Categories
culture

AI: Dispatches from a metal mind

Relatively recent and unexpected career changes have found me up to my armpits in the swiftly-flowing waters and complex technologies of machine learning and artificial intelligence. I am utterly fascinated by the many and diverse ways in which we seek to replicate our own cognition and even while we must at some level know that […]

Categories
culture

Beautiful Words and Emptiness

I enjoy the endless Baroque complexity of words far too much to ever settle on a generalised shape or articulated pattern and causal ontology for them. Of course, though, even the absence of pattern is a kind of pattern, no? By this logic we might even assert that the intricate improbability of a truly random […]

Categories
technology

Hardening Democracies against Disinformation and Cyber Vulnerabilities

Context: The next pandemic may be cyber — How Biden administration can stop it Interesting article, but the centralisation of resources and administrative control is a limited and piecemeal assertion over a global and overall systemic problem: • the irreducible, implicit and generally unacknowledged insecurity of digital technologies represents something of a leaking bucket that could […]

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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 […]

Categories
politics

Personality Tests: Political Metrics

Context: http://www.politicalcompass.org This kind of test resonates with precisely the kind of personality assessments that Cambridge Analytica so successfully exploited. I’m not asserting that any inadvertent conspiratorial undercurrent exists in this instance but there may be (other) rich philosophical seams of insight to be mined here. Notice that an observational, participatory metric and expression of […]

Categories
Philosophy technology

The Dream Police

Context: ‘This is not science fiction,’ say scientists pushing for ‘neuro-rights’ Dystopian authoritarian visions notwithstanding, there is a strong philosophical argument to be made that consciousness, sentience or intelligence only possesses the value (and, indeed, the substantive reality) it does because there are aspects of self and indeed of complex systems self-organisation that are not […]

Categories
culture Philosophy

Selfies: Cultural Diversity, Regional Variation and Recursive Abstraction

Context: Visualising Facebook I find it interesting that, beyond regional or other associated differences, a philosophical observation to be made is that the underlying and universal property here is that of recursive information system self-replication. So, we observe persons, cultures, national identities visually and linguistically self-replicating through a rapidly-evolving language and grammar of idiom, meme, […]

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culture

Bonfire

I kept making the mistake of thinking that I was writing those few bursts of staccato articulation that fell from my brain and through my fingers like dry ash upon a dusty digital screen. The truth was always and already that I did not write these words anywhere near so much as they wrote me […]

Categories
culture

Reality?

Context: Your life is not what you think is Reflection: If minds (or any other autonomously self-propagating information sub-set of “reality”) were entangled with the rest of the Universe, this might explain our experience of entropy – it is a property of probability and possibility that derives from logical self-containment, from the multiple ways in […]

Categories
politics

Planet Politics

The sheer unrepentant complexity and high-dimensionality of the Global problem spaces we face as a technological civilisation imply that to ever or even just survive, the proliferation of shallow and meaningless ideological caricatures may be a necessary component into the far future of humanity. Communication mandates a certain degree of simplicity but reality itself is […]

Categories
culture

Bonfire of the Humanities

It is an irony worth considering that institutionally reductive aspirations to slash-and-burn streamlining of educational curriculum align to ideological and economic worldviews which themselves are unacknowledged – if often misguided – products of a diversity and intellectual depth in human civilisation that they would unwittingly or boorishly inhibit. Short term benefits are all the rage […]

Categories
technology

Ransomware Attacks On Hospitals: Acts of War?

Implicit and endemic grey-zone ambiguities mean that this might never be attributed to anything other than (yet) another heartlessly self-serving criminal enterprise that is leveraging the inflated value of hospitals and health data during a public health crisis. I expect there are some logical and legal hurdles in defining acts of war this way. Not […]