I'm Alex Kearney, a PhD student studying Computer Science at the University of Alberta. I focus on Artificial Intelligence and Epistemology.

When I'm not playing with robots, I hang out with the indieweb community, drink tea, and scubadive.

I begin with the [element] which the rough and tumble of life renders most familiarly prominent. We are continually bumping up against hard fact. We expected one thing, or passively took it for granted, and had the image of it in our minds, but experience forces that idea into the background, and compels us to think quite differently. You get this kind of consciousness in some approach to purity when you put your shoulder against a door and try to force it open. You have a sense of resistance and at the same time a sense of effort. There can be no resistance without effort; there can be no effort without resistance. They are only two ways of describing the same experience ....

... The waking state is a consciousness of reaction; and as the consciousness itself is two-sided, so it has also two varieties; namely, action, where our modification of other things is more prominent than their reaction on us, and perception, where their effect on us is overwhelmingly greater than our effect on them (CP 1.32)

This is interesting because it gives a sort-of enactive and embodied approach.

"By an Object, I mean anything we can think; anything we can talk about. By real object, I mean anything of which whatever is true is so whether we think it to be so or not. To this definition, it might be objected that it applies to any object; since if any object is unreal, it is so whether we think it to be so or not: and we frequently think unreal objects to be real, but that objection falls to the ground, since we cannot think an unreal object to be real: we only think of some idea in mind as applying a [difficult to read] predicate to something out of our mind. Or, to state the objection otherwise, the only object of of which nothing else is true except unreality, is meerly the abstract idea of unreal and if we think that to be real..."

From Peirce's manuscripts: Reflections on Real and Unreal Objects (MS [R] 996)

What I did Sep1 - Sep7


  • Tried to federate my indiewebsite so that I could interact with mastodon through it (unsuccessfully)

  • Hacked together a websub hub which passes all of the websub.rocks tests.

  • Rebuilt large chunks of my site---particularly the back-end---so that the posting interface is nicer and easier to test.

  • Factored out my markdown albums, webmentioning, and hashtag extensions into separate repos which I can independently maintain.

  • Hooked up webmentions again so that I can see webmentions as part of an ongoing effort to improve usability of federation.

  • Hooked up in_reply_to again, so that I can send webmentions. This also lets me reply-tweet using brid.gy

  • Started posting albums and articles I'd held off on posting.


  • Research proposals from different disciplines to figure out how I want to structure my candidacy document.

  • Bickhard's interactivism and process metaphysics

  • Anthony Chemero's take on representationalism

Other stuff

  • Karaoke 🎤
  • Symphony under the sky
  • Knitting an aran sweater I designed
  • Yoga 🧘