I think that consciousness is the way information feels when being processed in certain complex ways.
Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?
The simple but revolutionary truth presented to us by neuroscience over the last century or so is the affirmation that we are not looking out of windows in our heads at the material world. It becomes obvious after only a moment's thought that what we are living through, every nanosecond of our lives, is a brainmade experience. It would seem then that we are in effect "dreaming" the world into existence, the inventions of the brain only being kept in some kind of equilibrium with our environment by a constant flow of changing information delivered by our senses. We only know that we are in the world by, as it were, tripping over pieces of matter and constantly altering and updating the "dream".
The cat does not offer services. The cat offers itself. Of course he wants care and shelter. You don't buy love for nothing.
He is like the fox, who effaces his tracks in the sand with his tail.
What Orwell failed to predict is that we'd buy the cameras ourselves, and that our biggest fear would be that nobody was watching.
We came out here dressed in t-shirts and doing hula-hoops, they started gassing us.
We came back with respirators, they started shooting us.
We came back with vests, they started aiming for the head.
So we started wearing helmets.
And now they call us terrorists.
Who's escalating this? It's not us.
You know, when I was in Germany, one of the most fascinating things to me is, you know, giving a lecture there about the death penalty and having German scholars stand up at the end of the lecture saying, well, of course, we can't have the death penalty in Germany. They said, it would be unconscionable if we had gas chambers somewhere where we were executing people, given our history. And then I thought about that on my flight back home. And I thought, what would I do if I were living at a time where Germany was executing people in gas chambers?
And then what would I do if the people they were executing were disproportionately Jewish? I couldn't be silent about that. And yet we live at a time in America where we have these execution chambers that are disproportionately being used to execute black people after just coming out of this era where we tolerated lynching. And I just think, until we make the - that connection, until we understand that legacy, we can't have an informed conversation about what we're doing.
"In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread."
"If a car has faulty brakes, you fix the breaks. If the brakes are not fixable, you put the car in the garage for the rest of the time, and your primary responsibility is to make sure this car with the faulty brakes doesn't hurt anybody. But nobody is saying you're punishing the car. Nobody is accusing your car of having a moral failing. Somehow, we have to reach that mindset."
If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have paradise in a few years.
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.
I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag.
Political or military commentators, like astrologers, can survive almost any mistake, because their more devoted followers do not look to them for an appraisal of the facts but for the stimulation of nationalistic loyalties.