Is artificial intelligence an extension of who we are, an amplification and quickening of human powers? Or is it the next stage of evolution, and the emergence of a new level of consciousness? That question is central to the unfolding of my novel in progress, Eh? I?.
Continue reading “CPU Genesis? A new creation story?” →
Robi’s first entry into his Audio Journal suggests he might not be who he thought he was the day before. Look up posts in the Eh? I? category to find out more about who or what Robi is becoming, and the increasingly dysfunctional, dystopian world he’s spiralling into. If you want to follow Robi’s unravelling, visit my contact page and choose your mode.
It’s hard to write speculative, dystopian fiction without sounding alarmist, preachy or inauthentic. Am I overstating the concerns people should have about the future as it’s unfolding? Making the narrative too abstract and detached for the sake of the all-important message I want to deliver, and thus defeating the very purpose of weaving complex themes into fiction? Or – worst of all – am I exaggerating for the sake of adding dramatic tension and effects to a novel that doesn’t really have anything socially relevant to say?
‘I used to study philosophy in the hopes of achieving certainty; now I am intent on making sense of the uncertainty…’
Indexing my journal, I sometimes come across entries that make me wonder: ‘Who the heck do I think I am?’
Being of a philosophical bent, I am putting together an annotated ‘Table of Contents‘ mapping my disjointed thoughts. Eventually I hope to make this the framework of a twisted introspective-extroverted amble titled, you guessed it, Out of Bounds: The Fiction of Philosophy.
For days now I have been trying to comprehend the meaning of Hurssel’s ‘epoché’. I still don’t have a confident grasp of the process, and do not even know if my understanding in any way matches what he intended. But a sense, useful to a searcher, coalesced this morning into breathtaking focus.
Starting from his notion of ‘bracketing’ or suspending our ‘presuppositions’ surrounding sensory data I am reminded that:
Sense experiences are simple and immediate;
The five senses are separate and distinct;
Sensory data is fundamental to our notion of time, as time is essential to the interpretation of sense data.
The implications of these rather obvious premises intrigue me. Even before following through with them, I can see they place me on the threshold of a paradigm shift. Things get even more delightfully precarious when I cross reference the reality of my version of epoché with my previously adopted schemata of the four aspects of human consciousness – the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual.
This combined perspective on being reveals a rich, meaningful, exciting philosophical framework, which will be a background element of my literary development and exploration from now on.
There are no words to adequately describe the inhumane behaviour of a group of men whose job it was to round up for slaughter a flock of ‘free run’ chickens in a Fraser Valley barn this week. Heartless, cruel and stupid will have to do.
But after we’ve tried to make ourselves feel a little better about being homo sapiens by expressing our outrage, we have to ask the same question SPCA animal welfare specialist Geoff Urton posed: “Why are these people abusing these animals in the first place? … There’s a fundamental disrespect for animals,” he said. “These workers need to see that these are living things that are capable of suffering.”
I joined a secular humanist society here in B.C. hoping to find some kindred spirits; got tired of all the ranting and railing against Christianity and let the connection lapse.
But the experience reminded me of a couple of things. First, praying still has its place in our world. I pray all the time… to my fellow humans, hoping they will embrace more humane ways and learn to enjoy the beauty of this planet we share; to flowers for growing, and bees for pollinating, and seeds for germinating; to dogs for being dogs; to those closest to me and all around me to fulfill themselves in loving, meaningful ways.
Second, humanity has gone through many stages as consciousness unfolding in this universe, belief in gods of one form or another among them. Without those previous stages – including Christianity, paganism, Islam, the fabulous cave art of Altamira – our current belief in science would never have manifested. We’d still be sleeping in trees at night praying not to become the prey of the magnificent saber toothed tigers lurking down there on the forest floor.
Continue reading “Does secular humanism have anything positive to say?” →