Voltaire does it again.

After Candide, I’ve now read Micromegas. Candide is beyond satirical, plainly a negative lampoon directed squarely, with disturbing imagination but little subtlety, at the “all’s right with God in this best of all possible worlds” view. Micromegas’ satire is so much more subtle and miles ahead of its time. His evocation of the absurd – … Continue reading “Voltaire does it again.”

Myths We Live By

Reading Mary Midgley’s “Myths We Live By” at the moment, having originally picked up on a review of it way back here. Easy read, starts promising – mainly against misplaced narrow (physical) scientific views being adopted in human scale situations, and plenty of arguments against dualism and Descartes naturally. Tendency to return to “people are … Continue reading “Myths We Live By”

Blueberry Brain

Stumbled across this little lot on a cross-search hit on “Maslow’s Holistic Training Template“, which sounded like a 1970’s rock-band for a moment. (Just remembered what it triggered – Roger Ruskin-Spear’s Kinetic Wardrobe, though I actually remember it as Neil Innes, supporting Curved-Air and/or Mott The Hoople, Middlesbrough Town Hall, 1972-ish. Perhaps Dumpy’s Rusty Nuts … Continue reading “Blueberry Brain”

The Edge Annual Question 2004

The Edge Annual Question 2004 Q. What’s your law ?Here’s a selection of my favourite answers; Interesting how many are about meaning and communication, and more specifically about wishing to believe. Schank’s LawBecause people understand by finding in their memories the closest possible match to what they are hearing and use that match as the … Continue reading “The Edge Annual Question 2004”

The Tipping Point

Also just read Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point, which by comparison with Capra is a crushing bore. Yes, certain small things can have disproportionate non-intuitive effects. Yes ideas spread like contagion. Yes it helps if the idea “sticks” and is transmitted to the next generation of communicators. Yes communication is more than words. Zero-tolerance. Look after … Continue reading “The Tipping Point”

Logical Positivism is a Meme

And memes are self-reinforcing. Talk about blindingly obvious. It’s my Catch-22. How do you argue rationally against scientific fundamentalism / logical positivism ? I’ve read Dawkins, though I’ve still never read “The Meme Machine”, but now I’ve just read Susan Blackmore’s “Waking from the Meme Dream“. Stong Zen thread here – clearing the mind of … Continue reading “Logical Positivism is a Meme”

Science and the Humanities

Science and the Humanities – A plea from Robert M Young, Professor of Psychoanalysis at Sheffield Uni, and co-editor of NIBBS – Human Nature Review. [via David Morey on the MoQ Discuss Forum] In conclusion he writes …. [Quote] In my opinion psychoanalysis, seen as a discipline in the humanities, is centrally complementary to biological … Continue reading “Science and the Humanities”