A list of some philosophically motivated questions about information.
Information ethics. A lot could be covered in this area. Is there a right to privacy for personal information? Why would such rights exist or not? See David Brin and Transparent Society or not. Creativity and information. Is information a form of property? Why should it be protected by law? Who gets the benefit of information? Emergent behavior and self-organization. Is there any use to asking about the existence of truth in a system of independent agents acting on different types of information?
A confluence of recent readings have reintroduced me to some -archies I was familiar with and introduced some that were new to me.
I’ll begin with holarchy, a term that I’ve recently encountered in [Integral Psychology]() by Ken Wilber. Wikipedia says the term originated with Arthur Koestler. I’ve read parts of his Act of Creation but don’t remember encountering the idea it that work.
Wilber deploys the term to describe the way complex systems nest inside of each other.
I was sitting this afternoon in the coffee shop at Borders. There were about a dozen other people sitting in the shop with me, some of them talking on cell phones, reading, or just drinking coffee and talking to each other. I was reading Integral Psychology by Ken Wilber.
Wilber is an interesting read. His basic method and goal is to integrate the perennial philosophies of the pre-modern world with the psychological advances of the modern world.
Among the many writing projects that I’ve considered pursuing was a series of essays based on gerunds, in English these are nouns formed by adding -ing to the end of verbs. Some examples are falling, reflecting, refracting, wishing, pondering. For example, the essay on falling might have made connections between falling in love, the idea of losing control, the power of gravity, etc. This post isn’t that essay, instead it’s about reflecting, the gerund du jour.
Tonight’s disquisition is a trip down memory lane, following connections as they come. I watched Sunshine State, a film by John Sayles on Friday night. I frequently forget to mention Sayles when someone asks me about my favorite movies or directors. His work is extremely good, but often understated. He almost always uses an ensemble of characters to create a portrait of a particular place at a particular time. Among his best are Matewan and City of Hope.
I recently watched two documentaries, Hell House and Revolution OS, back-to-back and want to offer some insights I noticed about the different notions of choice and freedom that both of these films reveal.
Hell House is about a Halloween display put on by a church in Texas. The display is modeled on a haunted house, but instead of ghosts and goblins, the villain is sin. Of course, sin comes in a very conservative Christianist wrapper.
At this evening’s Socrates’ Cafe we discussed a question I raised: Why do we laugh? As a preface I started things off by asking whether humor is a biological/chemical response and if humor is a universal experience that crosses cultural boundaries. We all seemed to agree that there was a biological and chemical basis for laughter. Animals sometimes seem to have a sense of humor. There is a feeling of euphoria caused by laughter.
On Thursday evening I attended a philosophical discussion group at my local library. The topic for debate was why we censor violence more than we censor sex in America? It resulted in a number of interesting discussions but concluded with an interesting opposition between meliorists and deteriorists, those who think humans can become better than they are and those who think we will always remain animalistic.
One of the debaters, and a regular attender at the cafe, made an argument for the cyclic nature of human history.
top 25 phil journals
Analysis, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Ethics, Journal of Philosophical Logic, Journal of Philosophy, Journal of Symbolic Logic, Linguistics and Philosophy, Mind, Mind and Language, Monist, Nous, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophical Perspectives, Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophical Review, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Philosophy and Public Affairs, Philosophy of Science, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Studia Logica, Synthese.