Saturday, 27 October 2007

models and simulations

I've been to a number of conferences before, but this was my first real conference, meaning that it's the first conference in my field which required travel. And it was great. I can't wait to do it again. After I catch up on my sleep.

The papers given at the conference, Models and Simulations 2, are going to be published in Synthese sometime next year, but I don't think it would be wholly inappropriate to give a bit of a preview and reaction to some of the talks. I'm not entirely sure what etiquette demands, so I'll err on the side of trying to say interesting things (er, perhaps now would be a good time to mention to family and friends that you're welcome to skip this part and just look at the pictures).

Philosophers can't resist an opportunity to blur the distinction between the sublime and the absurd. And so it is that I stood in a room with Paul Humphreys and Bob Batterman and debated the disposition of this projector. I think it was Batterman who suggested the possibility that the cage was there for our protection, perhaps from an evil transforming mechanism. I was getting ready to feel sorry for the poor cyclopean beast -- not only is it caged (and what a cage it is!), but also chained. I'm not sure, but if you look hard enough, I think there's something profound in there.

Perhaps something about philosophers preferring absurdity to silence?

1 comment:

Anavrin Stange Quark said...

Definitely 'Absurdity over Silence' any day... that is why no one is a Pyrrhonian, that is why Wittgenstein wrote more stuff after finishing the Tractatus. Hehehe!

Silence has no truth value, silence cannot be talked about; on the other hand, absurdity is an invitation to create explanation, to work out *something*, hence we create a job for ourselves. :)