Archive for the ‘Ideas’ Category

After all, if we are merely material beings whose personality can be altered and even controlled by fairly simple technologies, is there really a there there? Is there some immutable kernel of a person that is the self, or an essence that resists change? Can brain interventions can change who we are – make us into a different person or alter personal identity?

Source: Do brain interventions to treat disease change the essence of who we are?

In terms of history, the events in Middle East, of ISIS and all of that, is just a speed bump on history’s highway. The Middle East is not very important. Silicon Valley is much more important. It’s the world of the 21st century … I’m not speaking only about technology.

In terms of ideas, in terms of religions, the most interesting place today in the world is Silicon Valley, not the Middle East. This is where people like Ray Kurzweil, are creating new religions. These are the religions that will take over the world, not the ones coming out of Syria and Iraq and Nigeria.

via Death Is Optional | Edge.org.

Letting go of ideas can be difficult, because of the well-established neural pathways we have constructed with them – they become part of the fabric. Recognizing that they are not fruitful or not supported is crucial to opening to new ideas.

WORLD PREMIERE: JESSE DYLAN'S DOCUMENTARY ON THE EDGE QUESTION—2014 | Edge.org.

The view of totality, its attendant conception of reality called “Total Being,” and the understanding of the dynamic of realization—the relationship between individual practice and realization—begin to articulate the nonhierarchical view of the Diamond Approach. As we plumb the depths of our immediate experience, at some point, we can begin to uncover the underlying implications of its view. From the vantage of totality, we can discern not only the distinctness, the validity, and the experiential universe of that particular view but also the relationship of one worldview to another. Doing so unleashes the inherent freedom of reality, and reality shows its delight by leading us to other views and further mysteries. This is the upshot of uncertainty: We are loosed from the search for final meaning into a life of limitless adventure.

via Newest Book by A.H. Almaas: Runaway Realization | Science and Nonduality.

VISION OF THE FUTURE – MARSHALL ROSENBERG – YouTube. Workshops also available on YouTube! More of this, please!

The fact is we all suffer from cognitive egocentrism. We all seem to intuitively assume that we have won what I call the ‘Magical Belief Lottery.’ We cherry pick confirming evidence and utterly overlook disconfirming evidence. We automatically assume that our sources are more reliable than the sources cited by others. We think we are more intelligent than we in fact are. We rewrite memories to minimize the threat of inconsistencies. We mistake claims repeated three or more times as fact. We continually revise our beliefs to preempt in-group criticism. We regularly confabulate. We congenitally use our conclusions to determine the cogency of our premises. The list goes on and on, believe you me. Add to this the problem of Interpretative Underdetermination, the simple fact that our three pound brains are so dreadfully overmatched by the complexities of the world…

via The Semantic Apocalypse | Speculative Heresy.

lw: Recognition of the Human Condition.

In Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking (public library) — the same fantastic volume that gave us Dennett on the dignity and art-science of making mistakes — he offers what he calls “the best antidote [for the] tendency to caricature one’s opponent”: a list of rules formulated decades ago by the legendary social psychologist and game theorist Anatol Rapoport, best-known for originating the famous tit-of-tat strategy of game theory. Dennett synthesizes the steps:

How to compose a successful critical commentary:

You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.

You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).

You should mention anything you have learned from your target.

Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

via How to Criticize with Kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett on the Four Steps to Arguing Intelligently | Brain Pickings.

What We Know | The scientists agree. The climate is changing, it’s caused by human behavior, and the risks ahead are real. Learn about the consensus..

Watch this!

Andy Clark: “I’m working on predictive processing as I’ll call it, which is just a particular model of how you build up models to get to grips with the world as a living creature. The basic idea is that we try to predict our own sensory flow using a multi-layered structure. What I think is interesting about it is that internal processes deliver perception and action as being computationally built in just the same way. They sort of squeeze cognition out because you don’t need it any more, it’s all done by the stuff that is doing perception and action. And that stuff, precisely because it’s doing perception and action, rolls the world in at any point in which that’s going to be a useful strategy.”

via Interview: David Chalmers and Andy Clark | New Philosopher.

The internal portion of the extended mind.

“The organization of the brain is affected by experience, and therefore, it has to be exercised, experimented, and because of this nature of our brain, we are constantly rewired and reorganized. It becomes clear that we henceforth cannot think of our relationships with objects, with the other or with ourselves without interrogating this self-transformable basis of our subjectivity.

We cannot understand the becoming empirical of the transcendental without exploring the space opened by neural plasticity. This means that the « outside » of the humanities loses its monstrosity to become the material exteriority without which criticism is reduced to the relativism and polymorphism of cultural studies. Reciprocally, the « inside » of the Humanities may renew their old conception of the plasticity of all frontiers.”

via >>> TRANSEUROPEENNES ::The future of Humanities.

//A move of humanities toward an openness to the humanity of the quest to understand, perhaps.