The Coronavirus Blues

A few weeks (is it two, or three, now?) into isolation and social distancing, it is all starting to get a bit depressing. Never being anything much of a social butterfly at the best of times, I still feel a visceral burden of dread and anxiety mounting, an overwhelming sense of dread and emptiness. There…

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…

AI: Engineering Intelligence

I wonder in what ways the "engineering of intelligence" recursively shapes, and to some extent prescribes the most probable developmental vectors of, our definition of human intelligence. We may find ourselves several years from now seeking the inflection points and procedural saliences that explain why it is that our core assumptions and concepts of intelligence…

Libraries are Mirrors

This city... the morning sun rises as though summoned by the gently floating hot air balloons and here, the National Library of Australia is so wonderfully, poetically framed in representational space.  This architecture - like some ancient Greek monument to a memory of the Gods and their dramas; but the only theatre here is that…

Self-Propagating Technological Metamorphosis

If you listen very carefully you can almost hear a faint whooshing sound as the vacuum created in the wake of the products of our own creative intelligence, which having long ago outpaced us, draws us inexorably along behind it. As the accelerating juggernaut of pure and abstract technological metamorphosis has always - and perhaps…

Artificial Intelligence and an Archaeology of the Present

While we are able to cultivate semi-autonomous technical solutions that provide insight into material records of communication and - through them - a historical sedimentation of the self-replicating complexities of culture and cognition in information-encoding logic (as language), we seem a little less able to apply those same technical solutions to untangle the challenges represented…

The Plausible Necessity of Political Incompetence

Why is it that ideological, political and organisational ineptitude and incompetence are endlessly reoccurring phenomena? If the longer-term evolutionary or biological history of a living system, including it's diverse manifestations in and as cultural and political systems, is oriented towards efficient self-replication and continuity, why is it that so many poor-fitting (and indeed - positively…

Hong Kong: Umbrellas on the Go Game

The international society of nations, such as it is, is not very often seeking clever solutions to the problems that it itself is generating, across all countries and conflicts. Each instance of dissonance is a microcosm of a global property of discontinuity, a distributed planetary discord that is oblivious to nation or ideology and that we all are dealing with, wherever we are.

A World at War with Itself

At the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, it is a good time to reflect upon where we are all going as a civilisation and what we might plausibly achieve to inhibit, interdict or halt the possibility of any similar global catastrophes from ever occurring again.