Spencer was wrong. There can never be a science of science because there be can be no single, unifying observation–or an observation without a blind spot. All observations are partial, and they all reduce the complexity of whatever they are supposed to be observing. All we can ever have is a plurality of partial knowledges, and these ways of seeing can not be harmonized.
” The problems that are most in need of interdisciplinary cooperation are
“wicked problems” such as food crises, climate change mitigation, and other resilience and sustainability problems (Klein 2004). Wicked problems are complex problems where there is disagreement on what the problem actually is, there are different interests and different perspectives involved that frame the problem differently, and proposed solutions often contradict each other.”
One common view is that the prison-industrial complex (PIC) is an intentional, goal directed operation–that there is a design behind it. Cleary, there are, in fact, particular actors with particular goals. But from a systems theory perspective there can be no single, grand design, designer, or primary purpose behind this thing that has evolved. There is no single Prime Mover. We can point to particular corporations or sectors of the economy such as for-profit prisons or particular people or political parties, but all of these efforts to pin blame inevitably simplify this issue.
Penality would then appear to be a way of handling illegalities, of laying down the limits of tolerance, of giving free rein to some, of putting pressure on others, of excluding a particular section, of making another useful, of neutralizing certain individuals and of profiting from others. In short, penality does not simply ‘check’ illegalities; it ‘differentiates’ them, it provides them with a general ‘economy’.
“[Evolutionary] advances reduce complexity in order to organize greater complexity on the basis of restriction. Thus a road network reduces the possibilities for movement to enable easier and faster movement and hence increase options for movement concretely available.”
The Tragedy of Culture, Simmel theorized, occurred as societies modernized and the massive amounts of objective cultural products overshadowed (and overwhelmed) the subjective abilities of the individual. Presented with more options than one person can possibly ever hope to experience in a lifetime, the modern individual runs the risk of stunting his or her social psychological growth.