Tag Archives: TEDx

Intent of the Day: Open to Change

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Your schedule got turned on its head.
Someone backed out at the last minute.
You were going right and now you’re going left.
Large or small, those last minute changes can do a number on your day, your confidence, your productivity. We know you are flying by the seat of your pants as we speak, so just know that our intent of the day is to stay open to change.

You too? Real quick. Here are 3 things to help: Continue reading

Intent of the Day: Thrive

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Just make it through the day. Just make it through the day. Just make it through the day.

It’s a sad mantra but a lot of times, it’s the only thing getting us through. We live in an age where everything is coming at us so fast. We are reachable 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We’re already behind when we wake up in the morning. So is something other than survival mode even possible? What is the secret of people who look like they’re always either coming or going from a beach vacation? Today our intent is to learn what it means to thrive instead of just surviving.

You too? Here are 3 resources to help: Continue reading

Intent of the Day: Forgive

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To be considering forgiveness means you have something to forgive. It means you’ve been hurt, betrayed, upset, done wrong. It is the story of us as people: helping and harming, sometimes in the same breath, and so many of us walk through our days with battle wounds amassed over the years. From strangers. From friends. From family. From our spouses.

Holding on to the anger and sadness has been a heavy burden, so today our intent is to forgive. We understand that forgiveness can be complicated and take a long time. It can feel unfair and it can feel weak, but we hope to change our minds on that. Are you creating an intent to forgive as well? Here are 3 resources that helped us: Continue reading

Brave Teenager’s Manifesto on Depression and Why We Need to Talk About It

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Kevin Breel has been living two lives for years. In one, he’s a smart, accomplished young man with friends and family who love him. In the other, he is someone who suffers from depression, and has for the better part of six years.

This may come as a shock, Kevin says, to the people who know him. After all, on the surface his life is great. Everything is fine; everything is going well. But underneath the surface, he “struggles intensely” with a condition that many of us know all to well and yet no one wants to talk about. Why is this?

Depression is stigmatized in our culture, Kevin says, and yet it is a massive issue. According to the World Health Organization, one person in the world dies by suicide every 40 seconds. Worldwide suicide rates have increased 60% in the last 45 years, and it is the second leading cause of death for people aged 10-24. On top of that, suicide attempts are 20 times more frequent than actual suicides, which means there is a staggering number of people in the world who are hurting, suffering, and desperately needing help.

Kevin uses a powerful analogy: When you break your arm, everyone runs over to sign your cast. When you say you’re depressed, everyone runs in the other direction. This has created a world in which we don’t understand mental health, we don’t understand our emotions, and we certainly don’t understand depression. Watch Kevin’s poignant TEDx talk:

In order to heal our hearts and our communities, Kevin entreats that we speak up, speak out, and learn to love ourselves. In the spirit of Suicide Prevention week, let’s not waste a minute to reach out to our fellow humans and spread the love.

Have you or someone you know suffered from depression? We would be honored for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

“30 Is Not the New 20”: 3 Things Every 20-Something Needs to Hear

We’ve been hearing it for some time now: 30 is the new 20. The 20’s are a throwaway decade. They don’t count. Well, erase everything you’ve heard about being a 20-something because this TED talk is going to rock your world.

Clinical psychologist Meg Jay discusses her experience working with 20-somethings over the years and makes a case for why the 20’s is the defining decade in people’s lives. Before you baulk, take a few minutes to listen to her talk and see if you are inspired to pass the video along to every 20-something you know!

Jay’s 3 biggest tips every 20-something needs to hear:

  1. Get some “identity capital.” Do something to invest in who you are and in the person you might want to become. Take a risk, learn a new skill, make a big move, pursue a challenging new job or internship.
  2. The urban tribe is overrated. Best friends are great and in some situations invaluable. But by limiting your community to a tight-knit peer group with identical beliefs and values, you will rob yourself of new experiences, ideas, and opportunities. New things come out of our weak ties, Jay says, so pay attention to those friends of friends of friends.
  3. The time to start picking your family is now. Even if you don’t “settle down” until you’re 30, the pressure to do it all at once may lead you to make less than optimal decisions. The time to work on your marriage is before you’re married. Be as intentional with love, Jay urges, as you are with work!

