How to Create a Mind

Both hardware and software are progressing exponentially.  If logical thinking were the essence of intelligence, then computers would already be superior to us.  The area where humans still have an edge is our emotional intelligence.  Emotion is not some sideshow or distraction to intelligence.  Being funny, being sexy, expressing love – those are the cutting edge of human intelligence.

   ~ “Can We Reverse-engineer the Brain”, interview with Ray Kurzweil, by Brian O’Keefe, Fortune Magazine, January 2013


Farewell, Neil Armstrong (1930 – 2012)

Rapid Fire Flaring

Everyone is one

The replication and reintegration capabilities of transporter technology raise some intriguing possibilities.  For example, with a properly outfitted transporter, you could make clones of anyone that would be both physically and psychologically identical to the original… You could make clones of yourself that explore different parts of the galaxy.  At some point in the future, these clones could be reintegrated into one, so that “you” would have all their memories and experiences.  You could even integrate other people’s experiences into your mind… You could even look forward to a time when all the experiences of all the sentient creatures in the universe are merged into one vast super-mind.  In that case, the Hindu claim that “everyone is one” would then be a reality.

~ Star Trek and Philosophy, Eberl and Decker


Quantum Leap

Quantum Leap by blue(skied)
Quantum Leap, a photo by blue(skied) on Flickr.


RADIOACTIVE by D Petzold Photography
RADIOACTIVE, a photo by D Petzold Photography on Flickr.


I was thinking about how much computation is represented by the ocean. I mean, it’s all these water molecules interacting with each other; that’s computation. It’s quite beautiful; I always found it very soothing and that’s really what computation is all about. To capture these transcendent moments of our consciousness.

~ Ray Kurzweil, Transcendent Man

Avoiding Irrational Errors

Probability and statistics are extraordinarily important in making good economic decisions and avoiding the irrational errors people very commonly commit.


Personal Ecosystem

If some twisted genius vaporized all 10 trillion cells in your body – along with the hair, the fingernails, and other tissue they create – it would not leave empty space behind.  A body-shaped cloud made of bacteria, viruses, and other former stowaways would hover briefly in the air.  The cloud would outline your skin, delineate your lungs, trace your digestive tract.  You might be gone for good, but your shadow biosphere would remain.

   ~ Wired Magazine, Carl Zimmer, The Wired Atlas of the Human Ecosystem