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Star Trek

Anil Seth on the Hard Problem of Consciousness, the Self, and the Essence of Volition

Shermer and Seth discuss: consciousness • controlled hallucinations • the self and other minds • Where does consciousness go during general anaesthesia? After death? • Are we living in a simulation that itself is inside a simulation? • Does Deep Blue know that it beat the great Gary Kasparov in chess? • Does Watson know that it beat the great Ken Jennings in Jeopardy!? • Is Data on Star Trek sentient, conscious, and with feelings? • Can AI systems be conscious? • free will, determinism, compatibilism, and panpsychism.

eSkeptic for September 7, 2016

September 8, 1966 marks the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. In this essay, from 1994, upon the publication of David Alexander’s biography: Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry, Shermer considers the role of the individual—the hero even—and difference that Gene Roddenberry made in history.

The Hero on the Edge of Forever: Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek, and the Heroic in History

September 8, 1966 marks the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. In this essay, from 1994, upon the publication of David Alexander’s biography: Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry, Shermer considers the role of the individual—the hero even—and difference that Gene Roddenberry made in history.

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