Tag Synthesis

Metaphorical Power

Freud is never mentioned in my intellectual community; of course, his ideas about repression and unconscious desires have been transformed into universal metaphors, but he’s no longer an influence in the circles I frequent. Part of the problem is that…

Pointing versus Pushing

Every corporeal being is bound to classify the world into two extremely basic categories: That which can be grabbed (or grabbed by) That which cannot be reached. More generally, for each sense, we classify the world into That which is…

Arbitrariness

There are at least three kind of arbitrary relations in the mind sciences: Between concepts/language and the world Between the mind and the body Between form and substance (which might include the above) For example, we feel that there is…

Mind your Brain

Obama is about to announce the brain initiative any minute now. I happen to think it is a colossal mistake, but an instructive one. First, it prompts an analysis of Obama: more than his drone war and budget debacles, this…

Question 3: Dimensional Analysis (7)

In physics and also in biology, dimensional analysis can help the scientist achieve qualitative understanding without detailed calculations. One of the chief impediments to studying complex systems like cells and cities is that we have no clue as to what…

Question 1: Sensing the City (21)

What will take to sense and store all the variables that determine the dynamics of a large city? A list that includes: Migration, both in and out. Material inflows and outflows — food, industrial production, construction materials everything Pollution, solid waste, effluents…

What is 42?

More here. For a long time, I have been thinking that in the age of large scale human networks with its tremendous potential for aggregating distributed expertise, it is perhaps even more important to ask the right questions than it…

The Object of Vision

The second post in the Frode conversation series. As visual creatures, we are prone to thinking that sight reveals the world as such. If you are asked to name the attributes of a tiger or a cup, you will most…

Experience isn’t subjective

This is the first post in a series deriving from a conversation with Frode on the 26th of April. From Descartes to Nagel, there is an argument that consciousness is utterly subjective, that another person cannot feel my pain. A…