Categories
Philosophy

The Companionship of Ideas

I treasure freedom of mind and thought and as against tides of wilful ignorance and meaningless superficiality I can quite accurately assert that where a companionship and friendship in or of ideas does not exist, the ideas themselves can become your friends. In this sense, my best friends are the concepts I inhabit and endlessly […]

Categories
Philosophy

Intellectual Freedom

Intellectual freedom is a precious kind of friendship and honesty we can share with ourselves, even when it is unsafe or impossible to share with others. Sharing with others can be uncomfortable – and in some contexts, impossible – the emotional, visceral and intimately personal quality of ideas is as rarely acknowledged as is the […]

Categories
life

Some days…

Some days it all just gets away from me. I try to value and appreciate the words and worlds of those around me but they ring so hollow and haunted that I just seem to end up clutching my own similarly fictional, if ever so slightly better-informed, reality to my chest as a treasured possession […]

Categories
Philosophy

Forgotten

People don’t fear death anywhere near so much as they are afraid of being forgotten. It is all part of a strange game we play with in which a symbolic life and the complex narratives of abstraction we build around living comes to envelop and invalidate the concrete facts upon which that fragile experience so […]

Categories
communication Complexity culture

On Influencing Others

Context: Influencing the mind of an adversary It really makes me wonder what the future (or present) utility of statistical approaches combining neurobiological feedback orchestrated or forecasted through and as machine learning might be. The commercial extraction of utility through social media via algorithmic abbreviation and influence is clearly just such a practice. These brains […]

Categories
Philosophy

Some brief (if complex) agnostic observations on Machine Sentience

Context: How would we know if an AI is conscious? We find ourselves in an intractable ontological (as much as epistemological) bind here. If we ever get to the point of generating autonomous synthetic information-processing systems that tick all the boxes for notionally proving their possession of consciousness by whatever standard metric we might arbitrarily […]

Categories
Philosophy

Beautiful Convergence

Beauty fascinates me although it is not at a purely aesthetic level or in any visceral approximation to emotional experience and desire with which our culturally-mediated experience of self and subjectivity endows us. Consider that there have been a number of cross-cultural and ethnically-diverse academic studies that demonstrate that the faces which are considered to […]

Categories
Philosophy

Language Lies

Language lies to us about its ability to facilitate communication. Anything beyond the most trivial of instances of description and communication carries enormous degrees of uncertainty and ambiguity. This is both the strength and the weakness of symbolic language, but ultimately – language itself benefits most. Human minds are bound by an acquired linguistic intuition […]

Categories
Philosophy

Whale Culture, Living Complexity and Disembodied Intelligence

Context: Sperm whales in 19th century shared ship attack information Seems like a moment for an(other!) apposite philosophical Herman Melville quote but the (emergent) complexity of these things is as much a measure of their natural intelligence as it is of our enduring hesitance to acknowledge it. The next step on from identifying the existence […]

Categories
Philosophy Psychology

Freudian Slip

What we as often fail to acknowledge is that not only are these kinds of sub-surface energies, entities and artefacts of cognition and consciousness percolating up at all times and requiring control, suppression and endless maintenance to allow us to be able to even function or participate in a social context – there is also […]

Categories
Psychology

Disentangling Love and Hate

Love is an experience and representation from inner to outer, from system to environment and from self to other. It is that direction and momentum that inversely generates and cultivates the experiencing “I” or loving person in reflexive self-definition through their relationship to that other. Imaginary hypotheses of “other” are metaphysical fictions no less than […]

Categories
Philosophy

Emotion

There is a unique and binding property of emotional life that is quite poorly captured by neuroscientific reductionism to organic chemistry, to pure blind mechanism. While it might be true that we can correlate emotional experience with chemical and electrical facts, it is also true that beyond quite limited chemical or behavioural influence, these facts […]