Tuesday, August 21, 2007

the subjective sense of i

I swear I love Seed magazine's Daily Zeitgeist more and more each day...if you haven't subscribed to the Seed's Rss, go do it now! Mental Floss has nothing on them, nothing at all.
Take this article entitled "The Science of Magic." A bunch of scientists are knocking around Vegas (imagine being able to take that off as a business expense?!?!?!) watching magic shows and trying to come up with a theory on how the brain works. They are taken on personal tours of the acts of the best magicians on the strip...Teller even walks them through one of his (hey! all this time I thought he didn't talk!). I learned all sorts of interesting words I now feel obligated to throw into daily conversation: qualia, inattentional blindness, prestidigitation, philosophical zombies (sure to appear soon at a theater near you!), intermittent conditioning....

...lo and behold, near the end of the article Alex pops up! I have not read anything about Alex since I wrote about him in my Senior Capstone paper on animal and nonverbal communication in 1999 (here's an article from that time period...I probably cited it in that paper!). I'm glad to know he's still out there and kicking! I've always said that if I were ever to get a bird, it'd be an African Grey.

evenin' ya'll!



Ms. Hubbard said...

That picture is cool although if I look at it to long without my glasses it is not a good thing.

Kenny P. said...


Erica said...

my mother-in-law has a grey. it makes A LOT of weird noises and likes to talk.

Holley T said...

okay, I like qualia enough (and KP has taunted me with it) that I have to put the definition here just in case someone stumbles by who isn't familiar with the term.

(singular: quale). Often referred to a “raw feels”, qualia are those subjective, qualitative properties of mental states such as sensations and emotions—the “what it is like” to see red, feel pain, be angry. Such mental states are thought to have intrinsic qualitative features by which we identify them through introspection.

Alright people! Go out and use this word today and I'll bet your IQ goes up a few points just in appreciation :)