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Altered Carbon’s Experiment in Consciousness

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Altered Carbon is the most beautifully shot series in history, although the nudity may be a bit much for a family-friendly audience. Film noir meets cyberpunk meets a Raymond Chandler detective novel, Netflix’s production of Altered Carbon has me optimistic that Amazon, which purchased the film rights to Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, will create something spectacular for cyberpunk fans.

  • Brian Tallerico has the best Altered Carbon episode summaries. Read those here.

Visually compelling, Altered Carbon carries on the myth of the mind-body dichotomy, as represented by cortical stacks (your self, memory, and consciousness) and sleevs (physical body). Characters fly freely through different sleeves, although less experienced users do develop a form of sea weariness (they get sleeve sick) when landing in a new body.

Is it true that one day we may become immortal, shifting our selves from one body to the next? That seems unlikely, based on what we know about consciousness.

Which are you more likely to hear people say, or to say yourself:

  • I have a body.
  • I am a body.

This has been studied, and the vast majority of people say they have a body. We think of ourselves as a mind within a body, even though we are also a body within a mind.

This is largely because we experience consciousness, or the sense we exist, and feel as if we are in a body. (Read more: A Brief Guide to Embodied Cognition: Why You Are Not Your Brain.)

You think of yourself a person because you’re in a physical body. Would you still be you if you were in another person’s body? You tastes, preferences, and even risk tolerance would change if you were put into a different physical body. Your physical body is having a conversation with your mind, and thus mind and body are not separate.

Your brains best guess of what you hear, your consciousness imposes meaning on the world, based on expectations formed through your sensory perceptions.

Your consciousness is a result of your body. You are a woman because of your biology, and this feminine identity is distinct from a male identity.

A woman whose consciousness was implanted into a hyper-masculine body would not be a “woman trapped in a man’s body.” She would become a man, in every sense of the world, as her body would rewire her consciousness.

Although Thomas Nagel explored these themes in “What is it like to be a bat?” Daniel Dennett prefers lions:

Dennett waited until the group talked itself into a muddle, then broke in. He speaks slowly, melodiously, in the confident tones of a man with answers. When he uses philosophical lingo, his voice goes deeper, as if he were distancing himself from it. “The big mistake we’re making,” he said, “is taking our congenial, shared understanding of what it’s like to be us, which we learn from novels and plays and talking to each other, and then applying it back down the animal kingdom. Wittgenstein”—he deepened his voice—“famously wrote, ‘If a lion could talk, we couldn’t understand him.’ But no! If a lion could talk, we’d understand him just fine. He just wouldn’t help us understand anything about lions.”

“Because he wouldn’t be a lion,” another researcher said.

“Right,” Dennett replied. “He would be so different from regular lions that he wouldn’t tell us what it’s like to be a lion. I think we should just get used to the fact that the human concepts we apply so comfortably in our everyday lives apply only sort of to animals.” He concluded, “The notorious zombie problem is just a philosopher’s fantasy. It’s not anything that we have to take seriously.”

Consider, too, how your consciousness influences what your body sees.

Your sense of self or “I” is a creation – or what Anil Seth calls a hallucination – of your perceptions.

The sensory information coming into the brain hasn’t changed at all. All that’s changed is your brain’s best guess at the causes of that sensory information, and that changes what you consciously hear….We don’t just passively perceive the world. We actively generate it.

The world as we experience comes as much from the inside-out as from the outside-in.

 

Will we ever be able to move from one sleeve to another, as in Altered Carbon? Perhaps we would, although you may not recognize yourself at the end of the journey.

P.S. If you find the mind-body problem interesting, you’ll love Gorilla Mindset, which solves it in a practical, life-improving way.

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The Truth about Hydroxychloroquine and Coronavirus

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Trump is recommending people look into using chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus. Trump is not a doctor. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are not approved by the FDA for treatment of coronavirus.

Most doctors are using chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine off label for coronavirus treatment, some are using it prophylactically to protect themselves.

OFF LABEL USE is what is missing from media coverage on Trump and hydroxychloroquine. Reporters either don’t know what off label use is, or they are pretending not to know because ORANGE MAN BAD.

Here is what the FDA says in its guide on the off label use of drugs:

From the FDA perspective, once the FDA approves a drug, healthcare providers generally may prescribe the drug for an unapproved use when they judge that it is medically appropriate for their patient.

If you read any article about chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, and the article omits OFF LABEL USE, then you are being hoaxed by the media.

P.S. The man in Arizona who died from using chloroquine did not obtain chloroquine from a doctor. He used fish tank cleaner. (Yes, really.)

The couple unfortunately equated the chloroquine phosphate in their fish treatment with the medication —known as hydroxychloroquine — that has recently been touted as a possible treatment for COVID-19, which has infected more than 42,000 people in the U.S. and killed at least 462.

Reports that the man died after “listening to Trump’s advice” are dishonest.

The Arizona man’s wife is also a Democrat donor.

Wanda donated to the PAC 314 Action Fund, which has called itself the “pro-science resistance” to the White House.

Additionally, Fox News has reviewed a Facebook page apparently belonging to Wanda, which was first identified by the Twitter user Techno Fog. “Your psycho prez is in [t]own, are you going to see him?” Wanda wrote on Facebook on Feb. 19, by way of wishing a friend a happy birthday. Trump was in town at a rally in Phoenix, Ariz., on that day.

She administered the chloroquine to her husband. This wife was the only person who hates Trump who listened to Trump, by giving her husband chloroquine-based fish tank cleaner.

Nothing suspicious about that at all.

P.P.S. If you like this post, you’ll love Hoaxed Movie. Watch it here today.

 

 

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Is “Kung Flu” the latest Media Hoax?

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Several White House reporters confronted Trump regarding his decision to call the coronavirus (or COVID-19) the China Virus.  One reporter asked him about a White House administration official who is alleged to have called the coronavirus Kung Flu.

When the reporter was asked the name of the official, the reporter said she didn’t know.

The original claim regarding Kung Flu comes from CBS reporter Weijia Jiang. On March 17th, she Tweeted:

This morning a White House official referred to #Coronavirus as the “Kung-Flu” to my face. Makes me wonder what they’re calling it behind my back.

Ms. Jiang has not identified the official.

One reason could be because this official does not even exist.

Under American defamation law, you can lie all you like.

You can’t lie about a person by name.

If no White House official called the coronavirus Kung Flu, or if there is some important context missing, then Jiang could be sued.

You can watch the Kung Flu exchange in this video here:

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The Stafford Act Text Message Announcing an Emergency Quarantine is a Hoax

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By now you or someone you know has received a hoax text announcing martial law. With some minor variations, the texts all read the same:

  • In 48 to 72 hours the president will evoke what is called the Stafford act. Just got off the phone with some of my military friends in DC who just got out of a two hour briefing. The president will order a two week mandatory quarantine for the nation. Stock up on whatever you guys need to make sure you have a two week supply of everything. Please forward.

 

The National Security Council issued a rare public statement warning the public that the Stafford act text was a hoax.

How can you tell the Stafford Act Text is a Hoax?

Even if you refuse to accept the NSC’s word on the matter, the text message has some telltale signs of a hoax.

First, the text promises secret insider knowledge. “Just got off the phone with some of my military friends in DC who just got out of a two hour briefing.” This is a vague enough proclamation that it sounds plausible.

Second, no specifics of these friends are given. Who are these friends? Why did they call this specific person?

Third, the hoaxers ask you to spread the message. Why would anyone acting in good faith want to incite a panic?

If an emergency quarantine were able to be declared, the plan would be Top Secret. No one’s friends would just get out of a briefing and start alerting people. THEY WOULD GO TO PRISON FOR LEAKING CLASSIFIED INFORMATION.

If such an emergency plan were in the works and higher command wanted the story to get out, they’d leak it to a credible outlet. Not share chain-letter style text messages.

There’s also tradecraft involved in sharing classified information.

None of the telltale signs (and no I won’t share how to leak classified secrets here) were present in that alert.

UPDATE: Other outlets are now reporting that the Stafford Act text is a foreign disinformation campaign:

The Trump administration is alleging that a foreign disinformation campaign is underway aimed at spreading fear in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic, three U.S. officials said Monday. On Sunday, federal officials began confronting what they said was a deliberate effort by a foreign entity to sow fears of a nationwide quarantine amid the virus outbreak.

Agencies took coordinated action Sunday evening to deny that any such plans were put in place, as they tried to calm a nation already on edge by disruptions to daily life caused by the virus.

 

——-

Read More about Mike Cernovich here.

Who is Mike Cernovich?

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