Categories
culture

AI: Dispatches from a metal mind

Relatively recent and unexpected career changes have found me up to my armpits in the swiftly-flowing waters and complex technologies of machine learning and artificial intelligence. I am utterly fascinated by the many and diverse ways in which we seek to replicate our own cognition and even while we must at some level know that […]

Categories
Philosophy

Happy Discomfort

How often we choose to live in a happy discomfort with which we have become so intimately accustomed. Even the possibility of freedom from these suffering chains we bear (like precious golden prizes) becomes more frightening than to face the difference of something new or undefined. This is why we so often settle for an […]

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Alien Anthropology

Fear of technological change: AI

Context: How do you build trust in new technologies? An arguably irreducible factor in this is that cultural, linguistic and (corollary) cognitive systems thrive where and when there is a threshold of uncertainty and doubt. Personal (or national) identities – for instance – are never so certain in their dissimulated security as when they are […]

Categories
politics

Planet Politics

The sheer unrepentant complexity and high-dimensionality of the Global problem spaces we face as a technological civilisation imply that to ever or even just survive, the proliferation of shallow and meaningless ideological caricatures may be a necessary component into the far future of humanity. Communication mandates a certain degree of simplicity but reality itself is […]

Categories
Philosophy

Half sunk a shattered visage lies…

The greatest irony of every instance of civilisation collapse has probably never been that it comes without warning or time to avert impending catastrophe, as even then when disaster looms it is never entirely unexpected or unforeseen by those bearing sufficient intellect to observe its impending arrival. It is much more likely that we will […]

Categories
politics

2020 US Election: Democratic Entropy

We might all be quite surprised to one day discover that dissonance and entropy are irreducible properties of systems of social organisation, that the sustainable continuity of any socio-political (or economic) system is only ever really a measure of the extent to which it successfully negotiates this internal dissonance and/or offsets and displaces it as […]

Categories
Philosophy

The Abyss

Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote, quite famously, that “if you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you” and it was meant as a warning, a caution following a statement that those who fight with monsters can themselves become monsters and this is in many ways a representation, among other things, of the manifest […]

Categories
Philosophy Psychology

Global Conflict: Time to Grow Up

While it may be low-hanging fruit and all references to it may be quite akin to stating the bleeding obvious, there is a distinct lack of unity in the world: wars, political dissonance, conflict, sabre-rattling and a thousand different flavours of internecine anger or paranoid fear. What might be somewhat less obvious in such an […]

Categories
culture

Cultural Life is Unity through Difference

Cultural life is a beautiful thing. In many ways it represents the hidden bonding unity of a people or a place. Always be wary of anyone who attempts to crush or erase cultural difference – the living thread and flow of human history is because of any fear of difference or Otherness, it is what […]

Categories
history

The Oscillating Horrors of History

Context: Jonathan P. Baird: Nazi Germany and the fall of law It is a curious property of the dissociative logic and intractable pathology of any extreme ideological position, not just to sweep along compliant and unwitting collaborators who see in the asserted “strength” of their hollow belief system a reflexive framework upon which to hang […]

Categories
culture

Femme Fatale

The “femme fatale”, a dangerous, panther-like beauty in which all of man’s desires and fears are realised in one gorgeous, dark and explosive bundle of alluring seduction and imminent volcano-like fury. This is the fantasy of woman upon which an unwitting, gullible and endlessly-amorous male identity anchors itself – in language, image, technology, culture and […]

Categories
Psychology

Partisan Pathology

There is quite a lot to be said for the psychological dynamics of a partisan pathology (on all sides of any conflict or adversarial competition) that can only ever define itself reflexively in opposition to and by difference from a fictionalised, idealised and almost entirely abstract fantasy of Other. It is an infantile symmetry that […]