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Piotr Kolmanowski
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Updating Electromagnetic Theories of Consciousness.

John McFadden's update to CEMI Theory (Conscious ElectroMagetic Information) rests on the original basis that the electrochemical firing of neurons alters the surrounding electromagnetic field, but now includes a defense of the CEMI mechanisms as supported by recent experiments from Christof Koch's lab. 

Paper: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/763034/1/mcfadden_JCS_2013%28a%29.pdf 

CEMI further stipulates that the changing electromagnetic fields caused by the brain's many firing neurons combine, interact, and interfere, and the brain's whole electric field becomes more prominent when neurons fire in synchrony. CEMI posits that neurons fire and alter the electromagnetic field and the electromagnetic field in turn acts on and modulates the firing of neurons. The claim is that this dynamic electromagnetic field, embodying integrated neuronal information, and supported by and influencing neuronal firing is the thing that is consciousness and conscious sensation. 

In this way CEMI provides both a mechanism for consciousness to have a physical effect and also a way to solve the binding problem of consciousness by integrating parts into a unified whole. It also naturally integrates with Tononi's Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness. I must admit I'm partial to both theories and together they provide insight into the properties artificial substrates must have in order to host consciousness should they wind up being true. 

It is important to note that this hasn't solved the Hard Problem of consciousness; there is still no explanation or reason as to why some particular electromagnetic field pattern is the conscious sensation of the colour blue instead of the sound of C for example. And it is more important to note that there has been a long history of intense philosophical and academic criticism of the theory and its short-comings; jumping off points to these references and related material can be found in the Wikipedia link below. 

I stumbled upon McFadden's updated paper via this popular article http://www.learning-mind.com/quantum-theory-explains-what-consciousness-is/ that was shared on Google+ but can't remember by who - thank you, whoever it was!

Wiki: Electromagnetic Theories of Consciousness
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_theories_of_consciousness 

#consciousness   #cemi   #integratedinformationtheory  
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A scientist is creating a longevity cookbook to help others live longer.
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One scientist in particular is 29-year-old Maria Konovalenko, whom is currently studying the biology of aging in a joint PhD program between the University of Southern California and the Buck Institute. With her background in molecular biophysics, she has made it her life’s mission (literally!) to defeat aging – a facet of life in which she believes is no different from a disease in need of a cure. The problem, however, isn’t the science of life extension, but rather the culture of death in which people have become so accustomed to.
In response, in the form of a book known as the Longevity Cookbook, she’s decided to make the leap to help educate people on the current scientific research on aging and the best ways at which people can change their lives to help them combat their mortality. This book doesn’t claim to know the answer to longevity, but it will certainly convince you that achieving indefinite life extension is much closer than you might think.
She needs your help, however. While her book promises to help you live long enough to benefit from the radical achievement of indefinite life extension, the Longevity Cookbook is in need of funding. Using Indiegogo as her crowdfunding platform, you can now ensure this book sees the light of day by donating and sharing with your family and friends. I was able to speak with Maria about her new upcoming book, and have provided our conversation below:

#transhumanism #antiaging #longevity
A scientist has written a cookbook that will help you achieve indefinite life extension! - B.J. Murphy for Serious Wonder
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Feel free to use it if you wish.  

#SaveGoogleReader   #Reader  
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Google’s New Director Of Engineering, Ray Kurzweil, Is Building Your ‘Cybernetic Friend’

World-renowned artificial intelligence expert and Google’s new Director of Engineering, Ray Kurzweil, wants to build a search engine so sophisticated that it could act like a ‘cybernetic friend,’ who knows users better than they know themselves. “I envision in some years that the majority of search queries will be answered without you actually asking,” he said at an intimate gathering at Singularity University’s NASA campus.
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An excellent history of Monty Python
Even if you're already a cogniscenti, this article is still a fascinating read. 
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/01/the-beatles-of-comedy/309185/?single_page=true
Via +Andrew Pam & +glyn moody 
#montypython  
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