This doesn’t mean everyone has to settle on a career in their 20’s or that everyone needs to someday get married and have kids. And fun should not be written out of the equation, either! But as Jay’s final words seem to convey, 20-somethings’ decisions and actions are worth something, and that should be treated as an inspiration, and not a threat.

“30 is not the new 20. So claim your adulthood…Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do. You’re deciding your life right now.”

So 20-somethings out there, are you feeling inspired? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

The EyeWriter: An Amazing Story of Innovation and Human Compassion

P1060131-1It started out as a rerouted date night for Mick Ebeling and his wife. A friend convinced them to check out an art show instead of the more traditional dinner and movie, and it was there Ebeling first learned about the artist “Tempt.”

Despite the signs, posters, and artwork all over the place with references to Tempt, the artist himself was nowhere to be found. As it turned out, and as Ebeling soon discovered, the show was a benefit event for Tempt, a graffiti artist who suffers from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and is paralyzed in his hospital bed. With mobility only in his eyes, Tempt hadn’t been able to create his art for 7 years. But that all changed in 2011.

Inspired and distressed by Tempt’s story, Ebeling sprang into action. He has years of experience as a film and digital media producer and entrepreneur and was able to organize a team of skilled, dedicated collaborators to develop the first open source eye-tracking device, called the EyeWriter. “Open source” means that the EyeWriter is copyfree, inexpensive, and DIY-possible. No more insurmountable insurance bills and restricted access to the best technology. Ebeling took a cause, his passion for art, a network of resources, and the grassroots, non-hierarchical values latent in graffiti culture to create something truly remarkable. After a year of planning and programming, the first EyeWriter was born and gifted to Tempt, who, with it, was able to draw and communicate again after 7 years of feeling trapped under water.

As Ebeling says in his TED talk, we all have the potential for greatness. We just need to ask ourselves two simple questions:

If not now, then when?

If not me, then who?

Watch Ebeling’s inspiring talk, and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below:

Photo credit: EyeWriter.org

Deepak Chopra: Reply to Chris Anderson, TED, and Scientific Dogma (Part 4)

Screen Shot 2013-04-30 at 2.22.39 PMClick here for part 1 of this article.

Part 4 of this letter is in response to the recent letter to all the TEDx organizers, posted by Chris Anderson, the head of TED. The original letter proposed certain “red flag” topics, among them health hoaxes and the medicinal value of food but also the general area of pseudoscience.

Please read the following responses from accredited scientists and others in the consciousness communities, who have their own responses to the issues at hand:

TED asks, “Imagine a speaker arguing, say, that eating five Big Macs a day could prevent Alzheimer’s,” as an example where a science board would feel justified in excluding that topic as a TEDx talk. The claim flies in the face of common sense so no further examination is necessary. Right?

But what if there were scientifically valid experiments published in mainstream, peer-reviewed journals that supported the apparently outrageous assertion? What if the experiments were repeatable and observed in independent laboratories over decades? What if the underlying phenomena were reported outside the laboratory throughout recorded history, and across all cultures, and by a broad range of university scientists and scholars? Would that topic, however challenging it may seem, still be excluded from TED? How many credible challenges are required before the balance tips between knee-jerk exclusion of bold and risky ideas vs. timid and safe pabulum?

This is exactly the situation for a class of consciousness-related phenomena. They are labeled telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and psychokinesis. These phenomena do challenge naive assumptions about the relationship between mind and matter, but there is no rational justification for continuing to exclude this line of research if TED is really interested in promoting genuine science. Empiricism must trump theory, otherwise it’s no longer science that’s being defended. It’s dogma.

Best wishes,

Dean Radin PhD
Co-Editor-in-Chief, Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing
Adjunct Faculty, Department of Psychology, Sonoma State University

Chief Scientist
Institute of Noetic Sciences
625 Second St., Suite 200
Petaluma, CA 94952 USA

www.ions.org
www.explorejournal.com
www.deanradin.com

____________________________________________________________________

The Society for Consciousness Studies Statement:

The Society for Consciousness Studies is disappointed with the recent policy of exclusion by the TED Talks organizers, who have taken it upon themselves to classify several well-known scholars and researchers as “pseudo-scientists” and have removed them from TED Talks. It is our view as an organization of professional scholars and scientists that such a policy amounts to a latter day McCarthyism in which a few influential individuals have taken it upon themselves to decide which ideas and facts are suitable for all of us.

