Category Archives: Zeitgeist

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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The brain is a computer, but what is a computer?

Kevin Lande has an article up at Aeon which is one of the best discussions of the brain as a computational system that I’ve seen in a while.  For an idea of the spirit of the piece: The claim that … Continue reading

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Is superintelligence possible?

Daniel Dennett and David Chalmers sat down to “debate” the possibility of superintelligence.  I quoted “debate” because this was a pretty congenial discussion. (Note: there’s a transcript of this video on the Edge site, which might be more time efficient … Continue reading

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SMBC on what separates humans from machines

Source: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (Click through for full sized version and the red button caption.) My own take on this is that what separates humans from machines is our survival instinct.  We intensely desire to survive, and procreate.  Machines, … Continue reading

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David Chalmers on the meta-problem of consciousness

David Chalmers is famous as the philosopher who coined the hard problem of consciousness, the idea that how and why consciousness is produced from a physical system, how phenomenal experience arises from such a system, is an intractably difficult issue.  … Continue reading

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Malcolm MacIver on imagination and consciousness

Sean Carroll’s latest episode of his podcast, Mindscape, features an interview with neuroscientist Malcom MacIver, one that is well worth checking out for anyone interested in consciousness. Consciousness has many aspects, from experience to wakefulness to self-awareness. One aspect is … Continue reading

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Kurzgesagt on the origin of consciousness

This video by Kurzgesagt is pretty interesting.  A word of warning; it’s funded by Templeton, which I know will bother some of you, but I found the content to be reasonably solid from a scientific perspective. The only real issues … Continue reading

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Is cosmic inflation settled science?

Ethan Siegel at Starts With a Bang has a post up arguing that the multiverse must exist.  His reasoning has to do with cosmic inflation.  Inflation is the theory that the universe expanded at an exponential rate in the first … Continue reading

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A neuroscience showdown on consciousness?

Apparently the Templeton Foundation is interested in seeing progress on consciousness science, and so is contemplating funding studies to test various theories.  The stated idea is to at least winnow the field through “structured adversarial collaborations”.  The first two theories … Continue reading

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Captain Marvel

Last night I did something I rarely do anymore, saw a movie in theater right when it was released: Captain Marvel.  As Marvel movies go, it was typical: lots of action, special effects, heart warming moments, and laughs.  Marvel / … Continue reading

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