“Explanations always call for deep thought. But when you actually dream, be as light as a feather. Dreaming has to be performed with integrity and seriousness, but in the midst of laughter and with the confidence of someone who doesn’t have a worry in the world. Only under these conditions can our dreams actually be turned into dreaming.” — Carlos Castaneda “The Art of Dreaming”
Tag Archives | Philosophy
This was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions.
Some of you may have noticed my recently-published paper on existential risk and artificial intelligence. The paper offers a somewhat critical perspective on the recent trend for AI-doomsaying among people like Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates. Of course, it doesn’t focus on their opinions; rather, it focuses on the work of the philosopher Nick Bostrom, who has written the most impressive analysis to date of the potential risks posed by superintelligent machines.
I want to try and summarise the main points of that paper in this blog post. This summary comes with the usual caveat that the full version contains more detail and nuance. If you want that detail and nuance, you should read that paper. That said, writing this summary after the paper was published does give me the opportunity to reflect on its details and offer some modifications to the argument in light of feedback/criticisms.… Read the rest
When someone mentions “The New World Order,” it conjures up thoughts of conspiracy involving the Illuminati, the Freemasons, Skull and Bones, old privileged family wealth and royal lineage. Beneath that you think of the already bought and paid for world leaders and the secret agenda. And you might be right.
When I think of the New World Order, I’m thinking of an idea. It’s an idea that’s as old as war itself. How many times must we keep hearing this same ideology? Every single empire from the beginning of man had this same dream. You know the one, the dream of controlling everything beneath the sky from horizon to horizon.
Nothing has changed in thousands of years except the horizons and the dreamers. When all you could see was the Aztec Empire, then controlling that was good enough. When all anyone could see was the Roman Empire, then that was good enough.… Read the rest
Marty Leeds is the author of several books and a researcher on the subjects of myth, math, spirituality, philosophy and lost civilizations. He has an ongoing lecture series available on Youtube and he hosts The Marty Leeds’ Mathemagical Radio Hour.
After pretending we know what we’re doing for a few decades and attempting to deal with whatever attention-eating obligation fodder society flings our way, our childlike sense of wonder tends to seep out of us. We simply don’t have the energy to marvel at the omnipresent harmony around us while we’re being crushed by a mountain of student loan debt or whispering profanities at Turbo Tax.
Devoid of that underlying sense of purpose and awe, our existence becomes hollow. Try as we might, we just can’t fill that void through our usual repertoire of mundane behaviors. The more we ignore it, the more the issue becomes inflamed.… Read the rest
We assume that effect follows cause. But could this most basic of beliefs be mistaken?
Mathematician George Ellis made his name focusing on some of the big questions of cosmology and relativity. Along with Stephen Hawking, he co-authored 1973’s The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, which attempted to describe the very foundations of space itself.
More recently, Ellis has been focusing on top-down causation – the process by which higher level organised systems, such as humans, interact with their own component parts. His theories have important repercussions across many fields of research – from consciousness and free will to understanding quantum phenomena. Ellis is also an active Quaker and was a vocal opponent of apartheid during the 1970s and ‘80s.
We spoke to Ellis about his theories, their implications, and the reasons behind certain resistance to these ideas.
What exactly is top-down causation?
A key question for science is whether all causation is from the bottom up only.
Andrew Gonsalves writing at Don’t Feed the Animals:
… Read the rest
I’ve been bad. I haven’t practiced meditating in a long time and I would easily classify most of my thoughts during the day as “mindless.” That is, of course, the opposite of “mindful.” Mindfulness is a skill that takes a fair amount of work to acquire. The most recognized route to mindfulness is through meditation, wherein you practice acknowledging your thoughts for what they are and then let them go. This leads to what is often called being “in the moment,” a state where you neither pine for the past, nor mull about the future, but instead appreciate your here and now.
The benefits of mindfulness meditation are so numerous that it may as well be considered a superpower (as close as you can get to one in this world). From various health improvements to a calmer, happier disposition, mindfulness will likely improve your life, if only a little bit.
“Of the Devil’s Party” the art of Barry William Hale
My work is a synthesis of Art and Magick, and the residue of my esoteric endeavours. It is essential for me to forge a magical link to the metaphysical subject matter. There is great power in the things people are afraid of. The Devil is the name some new regime gives to the God[s] of those whom they oppress. These repressed forces become the locus of forbidden power imprisoned by the walls of taboo.
For me, these Crowned Anarchies become the agencies of liberation. My work is Gnostic in the sense that it gives primacy to direct experience with the divine. In the spirit of the Rebellious Promethean spark of the Luciferian fire.
“Better to reign in hell than serve in heav’n”
- Paradise Lost — John Milton
Communication from the Future Discovered and Proven to be REAL!
Did you know that there was a study conducted to see if someone from the future was here present in our time? Yes, it’s true! Astrophysicists – Robert Nemiroff and Teresa Wilson at Michigan Tech University did just that as reported in 2014. They figured that if someone from the future traveled back to our time, there may be trace evidence. Someone may have done internet searches of future events. The search dates would have been prior to the events and would stand out that way. If enough of these searches were traced to one user, it could reveal a pattern of advanced knowledge.
After exhausting their funds, the results of the study remained inconclusive. However, in response to a question posted on one website asking: “Do you believe communication through time would be possible?” I replied that “I believe it has already happened.” Only because I believe that our near future thinkers will be quantum computers with artificial intelligence.… Read the rest
For people living in the UK wanting to explore controversial new ideas in the real world, 200 world-leading scientists, politicians, artists and philosophers, including Lawrence Krauss, Warren Ellis, Mary Midgley, Paul Krugman, Terry Eagleton, Rae Langton, John Searle, Roger Penrose and many more, are getting together at the end of May at the world’s largest philosophy and music festival HowTheLightGetsIn.
It’s 11 days of big thinking under the theme ‘Fantasy & Reality’ with 650 events and more debates, big names and parties than you can shake a massive hyper-intelligent stick at. Some of the debates taking place include:
Lawrence Krauss, Steve Fuller, Kenneth Cukier
At a time of uncertainty and doubt, we often suppose that science alone uncovers the truth. Yet a recent study found 90% of scientific papers are unrepeatable. Should we see science as a flawed method and look elsewhere for our truths, or is it the only direct line to reality we’ve got?… Read the rest
On his popular show, The Higherside Chats, Greg Carlwood has sat down for podcasts with dozens of researchers, authors, and experts on a whole host of conspiracy, paranormal, and fringe-soaked topics.
Selected subjects from our ramblings: why magic is real, transhumanism, meditation, manifesting success, celebrating the fact that humans don’t know shit, psychedelics, how to focus your passion properly and more.
One of the things that always sticks out in my mind when I speak with Greg (aside from just how weird, wonderful and, in some ways, severely fucked the world is) is just how much we trick ourselves into believing we don’t have the power to save ourselves from a mediocre existence. I do declare that no matter where you find yourself, it’s fully possible to take a 90 degree turn off of the the well-worn path. You, my friend, have the capacity to sharpen the stick on your freak flag, plunge it deep into the soil and craft something that is uniquely yours around it.… Read the rest