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Which clippings match 'Reductionism' keyword pg.1 of 2
07 MARCH 2014

Artist's spoof Ladybird book provokes wrath of Penguin

"An artist and comedian [Miriam Elia] has been told by the publisher Penguin that her new satirical art book breaches its copyright, and if she continues to sell copies it could use the courts to seize the books and have them pulped. ...

Elia's version sees them visiting an exhibition at a modern art gallery and grappling with existential questions about the nature of Tracey Emin–style conceptualist work, much of it peppered with distinctly adult imagery."

(Gareth Rubin, 2 March 2014, The Guardian)
















1950s2014adult imageryart and designart galleryart gallery experienceartistartworkballoonballoon dog • Balloon Dog (Orange) • book illustrationBritish artcanvaschildrens bookchildrens book illustrationconceptual artcontemporary artcontemporary art exhibitionscopyright • crucifix • empty room • feminist parodygod • God is dead • guiltinflatable • Jane • Jeff Koons • Ladybird Book • minimalist art • Miriam Elia • modern artmother • Mummy • NietzschenihilismparodyPenguin Random Housepenis • personal sacrifice • Peter • prettyreductionism • sacrifice • satiresexTate ModernThe GuardianTracey EminUKvagina • We Go To The Gallery (book)


Simon Perkins
02 MARCH 2014

TED: simply toying with risk so as to re-affirm the comfortable?

"We hear that not only is change accelerating but that the pace of change is accelerating as well. While this is true of computational carrying–capacity at a planetary level, at the same time ––and in fact the two are connected–– we are also in a moment of cultural de–acceleration. We invest our energy in futuristic information technologies, including our cars, but drive them home to kitsch architecture copied from the 18th century. The future on offer is one in which everything changes, so long as everything stays the same. We'll have Google Glass, but still also business casual. This timidity is our path to the future? No, this is incredibly conservative, and there is no reason to think that more Gigaflops will inoculate us. Because, if a problem is in fact endemic to a system, then the exponential effects of Moore's Law also serve to amplify what's broken. It is more computation along the wrong curve, and I don't think this is necessarily a triumph of reason. Part of my work explores deep technocultural shifts, from post–humanism to the post–anthropocene, but TED's version has too much faith in technology, and not nearly enough commitment to technology. It is placebo technoradicalism, toying with risk so as to re–affirm the comfortable. So our machines get smarter and we get stupider. But it doesn't have to be like that. Both can be much more intelligent. Another futurism is possible."

(Benjamin Bratton, 20 December 2013)



2013 • American Idol (reality television) • astrophysics • Benjamin Bratton • bright futures • business casual • California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology • call to actioncommunicate to the massescomplex issuescomplexitycultural changecultural transformation • design and geopoltics • egalitarian utopia • epiphany • epiphimony • frightening problems • Google Glass • information technology • infotainment • insight and realisation • intellectual viability • kitsch architecture • Kony2012meaningful ideas • middlebrow megachurch infotainment • moment of wonder • oversimplificationpersonal journeypersonal revelationpersonal story • personal testimony • placebo innovation • placebo medicine • placebo politics • placebo science • placebo technoradicalism • popularisation • re-affirm the comfortable • reductionism • rhetorical device • San Diego • smart people • smart things • swallowed without chewing • technological determinismtechnology and culturetechnology innovationTED Talks • toying with risk • triumphs and tribulations • University of California • vicarious insight • world-changing ideas


Simon Perkins
29 JANUARY 2012

The Empathic Civilisation: our (collective) empathetic consciousness

"Never has the world seemed so completely united–in the form of communication, commerce, and culture–and so savagely torn apart–in the form of war, financial meltdown, global warming, and even the migration of diseases. ...

The human–made environment is rapidly morphing into a global space, yet our existing modes of consciousness are structured for earlier eras of history, which are just as quickly fading away. Humanity, Rifkin argues, finds itself on the cusp of its greatest experiment to date: refashioning human consciousness so that human beings can mutually live and flourish in the new globalizing society…

As the forces of globalization accelerate, deepen, and become ever more complex, the older faith–based and rational forms of consciousness are likely to become stressed, and even dangerous, as they attempt to navigate a world increasingly beyond their reach and control. Indeed, the emergence of this empathetic consciousness has implications for the future that will likely be as profound and far–reaching as when Enlightenment philosophers upended faith–based consciousness with the canon of reason."

