Escape Velocity: the Challenge of Introducing New Ideas

"The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones."- John Maynard Keynes...and escaping the old ones is a monumental task when a bad idea, once entrenched, becomes the source of it's own self-propagating rationale and serves as a limiting filter on the percolation of new cognitive methods and new…

Cognitive Eugenics

A cognitive eugenics born of genetic testing (and selection) for intelligence is almost upon us. Except - intelligence is not only a matter of genetics. Environmental influences, opportunities, sociological feedback mechanisms, the creatively adaptive development of unique cognitive methods - these are all factors in human intelligence. Cognitive eugenics - let's call it what it…

Cancer, Senescence, Computation and Complexity

I had an intuition that rather than genetic or cellular breakage and strict malfunction that cancer represents something of an uncanny alignment with the Halting Problem of computational theory. What is on one level a function of an atavistic throwback to deep biological history where replication and continuity at all costs provides a cellular (genetic)…

On Reason and Intelligence in Mind and Machine

What differentiates reasoning from algorithmic procedure and computation? Does reasoning suggest comprehension, agency, subjectivity or is it just a complex sequence and integrated, autonomously self-propagating network and goal-directed pattern of blind mechanism and self-inflected logic? If reasoning is really just complex algorithm, and if the treasured concepts of our own embodied knowledge and experience are…

Beauty and Impossibility

Looking into such a beautiful face, it brings to mind all the lives I have lived, all the dreams that I followed in some alternate reality, and all the lives that I will never, can never, live. It is as though all of these dreams, aspirations and desires have followed every possible path and configuration…

Culture, Cognition, Meaning

Culture, like meaning, is not found in one single place but is distributed across the entire surface of our shared cognition and the proliferating multiplicity of artefact, image and a logic of sequential algorithm and rationalised procedure that informs our experience. The self-evident fact that we are unable to unambiguously or unproblematically define or agree…

Unattainable Me: An Art of Self-identity and Desire

The essential art in the formation of self-identity is the cultivation of an ideal object around which to sediment and concretise that self. Lacan identified a "Mirror Stage" in psychological development which concisely captures the cognitive and cultural arc of our shared experience. The catch (and cost) here: to maintain persistence, continuity and individuation, the…

Culture: Using Fiction to understand Fact

To understand the mood and the Zeitgeist of an era, inspect the art, the fiction, the entertainment and the overtly and consciously, intentionally superficial.  It is in the manifestation and cultivation of oblique and useful falsehood that the underlying axioms inexorably reveal themselves.  What is considered "real" or "important" reveals itself as merely being another…

Self-Propagating Technological Metamorphosis

If you listen very carefully you can almost hear a faint whooshing sound as the vacuum created in the wake of the products of our own creative intelligence, which having long ago outpaced us, draws us inexorably along behind it. As the accelerating juggernaut of pure and abstract technological metamorphosis has always - and perhaps…

“Centaur” Human/AI Teams to Guard Nasdaq

The Nasdaq will now be protected by a centaur team of human analysts and deep learning systems. The broader context of autonomous network and data system defence is clearly an accelerating arms race. If there is sufficient perceived benefit to be derived to offset the cost of development, which - as the pursuit of profit…