Categories
Philosophy

The Strangeness of Life

The strangeness of life is so close to us, so intimate that we can not see it nor recognise the novelty and peculiarity of human existence and consciousness for what it is. Like some exotic fish swimming laps in a tank of water: embedded, immersed in it’s context and oblivious to the improbability and sheer […]

Categories
environment

Symmetry of Nature: An African Fluid Dynamical Topography Map

Beautiful. Natural systems here approximating to optimal functions for energy dispersion (as fluid dynamics) relative to a topography and geography (as much as geology) that they then proceed to reflexively shape and mold. It is no coincidence that the pinnacle of technological sophistication converges on nature’s own approximations. In this case – note how the […]

Categories
technology

Natural Technology

The long journey of technological civilisation is shaped by a curious and generally unacknowledged enigma that the most sophisticated technologies will almost always approximate to natural, physical and environmental systems that already exist. We should perhaps be unsurprised that technology converges towards the elegant sophistication, efficiency and eloquent complexity of nature. We might be even […]

Categories
Philosophy

Extinction

Context: Early humans were sheltered from worst effects of volcanic supereruption Human culture is in effect a shared memory and transient security blanket that rarely sees (or reflexively, defensively – chooses to see) very far past the half-mirrored, labyrinthine self-reflection that a dream-like consensus reality and the hyper-extended cognition of technology must always and ultimately […]

Categories
Philosophy

Nature, Humanity, Unification

Context: I am a big fan of Anton Petrov’s space and science YouTube channel. Today I was watching this video which inspired the spontaneous reflection recorded below. Many of the shared, Global and effectively holistic problems that we face as an industrialised technological civilisation are fundamentally and foundationally matters of successfully characterising and negotiating – […]

Categories
Philosophy

Natural Intelligence

Context: Bees learn to play golf and show off how clever they really are This, above, is yet another example of dynamical (organic) systems’ intrinsic problem-solving aptitude. I really think we have put the ontological cart before the horse in terms of how we characterise and represent intelligence. Slime moulds have demonstrated problem solving aptitude […]

Categories
AI

Chemical Intelligence

Context: Neural network based on autocatalytic reaction performs image classification It really is not much of a hop, skip and jump from all these emerging discoveries of proxy mechanisms for invoking rudimentary machine intelligence to suggest that we have quite profoundly placed the ontological cart before the horse here. Information-processing systems (of which all matter […]

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
information

Copies of Copies of Copies

It is quite difficult to directly perceive at times but everything we do, everything we see and think, all of our behaviours and beliefs or patterns of reflex and unscripted living joy (or sorrow) – it is all just a flowing form and effervescing pattern of self-replication. What is really clever about it all, and […]

Categories
Philosophy

Blue Sky and Birdsong, Freedom and Peace

I went on one of my habitually isolated late-pandemic afternoon walks today, just soaking up an ambient not-quite-optimistic Spring mood of renewal with which to soothe my sense of wistfully-idiomatic rebirth amid the decay of winter’s persistent, yet currently overgrown, detritus. Defocussing attention on any one experience or sensation, we open the doors of perception […]

Categories
Philosophy

Environmental Mismanagement

Context: Eradicating black rats on Palmyra Atoll uncovers eye-opening indirect effects A perspicacity and intelligence sufficient to the task of successfully and conscientiously managing our natural environment is quite positively anathema to administrative bureaucracies. There is in this a microcosm of a certain functional or instrumental narrowing of representation and behavioural engagement which institutional interdictions […]

Categories
Alien Anthropology

Anthropocene Dissimulation: Logic, Life and Robots

How curious that at precisely the (Anthropocene) moment in which the living biosphere and almost all of its diverse inhabitants find themselves threatened or constrained and diminished apace, we produce replicas and robotic golems that quite dramatically dissimulate that they do not in fact possess that life or indefinable (unprovable, logically) living fact that we […]