The Skin of the World

Photographer: David Clode | Source: Unsplash I am taking a step back from writing about contentious topics — authoritarian politics, climate change, approaching extinction and animal rights. Not for ever, but for a few weeks. It feels like every conversation about those topics increases the fear and anxiety of everyone in the room and tilts the scales in […]

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The Tyranny of Experience

Photographer: v2osk | Source: Unsplash There’s no greater tyranny in my world than that of experience, by which I mean the ever more sophisticated versions of the claim “seeing is believing.” We are skeptical by nature, demanding evidence and proof and subjecting claims to all kinds of tests before we believe them. Experience produces facts, in […]

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Earth Trek

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash Today is the 1st of February. Let’s just say I took January off and am now ready to take on a year long writing project. What’s it going to be? No surprise, it’s the same project as last year. Way back at the beginning of last year, I said I […]

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The Adventures of Vatman

Aren’t straight lines boring? I have been zagging about climate change, animal rights and other planetary calamities for several months. It’s getting to be burdensome. Time to zig. Or rather, it’s time to zigback to a topic I continue to think about in a parallel universe, a world without care or worry, a topic that’s […]

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Alien Minds: Newsletter #24

This week, I am going to talk about something I have puzzled about ever since I was a child but never really taken seriously: the search for extra terrestrial intelligence. SETI, like AI, is one of those elusive, almost dream like goals whose goalposts keep changing. What would count as a truly alien intelligence? When […]

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The Sun Theory of Light

Neuroscience is a field for philistines. It’s based on the crudest form of physicalism: the mind is the brain, a hypothesis of a crudity that physics itself lost centuries ago, similar to saying “light is created in the sun.” At some level that’s true, for the sun is (locally) distal source of light, but one […]

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Matter meets mind Just as the railroad revolutionized life in the nineteenth century, the internet has created spaces increasingly revolutionized by new ways of communicating ideas and transporting goods. The progression of technology is the same in both cases: A new territory is discovered. Surveys are undertaken and maps are created. Communities are established in newly […]

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I gave a talk at NIAS on M-Theories, which is my approach to the intersection of mind, metaphysics and mathematics. You can see the prezi of the talk here or on the prezi page. via Prezi via Prezi

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Science has mostly been an analytic pursuit; we try to break the universe into its constituent parts and analyze these parts for what they are. This method is also often called reductionism, but one can be analytic without being a reductionist. Engineering on the other hand is synthetic; while an engineer does analyze cars in […]

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