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November 23, 2009



I first saw the background at the "Chet Snicker" blog. It is indeed a default template. I tried creating a different background image but it didn't work out at all.

Hopefully Anonymous

You moderate your comments now?!


Just as the blog automatically flags some comments as spam, it also automatically puts some in moderation. I've never seen the use of doing that (unlike with the spam, which tends to be accurate now), so if there's a way of turning it off I'm open to it.


I looked up comment moderation at the wordpress support site, and while they were fairly vague, I think I've got it turned off now. Apparently there was a pre-set limit of two-links per comment.

Hopefully Anonymous

A comment this long might get deleted, I'm parking it here, too.

Hopeless, yes I’m aware of them and I’ve blogged about it. I’m not invoking philosophical zombie strawmen here so let’s not use that terminology. When I defer to that “p-zombie” terminology, people shoe-horn a bunch of strawmen in on the grounds that “these strawmen are part of the commonly agreed on definition of a p-zombie”.

Why am I always hyping Koch’s work? Because he’s the best writer and thinker on the subjective conscious experience I’ve yet encountered.

“and so it seems to you that they MUST be independently existent things”

Mother of all strawmen. I like how you capitalized “MUST”. It’s common sophistry to try to advance an absolutist position by claiming your opponent is absolutist in the opposite direction. I’m not absolutist. I have intuitions and I’m skeptical on certain points. There are rival experts to Prof. Hanson that I think describe the state of our knowledge more accurately, and who are more careful and clear-headed in their thinking on this topic.

I’m not even claiming non-materialist grounds for the observer subjective conscious experience (and anyways, we just redefine anything we develop solid evidential support for as part of material reality anyways, right? As we should.)

At this point, my primary intuition is that the observer subjective conscious experience is like the ability to see color, or the ability to see different colors for different pitches –that it’s not universally distributed in otherwise functioning human beings. Perhaps it’s like the ability to feel a deep sense of connection or one-ness with the universe or a “higher being”. I support empirical inquiry into these cognitive areas. That doesn’t mean point a telescope to the sky to look for the gods of traditional religions. That means improving our neuroanatomical knowledge. But, it also doesn’t mean expressing false certitude in one direction while railing against opposite certitude in the other direction, all while ignoring what I think is the best thought on this topic. For example, I could care less that some people get a distinct cognitive experience by praying or feeling one with the universe. I go through the motions mechanically when it’s in my interest, but I’m covering who I really am, Goffman-style. Perhaps there’s something similar going on with people who don’t share the observer subjective conscious experience (although they may be anywhere from a indeterminate minority to a vast majority, I don’t have an intuitive bead on it yet.)


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