Yesterday was the anniversary of the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453, for which apparently there is now a Muslim debate about whether it fulfilled Muhammad's charge for Muslims to conquer that city. I can't say I have any opinion in that particular matter. But something I do find interesting is that, in describing the event, … Continue reading When did the Roman Empire actually fall?
Apropos to the previous post, albeit from a different angle. Hovertext: "This comic was posted in order to increase my social status, acquire wealth, and thus improve the reproductive fitness of my offspring." Click through for full sized version and red button caption. via SMBC I've noted many times before that emotions and other instinctual … Continue reading SMBC: Do humans have feelings?
One of the dividing lines I often hear in discussions about whether we should regard an artificially intelligent machine as a fellow being is, does it have the capacity to suffer? It's an interesting criteria, since it implies that what's important is that there be something there for us to empathize with. But it raises an interesting question. … Continue reading What would it mean for a machine to suffer?
The components of a thing are not individually the thing. For example, the components of the chair I type most of my blog posts from are not the chair itself, but the wood of the frame, the springs for the back and bottom, some metal parts for the reclining mechanism, the fabric coverings, cushions, etc. … Continue reading Consciousness is composed of non-consciousness
This seems relevant to some of our discussion on the previous post. via smbc-comics.com (Click though for hovertext and red button caption.) The last caption may be in reference to these developments: https://twitter.com/aeonmag/status/728570337512828933
Donald D. Hoffman, a psychologist at the University of California, Irving, has been getting a lot of attention recently for his views, that evolutionary evidence indicates that reality is an illusion, that the only thing that exists are conscious minds. This is a modern version of an ancient concept, called idealism. The earliest writings about … Continue reading Is reality an illusion? If so, does it matter?