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Turning Signs

by Gary Fuhrman

To read this book systematically (either online or in print), read the Foresign first, and Chapters 1 through 19 in that order.

But Turning Signs online is a hypertext netbook and can be read in many other ways. With your browser, you can adjust the window and text size to your liking, and bookmark pages to keep track of where you left off reading.

If you prefer not to read online, email me to order the paperback version of the book ($25 +shipping).


·0·   Foresign

Obverse: Intimations Reverse: Intimologies
  1·  Beginning: Apocalypse
  2·  Dialogue and Human Nature
  3·  Guidance Systems
  4·  Here Comes EveryBody
  5·  Inside Out
  6·  Revelation and Concealment
  7·  Experience and Experiment
  8·  Consensus and Community
  9·  Model and Meaning
10·  Circuits and Closure
11·  Simplexity
12·  Reality and Objectivity
13·  Meaning Spaces
14·  Communicoding
15·  Context and Content
16·  Practice and Performance
17·  Self and Other Subjects
18·  Turning Symbols
19·  Creation Evolving
·19  Re:Creation
·18  Symbols Turning
·17  The Subject of Selves
·16  Dharma Pragmata
·15  Content and Context
·14  Comminding
·13  Meaning Time
·12  Objecting and Realizing
·11  Complicity
·10  Closure and Disclosure
·  9  Meaning and Modeling
·  8  Communing
·  7  Experiencing
·  6  Lightning the Dark
·  5  Outside In
·  4  AnyBody Thus Gone
·  3  System Guidance
·  2  Natural Dialogic
·  1  Apocalypse: Opening Time
UniverseThe Point

0     Foresign

Turning Signs is an essay about life, the universe and everything that means something. It's also an interlinked network of thoughts and observations about such things, written or quoted by the author (or anyone else who cares to contribute by posting comments to the blog).

The essay part (or Obverse side) of Turning Signs was completed in September 2015 and later printed as a paperback book. It took 15 years of research and revision, and 70 years of a human life, to reach that state of completion. It serves as a stable context for the other (Reverse) side of Turning Signs, which is incomplete and open-ended (rather like life itself). This consists of current thoughtnotes appearing on the author's blog, along with comments and questions by other readers and writers. These thoughtnotes are also collected into rePatches, listed above next to the Chapters they correspond to, and named according to their content.

This netbook draws upon various arts, sciences and spiritual traditions in an attempt to throw some light on the deeper qualities of life we are often too busy to notice. I have documented my sources, to the best of my ability, by means of parenthetical citations and a reference list so that interested readers can locate them if they wish to. But no specialized or academic background is required. I've also included hypertext links so that readers who are so inclined can take side trips from the main train of thought running through the sequential chapters of the book's Obverse side.

All readers are invited to post comments or questions on the Turning Signs blog or email me privately.

Getting back to my ‘sources,’ only those published are included in my reference list and on my Sourcenet page (see link below). But of course i owe much of my thinking to conversations (mostly by email) with many others, only a few of whom i can acknowledge here. I will start with those who were most involved in the final stages of thinking through the Obverse side, and work backwards from there.

I have learned much in recent years from fellow students of C.S. Peirce, through conversations both on and off the PEIRCE-L email list, especially Gary Richmond, Frederik Stjernfelt, Søren Brier, Vinicius Romanini, Ben Udell, Sally Ness, Cathy Legg, John Collier, John Deely, and (before his death in 2010) Joe Ransdell, founder of PEIRCE-L and the Arisbe website.

Other scholars and friends who have contributed to the ideas developed here include Todd Lawson, Stan Salthe, Robert Ulanowicz and John McCrone. In the early years of the project i learned much from Anthony Freeman and other editors and contributors to the Journal of Consciousness Studies, and from members of IRAS, especially Michael Cavanaugh and Ursula Goodenough.

I am also thankful for life on Manitoulin Island, where all the writing was done, and for inspiring conversations i've had there, especially with Chuc and Linda Willson, Heather Thoma, Paul Salanki, Sophie Edwards, Justin Tilson, Jim Hart, and the late Jim Murray. Special thanks to Algis and Ruta Tribinevicius, Danielle Bourgault, Veronika Bingaman and Emily Weber, who have participated (along with Chuc and Linda) in study sessions on chapters of the book.

The one person most reponsible for the better qualities of this book – thanks to her unflagging encouragement and support over the 15 years of its writing, and her loving and devoted practice of the Bahá'í Faith we share – is my wife and partner in gnusystems and daily dialogue, Pam Jackson. To Pam this book is dedicated with love and joy.

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