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Michael Jackson: Posthuman

Michael Jackson: Posthuman

Mark Ryden’s art for Michael Jackson’s 1991 album Dangerous. Augusto Podrido/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND The album cover for Michael Jackson’s album Dangerous was painted by American pop-surrealist artist Mark Ryden. In it, he depicts a world in which the boundaries between human and animal, living and dead, whole and part, and celestial and terrestrial have been crossed and fused. Surrealist painters like Ryden often aim to...

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Cognitive Abstraction Manifolds

Cognitive Abstraction Manifolds

few days ago I started thinking about abstractions whilst reading Surfaces and Essences, a recent book by Douglas Hofstadter and Emmanuel Sander. I suspect efforts like Surfaces and Essences, which traverse vast and twisted terrains across cognitive science, are probably underrated as scientific contributions. But first, let me briefly introduce the idea-triggering tome. Surfaces and Essences focuses on the role of a...

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Death Is Like A Ticking Time Bomb

Death Is Like A Ticking Time Bomb

I have written extensively on why: 1) we should use technology to defeat death; 2) death is one of the greatest tragedies to befall us; and 3) death makes completely meaningful lives impossible. In my recent post I summarized Nick Bostrom’s story that makes similar points. In response I received this perceptive comment: Love that story. Given that we now see death as a result of genetic programming. Literally, progra...

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