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beam me up scottie

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: The Green Mountain State
Current location: Red state in the bible belt - living in Trumpland and missing home
Member since: Sun Oct 10, 2004, 08:05 PM
Number of posts: 55,261

Journal Archives

DANIEL DENNETT'S SCIENCE OF THE SOUL

Excellent interview with the brilliant Daniel Dennett:

DANIEL DENNETT’S SCIENCE OF THE SOUL
A philosopher’s lifelong quest to understand the making of the mind.
By Joshua Rothman

Four billion years ago, Earth was a lifeless place. Nothing struggled, thought, or wanted. Slowly, that changed. Seawater leached chemicals from rocks; near thermal vents, those chemicals jostled and combined. Some hit upon the trick of making copies of themselves that, in turn, made more copies. The replicating chains were caught in oily bubbles, which protected them and made replication easier; eventually, they began to venture out into the open sea. A new level of order had been achieved on Earth. Life had begun.

The tree of life grew, its branches stretching toward complexity. Organisms developed systems, subsystems, and sub-subsystems, layered in ever-deepening regression. They used these systems to anticipate their future and to change it. When they looked within, some found that they had selves—constellations of memories, ideas, and purposes that emerged from the systems inside. They experienced being alive and had thoughts about that experience. They developed language and used it to know themselves; they began to ask how they had been made.

This, to a first approximation, is the secular story of our creation. It has no single author; it’s been written collaboratively by scientists over the past few centuries. If, however, it could be said to belong to any single person, that person might be Daniel Dennett, a seventy-four-year-old philosopher who teaches at Tufts. In the course of forty years, and more than a dozen books, Dennett has endeavored to explain how a soulless world could have given rise to a soulful one. His special focus is the creation of the human mind. Into his own he has crammed nearly every related discipline: evolutionary biology, neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, artificial intelligence. His newest book, “From Bacteria to Bach and Back,” tells us, “There is a winding path leading through a jungle of science and philosophy, from the initial bland assumption that we people are physical objects, obeying the laws of physics, to an understanding of our conscious minds.”

Dennett has walked that path before. In “Consciousness Explained,” a 1991 best-seller, he described consciousness as something like the product of multiple, layered computer programs running on the hardware of the brain. Many readers felt that he had shown how the brain creates the soul. Others thought that he’d missed the point entirely. To them, the book was like a treatise on music that focussed exclusively on the physics of musical instruments. It left untouched the question of how a three-pound lump of neurons could come to possess a point of view, interiority, selfhood, consciousness—qualities that the rest of the material world lacks. These skeptics derided the book as “Consciousness Explained Away.” Nowadays, philosophers are divided into two camps. The physicalists believe, with Dennett, that science can explain consciousness in purely material terms. The dualists believe that science can uncover only half of the picture: it can’t explain what Nabokov called “the marvel of consciousness—that sudden window swinging open on a sunlit landscape amidst the night of non-being.”

More...

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/27/daniel-dennetts-science-of-the-soul
Posted by beam me up scottie | Sat Mar 25, 2017, 05:06 PM (4 replies)

Yep. He credited Dems AND the people for the win yesterday. Town halls and rallies were effective

Bernie Sanders Shares His Blueprint for Resisting Trump

Republican leadership failed to secure enough votes from Congress Thursday to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) attributes its failure to a burgeoning resistance movement.

On Thursday, the Vermont senator explained how civic engagement translates into policy changes in the nation's capital.

"Republicans historically had their town meetings. Thirty or 50 of their friends would show up, and they talked about cutting the deficit and cutting Social Security and Medicare, and everybody would applaud," he told Rachel Maddow Thursday. "But now you've seen people coming and saying, if you do this, my wife is going to die and I'm not going to let you do that."

http://www.alternet.org/activism/bernie-sanders-tells-rachel-maddow-how-resistance-was-instrumental-delaying-gops-health


Bernie Sanders: Dems should get credit for killing AHCA

Sen. Bernie Sanders and President Donald Trump seem to agree on one thing when it comes to the failure of the GOP health care bill: Blame the Democrats.

"Democrats should take credit for killing a really, really bad piece of legislation," the Independent senator from Vermont told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Friday night.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/24/politics/bernie-sanders-donald-trump-health-care/index.html


***

Claiming Republicans defeated themselves is absurd - if leaders like Bernie hadn't helped organize and energize resistance at town halls and rallies Trumpcare would have passed. There was also a huge backlash against Republicans who want to repeal the ACA on social media.

We won because enough Republicans in the house realized that if they sided with Trump instead of the people they would lose their jobs.

WE did this and Bernie recognizes that fact. Resistance matters.

Thank you Bernie for your efforts to save the ACA and for reminding people that health care is a basic human right. We can do better - we need single payer universal health care.

Posted by beam me up scottie | Sat Mar 25, 2017, 01:18 PM (1 replies)

We can do both: fight to save the ACA and fight for single payer universal health care.

Now is not the time to give up, it's important to keep reminding Americans that health care should be a basic human right in this country.
Posted by beam me up scottie | Fri Mar 24, 2017, 07:15 PM (1 replies)

No surprise, Bernie has been the most popular senator for years.

In a poll of randomly selected registered voters Bernie's favourablility was higher than Trump's, Planned Parenthood and the ACA also did well. This is a GOOD thing.

