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February 03, 2004

Comments

Paul Hughes

Nova, I agree with you completely. It has weathered both my experiential and rational exploration. I'm still suprised though how many people still side with Dennett, when Chalmers makes such a more logically sound case on the matter.

Nova Spivack

Great quote Paul -- I am much more of an optimist than Lilly -- I believe that since consciousness is fundamental, and fundamentally unconditioned, it is always possible to break free of any conceptual programs (because they are not as fundamental). This is what makes us humans more than mere machines -- and ultimately what makes human intelligence something that no computer can synthesize (because it is based on consciousness which is something fundamental and therefore cannot be synthesized).

Paul Hughes

The late John Lilly had similar ideas in the 1970's which he comprehensively articulated in his book, 'Simulations of God'. Here is a couple of snippets:

"... In this view what are we? We are small accidents in a current universe about to become obsolete... We may be only a product of intervening processes, accidentally generated in a small portion of Superspace. We worhsip ourselves, we worship our projections onto the universe as if we are God... Whe one realizes the structure of on his own brain, when he realizes that he is captured by that structure--he is captured by the software, the programs, the metaprograms stored in that hardware--then he becomes skeptical of ever having a direct apperception of God, a direct knowing of what the universe is." - pg 171-172

But then he ends the book on a more hopeful note,

"If we are manifestations of Consciousness-Without-an-Object (i.e. consciousness is a fundamental component of existence), and if, as Frtanklin Merrell-Wolff says we can go back into Consciounsess-Without-an-Onject, then my rather pessimistic view that we are merely noisy animals may be wrong".

Nova Spivack

Yeah, probably an open-source app under GPL too!

west

Nature is not proprietary but it doesn't come with source code either (not that we know of?). I'd say it's a Linux screensaver :)

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Nova's Trip to Edge of Space

  • Stepsedgestratosphere
    In 1999 I flew to the edge of space with the Russian air force, with Space Adventures. I made it to an altitude of just under 100,000 feet and flew at Mach 3 in a Mig-25 piloted by one of Russia's best test-pilots. These pics were taken by Space Adventures from similar flights to mine. I didn't take digital stills -- I got the whole flight on digital video, which was featured on the Discovery Channel.

Nova & Friends, Training For Space...

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    In 1999 I was invited to Russia as a guest of the Russian Space Agency to participate in zero-gravity training on an Ilyushin-76 parabolic flight training aircraft. It was really fun!!!! Among other people on that adventure were Peter Diamandis (founder of the X-Prize and Zero-G Corporation), Bijal Trivedi (a good friend of mine, science journalist), and "Lord British" (creator of the Ultima games). Here are some pictures from that trip...

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    Mayer Spivack is my father; he's a brilliant inventor, cognitive scientist, sculptor, designer and therapist. He also builds carbon fiber trimarans in his spare time, and studies animal intelligence. He is working on several theories related to the origins of violence and ways to prevent it, new treatments for learning disabilities, and new theories of cognition. He doesn't have a Web site yet, but I'm working on him...
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