Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Function for Consciousness

One of the biggest open questions for naturalistic science is, “What function does consciousness serve?”. If evolution is true, it would have been far more efficient to endow persons with consciousness-like behaviors without having to resort to actual consciousness. This was the point of Chalmer’s zombie thought experiments. Philosopher John Searle considers consciousness to be […]

Dylan Thomas

Not for the proud man apart From the raging moon I write On these spindrift pages Nor for the towering dead With their nightingales and psalms But for the lovers, their arms Round the griefs of the ages, Who pay no praise or wages Nor heed my craft or art. From “In My Craft or […]

Atheists are Cheats and Liars

Robin Hanson shares the results of a new survey showing that people distrust atheists, while they don’t distrust other groups which are often targets of discrimination (such as teh gays). Then, he shares experimental evidence showing that atheists are, indeed, more likely to cheat and lie. I am utterly shocked by the results. The paper […]

Walpurgis Nacht

One of my favorite passages in all of literature is from Faust: Das ist die Welt; Sie steigt und fällt Und rollt beständig; Sie klingt wie Glas- Wie bald bricht das! Ist hohl inwendig. Hier glänzt sie sehr, Und hier noch mehr: “Ich bin lebendig!” Mein lieber Sohn, Halt dich davon! Du mußt sterben! Sie […]

Schopenhauer in love

Schopenhauer famously argued that the fundamental reality of the universe is Will (with a capital W), and that our individual wills are just phenomena of this Will. He was a major influence on Nietzsche, and appeals to people who are fascinated by power, such as people who engage in S&M, cocaine addicts, and politicians. Schopenhauer’s […]

Marginalia

I recently read “The Quantum Thief“, by Hannu Rajaniemi, based on the recommendation of a friend. It was truly delightful. In just the first chapter, the author adapts ideas from at least 5 projects from the Santa Fe Institute, and there are references to cutting edge math, science, economics and philosophy topics on almost every […]

Occupy

I can’t claim to be the 99%. I have done very well since America’s mortgage crisis ignited the world. But I support the Occupy movement. If the global situation were as it is today, back when I was entering the work force, I would have been burning things down. An entire generation has been robbed […]

Bang & Bach

When I bought my new car, my only two requirements were that it have good merging power and a great stereo system. I want to hear all of the details when listening to Dopplereffekt, Dieselboy, or Dylan Drazen. I ended up going with the Bang & Olufsen system, and it’s exactly what I wanted. One […]

How to Die: Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery has become commonplace. I have several acquaintances who have had operations, and we jokingly refer to the cougars at the local hot spots as “50/50 ladies” (50 years old and 50 percent plastic). It’s no longer just the older people; one of my colleagues died from complications of plastic surgery at the age […]

Remembering Boredom

A few days ago, I had a strange vision (I wasn’t sleeping, and no drugs were involved). I was just sitting there, allowing my mind to drift, when suddenly my mind was flooded with images of memories from my past. The memories seemed to be sequential, starting at about 4 years old. The first memory […]