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pierredv : aeonmagazine   18

On the dark history of intelligence as domination | Aeon Essays, Stephen Cave , Feb 2017
Intelligence has always been used as fig-leaf to justify domination and destruction. No wonder we fear super-smart robots
AeonMagazine  intelligence  AI 
june 2019 by pierredv
A neural network that keeps seeing art where we see mundane objects | Aeon Videos
When mundane objects such as cords, keys and cloths are fed into a live webcam, a machine-learning algorithm ‘sees’ brilliant colours and images such as seascapes and flowers instead. The London-based, Turkish-born visual artist Memo Akten applies algorithms to the webcam feed as a way to reflect on the technology and, by extension, on ourselves. Each instalment in his Learning to See series features a pre-trained deep-neural network ‘trying to make sense of what it sees, in context of what it’s seen before’. In Gloomy Sunday, the algorithm draws from tens of thousands of images scraped from the Google Arts Project, an extensive collection of super-high-resolution images of notable artworks. Set to the voice of the avant-garde singer Diamanda Galás, the resulting video has unexpected pathos, prompting reflection on how our minds construct images based on prior inputs, and not on precise recreations of the outside world.
AeonMagazine  machine-learning  images  image-recognition 
april 2018 by pierredv
Finding chaos and precision in all things – a philosophy of watchmaking | Aeon Videos
"Filled with the pulses of numerous ticking watch hands, this short documentary from the UK filmmaker Marie-Cécile Embleton profiles a London-based Iranian watchmaker as he muses on the delicate and temporal nature of his work. As Faramarz meticulously polishes wood, shapes metal and positions springs, his personal philosophy emerges – one that values the minutiae of moment-to-moment experiences, and finds craft in all things. Beautifully shot and carefully constructed in a manner that mirrors the work of its subject, The Watchmaker was a film festival favourite in 2017, appearing at the SXSW Film Festival and HotDocs, among others."
AeonMagazine  documentary  film  watchmaking  **  time 
february 2018 by pierredv
Learning to be kind to yourself has remarkable benefits | Aeon Essays - Mark Leary
"Learning to be kind to yourself when you (inevitably) make mistakes could have a remarkable effect on your happiness"
"These two reactions to shortcomings, failures and problems might appear to reflect a difference in self-esteem but, in fact, the key difference involves not self-esteem but rather self-compassion. That is, the difference lies not so much in how people evaluate themselves (their self-esteem) but rather in how they treat themselves (their self-compassion). "
"people who were high in self-compassion had less negative, pessimistic and self-critical thoughts about the events, and experienced fewer negative emotions. Self-compassionate people also indicated that they tried to be kind to themselves in the face of whatever difficulties they experienced, much as they would respond to a friend with similar problems."
"In The Compassionate Mind (2009), Paul Gilbert, a British psychologist who has explored the therapeutic benefits of self-compassion, suggests that self-directed compassion triggers the same physiological systems as receiving care from other people."
"One central feature of self-compassion that helps to lower distress is what Neff calls common humanity. People high in self-compassion recognise that everyone has problems and suffers. "
"These concerns reflect a lack of understanding of what self-compassion actually involves. It is not indifference to what happens or how one behaves. Nor is it a blindly positive outlook or an excuse to be lazy or shirk responsibility. Instead, self-compassion is based on wanting the best for oneself. Just as compassion for other people arises from a concern for their wellbeing and a desire to relieve their suffering, self-compassion involves desiring the best for oneself and responding in ways that promote one’s wellbeing."
"Viewing one’s problems with a gentle, caring perspective allows people to confront their difficulties head-on without minimising them. "
Steps in cultivating self-compassion:
1. start noticing instances in which you are not being nice to yourself
2. When bad things happen or you behave in a less-than-desirable way, remind yourself that everyone fails, ... and experiences myriad negative events.
