Reading Suggestions (#2)

A week passed, so I’ll post what I’m reading nowadays.

I’m mostly digesting this book these days, it was more successful in making me believe for a few days that there is only mathematics in reality than S. Wolfram did so with his book of physics introducing his idea of an universal computation. The author seems to be successful at reducing such notions as analogies or meaning into patterns and ideas found in abstract algebra, that is probably extremely fruitful in cognitive sciences and designing artificial systems mimicking our understanding of the world. Highly recommended, even though I’m not finished yet.

This article from 2013 has surprising information about the inner working of recent hard disks, and one of the reasons I’m highly disillusioned with technology for years. The usage of universal tools should be a controversial matter on their own (see early cybernetics or papers authored by Neumann himself) but the practical issues are only felt nowadays. The fact that there is an entire, more than capable computer in your hard disk should raise awareness to the privacy, security and resource management problems involved.

The era that could be the golden age of philosophy (with so many theoretical debate and crisis going on) is actually naturalizing it, we are seeing philosophy absolving into different interdisciplinary fields. Not a surprise that as philosophy is getting reduced into metaphilosophy, we may wonder how is it even possible, when such a field should include it’s own meta-field being unique in that way. There is a volume I found accidentally at a second hand bookstore about this exact issue, containing the material of a conference held in 2015 in my country.

There’s two nautilus articles that may not be recent enough but very well worth reading, they are both a good way to destroy our paradigms for a few mere moments.

A lot of theories are “bounded” by expectations, they are not more than made up and fine-tuned axioms to explain already existing phenomena. That is very much the case with physics, and it’s a fundamental question to ask how much of physics should be driven by our own experience and our own expectations of reality itself.

Related are the series of posts by M. Pigliucci on his blog that actually made me follow him two years ago.

It sounds like some sci-fi plot but whenever “alien” intelligence is being questioned we must be aware of how alien structures we are talking about. Clearly swarm intelligence is a thing, algae and ants solve problems that would be impossible in every single way concevied individually. Their “algorithms” lie elsewhere than in the insect body itself, so it’s an interesting thought experiment to ask if alien life may be physics itself. (Something that is even mentioned in my novel idea I will never finish, but there are other novels strongly connected to this idea.)

As a bonus, this paper is really the conclusion and pinnacle of all the Gödel-Intelligence-Logic debates that are so fashionable nowadays.


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