The Society for Consciousness Studies is a strong advocate for freedom to express research findings and scholarly ideas without seeking approval from purveyors of unwritten biases or worldviews, or from the self-appointed keepers of conservative intellectual culture.

Allan Leslie Combs, Ph.D.
Doshi Professor of Consciousness Studies; CIIS
Director: Center for Consciousness Studies, CIIS
President: The Society for Consciousness Studies
___________________________________________________________________

I have gone through the lecture of Rupert Sheldrake that is withdrawn by TED and available on YouTube. I am protesting this decision of TED as I feel that the TED movement is one of the historic events in the human civilization, and it is contradictory to the fundamental establishment philosophy of TED to stop the voice that extremely politely seeks the re-evaluation of the morality of the scientific practice. When majority of the scientific principles are assumed ad hoc, only to fit the experimental results with the “hand in tools”, arguing to change the way we look at the practice is not a sin. However, in contrast, trying to stop that voice is unscientific and does not match with the very foundation of science, which stepped ahead only because we made it liberal. The historic TED act to me is in no way different than those who gave poison to Socrates or burnt Bruno alive, if decision makers in TED think that they understand science then they should dare to answer the open question put forth by Rupert Sheldrake.

We have universal constants; if there is a change even at the eighth decimal, the world will be re-designed completely; who wrote that, and how, and what are the factors contribute to that change? We have a five hundred years old science, still we cannot solve a three body problem – two balls are fine, not three or more. Isn’t the science we practice primitive? We all know what games scientists play in quantum chromodynamics to fit the result, patterns have no explanation, magic numbers no explanation, lists are many, but if somebody argues to destroy the blind religious faiths of the scientists, he is non-scientific? I do not understand, on one hand, we have experimental proof that two quantum mechanically entangled particles communicate with 100,000 times the velocity of light, and on the other hand we have faith that nothing can move faster than the velocity of light. We all know that for Nature, there is no classical or quantum – it is a division created by us.

These ridiculous scenarios of science will give birth to a new kind of science. Rupert Sheldrake has started to ask and many people will join him. Whether TED gives him a platform or not, the truth will come out, and the days for the existing science are numbered. It will change. The coin is tossed; and therefore, it is better for TED not to indulge in shameful acts and then later prove itself as the “Scientific Church” that validates the religion of “Scientific Mafias.”

Best Regards,
Anirban Bandyopadhyay
Senior Scientist, National Institute for Materials Science, Japan
_________________________________________________________________________

Some of the ideas expressed by Rupert Sheldrake may look like pseudoscience indeed, as the talk has some marks of bad science, as described by TED organizers.

For me, the talk looks like a skeptical approach to the actual methodology of science. This raises an important issue: is TED a proper stage for out of the box ideas, or new hypotheses in science? Why does the vision of Rupert Sheldrake have less value than the story of Thandie Newton?

Ovidiu Brazdau, PhD
Research Director, Consciousness Quotient Institute

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Since the Scientific Revolution, when empirical discoveries began to undermine religious doctrine, tension grew between those who sought truth through rational inquiry based on observation and those who accepted truths based on the authority of religious dogma. While the liberation of science from religion resulted in tremendous advances in science and technology, it also led to the fragmentation of knowledge and to a science no longer engaged with the big questions: what it means to be human, to be conscious, to be a seeker of meaning amid the vagaries of life.

We believe the time has come for the fragmentation of knowledge we have seen over the last four hundred years to give way to a new paradigm in which science and spirituality reenter into a meaningful dialogue with one another. Spirituality need not be at odds with scientific inquiry — a new kind of integration is possible. What is required for this reintegration is an empirically-responsible spirituality, one that is not beholden to dogma or authority, and a more humanistic non-dogmatic science willing to consider the big questions of life. We would only expect that forward thinking organization such as TED would support and advance this dialogue.

Zaya & Maurizio Benazzo
Founders, Science and Nonduality Conference

 

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Deepak Chopra: Reply to Chris Anderson, TED and Claims of “Pseudoscience” (Part 3)

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 11.32.34 AMClick here for part 1 of this article.

Part 3 of this letter is in response to the recent letter to all the TEDx organizers, posted by Chris Anderson, the head of TED. The original letter proposed certain “red flag” topics, among them health hoaxes and the medicinal value of food but also the general area of pseudoscience.

