Archive for March, 2006

Complexity Theory and Philosophy

I’ve been delving into explanations of Gilles Deleuze’s work by Manuel DeLanda (Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy) as well as Bonta and Protevi (Deleuze and Geophilosophy:  A Guide and Glossary).  These help to make his difficult work understandable, and having read SciAm articles on attractors and chaos theory and complexity theory has helped to follow the connection between these fields and the work that Deleuze (including his collaborations with Guattari) has done in the past.  I’ve been reading Deleuze and Guattari for over 15 years now and sensed that they were doing what I’ve been pursuing all along–trying to derive philosophy from contemporary physics and mathematics–but never has it been more clear that this is the case than when I read DeLanda (and, following in his footsteps, the geographers Bonta and Protevi). 

I am more convinced now of the central importance of Deleuze in contemporary philosophy

21 March 2006 at 12:40 pm 2 comments

The Tipping Point

I’ve been away visiting Ireland and so haven’t posted for a while. Didn’t get much reading done as I was criss-crossing Ireland and tracking down family members–1st, 2nd, and even 3rd cousins. Upon returning, I started to read Gladwell’s The Tipping Point today. He speaks of the viral properties of fads and trends, analyzing what causes ideas (memes!) to spread: “Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do” (7).

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know I’m interested in tracing the flow of energy from source (sun) on its passage through matter (plants, food, nutrition-calories) and into our brains. I want to conceptualize what happens in our brains as a form of energy usage, and what happens among humans (communications) as a form of energy flow, with varying efficiency and work. With this in mind, Tipping Point becomes a very interesting source to identify what happens at the interface of two human beings. Gladwell in effect identifies the characteristics of efficient energy transfer when he speaks of “connectors” who are hubs linked to numerous contacts (via “the strength of weak ties”) and who as a result make themselves conduits for the transfer of messages. Brain activity as kinetic energy; memory as potential energy: the whitehot electric milk of brain storms. . . .

2 March 2006 at 2:21 am Leave a comment

March 2006
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