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    The Guardian | Oliver Burkeman | 1/21/15 | 27 min
    13 reads10 comments
    9.3
    The Guardian
    13 reads
    9.3
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    • Alexa
      Scout
      3 months ago

      Really fascinating. It used to bother me to think that I may not be able to answer these questions in my lifetime. I'd be delighted to gain a better understanding, but at the end of the day take comfort in the advice of Masanobu Fukuoko when not worrying about science's relentless drive to understand...(to paraphrase) regardless of how much we learn, still in the grand scheme of things "we know nothing". so why get your pants in a knot?

    • bartadamley
      Top reader this weekReading streakScout
      3 months ago

      "It would be poetic – albeit deeply frustrating – were it ultimately to prove that the one thing the human mind is incapable of comprehending is itself."

      What an enjoyable deep-dive article on the hard problem of consciousness. I highly recommend this!

      • jeff
        Top reader this weekReading streakScribe
        3 months ago

        This was excellent, thanks for posting!

        • [user]3 months ago

          This comment was deleted on 4/20/2020

    • BillEnkey3 months ago

      I like that this article presents two sides and, for the most part, stays somewhat neutral.

      A part I liked was this: "... Koch, for his part, tries to avoid stepping on insects as he walks." Reminds me of something Joseph Smith Jr., a 19th century reformer, said: "If you knew what I knew, you wouldn't step on an ant." Now that makes me wonder.

    • jbuchana
      Scout
      3 months ago

      This, to me, is why this question matters so very much:

      anything at all that matters, in life, only does so as a consequence of its impact on conscious brains.

      Because of that, this concerns me:

      to quote the American philosopher Josh Weisberg, in the position of “squirrels trying to understand quantum mechanics”. In other words: “It’s just not going to happen.”

      To switch gears a bit;

      According to the church, because he was a dog, that meant he didn’t have a soul.

      About 10 years ago, my dog died. When hearing about it, a supposed friend, who was quite religious, told me not to worry it didn’t matter at all that Charlie had died, he didn’t have a soul in the first place, so it shouldn’t bother me. I never spoke to her again. Charlie definitely had a soul. But do inanimate objects? My gut says not, but what if I'm basically a squirrel here?

      • BillEnkey3 months ago

        One way to find out is to try to be something that isn't a squirrel, and see if it works; but that line of logic takes a long time to rule out all of what is not to get to what is. If only we could, consciously speaking, look at a mirror and see what we really are.

    • Zeusinajuice3 months ago

      While this article doesn't conclusively give us an idea of what consciousness is or what to do about it, it shows us where to start and how big this problem is. I for one am very excited and for some reason in reminded of this quote by a physicist:

      Physicist describes death

    • deephdave
      Top reader this weekReading streakScout
      3 months ago

      According to Wikipedia, Consciousness at its simplest is "sentience or awareness of internal or external existence". Perhaps intuition and obsession about something leads to discovery of unknown things matters more than consciousness.

    • jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScribe
      3 months ago

      Can't recommend this one enough! Really great breakdown of where science and philosophy intersect on consciousness. It was published in 2015 but is just as relevant now and highlights why it might continue to be in 2115.