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indeterminacy

Reprogramming Decisionism - Journal #85 October 2017 - e-flux
Instead of declaring the end of metaphysical thinking and its completion in instrumentality, it seems important to reenter the critique of instrumental reasoning through the backdoor, reopening the question of how to think in terms of the means through which error, indeterminacy, randomness, and unknowns in general have become part of technoscientific knowledge and the reasoning of machines.
cybernetics  artificialIntelligence  theory  indeterminacy 
6 weeks ago by tegabrain
Beyond bugs and features: A case for indeterminacy | Social Media Collective
n 1979, Harvard professors Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin identified what they saw as a shortcoming in American and English evolutionary biology. It was, they argued, dominated by an adaptationist program.[1] By this, they meant that it embraced a misguided atomization of an organism’s traits, which then “are explained as structures optimally designed by natural selection for their function.”[2] For example, an exaggerated version of the adaptationist program might look at a contemporary human face, see a nose, and argue that it was adapted and selected for its ability to hold glasses. Such a theory of the nose not only ignores the plural functions the nose serves, but the complex history of its evolution, its shifting usefulness for different kinds of activities, its mutational detours, the different kinds of noses, and the nose’s evolution as part of the larger systems of faces, bodies, and environments. So how should we talk about noses? Or, more importantly, how do we talk about any single feature of a complex system?
algorithm_studies  complex_systems  indeterminacy 
april 2017 by marsal
Dmitri N. Shalin - Critical Theory and theh Pragmatist Challenge (1992) | American Journal of Sociology
AJS Volume 98 Number 2 (September 1992): 237-79 -- Habermas's theory breaks with the Continental tradition that has denigrated pragmatism as an Anglo-Saxon philosophy subservient to technocratic capitalism. While Habermas deftly uses pragmatist insights into communicative rationality and democratic ethos, he shows little sensitivity to other facets of pragmatism. This article argues that incorporating the pragmatist perspective on experience and indeterminacy brings a corrective to the emancipatory agenda championed by critical theorists. The pragmatist alternative to the theory of communicative action is presented, with the discussion centering around the following themes: disembodied reason versus embodied reasonableness, determinate being versus indeterminate reality, discursive truth versus pragmatic certainty, rational consensus versus reasonable dissent, transcendental democracy versus democratic transcendence, and rational society versus sane community. -- downloaded via Air to DBOX - added to Evernote
article  downloaded  social_theory  political_philosophy  critical_theory  pragmatism  Habermas  Peirce  James_William  Dewey  democracy  community  public_sphere  public_reason  rationality  experience  indeterminacy  dissent  consensus  public_opinion  cultural_critique  change-social 
september 2016 by dunnettreader
cornelius cardew’s treatise (1963-67) – The Hum Blog
"Cornelius Cardew was a fascinating figure. Both in his life, and through his music, he posed questions with which I find myself in equal sympathy and conflict. He is undeniably one of the most important figures in the Post-War British avant-garde. Cardew, by all accounts, was a prodigy. During his early twenties he worked at the highest levels of performance. In 1958 (age 22) he won a scholarship to study at the Studio for Electronic Music in Cologne, and was promptly asked by Karlheinz Stockhausen to serve as his assistant. Stockhausen’s recollections of Cardew are drenched in respect. He was one of the few people whom he allowed to work on his scores unsupervised. During the late 50’s, influenced by John Cage and other members of his generation, Cardew abandoned Serialism and began to compose scores utilizing indeterminacy and experiment. It was this period of his work for which he is most remembered, and from which Treatise (our subject) comes. In 1967 he joined the iconic free-improvisation collective AMM with Lou Gare, Eddie Prévost, Keith Rowe and Christopher Hobbs, which advanced his sense of compositional possibility. The following year with Howard Skempton and Michael Parsons he formed the equally important Scratch Orchestra, which grew into a large ensemble, preforming over the following four years.

Cardew’s most iconic work was written during a period stretching just over a decade – after which he made a severe turn, dedicating himself to radical Left-Wing politics, and composing “people’s music”- largely based on folk traditions. Under the influence of Marxism he came to believe that the world to which he had belonged (avant-garde classical, and free-improvisation) was elitist. He subsequently denounced both his former work and his relationships, particularly the one with Stockhausen, who he used as a focus for his venom. Though my politics are further Left than Marxism, and free of its dogmas, I can respect his conviction. That said, I can’t agree with him. His position lacks respect for “the people”, and smothers creativity and progress. I love avant-garde music too much to let politics get in the way. Like so many of the legacies of Marxism, the consequence of Cardew’s beliefs were foreshadowed by Mikhail Bakunin during the International at the Hague Congress in 1872. We all know it didn’t end well.

