Categories
Philosophy

Personal Data, Privacy and the Normative Ubiquity of Technological Self-Surveillance

An introspective taxonomy of labels and the grammatical order of participatory technology in – and as – systems of knowledge and control has always been the nature, kernel and subjective essence of personal identity. It is difficult to identify a particular inflection point at which this Linnean, categorical game evolved from constructive personal boundary and […]

Categories
Philosophy

Ethical Impropriety

Ethical frameworks are those guiding principles within which we are free to make moral choices. The extent to which our choices align to the semantic intentions of any particular ethical framework is a definition and declaration of our adherence, conformity or alignment to it. Notice, however, that the majority of ethical frameworks we encounter do […]

Categories
Philosophy

Ethics and Power

Power is really an inverse function of ethics. What is considered permissible or (indeed) valuable under any moving ethical frame of reference is implicitly – some would argue necessarily – representative of the power structures, systems and integrated social, political and ideological modalities of a time and place. Notice also that what is considered good […]

Categories
Philosophy

The Recursive Enigmas of Battling Bias

Bias represents an interesting and potentially intractable problem. Regardless of how (or where) we seek to address or interdict it, there exists an intrinsic, endemic property of complex information and energy-processing (i.e. logical, material) systems that natively orients those entities towards abstraction, abbreviation and mnemonic compression. Bias is the persistence of logical errors that naturally […]

Categories
Philosophy

Can Vegetarians Ethically Eat Artificial Meat?

Context: Real Meat That Vegetarians Can Eat If the reason for not eating meat is purely ethical, then consuming simulated meat bears no moral consequence whatsoever to a person committed to a position that all plausibly sentient life is sacred, that all manifestations of embodied experience and awareness are a difference of degree, not of […]

Categories
culture

On Moral Machines and Embodied Biases

Context: The Appearance of Robots Affects Our Perception of the Morality of Their Decisions Curious: “People consider moral decisions made by humanoid robots to be less ethically sound than when another human or traditional-looking robot makes the same decision.” The uncanny valley rides again. This is a particular instance of a general principle. The apperception […]

Categories
Philosophy

Can Robots possess Legal Rights?

Context: Experts Sign Open Letter Slamming Europe’s Proposal to Recognise Robots as Legal Persons Robots might be a bit of a stretch for asserting personhood although it does remain somewhat indistinct as to where and when awareness, experience or sentience arise in recognisably “living” things. We may (following, at a distance, something I once read […]

Categories
Philosophy

Ethics in Art

Context: Shakespeare’s Moral Compass Is a moral compass always and necessarily retrospectively attributed in art and to artists? I do wonder how often we do assert or interpret such qualitative values in hindsight only to (eventually) discover that all such attributions of ethical relativism are always and already much more a literal and half-mirrored reflection […]

Categories
Philosophy

Viral self-propagation of ethical systems in and as the implicit uncertainty of language

Everything points towards language being a distributed, adaptive encoding system. Biases and norms (among many other interpenetrating and interdependent sub-systems) are not merely, or only, the hyper-extended cognitive and cultural artefacts of linguistic mediation. The encoded symptoms of bias and normative assumption or behavioural prohibition (as self-inflected, reflexive agent/entity control) non-linearly and recursively reproduce the […]

Categories
Philosophy technology

The Dream Police

Context: ‘This is not science fiction,’ say scientists pushing for ‘neuro-rights’ Dystopian authoritarian visions notwithstanding, there is a strong philosophical argument to be made that consciousness, sentience or intelligence only possesses the value (and, indeed, the substantive reality) it does because there are aspects of self and indeed of complex systems self-organisation that are not […]

Categories
culture

Quantitative Methods for Ethical Prescription?

Context: The Calculus of Ought It is a curious world in which what can ever and only be proven from within the clockwork constraints of complex quantitative and logical tautologies might become the foundation and justification of and for ethical prescription. Of course, science is invaluable and proceeds from strength to strength by proof and […]

Categories
Philosophy

I have no time for politics…

Politics is really nothing more than ethics writ large. Any sense in which political science, ideology or (the all-too-often psychologically dissociative dark arts of) ethical rhetoric are axiomatic or mechanistic systems is a misdirection to what they might actually be or become. We find ourselves, more than a Century after relativistic geometry demonstrated that not […]