On the ontology of information

This is a video of Rafael Capurro discussing the ontological life of information in the digital world, from over on BITagora. He seeks to connect the Latin notion of informatio to the form that defines things, and thus connect the modern philosophy of information with some rather more submerged roots in medieval and classical ontology and metaphysics.  It’s in Spanish, but if you turn on captions and translate to English, the essence of what he says can be followed.

Rafael Capurro’s bibliography is here. Lots of fascinating stuff, and well worth investigating.


Oliver Feltham – Alain Badiou: Live Theory

CoverThis is a clear introduction to Badiou, one that is as much as one could hope for with the length and diversity of such a career. It usefully contextualizes Badiou’s previous (Marxist, Maoist) political orientation with regard to his philosophy as both thought and practice. That said, even with (or because of) this, I feel that when it comes to “mature” Badiou as is outlined here, I understand his concept of the event rather more than I do being as he conceives of it within his notorious set-theory ontology. Perhaps it is not a part of the motivating logic of this “Live Theory” series, but a programmatic engagement with some of the texts through which people encounter Badiou (Being and Event, The Logic of Worlds) might be of more help for those (such as myself) who would turn to such a book as this out of a sense of helplessness in being confronted by such monoliths. I turned to the essays (Infinite Thought, Theoretical Writings) when I trudged a hundred pages into Badiou after reading of him in ŽižekThe Ticklesh Subject, only to be brought to an ego-crushing halt. Nevertheless, this book is an achievement on the route to writing such an ideal introductory text as this review is predicated on.

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The central goal of ecological ethics today is to understand not just how beings live, evolve, and die alongside one another, but that there are whole interior worlds of beings living, evolving, and dying alongside one another. There is thus huge value in asking these kinds of speculative questions — questions which imply that “The World” as a hegemonic singular is now in the rearview mirror, left behind in a town called Modernity (which, as it turns out, is a rather pedestrian little suburb sitting alongside a much more immense metropolitan cosmos). What we have instead are multiple interlocking ecological worlds only ever partially available to one another where viruses, symbionts, bacteria, predators, and companion species are obtusely breaking one another open; from a certain perspective the situation looks like an ongoing ontological car-jacking, except the cars, criminals, and victims are constantly turning into one another.

The Rubicon Has Been Crossed, Adam Robbert.

Robbert’s turn of phrase above here is excellent, and like all good uses of analogical language, it leaves the reader’s own potential for thought intact. I just came across this while having a browse of his Knowledge Ecology page, fortuitously at the same time as I am thinking about some contradictions inherent to the object-oriented perspective as articulated by Harman et al. Still haven’t thrown myself into Quentin Meillassoux‘s After Finitude, which has been on my ebook-shelf for a few months now, but I may leave that until I have worked out some of my nascent thoughts on this before somebody else’s analysis blind-sides me into silence.

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