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And/Nand/Or/Nor

And/Nand/Or/Nor

“what Pickering really does is put forward that these cyberneticians (in particular, as opposed to American crowd more occupied with control systems) saw “intelligence” as something not representational (ie, the brain encodes or contains knowledge) but essentially performative. He opens with Walter’s Tortoise, a toy robot that can avoid obstacles, and is attracted by moderate light (and repelled by bright light). A community of Tortoises would have unexpected emergent behaviour. Pickering: The tortoise is our first instantiation of the performative perspective on the brain … the view of the brain as an ‘acting machine’ rather than a ‘thinking machine.’

Pickering comes to present cybernetics as holding a view of intelligence as something that only thinks by doing; something that, even when it follows rules, is not unpredictable so much but can only be calculated or predicted by actually doing its thing. It’s a wonderfully optimistic, re-humanising, uncontrolled, lively, meaty way of seeing and being, which runs so counter to the statistical, predictable, crowd behaviour, goal directed, success/failure and “psychohistorical” perspective we usually take on the world.”

http://interconnected.org/home/2011/05/07/books_read_feb_to_apr_2011

And/Nand/Or/Nor

And/Nand/Or/Nor

“Hold your hand in front of your eye,” she said, “and look at those strange and clever animals with love and gratitude, and tell them out loud: ‘Thank you, Meat.’”

- Bluebeard, Kurt Vonnegut

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