“The Science of Can and Can’t”

Preamble I’ve been following Chiara Marletto (and David Deutsch before her) for more than a decade as the idea of a “Universal Constructor” has become an even more generic concept than the “Universal Turing Machine”. A machine that can do arbitrarily creative stuff in the physical world as well as perform arbitrary information processing tasks. … Continue reading ““The Science of Can and Can’t””

Chomsky meets Dennett

Had an interesting thread on Twitter to day with Simon Jacobson. which ended with this exchange: Thanks. Here’s Chomsky’s metaphysics (not his criticism of Dennett as such): https://t.co/d8uUMbxk4G — Lyrical Labour (@simonjjacobson) October 14, 2021 Don’t often read Chomsky since I’m never quite sure of his agenda anymore, but given the good-faith recommendation I dived … Continue reading “Chomsky meets Dennett”

The Process Ontology of Whitehead’s Metaphysics

I’m beginning to realise that in the UK philosophical canon Whitehead took up the radical empirical monism I associate with James, Bergson, Northrop and Pirsig, and which is seeing a resurgence in those increasingly rejecting a material metaphysics underlying the physical world. New-realists like Smolin, the new-panpsychists like Kastrup, Tononi and the Integrated Information Theorists … Continue reading “The Process Ontology of Whitehead’s Metaphysics”

A Rose By Any Other Name

The first half of The Bard’s quote is an adage I use frequently – in thousands of posts over two decades. The point of Juliet’s words lies in the second half. Umberto Eco wrote a whole philosophical novel riffing on it. “A rose by any other name … … would smell as sweet.” One word … Continue reading “A Rose By Any Other Name”

Myles Better

Myles Power is an “internet nerd” with a real job. By day (or night, depending on his shifts) he’s a chemist working in an industrial lab (taking money from big business – yeah, he knows). In his spare time his podcast battles conspiracy theories on all fronts with the best research and analysis he can … Continue reading “Myles Better”

“The Beginning of Infinity” – an injection of optimism.

After an enforced hiatus, I’m picking up on my reading list, specifically continuing David Deutsch’s “Beginning of Infinity” to completion. It remains very good, maybe my previous “highest level of discourse available on the planet” is overstating it, (and previously here) but still very good. The target chapter – the reason for reading – was … Continue reading ““The Beginning of Infinity” – an injection of optimism.”

Fundamentally – What do I know?

Fundamentally – What do I know? Black holes ain’t so black, and science ain’t so different from the humanities. Singularities have horizons crammed with information. Nothing objective is more fundamental than the information available. This is a summary of recent work ostensibly on quantum gravity and the role of humans more generally in the science … Continue reading “Fundamentally – What do I know?”

Are We Nearly There Yet? #htlgi18 #htlgi2018

So many intellectual inputs and opportunities for dialogue of which barely a tenth can be grasped over a weekend at Hay on Wye, at the How the Light Gets In HTLGI 2018 Festival. [Meta – specific sessions and update on the weekend experience here.] Below is my summary of the messages I heard in the … Continue reading “Are We Nearly There Yet? #htlgi18 #htlgi2018”

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