Hugh McGuire

publishing, technology, media, philosophy, a bit of politics.

Category: philosophy

Freedom and Constraints

(cross-posted at TextoSolvo) One of the problems in the Western world right now, in my estimation, is that we see “freedom” as an artificially good thing in an abstract & idealized sense. humans, whatever else we are, are animals, and we have developed biological and cultural systems to deal with the universe. and nothing is […]

OK, let’s kill web2.0

I had a discussion with Steve about the term web2.0, and whether or not it is useful. Steve wants it kyboshed. For me, the term was very useful, because it marked the time when new tools (eg wordpress) made it possible for me to publish to the web, without knowing anything about html. So: web1.0=passive […]

conservative vs progressive, and openness

I’ve been thinking lately about evolution and politics. All this comes out of a revelation I had in the early days of LibriVox, that as an open project, the whole thing – the system – evolved like an organism, getting more complex in response to environmental challenges. More readers, more books, more languages, more projects […]

language, quebec and the web

I was at the Montreal web entreprenneurs breakfast, and was talking with Robin, Alex Eberts, Sylvain, and a couple of others about language, the web, Montreal, and politics. It’s funny, though I am an Anglo born and bred, a Westmounter if you can believe it, it’s been a long time since I’ve been a typical […]

BookReview: The God Delusion

The God Delusion product Book by Richard Dawkins Richard Dawkins’ 1974 book, the Selfish Gene is probably one of the most important science books written for the general public (I’ll be reviewing that book here later) in the second half of the 20th century. Not only did the Selfish Gene do much to explain evolutionary […]

art, society, data, stability

I haven’t written a ramble in a while. Here’s one: I had an impromptu drink with Boris the other night – unfortunately the other brain I seem to be feeding off of a lot lately wasn’t there. We rambled about art, data, open source, society, flexibility, stability, evolution to touch on a few things. My […]

stress & brain development, the open movement

From Seed: Reinvention of the Self: To understand how neurogenesis “the process of creating new brain cells” works, Gould’s lab studies the effect of two separate variables: stress and enriched environments. Chronic stress, predictably enough, decreases neurogenesis. As Christian Mirescu, one of Gould’s post-docs, put it, “When a brain is worried, it’s just thinking about […]

what is the open movement?

So a few Montreal geeky types convened at the Office (aka Laika) for a sort-of impromptu discussion to try to figure out what the hell is going on in the world, and specifically what this “Open Movent” might be, and what connections we can draw (if any) between it’s various strands: that is, are there […]

violins, librivox, and beauty in chaos

Posted on the LivriVox forum, but I thought it was worth repeating here on dose. One of the things I (personally) like about many podcasts is how … crappy! … they are. I don’t mean the facetiously, I mean that very honestly. I like that people cough and you hear the trucks roll by, and […]

politics, instability, open source, stability

Some other general political thoughts – and a reference to open source & computer networks at the end. There has been a general tendency recently in the developing world to elect what could be called “anti-US” governments: Hamas in Palestine, and, say the sweeping leftism in South America: Chavez in Venezuela, Evo Morales in Bolivia, […]