Categories
Philosophy

Swimming Against The Stream

Swimming against the stream and powerful tides of conventional thought and behavioural orthodoxy is the only way to ever do anything of enduring value or significance in life. It is also the hardest life to live. Authenticity and sincerity or conscientious adherence to your own values will cost you more in suffering and hardship than […]

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Philosophy

What is Science?

The very fact that definitions are diverse and scattered across such a rugged ontological landscape of entities, artefacts and information (or institutional and behavioural or cognitive) processing systems and endlessly-extensible logical refinement suggests that, beyond general qualities or properties any one of us might render in any number of complementary ways, there is and can […]

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culture

Quantitative Methods for Ethical Prescription?

Context: The Calculus of Ought It is a curious world in which what can ever and only be proven from within the clockwork constraints of complex quantitative and logical tautologies might become the foundation and justification of and for ethical prescription. Of course, science is invaluable and proceeds from strength to strength by proof and […]

Categories
Epistemology

The Darkness of Knowing

It is unlikely to be a popular or perhaps particularly useful philosophical reflection but, as it turns out, many of the questions of complexity, complex self-organisation systems and the underlying logical discontinuities by which emergence and self-propagation occur and persistently manifest are not a difference in kind but of degree to the ways in which […]

Categories
physics

Observation Changes Reality

Context: Observing The Universe Really Does Change The Outcome, And This Experiment Shows How There are aligned problems in logic here. If the description of a system (pick a card, any card: mathematics, material reality [a.k.a. physics], sentience, digital transformation, cybersecurity, culture, science, politics, language, etc.) is also a component element of that system, the […]

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Philosophy

The Return of the Wicked Problem: Antibiotic Resistance

The return of the Wicked Problem. The problem of antibiotic resistance characterises a key symmetry of “wickedness” in any problem-space. That is, the activities, responses, interdictions and behaviours that might solve the problem are also those inadvertently exacerbate it. It is an endemic property of complex systems to seek optimal patterns of self-propagation. What at […]

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Philosophy

No One Knows China

Context: Nobody Knows Anything About China It is of the nature of a science or an art of existential introspection (not to mention institutional knowledge) to seek the least-incorrect and lowest-energy, succinct model of an Object or Entity. The curiously mischievous enigma of such a psychologically-reflexive aspiration towards ordered pattern as #truth or fact – […]

Categories
culture

In What Ways is Science Like Religion?

A key reflection might be: in what ways does the contemporary experience of science, of technology and of an empirical, evidence-based world view actually (and perhaps inadvertently) fulfill many of the traditional functions of religion? In what ways, in short, does science as a paradigm of thought perform the same essential tribal binding and reflexive […]

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Philosophy

Defining Knowledge and Intelligence Simultaneously Inhibits It

Observe the progressive sedimentation of difference that occurs as fields of study are defined and become their own relatively self-consistent, self-propagating information systems. Each area of study (of knowledge, of associated, interdependent abstractions) becomes structured around unique taxonomies and conceptual centers. The enigma of this procedural refinement is that the structural and functional mechanism of […]

Categories
Epistemology

Trapped by Taxonomy

Those complicated labyrinths of formal vocabulary, taxonomy and tribalised genuflection to conventional thinking or institutional self-validitation that inflate knowledge (and science) with possibility are simultaneously the dragging anchor that binds us (all) to an incomplete and necessarily partial or flawed vision of the world. Art by Agnes Denes.

Categories
Philosophy

2020 Pandemic: how to even begin understanding our historical moment?

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” -J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship […]

Categories
Philosophy

Philosophical Fallibilism, Incomplete Knowledge and a Science of the Unknown

Such a principle (of Fallibilism) should indeed be taken as implicit to science and (indeed) all ordered systems of knowledge or organisational practice. The indefinitely extensible essence (and raison d’etre) of all material, biological, cognitive, cultural and technological systems is irreducible; it is simultaneously strength and vulnerability in (and as) everything we build, cultivate and […]