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Philosophy

Embodied Uncertainty

Context: A Gut Bacteria That Improves Memory in Bees

The model of intelligence and cognition that is emerging is one in which all component processes, information and/or energy-processing (i.e. computational) sub-procedures and dependencies are contributing factors. The catch is that the sum total of all dependencies is uncountable and as unpalatable as this remains to the cognition and narrative intuitions we inhabit, it remains that the disconnect between description and described is essentially and intractably unbridgeable.

A useful trick is to foreground the ambiguity. If uncertainty is implicit in, of and as any complex system in which total entropy as possible configuration states endlessly hyper-inflates beyond the bounds of any metric enclosure, then a kernel of doubt represents the core ontological fact around which we might build a new conceptual vocabulary and (constitutively adaptive) framework of information, of systems and of technology.

This is a presence of absence as generative ontological vacuum at the heart of rationality and technology. In regards to what can be speculatively counted, in part, and extending the scope of technology and computation into the liminal zone between living and possibly-alive, some food for thought: Are Viruses Alive? – with Carl Zimmer

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