Where did consciousness come from?! Two internet people insult each other

There are a lot of questions we have yet to answer and understand, but one of the most fascinating is the origin and function of our own consciousness. Now is an incredibly exciting time to be able to address that question, because of how much we are learning about the physical workings of the brain. … Continue reading Where did consciousness come from?! Two internet people insult each other

Being vs. acting good — is there a difference?

One of the things I like most about fiction is the way it presents ethical issues in helpful and novel (har har) ways. Every fictional story presents some kind of ethical conflict and its resolution, highlighting different kinds of people, different ways of thinking, different ways of relating to others, etc. Really, when we read … Continue reading Being vs. acting good — is there a difference?

We do what we have been rewarded to do

I was listening to a podcast that featured an addiction researcher, and he was talking about how addiction manifests in the brain. He highlighted our learning method, which is something that has not evolved significantly since our ape ancestors: Trigger > Behavior > Reward My self-reward usually involves wine, books, and time to enjoy both. … Continue reading We do what we have been rewarded to do

Your Brain on Philanthropy: Availability Heuristic

Isn't "heuristic" such an intellectual-sounding word?! I feel erudite. I also love the way it sounds, considering what it means. A heuristic is a way of approaching a question or problem that values the practical and easy over the accurate. Basically, it's our brain jumping to conclusions, rather than taking a beat and doing the … Continue reading Your Brain on Philanthropy: Availability Heuristic