More reflections on cosmological conundrums, today. It occurs to me that whatever the Universe (or really – our descriptions of it) is, it is actually trying to vanish. The natural bias and orientation towards entropic disassembly and diffusion is that through this system in gestalt aspires to reach the lowest energy state. The mischievous irony […]
On Knowing, Unknowing and Ignorance
The diminishing returns of a double negative. It is such a subtle linguistic game to play because, yes, the absence of absence constitutes a problem representing anything other than the accrual of benefit, but the nature of knowledge as indefinitely-extensible referential matrix indicates that new information and insights are always (similarly) a negation upon what […]
There was a mystical thread of thought in medieval philosophy called “apophasis”. This is an “un-saying” and reductive process of abstraction and recursively self-inflected introspection that may arrive at a goal of finding whatever is left after everything else is removed – God, enlightenment, essence, reality, certainty, truth; take your pick. Of course, we find […]
Algorithmic complexity is a measure of information. For any non-trivially sophisticated (i.e. interesting) system, there exists no shortest/best programmatic representation – i.e. theory, model, framework or network wiring. This means that in some circumstances we can reduce ad infinitum. There is no best, only better; a lesson in abject humility still to be learned by […]
Ontology is the baseline. [All definitions are made in terms of other definitions in what only ever arrives at circularly tautological uncertainty. An arbitrary starting point must be chosen from inside the hyper-inflating self-referential systems of language and logic.] What does a “whole” or “complete” (if feeling adventurous, add “consistent” or “decidable”) system look like? […]
Is Freedom the Absence of Fear?
It is a philosophical as much as a psychological enigma. Yes, we might define freedom as the absence of fear but any definition by counterfactual (or negation) is always and already intimately shaped by – and anchored upon – an inadvertent dependence on that which it asserts that it is not. In the above sense, […]
Negation is an irreducible property. Speaking of ontology, epistemology: these are all different flavours on the same buffet cart. Where we speak of a thing, a system, a person, a point of view, a technology or a system of belief – it is always from that system’s point of view or aspirationally-privileged perspective. We are […]
Finding myself endlessly questioning the reality of all that with which I am presented, two things become clear. First, that which is true can often appear as a lie but in most cases a lie will assert infallible truth and this is in itself a key differentiator and indicator of that which can or should […]
Recent studies reveal that the COVID-19 pandemic period has been the quietest period of human activity in the seismic record. It makes you wonder about the cumulative background noise that human activity generates as a constant vibrational hum of socioeconomic activity across the crust and into the subsurface body of the Earth. In what ways […]
…and by that measure, love is the absence of hateful artefacts or experiences, peace is the absence of belligerent acts and associated technologies of violence. Where, though, is self? Can self be negatively defined in quite the same way and, if not, then what is it that is being happy, loving or peaceful but the […]
What is the Presence of Absence?
What does it mean for a thing not to exist, for it to be quite literally “conspicuous by its absence”? When a thing that is there is removed, it is clearly an absence marked by memory or by material evidence, not that memory is perhaps all that trustworthy and notwithstanding that it is an irreducible […]
Complexity: Embracing Emptiness
Context: Embracing Complexity On thinking in terms of complex systems. The concept of emergence is introduced (at the article referenced above) by an example of self-organisation in ant colonies. Emergence is the point where complex systems acquire a unique dimensional property. This property is succinctly captured by the common trope of “the whole being more […]