Categories
Philosophy

Generative AI Creates, Negates and Alienates

Context: How ChatGPT Will Destabilize White-Collar Work Aptitude sans subjectivity, a perfect business partner up until about the point at which the vacuum of comprehension becomes normative and all we end up with is symbol-shuffling automation, exponentiated for its own sake. The danger here, or at least a danger, is that the doubling down on […]

Categories
Philosophy

Recursive Word Games

It is interesting to observe how all of our problems and transient solutions take the form of word games. Beyond the autocatalytic pathologies of self-regulatory perseveration, I think it is worth noting that the game itself is the sole beneficiary of this psychological and organisational recursion. Language itself is quite poorly suited to the complex […]

Categories
culture

Fiction

Fiction as myth is humanity’s first form of collaborative, cultural self-simulation. Clear boundaries between systems of belief and proven facts might forever be intricately indeterminate but the power and consequence of fiction is unquestionable. The role and power of creative language and an unbounded (if pragmatic) technological imagination should never be misunderestimated. The speculative forecasting […]

Categories
culture

Protecting Language and Culture in Ukraine

Simultaneously admirable and fascinating, Ukrainian archivists are working hard to keep their language and culture safe. The language and written words by and through which human beings define their commonalities and cultural bonds of collaborative identity, as much as their resonant and dissonant differences, is unveiled as the treasure worth fighting for that it has […]

Categories
politics

Language Makes Tyrants

Context: Geopolitics is for losers It is always worth considering the extent to which the longer frequency waves as oscillating ebb and tide of history are also those of the communications systems, of the languages and self-validating dialects of ideologically-inflected political narrative. The kinds of ideological and political system that tend to emerge as convergent […]

Categories
cybernetics

The Cobra Effect of Unintended Consequences

The Cobra Effect of unintended consequences is the tip of an enormous iceberg of complex systems feedback loops and interdependency. It is not just the measurable, observed or recorded properties, processes and downstream consequences that concern us. Where we seek to control, shape or otherwise, and more realistically, to (minimally, if constructively) influence the arc […]

Categories
Philosophy

Unexpected Words

I am quite interested in the ways in which a normative gamification of language (in wordle, crosswords, quizzes, tests and other educational, institutional, political or ideological taxonomies) reflects and reinforces the essentially probabilistic information signal that inflects all linguistic statements, descriptions and assertions of fact with significance. The words, concepts and downstream grammatical or cultural […]

Categories
Philosophy

ChatGPT: Linguistic Tesseract of Deception

There has been a wildfire of online interest in ChatGPT over the last couple of days. The software possesses no insights, intuition or understanding and yet its relative eloquence is compelling. What truly fascinates me about all the effervescing interest in this particular language model is that its primary effect has been the generation of […]

Categories
Philosophy

Trapped in the Language that Frees Us

Have you noticed that the collective self-definitions that unite us are simultaneously the boundaries and borders that isolate and alienate us from each other and from ourselves? We are (all) both freed by and trapped in the linguistically-mediated systems of belief we inhabit. I don’t think this is a resolvable enigma but it is certainly […]

Categories
Philosophy

You are the Culture that is You

There’s an idiom to the effect that when you find yourself in a traffic jam you are never “stuck in traffic”, you are traffic. It’s something of a cognitive and linguistic reflex to identify an artefact, entity or system as a bounded or isolated fact in the forest of references and definitions that we inhabit. […]

Categories
Philosophy

Technological Triumph of Linguistic Mediocrity

Context: We could run out of data to train AI language programs  We should be less worried about running out of data to train language models and more concerned about finding ourselves without anything interesting to say. The profusion of large language models does not occur in a vacuum. Regardless that our cognitive (as much […]

Categories
culture

Enigmatic Culture

The cultural systems that sustain us and that equally generate and render our experience of identity and community as intelligible are simultaneously the borders, boundaries and epistemological horizons that constrain us. This is one among many enigmatic flows of information and energy that persist as a function of their inhibitory as much as of their […]