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You searched for "Consciousness". Your search returned 35 results.

Escapology 101

Biologists and animal behaviourists refer to their study of escape responses as escapology. Fish, cockroaches and higher animals move at speed in a direction away from an immediate threat from a predator, but not always, and not directly. The direction of the escape travel depends on the lay of the land, the position of likely … Continue reading

AI revisited

John Lee and I sat down to talk about AI (artificial intelligence). Both of us were involved in the field in so far as it related to computer-aided design. That experience dates back to the 1980s. In our conversation we touched on how the AI focus has changed since the 1980s. We started by identifying … Continue reading

What is pansemiotics?

Pansemiotics has not yet made it into the Oxford English Dictionary. The term crops up several times in Winfried Nöth’s expansive 1990 book, The Handbook of Semiotics. The term provides a means of describing the theological view that “the whole universe became [in the Middle Ages] signs of divine revelation” (382), as in the Old Testament statement, … Continue reading

Marx on nonsense

“Either this man is dead, or my watch has stopped” (Marx). I’ve been wrestling with C.S. Peirce’s idea that any moment of communication is potentially made up of three aspects that he labels firstness, secondness and thirdness. Here, the philosopher Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) comes to my aid. Deleuze invokes Marx  — not Karl Marx, but … Continue reading

Diagrammatics 101

Drawings, sketches and illustrations belong to the interpretative arts. Then there are diagrams. As iconic signs, diagrams make fewer claims in the realms of creativity and imagination, but they do have to be interpreted. Diagrams are in the company of charts, graphs and tables the authors of which extract the salient features of a phenomenon, show … Continue reading

Your post-human descendants are simulating you

If the universe can be represented in its entirety as data and programs then who is to say we are not living in a simulation, as in The Matrix? In the movie, human bodies are stored in silos as a power supply for intelligent machines, while the human minds attached to those bodies are preoccupied with a massive, shared simulated existence in something … Continue reading

One with nature

“Architecture answers to the human need to become one with nature,” headlines a blog post reporting a speculative project featuring houses covered in foliage. To be “one with nature” still has currency in this high tech age. The phrase has several uses, e.g. to indicate: an attitude and set of practices in which people recognise their co-dependence … Continue reading

Sentient spaces

Sentient spaces are simply spaces containing sensors: registering heat, light, sound, impact and other signals derived from movements, properties, and other aspects of the environment. After all, the Latin sentīre is to feel (OED). Spaces saturated with CCTV coverage also contribute to spatial sentience, and spaces laced with networks, software, and storage media through which these signals pass. Add to … Continue reading

How to be interesting

Online social media bring to light the human desire to be more interesting. After all, that’s how you get “likes,” friends, dates, self esteem and success. Search online for interest, attraction and/or attention to get the measure of how interested people are in being interesting. In fact, interest implies connection. The word “interest” suggests “to be between” … Continue reading

The hermeneutical intractability of Asimov’s three laws of robotics

In his sci-fi detective mystery, I, Robot, Isaac Asimov writes: “Powell’s radio voice was tense in Donovan’s ear: ‘Now, look, let’s start with the three fundamental Rules of Robotics — the three rules that are built most deeply into a robot’s positronic brain.’ The rules follow. A robot may not injure a human being or, … Continue reading

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