Categories
Alien Anthropology

Totalitarian Psychosis, Revisited

Context: ‘The Russians have started coming’: Finland considers tourist visa ban The curious thing about the autocratic regime reacting negatively to other nations taking rational actions against them (and their war) is that for all their sabre rattling and vigorous external finger-pointing, the difference and opposition they are creating is precisely the dissonance and turbulent […]

Categories
cybernetics

On Describing Complex Systems

My experience, beyond an effervescing percolation of the very many sociotechnical instances with which both we and our reflexively teleological heuristics of symbolic communication (in and as language) aspire to epistemological closure, is that there is no simplest state or unified descriptive method available to us. Yes, we can iteratively refine taxonomies and (what become) […]

Categories
life

Impostor Syndrome: Scholastic Edition

Finding myself waist-deep in a complex University degree at the moment and it is hard to get past constantly feeling inadequate and stupid. Ticking the boxes and walking backwards juggling flaming chainsaws through the cheese grater of institutional expectations while also working to support myself, I am utterly uncomfortable and quite disconsolate about my ability […]

Categories
culture

Smart Weapons, Dumb Wars (slight return)

To repeat: The only reason we need smart weapons is because we are too stupid to stop fighting wars.

Categories
Alien Anthropology

Smart Weapons and Stupid Wars

It is only because we are quite astonishingly and catastrophically unable to end wars that we find ourselves in so very many ways and for so very many different reasons still fighting them. We have refined our sharpest technological insights as a function of conflict and the intertribal dissonance that our species specialises in. What […]

Categories
Philosophy

On Knowing, Unknowing and Ignorance

The diminishing returns of a double negative. It is such a subtle linguistic game to play because, yes, the absence of absence constitutes a problem representing anything other than the accrual of benefit, but the nature of knowledge as indefinitely-extensible referential matrix indicates that new information and insights are always (similarly) a negation upon what […]

Categories
life

Environmental Inversion

It’s a little unorthodox but I suspect we deeply misunderstand the nature of living systems, long before we ever aspire to protect them from the ravages of pollution and environmental degradation. The genetically regulated phylogeny of an organism, a species and a behavioural niche are each and all inverse encodings of the environmental context they […]

Categories
history

Attrition

I wonder if these guys would have imagined that the horror they were living through would be repeated again on some European battlefield a little over a hundred years later. The methods and machines may have to some extent changed but the sheer insanity and grinding brutality remain quite the same. Soldiers (and civilians) suffering […]

Categories
communication

Communicating Science: Systems

I’m a committed advocate for the importance of systems theory, cybernetics and complexity science but the solution of communication precisely is the problem. It is not a bundle of ideas or throwaway conceptual vocabularies that can ever compress down to a brief logo. The conservation of cognitive as much as cultural resources predisposes people to […]

Categories
Alien Anthropology

War and Hunger

The looming Global Food Crisis is not solely attributable to the war in Ukraine but there is absolutely no doubt that this conflict represents an accelerating and amplifying factor. We would do well to question the unrepentant stupidity of those who initiate invasions and wars. If starting a wildfire of brutality to leverage the uncertainty […]

Categories
Philosophy

Totalitarian Abstraction

The totalitarian mindset is uniquely fixated and dependent upon an essentially fictional abstraction of closure and control. The sheer impossibility of their aspirations allows them to remain in power because being oriented in this way towards an unattainable goal provides an endlessly self-validating narrative of struggle and purpose.

Categories
Philosophy

Dreamers

Pragmatic rationality should keep the dreamers from losing their way but, similarly, the dreamers are necessary to remind the rationalists that they have already lost theirs.