Kevin Mitchell and his colleagues at Trinity Dublin recently created and ran an introduction to systems course for their students in multiple disciplines. Last week Kevin posted a comprehensive blog reflecting on the whole process and outcomes. Reflections on Systems – the Science of Everything By Kevin Mitchell – May 22, 2023 There’s plenty of detail of what … Continue reading “Systems-101”

Computing Machines?

[HOLD – Stub only …] Yesterday Philip Ball posted this quip: And today’s demonstration that cells are not machines is… — Philip Ball (@philipcball) February 16, 2023 And then this was liked by Kevin Mitchell: all talk of “AI becoming conscious” is either based on a complete misunderstanding of AI (and consciousness) or pure … Continue reading “Computing Machines?”

Sexual Dimorphism

Capturing this neat summary, NOT for the decade long Sex vs Gender blip of 21st C insanity, but for the millennia old fact that men and women do have archetypically different brains & minds as well as biological bodies. “Vive la Difference” as I keep referring to it. Facts are not normative, everything and anything … Continue reading “Sexual Dimorphism”

Emergence, Complexity and Organisation

ECO is Emergence, Complexity & Organization – An International Transdisciplinary Journal of Complex Social Systems It’s the rabbit hole I’ve been down today, so this is just a riff on the content connections I’ve been making. Kevin Mitchell is rapidly becoming my favourite follow on Twitter. As well as reviewing his book “Innate“, I’ve also … Continue reading “Emergence, Complexity and Organisation”

The Between Times

Having a day in bed, trying to shake off this year’s cold between Christmas and New Year. Know exactly where we picked it up. Someone suffering conspicuously badly behind the bar a week before Christmas at one of the pubs we frequent was surely the spreader event. Naughty. Same symptoms, including a damn cough, but … Continue reading “The Between Times”

Under No Illusion

[UPDATED 21-Dec-2022] I’ve often referred to Dan Dennett as my “hero” when it comes to philosophy and as a consequence I find myself defending his ideas against those that quote the errors of his (1991) “Consciousness Explained”. Even I have dubbed that work “Consciousness (Not) Explained”. As it happens I’m always looking towards – seeking … Continue reading “Under No Illusion”

The Orthodoxy Softens on Determinism?

Good to see actual scientists being public about the limitations to reductionist determinism, and why emergent objects can and do have their own causality. Noticed Philip Ball post a note to the effect that this really could be considered a given – “well established” and “not much left to debate” – now even though there … Continue reading “The Orthodoxy Softens on Determinism?”

Causation and Existence

I naively branded causation (even just time as the basis of correlation) as “weird” when I first started this philosophical quest over 20 years ago. Paging Bishop Berkeley anyone? And of course the more we unpick layers of determinism and emergence, upward and downward causation, the weirder it gets. Some things never change. Time and … Continue reading “Causation and Existence”