Wanting the other person to be wrong

Raptitude has been a solid site I’ve followed on and off since I first found it. I like the longer form writing, that he digs into topics more than the typical “Top 10 reasons why…” posts. He takes his time writing his posts instead of trying to churn out a new one every other day. I appreciate that.

Today, though, I didn’t really like his post. I felt like he needed more concrete examples. It felt too abstract to me.

About two-thirds of the way down the post, though, part of a paragraph jumped out at me. It’s about the debates we often have with each other, often online, that don’t get anywhere. I could empathize with his thoughts here, and I learned something:

You may have noticed that in these debates, we don’t want the other person to make a good point, even if conceding it could leave us with a more intelligent stance than we had before. Instead we want them to make dumb points that make ours sound good. We want them to be wrong more than we want to learn anything.” -David Cain


What it’s like to get old

That’s the tagline of this site.

I’m fascinated by death: what it means to die, what happens afterward, what we do on the way there. Most people think it’s kind of morbid. I try to just think it’s weird.

On the way to death, though, for most of us, is the process of getting older. A lot of what we learn as we get older could also be categorized as what we learn as we approach death. Call me morbid or call me weird, but I think it’s worth consideration. Time Goes By collects a lot of that info and shares it in one place.

Last meals

I ran into this article on a photo series of last meals prison inmates requested before their execution. It made me realize that I’d never asked myself that question before, must less answered it.

What would you want your last meal to be? What would you include? And what would you like to drink with it?

“God” consciousness

Here are some thoughts on artificial consciousness, specially, whether or not computers will someday become conscious similar to the way we are.

I think, like the article argues, that it will be difficult to determine a fine line of consciousness, but I do think creating something we call consciousness will become possible at some point.

Will it be the same as human consciousness? I don’t know. I think that would take more than brain power. I think it would also mean creating the rest of the human body and experience in order for the consciousness to sit in it and experience life the way we do. That seems like a stretch.

What’s interesting to me about all this, though, is the idea of consciousness apart from a physical body. I liked the discussion about what it would mean to be conscious in different places. Could we say we’d really “uploaded” our consciousness if we were able to put it into a computer in multiple different places?

And what about God? Is God like that? God seems like a consciousness without a body. We might be getting closer to understanding what that really means.

Updates: Check some of the comments on the article…

  • Bob: “The conflict here arises because of thinking of it in the wrong terms: instead of ‘transfer’ or ‘upload,’ a better analogy is ‘forking’…”
  • gemli: “One intriguing idea is that we might replace small parts of our brain with surrogate electronic components that would integrate into the whole over time, without our being aware that a change had occurred. After enough such replacements, the brain would be completely electronic without our being aware that anything had changed…”