economic coevolution during the 20th century. The
interface had to be supported by a ‘technostructure’ because economic
expectations and research perspectives tend to stand orthogonal. The
organized interfacing of these two types of expectations provides room for
hyper-incursion and the consequent development of decision rules at the
systems level. However, decision rules induce a local trajectory in a global
space of other possibilities. Three subdynamics thus interact: (1) economic
wealth generation, (2) systematic novelty production, and (3) structuration
of the decision-making at the interfaces. The knowledge-based subdyanamics
which emerges, reconstructs previous states and co-constructs future ones
from a global perspective. The knowledge-based options are traded-off
against the historical retention of wealth in the economy by making
decisions in an increasingly anticipatory mode.



Loet Leydesdorff
Université de Lausanne, School of Economics (HEC);
Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR)

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