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Philosophy & Science / Could sea creatures unlock the origins of the mind?
« Last post by sciborg2 on February 03, 2021, 12:46:30 am »
Could sea creatures unlock the origins of the mind?

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When it comes to understanding the mind, philosopher, writer and diver Peter Godfrey-Smith suggests marine life may hold some illuminating answers. Among the vast array of marine life, shrimp, coral, and cuttlefish exhibit amazing levels of consciousness and the octopus with its many tentacles and 8 limbs-- functions as a creature with multiple “selves.”  What can we learn from the way these animals experience the world? Could sea creatures unlock the origins of the mind?

KCRW’s Jonathan Bastian talks with Peter Godrey-Smith about his new book “Metazoa: Animal Life and the Birth of the Mind” about his exploration of levels of consciousness and “self” among some of his favorite undersea creatures.

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Is there this problem of projecting our human way of thinking, our human way of understanding self on to these creatures?

Godfrey-Smith: “There is a problem there and this is a good point to talk about the octopus. One of the reasons octopuses are an important case in the story, is the fact that there's a kind of ‘centeredness of self’ that we humans, and probably lots of other mammals and vertebrates have as a consequence of how our nervous systems are set up and our bodily organization There's a ‘centeredness of self’ that might be absent or very different in some animals with different organizations and the octopus is the outstanding case, because most of its nervous system is not concentrated in the head between the eyes but spread through the body, especially in the upper part of the arms. There's a gigantic network of control devices and sensors in the arms, which is larger than the central brain.

So when we look at an octopus and try to imagine what it's experience is like, one of the big questions is how we should tackle these differences in organization that might imply differences in the kind of “selfhood” that's present there. This is another question, which I'd love to give a definitive answer on how to handle this but I think it has some very puzzling features.”
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Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by Wilshire on February 02, 2021, 07:44:44 pm »
Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (1)

Brilliant. This book is as fun to read as it is confusing. There's a myriad of timelines, past and present, a narrator who is mad and terribly unreliable. Shifts in POV writing - First, Second, Third, maybe others but I lack the ability to identify them. Tremendous fun, horribly opaque, and a bizarre ending that holds true to form. Tamysn Muir is for me one of the most satisfying authors I've read recently. Though, that's probably a shame for her because I apparently enjoy commercially unsuccessful things with limited mass appeal.

The Locked Tomb series is a resounding must read. I can't wait for more from Muir.
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General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« Last post by sciborg2 on January 26, 2021, 07:12:58 am »
"...after so many names and so many unnamings, so many disappointments, so many dullings and dyings, what we nickname God must seem obscure and impossible.

That does not mean It will ever have been captured by the names of what has died."
   -Catherine Keller
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General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« Last post by sciborg2 on January 24, 2021, 02:09:46 am »
Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.
  -Emerson

Thus, the task is, not so much to see what no one has yet seen; but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees.
  —Erwin Schrödinger
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General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« Last post by sciborg2 on January 23, 2021, 08:41:53 am »
Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.
  -Emerson
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Good to see you're back to posting this stuff, pretty cool :)

"One way or another, the world will go on being the place of epiphanies."
  -Roberto Calasso, Literature and the Gods
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Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by The P on January 18, 2021, 04:20:34 pm »
I liked it a lot.  It is very much a "fantasy of manners."  The prose is really good.  I found the plot of a genuine/naïve/good person thrust into a position of power and having to deal with cutthroat politicking to be amusing and enjoyable.
He's also a half breed, which adds another amusing layer.
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Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by Wilshire on January 17, 2021, 09:14:25 pm »
Goblin Emperor consistently gets good reviews and has been on my TBR list for quite some time.
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General Misc. / Re: What are you watching?
« Last post by TaoHorror on January 17, 2021, 08:17:19 pm »
Signs

A Polish television show. Some hard scenes in this thing, especially end of the 2nd season. Music is suspect, at times good, other times overly dramatic/bad. Interesting story, I like it. The 2nd season goes into a whole different direction, kinda funny it does that and some twisty story line going on which clears up some, so that was good.
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Good to see you're back to posting this stuff, pretty cool :)
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