Randomness and Reproduction

Came across a proposal from the mid 90s. The proposal is very lapidary in its prose. At this late remove, it seems too simple and yet under-explained. The proposal began thus

Characterizable by certain investments, reproductive consciousness manifests a desire to preserve ways of experiencing the world. A history of the senses is also a history of relations of reproduction. History begins with a count of the players.

and then the proposal later packed a lot into a short space with this:

"Belonging" represents a complex semantic field in which adhesion, membership, possession, and ownership criss-cross. The generated is no longer the simple embodiment of a relation between generators when relations cease to be one-on-one, when the dyad is no longer the fundamental unit of interaction. Discursive moves that reify the couple, moves stemming from folk models of biological reproduction, when brought to bear upon theories of social reproduction, downplay the heterogeneity of the social field. The social is constructed monologically and determinitically.

And now a good decade later I recall a passage from David Weinberger Small Pieces Loosely Joined, the chapter on "Knowledge" because in some sense it too is about the stories that are told about reproduction, of how a decision is born:

And what could be wrong with delivering the right information to the right people at the right time as an ideal to strive for? What's wrong is that it misunderstands how humans make decisions. [...] Making a decision means deciding which of these "inputs" to value and how to fit them together to make a coherent story. That means the causality runs backwards: the inputs don't determine the decision; the decision determines which of the inputs will count as influences. Then why do we like the phrase "The right information to the right people at the right time"? Perhaps because it implies that there's a way to eliminate the risk inherent in making decisions and in acting. Of course, that requires conceiving of ourselves as predictable machines made of matter — as computers — rather than as what we feel like to ourselves: an unpredictable disruption of the world of matter. [...] A version of these comments was published in the Harvard Business Review (September 2001) under the title "Garbage In, Great Stuff Out".

Computers can be programmed to both generate and utilize random numbers. The clash with matter is not so obvious. Count the players.

And so for day 492