In the early evening of fading light last night I visited a local shopping complex to purchase some simple necessities. In the sky just above some apartments I saw some small birds flying, too few to flock but just enough to exist in that liminal zone of groups of 3 or 4. Single birds would […]
“The real question is not whether machines think but whether humans do.” B.F. Skinner Whether humans think or not seems to be a null question as so many clearly do not, finding themselves quite happily swept away upon whichever tide of passionate belief or causal provenance as first takes them. What interests me more is […]
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 […]
In What Ways is Science Like Religion?
A key reflection might be: in what ways does the contemporary experience of science, of technology and of an empirical, evidence-based world view actually (and perhaps inadvertently) fulfill many of the traditional functions of religion? In what ways, in short, does science as a paradigm of thought perform the same essential tribal binding and reflexive […]
Human beings copy each other, it provides a modest respite from implicit psychological insecurities. They copy each other copying each other because they are tribal creatures and for all this aspirational social or cultural identity construction – they are all so easily led, swept away by trends and peer pressure or commercial desperation. After a […]
Sociality and interdependence is our species’ strength but is simultaneously also our weakness. The complex networks and intangible feedback loops of behaviour, communication, material artefacts and technologies upon which we have built a Global civilisation, such as it is, are autonomously self-propagating information systems. Once such psychological, social and cultural systems have gained energy and […]
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” -J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship […]
An epidemiological approach to violent crime ? It has proven to be a successful strategy and seems to me to be eminently sensible.
Our global bureaucracies (on all scales) can not match pace with the accelerating rates of systemic change within which they find themselves…