(Jeremy Rifkin)

[A noble effort to explain the consequences of post–traditional society framed through a biological deterministic lens.]



biological determinism • blood-ties • civilisationcollective consciousness • collective resources • earlier eras • empathetic consciousness • empathic sociability • empathy • emphatic development • European Enlightenmentevolutionary determinism • evolutionary psychology • evolutionary theoryexistentialismfaith • faith-based consciousness • globalisationglobalising society • globalising world • glocalhuman beingshuman consciousnesshuman narrative • human race • human-made environment • humanity • Jeremy Rifkin • man made • modes of consciousness • narcissismpost-traditionalpost-traditional society • rational forms of consciousness • reductionismreductionist perspectiveRSA Animateselfhoodsocialisationthe past • think globally and act locally


Simon Perkins
15 MAY 2011

Multimedia's peculiar nature challenges traditional categories; this in itself is an aspect of its radical character

"In the wake of post–modernist practice, computer–based media has resisted definition –– and for good reason: definitions are confining. They reduce the range of potential in the object defined by drawing attention away from what lies outside the wall of definition. This is a particular concern with new media, because one of its attractions is its fluid, multifarious character, its permeable walls. Digital media's peculiar nature challenges traditional categories; this in itself is an aspect of its radical character. But there is value in proposing and discussing alternative definitions of digital media –– even if these definitions are contingent, bracketed by circumstances. In fact, it may be best to regard them as contingent, because our experience with digital media is so fresh, and where it leads so unclear. The definitions of today will inevitably be replaced tomorrow, as new applications for digital media emerge over time. Definitions are meant to establish a shared vocabulary that can focus argument –– and often, covertly, to achieve a politically motivated purpose. The purpose of our project is overt: If, as Marshall McLuhan suggests, we literally construct the world we inhabit through the design and deployment of our media technologies –– because they enable certain behaviors while discouraging others –– then the social and political ramifications of how we define and address the emerging digital media are undeniable. By identifying a subject's key characteristics, we begin to say what it is and what it is not. For digital media this is particularly critical; if the digital arts community does not lead the discussion about how to define digital multimedia, and the types of behaviors it should or shouldn't encourage, other interests, like governments and corporations, will force a definition upon us."

(Ken Jordan, 2002)

Fig.1 'The Apple–1 Computer customised with an after–market wooden enclosure with carved name and keyboard'

2). Ken Jordan (2002). 'Defining Multimedia'



2002 • alternative definitions • Apple • bracketed by circumstances • categorisationcomputer-based mediacontingentcultural technologydefinitionsdesigndigital arts • digital arts community • digital mediadigital multimedia • emergence • emerging digital mediaenabling behaviours • fluidity • hybrid form • Ken Jordan • Marshall McLuhanmedia technologiesmedium • multi-media • multifarious character • multimediamutable • Nettime • new digital media applications • new media • permeable • post-modernist practice • Postmodern • radical character • Randall Packer • reductionism • shared vocabulary


Simon Perkins
12 MARCH 2011

Scientists revise their criteria of rationality as they enter new domains

"The conventional model of science, technology and society locates sources of violence in politics and ethics, that is, in the application of science and technology, not in scientific knowledge itself.

The fact–value dichotomy is a creation of modern, reductionist science which, while being an epistemic response to a particular set of values, claims to be independent of values. According to the received view, modern science is the discovery of the properties of nature in accordance with a 'scientific method' which generates 'objective', 'neutral', 'universal' knowledge. This view of modern science as a description of reality as it is, unprejudiced by value, can be rejected on at least four grounds.

All knowledge, including modern scientific knowledge, is built through the use of a plurality of methodologies. As Feyerabend observes:

There is no 'scientific method'; there is no single procedure, or set of rules that underlines every piece of research and guarantees that it is 'scientific' and, therefore, trustworthy. The idea of a universal and stable method that is an unchanging measure of adequacy and even the idea of a universal and stable rationality is as unrealistic as the idea of a universal and stable measuring instrument that measures any magnitude, no matter what the circumstances. Scientists revise their standards, their procedures, their criteria of rationality as they move along and perhaps entirely replace their theories and their instruments as they move along and enter new domains of research (Feyerband, 1978, p. 98).

The view that science is just a discovery of facts about nature does not get support from philosophy either. If scientific knowledge is assumed to give true, factual knowledge of 'reality as it is', then we would have to 'conclude that Newtonian theory was true until around 1900, after which it suddenly became false, while relativity and quantum theories became the truth' (Bohm, 1981, p. 4)."

(Vandana Shiva, 1990)

1). Shiva, V. (1990). 'Reductionist science as epistemological violence'. 'Science, Hegemony and Violence: A Requiem for Modernity'. A. Nandy, Oxford University Press: 314.

Paul Feyerabend, Science in a Free Society (London: New Left Books, 1978).

David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1981).


analytical thinkingCartesiancultural valuesdescription of realitydiscoursediscoverydiscursive fieldepistemologyethicsfactual knowledgehierarchy of legitimacyIsaac Newtonknowledge • logical-analytical • logical-analytical paradigmmeasuring instrument • model of science • Modernmodern science • modern scientific knowledge • myth of neutralityobjectiveobjective reality • Paul Feyerband • plurality of methodologies • positivismproperties of naturerationalityreductionism • reductionist science • researchresearch methodsciencescientific knowledgescientific method • scientific options • sociology • stable knowledge • stable rationality • theorytraditiontrust • trustworthy • truthuniversal • universal knowledge • universal methoduniversal rationalityVandana Shiva


Simon Perkins

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