Monthly Archives: June 2011

If meaning depends on thought, does that mean that when I stop thinking life becomes meaningless?

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Posted by on June 19, 2011 in Food for thought, Meaning



Priming shared human experiences may reduce prejudice, even in the face of existential fears

Science direct


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Certain people* appear to have an integrity which is bound up with a fixed ideology. This seems evident in their honesty and political incorrectness. But might it be possible to have integrity without ideology?
Greenspan on Iraq:

Greenspan on the economy:

An alternative view:

* Ron Paul too?

A belief: “To exist you need an ideology”. Here espoused by Alan Greenspan –

If you can’t ‘exist’ without an ideology – then when it fails you can’t dramatically alter it – you are restricted to merely admitting some of its shortcomings:

The Greenspan ideology:

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Posted by on June 6, 2011 in Politics


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Consciousness we’ve got, free-will probably not, and neither seem to do a lot

Free-will and consciousness are both strikingly different and curiously similar:

Difference: Its very difficult to demonstrate scientifically that free-will exists, but we certainly know (e.g. from Descartes and others) that consciousness exists.

Similarity: Neither seem to have any purpose; presumably evolution would proceed quite naturally without them.



He does not accept himself
In order to make himself
Acceptable to himself

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Posted by on June 6, 2011 in Food for thought, Poem


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Quantifying Mindfulness:
+ Sense of well being (Farb (in press))
+ Visual Search (Anderson, 2007)
– Boredom (Carriere, 2008; Cheyne, 2006)
+ Tolerance for negative affect (Arch & Craske, 2006)
– Attentional capture from negative stimuli (Ortner, 2007)
+ motivational resilience (Levesque & Warren Brown, 2007)
+ Ability to follow one’s own intentions (Chatzisarantis & Hagger, 2007)
– hasty encoding (Herndon, 2008)

Click to access Farb_2010_Freiburg.pdf

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Posted by on June 6, 2011 in Spirituality



Three types of meaningfulness/aliveness:

1 ‘Thinking’ is fascinating, but what are thoughts and what is reality? And if thoughts/beliefs/values give you ‘meaning’, you must defend those thoughts

2 ‘Emotion’: Drama can make you feel alive, but without it there’s meaningless boredom

3 ‘Consciousness’: the ‘capacity to experience’ is taken to be the source of meaningfulness, not its contents e.g. thought and emotion


Boredom while running

So many people say they get ‘bored’ when they run. (Could running be used as an experimental ‘boredom’ manipulation?) But what about people who do enjoy running? Perhaps its because they are running with other people or they are listening to music. But if they are running alone and without music, perhaps they are unintentionally engaging in some type of mindfulness practice e.g. a type ‘mindfulness of body/nature’?


Analogy as the Core of Cognition – talk by Douglas Hofstadter:

(Especially for those who enjoy ‘blending words’ i.e. Benji, the rest of the de Burca’s and others who have picked up the disease from them 😉 )

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Posted by on June 6, 2011 in Linguistics, Psychology


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Apophatic science: An attempt to assist in experiencing ultimate reality by developing scientific (largely psychological/neuroscientific) insights into and models of the mental processes which inhibit this experience. Apophatic science is a complement to apophatic theology which attempts – through non-scientific means – to achieve unity with ultimate reality, by gaining knowledge of what ultimate reality is not.

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