Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Life logging, Osterley and #28 Idealism

Fascinating BBC Radio World Service  programme Click introduced me to a new paradigm, Life Logging. The show is actually available for a year but would suggest you get across it asap. Concept realisable by virtue of tiny camera that is worn throughout your life applications include memory support and gathering of mass data  - seems that this might provide further enhancement to our lives but at what cost? Another example of Science Fiction becoming science fact? Memoto is a company looking to monetise the concept -take a look at the Youtube discussion below - not sure they totally get it but something to think about.

Osterley view -almost a painting
Back in what seems to be real life yesterday we went to Osterley Park and after finally deciding on a parking space enjoyed a walk through the National Trust grounds there and encountered this view - Osterley is in London but has cattle and horses adjacent and some big almost wild spaces (albeit with the hum of the M4 motorway).

And Big Idea 28 is Idealism in philosophy (it's different is politics)

Idealism is the category of philosophical systems that claim reality is dependent upon the mind rather than independent of the mind. Extreme versions of Idealism deny that any 'world' exists outside of our minds. Narrower versions of Idealism claim that our understanding of reality reflects the workings of our mind first and foremost - that the properties of objects have no standing independent of the minds perceiving them.

It's closely linked with Monism  (that it's reducible to single unity) i.e. the metaphysical and theological view that all is one, that all reality (including God) is subsumed under the most fundamental category of being or existence (big theme in Eastern belief systems listen here)
Key figures:

George Berkley who was a talented metaphysician famous for defending idealism, that is, the view that reality consists exclusively of minds and their ideas. Berkeley's system, while it strikes many as counter-intuitive, is strong and flexible enough to counter most objections.

Dialectic Idealism -The German philosopher, G W F Hegel (1770-1831) was the king of dialectical idealism.  

The Hegelian dialectic is a three stage model of development that can be applied to various disciplines in our understanding of the world and reality. The first stage is the thesis, this is followed by reaction to it, the counter argument, or opposite (the antithesis). From this tension between the two arises a third possibility, the synthesis, which is a new and (perhaps) better option than either the thesis or antithesis, being the integration of the two previous. The synthesis is also many times greater than simply the sum of the thesis and antithesis. 

Shout out to new TUC leader Francis O'Grady the first female leader -good luck to her