Free Will Is (Mostly) Irrelevant

In this essay, I argue that the question of whether humans have free will need not be viewed as important, as it is largely irrelevant to whether one is living a good life, and is even mostly irrelevant to questions surrounding punishment and… Continue Reading

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Amnesiac’s Dilemma (Aka: Sleeping Beauty Problem)

There’s a probability problem that lacks an obvious solution, despite appearing simple at first glance. It’s usually called the Sleeping Beauty Problem, but I’m uncomfortable with that formulation, as it strikes me as needlessly sexist: it usually revolves around a young woman… Continue Reading

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Memory and Consciousness (via Audition)

I’d like to explore the following strong claim: Without memory, consciousness is not possible. Put another way: If you had no memory at all, you would not be conscious. I suspect this claim to be true, even if we take the minimum requirement for consciousness… Continue Reading

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Consciousness Explained in Three Billion Pages

Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman has recently been getting popular attention for a theory that holds consciousness as fundamental—that is, “…not as something derivative or emergent from a prior physical world”, which he supports with a novel account of the relationship between objects and perception… Continue Reading

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Sine-Wave Speech

Ever notice that when a familiar song is playing in another room, you can clearly hear the words, but if unfamiliar, you can’t make out the words? I’ve experienced something similar with self-recording musicians—especially voice-shy ones—who think they’ve set their vocal loud in a mix,… Continue Reading

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