The worst pain a man can suffer
The worst pain a man can suffer: to have insight into much and power over nothing.
-Herodotus (Dorian Greek historian, 484-430/420BC)
I just came across that while doing some design work for a client this evening. Seems that my mind has been revolving around that concept a lot lately. I have even thought recently that na?vet? might be preferred some days. My brain is full…
Thomas C. Greene on cyborg metaphysics
via The Register
In a nutshell, I say that it’s impossible to manufacture an AI which will compete equally with human intelligence. The elusive quality which human thought possesses, and which an AI can’t possess, is something I call ‘irrational insight’. Note the modified noun ‘insight’. I’m not talking about irrationality per se. ‘Insight’ implies, and deliberately so, the qualities of pertinence and consistency.
And the cherry on the cake is this quote, aimed at Stephen Hawking’s advocacy of endowing AI with biological properties and ourselves with mechanical ones:
He [Hawking] deserved a severe rebuke for saying what he said. But if he actually believes it, then the little shit deserves to be hanged.
Buddhist monk cuts off penis and renounces refix
A Thai Buddhist monk cut off his penis with a machete because he had an erection during meditation and declined to have it reattached, saying he had renounced all earthly cares, a doctor and a newspaper said on Wednesday.
The 35-year-old monk, whose name was withheld for privacy reasons, allowed medical staff at Maharaj hospital, 780 km (480 miles) south of Bangkok to dress his wound, but refused reattachment, hospital chief Prawing Euanontouch said.
Full Story: Yahoo! News (thanks, Trevor).
Occulterati Thinks You’re Sexy.
You’ve been listening to us from across the room, haven’t you? OCCULTERATI understands. You’re a little shy? Aw, that’s sweet. How about you just have a drink with us, and we’ll see where iT goes?
EPISODE 3 :: “Sexerati”
Toxick Muse and Ember Faye talk on sex and morality, the two least controversial topics we could think of.
Duration :: 00:31:37
Download :: MP3 (43MB)
(Post-post Disclaimer: Description of the show may not reflect reality of show feelings toward you. Listener satisfaction may vary. A production of Brenico Media Group in association with esoZone.)
The God Experiments
An article on five researchers in studying the neuroscientific basis for religious experience: Michael Persinger, Stewart Guthrie, Andrew Newberg, Dean Hamer, and Rick Strassman.
Critics point out that Persinger’s subjects usually know in advance how the God machine is supposed to affect them and hence might be only responding to suggestion. A group at Uppsala University in Sweden recently found that subjects lacking such expectations experience no unusual psychological effects as a result of electromagnetic brain stimulation. Persinger counters that in at least two of his studies, suggestibility could not have been responsible, and the Swedes “didn’t use our equipment properly.”
Dawkins, when he visited Persinger’s lab, experienced a slight dizziness and twitching in a leg but otherwise “nothing unusual.” And Charles Cook, a former grad student of Persinger’s who supervised God-machine sessions in the 1990s, has noted that most subjects who sensed a presence typically experienced only a vague feeling of being watched—which they were, of course, by the researchers.
Full Story: Discover (via A Day in the Life Of).
Reconstruction 6.4: Theories/Practices of Blogging
The new issue of Reconstruction is on blogging. I’m featured in the “Why Blog” section along with bloggers from all over the world, from Montana to Iran. Douglas Rushkoff, Mickey Z, and Rebecca Blood are some of the bigger names featured.
Reconstruction 6.4: Theories/Practices of Blogging.