Categories
Psychology

Russia, the War, May 9 and a Narrative of Insecurity

There is a core property of human experience that aligns with the reflexive self-validation of narrative cognition. Whatever facts might exist in the world, the structure and cadence of the conversation (and, clearly, of interpreted conflict) has a tendency for better and for worse to exploit behavioural and psychological instinct as bias towards pattern recognition. […]

Categories
humanity

The Spiral of F̶e̶a̶r Peace

The spiral of accelerating attention upon aggressive events and negative consequences has a tendency to reproduce itself much faster than positive, neutral or ideologically and geopolitically inconsequential acts and facts. Human brains are, for better and for worse, more precisely refined and tuned to react to (and obsess upon) the terrible possibilities and through it, […]

Categories
Philosophy

Bad Vibes

Bad vibes are sticky, contagious in precisely the way good vibes are but they have a tendency to persist (as memory) much longer than the experiences that invoke them. There is no doubt that evolution has predisposed us to bias negativity over positivity as a function of survival in what was once a much more […]

Categories
Philosophy

Autocracy is Addicted to Fear

We all know that the mobster kleptocracy has been catastrophically miscalculating at least in part due to a narrative dependency of getting high on its own supply of disinformation but in the monumental strategic blunder that this invasion represents they display the kernel core of a neurotic psychological pathology. An implicit orientation towards the positive […]

Categories
Philosophy

The Rank Psychological Absurdity of 21st Century European Imperialism

The whole sorry mess of this conflict strikes me as a psychological (as much as ideological) pathology that endlessly reproduces itself, not as a function or measure of its successes but as the heroic recharacterisation (as you reflect, above) of its failures and suffering. It is perhaps a little like a gyroscope that follows its […]

Categories
Psychology

Autocracy: a Spiral into Madness

Context: Will Putin Outlast the War? I can never quite get past the astonishing degree to which these things resemble individual psychological pathologies writ large. There may indeed be some kind of unhappy statistical inevitability of cognitive macrocosm here but for all its failures, the antithetical pole of liberal democracy certainly resembles a more successful […]

Categories
Alien Anthropology

War Crimes

It is quite unlikely that you do not know what is going on in Ukraine at the moment and notwithstanding that this is only the most recent of a long litany of horrors that neither belong uniquely to Russian military or even this particular moment in history, it is a terrible, terrible thing. We should […]

Categories
Futurism

Fear of fully autonomous AI

The mystery here is that what makes AI so eminently useful is its ability to do what we can not in ways we do not in all cases need to understand. There is something of a resonant psychological pathology here: we seek at all costs to invoke generally intelligent autonomous systems that significantly surpass our […]

Categories
Philosophy

Rage Against the Trolls

Context: Trolls Aren’t Like the Rest of Us I do wonder if the adversarial and tribal biases that so readily percolate through (for instance, but not only) online social networks have a tendency to reflexively cultivate and incentivise a bundle of pathological personality traits. In this sense, the technologically-mediated self-propagation of inflammatory and provocative narrative […]

Categories
life

The King that Fell

Imagine, if you will, a king. A mighty ruler, a keen follower of Machiavelli and thus feared much more than loved and very clever indeed. Of course, being clever is only ever measured by the breadth and depth in which intelligence is defined and this king had come to live in a half-mirrored world of […]

Categories
Philosophy

Damocles

The essence of a human life is in so many ways its natural orientation towards anything and everything other than death, negation, extinction and the oblivion of forgetting or of being forgotten and yet so many of our actions, behaviours and mental abstractions lead and leave us so perilously close to the abyss. There is […]

Categories
Alien Anthropology

War as Atavism

The fault and flaw that at times percolates to catastrophic ascendance likely runs deep within our nature as the biological entities we are; conditioned by, through and as reflexively competitive complex information and energy-processing systems biased towards a primitive archetype of individuation and survival. If the intelligence and sophistication measured by technological civilisation to any […]