BBC News – ‘Memories’ pass between generations

Experiments showed that a traumatic event could affect the DNA in sperm and alter the brains and behaviour of subsequent generations. A Nature Neuroscience study shows mice trained to avoid a smell passed their aversion on to their "grandchildren". More at BBC News - 'Memories' pass between generations. I saw this yesterday, but was reluctant to link … Continue reading BBC News – ‘Memories’ pass between generations

Can a Computer be Conscious? Part 3 (Ethics)

Blogging to Share Knowledge

First, an overdue credit to Aeryk, the reason this blog even exists.  Once upon a time, Aeryk and I raided a pizza buffet place, and with a gut full of cheap pizza, we waxed philosophical.  We spoke of the purpose of life, and I opined that for me, learning was very enjoyable, but ultimately meaningless if what I learned died with me.  Aeryk then suggested I serialize what I learned by blogging, and the rest is history.


I recently met Aeryk for coffee and he said that my recent articles on Computer Consciousness (here and here) seemed to be building up to Ethics.  He had a point.  Since fellow bloggers ausomeawestin and selfawarepatterns have done some interesting angles on computers, robots and ethics, I’d like to go in a different direction with this.

Assuming a computer achieved consciousness, what — if any — moral impact follows?  For…

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6 Reasons Why People — Not Things — Will Make You Happier

The holiday season is the time to focus on what's truly important: Spending quality time with friends and family, being thankful for all the blessings in your life, and showing how much you care by giving of yourself. But after being bombarded with commercials and marketing messages galore, it can be easy to forget what … Continue reading 6 Reasons Why People — Not Things — Will Make You Happier

Science, philosophy, and caution about what we think we know

What is the difference between science and philosophy?  While there are enterprises that are clearly in one or the other, the dividing line isn't always a sharp one.  Science grew out of philosophy, particularly natural philosophy.  Some would say that science is itself a type of philosophy.  But what is the difference between what we … Continue reading Science, philosophy, and caution about what we think we know