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Comment Peter Watts' "Blindsight" (Score 4, Interesting) 85

Looks pretty consistent with the kind of view of human conciousness, as forms the core of Peter Watts' "Blindsight". The body can do most anything without being conscious of it, we just put a rubber stamp on all the actions and call them our own.

If the subject interests you I highly recommend reading the book. It's available free from author's homepage:

Comment Genius (Score 1) 385

“Some men come by the name of genius in the same way as an insect comes by the name of centipede - not because it has a hundred feet, but because most people can't count above fourteen”

Comment Have you tried improving your persuation skills? (Score 1) 1142

I must start with a big Thank You and say that I am a great fan. There are few people in the world who have guts to express their passion towards science like you do and to see that kind of dedication is very inspiring.

My question would be: "Have you tried actively finding out ways to improve your persuasion skills?" I have watched a lot of encounters between you and religiously minded people and while these meetings are excellent and very fulfilling from an entertainment perspective, I have thought whether it wouldn't be more effective to try to influence your opponent using knowledge in human psychology. The current formula seems to be strongly opposing the other person's ideas which has the effect of putting the opponent in defensive stance in which their conceptions are likely enforced instead of modified. If instead you would try demonstrating some understanding of the reasons why your opponent believes in all this, they might become more receptive to hearing out your arguments instead of blindly regurgitating their mantra.

I will say again that the current method is certainly very entertaining and might well pay off in influencing the beliefs of other religious viewers, who are less strongly minded about their beliefs and who might change their views while contrasting them with the ones presented by your opposition and demonstrated as absurd by you. It just might not be optimal in actually convincing the opponent himself (if such thing is even possible).

I will add in the end of my post a small note about a great book in common sense techniques about influencing other people and their beliefs: The classical "How to Influence People and Make Friends" by Dale Carnegie. Also english is not my first language so apologies if I have trouble in clearly presenting my point.

Comment "Blindsight" by Peter Watts (Score 1) 700

This is the last book that managed to change my world view. The ideas that the author probes as to the nature of human conciousness and the resulting human condition are extremely provocative and which is even better, completely plausable. I don't remember the last time when I suddenly started laughing in the middle of reading a book, not because it is funny (which Peter Watts' books certainly are!) but because the idea that was proposed goes so hard against my intuition that I have no better way of parsing that then to laugh. If you haven't read it, you have no good excuse not to now: It's available free from Watts' homepage at Also what probably boosted up my like for that book is that the author doesn't do hand waving but bases all it's information on actual cold hard science. I am quite knowledgable about current research in cognitive and neurosciences, in biology and other basic sciences and unlike a lot of Sci-Fi books, "Blindsight" does not rub me the wrong way.

Comment Re:Stupid human! (Score 1) 472

Even more fun then that. Colors do not actually exist outside of brains. They're not even always connected with seeing light, synesthesists can experience color everywhere from numbers to sounds depending on the kind of cross-linking their brain happens to do. Outside the brain there are simply different wavelengths of light for each our brains have come to accociate the reception stimulus with the actual color you precieve.

Comment Forever (Score 1) 813

I don't fear dying and I wouldn't desperately look for a way to live forever but given the choice, I would choose to live infinately reserving the right to commit suicide.

Old body would no longer cause me trouble because the only way I see living forever would be to trade this meatsuit for a bit more durable hardware. We're getting closer and closer to finding out exactly what makes our counciousness tick and from there on it shouldn't be too hard to transfer that subroutine to different hardware.

As to boredom, once techology is far enough to solve aformentioned problems, we'll certainly be far enough to eliminate that pesky thing. Boredom is simply connection between not doing anything and negative reinforcment systems in our brain. Once well enough documented it can easily be abolished given precise enough tools.

Comment Double Dissociation (Score 1) 94

To prove that musical memories are actually stored in a different brain module then all other memories you need a double dissociation. It's not enough to find a patient who can use no other memories except musical memories, you also have to find a patient who can use all other memories but has lost musical memories.

Comment KhanAcademy (Score 4, Informative) 166

I suggest you take a look at the videos at The guy that makes these has quite a talent for teaching and the sketches help a lot with more difficult subjects. I'm currently about half way through with the macroeconomy playlist and I find the information very easy to obtain in the format it is provided there.

Comment First place! (Score 1) 221

Hell yeah. Proud to be Estonian.

Every once in a while discussion seems to pop up on the subject of freedom of expression on the Internet but so far, as for making decisions, common sense seems to have prevailed. I hope that it stays that way for a while more.

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