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Posted: Oct 27, 2014 - 3:08pm

The Cold Logic of Drunk People - The Atlantic
At a bar in France, researchers made people answer questions about philosophy. The more intoxicated the subject, the more utilitarian he or she was likely to be.
Prodigal_SOB

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Posted: Oct 23, 2014 - 5:23pm

  
  Have I ever told the one about the poor misguided philosophy student who was always putting Descartes before Horace?
 
Prodigal_SOB

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Posted: Oct 17, 2014 - 10:58am

 RichardPrins wrote:
{#Mrgreen}

Nobody really needs instruction for that, as it sort of comes naturally. I bet even amoebae know how to do it (in its most basic form).
 
  There are people in this town getting doctorates in folklore.  That's always seemed a bit odd to me too.

 
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Posted: Oct 17, 2014 - 10:44am

 Prodigal_SOB wrote:
You know this is something I really don't think I need that much instruction in.
 
{#Mrgreen}

Nobody really needs instruction for that, as it sort of comes naturally. I bet even amoebae know how to do it (in its most basic form).


Prodigal_SOB

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Location: Back Home Again in Indiana
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Posted: Oct 17, 2014 - 9:48am

 RichardPrins wrote: 
You know this is something I really don't think I need that much instruction in.
 
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Posted: Oct 17, 2014 - 8:41am

Heil Hedonism! {#Drunk}
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Posted: Oct 8, 2014 - 7:31pm

Chimpanzee 'personhood' effort begins new court battle | Science/AAAS | News

Chimpanzees are back in court. Today, judges in New York state heard the first in a series of appeals attempting to grant “legal personhood” to the animals. The case is part of a larger effort by an animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) to free a variety of creatures—from research chimps to aquarium dolphins—from captivity.

Late last year, NhRP filed lawsuits in three New York lower courts on behalf of four captive chimpanzees in the state. Two—Tommy and Kiko—live in cages on private property, according to the group. The other two—Hercules and Leo—are lab chimps at Stony Brook University. The litigation was spearheaded by Steven Wise, a prominent animal rights lawyer and NhRP’s founder, who spent years consulting with scientists, policy experts, and other lawyers to hone a strategy. His group settled on filing a writ of habeas corpus, which allows a person being held captive to have a say in court. Any judge that granted the writ would be tacitly acknowledging that a chimpanzee is a legal person and thus must be freed from its current confines.

That didn’t happen: All three lower courts dismissed the lawsuits. So NhRP appealed, and Wise argued the first of those appeals this afternoon. Making his case for Tommy in front of a five-judge panel and a packed courthouse, he contended that chimpanzees are so cognitively and genetically similar to humans that they deserve a fundamental right to bodily liberty. He wants Tommy—and eventually the other chimpanzees—moved to a sanctuary in Florida. Wise didn’t have any pushback: Tommy’s owners didn’t appear in court, and they didn’t file legal briefs challenging the case.

“It went as well as we could have hoped,” says NhRP’s executive director, Natalie Prosin, who was also at the hearing. “The judges were really engaged. They had obviously read our briefs and materials, and they asked really intelligent questions.”

Prosin is also heartened by a move the court made in July. In response to NhRP’s concerns that Tommy’s owners would try to move him out of state to avoid further litigation, the judges unanimously granted a preliminary injunction to prevent any move. “That was a major victory for us,” Prosin says. “It means the court thinks our appeal has a decent chance of success.”

That’s a fair assessment, says Richard Cupp, a law professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, and a noted opponent of personhood for animals. But he still doesn’t think NhRP is going to win. “The weight of precedent and reasoning goes so strongly against these cases,” says Cupp, who would rather see a focus on animal welfare than animal rights. “Animal personhood is an artificial and unrealistic concept,” he says. “Language won’t help these creatures—human responsibility will.” (...)


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Posted: Aug 18, 2014 - 6:22pm


haresfur

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Posted: Jul 1, 2014 - 6:30pm

 RichardPrins wrote:


 
{#Lol}
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Posted: Jul 1, 2014 - 6:18pm


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Posted: Jan 29, 2014 - 5:24pm

 RichardPrins wrote:
Our quantum reality problem – Adrian Kent – Aeon
When the deepest theory we have seems to undermine science itself, some kind of collapse looks inevitable

(...) It was clear from the start that quantum theory challenged all our previous preconceptions about the nature of matter and how it behaves, and indeed about what science can possibly – even in principle – say about these questions. Over the years, this very slipperiness has made it irresistible to hucksters of various descriptions. I regularly receive ads offering to teach me how to make quantum jumps into alternate universes, tap into my infinite quantum self-energy, and make other exciting-sounding excursions from the plane of reason and meaning. It’s worth stressing, then, that the theory itself is both mathematically precise and extremely well confirmed by experiment.

Quantum mechanics has correctly predicted the outcomes of a vast range of investigations, from the scattering of X-rays by crystals to the discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider. It successfully explains a vast range of natural phenomena, including the structure of atoms and molecules, nuclear fission and fusion, the way light interacts with matter, how stars evolve and shine, and how the elements forming the world around us were originally created.

Yet it puzzled many of its founders, including Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger, and it continues to puzzle physicists today. Einstein in particular never quite accepted it. ‘It seems hard to sneak a look at God’s cards,’ he wrote to a colleague, ‘but that he plays dice and uses “telepathic” methods (as the present quantum theory requires of him) is something that I cannot believe for a single moment.’ In a 1935 paper co-written with Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen, Einstein asked: ‘Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete?’ He concluded that it could not. Given apparently sensible demands on what a description of physical reality must entail, it seemed that something must be missing. We needed a deeper theory to understand physical reality fully.

Einstein never found the deeper theory he sought. Indeed, later theoretical work by the Irish physicist John Bell and subsequent experiments suggested that the apparently reasonable demands of that 1935 paper could never be satisfied. Had Einstein lived to see this work, he would surely have agreed that his own search for a deeper theory of reality needed to follow a different path from the one he sketched in 1935.

Even so, I believe that Einstein would have remained convinced that a deeper theory was needed. None of the ways we have so far found of looking at quantum theory are entirely believable. In fact, it’s worse than that. To be ruthlessly honest, none of them even quite makes sense. But that might be about to change. (...)



 
we are but bumps on the ass of a cosmic jackass
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Posted: Jan 29, 2014 - 5:12pm

Our quantum reality problem – Adrian Kent – Aeon
When the deepest theory we have seems to undermine science itself, some kind of collapse looks inevitable

(...) It was clear from the start that quantum theory challenged all our previous preconceptions about the nature of matter and how it behaves, and indeed about what science can possibly – even in principle – say about these questions. Over the years, this very slipperiness has made it irresistible to hucksters of various descriptions. I regularly receive ads offering to teach me how to make quantum jumps into alternate universes, tap into my infinite quantum self-energy, and make other exciting-sounding excursions from the plane of reason and meaning. It’s worth stressing, then, that the theory itself is both mathematically precise and extremely well confirmed by experiment.

Quantum mechanics has correctly predicted the outcomes of a vast range of investigations, from the scattering of X-rays by crystals to the discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider. It successfully explains a vast range of natural phenomena, including the structure of atoms and molecules, nuclear fission and fusion, the way light interacts with matter, how stars evolve and shine, and how the elements forming the world around us were originally created.

Yet it puzzled many of its founders, including Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger, and it continues to puzzle physicists today. Einstein in particular never quite accepted it. ‘It seems hard to sneak a look at God’s cards,’ he wrote to a colleague, ‘but that he plays dice and uses “telepathic” methods (as the present quantum theory requires of him) is something that I cannot believe for a single moment.’ In a 1935 paper co-written with Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen, Einstein asked: ‘Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete?’ He concluded that it could not. Given apparently sensible demands on what a description of physical reality must entail, it seemed that something must be missing. We needed a deeper theory to understand physical reality fully.

Einstein never found the deeper theory he sought. Indeed, later theoretical work by the Irish physicist John Bell and subsequent experiments suggested that the apparently reasonable demands of that 1935 paper could never be satisfied. Had Einstein lived to see this work, he would surely have agreed that his own search for a deeper theory of reality needed to follow a different path from the one he sketched in 1935.

Even so, I believe that Einstein would have remained convinced that a deeper theory was needed. None of the ways we have so far found of looking at quantum theory are entirely believable. In fact, it’s worse than that. To be ruthlessly honest, none of them even quite makes sense. But that might be about to change. (...)


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Posted: Jan 22, 2014 - 10:26am

Optical illusions educate the mind – Iwan Rhys Morus – Aeon

NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: Jan 17, 2014 - 12:38pm

 RichardPrins wrote:
Discovery of quantum vibrations in 'microtubules' inside brain neurons supports controversial theory of consciousness
A review and update of a controversial 20-year-old theory of consciousness published in Physics of Life Reviews claims that consciousness derives from deeper level, finer scale activities inside brain neurons. The recent discovery of quantum vibrations in "microtubules" inside brain neurons corroborates this theory, according to review authors Stuart Hameroff and Sir Roger Penrose. They suggest that EEG rhythms (brain waves) also derive from deeper level microtubule vibrations, and that from a practical standpoint, treating brain microtubule vibrations could benefit a host of mental, neurological, and cognitive conditions. (...)


 
Bandyopadhyay and his team will couple microtubule vibrations from active neurons to play Indian musical instruments. "Consciousness depends on anharmonic vibrations of microtubules inside neurons, similar to certain kinds of Indian music, but unlike Western music which is harmonic," Hameroff explains.
sounds better than a drum machine.
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Posted: Jan 16, 2014 - 9:15pm

Discovery of quantum vibrations in 'microtubules' inside brain neurons supports controversial theory of consciousness
A review and update of a controversial 20-year-old theory of consciousness published in Physics of Life Reviews claims that consciousness derives from deeper level, finer scale activities inside brain neurons. The recent discovery of quantum vibrations in "microtubules" inside brain neurons corroborates this theory, according to review authors Stuart Hameroff and Sir Roger Penrose. They suggest that EEG rhythms (brain waves) also derive from deeper level microtubule vibrations, and that from a practical standpoint, treating brain microtubule vibrations could benefit a host of mental, neurological, and cognitive conditions. (...)

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Posted: Nov 22, 2013 - 11:23am

In defense of philosophy - Opinion - Al Jazeera English
Authors question the dominant suspicion of philosophical inquiry and critical thinking in democratic societies.

On World Philosophy Day, UN official urges critical thinking on inclusion, sustainability
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Posted: Nov 18, 2013 - 5:48pm

Skepticism, Godzilla, and the Artificial Computerized Many-Branching You | Machines Like Us
Nick Bostrom has argued that we might be sims. A technologically advanced society might use hugely powerful computers, he says, to run "ancestor simulations" containing actually conscious people who think they are living, say, on Earth in the early 21st century but who in fact live entirely inside an advanced computational system. David Chalmers has considered a similar possibility in his well-known commentary on the movie The Matrix. (...)

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Posted: Oct 20, 2013 - 5:28pm

Does life have a purpose? (Michael Ruse/Aeon)
Nobody expects atoms and molecules to have purposes, so why do we still think of living things in this way?

My Modest Proposal for Solving the “Meaning of Life Problem”—and Reducing Global Conflict (John Horgon/Cross-Check/SciAm)
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Posted: Oct 19, 2013 - 2:43pm

What Is 'Evil' to Google?
Speculations on the company's contribution to moral philosophy

Last week, another distasteful use of your personal information by Google came to light: The company plans to attach your name and likeness to advertisements delivered across its products without your permission.

As happens every time the search giant does something unseemly, Google's plan to turn its users into unwitting endorsers has inspired a new round of jabs at Google's famous slogan "Don't be evil." While Google has deemphasized the motto over time, it remains prominent in the company's corporate code of conduct, and, as a cornerstone of its 2004 Founder's IPO Letter, the motto has become an inescapable component of the company's legacy.

Famous though the slogan might be, its meaning has never been clear. In the 2004 IPO letter, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin clarify that Google will be "a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains." But what counts as "good things," and who constitutes "the world?" The slogan's significance has likely changed over time, but today it seems clear that we're misunderstanding what "evil" means to the company. For today's Google, evil isn't tied to malevolence or moral corruption, the customary senses of the term. Rather, it's better to understand Google's sense of evil as the disruption of its brand of (computational) progress. (...)

NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: Oct 18, 2013 - 4:00pm

 RichardPrins wrote:
New insights on human consciousness | Machines Like Us

(...) Monti and his colleagues used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study how the flow of information in the brains of 12 healthy volunteers changed as they lost consciousness under anesthesia with propofol. The participants ranged in age from 18 to 31 and were evenly divided between men and women.

The psychologists analyzed the "network properties" of the subjects' brains using a branch of mathematics known as graph theory, which is often used to study air-traffic patterns, information on the Internet and social groups, among other topics.

"It turns out that when we lose consciousness, the communication among areas of the brain becomes extremely inefficient, as if suddenly each area of the brain became very distant from every other, making it difficult for information to travel from one place to another," Monti said.

The finding shows that consciousness does not "live" in a particular place in our brain but rather "arises from the mode in which billions of neurons communicate with one another," he said. (...)



 
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