Please read the following responses from accredited scientists and others in the consciousness communities, who have their own responses to the issues at hand:

The accusation that the work of researchers including Rupert Sheldrake, Russell Targ and others is ‘pseudo-scientific,’ and that accordingly their presentations should be removed from TEDx, is one that is unjustifiable. As with any branch of science, their studies should be subject to intense scrutiny, and it may be that future work would reveal limitations in their approaches. Such is the core of the scientific enterprise. Nevertheless, the ideas they articulate have not been compromised by substantive scientific evidence, and casting aspersions on the integrity of their work is therefore tantamount to prejudice. Removing their talks is out-and-out censorship.

The deeper issue here concerns the challenge to understand consciousness, and the interplay between belief and methodology involved in meeting that challenge. Whilst the notion of ‘belief’ seems opposed to scientific advance as popularly construed, unsubstantiated assumptions frequently influence the kinds of hypotheses advanced and the lenses through which data are interpreted in the scientific world. In the case of consciousness the notion that its full causation will be found in the arena of neuronal processing is one such unsubstantiated assumption. There is no definitive evidence that such neurophysicalism is sustainable. There may be non-cerebral, and even non-physical (as currently understood), aspects to the basis of consciousness; we simply do not have the evidence to draw firm conclusions. The dominant paradigm entails assumptions drawn from the success in ascribing physical causation to other features of our world. But consciousness may be of a different order; it may not capable of analysis on the basis of such comparisons. Again, we simply do not know, and to castigate researchers for their openness to changing the paradigm ranks alongside the darker examples of prejudice that haunt human history.

The way in which we view consciousness has huge implications for our culture. To cite but one glaring example, a society that assumes that complex biological computation is the sole causal determinant of consciousness may rapidly decide that complex computation itself – as in computers of the future – is responsible for consciousness. Such a society will have squeezed the human spirit from its worldview, reducing what it is to be human to the level of what it is to be a super-computer. Is this a world we would wish to bequeath to our children? Too often the scientific community ignores the moral implications of stances it adopts. In cases where definitive evidence drives the stance, well and good; but where the stance stands on unfounded assumptions we are right to question it. The predominant scientific stance in the area of consciousness research is one that many of us wish to challenge. Let there be solid argument in the debate; not feeble accusations – such as that of ‘pseudoscience.’

Brian L Lancaster PhD
Emeritus Professor of Transpersonal Psychology
Liverpool John Moores University, UK.

___________________________________________________________________

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. The consciousness studies community, made up of members from nearly every branch of science and academia, would like TED’s anonymous scientific advisory board to be aware that the study of consciousness requires a new form of consideration: unlike traditional scientific subject matter we are obliged to look at awareness and experience as non-reductive processes, and this requires an openness to exploring new methodologies, new forms of logic, new truth claims, and a different understanding of what constitutes proof. Additionally, we are finding it necessary to embrace the notion that many different perspectives and ideologies may be harboring a portion of the truth about consciousness. We find it necessary to be ideologically open to a variety of perspectives and approaches, and we hope that TED will be able to partner with us in this important exploration. Rupert Sheldrake is a respected expert on the necessity of new forms of analysis, so we were understandably shocked to see his work deemed unfit for the TED venue. Experiential approaches, including Graham Hancock’s exploration of alternative states, represent an important aspect of our subject matter, and therefore of our research. We are saddened to see his brave and very personal contribution disparaged as ‘pseudo-science.’

Perhaps TED would consider including members of our community on its advisory panel so as not to repeat the current misunderstanding and discord.

Respectfully,

Christopher Holvenstot
Independent Researcher
Editorial Advisor: The Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research
Founding Member: The Society for Consciousness Studies

__________________________________________________________________

As a psychologist and professor who has spent years studying and teaching about consciousness at a public research university, I am alternately shocked and amused at the lengths people will travel to preserve an outmoded, materialist belief system in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. I have colleagues who know nothing about the complexities of consciousness studies yet who, in their ignorance and arrogance, snidely condemn it as “pseudoscience”, much as TED and its “anonymous” scientific advisory board have done. In response I have trained myself and my students to ask “What specific studies and data are you troubled by? What experimental procedures are you questioning? Have you read Thomas Kuhn’s “Structure of a Scientific Revolution?” Invariably the answer is silence.

