The following post is from my new article for Knowing Neurons, an online publication about neuroscience and the mind. The Matrix made all of us ask the same disturbing questions: How do I know that the world I see, hear, and touch is real? Can I prove that I’m not actually in a pod created by machines […]Read more "We Are All Brains In Vats"
As long as the nature of consciousness will remain a mystery, we will be in the grip of anxiety. And that is because we are, all of us, haunted by that uniquely human question: what awaits us after death? Although the vast majority of Americans believe in some sort of afterlife, such beliefs are starkly at odds […]Read more "There Is No Ghost In The Brain"
I recently had a brief back-and-forth with Bobby Azarian about his new article on Raw Story. Azarian, a neuroscientist at George Mason University, argued that artificial intelligence (AI) could never be conscious. I highly recommend reading Azarian’s article: it’s a great distillation of some key concepts in the philosophy of mind, and he makes an […]Read more "Why Machines Could Be – But Aren’t – Conscious"
I recently had the pleasure of talking to Mark Baxter, Ph.D. about the status of neuroscience as a field. Mark is a neuroscientist who studies the molecular mechanisms of learning and memory. This is my second conversation with Mark. Several months ago, we discussed a controversial paper on the effects of marijuana consumption on the […]Read more "Is Neuroscience a Mature Science?"
I just read Sam Harris’s Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. I liked it a lot, and it’s relevant to the topics I talk about on this blog, so here’s a brief a review. In Waking Up, Sam Harris cuts through a lot of the confusion to be found in religion, philosophy, and science […]Read more "A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion"