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Complexity Is Bugs 

You could also say "complexity is a bug", referring to the complexity of a given solution that exceeds the essential complexity of the problem. The reasoning is that a "bug" is an instance of poor quality, translated concretely to someone's dissatisfaction. And excess complexity is a source of dissatisfaction to anyone seeking control over the …

Posted 64 months ago by

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Bucky’s Law 

THE LAW OF SYSTEMS Absolutely straight lines or an absolutely flat plane would, theoretically, continue outwardly to infinity. Intellectual comprehension occurs when patterns of experience return upon themselves in all directions. The difference between infinity and finity is governed by the taking of angular sinuses, like pieces of pie, out of surface areas a round …

Posted 64 months ago by

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Bildung & Gestalt 

pattern and Gestalt have become popular terms today in some branches of science, but we need to distinguish these terms, as they are general employed, from the "movement" or "gesture" we have been considering here. Goethe summarizes the matter this way: The German has the word Gestalt for the complex of existence of an actual …

Posted 67 months ago by

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Knowledge and Form 

This is why art must be given particular credit for extending the world of knowledge. The semblances constructed through artistic activity can often teach a good deal about their originals, but, more importantly, they teach the viewer about the nature of his or her perceptual images. It is largely in artistic productions that our culture …

Posted 67 months ago by

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Benjamin Peirce 

I presume that to the uninitiated the formulae will appear cold and cheerless. But let it be remembered that, like other mathematical formulae, they find their origin in the divine source of all geometry. Whether I shall have the satisfaction of taking part in their exposition, or whether that will remain for some more profound …

Posted 68 months ago by

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Samuel Butler: Thought and Language 

The whole power of spoken language is vested in the invariableness with which certain symbols are associated with certain ideas. If we are strict in always connecting the same symbols with the same ideas, we speak well, keep our meaning clear to ourselves, and convey it readily and accurately to any one who is also …

Posted 68 months ago by

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Deleuze and Guattari’s Bergson and the Einstein Debate | The Journal of Magnus Opium 

Deleuze and Guattari mark out a human body that itself occupies space as an absolute, a body that is in fact involved in an absolute movement. Here, their affirmation of the Vedic conception of the body is essential, for there not only is light one of the elemental substances comprising the body, but all the …

Posted 68 months ago by

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Hofstadter’s Pushkin 

the two English texts taken together gave a powerful impression of what the underlying Russian had to be like. I compare this to the nautical notion of triangulation, in which having two different landmarks to sight on a coast allows you to pinpoint just where at sea you are, whereas having just one is too …

Posted 73 months ago by

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Rucker’s Cyberpunk 

Winning the award, I felt like some ruined Fitzgerald character lolling on a luxury liner in the rain-his inheritance has finally come through, but it's too late. He's a broken man. In my acceptance speech, I talked about why, when I'd dedicated Wetware to Phil Dick, I'd used Camus's quote about imagining Sisyphus to be …

Posted 73 months ago by

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Bucky’s Ventilated Prose 

Though the preparation for that mid-nineteen-thirties presentation had been developed under the close observation of the corporation’s Director of Research, my final written presentation of it was declared by the Director to be incomprehensible. Disgruntled, I re-read it carefully and returned to the Director saying, “Please listen to this,” and proceeded to read in spontaneously …

Posted 73 months ago by

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Digital Composition (Reid) 

The word “glitch” is interesting in itself. It was first used by astronauts in 1962, specifically John Glenn, to describe a sudden change or spike in voltage. There is some contention that the word comes from German and Yiddish words for slipping. Perhaps there is a onomatopoetic quality to the term. If you could hear …

Posted 73 months ago by

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Techne & the State 

The so-called scientific revolution was made possible by combining theoretical work, carried out by gentlemen philosophers, with practical skills possessed by the much lower status artisans. Modern science thrives on the theory-practice interaction. Currently it is shaped predominantly by links with the state, corporations and the military. An alternative direction would be created by forging …

Posted 74 months ago by

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Chladni’s Architectures 

Ma believes that Chladni patterns must have been discovered before the 18th century. Millennia ago, he points out, the Chinese had already mastered the art of the "singing bowl," a delicate bell made from a specific bronze alloy that could produce multiple tones at the same time. While there's no documentation that Chladni patterns were …

Posted 74 months ago by

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Enthymemetics 

now/never /                               \ actual                                    impossible potential                                    possible |                                         | past\future   __   probable/improbable … now                    /                   never /\                                              /\ potential/actual                                im-/possible /\                                                              /\ past/future                                                  im-/probable … Enthymeme - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Posted 74 months ago by

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Systemantics 

Also, if you really must build a system, by all means remember the Systems Law of Gravity, otherwise known as the Vector Theory of Systems: Systems Run Best When Designed To Run Downhill. In human terms, this means working with human tendencies rather than against them. For example, a state-run lottery flourishes even in times …

Posted 74 months ago by

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Stallman on Word 

You sent the attachment in Microsoft Word format, a secret proprietary format, so it is hard for me to read. If you send me plain text, HTML, or PDF, then I will read it. Distributing documents in Word format is bad for you and for others. You can't be sure what they will look like …

Posted 74 months ago by

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Taylor’s Info. 

There's a paper writ­ten by Jonathan Grudin from back in 1988, when I was still play­ing Ninja Tur­tles, which sug­gest­ed that many sys­tems de­signed to sup­port col­lab­o­ra­tive work were in fact ze­ro-sum: they abridged the work of some—usu­al­ly the pur­chas­ing man­agers—by gen­er­at­ing extra work for oth­ers. Decades later, it ap­pears not much has changed.In­for­ma­tion doesn't …

Posted 74 months ago by

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Dorian Taylor’s Iconocodes 

The issue I have with code is that as a medi­um it is too damn pre­cise. You sim­ply can't op­er­ate over any con­cept until you have de­fined it ex­act­ly, whether or not it ex­hibits any fi­deli­ty to its ref­er­ent. Then there are the myr­i­ad con­sid­er­a­tions pe­cu­liar to the im­ple­men­ta­tion. It's like dig­ging the Pana­ma canal …

Posted 74 months ago by

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Dorian Taylor’s Cultural Artifacts 

If you are in the busi­ness of man­u­fac­tur­ing cul­tur­al ar­ti­facts, I rec­om­mend the fol­low­ing change in per­spec­tive: con­sid­er that rather than mass-pro­duc­ing things that you sell off into the ether, you are me­di­at­ing a shared so­cial ex­pe­ri­ence among ac­tu­al peo­ple, in­clud­ing your­self. via Toward a Coherent Appreciation of Authors and Artists — Dorian Taylor.

Posted 74 months ago by

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Wilkinson and Pickett – The Spirit Level 

There's an almost pleading quality to some of Wilkinson and Pickett's assertions, as though they feel they've spent their careers banging their heads against a brick wall. It's impossible to overstate the implications of their thesis: that the societies of Britain and the US have institutionalised economic and social inequality to the extent that, at …

Posted 74 months ago by

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