500 - Initiative seen as a non linear reasoning

N. Lygeros

From a cognitive point of view, it is obvious that initiative plays a vital part and this, at different levels. In this article, we are going to study the peculiar points of initiative giving its creative power and retrogradely analyse its emergence.
The first peculiar point of initiative is found in its etymology, it is its initial nature. In essence, it is the beginning of a new process. So, it naturally differs from repetition and doesn’t represent resumption. By this means, it makes a basic discontinuity. So, its presence brings about a before and after concept. In that way, initiative leads to an incomparable element that is the new investigative field. For, once initiative intervened, we witness a real temporal split. Then, it is impossible to compare the previous and posterior states. Any comparison element has disappeared in the split.
The second peculiar point of initiative is its unpredictable nature, on the one hand, between before and after and on the other hand, about the moment of its intervention. The moment of the initiative taking doesn’t have to be predictable if not theoretically, at least in practice. In other words, the elements predating decision taking don’t have to be easily analysable to predict the change of state. So they must be, after the event. On the whole, initiative must not be the consequence of an automatic logical assemblage.
From these two points, we can highlight the first elements of a classification. In fact, all the initiatives have not the same type. The difference lies in temporal repercussions. The initiatives the simplest to explain are the ones with instant effect. In that case, initiative taking enables to conclude. The conclusion can be local or global but anyway, it represents the sign of the cognitive trajectory of initiative. So, we can say that the impact is limited and we ‘ll compare it to the diffuse one. In that second case, initiative seems to act like the phenomenon of percolation. It first punctually takes place, then, the consequences of its contribution which are first hardly perceptible, end up becoming prevailing. Then, change is radical. Thus, from a strategic point of view, initiative should be considered in time perspective. And its impact celerity is a decisive parameter of the classification for it enables to encode the system of repercussions. In the first case, the process is convergent whereas in the second one, it is divergent. However, as cognitive space is not linear, divergence can be multi-convergent. This situation is particularly efficient to counter any counter-initiative. As a matter of fact, polymorphy and polycephaly of this kind of initiative put in a difficult theoretical position any attempt based on countermeasures.

All these considerations show that initiative actually works with non-uniform reasoning that is naturally initial, discriminatory, unpredictable and efficient. It can be limited or diffuse with more or less long-term effect but in any case, it causes an irreversible phase change and for this reason, initiative is a basic element of our fluid intelligence. But as any process of the kind, once analysed and synthesized as a meta-heuristic tool, initiative is able to produce considerable cognitive impacts that are the features of individuals of the phase III of M-classification.