• AMMDI is an open-notebook hypertext writing experiment, authored by Mike Travers aka mtraven. It's a work in progress and some parts are more polished than others. Comments welcome! More.
Incoming links
from The Selfish Gene
  • book by Richard Dawkins and a well-known example of agential refactoring. What the title means is not that genes are selfish in a moral sense, we can't judge them, they are SELFish in the sense of being the real units of natural selection, that is, they are effectively agential.
from Coen brothers
  • The Coen Brothers: This book Really Ties the Films Together, Alan Nayman
from Denial of Death
  • Famous book by Ernest Becker
from Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction
  • book by Simon Critchley. I love this series, perfect for amateurs like me to get up to speed in an area. Especially for something like continental philosophy which is a field rife with snobbery, this book aims to make it accessible.
from Patterns of Software
  • book by Richard Gabriel, a lisp guy although this book has very little actual Lisp in it.
from 2666
  • book by Robert Bolaño
from White Noise
from Ægypt
  • book by John Crowley, largely about alchemy and Magic. Part of a four-volume series; I have not read the rest.
from anti-purpose
  • A book with the thesis that goals are best achieved indirectly. The author has a business background and a lot of the stories are about how companies with core real-world values often outperform those that are more explicitly motivated by profit.
from All Things Shining
from Human Compatible
from goddinpotty/TODOs
  • Bare tags (like book in a line) should not render themselves in text. They should maybe appear as tags since that's what they are, or even trigger css variations or big icons to create some visual differentiation of the sea of pages.
    • Not quite sure what I meant by that
from The Ministry for the Future
from Seeing Things as They Are: A Theory of Perception
  • book by John Searle. He's really the anti-Minsky isn't he? Just wrong-headed about everything, in a useless way (unlike Dreyfus whose critique of AI is actually good for something). But I should stretch myself! What if Searle's POV is not valueless, just because it goes against the grain of my naturalist training?
    • I believe the worst [philosophical] mistake of all is the cluster of views known as Dualism, Materialism, Monism, Functionalism, Behaviorism, Idealism, the Identity Theory, etc. The idea these theories all have in common is that there is some special problem about the relation of the mind to the body, consciousness to the brain, and in their fixation on the illusion that there is a problem, philosophers have fastened onto different solutions to the problem
    • That actually sounds perfectly sensible? I am happy to consider those all as different aspects of the same bad idea.
    • This mistake goes back to the Ancients, but it has received its most famous exposition by Descartes in the seventeenth century, and has continued right through to the present mistakes such as the contemporary Computational Theory of Mind, Functionalism, Property Dualism, Behaviorism, etc.
    • OK, well, here is the difference, computationalists think they have overcome dualism, Searle sees it as just another manifestation of dualism. He has a bit of a point.
    • A mistake of nearly as great a magnitude overwhelmed our tradition in the seventeenth century and after, and it is the mistake of supposing that we never directly perceive objects and states of affairs in the world, but directly perceive only our subjective experiences.
    • This, OTOH, seems utterly confused, not even wrong, senseless. What could it even mean?
    • He advocates something he calls Direct Realism – and I assume he doesn't deny the reality of, say the neurobiology of vision, so he must mean that all that machinery doesn't matter somehow? I don't get it (to be fair I have only very lightly skimmed the book, which seems pretty tedious).
    • There's hits of antirepresentationalism, which I will give a bit more credit to (although antirepresentationalism seems just as confused as representationalism). But I suspect that Searle's picture of what it is to be an intelligent agent is just completely different from mine.
    • Here's a take: To the extent the self is solid and real, direct perception is a thing. A normal self perceives a tree "directly" without being aware of the underlying machinery. A cognitive scientist can call attention to it, but to what end? Describing the signals and sensors and filters and computations might be very interesting, but doesn't address actual experience, which is what he and most people care about.
from Magister Ludi
  • book by Herman Hesse
from Vehicles
  • Nifty little book by Valentino Braitenberg that outlines the construction of a series of artificial creatures, each illustrating a more complex cybernetic dynamic.
from Dig
from The Dominion of the Dead
  • book by Robert Pogue, recommended on WS Discord
from Purposive Explanation in Psychology
  • book by Margaret Boden, 1971
from Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
  • book by Gershom Scholem, cited in MotT and I actually have a copy.