No one has been able to explain how this poll is biased. Some don't like the categories and/or the limited amount of politicians and others definitely don't like the results but that doesn't indicate bias - at least on the part of the firms conducting the polls.

A quick Google search shows this isn't an outlier, Bernie has been popular for years.

Here's just one example:

http://www.politicususa.com/2016/04/28/bernie-sanders-voted-americas-popular-senator-year-row.html

So as a liberal who despises Trump with ever fiber of my being I am THRILLED that Bernie is still far more popular than Mango Mussolini and I'm tickled to death to see he's still popular here as well.

Every time Bernie speaks out for voter rights, women's and minorities' rights and workers' rights he is fighting for all of us. This poll is just proof that we the people appreciate his efforts.

As an aside - this poll really angered Twitler's fans on social media and that's an added bonus.

So yay for PP, the ACA and Bernie!




Posted by beam me up scottie | Fri Mar 24, 2017, 06:24 PM (2 replies)

Bernie has been calling out Russia's influence in our election since last year.

In fact I actually posted links to those callouts for a poster just a few days ago when they said they hadn't noticed it. I was shocked that someone would be unaware of his criticism since it could easily be accessed by doing a simple search. I wonder if they ever bothered to read my post? Oh well, I added it to my journal for easy reference and will add this post too for people who are Google challenged.



I did another quick search and at the top of the page I found examples I omitted in my previous post:

http://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2017/02/28/bernie-sanders-on-russia-investigation-ac-sot.cnn

Sanders: Investigate Trump Ties to Russia
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Wednesday asked the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee to investigate the relationship between President Donald Trump and the Russian government.

“It is incumbent upon the Congress to take seriously its constitutional responsibilities. The American people must have confidence that governmental decisions reflect their interests, not that of a foreign government. A robust investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee is critical to restoring that confidence,” Sanders wrote in the letter to Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the intelligence panel.

The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russia played an active role in the 2016 election with the goal of electing Trump as president. Additionally, multiple media outlets reported last week that U.S. intelligence services have verified portions of a dossier that alleges that Russian agents hold damaging evidence about Trump’s past personal and business dealings that could possibly make Trump susceptible to blackmail.

There also have been reports that the Trump administration’s contacts with the Russian government are having both a chilling effect in the intelligence community and jeopardizing longstanding relationships with our allies.

“Throughout his campaign, and continuing to today, President Trump has refused to come clean with the American people about the nature and extent of his relationship with Russia,” Sanders wrote/.

“Every day that President Trump and his team dodge these questions, and every time their previous denials are revealed as false, that confidence is further diminished.”

https://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/-sanders-investigate-trump-ties-to-russia


My goodness that was easy. I love the Google.

***

Bernie will continue to be a thorn in Twitler's side and I applaud his efforts. He never stops fighting for all of us.

Go Bernie!

Posted by beam me up scottie | Thu Mar 23, 2017, 07:41 PM (2 replies)

Poll: What would you wear during the zombie apocalypse?

We are discussing this on Facebook and I think I would raid an outfitter's for close fitting, durable athletic wear made from breathable synthetics. Jeans are heavy which is good for protection but cotton absorbs sweat and doesn't dry very fast. I would also make sure most of my arms and all of my legs were covered so my skin would be protected from scratches and bites.



*Yes I know there are more important things to discuss but we can chew gum and walk at the same time. A pleasant diversion can be cathartic.
Posted by beam me up scottie | Mon Mar 20, 2017, 06:40 PM (71 replies)

That's a straw man, no one said or even implied that "all posts must focus on negative news"

Where you see "good news" I see thousands of years of oppression.

Where you see "good news" I see people burned at the stake for being heretics.

Where you see "good news" I see science and progress held back because of bronze age beliefs.

Where you see "good news" I see women and lgbt people still being persecuted because they weren't fortunate enough to be born straight males.

***

I will stop criticizing religion when it stays out of government, schools, politics and our wombs.

I will stop criticizing religion when religious believers stop trying to restrict other people's rights.

I will stop criticizing religion when people stop killing in the name of religion.

Until then religious people better get used to some pushback. We are fighting for our LIVES here, when our rights are threatened I think criticism of religion is more than warranted. I believe I have a right and an obligation to speak up. If that makes some people uncomfortable imagine how WE feel when we read about women dying because they don't have access to birth control and abortion. Imagine how WE feel when we read about yet ANOTHER honour killing. Imagine how WE feel when we read about yet another transgender woman beaten to death. Imagine how WE feel when we read about legislation being introduced to legalize discrimination against gay people. Imagine how WE feel when we see pictures of mass graves in the middle east.

You see good news, I see more suffering and death in the name of gods who, if they exist at best don't give a damn about their children and at worst fully approve of that suffering and death.

Posted by beam me up scottie | Mon Mar 20, 2017, 06:01 PM (2 replies)

Right? Long time Bernistas have known about him for years.

I love my home state, I've had the pleasure of voting for Pat, Bernie and even Jim Jeffords back in the day. Bernie might be a Brooklyn transplant but Vermonters are proud to claim him as one of their own. I don't think he'll ever have to worry about losing his seat, which is great for us - he can focus on national issues.

Glad to see you again!


Posted by beam me up scottie | Mon Mar 20, 2017, 07:00 AM (1 replies)
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