So, I'm a skeptic, and I've had my share of debates on comment threads with people about purported phenomena without scientific evidence. One of the claims often asserted is that so many people have experienced it, there must be something there. It's not unusual for these debates to get mired in epistemological fights about how … Continue reading How do you separate the objective from the subjective?
A new scientific paper claims to describe an experiment that shows that consciousness controls our actions. From the paper: These results indicate that conscious intentions govern motor function… until today, it was unclear whether conscious motor intention exists prior to movement, or whether the brain constructs such an intention after movement initiation. The Neuroskeptic takes … Continue reading Is consciousness in control? Does it matter?
Our recent discussions, particularly on the thread about Jonathan Haidt's response to Sam Harris's challenge, left me thinking about the various scopes of objective facts. In retrospect, it's a bit obvious to me now that a key question in moral philosophy is, if morality is objective, at what scope is it objective? Haidt used the … Continue reading The scope of objective facts and morality
Benjamin Bratton's TED talk appears to be getting a lot of attention: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo5cKRmJaf0 The Guardian also has a transcript. It seems to me that Bratton's talk can be summarized as, you're all not thinking hard enough, not making real impacts, and allowing yourselves to be satisfied with too little. I think Bratton has some good … Continue reading TED and unrealistic expectations
Alan Turing was a pioneer in the field of computer science. One of the things he is famous for is the Turing test. At its core, this is a test about whether or not a machine, a computer, can convince a human that the machine is another human. The details of the specific test that … Continue reading Consciousness is in the eye of the beholder