The Ouroboros is simply a symbol.
The symbol represents the self consuming itself, which is a good description of the process that happens once "you" start investigating the nature of "you" seriously. That's what Nick and I are referring to, although I suspect Nick conceptually reduces it all to brain states, while I see brain states and personal egos as phenomena playing out within the fundamental unity of Awareness.
Nick did a very nice job explaining why seeing the reality of the "self" explodes egotism.
In fact, altruism may even be more reasonable, on grounds of symmetry and the fact that 'the self' is an illusion.
I think Richard Dawkins is on the right track with his idea of "memes". If the Buddha were alive today, I suspect he would call the self, and self-centered thinking a particularly prevalent and virulent meme infesting our cognitive facilities. And amazing but true, it is quite possible to visualize the operation of the "self" in its meme-hood and cease to identify with it, as even materialistic atheists like Susan Blackmore and Sam Harris can attest.
I look at it from the perspective that I enjoy (apparently) existing as a subjective conscious entity, and I want to persist existing as a subjective conscious entity -forever, and in a real time sort of way.
A persistent inquiry into the nature of the "I" apparently making those statements will start the Ourobouros eating its own tail and lead to the end of the "optical delusion of consciousness", as Einstein put it. In the end, reality trumps illusion. . .
This is exactly what I mean, there are strong cognitive biases underlying the singularitarian ideas. . .
I'm not sure what he means much of the time, but Kevembuangga hits this particular ball out of the park. Perhaps someone will write up a disagreement case study about the "Singularity" and post it here. That would be quite the treat. I'm already working on a different disagreement case study that will be posted to my own blog in the relatively near future. Cool concept, these disagreement case studies. . .
I think the problematic belief system is not just "materialism" but rather "reductionistic materialism". A good example of that would be someone who is certain that all phenomena in the universe are simply an outcome of the Schrodinger Equation. The kinds of evidence that I feel are incompatible with reductionistic materialism include spontaneous precognition, spontaneous telepathy, controlled laboratory studies showing these effects, triple-blind mediumship studies, etc.
The truth-seeking approach is to allow observations and data to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of our models. Much more commonplace is that we use our models to filter the observations and data we are willing to accept. And that is especially prevalent among adherents to the dominant paradigms of any particular age.
My (somewhat meta) comment.
What I find particularly interesting reading his papers is his emphasis that space and time are features of the macroscopic world, and don't go "all the way down".
They seem absolute and real to us because of our evolutionary psychology and especially the "space and time" orientation of the visual maps in our brains. He contrasts his view with interpretations which postulate an infinitely sliced spatial manifold which is fundamentally real, but cannot be measured at the finest scales. I'm assuming by that he is referring to MWI.
I also find his arguments about particle identity intriguing. That all our notions of separate identity are predicated on spatial and other measurable properties. And again, that at the quantum level it is seen that those properties can no longer be distinguished absolutely.
Another thing he says that seems "right" to me is the emphasis on going back to our measurements. If something is measured, it is physically real, and if it is not measurable then it is simply not part of physical reality.
Some of this may be very orthodox quantum mechanics, or at least orthodox under certain interpretations. But I'm not that familiar with all of the literature. I just know that this is what stood out to me when reading PIQM.
In any event, this is not my domain of expertise. However I think it is extremely important for anyone who aspires to an understanding of reality to try and come to grips with quantum mechanics, so I give it my best shot.
Have you heard of the Pondicherry interpretation of QM?