What is a Simulation?

While reading Paul Rosenbloom’s outstanding book “On Computing” I came across an interesting question: what is a simulation, and how is it different from an implementation? I posed this question on Facebook and, thanks to the superlative quality of my HiveMind I had a productive back-and-forth which helped me nail down a tentative answer. Here it is: […]

Does Biology Drive ‘Pebble Formation’ in Ideologies?

In ‘pebble form ideologies‘ I advanced the idea that over time information topologies degrade into much smaller ‘pebble forms’ which are are recognizably religious in nature, and I stipulated that part of what drives this process are ‘religion-shaped grooves’ worn deep into mammalian nervous systems. Elsewhere a commenter challenged this notion, questioning why I invoked biology as an […]

Pebble Form Ideologies

(Epistemic Status: Riffing on an interesting thought in a Facebook comments thread, mostly just speculation without any citations to actual research) My friend Jeffrey Biles — who is an indefatigable fountainhead of interesting stuff to think about — recently posited that the modern world’s aversion to traditional religion has exerted a selection pressure on meme vectors which has […]

Profundis: “Rapt”

Winifred Gallagher’s “Rapt” is a breezy, uplifting treatise on attention — that prism through which the light of experience is filtered, refracted, and bent. In an age that finds us buried 140 characters at a time, knowing how this vital process works is paramount for anyone seeking to live better by getting outside their own head. The […]