The Divided Brain – a Director’s Cut

Iain McGilchrist’s film “The Divided Brain” was released last week. The film one half of your brain doesn’t want you to see. An hour and a quarter of anyone’s time well spent. [Full disclosure: I have written positively about McGilchrist’s work before, and contributed to crowdfunding of the film project.] “The halves of our brain … Continue reading “The Divided Brain – a Director’s Cut”

The Stories That Bind Humanity

Was about to post a placeholder for a piece on the need for “Religion by any other name.” I last mentioned the concept – a merging of causes in a Humanistic value-model – in response to a Rabbi Sacks talk. (And did I see a article only yesterday “destroying” Alain de Botton over his taking … Continue reading “The Stories That Bind Humanity”

“There’s No Faith Without AI” – Please God, No!

As an atheist who believes in the fundamental nature of information and meaning this episode of Future Proofing on Faith – “how the functions of religion could be taken over by technology” – I found very hard to listen to. Great conclusion from Timandra Harkness, despite some awfully confused content contributors. Good in parts, but where to … Continue reading ““There’s No Faith Without AI” – Please God, No!”

Pre & Post Humanism in Dan Brown’s “Origin”

I’ve been pretty sceptical about AI hype going back a decade or so when Kurzweil coined Transhumanism beyond the Singularity where artificial computer intelligence overtakes real human capabilities. Here my 2010 take on the 2009 Singularity Summit, where one of my heroes, Hofstadter, and others were also sceptical about Kurzweil’s take. In fact there are many … Continue reading “Pre & Post Humanism in Dan Brown’s “Origin””

Origin Where We’re Headed

Origin is the latest from Dan Brown. [Many spoilers and rough notes.] [This below is a doubtful piece of writing – a much better review here in “Pre and Post-Humanism”.] ===== This review focusses on the “technical” content, with anything on the plot and style or on my reading of it being relegated to a … Continue reading “Origin Where We’re Headed”

BBC R4 Today Presenters’ Views of TFTD

Most of what’s wrong with Today could be fixed by retiring Humphrys IMHO but as an atheist, humanist, rationalist I happen to like Thought for the Day. Ironically it is Humphrys’ view that is closest to mine: “Sometimes it’s good … an interesting thought in a provocative way [but] inappropriate that Today should broadcast nearly three … Continue reading “BBC R4 Today Presenters’ Views of TFTD”

Progress in Dialogue – Thomas Metzinger meets Sam Harris

Sam Harris conversation with Thomas Metzinger in the Waking Up Podcast. Hat tip to Terry Waites for the link as a conversation starter: Brain dump only whilst listening (few sentences / little editing) : In usual “naive” Sam Harris way the conversation skips superficially across many topics, and Metzinger is himself highly politically motivated. These days … Continue reading “Progress in Dialogue – Thomas Metzinger meets Sam Harris”

Peter Godfrey-Smith – “Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life”

Had these book-marked for some time. “The Sucker, the Sucker!” by Amia Srinivasan in the LRB, and “Squishy Sentience” by Marlene Zuk in the LARB, both reviewing “Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life” by Peter Godfrey-Smith Partly because Peter Godfrey-Smith is referenced by Dan Dennett, and I’ve yet to read anything … Continue reading “Peter Godfrey-Smith – “Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life””