What does a critical theorist drive?

In Sheffield, they drive this SUV

D Construction


Quote #239

…unless you saddle yourself with all the problems of making a concrete agent take care of itself in the real world, you will tend to overlook, underestimate, or misconstrue the deepest problems of design

Dan Dennett on the unreliability of simulations and imagination, and hence the need for (a theory-motivated?) robotics (via Tom Walton)


Quote #238

People don’t change, but – if they’re lucky – they get better at being themselves.

Dougald Hine


Quote #237

Yes my little snail climb
up the fujiyama
but slowly slowly

Haiku by Kobayashi Issa, trans. R.H.Blyth and freely retranslated by M.K. (and I put in the line breaks)


I am on twitter

For what it is worth

I’m still trying to work out what it is good for


Quote #236

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

Samuel Beckett, in Worstward Ho


Second-order action slips

An action slip is when, due to a failure of attention, you accidentally perform an action out of context or out of sequence. For example, you pour milk on your toast or you forget to add the tea bag when making a cup of tea. Making action slips is common. Lately I have realised that I also make ‘second order’ action slips. These are where I perform the correct action, or the correct sequence of actions, but in the state of absent-mindedness whereby I might be more likely to make an action slip. I catch myself in the middle of some mundane and appropriate behaviour and with a start think to myself “Oh no what have I done!”. Usually this is during sudden, irreversable actions which would be bad if done out of context, such as urinating on things (ok for toilets, bad for most other things), getting into the shower and turning it on full (ok if clothes off, bad otherwise), pouring boiling water on things (ok for making hot drinks, bad for most foods, pets and family members). Of course with this kind of action I have, so far, always managed to do the right thing, but something about the consequences, and my lack of attention, causes a brief moment of panic. A chasm of intentional vertigo opens up as I ask myself exactly what I’m doing and how I know it is the right thing to do.

File under ‘perils of metacognition’?


links for may 09