Categories
Philosophy

Unexpected Words

I am quite interested in the ways in which a normative gamification of language (in wordle, crosswords, quizzes, tests and other educational, institutional, political or ideological taxonomies) reflects and reinforces the essentially probabilistic information signal that inflects all linguistic statements, descriptions and assertions of fact with significance. The words, concepts and downstream grammatical or cultural […]

Categories
Philosophy

ChatGPT: Linguistic Tesseract of Deception

There has been a wildfire of online interest in ChatGPT over the last couple of days. The software possesses no insights, intuition or understanding and yet its relative eloquence is compelling. What truly fascinates me about all the effervescing interest in this particular language model is that its primary effect has been the generation of […]

Categories
Philosophy

Disinformation and Propaganda: Living Lies and Midas’ Curse

In attempting to shape and influence the world through chaos and confusion, the Russian establishment and state media have themselves become both transmission medium and primary victims of these “active measures”. In trying to leverage and exploit lies, uncertainty and doubt – the totalitarian state has itself become the primary target and victim of these […]

Categories
Philosophy

Induction

Context: Any Single Galaxy Reveals the Composition of an Entire Universe Such induction to general principles from instances is itself, also, a broader lesson regarding complexity. If recognisable (i.e. “real world”) properties of cosmological matter and energy distribution can be inferred from a single galaxy, in what other systems does such a depth of logical […]

Categories
Philosophy

Atavism, Warfare and Cruelty

Putin’s guilt is Russia’s shame. The totalitarian regime in Russia is dependent on ideological throwbacks as atavisms to an ancient world of unsophisticated inter-tribal brutality and ignorance. They have been shaping and preparing their population to participate in (or silently endure) this kind of extravagant savagery for many decades but under Putin the accompanying sociopolitical […]

Categories
Philosophy

Endings

All of our questions are really only so many hollow, transient games with words. Their meanings are inferred self-refentially from within the matrix ofvwords and phrases, quite arbitrary without much of a concrete connection to anything beyond the simplest of material facts and the most rudimentary of truths that we can fabricate in logic or […]

Categories
freedom Philosophy

A Blank Sheet of Paper

A blank sheet of paper, indeed. In the Tao Te Ching (“Way of Life”), Lao Tze wrote of the ways in which the void and vacuum which is always an absent presence represents the anchor of life, of experience and freedom. The hole in the wheel is that which makes it useful; the absence in […]

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Philosophy

Trapped in the Language that Frees Us

Have you noticed that the collective self-definitions that unite us are simultaneously the boundaries and borders that isolate and alienate us from each other and from ourselves? We are (all) both freed by and trapped in the linguistically-mediated systems of belief we inhabit. I don’t think this is a resolvable enigma but it is certainly […]

Categories
Philosophy

On a Wheel

Cultural processing of information is one of the main tasks we carry out. It is costly and can be very difficult. Our brains are on one hand dedicated to the maintenance and sustainable continuity of the bodily vessels that support them but also must process the symbolic complexity required to sustain the systems of culture […]

Categories
Philosophy

You are the Culture that is You

There’s an idiom to the effect that when you find yourself in a traffic jam you are never “stuck in traffic”, you are traffic. It’s something of a cognitive and linguistic reflex to identify an artefact, entity or system as a bounded or isolated fact in the forest of references and definitions that we inhabit. […]

Categories
Philosophy

Technological Triumph of Linguistic Mediocrity

Context: We could run out of data to train AI language programs  We should be less worried about running out of data to train language models and more concerned about finding ourselves without anything interesting to say. The profusion of large language models does not occur in a vacuum. Regardless that our cognitive (as much […]

Categories
Philosophy

Siege Warfare in Europe

It is horrifying to think that the Russian regime has painted itself into such a bloody corner that all they can now do is wreak a kind of medieval siege warfare upon the people of Ukraine. Beyond the crude absurdities of narrative symbolism and caricatured historical necessity with which they justify this growing litany of […]