Author Archives: SelfAwarePatterns

Time to dump the concept of cognition?

An interesting paper came up in my Twitter feed.  Neuroscientist Paul Cisek notes that many of our current models on how the mind works come from dualistic traditions, as well as psychological ones that were heavily influenced by dualism.  He … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Platonism and the non-physical

On occasion, I’ve been accused of being closed-minded.  (Shocking, I know.)  Frequently the reason is not seriously considering non-physical propositions, a perception of rigid physicalism.  However, as I’ve noted before, I’m actually not entirely comfortable with the “physicalist” label (or … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged , , , , | 146 Comments

Recommendation: The Warship

Back in January, I recommended Neal Asher’s The Soldier, the first book of a series called The Rise of the Jain.  The series takes place in Asher’s Polity universe, a future interstellar civilization run by AIs (artificial intelligence) and featuring … Continue reading

Posted in Science Fiction | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Apollo 11 and the lost space age

I was very young when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon in 1969, so I have no memory of the landing, and only limited memory of the Apollo program in general.  I think I remember seeing some … Continue reading

Posted in Space | Tagged , , , , | 42 Comments

The difficulty of subjective experience

As I indicated in the Chalmers post last week, phenomenal consciousness has been on my mind lately.  In the last few days, a couple of my fellow bloggers, Wyrd Smythe and James Cross, have joined in with their own posts.  … Continue reading

Posted in Mind and AI | Tagged , , , , , | 111 Comments

Consciousness science undetermined

An interesting paper by Matthias Michel on the underdetermined nature of theories of consciousness. Consciousness scientists have not reached consensus on two of the most central questions in their field: first, on whether consciousness overflows reportability; second, on the physical … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , | 34 Comments

Chalmers’ theory of consciousness

Ever since sharing Ned Block’s talk on it, phenomenal consciousness has been on my mind.  This week, I decided I needed to go back to the main spokesperson for the issue of subjective experience, David Chalmers, and his seminal paper … Continue reading

Posted in Mind and AI | Tagged , , , , , , | 116 Comments

To perceive is to predict

Daniel Yon has an interesting piece at Aeon on how our brains predict the outcomes of our actions, shaping reality into what we expect, and why we see what we believe, rather than the other way around. This idea is … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , | 34 Comments

Rule out plant consciousness for the right reasons

In recent years, there’s been a resurgence in the old romantic sentiment that maybe plants are conscious.  I hadn’t realized that an entire sub-field had formed called Plant Neurobiology, the name itself incorporating a dubious claim that plants have neurons.  … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , | 39 Comments

The ASSC 23 debate on whether artificial intelligence can be conscious

The ASSC (Association of Scientific Study of Consciousness) had its annual conference on consciousness this week, which culminated in a debate on whether AI can be conscious. Note: the event doesn’t actually start until the 28:30 minute mark.  The remaining … Continue reading

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