Wrap your mind around this

Scientific American recently published a special edition titled The Hidden Mind. While a few of the articles were disappointing, the magazine finished with a true gem written by David J. Chalmers. It attempts to address the difficult problem of consciousness; not the problem of how to achieve it on a Monday morning, but the even tougher problem of how to explain it. It’s titled The Puzzle of Conscious Experience, and I recommend that you go read it.

A New Kind Of Science

OK, I admit it—I’ve been suckered in by the hype. I’m eagerly awaiting the publication of Stephen Wolfram’s new book A New Kind of Science. I’ve been waiting since I heard about it last year, in fact. I console myself with the thought that even if it doesn’t turn the entire scientific world upside-down, it should at least be interesting. I’ve read some other articles about the idea of modelling the universe as a computational process, but I can’t offhand remember where.