3. Learn to cultivate self-kindness
AeonMagazine  happiness  compassion  ageing  books  self-compassion 
june 2016 by pierredv
How textiles repeatedly revolutionised human technology - Virginia Postrel
" textiles are technology, more ancient than bronze and as contemporary as nanowires. We hairless apes co-evolved with our apparel. But, to reverse Arthur C Clarke’s adage, any sufficiently familiar technology is indistinguishable from nature." "The ancient Greeks worshiped Athena as the goddess of technē, the artifice of civilisation. She was the giver and protector of olive trees, of ships and of weaving (without which there would be no sails). When she and Odysseus scheme, they ‘weave a plan’. To weave is to devise, to invent – to contrive function and beauty from the simplest of elements." "David Orban proposed that his fellow Bitcoin evangelists adopt ‘weaving’ rather than ‘mining’ as their metaphor for the work of encoding and recording the public ledger of Bitcoin transactions. ‘Weavers,’ he wrote, ‘take the intertwined threads and through their expert, value-added activity create a strong fabric – which is exactly what the global distributed network of computers creating ..."
AeonMagazine  textiles  innovation  automation  technology  Athena  **  quotations 
march 2016 by pierredv
A Bach cello piece played atop a mountain is as exhi...
Andante (a musical term for ‘in a moderate or slow tempo’) follows the cellist Ruth Boden as she climbs 10,000 feet to a peak in Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains for a deeply personal, yet breathtakingly public solo performance. With her prized cello strapped to her back, Boden reflects on how she wants to do something with music that transcends the commonplace, and on the particular joy of playing from Bach’s cello suite at ‘the top of the world’.
video  AeonMagazine  cello  Bach  music 
january 2016 by pierredv
How science made an honest man of God – Dallas G Denery II – Aeon
"Until the Scientific Revolution, God’s power included a licence to deceive. How did science make an honest man of Him?"
lying  religion  science  god  moral-philosophy  philosophy  *  AeonMagazine  essays 
march 2015 by pierredv
Trade your gun for milk: enter the scarcity games – Will Wiles – Aeon
"... an exquisite example of what Jesper Juul ... calls ‘the paradox of failure’, arguably the central mystery at the heart of computer games as a medium. The paradox has three parts: 1. We generally avoid failure. 2. We experience failure when playing games. 3. We seek out games, although we will experience something that we normally avoid." - "Juul calls video games ‘the art of failure’ – the singular art form that sets us up for failure and allows us to experience and experiment with it." - "In a strange way, the survival genre is a sort of disempowerment fantasy, and this opens up genuinely fascinating narrative possibilities, at last breaking away from the technicolour militarist bloodbaths that dog the reputation of computer games." - "Perhaps this combination of exquisite attention to environmental detail and nature, combined with the harshness of the game machinery, can be interpreted as a new strain of romanticism in game design."
games  AeonMagazine  scarcity  narrative  essays 
march 2015 by pierredv
Is technology making us vulnerable? – Colin Dickey – Aeon
-- "Technology has rendered much of the natural world, to borrow a term from Edmund Burke and Immanuel Kant, sublime. For Kant, nature becomes sublime once it becomes ‘a power that has no dominion over us’; a scene of natural terror that, viewed safely, becomes an enjoyable, almost transcendental experience." - "Just as technology pacifies once-dangerous events, sometimes the needle swings in the other direction. Call it a reverse sublime, a return of the repressed: a thing that was once safe becomes dangerous." -- Quoting Henry Petroski from To Forgive Design (2012), "The creative and inherently human process of design, upon which all technological development depends, is in effect timeless. What this means, in part, is that the same cognitive mistakes that were made 3,000, 300, or 30 years ago can be made again today, and can be expected to be made indefinitely into the future. Failures are part of the technological condition."
