Thursday, June 30, 2016
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Compassionate action has to start with ourselves. It is unconditional compassion for ourselves that leads naturally to unconditional compassion for others. If we are willing to stand fully in our own shoes and never give up on ourselves, then we will be able to put ourselves in the shoes of others and never give up on them. ~ Pema Chodron
Monday, June 27, 2016
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Friday, June 24, 2016
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Monday, June 20, 2016
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Saturday, June 18, 2016
One of the central claims of the theory is that, for consciousness to exist, it must have “cause-effect” power on itself.
Neurologist Melanie Boly, a resident at UW’s School of Medicine and Public Health who has worked with Tononi, explains that for anything to exist, it must be able to have an effect; it must be able to make some small difference to something else.
“Consciousness exists for itself and by itself,” says Boly. “Thus it should have cause and effect on itself.”
Boly is currently working with other researchers to develop a mathematical framework to test the predictions of integrated information theory.
But she points out that, long before the explanation of consciousness was put forward in such a scientifically rigorous form, the philosopher Plato expressed the idea that for something to exist, it must capable of having an effect. And so consciousness (or “being,” as Plato described it) is “simply power.”
In the dialog Sophist, written in 360 BC, Plato wrote:
“My notion would be, that anything which possesses any sort of power to affect another, or to be affected by another, if only for a single moment, however trifling the cause and however slight the effect, has real existence; and I hold that the definition of being is simply power.”
Just as it’s impossible to definitively know what caused the world, we’ll never be able to completely prove a theory of consciousness. But Boly believes the current evidence suggests that the integrated information theory is correct—which would then scientifically validate Plato’s views from more than two millennia ago.
- Olivia Goldhill
2300 years later, Plato’s theory of consciousness is being backed up by neuroscience