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    It is one thing to explain the causal origins of thinking, as science commendably does; it is an entirely different thing to conflate thinking in its formal or rule-governed dimension with its evolutionary genesis. Being conditioned is not the same as being constituted. Such a conflation not only sophistically elides the distinction between the substantive and the formal, it also falls victim to a dogmatic metaphysics that is impulsively blind to its own epistemological and methodological bases qua origins.

    It is this genetic fallacy that sanctions the demotion of general intelli­gence as qualitatively distinct to a mere quantitative account of intelligent behaviours prevalent in nature. It should not come as any surprise that this is exactly the jaded gesture of antihumanism upon whose shoddy pillars today’s discourse of posthumanism supports its case. Talk of thinking forests, rocks, worn shoes, and ethereal beings goes hand in hand with the cult of technological singularity, musings on Skynet or the Market as speculative posthuman intelligence, and computers endowed with intellectual intuition. And again, by now it should have become obvious that, despite the seeming antagonism between these two camps – one promoting the so-called egalitarianism of going beyond human conditions by dispensing with the rational resources of critique, the other advancing the speculative aspects of posthuman supremacy on the grounds of the technological overcoming of the human condition – they both in fact belong to the arsenal of today’s neoliberal capitalism in its full-on assault on any account of intelligence that may remotely insinuate an ambition for collective rationality and imagination.

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    The opposition between the possibility of a thinking machine and the actuality of the human agent should be exposed as a false dichotomy that can only be precariously maintained within the bounds of an essentialist interpretation of the mind as necessarily attached to a particular local or contingent transcendental structure. To put it more tersely, the source of this false dichotomy lies precisely in mistaking the local and contingent aspects of experience for universal and necessary acts of cognition, the particular conditions of the former for the general conditions of the latter. To reject and break away from this false dichotomy in all its manifestations, it is necessary to fully distinguish and unbind reason (the labour of conception) from subjectivist experience. This is not to dispense with the significance of experience in favour of a contentless abstract account of reason. It is rather…

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    Un amigo me dijo una vez hace años unas palabras que desde entonces hice mías: no existen los estados de pureza. Con esa idea en mente, dejo esta otra nota que descubrí hoy mismo:

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    10. Sin embargo, las críticas cerradas al purismo encarnado en Bertoni no llevan a Gramsci a sostener una posición espontaneísta en torno a las relaciones entre lengua nacional y dialectos. Se trata, en Gramsci, de una concepción de lengua que se aleja, también, de cualquier forma de relativismo, que anula las diferencias y las tensiones políticas entre las variedades dialectales y la lengua nacional.

    Toda lengua es una lengua impura, atravesada por tensiones entre fuerzas centrípetas y fuerzas centrífugas, entre instancias de unificación e instancias de dispersión. Es, también, un territorio complejo, habitado por diferentes temporalidades, que conserva huellas de un pasado lingüístico, muchas veces reprimido, que manifiesta marcas diferenciales desde lo regional, lo etario o lo social y que se encuentra expuesta a la influencia de otros complejos lingüísticos nacionales o internacionales, regionales o cosmopolitas. La heterogeneidad de la lengua es un modo de la heterogeneidad de lo social, que Gramsci expresa con claridad en su concepto teórico de “momento”, como un todo en el que están presentes las huellas del pasado, remanentes, y están en germen desarrollos futuros imprevisibles, no teleológicos.

    La poesía no genera, por sí sola, poesía; las superestructuras no generan superestructura: en las lenguas nada se produce por partogénesis, sino que todo es producto de relaciones y de conflictos. En consecuencia, lo que se produce históricamente no es la lengua como entidad aislada y analizable con instrumentos asépticos, sino una “situación” en la que se manifiesta la contaminación y el conflicto de las lenguas. El problema de la lengua no se distingue, por ello, del problema de la hegemonía, entendida como una fuerza que opera sobre un plano de diferencias y que tiende, en principio, hacia formas contingentes de unificación, que nunca son plenas, que dejan siempre un resto irreductible a lo hegemónico.

    (…)

    De “Un argángel devastador: Gramsci, las lenguas, la hegemonía”, la introducción a Escritos sobre el lenguaje, escrito por Diego Bentivegna.

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    Why are people hungry in North Carolina?

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    One in eight individuals in the state were food insecure last year — food insecurity is defined as not having reliable access to your next meal. According to the North Carolina Department of Housing and Human Services, 56 percent of public-school children are eligible for free or reduced lunch, and one in five children face hunger on a daily basis.
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    London house of McCartney robbed

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    The police so far have no suspects or detainees. Militiamen only reported that they managed to find traces of a break-in.

    It is noted that in general the house of the musician costs about 12.6 million dollars. Previously, such incidents have already happened.

    Why life expectancy in America is down again

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    These patterns suggest that while changing social and economic conditions may be one contributing factor in alcohol abuse, drug addiction and suicide, other factors are at work.

