[ExI] Linguistic shifts

Darren Greer darren.greer3 at gmail.com
Tue Dec 21 23:32:48 UTC 2010

Natasha wrote:

>once said to me to be careful about intentionality<

I'm not sure if this is how your thesis advisor meant it, but the brilliant
(in my opinion) scientist and social activist Canadian David Suzuki was once
talking about scientific research grants, and how the phenomenon of focussed
intentionality based on predetermined objectives often required for
preliminary funding can blind us to the serendipitous, which was once, and
still should be, the heart and soul of scientific discovery.  Scientific
method aside, it is often the failure of a hypothesis in an experiment that
leads to the billion dollar insights.  No? I can't see anyone funding
Einstein's initial insight -- that if if he were on a tram that was in turn
riding a light beam away from the town clock, that at no point during his
journey would the second hand ever advance a single iota. Intentionality
requires an outcome, and the best ideas don't presuppose an outcome, but
just deal in circumstance and let the outcome take care itself.

Just a thought. I'm also a little drunk. I rarely drink but just came back
from a Christmas party. So I may wake up tomorrow and regret this post. :)


On Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 6:26 PM, <natasha at natasha.cc> wrote:

> Quoting Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se>:
>  I like the idea of developing useful subsets of languages. The problem
>> is figuring out when you are encountering them. Philosophese often
>> sounds like slightly stilted English, but some words are entire rabbit
>> holes of strangeness (case in point: intentionality). Maybe we should
>> have markers indicating when we get into a special domain.
> Let's talk about intentionality. [Roy Ascott, my PhD advisor (who you will
> meet at the upcoming neuro/media-arts conference at the University of
> Plymouth), once said to me to be careful about intentionality.  I still
> don't really know what he meant. Husserl, Bretano, Dennett, etc. ... ?]
> I wasn't sure if Roy was criticizing my view about life extension being a
> result of human survival instinct, as if I was making an "aboutness" about
> human nature and purpose, or if he was saying criticizing my transhumanist
> views in reference to the mind as a construct of the brain.
> In your view, how would intentionality come into play in the philosophy of
> transhumanism and also in the domain of human enhancement / life
> prolongation?
> Natasha
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*"Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines."
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