Author Archives: SelfAwarePatterns

Brain inspired hardware

The Scientist has an interesting article up reporting on the progress that’s being made in neuromorphic hardware. But the fact that computers “think” very differently than our brains do actually gives them an advantage when it comes to tasks like … Continue reading

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Are zombies conscious?

This is not a question about philosophical zombies.  I did a post on them a while back.  (The TL;DR is that I find that whole concept ranges from incoherent to dubious, depending on the exact version.) This post is on … Continue reading

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Emotions, feelings, and action programs

Sean Carroll’s latest Mindscape podcast features an interview with neuroscientist Antonio Damasio: When we talk about the mind, we are constantly talking about consciousness and cognition. Antonio Damasio wants us to talk about our feelings. But it’s not in an … Continue reading

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Avengers: Endgame

I saw it this weekend.  I will say that it’s an enjoyable and entertaining movie. But it’s something of a logical mess.  I’m not spoiling much by saying that time travel features in the story.  Early in the movie, there’s … Continue reading

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Protecting AI welfare?

John Basl and Eric Schwitzgebel have a short article at Aeon arguing that AI (artificial intelligence) should enjoy the same protection as animals do for scientific research.  They make the point that while AI is a long way off from … Continue reading

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The relationship between usefulness and falsifiability

There’s an article by Matthew R. Francis in Symmetry magazine garnering a lot of attention asking whether falsifiability is a useful criteria for scientific theories. Popper wrote in his classic book The Logic of Scientific Discovery that a theory that cannot be … Continue reading

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Do boiling crawfish suffer?

This Easter I visited one of my cousins and, as is tradition for a lot of people this time of year, we had a crawfish boil.  Eating boiled crawfish (crayfish for you non-Cajuns) is an ever present activity in southern … Continue reading

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Neanderthals and the beginnings of us

The Smithsonian has an interesting article up on what we currently know about Neanderthals.  The article details some of the internecine battles that always seems to be a part of the paleoanthropology field, in this case focusing on the capabilities … Continue reading

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Frans de Waal on animal consciousness

Frans de Waal is a well known proponent of animals being much more like us than many people are comfortable admitting.  In this short two minute video, he gives his reason for concluding that at least some non-human animals are … Continue reading

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Recommendation: Edges (Inverted Frontier Book 1)

A few weeks ago I recommended Linda Nagata’s novel, Vast, the final book of her Nanotech Succession series.  Edges is both a sequel to that book, and the first episode in a new series, Inverted Frontier. As in Vast, this … Continue reading

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