Author Archives: SelfAwarePatterns

What is it about phenomenal consciousness that’s so mysterious?

I learned something new this week about the online magazine The Conversation.  A number of their articles that are shared around don’t show up in their RSS feeds or site navigation.  It appears these articles only come up in searches, … Continue reading

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Chernobyl and the costs of power

When I first heard of HBO’s miniseries Chernobyl, it didn’t sound like something I’d be interested in watching.  I generally don’t have a fascination for disaster porn and that’s mostly what it seemed like from a distance.  But after numerous … Continue reading

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Recommendation: Children of Ruin

Last year I recommended Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Time, a novel about the far future involving a struggle between an interstellar ark of refugees from a dying Earth and an accidental civilization of uplifted spiders over the one terraformed world … Continue reading

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The sparsity of phenomenal consciousness, or of cognition, or both

Ned Block gave a Google talk (embedded below) that was ostensibly supposed to be about why AI approaches to cognition won’t work.  However, while he does address this topic briefly, it’s toward the end and he admits he hasn’t really … Continue reading

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Is morality objective, yet relative?

Jason Mckenzie Alexander at iai.tv makes an interesting proposition, that morality is a social technology, one that goes out of date and frequently needs to be upgraded. He first describes the common sentiment that morals are objective in some timeless … Continue reading

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Reflections on Game of Thrones

(Warning: Here be spoilers!) Last week was the series finale for Game of Thrones, a series I’d been watching from the very beginning.  Indeed, I first discovered George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books way back … Continue reading

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Don’t trust your intuitions, they will betray you

A video at Aeon well worth checking out on what wrapping a rope around the Earth reveals about the limits of human intuition: If you tied a rope tight around the Earth’s equator and then added a single yard of … Continue reading

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Is cosmology in crisis?

In past posts, when I’ve written about the expansion of the universe, I’ve generally referred to the rate of that expansion, the Hubble constant, as being around 70 km/s/megaparsec, that is, for every megaparsec a galaxy is distant from us, … Continue reading

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Recommendation: The Nanotech Succession

Okay, having already recommended two of Linda Nagata’s books, Vast and Edges, I finally got around to reading the first and second book of her Nanotech Succession series.  (I haven’t read the “zeroeth” book so this recommendation doesn’t include it.) … Continue reading

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The unfolding argument: why Integrated Information Theory is not scientific

There’s an interesting new paper in Consciousness and Cognition on why causal theories such as IIT (integrated information theory) or RPT (recurrent processing theory) aren’t scientific: How can we explain consciousness? This question has become a vibrant topic of neuroscience … Continue reading

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