“Until I talked to Nick Bostrom, a philosopher at Oxford University, it never occurred to me that our universe might be somebody else’s hobby. I hadn’t imagined that the omniscient, omnipotent creator of the heavens and earth could be an advanced version of a guy who spends his weekends building model railroads or overseeing video-game worlds like the Sims”…. <More>
“Thanks to modern neuro-imaging technology, we now know that our minds – our conscious, mental life – are a product of activity in the brain. Free will is an illusion.
Two neuroscientists asking people to choose to move either their left or right hands, it was possible to influence their choice by electronically stimulating certain parts of their brains. So, for example, the scientists could force the subjects always to choose to move their left hands. But despite their choice being electronically directed, these patients continued to report that they were freely choosing which hand to move…..
If this is true, the implications for our systems of morality, of crime and punishment, are shattering……
Eve ate the apple was as predetermined as the leaves falling to the ground in autumn. None of us could ever truly be said to be responsible for our actions”…. <More>
“Because parts of a person’s grey matter exhibit increased electric activity when they respond to stimuli or prepare for movements, there has always been the lingering hope that EEG might also manifest someone’s thoughts in a machine-readable form that could be used for everyday purposes.To realise that hope means solving two problems—one of hardware and one of software. The hardware problem is that existing EEG requires a helmet with as many as 120 electrodes in it, and that these electrodes have to be affixed to the scalp with a gel. The software problem is that many different types of brain waves have to be interpreted simultaneously and instantly. That is no mean computing task.
The power of thought:Both Emotiv, which is based in San Francisco, and NeuroSky, of San Jose, think they have cracked these problems”….. <More>
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“I attended a fascinating conference on neuropsychiatry recently. Neuroscience, it seems to me, is the current most hopeful candidate for the role of putative but delusory answer to all Mankind’s deepest questions: what is Man’s place in Nature, and how should he live. What is the good life, at least in the western world?”…. <More>
“How advances in neuroscience could transform our legal system”…. <More>