Author Archives: SelfAwarePatterns

Machine learning and the need for innate foundations

This interesting Nature article by Anthony M. Zador came up in my Twitter feed: A critique of pure learning and what artificial neural networks can learn from animal brains: Artificial neural networks (ANNs) have undergone a revolution, catalyzed by better … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Ginger Campbell is doing a series on consciousness

I’ve highlighted Dr. Ginger Campbell’s excellent Brain Science Podcast before.  It’s an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the science of the brain.  Many of the books and concepts I’ve highlighted here over the years, I first heard about on … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The reflex and the feeling

Stephen T. Asma and Rami Gabriel have an interesting article at Aeon on emotions.  Their main thesis is that many emotions are biological, universal, and rooted in evolution.  And that they arise through “the strata of consciousness”: the physiological, the … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Recommendation: What Is Real?

Last week I started listening to a Sean Carroll podcast episode, an interview of Adam Becker on his book, What Is Real?: The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics.  Before even finishing the episode, I downloaded Becker’s book … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

The Anthropocene is a conceit of human exceptionalism

Peter Brannen has an interesting piece in the Atlantic, pointing out that the Anthropocene is more of a geological event rather than an epoch, at least so far. Humans are now living in a new geological epoch of our own … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , | 52 Comments

Is the ultimate nature of reality mental?

Philosopher Wilfrid Sellars had a term for the world as it appears, the “manifest image.”  This is the world as we perceive it.  In it, an apple is an apple, something red or green with a certain shape, a range … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , | 84 Comments

Detecting consciousness in animals and machines, inside-out

An interesting paper came up in my feeds this weekend: Indicators and Criteria of Consciousness in Animals and Intelligent Machines: An Inside-Out Approach.  The authors put forth a definition of consciousness, and then criteria to test for it, although they … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , | 67 Comments

Recommendation: Altered Carbon: Download Blues

I posted a while back on the Netflix series, Altered Carbon, based on the books by Richard K. Morgan.  The series presents a universe where everyone has a device implanted in their brainstem shortly after birth that records their personality, … Continue reading

Posted in Science Fiction | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

Higher order theories of consciousness

I’ve posted on HOT (higher order thought theories of consciousness) before, but there’s a new paper out covering the basics of these types of theories.  Since first reading about HOT many months ago, the framework has been growing on me.  … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

The problems with panpsychism

Late last week, there was a clash between philosophers on Twitter over panpsychism.  This was followed by Philip Goff, an outspoken proponent of panpsychism, authoring a blog post arguing that we shouldn’t require evidence for it.  This week, Susan Schneider … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , | 120 Comments