technology  AeonMagazine  Colin-Dickey  CME  Coronal-Mass-Ejection  Carrington-Event  Henry-Petroski 
march 2015 by pierredv
Has Holy Communion got harder to swallow? – Benjamin Dueholm – Aeon
-- Piece about symbolism of Holy Communion, with reflections on ritual -- "As a universally and often fervently practised rite, it acted like a radioactive tracer in the body of Christianity. The marvellous creativity, diversity, poetry and neurosis of its forms and interpretations map out the whole interior of Christian life." -- "A ritual acts on us in a way that is deeper than words, deeper even than conscious thought." -- "Whatever else one wishes to claim for this ritual, it is a communing with the dead. Every religious ritual is. It’s a way of putting on a self we can never be, of identifying with people otherwise lost to us, of inhabiting a past we can probably never understand. That might be the last radical lunge of this shrunken supper in a life that is starved for, if not love, then at least for connection."
religion  catholicism  Benjamin-Dueholm  AeonMagazine  christianity  ritual 
march 2015 by pierredv
Listening to the silences - Aeon Video
-- What is it like to have multiple beings inhabit your mind? Writer Roy Vincent takes us into a lifetime of hearing voices -- London Film School
film  video  documentary  AeonMagazine  psychology  psychotherapy 
march 2015 by pierredv
The double life of Hasidic atheists - Aeon Magazine
-- Solomon is one of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of men and women whose encounters with evolution, science, new atheism and biblical criticism have led them to the conclusion that there is no God, and yet whose social, economic and familial connections to the ultra-Orthodox and Hasidic communities prevent them from giving up the rituals of faith -- As long as ultra-Orthodox communities continue to marry people off at such young ages, doubters will remain stuck, Solomon contends. ‘Religion has survived a lot of major challenges,’ he said, and the recent turn towards fundamentalism within ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities is just that – a coping mechanism to weed out the non-conformists. ‘The radicalisation of ultra-Orthodox Judaism is a sign of its success, not its failure.’ But Moishe believes that the phenomenon of atheism is deeply entrenched in the Orthodox way of life. ‘Everybody’s faking,’ he insisted. ‘I think it’s all going to come crashing down. I say 20 years.’ --
religion  atheism  Judaism  AeonMagazine 
march 2015 by pierredv
The way of the dodo - Aeon Video - documentary
"The end of celluloid might be near, but this devoted cinephile keeps the old movie magic alive in his east London shop" -- by Liam Saint-Pierre
film  cinema  movies  documentary  AeonMagazine 
february 2015 by pierredv
Is the Many Worlds hypothesis just a fantasy? - Aeon
"Nobody knows what happens inside quantum experiments. So why are some so keen to believe in parallel universes?" by Philip Ball -- article doesn't actually answer this question; it's a critique of many worlds interpretation -- "the Measurement Problem, which really comes down to this: between the rainbow-smear of probabilities in our equations and the matter-of-fact determinacy of everything we can actually measure, what on Earth is going on?" -- "the Measurement Problem, which really comes down to this: between the rainbow-smear of probabilities in our equations and the matter-of-fact determinacy of everything we can actually measure, what on Earth is going on?" -- closest to an answer of the Why question: "Most MWI popularizers think they are blowing our minds with this stuff, whereas in fact they are flattering them. ... The result sounds transgressively exciting while familiar enough to be persuasive."
philosophy  science  AeonMagazine  quantum-mechanics  many-worlds-interpretation  identity  selfhood  ontology  critique  modal-realism 
february 2015 by pierredv
Where are you coming from? - Aeon Video
Life in Lavender Hill and Overcome informal settlement - people evicted from District Six
AeonMagazine  video  documentary  South-Africa 
january 2015 by pierredv
The Last Days of Peter Bergmann - Aeon Video
"In 2009, a man calling himself Peter Bergmann arrived in an Irish town with a plan to disappear forever" Short documentary by Ciaran Cassidy
AeonMagazine  video  stories  people  death  dying  Ireland  Sligo  mystery  documentary 
december 2014 by pierredv
Unusual Choices - Ani Chudrun, Aeon Video
"Ani Chudrun used to present Top Gear on TV. She gave up her fame to be a Buddhist nun. Why?"
meditation  vocation  AeonMagazine  video  people  stories  vimeo  buddhism 
october 2014 by pierredv

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