Posts tagged venkat

Flying Blind into the Anthropocene

Anthropocene, venkat, extreme-weather, instrument, instrumentation, flying-blind, environment, 2018

Through a mix of design and accident, we’ve created a novel environment that is at once strongly shaped by human behaviors and highly opaque to normal human sensory modalities. But we haven’t instrumented this environment well enough to make up for our sensory deficits. Worse, we seem to collectively lack the instrument rating to fly this civilizational airplane. So we are flying blind into the anthropocene, without the appropriate instrument rating, on a wing and a prayer.


The Dead-Curious Cat and the Joyless Immortal

curiosity, venkat, evolution, desire, genetics, perception

Curiosity does not seem to be a fundamental drive, unlike what I am told are the three basic biological drives (seeking pleasure, avoiding pain and conserving energy), so it is probably derived. Curiosity requires a certain energy surplus, since its visible signature is a restless dissipation of energy, but it does not seem directly motivated by energy conservation concerns. So is it derived from pleasure-seeking or pain-avoidance or some mix of the two? Does that make a difference?