Flow States Are Pretty Cool

2 min. read Submitted 22/02/2021 #writing #philosophy

Flow is a psychological state defined by an intense presence in the moment and a merging of action and awareness. A gymnast performing a well-practiced routine, or a musician reciting a piece may experience a sense of flow.

Reading about these states, I was struck by how little was written about it why this is desireable. Why do people pursue flow? Some do it for some purpose, such as performance or artistic creation, but I think most who do would agree that there is something intrinsically pleasurable about the experience regardless of its function.

Emotions & Heuristics

2 min. read Submitted 21/02/2021 Last Edited 23/03/2021 #writing #philosophy

So, emotions right? What a heckin' experience! Certainly one of the more attention-grabbing features of the human condition. But what even are they?

Something that I think is dangerous when building a philosophical system is a fetishization of a lack of emotion. Emotionless detachment certainly has its uses, but there are rich and deep colours of the tapestry of human experience that one deprives oneself of. Does the unwise stoic cut a piece from themselves in order to pursue their system? Is it worth it? Not to me.

Mary and the Black and White Memory Implant

2 min. read Submitted 20/02/2021 Last Edited 21/02/2021 #writing #philosophy

In 1982, Frank Jackson published an article entitled "Epiphenomenal Qualia" in Philosophical Quarterly 32:127. Within it, he outlined a thought experiment known as "Mary's Room", or "Mary and the Black-and-White Room". [1]

Imagine a scientist called Mary. She is born and raised within a black-and-white room, where she experiences no colours. Mary is a talented scientist, and learns an enormous amount about the physics of colour, the mechanism by which the human eye detects colour, and the pathways through which colour is interpreted within the brain.

Parliamentary Inquiry into Media Diversity - Personal Submission

7 min. read Submitted 24/11/2020 Last Edited 19/02/2021 #writing #politics

Senator Hanson-Young recently posted a tweet about the Parliamentary Inquiry into Media Diversity currently happening in Australia, part of a growing movement to improve the dismal state of Australian media concentration.

Senator Hanson-Young's Tweet

Why Aren’t You Scared Of What Sent You Here

7 min. read Submitted 04/11/2020 Last Edited 19/02/2021 #writing #ai

We are currently dedicating a huge amount of technological brainpower to the manipulation of human behavior via technology. I cannot, in any terms, stress enough how bad of an idea this is. It’s a stinker. It’s a really, really, bad idea to teach AI how to manipulate human behaviour. I want to discuss these Behavioural Modification Artificial Intelligences (BMAI), how they are increasingly running our lives, and why you should care.

AI is on an exponential trajectory of growth in terms of its complexity and its ability. Not only will AI be able to accomplish increasingly complex tasks over the next decade, it will continue to absorb more and more of humanity’s information and data. It is obvious that we must be very careful about the things that we are asking AI to do. We need to always ask: what would be the consequences of an AI getting a million times better at this task? That scenario is entirely possible. The growth of AI continues to rapidly accelerate, with new developments coming thick and fast. The idea of the singularity — triggered by reaching a point where an AI can consistently improve upon its own design without human intervention — would in some scenarios create a superintelligence many times more intelligent than the entire human population put together in less than a year’s time[1]. But even without the spectre of the singularity haunting us, AI threatens to become terrifyingly proficient at behavioural modification.

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