Strange Loops and Distributed Consciousness

The following is the abstract from Douglas Hofstadter’s contribution to this year’s upcoming Science of Consciousness Conference, April 4th to 8th, Tucson 2006. (Followed by some other interesting abstracts.) (I had been kinda hoping I could be there, but it seems less and less likely as I approach my move to the US ironically.) Strange … Continue reading “Strange Loops and Distributed Consciousness”

The Blue Screen of Death

Dave Pollard picks up on The Edge 2006 Question response from Kai Krause, and adds quite a detailed take of his own. The original Krause analogy is a good one. If you take a memetic view of cultural ideas, that drive our day to day decision making, the crises that occur (those that don’t arise … Continue reading “The Blue Screen of Death”

Numbers, Objective, What ?

The Jeremy Leggett oil-crisis article is I guess no great surprise, in terms of the discovery, reserves, production, security and consumption of oil & gas supplies. It’s only ever been a matter of when, though as he points out even intelligent public guesswork would be way off the mark on many of the key dates. … Continue reading “Numbers, Objective, What ?”

In Communication of Information We Trust

Well actually, no we don’t not without some reason to do so. Been through the cycle of debate with the family recently about business travel …. I’m in the oil, gas & energy business, I travel a lot, air-travel is very energy intensive, the global energy business is approaching crises in consumption and supply security, … Continue reading “In Communication of Information We Trust”

The Crack Cocaine of the Thinking World

The Edge annual question (and answers) for 2006 is up on their site. (My post header is from the BBC quote about The Edge.) This year’s theme is “Dangerous Ideas” – things that might actually be true. I’ll post more when I’ve distilled a few of my favourite answers from the great and the good.

Fantasy Echoes of The Meme Machine

For those who, like me, responded to Daniel Dennett’s 1991 “Consciousness Explained” with “Hardly” [*], I must heartily recommend his short 2005 book “Sweet Dreams – Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness” and his interview with Sue Blackmore in her 2005 “Conversations on Consciousness” as altogether more satisfying. As he admits “Fantasy Echo”, his … Continue reading “Fantasy Echoes of The Meme Machine”

Understated Wit

Still reading Sue Blackmore’s “Introduction to Consciousness”. Very good. She’s read all the the same books I have in the last 3 or 4 years and working in academe with direct contact with many of the authors, has found the time and credibility to summarise them very succinctly. I agree and I’m impressed. I kinda … Continue reading “Understated Wit”

What Do You Believe …

… is true, even though you cannot prove it ? The Edge 2005 Annual Question. All the usual suspects, mixed bag of answers though. Dennett, says language is a necessary pre-condition for consciousness, and interestingly, his reason concerns the need for “I”, a subject. Like that. Blackmore, says she believes that neither free-will nor herself … Continue reading “What Do You Believe …”