from Drunk
from Technic and Magic
  • book by Federico Campagna, via Weird Studies. Posits two contrasting "cosmogonic forces"; Technic, which dominates today's world, and Magic, an alternative approach to reality that is supposed to be liberatory or at least not subject to Technic's flaws, which include being ultimately self-destructive of the very reality it attempts to construct.
from Out of Control
  • book by Kevin Kelly about autonomous life machines (his later book What Technology Wants has similar themes). I find these works somewhat irritating and I'm not sure why; probably because they are facile pop treatments of the same themes I'm interested in.
from The Software Arts
  • book by Warren Sack that applies the methods of literary criticism to software.
from Survival in Auschwitz
from A Memory Called Empire
  • book by Arkady Martine; winner of the 2020 Hugo Award for best novel
from LWMap/A Map That Reflects the Territory
  • The Rationalism community has packaged up some of the best of LessWrong into book form, and when I saw that one of the five focus topics was agency I could not resist asking for a review copy, that being something of a pet subject of mine. Now I have to follow through with a review, and I'm taking the opportunity to also completely rebuild my writing and publishing stack.
from I Am You
  • book by Daniel Kolak that attempts to show that there is exactly on person that we are all variations of. An extreme form of reincarnation theory, although also its inevitable conclusion. Reincarnation + Solipsism.
from Occult Features of Anarchism
  • book by Erica Lagalisse
from Finite and Infinite Games
  • Finite and Infinite Games is a little book by James Carse that has a bit of a cult following. Well-deserved in my opinion!
from Blood Meridian
from The Jewish Century
  • book by Yuri Slezkine, I feel this book had a huge influence on me, its point of view revealed so much about the world. I'm probably giving it too much credit and I'm sure it has severe critics.
from Good and Real
  • book by Gary Drescher. Full title: Good and Real: Demystifying Paradoxes from Physics to Ethics. Full PDF
from Many Dimensional Man
  • 1977 book by James Ogilvy, heavily blurbed by Stewart Brand. Full title: Many Dimensional Man: Decentralizing Self, Society, and the Sacred. Very much about agency; and obviously taking off from Marcuse's One-Dimensional Man.
from Don Delillo
  • A strange book in which the main character seems to be language itself. All the characters in the book sound almost the same...but maybe that's intentional, to show that we are all puppets manipulated by the same global language mind, the machinery which makes us go, which we can now see because it is starting to malfunction.
from Free Play
  • book by Stephen Nachmanovitch
from Marvin Minsky/Society of Mind
from Thoughts Without a Thinker
  • book by Mark Epstein, basically a join between Buddhism and psychotherapy.
from Fearful Symmetry
from Old Gods New Enigmas
from Infinite Jest
  • book, not just any book but the defining novel of a certain time and sensibility. I used to live in the area of Boston (Allston/Brighton) where the Enfield Tennis Academy was supposed to be, and many other of my Boston haunts appear, including the MIT Student Center (“gutted with C4 during the so-called MIT Language Riots of twelve years past”).
from Infinitely Demanding
from Explaining Hitler
  • book by Ron Rosenbaum
from On Purpose
  • Notes on the book by Michael Ruse

from SICP
from I Contain Multitudes
from Life: A User's Manual
  • A novel by Georges Perec book
from William Gibson
  • His last book was entitled Agency (a hot topic I guess). It and its predecessor The Peripheral take place in a set of joined worlds, but in the real one it is a few hundred years hence when the world is rebuilding after a nebulous event called The Jackpot which brought down most of human civilization.
from Distraction
  • book by Bruce Sterling
    • Takes place in near future (2045?) world of mostly-collapsed political order
    • Protagonist: Oscar, a slick independent political operative
    • Most of the action involves his soft takeover of a government science lab in East Texas
    • Oscar falls in with Greta, a neurologist who just wants to do science
    • Opposed by a lunatic Huey Long-esque governor of Louisiana (evil biohacking)
    • The boldness of Distraction is that it imagines a collapsing America that still feels livable.
