Monday, 30 May 2011

AWOBMOLG: Perhaps not doomed, but probably pointless, liveblog 2

Since last week's liveblog worked OK, I'm going to give it another go tonight. I'm quite looking forward to a critique of the idea of an ecosystem, personally.

21:03 Interesting start - mainly for the wonderful archival footage Curtis always finds.

21:03 Will this lead on to a criticism of the ideas of neural networking?

21:05 Ecosystems are definitely not my area of expertise, but it is interesting to compare the idea of equilibrium to Darwin's understanding of a war for survival, constantly being waged and with huge, geometrical, losses for each species.

21:07 It seems that Forrester is attempting to capture the very dynamics that Curtis is concerned with illuminating.

21:07 Ah, except that he seems to be positing a universal law not just of systems but of the existence of systems. This seems on the face of it to be a bit of a stretch.

21:10 This is giving me the urge to re-read some of that Churchland stuff I was bored rigid by 10 years ago... (url added)

21:14 I like the way Curtis always assumes that his audience is capable of understanding science without explaining it in breathless Brian Cox-stuff.

21:16 Yay for Buckminster-Fuller! Will there be a mention of C60, I wonder?

21:18 He's right about 'spaceship Earth' in some fundamental respects of course.

21:19 Oh, is that what Clarke was on about in his godsawful Rama series? Rama linky added.

21:21 Hm, an old hippy friend told me that I was born too late and I should've been a student in the 60s. He may have been right, though since (cheers, hindsight!) it was doomed maybe it's better that I wasn't.

21:25 How awesome is this? Video windows, mice and everything! This reminds me of a TED talk - I'll see if I can find it...

21:30 I'll look for it later - distracted from doc now!

21:31 Just think about the maths required for that model - incredible. Humans are wonderful.

21:37 Initial thought on the ecosystem as natural Toryism - if you've not read Richard Seymour's The Liberal Defence of Murder, I recommend you get hold of it - imperialism is subsumed into ideas far more frequently than it often appears on the surface...

21:43 I remember at school being told that this was how nature worked - natural systems that balnce over time. David Attenborough's Life on Earth is a good antidote to this.

21:48 Looking at the Twitter feed, what a lot of people seem to be forgetting is that Curtis likes to present a thesis. He may not be correct in all his assertions, but he is doing what no other mainstream documentarists are doing at the moment - presenting an intellectual argument as an intellectual argument and forcing you to engage with his ideas. His continual insistence on exposing the narratives elites and other influential groups tell themselves and the world rather than showing his own views or asserting a truth (other than that the universe is stranger than you expect) is what makes him remarkable.

21:52 *cough* NED *cough*

21:53 Also, vets often put holes into ruminants' stomachs - when you've got 4 stomachs there's lots of stuff to go wrong. Not as weird as it looks.

21:55 Curtis talked about this problem with communes in his Graun interview the other week.

21:59 Did I miss the thing about part 3? I thought this was a 3 parter!

UPDATE: Here's that TED talk, Sixth Sense Tech...

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