Monday, July 30, 2012

On human brains and that spark of magic, and why cars don't think.

Why should your car have a mind? Rocks and doors and dressers don't have minds either. There are very few things in this world that are not brains that appear to have minds. Your ideas, hopes, dreams, goals, personality, quirks, attitude, etc. can all be traced down to that skullful of neurons between your ears. Every last iota of who you are, and who you think you are. And there's not one iota of a fragment of a supposition that says otherwise. Yes, your brain tries to predict the future, and when it does and it gets a right answer (which is much easier to verify than arrive at) you get intuitive leaps and profound insight. It's one thing to have a big idea explained to you and understanding it, it's another thing to get there yourself. "The answer just came to me." It didn't come from magical elves or gods, it came from you. They always do. You think therefore you are, but moreover you are your thinking. Is it really unfathomable that the most complicated machine we've ever encountered anywhere, the most advanced brain with symbolic thinking and the entire corpus of humanity's ideas and frameworks and language that came before cannot possibly come up with something new that isn't delivered from on high by magic?

I am in awe of the brain. I try to understand to comprehend to gather how it works and the more you learn about it the more amazing you find it to be. It may have quirks and illusions; it's fantastic to be sure. It's not some vital element of magical intuition that gives you that human spark. It's not some implausible ephemera, or phantasmagorical pneuma, it's actually you. You. You actually kick that much ass and are actually that awesome made out of water, fat, protein, and bone. And while cognitive biases will always tell you that you can't just be made out of natural normal stuff, we can trace down those thoughts and it's all being thunk on natural normal stuff and nothing magical or unreal. It isn't that cars lack a vital element but cars lack a human brain, and you don't... you are a human brain. No gods required.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

On Quantum Brains Freeing you from Determinism.

With QM we could build robots that could have non-deterministic brains. Whose choices cannot be predicted before hand but which are randomized by quantum particles. You *STILL* don't want to be that robot! This isn't really what you want.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Emotional Lures.

The lack of emotional pleas is one of the serious problems with atheism's PR. It only has the honest truth as a selling point. And it's not very effective. If you can promise people infinite happiness, love of their family, specialness in the universe, and safety from infinite torture (which is the *only* other alternative). You will certainly catch more flies. You will always catch more flies with honey than vinegar, even if the honey is a comforting lie invented to lure and the vinegar is both real and incredibly useful.

Friday, July 6, 2012

On the citations of famous people to prove a reality helping people out.

For any person we've heard of, events conspired to make them who they are. That's because we've heard of them. They are a self-selected sample. Really there's a lot of people we've never heard of who died in a ditch.