“In each period there is a general form of the forms of thought; and, like the air we breath, such a form is so translucent, and so pervading, and so seemingly necessary, that only by extreme effort can we become aware of it.” Whitehead, A.N., 1933. Adventures of Ideas, Cambridge: University Press, p. 20.
Saturday, 15 June 2013
Wednesday, 29 May 2013
“We are swimming upstream against a great torrent of disorganization, which tends to reduce everything to the heat death of equilibrium and sameness described in the second law of thermodynamics. What Maxwell, Bolzmann and Gibbs meant by this heat death in physics has a counterpart in the ethic of Kierkegaard, who pointed out that we live in a chaotic moral universe. In this, our main obligation is to establish arbitrary enclaves of order and system. These enclaves will not remain there indefinitely by any momentum of their own after we have once established them…We are not fighting for a definitive victory in the indefinite future. It is the greatest possible victory to be, to continue to be, and to have been…This is no defeatism, it is rather a sense of tragedy in a world in which necessity is represented by an inevitable disappearance of differentiation. The declaration of our own nature and the attempt to build an enclave of organization in the face of nature’s overwhelming tendency to disorder is an insolence against the gods and the iron necessity that they impose. Here lies tragedy, but here lies glory too.” - Wiener, N., 1964. I Am a Mathematician, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press., p. 324
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
“Why strangeness? Because our social relations are increasingly mediated by data, and data turns our social relations in digital relations, and that means that our digital relations now depend extraordinarily on technology to bring to them a sense of robustness, a sense of discovery, and sense of surprise and unpredictability. Why not strangers? Because strangers are part of a world really rigid boundaries. They belong to a world of people I know versus people I don't know, and in the context of my digital relations, I'm already doing things with people I don't know. The question isn't whether or not I know you. The question is, what can I do with you? What can I learn with you? What can we do together and benefits us both?” - Bezaitis, M., 2013. The surprising need for strangeness, Santa Clara, CA: TED Talks.
Sunday, 5 May 2013
“When one begins to entertain the notion that ‘machines are good to think with,’ one could potentially mean any number of conflicting statements. It could signify merely that, bolstered by machines of all sorts, it is just easier for you and I to soar on wings of thought. A warm building, a reading light, printed books, a mechanical pencil: all grease the wheels of intellectual endeavor. A deeper signification might be that the very exemplars of thought in the modern world have come to take their bearings from experience with machines. For instance, by the seventeenth century, ‘The taking apart of clockwork became an illustration of that process known as analysis’ (Mayr, 1986, p. 84). How much truly useful mathematics, in the first instance, has been prompted by machines? And a third signification, the one so dissonant that sends shivers up the spine of every humanist, is that the machines themselves can do the thinking for us. This, of course, is a veiled reference to something called ‘the computer.’” - Mirowski, P., 2002. Machine Dreams: Economics Becomes a Cyborg Science, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press., p. 31
Thursday, 2 May 2013
“This might be a good time to examine the etymology of the word science, It comes from the Latin scientia, from sciens, which means having knowledge, from the present participle of scire, meaning to know, probably—and here's where it gets exciting—akin to the Sanskrit Chyati, meaning he cuts off, and Latin scindere, to split, cleave. The dictionary tells me there's more at shed (presumably
the verb, as in dog hair, not the noun, as in a shack).
So I look up shed, which derives from the Middle English for divide, separate, from Old English scaeden, akin to High German skeiden, to separate, which brings us back to our Latin friend scindere, and from there to the Greek schizein, to split.
We are all familiar of course with the root schizein because of its famous grandchild schizophrenia (literally split mind), which is a psychotic disorder characterized by a loss of contact with the environment, illogical patterns of thinking and acting, delusions and hallucinations, and a noticeable deterioration in the level of functioning in everyday life.
Science, scire, scindere, schizein, schizophrenia. A mind split into pieces.”
- Jensen, D. & Draffan, G., 2004. Welcome To The Machine: Science, Surveillance, and the Culture of Control, White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing Company., p 25
“…by purposefully focusing on situated, partial, individual accounts of…sensemaking, we are deliberately moving away from a ‘grand narrative’ in order to allow room for the complexities and contradictions present.” - Korica, M. & Molloy, E., 2010. Making sense of professional identities: Stories of medical professionals and new technologies. Human Relations, 63(12), pp.1879–1901, p. 1882.
Tuesday, 9 April 2013
“Narrative is not an alternative to truth or reality; it is the mode in which truth and
reality are presented. There are only versions, and narratively unmediated truth or
reality is impossible.” - Maan, A.K., 2010. Internarrative Identity: Placing the Self, 2nd ed, Lanham, MD: University Press of America., p. 60