Panpsychism and pragmatism

The city as organism, living city, sentient city: these concepts invite reflection on the putatively intimate relationship between mind and matter — panpsychism. The pragmatic philosopher Charles Sanders Pierce was in a long line of influential philosophers who developed the theme of panpsychism. I have already attempted to explain the importance of Peirce in architecture…More

Panpsychism and the origins of the city

Does a city think about its inhabitants? The question invites panpsychism into the urban discourse. “The spaces around us are now being continually forged and reforged in informational and communicative processes. It is a world where we not only think of cities but cities think of us, where the environment reflexively monitors our behaviour” (789).…More

Panpsychic city

In my recent “conversation,” the openAI GPT-3 natural language processing (NLP) platform responded to my question about whether a city could be conscious with: “Yes, it makes sense to think that cities are conscious if you believe that all matter has a conscious mind. This is because cities are made of matter, and therefore they…More

Urban consciousness

What follows is a “Socratic dialogue” I had with the openAI’s GPT-3 platform about consciousness. In spite of the limitations, the conversation is likely as good or better than I have had or will have with human interlocutors on this difficult subject. The text here is verbatim and unedited, except for some comments indicated in…More

Benefits of artificial misinformation

Natural language processing (NLP) programs seem able to take as input words and phrases provided by a human operator and generate coherent sentences in response, simulating a kind of dialogue that some scholars (e.g. David Chalmers) think “hints of general intelligence.” I think that one aspect of that dialogue is to simulate how human interlocutors…More

An intelligent conversation about architecture

I conversed about architecture in the Open Playground section of the beta.openai.com website (that uses GPT-3 natural language processing). The dialogue here is verbatim with no edits. Responses were quicker than you would expect from a human interlocutor. This chat app doesn’t do humour, but takes note of the context set by previous questions and…More

Automated essay writing

Copysmith is a web-based AI writing tool that deploys an extensive database of texts to generate new content. The human writer provides a few key terms, a title or phrases relevant to their subject of interest. In response, the program offers up a selection of relevant short paragraphs. The writer selects from these to spur…More

Bitcoin cosmopolitans

Narrative economics is “the study of the viral spread of popular narratives that affect economic behavior” (3) — spending, investing, starting a business, hiring staff, etc. Economic narratives influence government policies and the formation of institutions. Economist Robert J. Shiller introduces his book Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events by…More

City of gold

In 2012 the architectural firm FR•EE proposed a master plan for a generic high tech city they immodestly called FR•EE City. The firm was founded by Mexican architect Fernando Romero. “Envision a place where residents are guaranteed security, healthcare and education, a city where access to information is unrestricted and innovative technologies are fully integrated…More

Bitcoin City

In 2021, the the president of El Salvador in Central America declared Bitcoin legal tender. So businesses had to accept the digital currency as well as US dollars. The country had already abandoned its own currency, the colón, in 2001. By many accounts, the move to Bitcoin has not gone well. Vendors are reluctant to…More