Cyber: Technology, Information, Identity and Conflict

...as a general observation: All of this (shared) online aspiration to reflexively self-validating identity-construction and participatory meaning-generation masks a howling vacuum of dissimulated subjectivity. We seek self-expression but no such endpoint exists, no epistemogical closure or certainty and (certainly) nothing even vaguely approximating to that monster-image of projected, illusory control that stares back at us…

Predators, Machines and Co-evolution

For many years now, I have been fascinated by the mischievous, mysterious relationship between material systems (like living organisms) and the astoundingly complex information abstractions, systems and relationships within which they quite literally swim. I have mentioned parasitic wasps before - in a related context - but encountered an interesting article today which got me…

Defining Intelligence

The intransigent difficulty of obtaining a sufficiently concise, compelling, universally agreed-upon and resilient definition of intelligence sits somewhere on the same geometric arc or architecture of axiomatic assertion as does complexity and, indeed, life. If epistemological closure is demonstrably (ref. paradoxes of self-containment, among other things) impossible, intelligence both can and can not (!) be…

Internet Narratives, Self-propagating Complexity and Adversarial Evolution

Some philosophical thoughts on these contemporary, massively-distributed online communications systems:• social media now (largely) subsumes news media and the powerful, potentially unmanageable, flow and form of recursively self-propagating information-processing systems is such that even putatively reputable media or news channels - not to mention governments - are forced to contort themselves and their narratives in…

The Freedom Game

Freedom of Self is a game we play in which we trade an Other's control for our own.  In all the sparkle and fireworks of our relentless jubilation we fail to recognise that we still play by the same rules and are in essence no more free than we were before. Additionaly: we free to…

A Cultural Vacuum of Self

The strangest thing about personal identity and subjective psychological experience is that, at core, it consists solely of internalised references to an external world of images, ideas, idioms, languages and conventions.  This "external" world is only ever the substantive collection and dynamic aggregate of all of those other individual nodes, similarly empty, and swimming in…

The Disconcerting Essence of Personal Non-Existence

There is absolutely and irrevocably nothing more likely to raise the hackles and turn a good conversation bad than to willingly or unwittingly call into question another person's core belief system. Beyond this, and far outside (or is that inside?) the problematic orbits of political ideology, cultural convention and personal interpretations of the rich smorgasbord…

The Implicit Value and Logical Depth of Cognitive Diversity

Cognitive diversity represents that useful, recombinatory information entropy from which insight and innovation assert and reproduce or replicate themselves. A subtle, adaptive balance between self-propagating continuity and incessant metamorphosis is the source of as many evolutionary wonders as it is of the abstract information origami of psychological, cultural and technological enigmas with which we are…

Friendly Fire: Politics, Philosophy

The politicians are very similar, in general, to the philosophers; they seek value and utility through finding new ways to divide, to separate, to objectify and to create both distance and difference in the world. This endless definition and referential inflation is of course nothing more than an introduction of more information, more complexity and…

Fire Fighting: Extinguishing Self

This world of inflated, tangled emptiness is the world we have together made and together we will watch as it actively disassembles itself. The mysterious and unknowable vacuum beyond knowledge is essentially the same logical entity as is the foundational void within it. Epistemological certainty and self-identity or self-knowledge are limited by the same essential…

Free Fire: Nonexistence of Self

You do not exist. Not, at least beyond that very limited aggregate of abstractions, words, images, ideas and narrative (or cultural) conventions within which you find yourself embedded and as a transient expression of. It is a little-known fact that from within any non-trivially sophisticated system of ordered symbols, logic and (inevitably, also) psychology and…

Homelesness: a “Wicked Problem” of Complexity

Why does homelessness occur and why is it so difficult to find and apply lasting solutions? In a nutshell: Entropy. This is not a rhetorical affectation but as an authentic explanatory and causal explanation. Many socioeconomic problems are complex but within a relatively limited problem "dimensionality" - consider crowd control or public transport. They are…