Is the fundament a vector or raster?

When you zoom into an atom you find that the world of discrete objects blurs. Like a vector image, you see a vast, sprawling monochrome nothingness. Energy perturbations splay in the margins, teetering in their latitudes, quivering and wavering in a state of irresoluteness, waiting to be wrested from their snug perturbation-space by brighter realms.

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Adaptation to the Mean, Angjelin Hila (2018).

Like a kernel, a condensed bundle, the centre relays pressure. A pressure it itself cannot, in the fullness of time, withstand. It has a half-life. It splinters with coruscant catalysis into equilibria of improper subsets. When excitation accretes…


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Why the Internet of Things?

Only a decade ago, the number of devices connected to the internet was less than 1/7th of the world’s population. Today, there are nearly three times as many devices connected to the internet or each other. By and large, the now commonplace buzzphrase the Internet of Things, IoT for short, points to this phenomenon, its scale and implications for industry and everyday life. In many ways, the IoT is an old idea made possible by exponential improvements and efficiencies in communication speeds, data quantities and processing. Increasing the magnitude of information processing enables an environment with more communicating devices than…


Where is humanity headed? Will humanity lose its centrality in a posthuman world? Or will the very idea of being human be forfeited for a hybrid world of cohabiting intelligences?

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Installation art by David Altjmed

Transmutation, Alchemy & the Homunculus

Transformation has been a subject of civilization since at least the advent of language and belief-systems some 200 000 years ago.

Greek, Roman, African, near Eastern and East Asian mythology, among others, abound with beings betwixt human and beast. …


A quick survey of the history of physics from Newton to the Standard Model, its triumph with the discovery of the Higgs Boson, and remaining unresolved questions

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Representation of Higgs particle disintegrating

Since antiquity, humans have pondered the composition of the material world around us. Aristotle claimed that everything is a combination of earth, water, air, and fire. Yet others claimed that everything is made up of indivisible units called atoms. These views remained speculation until very recently. The period between the Renaissance and the seventeenth century launched the scientific revolution. A new theory of the heavenly spheres placed the sun rather than the earth…


How the cheerleaders of capitalism co-opt wisdom and life’s most profound pleasures to hone you into their instrument.

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“People” by Lee Ung-no

How-to articles have an inherent appeal because they promise practical value. Even more so when they are packaged in short, list-form format that get straight to the point and seem to deliver the goods without frills. There’s something to be said about such matter-of-fact instructions. After all, most popular articles on medium come bearing these qualities, garner the most claps, readers, and admirers.

Above all else, we want the most amount of good for the least amount effort. We want to consume…


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The philosopher Willard Orman Quine.

“To be is to be the value of a bound variable.” (Quine 1948)

“ ‘Phenomena’ are the totality of what lies in the light of day or can be brought to the light” (Heidegger 1927)

Quine and Ontology

Already, these two sentences announce two very different orientations toward the question of being, the question of what is there.

Echoing the broader empiricist and narrower logical positivist traditions from which he springs, Quine cushions being in set-theoretical terms.

To unpack the above slogan, a variable x becomes bound under some predication, such as x is a person, where the predicate ‘is a person’ is…


How our attitude determines what the world reveals to us

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Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan, 1959. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

The Divine

On August 15, 1945, Japan surrendered to the allies, having suffered a devastating defeat in the deadliest conflict in human history. The detonation of two nuclear weapons on the towns of Hiroshima and Nagasaki some days prior by the United States resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths. On January 1, Emperor Hirohito, descendant of the Goddess Amaterasu, Heavenly Sovereign, embodiment of the essence of the Japanese nation and representative of its body politic, renounced his divinity.

Whether Hirohito, and the lineage of Emperors preceding him, were God incarnate in…


How philosophical insights can guide the field of artificial intelligence

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Futuristic woman. Image by Icons8 Team.

The Cognitive Revolution

The prospect of genuine artificial intelligence has circulated in the popular consciousness since at least the advent of mainframe computers in the 1960s, but the feverish enthusiasm of the 1970s and 1980s soon petered out when the scientific community came face-to-face with a problem that has preoccupied philosophers for centuries: the problem of consciousness.

That consciousness should be in the radius of scientific inquiry at all had been taboo. …


Can we really get outside of ourselves? A quasi academic exploration of the idea of anxiety in and beyond Heidegger and how it squares with computational and functional theories of mind

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The philosopher, Martin Heidegger

“Readiness for anxiety is a Yes to assuming a stance that fulfills the highest claim, a claim that is made upon the human essence alone. Of all beings, only the human being, called upon by the voice of being, experiences the wonder of all wonders: that beings are.”

— Martin Heidegger, Postscript to What is Metaphysics (1929)

“No matter how a program twists and turns to get out of…


What about humans distinguishes them from other species? What explains the acceleration of human culture, and thereby a fundamental openness in modifying our environment and ourselves?

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Picasso, Bull Plate VI

The advent of science as well as modern political organization during the 16th and 17th centuries Europe mutually benefited from analogizing the concept of law within each other’s domains. When Hobbes speaks of natural law in the Leviathan in order to arrive at the relative equality of all humans, he means something similar to Galileo’s ‘all bodies fall at the same rate’, but in the domain of human activity. That is to say, law…

Angjelin Hila

Writer, philosopher, visual artist. Passionate about philosophy, cognitive science, complex systems, physics, visual art and literature. angjelinhila.com

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