Author Archives: SelfAwarePatterns

What do scientific theories actually tell us about the world?

One of the things that’s exciting about learning new things, is that often a new understanding in one area sheds light on what might seem like a completely separate topic.  For me, information about how the brain works appears to have shed … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , | 69 Comments

Arrival, the shape of aliens, and bridging the communication barrier

This weekend, I watched the movie ‘Arrival‘.  It starts off with the now common scenario of several floating ships appearing in the skies around the world.  But unlike most movies in this mold, it focuses on humanity’s efforts to communicate with … Continue reading

Posted in Science Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Split brain does not lead to split consciousness – University of Amsterdam

I’ve talked before about Roger Perry’s famous split-brain patient experiments.  Patients with severe epileptic seizures used to undergo a collosotomy, a procedure to cut the connections between the left and right hemispheres of their cerebrum.  It often helped alleviate their symptoms … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | 6 Comments

Being a beast machine

In my post on consciousness possibly being a simulation engine, I noted Anil Seth’s excellent Aeon article as one of the inspirations.  As it turns out, Seth talked at a TEDx conference and covered many of the same topics he … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Two brain science podcasts worth checking out

As my long time readers will know, I’m very interested in the mind, and my preferred way to explore it is through science, notably neuroscience or cognitive psychology, or with science oriented philosophy.  With that in mind, I want to … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , | 59 Comments

America’s long path to universal voting rights

My memory of what I learned in early grade school about the history of American voting rights went something like this.  Prior to 1776, we were ruled by the king of Great Britain.  He was a tyrant who oppressed us … Continue reading

Posted in History | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Merry Christmas

Real Clear Science highlighted an interesting article from a few years ago on the evolution of Santa Claus: Will the Real Santa Claus Please Stand Up? We always think of Santa Claus as an incredibly old man—positively ancient—but the fact is, … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | 20 Comments