The kind of backlash exemplified by TED has occurred again and again since Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in 1600 for proposing what astrophysicists now call “the multiple worlds theory”, and it is always at its most vociferous and vicious as a new way of thinking is emerging. But, as Thomas Kuhn reminds us, the old guard eventually and inevitably gives way to the new. I am currently teaching an upper-division undergraduate course entitled “Consciousness, Ethics, and the Natural World.” Among other works that we are reading is Rupert Sheldrake’s “Dogs that Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home.” Yesterday I asked my students what they thought about TED’s censuring of Sheldrake. Here are some of their thoughts:

“TED is starting to exclude the very minds that it was created to gather.”
“TED is behaving in a very immature way….just like middle school cliques.”
“TED has become a synonym for censure.”
“To which special interests will TED bow before next”?
“The scientists who pressured TED into censuring Sheldrake are afraid that accepting his perspective invalidates their own work and that they’ll be pushed aside. They don’t realize that there’s room for everyone in the Multiverse.”

These are students at a mainstream research university for whom Sheldrake’s ideas are common sense rather than “pseudoscience.” Clearly, this latest scientific revolution is upon us.

Kathleen D. Noble, Ph.D.
Professor of Consciousness
School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
University of Washington – Bothell

________________________________________________________________________

In the TED reply they say:

“Nothing would excite us more than to include talks which offer a credible contribution to understanding [consciousness] better. Such talks could use the third person language of neuroscience, the first person language of experience or spirituality. We’ve carried plenty of each. We’re hungry for more.”

Yet in their guidelines to their TEDx organizers regarding the “Red Flags” of “Pseudo-science” topics to watch out for they specifically list:

  • The neuroscience of [fill in the blank] — not saying this will all be non-legitimate, but that it’s a field where a lot of goofballs are right now
  • The fusion of science and spirituality. Be especially careful of anyone trying to prove the validity of their religious beliefs and practices by using science

“Goofballs” is a rather demeaning and judgmentally charged word. And aren’t they contradicting themselves here? If they truly believe they are “hungry for more” credible talks on consciousness and are open to the neuroscience field, then perhaps they should change their guidelines letter to TEDx organizers and clarify these “red flags” more, and clean up their choice of words.

I’ve already made a contribution to the reply, but perhaps it might be worth pointing out TED’s inconsistency in the overall group response somewhere.

I just want to take a moment to acknowledge this group. It is great to see such active collaboration and contributions from everyone. Such a united effort is what is needed to really get this field more on a level playing field with mainstream science, and it is rather fortunate timing that this TED debate is arising now to bring this topic more into the spotlight.

Cheers,

Theresa Bullard, Ph.D in Physics

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Deepak Chopra: Reply to Chris Anderson, TED and the Science of Consciousness (Part 2)

The birth of consciousnessClick here for part 1 of this article.

Part 2 of this letter is in response to the recent letter to all the TEDx organizers, posted by Chris Anderson, the head of TED. The original letter proposed certain “red flag” topics, among them health hoaxes and the medicinal value of food but also the general area of pseudoscience.

Please read the following responses from accredited scientists and others in the consciousness communities, who have their own responses to the issues at hand:

I begin my reply with a quote from Nobel laureate, geneticist Barbara McClintock, as reported by Evelyn Fox Keller in A Feeling for the Organism:

“There’s no such thing as a central dogma into which everything will fit. It turns out that any mechanism you can think of, you will find — even if it’s the most bizarre kind of thinking. Anything… even if it doesn’t make much sense, it’ll be there… So if the material tells you, ‘It may be this,’ allow that. Don’t turn it aside and call it an exception, an aberration, a contaminant… That’s what’s happened all the way along the line with so many good clues.”

Of course, not every scientist is a Barbara McClintock – who boldly and at great sacrifice to her own career prospects (until the “rediscovery” of her work late in life and the awarding of her Nobel) – kept on looking for those exceptions and aberrations and wove her hypotheses to encompass those most interesting “good clues.” Most scientists, including some of those who have made breakthrough discoveries, carefully till the soil of our well-worn, well-established paradigms. Others – like Sheldrake and Hancock – do their work by focusing on the bits left out: the exceptions, the aberrations.

