Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

Monthly Archive June 2019

Migräneanfall - Kopfschmerz

Do Epileptic Seizures Cause Abstract Thoughts?

A psychiatrist argues that “intellectual seizures” can occur

Seizures never evoke abstract thought. That is, if a seizure causes you to think about a triangle, it always causes you to imagine a particular triangle, not to define triangles abstractly.

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Head erased with pencil

Atheist Psychiatrist Misunderstands Evidence for an Immaterial Mind

Patients with massive brain damage were shown to have a mental life

Here is one way of seeing it: If someone took a sledgehammer to your computer and pulverized it, yet it still worked fairly well, you would conclude that there was something rather strange about the computer that you had not previously considered.

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Schattenspiel

Who Started the War on Reason Anyway?

Steven Poole calls the numerous books purporting to show that humans are not reasoning creatures a “scientised version of original sin”

As he shows in his survey of the literature, the underlying assumptions about human behavior are often wrong or questionable.

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George Gilder: Cloud Computing Is Reaching Its Limits

The “cloud” isn’t something ethereal “up there,” Gilder reminds us; it is giant factory floors of computers

Gilder, tech philosopher and author of Life after Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy, argues that the regime of huge data centers, all parked by bodies of water, is coming to an end.

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Uneasy senior woman praying for sick man

New Evidence That Some Comatose People Really Do Understand

Researchers found mental activity in response to verbal commands even in some “completely unresponsive” patients

There is growing evidence that many comatose patients are quite aware of what is going on around them. For example, nurses are often very careful not to say upsetting things that the patient can hear because blood pressure often rises dramatically, even in deeply “unaware” comatose patients.

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The Lost Wallet Returns—and Experts Are Baffled

Social scientists struggle for explanations as to why people turned out to be more honest than theory led them to expect

Finding a higher level of honesty than predicted was a surprise and the “scientific” explanations offered seem ad hoc and inadequate. The experts do not seem to know as much about us as they think they do.

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images from a computerized tomography of the brain.
images from a computerized tomography of the brain.

Can Buzzwords About “Neural Networks” Save Materialist Neuroscience?

No. Experiments that support an immaterial consciousness often involve split or massively damaged neural networks

The attribution of abstract thought to the material brain is philosophical and logical nonsense and has been repeatedly discredited by the best neuroscience over the past century.

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Can the Newest Technology Liberate the Poorest Communities?

In Haiti, new technology bypasses many development pitfalls

In 2011, roughly 10% of Haitians had bank accounts. But by 2013, mobile digital banking via cell phones was starting to stand in for bricks-and-mortar banks.

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The universe within. Silhouette of a man inside the universe, physical and mathematical formulas.. The concept on scientific and philosophical topics. Elements of this image furnished by NASA.

Believing in a Purposeful World Is Good Mental Health!

Perhaps fine-tuning of the universe should be taught in school as a mental health initiative

The massive evidence for design in our universe raises a question: Why isn’t the fine-tuning of the universe taught in school, not as a support for any specific religion but rather as a connection with reality, as support for mental health?

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Introvert concept. The man sitting inside box with glasses of virtual reality. Future technology concept

Is Deep Virtual Reality the Next Big Market Disrupter?

When media moves from capturing attention by being different to capturing ever smaller slices of users' time, the market is ripe for disruption

How can internet-based media consume more user time? First, they will move away from a screen interface to a voice- and face-recognition interface. But the next logical step is probably deeply immersive virtual reality seeping into everyday life.

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Crystal ball with building from antiquity

Futurism Doesn’t Learn from Past Experience

Technological success stories cannot be extrapolated into an indefinite future

The limits of science can be as instructive as the discoveries. If science someday proved that computer systems could never reproduce some aspect of mind, we'd have learned something important about the nature of mind.

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Finger pointing at data behind neon marquee

Science Points To An Immaterial Mind

If one did not start with a materialist bias, materialism would not be invoked as an explanation for a whole range of experiments in neuroscience

There may indeed be material explanations (at least from the perspective of neuroscience) but the simplest and most convincing explanation for the results of many experiments is that abstract thought is an immaterial power, not a material power, of the mind.

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Screen of boxes on copy of financial times

Random Thoughts on Recent AI Headlines: Google Gives Away “Free” Cookies…

Also, why AI can't predict the stock market or deal with windblown plastic bags

A good rule of thumb is that unexpected outcomes increase exponentially as a function of AI complexity.

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Vehicle heading into sunset Forrest Cavale 1739 Unsplash

True Believer Loses Faith in Fully Self-Driving Cars

Levandowski sees the future—and it is tech aids for safer driving

Fully autonomous vehicles—aka self-driving cars—are a techno-utopian fantasy that stands little to no chance of realization in the coming decades. The industry is slowly starting to separate that fantasy from achievable reality.

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A Really Long Time Is Not Forever

No matter how our lives are prolonged, there is a hard stop to our universe

If eternity is what we truly want, then we should not let ourselves become distracted by technolongevity, and instead, seek our true heart's desire, and find out for ourselves if it is a sham or a reality.

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Man walking in tunnel

“Brilliant Vision” from a Century Ago Foretells Today’s Internet

In E. M. Forster's dystopia, people interact only through the Machine

In a wholly materialist environment, science and other disciplines have, by preference, ceased to explore anything but their own ideas.

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Social Media Censorship? Governments Weigh the Options

The United States may be going in the opposite direction from other Western countries
Social media monopolies may welcome an opportunity to avoid difficult issues by tacitly encouraging strict censorship of national platforms, along whatever lines a government prefers (the China model, if you like). Read More ›
Robotic hand Frank V at Unsplash 740555

New Mind-Controlled Robot Arm Needs No Brain Implant

The thought-controlled device could help people with movement disorders control devices without the costs and risks of surgery

Beyond that, such research raises a philosophical question: If the mind is an illusion, how can it act directly on external things, by the force of decision-making alone?

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Target wall Photo by Jimmy Ofisia on Unsplash 765161

Can AI Combat Misleading Medical Research?

No, because AI doesn’t address the “Texas Sharpshooter Fallacies” that produce the bad data

In this week’s podcast, Pomona College’s Gary Smith, author of The AI Delusion, talks with Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks about why so many bad research papers are accepted in the science establishment and in media.

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