Categories
Philosophy

Experience as Negation

Apophasis was a Medieval mystical method as philosophical heuristic which sought to  remove all noise, all excess, all mental chatter until all that was left is Divine. However one feels about this, and a Zen resonance notwithstanding, the fact remains that this procedural cognitive morphology represents the equal and inverse to that of accumulative, aggregative […]

Categories
cybernetics

Cybernetics: the Good Regulator

Ashby had powerful insights. The Good Regulator theorem of Conant and Ashby that every good regulator of a system must be a model of that system is instructive. Further down the Ashby path – the variety (a.k.a. complexity) of a model needs to be at least as sophisticated as that of the system it models. […]

Categories
Ontology Philosophy

Systems Unity

System/environment boundaries are really somewhat arbitrary. It is generally only on the simplest and most rudimentary vectors of analysis that we can ever speak clearly of any kind of Manichaean system/environment differentiation and unambiguously-articulated identity or closure. Where and when boundaries are easily delineated, the systems under discussion are generally quite uninteresting and unrealistic. Systems […]

Categories
Philosophy

The Metaverse Lies

Utopian technological fantasies provide precisely an inverse, equal and opposite promise of abbreviated complexity, simplicity, reduced information or cognitive burden from the unmanaged entropy they materially invoke and to which they are often applied as aspirational panacea. Notice here that recurring trope of escape into a world of pure control and endless choice in subjective […]

Categories
technology

Quantum Computation is Diverse

Context: Superconducting Silicon-Photonic Chip Developed for Quantum Communication It is interesting that there really seems to be no best way of negotiating computation at this scale. The effervescing diversity of technical innovations in this context is instructive. Even as technology converges towards an accelerating point, it radiates out upon as many branches of technical speciation […]

Categories
Philosophy

Which Philosophers Matter?

At a relatively recent “reunion” event, I noticed that the primary social process with which people were engaged was the negotiation and confirmation of facts, measurements, names, identities and dates. They were all, in essence, reconstructing a network graph of personal histories as effective coordinate systems by and through which to render their shared experience […]

Categories
Philosophy

Weird Science

Context: Why is quantum theory so strange? The weirdness could be in our heads The disconnect between experience and the counter-intuitive products of (a) material logic is endemic to cognition and it is, in essence, an irreducible discontinuity. It may change form as theory and popular narratives of science co-evolve but the foundational peculiarity and […]

Categories
environment

Toxic Air Pollution in India

In the world of diplomacy, India may be remembered for its last-minute push to downgrade coal language at this year’s climate talks. Scientific American, November 16, 2021 More children are in hospital with breathing problems as pollution levels remain dangerously high in New Delhi, doctors warned on Wednesday, and the government shut five power stations […]

Categories
Philosophy

Rhetorical Vacuum

The great “I believe…” has quite inadvertently come to imply that any inarticulate caricature and catastrophically irrational utterance might quite easily take the cognitive or public and theatrical (or often enough geopolitical) center of gravity and there draw the gullible like moths to its naked flame. Belief, thus and there abstracted from fact, reminds us […]

Categories
Philosophy

Connectome Brainbows, Neural Networks and River Deltas

Some fascinating video lectures from Jeff Lichtman of Harvard University on the topic of connectomics are linked below. The reflections on technological aspirations to machine intelligence are implicit. Connectomics: seeking neural circuit motifs • Brains are initially maximally interconnected as wired networks and it is the imprinting of experience that prunes this connectivity to more […]

Categories
environment

COP26: Word Games

Observing the President of COP26 stifling emotion as he apologised for the shortfalls of the limited agreement obtained at this critically important conference, I find myself reflecting on the words being variously wielded and warped on such a Global stage. There are two primary games of symbolic communication (i.e. language) at work in these large […]

Categories
Philosophy

Shadowplay Culture: Musical Mothers

Not so much listening to as hearing a neighbour’s car stereo droning out a persistent rhythmic baseline this afternoon provides room for reflection. It occurs to me how such assertions of public identity, of enthusiastically announcing a place in whichever cultural coordinate space we might choose or otherwise find ourselves inhabiting, there is a certain […]