Monday, May 20, 2013

On becoming a celebrity in the story of my own life...

My dearest wife recently re-ignited her passion for blogging. I have nothing against blogging (although looking at the paucity of pieces reflected here, I can see how you might be led to believe that). I just take long to have ideas. What has happened, however, is that I have (unwittingly) become a character in her story of our lives together. In that guise, I have been dubbed 'the philosopher'. This has raised all sorts of existential issues. In the first place, what is this thing; am I this thing ; or should I aspire to be this thing? But more interestingly, I now have a dual  existence: I am both the mule who goes to work every day in the hope that a Boeingful of money will, one day, miraculously, drop from the sky and land softly in my lap (neatly packaged in $100 000 wafers) - and I am also this slightly mysterious, tall, not-so-dark, mildly-strong silent philosopher type currently inhabiting this digital parallel universe in which all things are possible. So I have become both the author and the subject of my many lives. I am beginning to understand why cats just don't care. It's all too hard and makes my head hurt. An ice-cold beer (or is it bear?) would be really good roundabout now.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Biocentrism and cognitive computing

Biocentrism posits the view that consciousness gives rise to matter, in opposition to the traditional view that matter is a precondition for the development of consciousness - but perhaps the truth is closer to a type of 'quantum enfolding'.
By way of analogy, some learning theories (notably those broadly classed as cognitivist) describe learning in terms of 'long-term and short term memory', storage' and processing'. These metaphors are purposefully drawn from a von Neuman conception of linear computer programming. Latterly, in a Jeckyll  and Hyde reversal of fortune, cognitive computing is set to turn its back on a linear programming paradigm, in favour of neuronal, synapse-like, low-wattage brain-based parallel processing.
So, does thought and learning precede technology or does technology give rise to thought and learning? Does thought and learning involve both brain and mind? Perhaps the answer lies not so much in dialectical polarisation  as in a recognition that brain and mind are not necessarily synonymous. Proceeding one step further, it might be argued that mind and brain are enfolded (and not necessarily in a one-to-one manner). So also, technology, on the one hand, and thought and learning, on the other, might be subject to a similar kind of enfolding. At which point, we are on the road to something approaching Sheldrake's definition of morphic fields and morphic resonance.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

On the extent of the openness of the world - a la Bonk

I am currently reading Bonk's "The world is open". Against this backdrop, I am also attending the OER University planning meeting on 23 February (hosted by the OER Foundation at the Open Polytechnic in Dunedin) - potentially the one planning meeting that could change the face of higher education forever. And yet, as recently as Thursday I was asked to comment on universities' IP policies!!

Having been enculturated into the logic of various divides over a number of years, I find this the most tenacious of all divides. Might it be because it demands of us all a renegotiation of the ground rules: whereas we used to be able to say: "If you want to find the truth, follow the money" - we are now being asked to say: "If you want the truth, share"?