Under theories like loop quantum gravity, doesn't some "fabric of spacetime" exist? I would call that a refinement of the idea of the ether. It has odd properties in order to allow relativity, but it hasn't been ruled out.
This is Hari's business. She takes innocuous ingredients and makes you afraid of them by pulling them out of context.... Hari's rule? "If a third grader can't pronounce it, don't eat it."
My rule? Don't base your diet on the pronunciation skills of an eight-year-old.
From http://gawker.com/the-food...(read more)
It would be a lot harder to make a machine that actually is conscious (phenomenally conscious, meaning it has qualia) than it would be to make one that just acts as if is conscious (in that sense). It is my impression that most LW commenters think any future machine that acts conscious probably is c...(read more)
I only recently realized that evolution works, for the most part, by changing the processes of embryonic development. There are some exceptions-- things like neoteny and metamorphosis-- but most changes are genetic differences leading to differences in, say, how long a process of growth is allowed t...(read more)
There's a reason everyone started calling it "the hard problem." Chalmers explained the problem so clearly that we now basically just point and say "that thing Chalmers was talking about."
This is exactly the point of asking "What Would Jesus Do?" Christians are asking themselves, what would a perfectly moral, all-knowing person do in this situation, and using the machinery their brains have for simulating a person to find out the answer, instead of using the general purpose reasoner ...(read more)
I assumed that was the intention of the writers of Donnie Darko. The actual shapes coming out of their chests we got were not right, but you could see this is what they were trying to do.
I think that arguments like this are a good reason to doubt computationalism. That means accepting that two systems performing the same computations can have different experiences, even though they behave in exactly the same way. But we already should have suspected this: it's just like the inverted...(read more)
Sorry, I was just trying to paraphrase the paper in one sentence.
The point of the paper is that there is something wrong with computationalism. It attempts to prove that two systems with the same sequence of computational states must have different conscious experiences. It does this by taking a ro...(read more)
Check out ["Counterfactuals Can't Count"](http://www.doc.gold.ac.uk/~mas02mb/Selected%20Papers/2002%20Counterfactuals%20cant%20count.pdf) for a response to this. Basically, if a recording is different in what it experiences than running a computation, then two computations that calculate the same th...(read more)