background preloader

How Consciousness Evolved and Why a Planetary "Übermind" Is Inevitable

How Consciousness Evolved and Why a Planetary "Übermind" Is Inevitable
Related:  The Walk

Collective consciousness Discourse on the Origin and the Foundations of Inequality Among Men / Jean-Jacques Rousseau To the Republic of Geneva Magnificent, most honorable, and sovereign lords Convinced that only the virtuous citizen may justifiably give his native land honours which it can accept, I have been working for thirty years to become worthy of offering you public homage; and since this happy occasion supplements in part what my efforts have not been able to accomplish, I believed that I would be permitted here to follow the zeal which animates me rather than the right which ought to act as my authorization. Having had the good fortune to be born among you, how could I reflect on the equality which nature has set among men and on the inequality which they have instituted, without thinking about the profound wisdom with which both of these, happily combined in this State, work together in a manner most closely approaching natural law and most favourable to society to maintain public order and the happiness of individuals? I am, with the most profound respect,

Qualia In philosophy, qualia (/ˈkwɑːliə/ or /ˈkweɪliə/; singular form: quale) are what some consider to be individual instances of subjective, conscious experience. The term "qualia" derives from the Latin neuter plural form (qualia) of the Latin adjective quālis (Latin pronunciation: [ˈkʷaːlɪs]) meaning "of what sort" or "of what kind"). Examples of qualia include the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, or the perceived redness of an evening sky. As qualitative characters of sensation, qualia stand in contrast to "propositional attitudes".[1] Daniel Dennett (b. 1942), American philosopher and cognitive scientist, regards qualia as "an unfamiliar term for something that could not be more familiar to each of us: the ways things seem to us".[2] Erwin Schrödinger (1887–1961), the famous physicist, had this counter-materialist take: The sensation of color cannot be accounted for by the physicist's objective picture of light-waves. Definitions[edit] Arguments for the existence of qualia[edit] E. J.

It's Called 'De-Extinction' — It's Like 'Jurassic Park,' Except It's Real : The Picture Show Sorry to disappoint, but science writer Carl Zimmer says we're not going to bring back dinosaurs. But, he says, "science has developed to the point where we can actually talk seriously about possibly bringing back more recently extinct species." It's called "de-extinction" — and it's Zimmer's cover story for National Geographic's April issue. Resurrection Tintypes To capture the mood of this story, National Geographic hired tintype photographer Robb Kendrick. Hide caption The bucardo, or Pyrenean ibex, lived high in the Pyrenees until its extinction in 2000. Hide caption Though it looked like a wolf and was called a Tasmanian tiger, the thylacine was actually a marsupial — a relative of kangaroos and koalas. In 2003, he tells Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, scientists took some DNA that had been rescued from the very last bucardo, a type of wild goat that had recently gone extinct. How de-extinction works is complicated, and that's what the National Geographic article is for.

Is Consciousness Universal? For every inside there is an outside, and for every outside there is an inside; though they are different, they go together. —Alan Watts, Man, Nature, and the Nature of Man, 1991 I grew up in a devout and practicing Roman Catholic family with Purzel, a fearless and high-energy dachshund. It was only later, at university, that I became acquainted with Buddhism and its emphasis on the universal nature of mind. As a natural scientist, I find a version of panpsychism modified for the 21st century to be the single most elegant and parsimonious explanation for the universe I find myself in. We Are All Nature's Children The past two centuries of scientific progress have made it difficult to sustain a belief in human exceptionalism. Consider my Bernese mountain dog, Ruby, when she yelps, whines, gnaws at her paw, limps and then comes to me, seeking aid: I infer that she is in pain because under similar conditions I behave in similar ways (sans gnawing).

