Tag Archives: Science

Blindsight explained and conscious perception

Warning: neuroscience weeds. Every so often we get into discussions about where in the brain consciousness lies.  Sometimes it’s asserted to be in the brainstem, other times in the thalamus, sometimes in the parietal lobe, and yet other times in … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , | 69 Comments

Dark energy and repulsive gravity

Over the weekend, Sean Carroll put up a blog post to address common misconceptions about cosmology.  I understood most of his points, but was confused when I saw this one: Dark energy is not a new force; it’s a new substance. … Continue reading

Posted in Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , | 23 Comments

A qualified recommendation: Consciousness Demystified

A couple of years ago I did a series of posts inspired by Todd Feinberg and Jon Mallatt’s excellent  The Ancient Origins of Consciousness, a book on the evolution of animal consciousness.  Somewhat building on what I had read in … Continue reading

Posted in Mind and AI | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Sean Carroll on the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics

Related to the post last week on quantum mechanics, here is a talk that got mentioned in the discussion thread.  Warning: Carroll is a passionate advocate for the Many Worlds Interpretation, so don’t expect a fair and balanced discussion.  The … Continue reading

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Do all quantum trails inevitably lead to Everett?

I’ve been thinking lately about quantum physics, a topic that seems to attract all sorts of crazy speculation and intense controversy, which seems inevitable.  Quantum mechanics challenges our deepest held most cherished beliefs about how reality works.  If you study … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Tagged , , , , | 54 Comments

Dogs have metacognition, maybe

Last year in a post on panpsychism, I introduced a hierarchy I use to conceptualize the capabilities of systems that we intuitively see as conscious.  This isn’t a new theory of consciousness or anything, just my own way of making … Continue reading

Posted in Mind and AI | Tagged , , , , , , , | 66 Comments

Are there things that are knowable but not measurable?

It’s a mantra for many scientists, not to mention many business managers, that if you can’t measure it, it’s not real.  On the other hand, I’ve been told by a lot of people, mostly non-scientists, and occasionally humanistic scholars including philosophers, … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged , , , | 93 Comments

Predicting far future technologies

Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future. Niels Bohr If you’re a science fiction writer, one of the things you do is try to predict what future technologies will come along.  If you’re not writing hard science fiction, this … Continue reading

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

Are the social sciences “real” science?

YouTube channel Crash Course is starting a new series on what is perhaps the most social of social sciences: Sociology. The social sciences, such as sociology, but also psychology, economics, anthropology, and other similar fields get a lot of grief … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Tagged , , , , | 43 Comments

What do scientific theories actually tell us about the world?

One of the things that’s exciting about learning new things, is that often a new understanding in one area sheds light on what might seem like a completely separate topic.  For me, information about how the brain works appears to have shed … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Science | Tagged , , , , , , , | 75 Comments