Author Archives: SelfAwarePatterns

Recommendation: Memory

I’ve noted before that I think science fiction author Linda Nagata is an underrated talent.  She crafts mind bendingly imaginative tales.  I’ve recommend several of her books, all in The Nanotech Succession series, which she has recently started adding to … Continue reading

Posted in Science Fiction | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

A standard model of consciousness?

I’ve often noted that I find more consilience than disagreement between the empirically grounded theories of consciousness.  They seem to be looking at the problem at differing levels of organization, and together they may present a growing scientific consensus about … Continue reading

Posted in Mind and AI | Tagged , , , , | 129 Comments

Keith Frankish on the consciousness illusion

Along the lines of last night’s post, Keith Frankish has an article at Aeon describing and defending the illusionist viewpoint, that phenomenal consciousness is an illusion.  It’s an excellent introduction for anyone who isn’t familiar with the basic argument. As … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , | 188 Comments

Is consciousness really a problem?

The Journal of Consciousness Studies has an issue out on the meta-problem of consciousness.  (Unfortunately, it’s paywalled, so you’ll need a subscription, or access to a school network that has one.) As a reminder, there’s the hard problem of consciousness, … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , | 57 Comments

Don’t teach Congress about science and technology; teach the voters

M. Anthony Mills has a short piece at Politico advocating the return of the OTA (Office of Technology Assessment), which was defunded in the 1990s as a budget cutting measure.  The argument is that congress needs to know more about … Continue reading

Posted in Society | Tagged , , | 23 Comments

Sean Carroll’s Something Deeply Hidden

I’m just about finished reading Sean Carroll’s Something Deeply Hidden.  I was going to wait to post this until I’d completely finished, but all I’ve got left is the appendix, I perceive that I’ve gotten through the main points, and … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Tagged , , , , , | 157 Comments

Why you can’t use quantum entanglement for faster than light communication

Albert Einstein, with his theory of special relativity, established that the speed of light is the absolute speed limit of the universe.  A rocket ship attempting to accelerate to the speed of light encounters some well known effects: time dilation, … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Tagged , , , , , , | 82 Comments

A correction: LeDoux’s actual views on instrumental learning in vertebrates

I have to make a correction.  In my post on LeDoux’s views on consciousness and emotions, I made the following statement: Anyway, LeDoux states that there is “no convincing” evidence for instrumental behavior in pre-mammalian vertebrates, or in invertebrates.  In … Continue reading

Posted in Mind and AI | Tagged , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Layers of consciousness, September 2019 edition

A couple of years ago, when writing about panpsychism, I introduced a five layer conception of consciousness.  The idea back then was to show a couple of things. One was that very simple conceptions of consciousness, such as interactions with … Continue reading

Posted in Mind and AI | Tagged , , , , , , | 73 Comments

Joseph LeDoux’s theories on consciousness and emotions

In the last post, I mentioned that I was reading Joseph LeDoux’s new book, The Deep History of Ourselves: The Four-Billion-Year Story of How We Got Conscious Brains.  There’s a lot of interesting stuff in this book.  As its title … Continue reading

Posted in Mind and AI | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 117 Comments