Categories
AI Complexity Futurism Philosophy

Ray Kurzweil: Electric Dreams

The documentary “Transcendent Man” is an interesting reflection on Ray Kurzweil and his intriguing instantiation of a technological evangelism which envisions a Rapture-like technological singularity in which humanity will attain pseudo-omniscience and near-immortal longevity. The documentary itself is well balanced and also portrays a number of intellectual antagonists to Kurzweil’s utopian prophesies of a Genetic, […]

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art memory narrative

Memory: Juxtaposition and Relativity

I can remember a print hung on a wall in my father’s house when I was a child. I puzzled and fretted and stared and wondered about this image and it’s impossible, unsettling reality. The print was of M.C. Escher’s 1953 lithograph “Relativity” and I was probably only 9 or 10 years old at the […]

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culture technology

Information Tsunami: Too Much Information

This is no great revelation: we are positively drowning in information. Awash in billions of words and sounds, squawks and squeaks, bits and bytes of marketing, ideas, symbols and ideology: we can all hear the information pandemonium in which we are embedded but we are switched (or switching) off to it. We can all hear […]

Categories
Philosophy spacetime

Rationalising the Temporal

Is the experience of time merely a biological curiosity or psychological artefact, a happy accident of life as an aggregate of structural coincidences at a particular nexus and scale of physics and chemistry ?

Categories
imagination physics spacetime

A Universe of Infinite Spacetime

Context: What is the shape of the Universe ? Cosmologists believe that they have successfully measured the curvature of the large scale structure of the Universe and that it has returned a result of zero.  To understand curvature in this context – consider a triangle on a flat sheet of paper: its angles always add […]

Categories
culture money

The Perversity of Global Economics

It occurs to me that the endemic iniquity of the global financial and economic system is not an outcome or a consequence of its function and activity.  The positively obscene yawning chasm between the rich and poor is an essential precondition and sustaining feature of global economic mechanisms.  Truly equitable wealth redistribution, social justice and […]

Categories
media politics Psychology

Hate Speech: Caveat Emptor

Context: Hate on the Rise After Trump’s Election. It is no surprise, really, that hate crime has surged.  As a far-flung observer of these events it has always been apparent (because it has always been the case) that politicians who do not cautiously vet their own words and public statements can let loose all manner […]

Categories
ignorance media

Post-Truth: Ignorance is Not Strength

We have now graduated past “my ignorance is as good as your knowledge” and have entered a “post-truth” world where any witless assertion whatsoever might be interpreted as defensible fact.  There can surely now be no turning back.  There can be  no “peak post-truth” or “post-post-truth”. We appear to be inextricably trapped in an infinite […]

Categories
technology

Technosphere

It’s interesting to consider the collective, aggregated mass-density of all of our associated technological paraphernalia, our Technosphere. The aggregated totality of all our buildings, vehicles, dwellings, cities, the flotsam and jetsam of commerce and industry, our possessions and everything we throw away: it all has an estimated mass of 30 trillion tons. More information after […]

Categories
culture

Miami Beach: Lost Souls and Sandy Shoals

A very Cuban or otherwise South-American domain. It was summertime in the long stretch of Art Deco and sand-covered concrete, between the secure private condominiums and the cheap or garishly upmarket neon-lit beachside hotels and restaurants which gradually fade in a Westerly direction to apartments and strange villas housing mysterious perversions, under the sluggish feet […]

Categories
literature movies

The Counselor: a Perfectly Flawed Diamond-Script.

This film confirms a long-standing suspicion of mine that a “Cormac” is in fact the metric by which bleakness and the narrative representation of evil is measured. Cormac McCarthy’s script sparkles with philosophical rumination and psychological observation while weaving a tragic path through the world of drug-smuggling and its associated terrors. The film is finely […]

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Science

Why Life Exists

The notion that life just naturally “falls out” of physics as a more or less inevitable consequence of the symmetries and physical parameters of nature is quite beautiful. It also implies a Universe absolutely overflowing with unimaginably many expressions of life and potentially exotic configurations of living matter. More information after the jump: http://www.businessinsider.com/groundbreaking-idea-of-lifes-origin-2014-12?IR=T