LGB plus What?

As the gender wars rage different issues keep cropping up. Current one is the Q in various LGBTQI+ variants. Queer obviously used to be pejorative short-hand for Gay men, to the point it was effectively a slur, a mark of hate, phobia, negative discrimination. Not surprisingly Gay men still find it offensive – reminiscent of … Continue reading “LGB plus What?”

Idealism & Russell’s Metaphysics

Part of my slow working through Mumford’s “Russell on Metaphysics“, I have flipped back to recap the first 5 chapters. Having been left with even deeper nagging doubts that I was right to leave Russell behind after all, I need to check my thinking by capturing the key thoughts. A sanity check. To be clear, … Continue reading “Idealism & Russell’s Metaphysics”

The Second Cyberbetics

Which came first? The second or the first? “The Second Cybernetics” is the title of a 1963 paper by Magoroh Maruyama which I discover from a bit of googling around was considered seminal in shifting the focus of cybernetics from machines and mechanistic systems to the biological and social sphere. Much referenced in many later … Continue reading “The Second Cyberbetics”

BBC R4 Today Presenters’ Views of TFTD

Most of what’s wrong with Today could be fixed by retiring Humphrys IMHO but as an atheist, humanist, rationalist I happen to like Thought for the Day. Ironically it is Humphrys’ view that is closest to mine: “Sometimes it’s good … an interesting thought in a provocative way [but] inappropriate that Today should broadcast nearly three … Continue reading “BBC R4 Today Presenters’ Views of TFTD”

Physical Inevitability of Intelligent Life

I’m fond of saying that humans ARE special, humanity IS special. That is technically we are a species, as distinct as any other, and in practice we are the most highly developed intelligent life and culture to have evolved in the universe we know. That is not exceptionalism in any unique or exclusive sense. We … Continue reading “Physical Inevitability of Intelligent Life”

Laddish Disservice to Science @ProfLisaJardine @SueNelson @alicebell @tiffanyjenkins

Interestingly, just seconds after the previous post on the disservice done to science by the conflation of science and technology, Lisa Jardine also tweeted a link to this Sue Nelson piece on “BBC lads’ science” in the Telegraph. And, only hours after Jim AlKhalili had tweeted to “boast” (tongue in cheek) about acquisition of  his iPhone5 … Continue reading “Laddish Disservice to Science @ProfLisaJardine @SueNelson @alicebell @tiffanyjenkins”

Greenteeth

It’s a little difficult to explain how I came to be Googling for Greenteeth, and you’d never believe it anyway, too spooky for words, but I’m glad I did. A certain Ian Thorpe runs a very entertaining blog in the name of Jenny Greenteeth the Boggart, or is that Bloggart. Roll on. Toilet humour isn’t … Continue reading “Greenteeth”

Strategic Loops – Mothers of Invention

Hofstadter’s GEB has a thread – his eternal golden braid I guess – on strange loops from the outset, mathematical, visual and musical at the obvious level of his title, and clearly from the content, he’s leading to the idea of emergence of “intelligence” from multi-layered (recursive, cyclical) patterns of complexity. I noted a clear … Continue reading “Strategic Loops – Mothers of Invention”

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