Chris Anderson is correct that his job at TED, aided by his advisory boards, is to curate and, therefore, to make choices. I would offer this metaphorical example as a way to consider their task: We know a lot now about how ant colonies self organize and how the food lines in ant colonies arise to maximize the rapid access to new food sources for the colony. One question is: how does this line form so efficiently and how is it maintained until the task is accomplished? A vital question. But the framing of the question excludes something important. Not every ant is actually following the line. These were the ants that wound up in my mother’s kitchen when I was a kid. I would feel sorry for the stupid ant who wound up somewhere it shouldn’t and would try to get it outside before she saw and not only squashed, but called the exterminator.

But my mother intuited something I did not know. It is precisely the ants NOT following the line that are equally, if not more vital for the survival of the colony. The few ants that don’t follow the line are the likeliest to find new food sources and establish new food lines when the old ones have exhausted their task. The ants in her kitchen were, in fact, a very good reason to call the exterminator. In complexity theory these divergent ants are an example of the necessary quenched disorder in the system, the unplanned, unconstrained activities – not too much, not too little – that allow the colony as a whole to explore new terrain, new food sources, new ways of organizing, to develop what complexity theorist Stuart Kauffman calls “the adjacent possible.”

When TED commits itself to “ideas worth spreading” they are dabbling in divergent ant promotion: their speakers and their audiences do not build on the TED talks in a planned and organized way, the interactions of TED meetings foster the kind of quenched disorder in human society that allows us to find new ways of being in the world, at the individual and at the communal level, by juxtaposing speakers and audiences that would normally not have been able to find each other.

I think Sheldrake and Hancock are divergent ants much as McClintock was. They may not be the ants that find the next food source and establish the new food line, but one never knows which one it will be. McClintock was critiqued and even ridiculed in ways not dissimilar to Sheldrake and Hancock have recently been by the TED team. She might have been wrong in her ideas. It turned out she was not. Sheldrake and Hancock may be wrong in their ideas, but we do not yet know. Even if they are, the creativity of their work and their insistence on looking at the aberrations and exceptions is certainly of value, at least to point the way to the kinds of creative explorations TED hopes to foster. They are ideas worth spreading precisely because of their bravery, creativity and care.

Neil Theise, MD
Professor, Pathology and Medicine
Division of Digestive Diseases
Beth Israel Medical Center – Albert Einstein College of Medicine

____________________________________________________________________

If the history of science teaches us anything, it is that our most fundamental ideas about the world are probably wrong. Ideas that can be turned into technologies – even ideas about Higgs bosons – can be tested, in public, by experimentation. These ideas can be demonstrated, in public, to be either wrong, or close enough to right to be relied upon to develop further technologies. But fundamental ideas, ideas that have not yet been turned into technologies, cannot be tested except by exploring their logical consequences. The logical consequences of many of humanity’s most cherished ideas have been shown to be wrong. We are not the center of the universe. We are not very different from other animals. Indeed our status in the world does not appear to be “special” in any way. These things can be said with confidence because the logical consequences of these cherished ideas directly conflict with ideas that can be tested, ideas about the cosmic microwave background, or about DNA, or about the symmetries of physical interactions.

It is the fundamental ideas that underpin not just our science but our lives, therefore, that should be subjected to the most rigorous and ruthless scrutiny. Our ideas about consciousness fall into this category. Human consciousness seems special: that alone should make us suspicious. Our consciously experienced memories support our personal identities: this should also make us suspicious. What is this phenomenon, consciousness? How does it relate to basic awareness? How does it relate to differential responsiveness to one’s environment? Differential responsiveness to the environment is, after all, the only public evidence we have for consciousness. Electrons respond differentially to their environments. Does that mean they are conscious? Most people think free will and autonomous action require consciousness. Physicists debate whether electrons have free will and autonomy in the pages of mainstream journals.

A robust science of consciousness threatens no one but dogmatists. If experiments showed tomorrow that electrons were conscious, this result would threaten no one but dogmatists. If experiments demonstrated that human beings can communicate telepathically with plants, or that focused attention can affect the trajectories of distant particles, these results would threaten no one but dogmatists. Open discussion of such questions should, likewise, threaten no one but dogmatists. One hopes that organizations like TED will encourage such open discussion.

Chris Fields, Ph.D.
Chris Fields, Ph.D. is an information scientist interested in the human perception of objects as spatially and temporally bounded entities. He has published over 120 peer-reviewed papers.

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