The Persistence of False Belief

Do we possess beliefs or do beliefs possess us? Are the distributed, integrated information artefacts and systems of belief actually entities in their own right? Are individual nodes in a networked, self-propagating information system really the storage components for the resilient continuity of an idea, a belief or an ideology? Are the intrinsic errors (within…

Evolving Narratives and Cultural Behaviours to Negotiate a Global Pandemic

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…

Enigma: Everything is Self-Representation but Nothing is Self

Consider how all art, all self-expression can only ever be the hyper-inflating interior surface of some compound, complex emptiness; how from nothing we have made everything (possible) and how the rich curvature and self-inflected acceleration of all thought, all culture and all reality was always (and already) the mischievous logical negation of unity, of completeness…

Curiouser and Curiouser: The Complex Emptiness of (Self and) Words

The curiousity of narrative is precisely the (very) many degrees of freedom available to the hyper-inflating interior spaces of language and an associated conceptual eloquence of psychologically-resonant teleology implicit to story-telling. The resonance derives from the ways that language and narrative reflexively shape experience, perception, culture and cognition. The degrees of freedom highlight the logical…

Climate Change and the Downward Spiral of Greed

The symbolic value with very concrete consequences... The more we reflexively structure, cultivate and sediment our cultural identities, psychological subjectivity and civilisation around (and through) a limiting grammar and vocabulary of runaway greed, the more we find ourselves trapped in a spiral of accelerating entropy. Context: Thomas Keneally's 2020s vision: We must abandon the language…

The Implicit Resilience of (a) Limited Cognitive Dissonance

Errors of information encoding generate the novelty through and by which these cultural systems successfully self-propagate as continuity and change. Narrative dissonance is a necessary component of social communication; an autonomous method for introducing the useful information entropy of difference through which biological, cognitive and cultural systems evolve and maintain resilience against catastrophic disassembly.  This…

Information, Influence and Dissonance: the Utility of Fakes and Errors in System Self-Propagation

Information systems, viewed from a gestalt/holistic perspective, possess many properties we might otherwise recognise as self-propagation, "emergence" or self-organisation. The presence of values attributed semantic (or logical) properties of truth or falsity at a level of cognition or language may be purely incidental.From a Global Systems perspective, information systems autonomously pursue the optimal means of…

The Necessity of Cognitive Bias

I honestly wonder sometimes if we make sense of the world or if the world makes sense of (and through) us; it is most certainly true that the information patterns of this world inhabit our minds just as much as we inhabit them. Cognitive biases, for instance, are those endemic psychological faux pas through which…

Economics, Psychology, Philosophy and our Shared Selves

There is a certain childish wish-fulfilment in many ideological, economic and political descriptions (and their associated, self-inflected, experience) of reality. This is a simplicity sought in an order and a taxonomy or categorical differentiation, difference and the abstract "distance" of Other(ing) which seeks to impose structure where there rarely is any. Or at least there…

Cyber: Technology, Information, Identity and Conflict

...as a general observation: All of this (shared) online aspiration to reflexively self-validating identity-construction and participatory meaning-generation masks a howling vacuum of dissimulated subjectivity. We seek self-expression but no such endpoint exists, no epistemogical closure or certainty and (certainly) nothing even vaguely approximating to that monster-image of projected, illusory control that stares back at us…

A Cultural Vacuum of Self

The strangest thing about personal identity and subjective psychological experience is that, at core, it consists solely of internalised references to an external world of images, ideas, idioms, languages and conventions.  This "external" world is only ever the substantive collection and dynamic aggregate of all of those other individual nodes, similarly empty, and swimming in…

The Disconcerting Essence of Personal Non-Existence

There is absolutely and irrevocably nothing more likely to raise the hackles and turn a good conversation bad than to willingly or unwittingly call into question another person's core belief system. Beyond this, and far outside (or is that inside?) the problematic orbits of political ideology, cultural convention and personal interpretations of the rich smorgasbord…