philosophy politics psychology

Meedya is the muddle

Pondering the following quote which I saw on Facebook today. The irony of that sentence isn’t lost on me 🙂

“All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values.” – Marshall McLuhan.

It puzzles me that many otherwise intelligent people argue that the Internet has democratised media and so the above could not be true in the current age.  In reality, media companies are aggregated and conglomerated like never before – they are owned by rich media czars. It’s certainly true that the mechanisms for news distribution have been democratised and are now much more affordable thanks to social media and web publishing software. However, what people talk about is determined by mainstream media. We retweet, repost, add colour to and debate the topics that we’re encouraged to believe are important. Whether’s it’s “shirt gate” or Adele not singing on Bandaid30, it’s all such rubbish. Often mesmerisingly trivial banalities dressed up with complicated ideological arguments to suggest it’s something more important.

philosophy technology


In early 2006, myself and my girlfriend of 1 year (now nearly 7 years) watched Steve Jobs Stanford commencement address on youtube. I remember showing it to her as I’d found it to be a deeply moving speech. It was often said of Steve Jobs that he knew what we wanted to buy before we knew it ourselves. Well, here, he knew what most of us want to say but are too afraid to acknowledge. Several years later those simple words resonate louder but the courage to follow the road less traveled is something few of us really have. But life is short and nobody ever did anything truly worthwhile or satisfying without commitment, dedication and stubborn desire.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steven Paul Jobs, 1955-2011

philosophy science

random stuff

Thanks to my colleague Brendan Jennings I’m now spending an unhealthy amount of time considering whether a random number generator would have to be tested over an enumerably or unenumerably infinite period of time to be proven truly random. When you leave behind the notion of statistically useful levels of randomness, <b>”random”</b> becomes an ideal. Random? is one of the biggest questions imaginable, predicated on a perhaps-impossible absolute comprehension of relativity, quantum effects, determinism, free-will, the origins of life and the universe itself.

I’ll never take

java.util.Random generator = new java.util.Random();

for granted again.