Author Archives: SelfAwarePatterns

All adults are vulnerable to COVID-19

The other day I urged you to take COVID-19 seriously.  But in that post, I said that if you were younger than 60 or didn’t have health problems, the virus probably wouldn’t do anything to you.  In retrospect, that was … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

The sensitive soul and the rational soul

I think examining the evolution of consciousness in animals helps shed light on it in humans.  Admittedly, there are difficulties.  Animals can’t self report using language, which limits just how much of their experience can be garnered from experiments.  Still, … Continue reading

Posted in Mind and AI | Tagged , , , , | 24 Comments

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

I noticed today that it had been released for streaming, so I went ahead and watched.  (I missed it in the theaters.)  Based on everything that had been said about it, it was better than I expected.  It was entertaining … Continue reading

Posted in Science Fiction | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Take COVID-19 seriously

Just got back from getting a haircut and a run to the grocery store (which had an atmosphere very similar to the one down here when a hurricane is imminent), during which time I think I heard enough crazy rumors … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , | 43 Comments


I just finished reading J. T. Nicholas’ Re-coil, a space opera novel.  It takes place in the solar system, so it’s not an interstellar story, although there are hints the series might go there eventually.  It involves a future where … Continue reading

Posted in Science Fiction | Tagged , , | 21 Comments

AI: An Exercise in Analytical Philosophy

Originally posted on Blogging to Share Knowledge:
The Question I recently attended a computing group in which the following question was asked: Can Software Achieve Human Level Intelligence? We covered this question over the course of 3 meetings (7-9 hours…

Posted in Zeitgeist | 44 Comments

The response schema

Several months ago Michael Graziano, and colleagues, attempted a synthesis of three families of scientific theories of consciousness: global workspace theory (GWT), higher order theory (HOT), and his own attention schema theory (AST). A quick (crudely simplistic) reminder: GWT posits … Continue reading

Posted in Mind and AI | Tagged , , , , , | 42 Comments

An excellent explanation of quantum decoherence, and how it might lead to many worlds

Matt O’Dowd is a first class science communicator.  In this latest video, he does an excellent job explaining decoherence, and why the MWI (many worlds interpretation) ends up being so tempting when you see it through. Of course, this doesn’t … Continue reading

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Altered Carbon, season two

Netflix dropped the second season of Altered Carbon on Thursday, so naturally I had to binge through it.  This show is based on the novels by Richard K. Morgan.  While the first season (which I reviewed) broadly followed the plot … Continue reading

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The rise of the west and the changing sociopolitical landscape

Aeon this weekend highlighted a 2017 article by Joel Mokyr looking at how Europe became the richest part of the world (or at least one of the richest).  Historically, there have been many theories, ranging from racist rationals, cultural ones, … Continue reading

Posted in History, Society | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments