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Cytaty   ostatni miesiąc   wszystkie   all quatations, since 2014 Thx to: 3 Quarks Daily

Consciousness Come in Degrees?
 …  depends on what you think consciousness is
 …  Every living thing responds selectively to its immediate environment. Rocks don’t. One-celled organisms do. Viruses are a borderline case.
 …  When we say perceive, we’re thinking of sense organs, inputs and information-processing, however rudimentary.
 …  vague and admit many borderline cases
 …  Perception itself certainly admits degrees.
 …  Could a robot be a conscious being .. I don’t see why not. .. a robot can amass information through its sensors and build a representation of the external world.
 …  ‘conscious memory’ or a ‘conscious decision’—we mean not only being in a mental state but being aware of that very mental state from the inside.
 …  we are directly aware of.
 …  Awareness of your own mental states is often called “state” consciousness. Creatures that have state consciousness have the ability to represent their own mental states. It’s an empirical question which organisms do have that capacity. Human beings obviously have it. There is some evidence that gorillas do.
 …  the idea that animals ‘process’ pain but do not ‘feel’ it: ‘Rats and chickens systematically choose and self-administer painkillers when and only when they are distressed.
 …  pain itself and not awareness of it is what matters morally.
 …  self-medicating behaviour was just a direct response to the pain itself
 …  Chiropterological (bat) ethology and neuroscience may detail the bat’s sensory system down to the last molecule and bit of information processed, but neither science nor anything else could tell us humans what it’s like for the bat to experience its sonar sensation.
 …  Phenomenal consciousness is ‘intrinsically perspectival’
 …  the metaphysics of mind
 …  Daniel Dennett and others argue that if we really do know every detail of both the bat’s sonar sense and the human psychobiology and chemistry, we could work out what it’s like for the bat
 …  ‘What it’s like’ pervades the universe, and panpsychism is true. Ha-haa!
 …  how physical matter produces consciousness
 …  In Stephen Hawking’s words, ‘it is consciousness that breathes fire into the equations.’
 …  So, does consciousness come in degrees? Perceptual and state consciousnesses do. But phenomenal consciousness is different, and a whole different beast. /19-04-19

central-bank independence
The world has grown used to low and stable inflation under the stewardship of technocrats. But President Donald Trump is laying siege to the Federal Reserve, Brexiteers are rubbishing the Bank of England and the Turkish president has been in a tug-of-war with his central bank. In India a pliant insider has cut rates ahead of an election. And the European Central Bank is poised to become part of a wider political struggle over who runs Europe’s institutions. As an economic slowdown looms, there is a need for a debate on central banks’ objectives and tools.
The Economist/19-04-12

Image of a Black Hole
 …  M87, about 53 million lightyears
 …  historic image shows a ring of light emitted by gas falling into the black hole.
 …  The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) .. eight different telescopes across the world .. very-long-baseline interferometry
 …  wavelength of 1.3 mm
 …  Almost all galaxies have black holes at their centres. .. Our Milky Way galaxy has a fairly small black hole about 4 million times as massive as our Sun. .. M87 is a veritable monster, weighing 6,500-million-times as much as our Sun. Its event horizon, its outermost boundary across which nothing can escape, is about 20,000 million km wide – bigger than the entire Solar System.
 …  Why did the EHT not image the black hole in our own galaxy? .. 26,000 light years .. its brightness varies much more rapidly, it is harder to process the data /19-04-12

Mark Zuckerberg
 …  “At our scale,” he wrote, “we’ll always make mistakes.”
 …  the only significant reckoning for the tech industry has come from the European Union
 …  we get up to speed quite quickly, because these are fast moving technologies, fast moving markets, and if we want our democracies to set the direction, instead of businesses doing so, it’s a matter of urgency.
 …  Facebook even deployed an app that looked for rivals that it could either buy or kill. /19-04-11

Homo luzonensis .. 50,000 years ago
 …  Philippine
 …  You get different evolutionary pathways on islands
 …  efforts to extract DNA from H. luzonensis have failed so far
 …  complicate simple scenarios of human evolution /19-04-11

Redesigning life
 …  synthetic biology
 …  For the past four billion years or so the only way for life on Earth to produce a gene was by copying a gene it already had. No longer. Genes can now be written from scratch and edited repeatedly, like text in a word processor. The ability to engineer living things which this provides represents a fundamental change in the way humans interact with the planet’s life, potentially greater in impact than the dawn of agriculture or the exploitation of fossil fuels.
The Economist/19-04-05

Why are we impatient? It’s a heritage from our evolution
 …  The link between time and emotion is a complex one
 …  Social Acceleration: A New Theory of Modernity .. speed of human movement from pre-modern times to now has increased by a factor of 100
 …  impatience culture—fast-food
 …  small rewards now over larger ones later
 …  we are getting to be a more and more impulsive society
 …  there an absolute mechanism for measuring time in the brain
 …  brain judges time by counting the number of signals it is getting from the body. So if the signals come faster,
 …  meditation and mindfulness
 …  Could I really fix this maladapted mechanism so easily? /19-04-05

history of life on Earth
 …  sixty-­six million years ago
 …  The asteroid struck a shallow sea where the Yucatán peninsula is today.
 …  Some of the ejecta escaped Earth’s gravitational pull and went into irregular orbits around the sun.
 …  Mars was eventually strewn with the debris
 …  About seventy-five per cent of all species went extinct. More than 99.9999 per cent of all living organisms on Earth died
 …  the planet was perhaps entirely free of ice.
 …  “three-­metre problem.” .. almost no dinosaur remains have been found in the layers three metres, below the KT boundary,
 …  Hell Creek .. DePalma
 …  the whole KT event preserved in these sediments
 …  we see direct victims.
 …  In the next epoch, mammals underwent an explosion of adaptive radiation /19-04-04

spalenia książek
Komunikat Biblioteki Narodowej w sprawie publicznego spalenia książek
Data publikacji: 2/4/2019
Dokonując aktów publicznych należy rozważyć ich konsekwencje i przewidzieć możliwe reakcje. Publiczne spalenie książek w Polsce budzi wyjątkowe skojarzenia. Odsłania historyczne konteksty, zwłaszcza tu – w kraju dotkniętym w sposób wyjątkowo okrutny barbarzyństwem totalitaryzmów, które z palenia książek uczyniły symbol zniszczenia, w kraju, w którym w czasie drugiej wojny światowej zniszczono 70% zasobów bibliotek, którego Biblioteka Narodowa jako symbol niepodległości została świadomie podpalona przez niemieckich okupantów i w rezultacie niemal całkowicie unicestwiona – właśnie tu palenie książek, bez względu na pobudki i intencje, musi zostać uznane za nieodpowiednie i wzbudzić słuszny sprzeciw. To niebezpieczna forma działalności duszpasterskiej. Jak słusznie pisał św. Tomasz z Akwinu: „Nie można usprawiedliwić złego działania podjętego w dobrej intencji”. Cnota roztropności kształtuje zdolność do rozeznawania dobra i wyboru właściwych środków do jego czynienia. Aby się świadomie kierować cnotą roztropności, należy korzystać z nabytego doświadczenia, również wcześniejszych pokoleń. Konieczna jest formacja zdrowego sądu i zdolność przewidywania, oparta nie tylko na wiedzy, ale i na wyobraźni, co pozwala uniknąć ostrej krytyki i publicznego zgorszenia.

Brexit has already irreparably damaged research
 …  Utter chaos. Disaster. A national act of self-harm. All these terms have been used by leading scientists to describe the state of the United Kingdom’s plans to leave the European Union. Scientists are rarely so sharp tongued.
 …  Nature /19-04-02

ethicists .. are no more ethical than the rest of us
 …  The one exception was vegetarianism: Ethicists were both more likely to say that it was immoral to eat meat, and more likely to be vegetarians themselves.
 …  few ethicists seem to have considered their own behavior. /19-04-02

evolution of consciousness to when fish first climbed on to land, and could suddenly see much farther, which in turn made it advantageous to plan further in advance. /19-03-28

Nationalism The Biology of Us and Them
 …  His first mistake was looking for food alone
 …  bigger mistake was wandering too far up the valley into a dangerous wooded area. This was where he risked running into the Others
 …  and the Others took over the whole valley.
 …  they are chimpanzees in a national park in Uganda
 …  humans, who share more than 98 percent of their DNA with chimps, also divide the world into “us” and “them”
 …  to change their behavior. (The Swedes spent the seventeenth century rampaging through Europe; today they are, well, the Swedes.)
 …  Our brains distinguish between in-group members and outsiders in a fraction of a second,
 …  automatic and unconscious
 …  oxytocin
 …  Coke or Pepsi
 …  Make America Great Again
 …  myths of victimhood and dreams of revenge. /19-03-28

Quantum computing for the very curious
 …  Turing’s reasoning: Computing is normally done by writing certain symbols on paper. We may suppose this paper is divided into squares like a child’s arithmetic book. In elementary arithmetic the two-dimensional character of the paper is sometimes used. But such a use is always avoidable, and I think that it will be agreed that the two-dimensional character of paper is no essential of computation. I assume then that the computation is carried out on one-dimensional paper, i.e. on a tape divided into squares.
 …  David Deutsch .. Is there a (single) universal computing device which can efficiently simulate any other physical system?
 …  Quantum computing and quantum mechanics are famously “hard” subjects
 …  the essay incorporates new user interface ideas to help you remember what you read.
 …  developing a new and improved form of reading. /19-03-26

the current state of global faith
 …  Three-quarters of humanity profess a faith; the figure is projected to reach 80 per cent by 2050
 …  mainstream religion would fade away within a few generations;
 …  whether religion does more harm than good
 …  “Darwin appeared, and, under the guise of a foe, did the work of a friend”, because he held that God had made a world which makes itself.
 …  believers are consciously or unconsciously echoing a concern seen in much ancient philosophy.
 …  why join a community of belief in the first place? Why can’t you be “spiritual” in isolation,
 …  Is it open-handed, outward-looking, conducive to human flourishing in the fullest sense? /19-03-22

origin of religions
 …  Big people, big gods
 …  What came first: all-seeing gods or large societies?
 …  The god of Abraham sees everything, always.
 …  A “Big God” of this sort—a supernatural “eye in the sky” who cares whether people do right by others—is a feature of most of the world’s top religions.
 …  gods who watch over small societies tend to demand only that people show deference to them. Big Gods come later.
 …  small societies do not need a supernatural policeman. If everyone knows everyone else,
 …  What could be better than an all-seeing eye that enforces co-operation between friends and strangers alike?
 …  which comes first, a Big God that permits a big society, or a big society that requires a Big God?
 …  accumulated data on more than 400 societies that have existed in the past 10,000 years.
 …  Big Gods appeared about 100 years after a society took a leap forward in complexity
 …  today’s religions did not create modernity but, in the past at least, they held it together. /19-03-21

... ... ... 2014

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