Category Archives: Philosophy

Synthesis is appropriation

In contemporary society, we make use of the notion that things may be synthetic. Thus we may speak of synthetic biology, “synthesizers” (synthetic sound), synthetic textile etc. Such things are supposed to be artificial and not come from “nature”. However, the Greek root of the word synthesis actually seems to refer to the conjoining of […]

Rice fields and rain

Humans primarily live in a world of beings, each of which has meaning. Meaningful beings appear to us interconnected, referencing practices and other beings in a referential totality. Buttons suggest pushing, chairs suggest sitting, a tractor suggests farming. A (Japanese) rice paddy may suggest the heavy labour that goes into the rice harvest each year, […]

AI and the politics of perception

Elon Musk, entrepreneur of some renown, believes that the sudden eruption of a very powerful artificial intelligence is one of the greatest threats facing mankind. “Control of a super powerful AI by a small number of humans is the most proximate concern”, he tweets. He’s not alone among silicon valley personalities to have this concern. To reduce the […]

Method and object. Horizons for technological biology

(This post is an attempt at elaborating the ideas I outlined in my talk at Bio-pitch in February.) The academic and investigative relationship to biology – our discourse about biology – is becoming increasingly technological. In fields such as bioinformatics and computational biology, the technological/instrumental relationship to nature is always at work, constructing deterministic models of […]

Is bioinformatics possible?

I recently gave a talk at the Bio-Pitch event at the French-Japanese institute. I was fortunate to be able to speak about some of the ideas I’ve been developing here among so many interesting projects (MetaPhorest, HTGAA, Yoko Shimizu, Tupac Bio, Bento Lab etc). The topic of my talk was “Is bioinformatics possible”? A deliberate […]