Skip to main content

Where to go from here?

we do be doing a lot tho
Published onMar 02, 2023
Where to go from here?

Consider the future as an expansive maze of unknowns and potential hostilities. Then consider how to avoid that. Thats probably the spirit Hegel talks about, but thats for later
Panel from !BLAME by Tsutomu Nihei

Things are complicated

My interest lately is in how knowledge is structured and acted upon. I want to explore how and why technology becomes a lens and a vehicle for cognition, reasoning, and understanding.

For instance, due to the advent of computers we recently became able to view cognition algorithmically.

A more interesting example may be considering it necessary to create "social hierarchies" in multi agent AI systems so that they don’t spend their time plotting on us.

In what way are they a social order? Why would we create existential threats to ourselves? Are we liberally applying our conceptual framing of social phenomena to algorithms?

Stranger still, we could model this behavior using RL agents, and it is useful for training agents to complete task. Maybe deployed AGI should use some optimal agreement with its implementers to guide its action to the most appropriate course given some contract.

Fuck all that though. My original issue is not with any of this. Its that we can derive behavior from our ideas in anyway that bothers me.

I wish to be a fish

Others Have Thoughts on This

finna pull out this armchair real quick, lemme get comfortable

Week 9 Lecture: Kant Transcendental Aesthetic Part 1

Week9 Lecture: Kant Transcendental Aesthetic Part 2

These two videos are exciting because Kant makes reasonable pushback against knowledge as purely relative to brain composition. It cannot be that a giant set of pulleys and levers used the right way creates conscious perception, that is, image laden abstract thought that contain beliefs. But there is a considerable separation between causality and perception. We do not know if math is made up or “transcendental“. And more strangely, we can’t really be aware of ourselves.

The subjects seem to have believed on some level that keeping their hand in the water longer could give them a different kind of heart. Dr. Tversky declared that people have a cognitive blind spot to "hidden variable" causation, and this explains the Calvinists who made such an effort to live virtuously

We cannot identify self in any meaningful way without the umvelt.

Thats good news for me. Our perception is contingent! It’s not random! Objectivity, while not observed is arguably achievable with a decent model.

Its unlikely that interplanetary qualia are consistent, but I would guess intelligence is consistent in modeling the world for some objective. We could get Arrival aliens or we could get X-Files, but I highly doubt what we consider intelligence does not in fact exist on a spectrum directly related to its physiology.

So, where to go from here?

Over the years I have been eased into bits and pieces of Hegel through fan girling over Zizek or watching youtube. To define a freedom as an abstract thing with spirit and a history we move toward never really became sensible until a short youtube clip.

Hegel: Philosophy of world history and spirit

This idea of spirit is the virtual realm of Serial Experiments Lain. The constant unfolding of history is our reality. An all powerful god whom we compel to exist through its eventual demise within us.

More grounded is Sciences du Design editor, Stéphane Vial’s take on technology and perception. In Being and Screen, Vial use ontophony to explain a theory of how our perception is virtual.

It is based on ontophany theory, according to which the process of appearance of being is constantly technologically conditioned. Thus, technologies are not only tools; they are structures of perception….This theory proposes that we think about design not as producing beings but, rather, events; not things that are but things that happen;

okay, clearly reader/readwise needs built in citations for text paste

Our countries then are virtual af, guided by this virtual spirit.

Peter Drucker, management guru, also believes in a mythic quality to states. From The Drucker Lectures:

the very fact that we have a myth of the state—

that is, that we can rationalize our experience—also shows that man is not all political animal, and that his existence is not described or circumscribed by his belonging to the group. Ants and bees are as much social animals as man. An ant or a bee can even overthrow the ruler of the swarm and establish his own rulership. But only man can change the basic order of the group itself, only man has the myth of the state

By highlighting knowledge management systems as endemic to large scale civilization, it made more reasonable this notion “spirit of freedom” searching to express itself historically.

The irrigation city first had knowledge, organized it, and in-stitutionalized it. Both because it required considerable knowledge to construct and maintain the complex engineering works that regulated the vital water supply and because it had to manage complex economic transactions stretching over many years and over hundreds of miles, the irrigation city needed records, and this, of course, meant writing. It needed astronomical data, as it depended on a calendar. It needed means of navigating across sea or desert. It, therefore, had to organize both the supply of the needed information and its processing into learnable and teachable knowledge. As a result, the irrigation city developed the first schools and the first teachers.

Interesting as well is what this means for spirit’s drive toward freedom versus managing a society for some purpose. Are both part of the spirts drive?

Getting Back to That

Three questions I asked before are:

  • How are contemporary technologies wholly affecting the way we cognize the world?

  • What drives the mapping of lived experience onto technology?

  • What flips the medium of technology to drive a hyperreal imitation of references to itself, such that the reference loses context to what technology itself abstracts?

I am skeptical of these questions being so dense, but I now have better understanding of some fundamentals that bridge our willingness to make myth real and our willingness to create despots.

To answer my first question from the article, I believe it best to think of the way we perceive as virtual. Not detached from material circumstances, yet all in all separate. Therefore, technology manifest as the material and symbolic structuring of experience.

To answer my second I would say technology is the artifact created by mapping lived experience over a medium, ie: lived experience -> media -> technology.

To answer my third is more difficult. Potentially the spectacle brought about in a capitalist society trading use-value for a Walmart in every city. Maybe we live in a hyperreal world. Im not sure, but I feel Debord, Borges, symbology, Neil Postman could be of assistance here.

As such, I would like this article to be an intention for my interest this year.

I will read Ken Binmore’s work on game theory and society. I am excited to see how and why he uses Hume as opposed to Kant for his philosophical interest. I suppose it has something to do with this quote by Binmore from Natural Justice:

As Hume explains: “I learn to do service to another, without bearing him any real kindness, because I foresee, that he will return my service in expectation of another of the same kind, and in order to maintain the same correspondence of good offices with me and others.

I will read Kant’s Critique of Reason and Hegel’s Science of Logic as well. But I’ll give myself a year.

I also want to finish Being and Screen and the Drucker Lectures.

I will revisit Postman, Debord, Foucalt and Postman.

I will read far more than i write about.

I recently watched Mullholland Drive and I think this clip is a good idea of how societies work.

Mulholland Drive 2001 - Opera singer scene HD


A Supplement to this Pub
Nicole Parsley:

Flowers to Sweden : Indeed, technology is affecting the way we live as human beings. The internet has been affecting our memory in a big way. Our brain no longer feels the need to remember much of anything. It needs to remember how to get to the information. That’s a major change. And more change is coming. We are changing as a specy through our technology.