All posts filed under: meaning

The Meaning of Science

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art / ascetic ideal / chaos / efficiency / history / humility / illusion / improvement / irony / meaning / Nietzsche / order / problem / religion / resentment / science / socrates / spirit / will to power

What is the Meaning of Science? Nietzsche and the History of the Human Spirit What is problematic about science? What does the “progress” of science mean about human beings? I believe this question turns everything which is unsettling, mysterious, and uncanny about the course of human development (and not only human); who can exhaust what is figured within the folds of this strange question — science thought as a symptom, science grasped as a problem? […]

Artifical Linguistic Competence

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algorithm / Cartesian theater / desire / fractal / meaning / meta-linguistics

What does it take to make a machine linguistically competent? This is perhaps the extreme case of where we do not want solutions that make the problems simply disappear. For instance, consider any algorithm which boils down to a “pattern-matching” script, even one which is self-improving or evolving in some ways. It’s clear it won’t achieve anything near a critical degree of linguistic competency to pass for a human. Oh yes, it may work for […]


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autopoesis / communication / desire / machine / maturana / meaning / nano-ontology / self-organization / varela

“An autopoietic machine is a machine organized (defined as a unity) as a network of processes of production (transformation and destruction) of components which: (i) through their interactions and transformations continuously regenerate and realize the network of processes (relations) that produced them; and (ii) constitute it (the machine) as a concrete unity in space in which they (the components) exist by specifying the topological domain of its realization as such a network.” (Maturana, Varela, 1980, […]


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badiou / levinas / meaning / metaphysics / multiplicity / ontology

Levinas addresses a question (or criticism) very similar to Badiou’s in his essay God and Philosophy (published in 1975, the ideas put forth were already put forth in different forms in lectures given from 1973-4). In these writings we find Levinas considering the tenability of the inclusion of God within philosophical discourse. It would seem that as soon as we conceptualize God’s existence, we must also situate God amidst existence, somehow mysteriously within being’s movement. […]

Art, Meaning, Love

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art / love / meaning

“There is a reason for everything.” How can I trust anyone who says this? No one can tell you the reasons for everything. We learn reasonable justifications for many things. But these explanations rely on what? Further explanations. Every rationalization involves an obfuscation; the double movement of knowledge represents a drawing towards a clearer understanding and pushing further away from the truth. Truth becomes untruth when we tell stories, the essential human act which defines […]