On Collective Grief

Celebrity death appears to allow many people to contextualise death, to understand it in a shared way, in a way that grounds the meaning of our lives in this shared narrative of culture and collective experience. We take our cues on grief and norms of behaviour from the collective narrative of culture...

There is more than one Truth

Truth is relative and contingent. In as much as we can ever stake claim on any notional Archimedean external point of rational certitude and observation, Facts are necessary and form the warp and weft upon which Truths may be woven. Political, ideological and falsifiable scientific Truths all possess histories which themselves derive from the Facts of our existence in the world...

Christmas: Festive Stress

Disclaimer: Christmas can be a great time for spending time with family and friends and for just generally doing nothing (i.e. relaxing).  This post is a reflection on the stress of over-commercialised, hyper-competitive, shopping-intensive Christmas chaos. Another year of work is over.  Office Christmas parties have been had, the last rush of work has been…

“Truth” or Reality ?

Bruce Lee is interesting because, among other things, he saw the ways people bury the creative essence of a good idea in repetition and blind formality. To see things as they really are we perhaps need to see ourselves first, even if that means unravelling the tangles...

The Value of a Complex Text

I was recently reading some of David Hume's opinions on the values of keeping philosophical explanations as brief and to the point as possible. He criticises overly convoluted and unnecessarily esoteric language as demonstrating poor mastery of the topic being communicated. Hume believes it possible to explain essential truths and philosophical revelations without resorting to…

Complexity, Chaos, Creativity and Open Systems

The natural world around us is creative, complex, chaotic, dynamic and fundamentally self-organising. Any response to the world which hopes to successfully manage human beings and our many little worlds into anything resembling a sane organisational structure requires us to whole-heartedly embrace this complexity and chaos. Repetition and rote-learned, blindly regurgitative behaviours lead largely to…

Ray Kurzweil: Electric Dreams

The documentary "Transcendent Man" is an interesting reflection on Ray Kurzweil and his intriguing instantiation of a technological evangelism which envisions a Rapture-like technological singularity in which humanity will attain pseudo-omniscience and near-immortal longevity. The documentary itself is well balanced and also portrays a number of intellectual antagonists to Kurzweil's utopian prophesies of a Genetic,…

Memory: Juxtaposition and Relativity

I can remember a print hung on a wall in my father's house when I was a child. I puzzled and fretted and stared and wondered about this image and it's impossible, unsettling reality. The print was of M.C. Escher's 1953 lithograph "Relativity" and I was probably only 9 or 10 years old at the…

Information Tsunami: Too Much Information

This is no great revelation: we are positively drowning in information. Awash in billions of words and sounds, squawks and squeaks, bits and bytes of marketing, ideas, symbols and ideology: we can all hear the information pandemonium in which we are embedded but we are switched (or switching) off to it. We can all hear…

A Universe of Infinite Spacetime

Context: What is the shape of the Universe ? Cosmologists believe that they have successfully measured the curvature of the large scale structure of the Universe and that it has returned a result of zero.  To understand curvature in this context - consider a triangle on a flat sheet of paper: its angles always add…