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Alien Anthropology

Lying Flat

Context: Work is a False Idol Note: A newspaper article regarding the endemic failure of capitalism in China that is itself pay-walled and inaccessible seems suitable ironic as to leave here. It is interesting that this “movement” of self-propagating behavioural and information idioms or tropes might be rendered or interpreted as threatening to economic prosperity […]

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Alien Anthropology

Swipe Left

I’m a disavowed “swipe left” in this world of manifest superficiality and instantaneous digital gratification; not much interested in the narcissistic hedonism of commercially-mediated myopia and all these profoundly narrow behavioural games and shallow conceptual vocabularies, I really am completely out of place here. Nevermind that all we ever do by embracing and chasing all […]

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Alien Anthropology

The Dragon that Ate its own Tail

The general arc and trajectory of a pathology is rarely identified or recognised by those that inhabit it; this functional blind-spot is a partial representation of core cognitive factors that exist as much inter as intra individuals and in or as distributed ideologies. Notice, though, that the curious self-organisational resiliency of autonomously self-propagating (and entirely […]

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Alien Anthropology

Nuclear War? Nope.

Context: US Military Document Admits That Risk of Nuclear War Is Growing This article kind of ruined my Sunday, right there. The rank absurdity of nuclear war is astonishing. That the worlds and words built from effective abstractions of thought and the transient emotional affectations of partisan ideological difference could ever arrive in or at […]

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Alien Anthropology

Covid Information in Australia: Signal from Noise

Despite being quite well suited by geography and economy to weather the pandemic, it seems the inevitable has happened and – part epidemiological entropy, part selfish human stupidity, part bad luck – COVID-19 has gained a foothold again here in Australia. Every morning and several times a day I check the news media online to […]

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Alien Anthropology

The Movie that Ruined my Life

Showing my age here, but when I was a teenager I saw a movie that completely ruined my life. The Day After was a 1983 drama that illustrated the immediate consequences of nuclear war. It was such a singularly depressing experience that I really don’t think I have ever been the same since. Perhaps it […]

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Alien Anthropology

War

I’ve been watching and worrying as the wheels of war turn once more, churning lives and bodies like fuel for some gargantuan machine that blindly seeks nothing more than its own effective self-propagation. No one can control this monster and as a complex information-processing system, all contours and arcs of territorial self-interest and existential fear […]

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Alien Anthropology

Fear of technological change: AI

Context: How do you build trust in new technologies? An arguably irreducible factor in this is that cultural, linguistic and (corollary) cognitive systems thrive where and when there is a threshold of uncertainty and doubt. Personal (or national) identities – for instance – are never so certain in their dissimulated security as when they are […]

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Alien Anthropology Philosophy technology

Artificial Intelligence: Navigating the 4th Industrial Revolution

Professor Bell provides a fascinating, artfully-abbreviated and profoundly well-informed historical survey of the steam, electrical, computational and AI/cyber-physical technological phase transitions of human civilisation. As an anthropologist, she grounds technological systems in the people and places that inhabit them. It is clearly of critical importance to consider the lived experience of a future that remakes us and […]

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Alien Anthropology

Dissociative Beauty

“My beauty was my curse, so to speak; it created an impenetrable shield between people and who I really was.” ~Hedy Lamarr There really does seem to be something of a deep and irremediable sorrow in all great beauty. We might say the same of a beautiful mind as much as of an attractive face […]

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Alien Anthropology

Spinning Democracy: Capitol Insurrection

Context: China, Russia, Iran Spin Capitol Insurrection A note on geopolitical spin: very much like quantum entangled pairs, it exists in a superposition of states – measurement along a particular axis produces the reality. Most instances of perceived weakness can as easily infer strength – it just depends upon which axes of measurement (and narrative) […]

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Alien Anthropology Philosophy

We do not need war

It is something of the core nature of narrative human consciousness that reflexively defines itself by and through difference and ontological separation from an Other or World that we perceive and process information in ways that obscure the bigger picture of competition, adversarialism and war. That gestalt information and energy-processing (i.e. computational) system of interpersonal […]