Chuck Spinney has posted a new version, 2.4, of Evolutionary Epistemology, his explanation in briefing slide format of Boyd’s “Destruction and Creation.” The biggest change is a new page 4. You can download this version from our Articles page.
Robert Coram captured the problems most of us have when trying to understand what Boyd was driving at in D&C:
Because Boyd spent more than four years researching and writing and then distilling his work down to eleven pages, the result has a specific gravity approaching that of uranium. It is thick and heavy and ponderous, filled with caveats and qualifiers and arcane references that span theories never before connected. To read “Destruction and Creation” is to fully appreciate the term “heavy sledding.” (Boyd, p. 323)
Yet, as Chuck illustrates, everything Boyd wrote in the remaining 20 years of his life — from Patterns of Conflict to The Essence of Winning and Losing — reinforce the main points of D&C. It is the only thing Boyd produced that he never revised.
Evolutionary Epistemology is more than an explanation, however. It stands as a complement to Boyd’s paper, and, by looking at his concepts from other angles, makes the original more approachable. It takes its place alongside Patterns, Strategic Game, Conceptual Spiral, and the rest of the Discourse as another illustration of message of “Destruction and Creation.”
[Note: the link to “Boyd’s Real OODA Loop” on page 43 has been broken. Please download the latest version from our Articles page.]