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Philosophy

When Big is Small: Technological Miniaturisation as Self-Accelerating Singularity

Context: The revolution in satellite technology means there are swarms of spacecraft no bigger than a loaf of bread in orbit It is a curious property of the juggernaut of relentless technological metamorphosis that utility is generally measured in inverse proportionality to miniaturisation, regardless that a network of associated, integrated systems quite naturally proliferate and […]

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Philosophy

S.O.S. Planet Earth

Science seeks underlying patterns and abbreviated logical explanations (as equation, model and approximation or general framework) to describe and manipulate nature but this is always at an inadvertent and inverse cost of generating precisely the same quantity of unmanageable complexity and disorder as that control and value or utility it brings. There exists a general […]

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Philosophy

Beautiful Convergence

Beauty fascinates me although it is not at a purely aesthetic level or in any visceral approximation to emotional experience and desire with which our culturally-mediated experience of self and subjectivity endows us. Consider that there have been a number of cross-cultural and ethnically-diverse academic studies that demonstrate that the faces which are considered to […]

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Philosophy

Language Lies

Language lies to us about its ability to facilitate communication. Anything beyond the most trivial of instances of description and communication carries enormous degrees of uncertainty and ambiguity. This is both the strength and the weakness of symbolic language, but ultimately – language itself benefits most. Human minds are bound by an acquired linguistic intuition […]

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Philosophy

On ending an endless war…

War is at least partially a function of the fact that in seeking to maintain sustainable continuity, all dynamical systems must effectively and persistently offset the inevitability of their own internal dissonance and thermodynamic or organisational entropy to an environment composed of other systems that are engaged in precisely the same exercise of existential self-interest. […]

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Philosophy

Disentangling Freedom

Opposites are bound, entangled in ways our minds can never truly or unambiguously distinguish. This is why we make many of the mistakes we all do – again and again. The mind just exists and knows no true difference or polarity and failing to recognise our own essential wisdom, we all too easily fall into […]

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Philosophy

There is no final truth…

There are no final, complete or self-contained answers. Language, for one, and as much as cognition itself, is not oriented towards closure. It is like a genetic code that acquires optimal, sustainable continuity through the counter-intuitive utility and value that incompleteness and uncertainty brings. Without the random mutation that logical or physical necessity creates, the […]

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Philosophy

Gazing into infinity…

The great German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote that it is prudent to be cautious when engaging the deepest mysteries because “if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you”. When you do find (just such) a loose thread in the fabric of the world as an inexplicable enigma, an […]

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Philosophy

Sustainable Food Systems

Context: Working More Systemically Towards Sustainable Food Systems: A Co-Inquiry Process A critical issue at the heart of this issue is that we lack a comprehensive, resilient and adaptive systems ontology upon which to build the structural, organisational and sociotechnical or cognitive/intelligent and technological systems we actually require. It is one thing to identify a […]

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Philosophy

Whale Culture, Living Complexity and Disembodied Intelligence

Context: Sperm whales in 19th century shared ship attack information Seems like a moment for an(other!) apposite philosophical Herman Melville quote but the (emergent) complexity of these things is as much a measure of their natural intelligence as it is of our enduring hesitance to acknowledge it. The next step on from identifying the existence […]

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Philosophy

Computational wars of attrition…

Can the future be extrapolated from the past in such a linear manner as to suggest that the (many and tragic) wars of attrition that once were, will be again? The question is not so much as to what shape or duration future conflict might take as of what role conflict (and other such forms […]

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Philosophy

Can Vegetarians Ethically Eat Artificial Meat?

Context: Real Meat That Vegetarians Can Eat If the reason for not eating meat is purely ethical, then consuming simulated meat bears no moral consequence whatsoever to a person committed to a position that all plausibly sentient life is sacred, that all manifestations of embodied experience and awareness are a difference of degree, not of […]