Categories
culture

The Wisdom of Crowds

The “wisdom of crowds” is, beyond the statistical phenomenon of mischievously accurate prediction, rarely approximate to any kind of wisdom whatsoever. Swept away in swells of emotional passion, people rarely notice that in seeking belonging and a salve or treatment for the irreducible existential uncertainties or emotional insecurities of life, they actually, wilfully surrender their […]

Categories
technology

Who’s afraid of the big bad AI?

Artificial Intelligence technologies raise (or revisit) enduring philosophical questions regarding the relationships between notions of individuality, self-determination and distributed information systems (as language, culture, technology, civilisation) in which such concepts acquire meaning. The gathering stormclouds of technologically-mediated identity-harvesting, surveillance and (emerging artefacts, idioms and tools of) ideological control suggest that we do not understand and […]

Categories
culture

Meaning does not reside in symbols…

The general assertion of significance and meaning as belonging to symbols (of Self, of nation, of Other, of flag or tribal, ideological and cultural association) is a direct and inverse consequence of a foundationally incomplete psychological identity; itself being little more than the symbolic or communications system and technological hyper-extension of a general principle of […]

Categories
culture

Diversity in Organisational Leadership

Monocultural or ideological hegemony in organisational leadership is a recipe for disaster. As a general observation, when organisational systems fall into overtly biased configurations and power symmetries, it is rarely a consequence of willful misdirection. From the interior surface of a half-mirrored labyrinth of self-validating justification and institutional logic, this kind of monocultural percolation may […]

Categories
culture

The Value of Controversy

Context: ‘It’s Going to Take a Long, Long Time.’ How the Uproar Over a Bollywood Lyric About Beyoncé Fits Into the Fight Against Colorism in India As Malcolm McLaren (as manager of the Sex Pistols) once noted – there is no such thing as bad publicity – he even cancelled performance to make the band […]

Categories
culture

Femme Fatale

The “femme fatale”, a dangerous, panther-like beauty in which all of man’s desires and fears are realised in one gorgeous, dark and explosive bundle of alluring seduction and imminent volcano-like fury. This is the fantasy of woman upon which an unwitting, gullible and endlessly-amorous male identity anchors itself – in language, image, technology, culture and […]

Categories
politics

Partisan Politics, continued…

An observation from Complex Systems Science: Regardless of those (internal or external) who might be seeking to generate more friction and to extract political or ideological value from it, the contemporary extremity of partisan adversarialism and dissonant turbulence that characterises the US political system has the characteristics of a dissipative system – that is, a […]

Categories
culture

Do Celebrities Live More Meaningful Lives?

The question is surely as to a definition of meaning. As Russell remarked in “Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy”, all definitions are made in terms of other definitions – ergo and by way of endemic circularity there is no anchor or Archimedes Point upon which to hang notions of a “most meaningful” life. All meaning is […]

Categories
culture

Misunderstanding Selfies

I do wonder if we perhaps miss the forest for the trees, here. The primary function and operational practice of any cognitive or cultural communications system is that of encoding self-replication as sustainable continuity. Where we are all quite intimately bound to and fascinated by these technologically-mediated interpersonal spaces, in an implicit near-narcotic and narcissistic […]

Categories
politics

Partisan Political System Self-replication

Partisan Political Systems have a double life as what is visible and what is not. What is not obvious is generally the most interesting (and causally critical) feature. If a complex information and/or energy-processing (i.e. computational) system maintains sustainable intrinsic homeostatic and extrinsic contextual continuity through the reflexive priming of its environment as a pliable […]

Categories
communication

Engaging Deep Fakes: When Truth is not Truth

Information, like entropy, is always created. When considered in gestalt: successful cultural, technological or socioeconomic systems (and their diverse artefacts or entities) are autonomously-oriented towards self-propagation as biological as much as material facts of information and energy-processing. One of the common errors we make when we engage the growing presence of both amateur and professionally-bespoke […]

Categories
culture

Cultural Anxiety

The ways that fear and stress shape cultures and nations may have corollary systems, symptoms and processes to those that haunt individual brains, personal experiences and memory. The amygdala hijack is in some places and at some times a distributed cultural phenomenon. Microcosm/macrocosm explanations are useful in this context but can be (and often are) […]