I read once (somewhere long forgotten) that men love for lust and women lust for love; despite the polymorphous semantics or ambiguities of this, it remains interesting. That the various culturally or historically constructed gender roles may be much more fluid than any simple logical bifurcation indicates is a realisation only really very recently accepted into mainstream cultural narratives. It is very likely a measure of one’s own security and comfort in their own skin to feel unthreatened by difference or novelty and creativity in gender (or any other) roles.
On the original topic here of the purposes and goals to which a man or woman may direct their amorous endeavours, I find myself at times questioning the various ways in which relationships and identities are formed or founded, as it were, in orbit around that orientation and conscientious stance one takes in regards to their loves and lusts.
I wonder if that, over the long-game of global civilisation and cultural evolution, human beings might eventually attain sufficient maturity and fluid subjectivity to be able to perceive that there does not need to be any one true love or perfect partner any more than there needs to be any one true way or truth of the world. In our minds and cultures, as much as in our relationships, we remain underdeveloped and enslaved to caricatures of who we think that we should be, that we think we might please others by becoming. That dynamic and adaptive entity that any one of us actually represents and embodies will never attain cathartic revelation or personal emancipation when we constantly chase these poorly rendered shadows and labyrinthine mythologies of our selves and our relationships in this way.
There is difference between us (and within us) all, certainly – in our motivations and beliefs or cultures and personal histories, but acknowledging that there is a unity beyond this is where our collective wisdom and maturity might emerge. I do not fear difference and nor do I have unrealistic expectations of life (or love). The bittersweet feeling of mild dissatisfaction is very likely an inevitable existential flavour of human being and for all of that, if we were ever to be fully content – why should we continue to participate, to dream or to attempt to make a better world ? As Lao-Tzu noted, it is in the places where there is nothing, where something is missing or void, that we find the true usefulness and purpose of a thing and this is no less true of ourselves than of those many other people who pass through our lives and our experiences of them.
Comprehensive holistic systems analysis and comprehension is a mandatory requirement for untangling the most significant problems we collectively face. The psychological requirements and consequences of utterly decentralised organisational, relational and logical thinking largely invalidates that cultural projection and reflexively justified singular focal point of “I”. For this reason – comprehensively and holistically understanding the world, its complex systems and ourselves requires radically dissolving, inverting and delegitimising that singular narrator and existential focal point of “self” and ego. Who among us is prepared to give up their most closely held beliefs, their own cultural and historically-contextual meanings for adaptive truth and a better world ?
If it has become (all too painfully) obvious that bureaucratic inertia and the endemic stagnation of administrative hierarchies everywhere is a global problem and everywhere apparent, this tells us something about the nature of the issue. That is not to say (as so many people do) “oh, that’s just the way it is everywhere” and then knuckle down to frustratingly and ineffectually dig away in our own little corner of the globally interdependent and interconnected administrative and bureaucratic labyrinth.
When something is problematic, acknowledged but also is everywhere apparent it can more sensibly be interpreted as symptomatic of an underlying malaise and intellectual corruption or ineptitude. These failing systems and bureaucracies have for so very long been working towards the singular goal of their own self-perpetuation without considered analysis or comprehension of the very real, very important “long game” of global systems efficiency and effectiveness.
The essential globally apparent nature of these kinds of issues illustrates something essential about their constitutive nature, that is to say – there is something of a logical or systems-theoretical and distributed axiomatic error of thought or interpretation at work in our global systems. It may also, to me – ironically, be of the nature of such holistic analyses that it is not possible to resolve these issues piecemeal or in individual bit-sized innovations. The problem is paradigmatic, distributed globally and only a similarly paradigmatic, globally distributed response can in any sense hope to lead us somewhere better. What ontological entity or conceptual revolution that necessary systemic metamorphosis might actually be, that is another issue…
I’m not entirely confident in the marketing, PR and hype surrounding the notional “Intelligence” characterised in emerging contemporary applications and technologies. The kinds of sophistication and mental processing (on a spectrum towards consciousness and self-awareness) constitutive of authentic intelligence appears to be anything other than what is being achieved by these narrowly defined intelligent machines and algorithmic processes. It may only be a matter of time until Artificial General Intelligence actually arrives but I think we would do well to differentiate clearly between cleverly-programmed data processing applications, adaptive robotics or other relatively narrowly defined cybernetic regulatory systems and actual intelligence.
In the AI Age, “Being Smart” Will Mean Something Completely Different
In regards to the existential threat commonly raised in reference to the emergence of authentic Artificial Intelligence, I wonder if we might potentially one day misinterpret the reality or existence of the integrated systems which may spontaneously emerge. Our psychology predisposes us to view things in terms of focal end-points, perspectival vanishing points and associated logically delimitable mechanical depth-projections in simple Euclidean spaces; closed, comprehensible, demonstrably axiomatic (i.e. provable), bounded nodes. What of distributed or otherwise unbounded, open systems and “multi-dimensional” mechanisms or emergent processes which might exist as dynamic cross-sections across a complex matrix defined in symmetrical patterns or designs across platforms, systems and networks; what of intelligent systems whose intelligence exists in ways we do not, can not, fathom ? Is this purely science fiction or a matter of probability, of plausibility ? Should we imagine that Artificial General Intelligence will in any form mirror ourselves, or that it’s generated products need be in any way intelligible to ourselves; this would appear to be an essentially narcissistic fallacy.
The article attached here is something less of a pipe dream than the reflections above; bounded autonomous entities, systems or mechanisms capable of wielding astounding deadly force already exist. This cat may, it seems, be at least partially out of the bag already…
Elon Musk leads 116 experts calling for outright ban of killer robots
I find (as a general mental exercise) the explanatory concepts of consciousness deriving from manifold superimposed multidimensional matrices to be compelling.
There is something powerful in the consideration that the mental systems and conceptual vocabularies which support (or manifest as) consciousness might themselves be able in their potentially unbounded internal extensibility to transcend the relative limitations of the physical systems (exquisitely complex and sophisticated as they are) that also support them. Incompleteness, recursion, infinite internal extensibility – the logical impossibility is only a matter of perspective or contextual abstraction. Within a Euclidean spatial system, no two parallel lines will ever meet but in a curved non-Euclidean space such an axiom can be demonstrated false, inconsistent, or at least of limited applicability. The point is – assumptions about the essential characteristics or axioms of any system of explanation, of thought – these are specific (delimited) to that system of explanation and we should not be so very surprised when we discover that there are always potential further abstractions and vectors of growth or dimensional extensibility to any system of rules, axioms, thought or philosophy.
The Geometry Of Consciousness Is A Multi-Dimensional Math Trip