Rationalistic Neuroses

Funny how the overly rational attracts mental (ill-)health metaphors. “Autistic” was my current favourite until I saw this passage from Nick Maxwell. Science is indeed neurotic. It suffers, that is, from what I call “rationalistic neurosis”, a methodological condition that involves suppressing, or failing to acknowledge, real, problematic aims, and instead acknowledging an apparently unproblematic … Continue reading “Rationalistic Neuroses”

Recursion is good – It’s official

Just reading the latest Edge magazine, and see a review by Stewart Brand of Kevin Kelly’s – “Speculations on the Future of Science”. I’ve mentioned many times the vaue of recursion, often when people get hung up on cyclical logic, as if it is automatically a dead end, begging some question or other. Most recently … Continue reading “Recursion is good – It’s official”

Strange Loops and Distributed Consciousness

The following is the abstract from Douglas Hofstadter’s contribution to this year’s upcoming Science of Consciousness Conference, April 4th to 8th, Tucson 2006. (Followed by some other interesting abstracts.) (I had been kinda hoping I could be there, but it seems less and less likely as I approach my move to the US ironically.) Strange … Continue reading “Strange Loops and Distributed Consciousness”

The Blue Screen of Death

Dave Pollard picks up on The Edge 2006 Question response from Kai Krause, and adds quite a detailed take of his own. The original Krause analogy is a good one. If you take a memetic view of cultural ideas, that drive our day to day decision making, the crises that occur (those that don’t arise … Continue reading “The Blue Screen of Death”

Numbers, Objective, What ?

The Jeremy Leggett oil-crisis article is I guess no great surprise, in terms of the discovery, reserves, production, security and consumption of oil & gas supplies. It’s only ever been a matter of when, though as he points out even intelligent public guesswork would be way off the mark on many of the key dates. … Continue reading “Numbers, Objective, What ?”

In Communication of Information We Trust

Well actually, no we don’t not without some reason to do so. Been through the cycle of debate with the family recently about business travel …. I’m in the oil, gas & energy business, I travel a lot, air-travel is very energy intensive, the global energy business is approaching crises in consumption and supply security, … Continue reading “In Communication of Information We Trust”

The Crack Cocaine of the Thinking World

The Edge annual question (and answers) for 2006 is up on their site. (My post header is from the BBC quote about The Edge.) This year’s theme is “Dangerous Ideas” – things that might actually be true. I’ll post more when I’ve distilled a few of my favourite answers from the great and the good.

Fantasy Echoes of The Meme Machine

For those who, like me, responded to Daniel Dennett’s 1991 “Consciousness Explained” with “Hardly” [*], I must heartily recommend his short 2005 book “Sweet Dreams – Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness” and his interview with Sue Blackmore in her 2005 “Conversations on Consciousness” as altogether more satisfying. As he admits “Fantasy Echo”, his … Continue reading “Fantasy Echoes of The Meme Machine”

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