    Christopher Ruhm, an economist at the University of Virginia reckons that, over the long term, economic conditions alone explain less than 10% of the increase in drug-mortality rates. He points to the importance of public health efforts to control the opioid epidemic.
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    17-year-old Walmart employee quits over store intercom: ‘Nobody should work here, ever’

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    The teen also claims that Walmart managers attempt to cut costs by reducing full-time associates to part-time workers, something that the behemoth retailer has been accused of in the past. “I’m sick of all the b——-, bogus write-ups and my job,” Racicot concluded. “F— management, f— this job and f—- Walmart.”
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    Truckers Spend the Holidays Driving Too Much for Too Little Pay

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    “You might work a 14-hour day and you only drove 150-200 miles. If you only get paid for the miles, you don’t make anything,” said Wood. “The money is so unpredictable. You could get $400 one week and $65 the next week. You just don’t know.”
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    Britain’s Homeless Crisis

    Under the suffocating shadow of economic austerity, homelessness in Britain is increasing, poverty and inequality deepening. Since the Conservative party came to power via a coalition government in 2010, then as a minority government in 2015, homelessness has risen exponentially.
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    Borrowing From Big Tobacco’s Playbook, Johnson & Johnson Knew About Asbestos in Baby Powder for Decades: Reuters

    A Reuters investigation published Friday charges that Johnson…

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    The authors first of all say that an autopoietic system is a homeostat. We already know what that is: a device for holding a critical systemic variable within physiological limits. They go on the definitive point: in the case of autopoietic homeostasis, the critical variable is the system’s own organization. It does not matter, it seems, wether every measurable property of that organizational structure changes utterly in the system’s process of continuing adaptation. It survives.

    This is a very exciting idea to me for two reasons. In the first place, it solves the problem of identity which two thousand years of philosophy hace succeded only in further confounding. The search for the “it” has lead farther and farther away from anything that common sense could call reality. The “it” of scholasticism is a mythological substance in which anything attested by the senses or testable by science inheres a mere accident — its existence is a matter of faith. The “it” of rationalism is unrealistically schizophrenic, because it is uncompromising in its duality — extended substance and thinking substance. The “it” of empiricism is unrealistically insubstancial and ephemeral at the same time — esse est percipi is by no means the veredict of any experiencing human being.

    The “it” of Kant is the trascendental “thing-in-itself” — an untestable inference, an intelectual gewgaw. As to the “it” of science and technology in the twentieth century world of conspicuous consumption… “it” seems to be no more than the collection of the epiphenomena which marks “it” as consumer or consumed. In this way hardhead materialism seems to make “it” as insubstantial as subjective idealism made it at the turn of the seventeenth century. And this, the very latest, the most down-to-earth, interpretation of “it” the authors explicily refute.

    Their “it” is notified precisely by its survival in a real world. You cannot find it by analysis, because its categories may all have changed since you last looked. There is no need to postulate a mystical something which ensures the preservation of identity despite appareances. The very continuation is “it”. At least, that is my understanding of the author’s thesis — and I note with some glee that this means that Bishop Berkeley got the precisely right argument precisely wrong. He contended that something not being observed goes out of existence. Autopoiesis say that something that exists may turn out to be unrecognizable when you next observe…

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    En mi libro Feels Theory, en su último capítulo, propongo interpretar una dinámica recursiva del raciocinio, donde la propia información que generamos se vuelven los datos que más tarde generarán nueva información. En ese contexto situé una teoría de la verdad en tanto que sentimiento, sensación, o bien “sentido“; y comparé a los sentidos humanos con aquellos componentes de la robótica que se utilizan para captar información del entorno. Allí también me animé a borrar un poco la línea entre lo que consideramos inteligencia o razón y aquello que hacen los animales, y hasta me animé a dejar tímidamente anotada a la voluntad como un límite para la infinita recursividad de nuestra sentimentalidad.

    Pero mi texto no es en absoluto exahustivo, sino más bien algo cercano al boceto. Yo no había leido nada similar a mis ideas por aquel entonces, y recién después de plasmarlas fue que comencé a buscar gente que caminara el mismo camino. Así me crucé con Humberto Maturana, que hoy cito nuevamente, explicando ideas y conceptos mucho más rigurosos que los míos, pero mediante los cuales por momentos parecieramos estar hablando de lo mismo:

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    The cognitive process

    (1) A cognitive system is a system whose organization defined a domain of interactions in which it can act with the relevance of the maintenance of itself, and the process of cognition is the actual (inductive) acting or behaving in this domain. Living systems are cognitive systems, and living as a process is a process of cognition. This statement is valid for all organisms, with and without a nervous system.

