"

The extended mind theory doesn’t just change the way we think about the mind. It also changes how we judge what’s good and bad about today’s mind-altering technologies. There’s nothing unnatural about relying on the Internet—Google and all—for information. After all, we are constantly consulting the world around us like a kind of visual Wikipedia. Nor is there anything bad about our brains’ being altered by these new technologies, any more than there is something bad about a monkey’s brain changing as it learns how to play with a rake.

Neuroscientists will soon be able to offer fresh ways to enhance our brains, whether with drugs or with implants. To say that these are immoral because they defile our true selves—our isolated, distinct minds—is to ignore biology. Our minds already extend out into the environment, and the changes we make to the environment already alter our minds.

That doesn’t mean we must approve of every possible extension of the mind, and even good extensions will have some drawbacks. Socrates worried that writing would make people forgetful and unwise. Sure enough, writing did rob us of some gifts, such as the ability to recite epic poems like The Iliad from memory. But it also created a much larger pool of knowledge from which people could draw, a pool that has continued to expand.

"
1 year ago | Permalink
" Take, for example, the aesthetic sense. We like and understand Beethoven because we are humans, with a particular, genetically determined mental constitution. But that same human nature also means there are other conceivable forms of aesthetic expression that will be totally meaningless to us. The same thing is as true for art as it is for science: the fact that we can understand and appreciate certain kinds of art has a flip side. There must be all kinds of domains of artistic achievement that are beyond our mind’s capacities to understand. "
2 years ago | Permalink
so i labeled this fish’s neurons with fluorescent protein
SCIENCE

so i labeled this fish’s neurons with fluorescent protein

SCIENCE

texas, last year

texas, last year

" Science pursues the common-sense assumption that the natural world is a multiplicity of individual things and events by attempting to describe these units as accurately and minutely as possible. Because science is above all analytic in its way of describing things, it seems at first to disconnect them more than ever. Its experiments are the study of carefully isolated situations, designed to exclude influences that cannot be measured or controlled—as when one studies falling bodies in a vacuum to cut out the friction of the air. But for this reason the scientist understands better than anyone else just how inseparable things are. The more he tried to cut out external influences upon an experimental situation, the more he discovers new ones, hitherto unsuspected. The more carefully he describes the motion of a given particle, the more he finds himself describing also the space in which it moves. The realization that all things are inseparably related is in proportion to one’s effort to make them clearly distinct. Science therefore surpasses the common-sense point of view from which it begins, coming to speak of things and events as properties of the “fields” in which they occur. But this is simply a theoretical description of a state of affairs which, in these forms of Eastern Mysticism, is directly sensed. As soon as this is clear, we have a sound basis for meeting of minds between East and West which could be remarkably fruitful. "
Alan Watts, The Joyous Cosmology (via infinity-imagined)

(Source: commondense, via infinity-imagined)

2 years ago | Permalink
biocanvas:

Primary spermatocytes (early sperm cells) undergoing cellular division.
Image by Dr. Rudolf Oldenbourg and James LaFountain.

biocanvas:

Primary spermatocytes (early sperm cells) undergoing cellular division.

Image by Dr. Rudolf Oldenbourg and James LaFountain.

(via infinity-imagined)

2 years ago | Permalink
note to self (lung carcinoma), april 2012
most recent work finished, or something
rwolfson/processes

note to self (lung carcinoma), april 2012

most recent work finished, or something

rwolfson/processes

infinity-imagined:

A capillary just wide enough for a single red blood cell.

infinity-imagined:

A capillary just wide enough for a single red blood cell.

also this neuron painting is STILL NOT GOING ANYWHERE
/dying

also this neuron painting is STILL NOT GOING ANYWHERE

/dying

this is awful, but i love it.

this is awful, but i love it.

(Source: , via cmeyerr-deactivated20120926)

" Lignin, the stuff that prevents all trees from adopting the weeping habit, is a polymer made up of units that are closely related to vanillin. When made into paper and stored for years, it breaks down and smells good. Which is how divine providence has arranged for secondhand bookstores to smell like good quality vanilla absolute, subliminally stoking a hunger for knowledge in all of us. "

Why secondhand bookstores smell good 

Perfumes: The Guide (via YMFY)

(Source: bookshelfporn, via mudwerks)

2 years ago | Permalink
Damien HirstStripteaser, 2000Stainless steel and glass cabinet with two skeleons and medical instruments

Damien Hirst
Stripteaser, 2000
Stainless steel and glass cabinet with two skeleons and medical instruments

theme