Alan N. Shapiro, Autonomy in the Digital Society

Blog and project archive about media theory, science fiction theory, and creative coding

Inscribe Philosophy into the Heart of Computer Science

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co-author: Alexis Clancy

There are many individuals in the technology and cyberculture communities who are not just “engineers” or techie programmers.

They are already working to bring software together with art and sociology.

These people are our friends and allies.

However, in their projects, they are working two or three levels removed from the core of computer science.

So they cannot yet carry out an effective revolution.

Our project is to inscribe post-17th century philosophy into the very heart and foundations of computer science, and to do this practically.

We use the term “philosophy” in a very broad sense that includes all of the history of ideas, from mathematics and quantum physics to linguistics, poetry, and painting.

But exactly which post-17th century philosophy?

More immediately, exactly which 20th century philosophy?

The primary basis of the New Computer Science in its pragmatic dimension of the writing of software code that does powerful new things that no other software can do is the original works of two thinkers: P.D. Ouspensky and Alexis Clancy.

The two principal texts of Ouspensky are “A New Model of the Universe” and “The Fourth Way.”

The principal texts of Clancy are “Coda” and “Epic.”

Alexis Clancy’s work in mathematics and mathematical physics in turn references seminal ideas of Kurt Gödel, Erwin Schrödinger, Bernhard Riemann, David Bohm, and Carl Friedrich Gauss.

Other major inspirations for the project of the New Computer Science are the “information theory” ideas of Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, and Rupert Sheldrake.

One can add the likes of Jean Baudrillard, Carl Gustav Jung, James Joyce, and Gregory Bateson to the list.

We declare the project of the New Computer Science to be lived in honour of Jacques Derrida.

Derrida is the most important thinker of our time because he saw that, on every level, Western society and culture is stuck in binary oppositions.

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