    (2) If a cognitive system enters into a cognitive interaction, its internal state is changed in a manner of relevant to its maintenance, and it enters into a new interaction without loss of its identity. In an organism without a nervous system (or its functional equivalent) interactions are of a chemical or physical nature (a molecule is absorbed, and an enzimatic process is initiated; a photon is captured and a step in photosyntesis is carried out). For such and organism the relations holding between the physical events remain outside its domain of interactions. The nervous system enlarges the domain of interactions of the organism by making its internal states also modifiable in a relevan manner by “pure relations”, not only by physical events; the observer sees that the sensors of an animal (say, a cat)…

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    Encuentre las 7 diferencias:

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    (…)
    We had to accept that we could recognize living systems when we encountered them, but that we could not yet say what they were.
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    Yet I obviuosly had some inkling of what the correct answer were, because I rejected the unsatisfactory ones. After several years of this various attempts I realized that the difficulty was both epistemological and linguistic. (…) I had to stop looking at living systems as open systems defined in an environment, and I needed a language that would permit me to describe an autonomous system in a manner that retained autonomy as a feature of the system or entity specified by the description. In other words, any attempt to characterize living systems with notions of purpose or function was doomed to fail because this notions are instrinsically referential and cannot be operationally used to characterize any system as an autonomous entity. Therefore, notions of purpose, goal, use or function, had to be rejected, but initially I did not know how. (…)

    When Jerry Y. Lettvin and I wrote our several articles on frog vision (…), we did it with the implicit assumption that we were handling a clearly defined cognitive situation: there was an objective (absolute) reality, external to the animal, and independent of it (not determined by it), which it would perceive (cognize), and the animal could use the information obtained in its perception to compute a behaviour adequate to the perceived situation. This assumption of ours appeared clearly in our language. We described the various kinds of retinal ganglion cells as feature detectors, and we spoke as detection of prey and enemy. We knew that was not the whole neurophysiological story, as was apparent particularly in the discussion of the article called “Anatomy and Physiology of Vision in the Frog (Rana pipiens)“. But even there the epistemology that guided our thinking and writing was that of an objective reality independent of the observer. Thus, when Samy Frenk and I began to work with pidgeons in 1961, first studying from vision, we aproached that study in the same fundamental view. (…) Yet, when Gabriela Uribe joined us and we in fact began to study color vision in 1964, it soon became apparent to us that that approach leads to deep trouble. Neurophysiologically we did not see anything fundamentally different from what other scholars had already seen. We found the classic types of ganglion cells with…

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    (…)
    Alguna vez Whitehead, el famoso matemático y metafísico inglés de la primera mitad de este siglo, dijo que toda la filosofía occidental no era más que un pie de página de los textos de Platón. De manera mucho menos grandiosa y elegante, lo que yo estoy diciendo es que Platón y Aristóteles se refirieron a problemas que todavía no hemos resuelto y que (como todos los problemas verdaderamente filosóficos) probablemente no tienen solución. En este sentido, la filosofía ha sido caracterizada como la disciplina académica más apta para identificar y definir sus problemas, y al mismo tiempo la más impotente para resolverlos; en la misma vena, también se ha dicho que la filosofía es el basurero de los problemas insolubles del hombre. Siempre he considerado que esta última opinión es muy optimista, porque supone la existencia de otros problemas que el hombre sí puede resolver.
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De Ruy Perez Tamayo, ¿Existe el método científico?

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    Esto aparece en los medios:

Perfil
Infobae
La Nación
Clarín

    Mientras tanto, en cualquier esquina random por la calle:

Defensoría del pueblo - CABA

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    No quedé satisfecho con mi post anterior. Siento que peca de reaccionario, de ignorante, de apurado, y algunas otras faltas menores. Pero lo escribí de una manera u otra, sin filtro, porque también lo siento necesario.

    Dos cosas considero importantes en el acto de escribir (y publicar) de esa manera. El primero, ya lo anoté en mi libro, es la cuestión socioeconómica: tengo la educación que tengo, el tiempo que me queda libre, y mi lugar en la sociedad está bastante acotado y alejado de la reflexión sesuda y superculta. Defiendo hablar de nuestras ideas, y compartirlas, mucho antes que el “tener razón”.

    La segunda, sin embargo, está mucho más determinada por el texto de Meillassoux. Se trata del trabajo intelectual, sus modos, y su rol. Ayer tenía mucho más a mano a Foucault, y por eso lo cité, en esa reflexión sobre la metafísica, que atesoro desde hace años. Pero otra reflexión, que hoy me tomé el tiempo de ubicar, me parece todavía más atinada (y representativa de mi posición frente al tema). Se trata de Rorty, en Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity:

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    We need to get off this seesaw. Davidson helps us do so. For he does not view language as a medium for either expression or representation. So he is able to set aside the idea that both the self and reality have intrinsic natures, natures which are out there waiting to be known. Davidson’s view of language is neither reductionist nor expansionist. It does not, as analytical philosophers sometimes have, purport to give reductive definitions of semantical notions like “truth” or “intentionality” or “reference.” Nor does it resemble Heidegger’s attempt to make language into a kind of divinity, something of which human beings are mere emanations. As Derrida has warned us, such an apotheosis of language is merely a transposed version of the idealists’ apotheosis of consciousness.

    In avoiding both reductionism and expansionism, Davidson resembles Wittgenstein. Both philosophers treat alternative vocabularies as more like alternative tools than like bits of a jigsaw puzzle. To treat them as pieces of a puzzle is to assume that all vocabularies are dispensable, or reducible to other vocabularies, or capable of being united with all other vocabularies in one grand unified super vocabulary. If we avoid this assumption, we shall not be inclined to ask questions like “What is the place of…

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