Of all of the mysteries of the universe, none is crazier, nor more amazing to me, than the mystery of consciousness. I’ve always been interested in how people think – not just in the psychology of others, but in how a lump of grey matter can process incredible amounts of information; how the brain serves our volitions and instinctual needs automatically; how it generates the sense of personal identity (a self) and the feeling that we have a “soul” – and, above all, why the heck it feel like something to be the subject of experience!
Ever since college, I’ve read the works of cognitive scientists and philosophers of mind, starting with Douglas Hofstadter‘s Godel, Escher, Bach and moving on to the works of Dennett, Humphrey, Chalmers, Rosenthal, and too many others to mention. Every other year, many of the greatest minds in the field gather in Tucson, Arizona for the Towards a Science of Consciousness conference (TSC). Elif and I go whenever we can, and we’ve twice exhibited our art there with some of our favorite writers.
Here are some pictures from the 2006 TSC.
- The Hard Problem (theosophywatch.com)
- A crab canon for Douglas Hofstadter (3quarksdaily.com)
- Finally, a Scientific Explanation for the Emergence of Mattering from Matter (talesfromthelou.wordpress.com)