from Telling the American Story
from Trying not to Try
  • book by Edward Slingerland. An examination of Wu Wei, contextualizing it within the space of Chinese philosophy (Confucianism, Moism as well as Taoism) and connecting it to neuroscience concepts, specifically the distinction between hot and cold cognition, aka System 1/2.
from Computer Power and Human Reason
  • book by Joseph Weizenbaum
from Living in Data
  • book by Jer Thorpe, a "data artist", in fact he may have invented this profession.
from Talk's Body
  • SSOTBME Revised - an essay on magic, book by Ramsey Dukes, recommended by PF of WS. The full title is "Sex Secrets of the Black Magicians Explained", which is mostly a joke. The guy is very RAW-ish in that he is constantly playing around with his degree of seriousness, and talking about the fact that he is doing so...something inherently metacircular about this whole space, although I'd be hard-pressed to define it. As I mentioned in High Weirdness review, it's sort Hofstadter-ish self-reference games but coupled with a fairly aggressive Trickster energy, this stuff inherently is fucking with you.
from The Outsider
  • book by Colin Wilson, also known for The Occult. This was a really important book in its time (1956) but feels kind of dated today; because we are all outsiders now.
from Orality and Literacy
from Meditations on the Tarot
  • A book of "Christian Hermeticism", organized as a commentary on the major arcana of the Tarot . A mainstay of Weird Studies. It's an amazingly rich book, although the Christian perspective makes it a challenge for me to read as it is meant to be read – as a book of spiritual instruction.
from Life: A User's Manual
  • This book definitely has math nerd appeal. The plot, such as it is, involves an elaborate creation of a set of jigsaw puzzles, and the structure contains numerous patterns and puzzles.
from Book of the New Sun
  • book (tetralogy really) by Gene Wolfe. Widely and deservedly considered the best work of literature to come out of the fantasy genre. It has its own secondary literature and a good podcast, Alzaabo Soup, that goes through it chapter by chapter.
from A Case for Irony
  • book by Jonathan Lear
from Games: Agency as Art
  • C Thi Nguyen, Games: Agency as Art book
from The Politics of Collective Violence
  • book by Charles Tilly, introduced the useful concept of "violence entrepeneurs".
from Awkwardness
from Operators and Things
  • An amazing book by a woman who suffered a psychotic break and wrote down her hallucinations in intricate detail. It's been out of print for decades, but looks like it got reprinted in 2011. Amazon link.
from Tufte: Seeing with Fresh Eyes
  • Ed Tufte's newest book, this is in-process notetaking, so even less polished than other pages.
from How Buildings Learn
from There is No Antimemetics Division
  • book spun off from the SCP Foundation:
    • a collaborative writing site based around the premise that… in essence, magic is real. It's not exactly like the traditional fantasy style magic you've come to know, but that's the best way we can describe the stuff we have here - Anomalies; items and critters that do not follow the rules of nature as we know them.
from Engineers of Human Souls
from The Experience of Nothingness
  • book by Michael Novak
from Design for the Real World
  • book by Victor Papanek, which I think counts as an influence. it had an outsized impact on me.
    • I was exposed to a really compelling version of design stance at an early age, since I somehow discovered Victor Papanek's Design for the Real World at the public library (quite possible heard about it via Whole Earth Catalog). This was an eye-opening and intense book, as Papanek excoriated the profession of industrial design for spending its energies on trivial things while the real problems of the world are begging for creative solutions. At the time I read it I probably had no idea that there was such a thing as industrial design, but now I not only was aware, I had strong opinions about it.
from Blood Meridian
  • The book's action takes place around the Texas / Mexico border in the 1850s, and is loosely based on real events (making it that much more disturbing). The protagonist (more or less) is nameless but occasionally referred to as The Kid, a runaway from Tenessee who finds his way into a group of mercenaries headed by John Glanton (a historical figure) and animated by the monstrous and demonic figure of Judge Holden, who like Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men is an incarnation of not just death, but of pitiless and absolute nihilism.
from The Extended Mind
  • book by Annie Murphy Paul, in the pop-science self-help mode, not to be confused with the similarly titled Andy Clark book which I also should read. Subtitle: "The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain" ok.


30 Oct 2021 02:15 - 16 Dec 2022 12:22
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