Categories
creativity ignorance imagination

On the value of not stealing ideas…

…and yet the persistent absence of intellectual creativity is a necessary condition for its acquired significance and perceived value. A principle of scarcity in economics resonates. That said, I’m not certain that the boundary conditions between intellectual theft and ethical practice in any autonomously self-propagating sociotechnical (information) system has been, or perhaps ever could be, […]

Categories
art Philosophy

Aesthetic Relativity: Lascaux and Other Minds

Representational relativity is an epiphenomenon strongly supported by the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (itself perhaps also, and ironically, subject to the representational vicissitudes and aesthetics of oscillating academic taste and cultures). While we might never decompress exactly what the Lascaux cave art meant to its creators, the reflexivity of creative expression as a function of whichever cultural […]

Categories
Alien Anthropology

Appetite for Destruction: the Aesthetics of War

As a species, we seem positively bound to cyclical, constructive inflation and reinvention of the artefacts, entities and cultural systems that quite naturally sediment in and as shared memory around such catastrophic historical episodes. The essence of history has been this headlong rush into cataclysmic violence, followed as denouement by much gentler growth and cultural […]

Categories
culture Philosophy

Suspended Animation

Feeling trapped? It’s just what we humans do and by goodness do we do it well. Endlessly orienting ourselves towards the games of self and other that culture, language and our psychological worlds bring upon us, we find ourselves hooked and strung across so many reciprocal obligations and complex social or economic responsibilities that there […]

Categories
cybernetics

Minority Report: Information, Artificial Intelligence and Cybernetics

Context: Cybernetics Film Festival – Minority Report Information is, among other things, a quantification of the difference between the current state of a system and its most probable state. Artificial Intelligence as proxy precognitive toolkit acquires utility and cultural – if not institutional – value as a function of the extent to which its models […]

Categories
Alien Anthropology

All War is Civil War

How do we resolve the central enigma of human existence? That problem is not that simple yet intractable fact of our own existence, mystifyingly beautiful and as ultimately puzzling as this may be. Nor is it that we invest such a vast amount of our limited individual and collective time blundering from one catastrophic, often […]

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 […]

Categories
information

The Distributed Brain of Culture

Context: When and why did human brains decrease in size 3,000 years ago? Ants may hold clues If information processing and storage is offset to an environmental context, brain size becomes less important. I would probably ask the (corollary) question in this context as to the extent that cultural (as information processing and knowledge transmission) […]

Categories
Philosophy

Meta?

Context: Facebook Changes Name, Announces AR Layer Over Physical Reality Utopian fantasy tends to follow a predictable arc as much in ideology as in technology. The cognitive consequences will be constitutively dissociative and alienating but then, all technology simultaneously empowers and inhibits. A recent study regarding the shrinking of brains some 3,000 years ago aligns […]

Categories
communication

Negotiating the Dark Side of Social Media

An enigma: the shambling, self-propagating golem [let’s not kid ourselves – it’s much more Frankenstein than Jetsons] of mass/social communications systems maximally self-propagates and recursively reproduces itself through precisely the dissonant turbulence that we are now obligated to engage as both an existential threat and aperture of opportunity. How, in other words, to bootstrap, loop […]

Categories
technology

Elon Musk: Selling Utopian Technological Fantasies

Context: Elon Musk Insists on Autonowashing, Says Tesla Will License Autonomy to Anyone Commercial value is, perhaps, always a function of the difference(s) between aspiration and reality. Marketing as entrepreneurial exercise of relatively shameless self-promotion always and already presupposes the existence of some future state and well-polished (generally Utopian) fantasy upon which narrative (and prospective […]

Categories
Philosophy

The Strangeness of Life

The strangeness of life is so close to us, so intimate that we can not see it nor recognise the novelty and peculiarity of human existence and consciousness for what it is. Like some exotic fish swimming laps in a tank of water: embedded, immersed in it’s context and oblivious to the improbability and sheer […]