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Philosophy

Ethical Principles in AI: The Diversity of Approaches Masks a Unifying Truth

From the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University: “(…) this white paper and its associated data visualization compare the contents of thirty-six prominent AI principles documents side-by-side.” It is clearly an admirable endeavour. Note that: a simultaneously proliferating diversity of (re)sources and aggregation around key points reflects and illustrates more than […]

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Philosophy

Technological Vulnerability

As every new systemic weakness and information system vulnerability emerges, I can never quite escape a wistful philosophical reflection on the core problems and generalised solutions which might yet exist in this complex space. If vulnerability and insecurity is an endemic and irreducible property of information systems as a function of the intractable presence of […]

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Philosophy

Depression

Depression is such a fickle thing. Some days everything seems fine, you build yourself up and seem so full of joy and purpose and then one look, one word or callous gesture just brings it all crashing back down. The seduction of emotional isolation, alienation and catastrophic disengagement with the world is at these times […]

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Philosophy

Authoritarian Insecurity

It need hardly be said that good ideas quite simply sell themselves without any effort whatsoever. Were it not that bad ideas possess just as much potential viral transmissibility as the good ones, we might not all be in quite the Global geopolitical pickle we currently find ourselves in. Truly terrible ideas, though, being hardly […]

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Philosophy

AI is neither Artificial nor Intelligent

The most curious thing about Artificial Intelligence is, as Kate Crawford of Microsoft asserts, it is neither artificial nor intelligent. Information-processing and encoding is precisely what nature (as physics, complexity, biological systems, sentience, intelligence, culture and technology) always and already do. Intelligence is a distributed property of nature and it is only in the very […]

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Philosophy

Meaningless Existence

Today’s brief reflection on the state of humanity is brought to you by a feeling of overwhelming futility and an acute awareness of the pointless, vacuous and utterly narcissistic bullshit that consumes us all. Finding ourselves inhabiting whichever time and place we transiently occupy, and encountering the limiting cognitive language and behavioural repertoire of a […]

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Philosophy

Political Belief

Political systems, as much as the ideologies which endlessly resonate through them, are very much not as controlled or indicative of individual or collective self-determination as people might choose to believe. There is certainly choice, just as there is responsibility, but the overall complex dynamical system as information and energy-processing field that these artefacts  embody […]

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Philosophy

Kessler Syndrome

The Kessler Syndrome is a clear and stark reminder of just how intransigently daft the militarisation of space might eventually prove itself to be. One idiot with a missile and LEO indefinitely inaccessible for everyone. No less painful than the consequences of even a limited exchange of nuclear weapons (anywhere) but, if you noticed, the […]

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Philosophy

Ontological Lego

“System differentiation is nothing more than the repetition within systems of the difference between system and environment.” Niklas Luhmann, ‘Social Systems’, Stanford University Press, 1995, p. 7. The abstractions are effectively the difference between a(ny) system and its environment, replicated and recursively reproduced as the self-inflation and fact that is that system. The abstraction that […]

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Philosophy

On Unified Theories of Everything

Singularly final unifying theories are a – or indeed, the –  holy grail. The most significant barrier to unifying theories is that we expect them to be domain-specific, narrow and effectively limited – i.e. epistemologically “controlled” or even “controllable”. That’s the core problem – unified and/or unifying theories are constitutively not limited. Further, I expect […]

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Philosophy

Library as Brain

Context: Take a look at this bizarrely beautiful library inspired by the human brain. Fascinating idea – a library inspired by the brain. Of course, all libraries are always and already inspired and purposefully inflated by the needs and activities of brains and their products of hyper-extended cognition in – and as – language, culture, […]

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Philosophy

Universal Selfie

True, perhaps, and yet all technology, all cognitive hyper-extension through art, language, culture – it is all really just one vast and monumentally intricate selfie, a world that replicates and represents itself through us, in us, as us. Curiously, and more than a little bit Zen, is that if everything is self, then nothing is.