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The Substrate-Independence Theory: Advancing Constructor Theory to Scaffold Substrate Attributes for the Recursive Interaction between Knowledge and Information

1
Department of Learning Technologies, College of Information, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76207, USA
2
Cynefin Centre, Wales LL29 8BF, UK
3
The Flow Consortium, McKinney, TX 75072, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Francis Heylighen
Systems 2022, 10(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010007
Received: 30 November 2021 / Revised: 27 December 2021 / Accepted: 29 December 2021 / Published: 5 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Systems Practice in Social Science)
The substrate-independence theory utilizes sensemaking techniques to provide cognitively based scaffolds that guide and structure learning. Scaffolds are cognitive abstractions of constraints that relate to information within a system. The substrate-independence theory concentrates on the flow of information as the underlying property of the host system. The substrate-independence theory views social systems as complex adaptive systems capable of repurposing their structure to combat external threats by utilizing constructors and substrates. Constructor theory is used to identify potential construction tasks, the legitimate input and output states that are possible, to map the desired change in the substrate’s attributes. Construction tasks can be mapped in advance for ordered and known environments. Construction tasks may also be mapped in either real-time or post hoc for unordered and complex environments using current sensemaking techniques. Mapping of the construction tasks in real-time becomes part of the landscape, and scaffolds are implemented to aid in achieving the desired state or move to a more manageable environment (e.g., from complex to complicated). View Full-Text
Keywords: constructor; substrate; construction task; substrate-independence theory; constructor theory; complexity; scaffolding; information; knowledge; hierarchy; origins of life constructor; substrate; construction task; substrate-independence theory; constructor theory; complexity; scaffolding; information; knowledge; hierarchy; origins of life
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MDPI and ACS Style

Turner, J.; Snowden, D.; Thurlow, N. The Substrate-Independence Theory: Advancing Constructor Theory to Scaffold Substrate Attributes for the Recursive Interaction between Knowledge and Information. Systems 2022, 10, 7. https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010007

AMA Style

Turner J, Snowden D, Thurlow N. The Substrate-Independence Theory: Advancing Constructor Theory to Scaffold Substrate Attributes for the Recursive Interaction between Knowledge and Information. Systems. 2022; 10(1):7. https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010007

Chicago/Turabian Style

Turner, John, Dave Snowden, and Nigel Thurlow. 2022. "The Substrate-Independence Theory: Advancing Constructor Theory to Scaffold Substrate Attributes for the Recursive Interaction between Knowledge and Information" Systems 10, no. 1: 7. https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010007

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