Posts tagged exploration

Apparent uselessness

robot, epistemology, learning, exploration, dominant, progressivist, narratives, undreamed-of-utilit

Sometime last year I picked up on Kenneth Stanley’s and Joel Lehmann’s 2015 book called Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned - The Myth of the Objective. In the book they develop an argument for an advanced teleology based on experiments with synthetic processes of knowledge acquisition in the context of AI, ALife, and Learning. The argument roughly says, that if you want to reach a goal, that is ambitious in the sense that the exact sequence of steps (the route) which will get you there, is not known, then accumulating possible steps is a better strategy than heading directly into the direction of the goal. That’s because chances are, that some of these steps will turn out, but unforseeably so, to be precisely what is needed to make the next move when negotiating the route. So far so good


Urban exploration as deviant leisure

deviant leisure, recreational tresspass, exploration, urbex, commercialism, urbanism

Clearly, recreational trespass and other “urban interventions” in and of themselves do little to challenge the status quo of late capitalist urbanism. Rather ironically, if unsurprisingly, the proliferation and popular awareness of urban exploration has contributed to a tightening of the very spatial controls that recreational trespassers seek to subvert. For instance, people sneaking onto construction sites merely for the sake of doing so is now something that security contractors actively seek to prevent through heightened security measures. Furthermore, there is little that is inherently “transgressive” about recreational trespassers’ thrill-seeking. In fact, within our current cultural conjuncture, such practices might well be more accurately conceived of as hyper-conformist (see Moxon, 2011; Raymen and Smith, 2015).