European obstacles

In my last blog post, I described the basic socialist world-view and promised to follow it up with a post explaining why that world-view was so attractive. Then, I got side-tracked. The research programme that I’m working on exploded into a period of prolonged hyper-activity. Along with my colleague Rob Brennan, between January and the…

The great generalisation machine

This is the third and final instalment in my series of articles about the brain and rationality. The first article looked at the troubles encountered by artificial intelligence researchers. The second looked at the complexity of the environment and the complexity of the brain and concluded that any attempt to rationally calculate decisions was entirely…

Navigating an endless ocean of complexity

This is the second instalment of my article about the brain and its capacity for dealing with complexity. The first part looked at some of the early roadblocks encountered by Artificial Intelligence researchers. This article looks at the nature of complexity itself and the brain's architecture.... Alan Turing, one of the greats of computer science,…

The brain of the beast

The journey starts in a plain, unfurnished apartment on the second floor of a high-rise housing complex on 214th and Broadway, Inwood, New York City, a down-at-heel Spanish-speaking neighbourhood just a few hundred metres from the tip of Manhattan Island’s Northern extension. From 214th st, Broadway runs north for six more streets to an old…

Models and their discontents

In order to analyse and understand any type of system, however it may be conceived, it is necessary to understand models, what they are; what you can do with them; and why they are so useful.  This article briefly lays out the basic principles of system modelling in an abstract way.  Although, an abstract discussion…