Treatise, which was composed between 1963 and 1967, is considered to be Cardew’s greatest achievement. It’s also a total head-fuck for anyone who attempts to approach it. It’s a 193 page graphic score with no instruction – completely in the hands of the conductor and musicians who interpret it. Whatever you make of the music that grows from it, Treatise is an undeniable thing of aesthetic beauty. The work is rarely realized in its totality. Performers tend to focus on distinct passages. It can be performed by a single player, or by as large an ensemble as possible. There is no indication of preferred instrumentation or duration. Because the work bears no description beyond itself, there is little to say about it. Wanting to share it, I’ve included three realizations focused on pages 1-14, 57-58, and 140-165, by separate ensembles respectively. I’ve also included a series of images which depict the score in its totality, an image of the original bound score made by Cadrew, and scans of the each of its entire 193 pages. I hope you enjoy."
corneliuscardew  music  1960s  indeterminacy  johncage  graphic  musicnotation  notation  avantgarde  composition  mikhailbakunin 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Wired 11.08: Totally Random
How two math geeks with a lava lamp and a webcam are about to unleash chaos on the Internet.
By Tom McNichol
randomness  physics  complexity  indeterminacy  computation  project:holo2 
november 2014 by mtchl
Cluster | City - Design - Innovation » Spatial Agency: a conversation with Tatjana Schneider on architecture as a quietly revolutionary practice
[Way too much to quote. From the beginning…]

"Indeterminacy, I would say, is something that is open to exploring the possibilities of space; something that is unfixed from the start and retains an open position. An indeterminate approach means starting out from an open playing field and making a case for ‘not knowing’, not assuming to know what the outcome might be."

"I don’t understand Paul Feyerabend’s seminal work as proposing a position that is ‘unmethodical’, but as one that critiques a static and uniform notion of science and calls for a certain degree of irrationality. I understand indeterminacy more as a mindset as opposed to an approach."

"Architects have marginalized themselves from these discourses – you might argue that they have never truly been part of them. One thing that certainly doesn’t help in defining a more ‘useful’ position for architects or other spatial practitioners is that architects in particular have been focusing on the building of objects for too long."
spatialproduction  alternative  wealth  user-drivenapproach  openbuilding  opensource  flexibility  participatoryprocess  humanneeds  sarahwigglesworth  jeremytill  jonathancharley  design  architecture  notknowing  unknown  indeterminacy  spatialagency  tatjanaschneider  2011  paulfeyerabend  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
David Byrne's Journal: 12.14.11: "You 'Da Boss?" Collective Creation
"Others have preferred to view the social insects, not as social cities composed of individuals, but as single super organisms—more like one being made up of millions of semi-autonomous crawling “cells.” This would mean that these towering termite mounds and the tunnels of the ant colonies might represent the clothing or shell that belongs to a collective whole being…

If we make that leap, then we too can be seen as sophisticated works of “soft” architecture. Just like the cities of the ants, bees and termites, one would never imagine that our little cells would be able to individually make and organize a structure as complex as we are. If we reorient our viewpoint, and can see ourselves as a kind of ant colony, we get a frightening insight that maybe our sense of free will is not much more than that of the ants and termites. Our most beautiful cities, and maybe we too, are not much more sophisticated than those of the social insects."
deborahgordon  wikipedia  collective  collectiveaction  collectivecreation  nature  insects  occupywallstreet  ows  creation  art  music  indeterminacy  terryriley  johncage  buddhamachine  madlibs  williamsburroughs  exquisitecorpse  yvestanguy  joanmiro  manray  bernardrudofsky  hivemind  consilience  2011  freewill  timbuktu  architecture  socialinsects  networks  organisms  cities  creativity  collectivism  politics  society  economics  davidbyrne  from delicious
december 2011 by robertogreco
FT.com / Arts / Film & Television - Joking apart
"…few years ago, I received an unsolicited e-mail asking me if I was interested in “submitting content”…Eventually it transpired that content-seeker wanted to know if I had any jokes that could be sold to be viewed on mobile phones…my material is written to be performed as part of a whole in particular sorts of places, & I have given a great deal of thought to how the acceptability and impact of ideas is affected by pacing, context and their position as part of a whole…didn’t want it being chopped up, miniaturised, de-contextualised…

"Next month I am curating a weekend of comedy and music at the Southbank Centre, London. I am a curator. What a dead word. It sounds like someone stirring turds in a toilet bowl with a stick. If something is being curated it already seems fixed and decayed – bands recreating their classic albums in their entirety, seasons of film screenings working towards a pre-ordained conclusion. To that end, I’ve tried to schedule events that are unrepeatable."
stewartlee  curation  curating  albums  johncage  indeterminacy  slow  simplicity  twitter  mobile  phones  speed  content  context  pacing  2011  events  uniqueness  reproduction 
april 2011 by robertogreco

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