Categories
Philosophy

Trusting Technology?

In our colloquially-asserted hard borders and boundaries as difference and distance between human and machine I wonder if we do not, indeed, simply replicate the questions of trust that exist between persons and groups in embodied, organic intelligence. The relationships between human beings and their technologies are only really a special case of a much […]

Categories
information

Breathe In: Lungs, Language, Civilisation

There is a relationship between speech and cognition. There is also a relationship between written language and intelligibility. The longer and more convoluted a sentence, the harder it becomes to understand. The harder the sentence is to understand, the less likely it will self-replicate through artefacts, entities and systems of communication. What this means is […]

Categories
Philosophy

All the Simple Things

What is known (or is believed to be known) varies, adapts and undergoes the relentless metamorphosis of entangled streams of intersubjective abstraction we experience as cultural (and now, explicitly, technological) reality, but amongst all this effervescing percolation and uncertain intentions of identity and difference there remains a constant. The song, that is, remains the same […]

Categories
Peace

Putin dreams of Stalingrad

The horror of war is only ever equivocable to its absurdity. As much as we must negotiate and navigate such catastrophes where and when they occur, I am uncertain that our collaborative historical analyses provide much more than a resonant disincentive to engage with and enter into the wars that appear to be as inevitable […]

Categories
Psychology

War: Psychology and Deterrence

Context: Psychology and Deterrence “(…)deterrence strategies often backfire by aggravating a nation’s sense of insecurity, thereby calling forth the very behavior they seek to prevent.” This kind of feedback loop is really quite foundational in the analysis of complex systems, of which strategic standoffs are a salient (and topical) instance. Something which I haven’t (yet) […]

Categories
communication

Communicating Science: Systems

I’m a committed advocate for the importance of systems theory, cybernetics and complexity science but the solution of communication precisely is the problem. It is not a bundle of ideas or throwaway conceptual vocabularies that can ever compress down to a brief logo. The conservation of cognitive as much as cultural resources predisposes people to […]

Categories
humanity

The Sum of all Errors

Human history primarily self-propagates as a function of its errors. The turbulent dissonance and dissembling confusion of our shared experience and memory generates the optimal transmission medium for change, innovation, evolution and – inevitably – also catastrophe. I was watching a French TV series, Ganglands, just now. It is a fictional portrayal of the essential […]

Categories
Philosophy

Does Language Generate Conflict?

Language is particularly useful and effective as a system of communication but it tends to generate ambiguity and confusion in equal measures to those of the invocation of clarity and understanding. It is not always or immediately apparent but the integrated systems of communication we inhabit are naturally and adaptively biased towards their own reproduction. […]

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
Philosophy

Weird Science

Context: Why is quantum theory so strange? The weirdness could be in our heads The disconnect between experience and the counter-intuitive products of (a) material logic is endemic to cognition and it is, in essence, an irreducible discontinuity. It may change form as theory and popular narratives of science co-evolve but the foundational peculiarity and […]

Categories
culture

Fallible Beliefs and Ideological Myths

It is fascinating that human beings are in general so fixated upon provisioning plausible or compelling ontologies (of “how things are”) that they quite happily trade away their own conceptual creativity and intellectual aptitude for the lean pickings of effectively fictive narratives that rarely if ever meet anything like the lofty ambitions towards which they […]

Categories
Psychology

Fantasy

As objective reality is essentially an unattainable metaphysical assertion, all systems of belief and subjective identities are anchored not in fact but upon themselves.