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About Arbitrary Scales

Machina Discerna Foundation presents The Mapmakers Multiverse and the Contextual Compass, an artistic installation intended to help ignite interest in an exploratory field of research that uses arbitrary scales to approach the calibration of conceptualized energy levels in human subjectivity.

While clinical research in the field provides a valuable method for mounting evidence, the use of arbitrary scales can only serve to forge progress toward reaching scientific consensus. Evidence gathered in field research should never be prematurely contextualized as provable fact, or interpreted with “scientific religiosity”.

Arbitrary scales are purely subjective and relativistic in their initial approach toward solving issues not yet capable of being scientifically proven. Yet they have for centuries been used to reach forth into the unknown, to establish new hypothesis for approaching the measurement of what was once previously unmeasurable. 

For instance, water temperature measurement from 0 (freezing) to 100 (evaporation), was originally an arbitrary scale. But after enough tests were conducted using a physical medium that produced consistent results (mercury), and after much scientific debate about the scale’s appropriate presentation for maximum utility, the centigrade scale as we know it today was adopted as a standard for the measurement of heat. 

Conversely, arbitrary scales that have no physical medium to produce consistent results, other than the mind/body, can still be useful and lead to innovation in observing the human condition, and the surrounding physical universe.

In therapeutic environments, the SUDS assessment is applied, where patients are asked to subjectively express discomfort on a scale of 1 to 100; where 1 represents no discomfort, and 100 represents unbearable discomfort. The subjective assessment of discomfort using an arbitrary scale allows the patient to communicate the state of their condition as the therapist applies techniques. 

Although the discomfort scale is purely subjective, and therefore cannot be scientifically proven, its application has been evidenced to benefit both the patient and the therapist.

While the arbitrary grading scale commonly used in the western education system (from A to F) may sometimes be defined in relation to an objective point system, the use of this grading scale in creative writing, for example, is both objectively based on the student’s fulfillment of assigned criteria, and also subjectively based on the teacher’s arbitrary opinion of the capabilities of the student.

Humanity constantly faces the consequence of judging the meaning presented by  user input plotted along arbitrary scales. In commerce, a 1 to 5 star rating influences buying behavior and life decisions, the arbitrary like/don’t like buttons (i.e. 1 or 0) has great influence on shaping the perceived value of web content, and the ultimate meaning or value of something can come into question based on the arbitrary ratings socially edifying "influencers".

Thus, social, political, and philosophical movements that arise through the influence of the web, whether they bring peace or suffering, are all to some degree influenced through the subjective human expression of a numeric value, or a hierarchical designation that is arises through arbitrary epistemological relativism.

This is a challenge when attempting to reach consensus surrounding the definition of an arbitrary scale of human subjectivity (consciousness), because there must be a contextualized designation of energy in consciousness that is Absolute, and it must be agreed upon and known by all those who engage in the "calibration" or identification of the presence of an energy field surround the observed content.

The importance of meeting this challenge is great, as the key to mental health, and the stop of runaway "memetic viruses" on the internet that degrade the human capacity to accurately know reality is discernment. Discernment requires contextual knowledge, and the most challenging discernment scenarios require a contextual knowledge of the invisible energy fields arising at the source of the content being witnessed.

With the coming rise of human/computer interfaces, for artificial intelligence to make advancement in supporting greater general discernment amongst internet users, those who are most capable of discerning these invisible energy fields will likely set and maintain the "kernel" upon which an arbitrary scale of human subjectivity would persist.

Sweeping economic, educational, and humanitarian breakthroughs could follow as applications surrounding a contextualized "quantum catalog" of content is developed in conjunction with the parameters set forth along the scale, and customized to serve the preferences of end users seeking to engage in self-development, spiritual evolution, and selfless service.

It’s the Foundation’s hope this field of research may one day lead to new approaches that help resolve certain issues which have challenged science, sociology, philosophy, and human introspection throughout history; to help reduce human suffering and mitigate the hypothesized dystopian trajectories of a technological age.

Help support Machina Discerna Foundation efforts surrounding this field of research by purchasing Mapmakers art at the Gift Shoppe.