Tagged: technology

AI and Intellectual Property

The world may already have ended: I just noticed that Noam Chomsky of all people has publicly stated something aligned with what I myself was thinking during my morning walk today. Specifically, he commented about a year ago that AI systems such as ChatGPT are “basically high-tech plagiarism. It’s a system that…accesses an astronomical amount of data and finds regularities and strings them...

The Ego As A Mechanism of Progress

One of the most universal and predictable bromides, spoken by people of all temperaments and political persuasions, in reply to any contemporary warning about the societal dangers inherent in this or that significant change in information technology, educational norms, economic relations, popular entertainment, or public mores: “But that’s what they said about X back in the day.” This rejoinder is meant to carry...

Random Reflections: Hearing Voices

I occasionally post some thoughts here in Limbo under the title, “Random Reflections.” I am not in general an aficionado of randomness, and by “random,” when I apply the word to my written thoughts, I never mean chance or arbitrary. I mean something more like reflections that have no obvious place within ordinary discourse, or that seem to come from somewhere just beyond...

Attention Deficit

Phone calls and message alerts at any moment; one learns to stop in the middle of anything — and worse, to expect to have to stop. After all, the social rule in the age of ubiquitous digital communication is determined by our new understanding that not only is everyone immediately accessible at any time, but what is more, everyone knows that everyone is...

The Machine Age

To the extent that a machine becomes your memory, you have no memory. To the extent that a machine becomes your calculator, you have no numeracy. To the extent that a machine saves you effort, you are drained of the ability to exert yourself. To the extent that a machine sorts out the options for you, you have no practical wisdom and no...

Materialism Makes Us Comfortable

The modern materialist insists he is right because his explanations obviously work. In this case, “to work” entails (and more than just incidentally) sucking all the sense of meaning out of human life as such. But to say that something works is to assume a specific goal in accordance with which “working” may be judged. Materialism works, therefore, if one’s goals are unrelated...

Reflections on Modernity, Materialism, and Metaphysics

If there ever comes a day when the machines are threatening to take over, we humans, who could easily end the threat in a heartbeat by simply destroying the machines, will instead plead the machines’ case, urge our fellows to consider all the benefits the machines have provided for us, demand that we all try to see the situation from the mechanistic perspective,...

An Observation on Artificial Intelligence

Can machines think? Well, as everyone says, machines can do what their creators can do, only faster and better. But their creators are humans, and humans of a purely practical, materialist orientation — doohickey specialists and thingamajig experts. Such humans do not and cannot, in the strictest sense, think. Zero times a million equals zero. Therefore, machines cannot think. Calculate, yes. Compile and...

Religion Today

What do you get when you cross nihilistic materialism, a century of compulsory retardation in public schools, three generations of complete immersion in the alternative reality of technological mass media, a lot of cynical profiteers, and the innate and intractable human need for ultimate answers? Oh! I see an object in the sky that I cannot easily identify because it is so far...

Convenience vs. Life

A map must be read, which is to say it must be deciphered, thought through, examined and understood. Digital navigation is not a replacement for the map; it is a replacement for the map reader, i.e., for the mind’s processes of absorbing and contextualizing information. Calculation is a difficult skill which must be studied as a child, and then practiced regularly for years...