PreCubist art and time


As an academic outsider, I’ve always been suspicious of the word semiotics, since I’ve only ever seen it used by someone about to commit an act of art criticism. But apparently it has a legitimate use in the annals of philosophy as a way to signify signifying.

Lewis Carrol, in a remarkable feat of clairvoyance, provided a commentary on the semiotics of postmodernism more than a century before it existed in these stanzas from The Hunting of the Snark:

He had bought a large map representing the sea,
  Without the least vest... Read more

Abstract Realism

Learning to count is every child’s first introduction to mathematics. In parallel with learning the order of the words that denote number, the association of number with actual physical objects constitutes the learning target. Put down one block, then put down another block and you have two blocks. Another makes three. Take away two of the blocks and you have one remaining. Thus addition and subtraction are absorbed in a very concrete way.

Take away the last block and you have zero blocks. But wait a minute! What is the concrete representation of zero blocks? You can “see” zero blocks – but how do you know it’s not really zero e... Read more

Still here...

It’s not that often that I can come up with a triple-entendre. So first, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted to this blog, but I’m still here.

Secondly, I’ve just had an interesting experience. I woke up last Monday morning feeling fine. I worked for an hour or so on MetaConnectors, tracking down the cause of a failing test and writing a few more.

Then Carol and I did our morning meditation, and I showered, did my morning exercises, and went downstairs to eat breakfast. With the first few bites of breakfast I started feeling intense stomach pain. I couldn’t eat any more. So I went back upstairs to lie down, thinkin... Read more

Psychic Birds

I saw a presentation a few years ago, at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, which included a video of an investigation that Rupert Sheldrake conducted into a fascinating phenomenon involving an African Gray parrot.

African Grays are very large parrots that are remarkable in a number of ways. They can live to be more than one hundred years old, and are fiercely loyal to their owners. If you own an African Gray, you have a moral responsibility to ensure that it will be inherited by a good owner when you die, since it will very likely outlive you, and to arrange for a long and gradual introductory period between your parrot and its ... Read more

Turtles All the Way Down

“The world rests on the back of a giant turtle.” What does the turtle stand on? “Another turtle.” What does that turtle stand on? “It’s just turtles all the way down!”

If you Google the phrase, you get a lot of references to Stephen Hawking and Bertrand Russell. Great men these may be, but I find the setting up of a straw man by reasoning from a literal interpretation of a mystical concept a bit silly, and strangely akin to the claim some folks make to a belief in a “literal” interpretation of the (old English translation of the Latin translation of the Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic) bible. But then, science as an intolerant religion, an... Read more