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Instrumentarian power in surveillance capitalism

Instrumentarian power in surveillance capitalism

“Under the regime of instrumentarian power, the mental agency and self-possession of the right to the future tense are gradually submerged beneath a new kind of automaticity: a lived experience of stimulus-response-reinforcement aggregated as the comings and goings of mere organisms. Our conformity is irrelevant to instrumentarianism’s success. There is no need for mass submission to social norms, no loss of self to the collective induced by terror and compulsion, no offers of acceptance and belonging as a reward for…

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Split attention is a ‘feature’

Split attention is a ‘feature’

“neuroscientists have determined that humans lose focus on whatever task they’re participating in four times a second in order to take stock of their environment. Since a similar study with macaques (short-tailed monkeys found in regions of Asia and Africa) achieved the same result, researchers believe that this shift in focus is an evolutionary tool primates use to react to an ever-shifting environment and avoid threats from predators. On one level, this is an excellent example of embodied cognition in…

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How the Black Death Radically Changed the Course of History

How the Black Death Radically Changed the Course of History

link.medium.com/YRFzoB3Xr5 This article is relevant to our recent discussions and Zak Stein’s (see Edward’s recent post) suggestion that great destabilizing events open gaps in which new structures can supplant older, disintegrating systems–with the inherent risks and opportunities.

Can memes bypass rationality to manipulate you?

Can memes bypass rationality to manipulate you?

We’ve had a few discussions about what ‘memes’ are and how they work. We didn’t reach a consensus on whether they are true replicators in their own rights, as genes (or gene collectives) seem to be. Consider the following excerpt (author permission obtained) with the less rigorous working definition of a meme in mind: a unit of information with the capacity to shape perception and belief (or a  unit of ‘culture transmission’). Also, consider the conversations and readings we’ve had about…

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New Scientist: The truth about intelligence

New Scientist: The truth about intelligence

NS has several articles on the topic in their new issue, like “What is it really?” and “Do IQ tests really work?” See the link to explore it. For example, from the first article: “When researchers talk about intelligence, they are referring to a specific set of skills that includes the abilities to reason, learn, plan and solve problems. The interesting thing is that people who are good at one of them tend to be good at all of them….

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Interplanetary Festival June 7 and 8

Interplanetary Festival June 7 and 8

Put on by the Santa Fe Institute. Anyone interested in car pooling? The Facebook blurb below. See the blue link for many more details: “On June 7th and 8th of 2018, the Santa Fe Institute’s first annual InterPlanetary Festival will draw space enthusiasts from around the world for a two-day celebration of human ingenuity. This free-to-attend festival will transform the Railyard District in downtown Santa Fe, with an expo showcasing innovation, open-air concerts, lectures and panel discussions, a Sci-Fi film…

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See additional Watson posts on our Meetup web site…

See additional Watson posts on our Meetup web site…

… since that seems to be where the discussion on this topic ended up this time around. — PJW PS: FWIW — having encountered a Wolverine in the wild, finally, in 2014, even as a professional zoologist very interested in the species, my Wolverine meme-complex instantly changed quite drastically. Back at the Biological Station, I was not able to convey how it changed, and everyone else’s Wolverine meme stayed the same, or, if it was modified, could not possibly be…

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