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Category: language

Contributions of embodied realism to ontological questions

Contributions of embodied realism to ontological questions

This article fortuitously popped up in my email this morning, as we discussed this topic in our online discussion yesterday.  An excerpt from the introduction will explain its relevance. “Emancipation is very much about reducing what Bhaskar calls the demi-real–beliefs and conceptions that do not correspond well with reality.  […] It is not enough to point out the demi-real or systemic biases in reason.  Ameliorating demi-reality involves identifying its sources, i.e. the causal and structural mechanisms that produce it. […]…

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Winter 2020 discussion prompts

Winter 2020 discussion prompts

What is humanity’s situation with respect to surviving long-term with a good quality of life? (Frame the core opportunities and obstacles.) What attributes of our evolved, experientially programmed brains contribute to this situation? (What are the potential leverage points for positive change within our body-brain-mind system?) What courses of research and action (including currently available systems, tools, and practices and current and possible lines of R&D) have the potential to improve our (and the planetary life system’s) near- and long-term…

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Divided brain, divided world

Divided brain, divided world

I was reminded of the video below, and this longer examination of the ideas therein. Here’s the blurb from the latter: “Divided Brain, Divided World explores the significance of the scientific fact that the two hemispheres of our brains have radically different ‘world views’. It argues that our failure to learn lessons from the crash, our continuing neglect of climate change, and the increase in mental health conditions may stem from a loss of perspective that we urgently need to…

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40 year update on memes

40 year update on memes

From this piece: “There is not one, but at least four, hereditary systems recognized by biologists today. Eva Jablonka and Marion Lamb lay this out clearly in their 2006 book, Evolution in Four Dimensions, as they walk through the research literature on genetics, epigenetics, behavioral repertoires, and symbolic culture as four distinct pathways where traits are ‘heritable’ in appropriately defined fashion.” “Specifically, I am thinking of three areas where significant progress has been made during the last forty years: the…

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The Map and the Territory

The Map and the Territory

Recent book by Wuppulari and Doria. F___ing Amen man. This would be a good one for discussion. From the Intro by Penrose: “Is there a global map that can simulate every other map under some constraint? […] If two maps cannot be integrated, is this a limitation of our scientific cartography or is it the nature of the underlying territory itself that prevents us from such an attempt? […] It is safer to let the gaps remain as gaps while…

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Bezos projects capitalism into space

Bezos projects capitalism into space

Yes, space exploration is critical but we need to do it for the right reasons. And Bezos and other futurists want it without awareness or regard for the socio-economic system that has created hell on earth. So dump the earth and take our destruction into space? How about we change our worldview and socio-economic system and do it for the right reasons? And invest most of our time, energy and money into saving this world? “The saying ‘it’s easier to…

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Book: Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

Book: Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

In his new book, Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, David J. Epstein investigates the significant advantages of generalized cognitive skills for success in a complex world. We’ve heard and read many praises for narrow expertise in both humans and AIs (Watson, Alpha Go, etc.). In both humans and AIs, however, narrow+deep expertise does not translate to adaptiveness when reality presents novel challenges, as it does constantly.  As you ingest this highly readable, non-technical book, please add your…

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The agency of objects

The agency of objects

An interesting take on the agency of artifacts in light of the discussion of memes and temes. From Sinha, S. (2015). “Language and other artifacts: Socio-cultural dynamics of niche construction.” Frontiers in Psychology. “If (as I have argued) symbolic cognitive artifacts have the effect of changing both world and mind, is it enough to think of them as mere ‘tools’ for the realization of human deliberative intention, or are they themselves agents? This question would be effectively precluded by some…

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Can we understand other minds? Novels and stories say: no

Can we understand other minds? Novels and stories say: no

by Kanta Dihal This article was originally published at Aeon and has been republished under Creative Commons. Cassandra woke up to the rays of the sun streaming through the slats on her blinds, cascading over her naked chest. She stretched, her breasts lifting with her arms as she greeted the sun. She rolled out of bed and put on a shirt, her nipples prominently showing through the thin fabric. She breasted boobily to the stairs, and titted downwards. This particular…

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