Humanizing Empathy

While I would love to live in a post-empathic world, where people were just eager to learn about and share with one another, and explore human communication to its utmost ends, I find that instead I live in a world where some people are still not seen as entitled to or deserving of the same […]

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Festival in Helsinki

As soon as I land, Helsinki appears to me as a dream-memory juxtaposition of my own wonderment and imagination. Wandering the block, I find artifacts of my childhood and places I have cherished throughout my life: a swinging picnic table, a sandbox, a swing, a little library, a used bookstore, the scent of burning wood, pine trees, […]

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Persistence of Illusion

In my Neuroscience of Consciousness course yesterday, my instructor presented Jackson’s (1982) Mary’s Room thought experiment, also known as the knowledge problem. This is the thought experiment: Mary is a brilliant scientist who is, for whatever reason, forced to investigate the world from a black and white room via a black and white television monitor. […]

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Making Intelligence Artificial

Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the capacity of a programmable system to produce output that is reminiscent of intelligent behavior, and to rapidly adapt with intelligent pattern-associations that can be parsed to intelligent learning (machine learning). The technical proficiency of virtual reality systems is often measured against its ability to replicate the experiential reality in some way, […]

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Introduction to a dedicated analysis of Francisco Varela’s Unity of Consciousness Hypothesis

Francisco Varela, 1946 – 2001. Francisco Varela was a Chilean neurobiologist with a rare multi-disciplinary expertise within and across biology, neuroscience, Buddhism, mindfulness, mathematics, and phenomenology. He coined the term neurophenomenology, which has become the epicenter for my desired research and my life’s work. Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, there has been minimal […]

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Ecstatic Solitude, or: Filling my own presence with creative expression.

I’m just happy. That’s it. I’m exactly where I want to be. – (paraphrased, Joel from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) An orchestral arrangement of my life and all of the events, emotions, and tiny insights within could be punctuated by a recurring melody of moments distinguished by profound, deeply connected romantic love. All […]

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Phase II. The Challenge: How Can I Develop an Empirical and Creative Study of Experience?

Recently, the following questions have been occupying my mind: What is art, what does it mean to be an artist, and how is art enacted? How can we resolve some of the major communication barriers that limit our ability to transmit our experiences to others? What can art transmit, as a mode of expression, that is […]

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