My musings

Brain research

Does the same area always have the same function in all people? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functional_specialization_(brain) http://www.quora.com/Are-all-the-wrinkles-on-a-brains-cortex-the-same-across-people

It seems to be roughly so, even across different species? http://www.livescience.com/43544-humans-dogs-brain-emotions.html

Theory of mind


http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/induction-problem/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_induction

Why is there anything at all? The anthropic belief is an attempt to answer that.

This question is equivalent to looking for X that satisfies the statement “X causes our existence,” which is logically equivalent to “if we don’t exist, then X is false.”

Well, if we don’t exist, many statements will be false, such as “somebody wakes up today,” but the logically equivalent sentence “That somebody wakes up today causes our existence” sounds nonsensical.


Can we even answer this question? Are the questions more important than the answers?

Every adjective has gradation: 75% cold, 25% conscious. This makes us able to say arbitrary things like that a rock is 0% conscious, that a sleeping man is 5% conscious, that a sleepy man is 95% conscious.



A mathematical function will always give the same output for the same input. Why? Can we answer “by definition”?

Conditional reasoning

If X then Y.

Given X, find out Y. (Imagining.)

Given Y, find out the most likely X. (Abducting.)


If what then reincarnation?

If reincarnation then what?

If clairvoyance then what?

If materialism then what?

If what then clairvoyance?

cosmic double-slit


Wheeler delayed choice experiment https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheeler’s_delayed_choice_experiment http://discovermagazine.com/2002/jun/featuniverse

empirical reincarnation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty_Cases_Suggestive_of_Reincarnation http://www.reincarnationexperiment.org/home/dalailamaplid.html xenoglossy http://www.rationalskepticism.org/general-faith/rebirth-and-reincarnation-is-an-empirical-fact-t47380.html

The limits of (autistic) savants? How does one calculate the cube root of any number?

What is reincarnation?

Does reincarnation imply dualism?

If I have reincarnated many times, why am I experiencing myself as this particular reincarnation now?

Is there any law of the universe that I have to be here now?

Memory of past life?

Extra-sensory perception?

Does self-awareness need memory?


It seems reasonable to external reality. The clock seems to continue ticking even if when we are not looking at it, but if I can’t sense the clock at all, I can’t prove that it continues ticking. Or does it? When we see it, it collapses so that its past is consistent?

  1. The clock continues ticking even if when we are not looking at it.
  2. We don’t know what happens to the clock while we are not looking at it, but the next time we look at it, somehow… you know.

See autistic savants. What imply them? What do they imply?

Oculus Rift, self concept, heart. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140427-i-swapped-bodies-with-someone http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20141205-the-man-with-two-hearts

I exist, but I shouldn’t.

Does this problem have a name?

Before I was born, I did not exist, and there is no way for me to come into existence. Why didn’t I stay nonexistent? The other conclusion is that I always exist.

Example of belief that seems reasonable but is unjustifiable due to the problem of induction: we see an apple fall from a tree. We infer that everything falls. we observe people dying all the time. We believe that someday we will die. This is not a deduction. We observe that when someone put his hand to a fire, it burns. We believe that when we put our hand to a fire, it will also burn. Why?

The statement “If you kick him, he will kick you back” is testable.

The term consciousness is despicable; it is so unclear.

Relativist, extensionalist, pragmatist, testabilist (experimentalist).

Can we really carry out this test? (I haven’t read it; too long.) “A Proposed Test of Absolute Rest” http://www.circlon.com/home/5-Absolute-Motion.html

http://www.philosophybasics.com/ http://www.quora.com/Metaphysics/Why-is-my-existence-tied-to-my-physical-body-instead-of-someone-elses-physical-body http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/12/what-makes-you-you.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_swap http://www.iep.utm.edu/person-i/ http://welovephilosophy.com/2013/01/14/personal-identity-and-brain-swapping/ http://www.quora.com/If-we-swap-the-brains-of-two-people-will-their-consciousness-and-identity-be-swapped-too https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_consciousness_(neuroscience)

Am I equally likely to be born as any of the 7 billion people on Earth? If so, why am I this particular person?

Is there anything that exists without reason? Is it just our inability to formulate the reason? What do we mean by reason? Is it equal to cause?

If A causes B, then the absence of B implies the absence of A.

Why did I slap him? Because I was angry at him. Why was I angry at him? Because he insulted me.

If I hadn’t been angry at him, I wouldn’t have slapped him. If he hadn’t insulted me, I wouldn’t have been angry at him. However, it is also feasible that if I had ignored his insult, I wouldn’t have been angry at him. Why didn’t I ignore his insult? Why wasn’t I afraid of retaliation? Thus that I was angry is a cause but not a complete cause of my slapping him.

Why does the apple fall to the ground? Because there is gravity.


Luciano Floridi’s What is a philosophical question? http://www.philosophyofinformation.net/publications/pdf/wiapq.pdf

Reason is justification.

Materialistic viewpoint: http://www.aske-skeptics.org.uk/blog/files/universal-awareness.php

Why do I wake up as the same person?

Obvious things

I control my body. I am not my body.

I see with my eyes. I am not my eyes.

I imagine something. I am not my imagination.

I remember things. I am not my memory.

I do things. I am not things I do.

When I stand before a mirror, I see a reflection of my body. I am not my body.

Flawed analogy

I am driver. Body is vehicle.

Sleeping is leaving the vehicle but keeping the engine running.

If vehicle breaks down, I can get another vehicle.

I am the weights of a neural network?

Elephants, dolphins, and monkeys pass the mirror test?

Very young children do not pass the mirror test?

What did Siddharta Gotama discover?

Can mathematics solve the problem?

Suppose that the Universe is a unar \((U,u)\).

I am not a subset of \(U\); such definition would lead to soristic paradox (how many atoms of my brain must I lose to make myself no longer myself?).

Am I a subalgebra of the Universe? No. I and the Universe change each other.

Am I part of the Universe?

Is thought material?

Should we distinguish myself at one time and myself at another time?

If the Universe is discrete and neural correlates correlate with qualia, then there are finitely many qualia I can have.

Define someone’s perception as a function from reality to his qualia?

If two brains have the same states, would they have the same thoughts, the same identity, the same qualia?

Does every electron have exactly the same charge?


Lazarus syndrome Lazarus phenomenon

Nobody asks to be born.

Something is reasonable if its negation is unreasonable. If something and its negation seem reasonable, then?

A word has its meaning because people agree that it has that meaning.


Consciousness theories

https://en.wikipedia.org/Electromagnetic_theories_of_consciousness https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcranial_magnetic_stimulation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_brain_stimulation

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mind https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_cognition https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_problem_of_consciousness

Electromagnetism theory has been superseded by electroweak theory.



http://www.quora.com/How-do-I-stop-myself-from-meta-thinking-or-over-thinking http://exploringthemind.com/the-mind/brain-scans-can-reveal-your-decisions-7-seconds-before-you-decide

Giulio Tononi’s integrated information theory may be currently our best bet.