Alva Noë appears in the following:
Sunday, March 20, 2016
Friday, March 11, 2016
Friday, March 04, 2016
Carlo Rovelli's Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, originally published as a series of essays in an Italian newspaper, was just released in book form in the U.S. on March 1. I read the book by the noted physicist in a single sitting with pleasure and mounting excitement.
It is ...
Friday, February 26, 2016
Santiago Ramón y Cajal wanted to be an artist. His dad wanted him to study medicine and encouraged him to draw cadavers at the graveyard.
The rest is history.
In 1906, he shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine with the Italian biologist Camillo Golgi. Golgi had found a ...
Friday, February 19, 2016
What is art? Why does it matter to us? What does it tell us about ourselves?
It's something of the rage these days to turn to neuroscience for answers.
Neuroscience, after all, it is widely believed, holds the key to our very nature as conscious beings. I've been skeptical of ...
Friday, February 12, 2016
The answer as to whether a DNA test can tell you your ethnic identity? Yes — and no.
We know that, when it comes to DNA, geography matters. Although in principle anyone can mate with anyone else, in practice we tend to mate with people nearby. If we could assemble ...
Sunday, February 07, 2016
It is one of the great ironies of biology that sometimes breakthroughs seem to come when it is supposed that its problems have less to do with the body, which is pulsing, hot, and wet, and more to do with information processing, which is dry and computational.
To give an ...
Friday, January 29, 2016
Consider these facts, culled from writings here:
- You share no DNA with the vast majority of your ancestors.
- You have more ancestors — hundreds a few generations back, thousands in just a millennium — than you have sections of DNA.
- You have 64 great-great-great-great-grandparents — but if you ...
Friday, January 22, 2016
For the holidays, I bought my science-loving 11-year-old tickets to "An evening with Neil deGrasse Tyson" at the Orpheum Theater in San Francisco. The big night was last Friday.
Some intellectuals bring out the immense complexity behind simple phenomena and others, like the estimable Dr. Tyson, excel at bringing complicated ...
Friday, January 08, 2016
We don't know why our ancestors made paintings deep inside caves in France and Spain as long ago as 30,000 years ago.
Was it to celebrate or tabulate or hallucinate or worship? We can only speculate. This much is pretty sure, though. The caves, inaccessible now, were — or ...
Wednesday, January 06, 2016
Lumosity, a "brain games" company, has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission deceptive advertising suit.
According to Jessica Rich, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, the brain-fitness company, "preyed on consumers' fears about age-related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory ...
Friday, January 01, 2016
With Christmas time, as one writer said in The New York Times, comes "Nutcracker" time.
There are probably more than a dozen professional productions of The Nutcracker here in California alone. And who's to say how many local school and amateur productions there are, such as the truly delightful ...
Friday, December 18, 2015
I love my battered old copy of The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English. I've rarely needed to look up a word that I can't find in there.
Take, for example, the word "word." Its primary definition, according to the Concise Oxford, is:
"Any sound or combination of sounds ...
Friday, December 11, 2015
Do you remember being bored as a kid? I do.
I remember long stretches of unstructured time with nothing to do. Time reduced to a kind of metronome, second after second, or sensation after sensation. I remember being confronted by the irritating sense that I was trapped, caught, in unending ...
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Sunday, December 06, 2015
On PBS's Newshour last week, Jon Schull, a research scientist at the Rochester Institute of Technology, made some points about disability.
He said that in a world with lots of small print, the inability to see fine detail is a disability (though some might consider it minor in the ...
Friday, November 20, 2015
My plane touched down in Chicago some time after 5 p.m. local time last Friday. I had almost two hours to spare before making my connection. But the plane was late and others on board were anxious.
The couple behind me had less than an hour to catch a flight ...
Friday, November 13, 2015
For some time now, I've been skeptical about the neuroscience of consciousness. Not so much because I doubt that consciousness is affected by neural states and processes, but because of the persistent tendency on the part of some neuroscientists to think of consciousness itself as a neural phenomenon.
Nothing epitomizes ...
Friday, November 06, 2015
The Struma was sunk by a Soviet torpedo in February 1942 as it sought to carry its cargo of Romanian Jews to safe harbor in what was then called Palestine by way of the Black Sea.
This terrible event isn't very well remembered today, but it marked the lives ...
Sunday, November 01, 2015
If you watch the World Series tonight, you'll notice that if Matt Harvey, the Mets pitcher, reaches a two strike count against one of the Royals batters, the whole stadium — as if with a single mind — will rise to its feet and roar with excitement and encouragement.