BBC Nature - Giant squid genetics reveal family secrets 20 March 2013Last updated at 07:53 By Ella Davies Reporter, BBC Nature An artist's impression of the shy submariner Giant squid around the world are "basically identical" despite looking very different, say scientists. The super-sized cephalopods live deep in the oceans and are little-known by the scientific community. An international team of researchers investigated rare samples of the elusive animals' DNA to reveal their family secrets. They discovered that there is just a single species of squid with no population structure. The findings are published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The giant squid has been a source of fascination both before and beyond its formal description in 1857 by Danish biologist Japetus Steenstrup. Its deep-dwelling lifestyle is largely unknown but specimens have been found globally, with the exception of Arctic and Antarctic waters. "But off [the coast of] Japan for example, they're much shorter and stubbier. 'Very weird'

Japanese Zen Buddhist Philosophy 1. The Meaning of the Term Zen The designation of this school of the Buddha-Way as Zen, which means sitting meditation, is derived from a transliteration of the Chinese word Chán. Because the Chinese term is in turn a transliteration of the Sanskrit term dhyāna, however, Zen owes its historical origin to early Indian Buddhism, where a deepened state of meditation, called samādhi, was singled out as one of the three components of study a Buddhist was required to master, the other two being an observation of ethical precepts (sīla) and an embodiment of nondiscriminatory wisdom (prajñā). 2. There are basically two methods utilized in meditation practice in Zen Buddhism to assist the practitioner to reach the above-mentioned goals, together with a simple breathing exercise known as “observation of breath count” (sūsokukan); one is the kōan method and the other is called “just sitting” (shikan taza), a form of “single act samādhi.” 3. 3.1 The Adjustment of the Body 4. 5. 6. 6.2 Zen’s Nothing

Birds Evolve Shorter Wings To Escape Traffic Crush Copyright © 2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required. This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. My next guest is the lead author of that paper. CHARLES BROWN: Hello, John. DANKOSKY: So tell us about the birds you're studying. BROWN: Well, I've been working on cliff swallows for about 30 years, and my major interest is why these animals are social. And we would frequently find dead birds. DANKOSKY: How many birds did you collect overall? BROWN: Well, overall, we have about 200 - I think about 200 road kills that we were able to save over the years. BROWN: And these, of course, were prepared, and we still have them. DANKOSKY: So tell us what you found. BROWN: Well, the most surprising thing was that the wing length on these road kill birds was longer than on a sample of birds that had died accidentally in mist nets. We also have that the average wing length has gone down over time. BROWN: Well, there are several possibilities. BROWN: No.

The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation The following text is based upon a talk given by Mr. S.N. Goenka in Berne, Switzerland. Everyone seeks peace and harmony, because this is what we lack in our lives. From time to time we all experience agitation, irritation, dishar­mony. We ought to live at peace with ourselves, and at peace with others. In order to be relieved of our misery, we have to know the basic reason for it, the cause of the suffering. How do we start generating negativity? Now, one way to solve this problem is to arrange that nothing unwanted happens in life, that everything keeps on happening exactly as we desire. In India, as well as in other countries, wise saintly persons of the past studied this problem—the problem of human suffering—and found a solution: if something unwanted happens and you start to react by generating anger, fear or any negativity, then, as soon as possible, you should divert your attention to something else. This solution was helpful; it worked. This presents a practical solution.

Leon Kass on Science and Religion Leon Kass has written an article for Commentary (April 2007)on "Science, Religion, and the Human Future."Steven Pinker and others have written responses to the article. Since Kass's article is a good summary of his ideas about modern science and its limitations, reading the article has stirred me to ponder my points of agreement and disagreement with his thinking. I will begin with the points of agreement. (The next five paragraphs are taken from my article on "Darwinian Liberal Education" in the fall 2006 issue of Academic Questions.) As a young man, I decided that what Leo Strauss called the "fundamental dilemma" of modernity explained the loss of liberal education as a comprehensive study of the whole. We might overcome this dilemma, I thought, if we could see Darwinian biology as a comprehensive science that would unify all the intellectual disciplines by studying human experience as part of the natural whole. In following the St. My next post will continue this discussion of Kass.

How to Explain Complex Ideas (Like Tech) to Those Who Don’t Understand