Susan Blackmore

 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
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12 January 2009 07:32
 

Has anybody read any of her work? Recommendations? I was thinking about the ‘Meme Machine’ Sounds interesting. She has more recent work out on consciousness but I doubt anything new is exposed in than realm.

 
 
Lapin Diabolique
 
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Lapin Diabolique
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12 January 2009 09:23
 

I have always liked Susan, especially her vitriolic broadsides aimed at the woo-woo crowd.
I have read perhaps a third of her thesis: “Extrasensory Perception as a Cognitive Process”, but found it to be a bit of a harangue and wanting in coherence.

I won’t join the choir of, mostly epicene, buzz-cut females, who herald her as the sibyl of our time, but I’d suggest to read her very witty and scathing expose of the priesthood ‘The masturbating monk’.
It’s published by Penguin but you can easily get a free PDF version off the Web by Googling it.

 
 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
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12 January 2009 10:15
 

Thanks Sanderman. I may check that out. She sounds like a hoot!

I think she did away with the red hair though.

 
 
Lapin Diabolique
 
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Lapin Diabolique
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12 January 2009 10:57
 
McCreason - 12 January 2009 03:15 PM

Thanks Sanderman. I may check that out. She sounds like a hoot!

I think she did away with the red hair though.

You are very welcome.

Also, please peruse her musings on the gullibility of (wo)men, in her missive ‘Trundling the Tabernacle of Titillating Titties into the Tawdry Twilight’.

It is a classic.

 
 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
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12 January 2009 11:01
 

Or the 7 T’s of Eve?

 
 
isocratic infidel
 
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isocratic infidel
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13 January 2009 01:32
 

Sander: Also, please peruse her musings on the gullibility of (wo)men, in her missive ‘Trundling the Tabernacle of Titillating Titties into the Tawdry Twilight’.

It is a classic.

Damn that Susan B… first she steals the whole meme concept from Dawkins and writes an entire book, and then she changes the title of the biography she wrote about me boobies from ‘The Tabernacle of Titillating and Trundling Titties into the Tawdry Twilight’ to ‘Trundling the Tabernacle of Titillating Titties into the Tawdry Twilight.’

It is a classic though.

 
 
burt
 
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burt
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13 January 2009 07:54
 

Susan is a delightful person and her books are always interesting and informative.  But you know, of course, that there is nobody home there…

 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
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13 January 2009 09:01
 

Nobody home you say? Sounds like my kind of gal!

 
 
Randall Lee Reetz
 
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Randall Lee Reetz
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10 March 2020 21:05
 

Weird how we use the word Atheist interchangeably with rationalist. In Blackmore’s case, atheist does NOT mean rationalist. Her topic du jour “consciousness” is itself so completely anti-rational that it really doesn’t serve anyone to advance a more detailed criticism. Yet here I am ready to do just that. If one entity has this “consciousness” property, that would only be interesting if other entities could be shown not to. That is the binary form of the attribute that Blackmore and indeed all other advocates of consciousness seem to advocate. But why? Why is this so important to “consciousness” nutters? I’m guessing its just another manifestation of the same existential anxiety that has resulted in all forms of belief… i.e. just another way to assert special, preferred, chosen, entitled status. A separator. A membership badge. Tribal identity. A means of self assurance. In my experience, people that I have met who are interested in “consciousness” are interested in “consciousness” for the exact same reasons that people are interested in gods and spirits and hidden dimensions and superpowers and exceptionality and specialness and ascendence and immortality and omnipotence and alliance to power and providence and prophecy and seers… etc. The people I have met who seek after “consciousness” are to a person the people who have suffered some sort of extreme and early life truama (oh, and importantly, won’t talk about it). Consciousness is nothing more than structural momentum, nothing more than the fact that an entity is more or less the same entity as time goes by. As 2nd Law demanded entropy works its necessary ways on all structures. I am quite sure that “consciousness” when promoted by existentialists, is simply a secret decoder ring, a membership badge, a means of telling oneself “I am special” or “I am better than you because I have this secret sauce and you don’t!”. But its clear that self-awareness, theory of mind, is, at its base, just an elaborate example of the glue that holds a structure together over some epoch of time. An entity, by definition, can only exist if it is at some point later in time what it was at some point earlier in time. To accomplish thing-ness, an entity must remain that thing it was. Remaining a thing is the result of some sort of forces holding parts together. Importantly, it means holding only some parts together. Selectively. Something about a thing has to know what things are to be held together and what things not to. In the end, a thing is a thing because it knows where it ends and everything not it begins. “Knowing” in this sense could mean a thought about self, or it could simply mean a covalent bond acting on proximal molecules and atoms that happen to have the right electromagnetic charge and polarity. At any rate, obsession on the capacity to remain you, well it isn’t exactly special. Rocks do it, planets do it, atoms do it, worms with no brains at all do it. Evolution would certainly select for entities that have the capacity to know, to be damed sure, of what was them and what wasn’t. Entities that don’t know where they end are likely to expend finite resources defending and tending to the structural integrity of things very much not them. You certainly don’t need a big brain to do it. Unfortunately, having a big brain, might cause some entities to fraudulently assign structural momentum qualities (“qualia”?) that have nothing at all to do with holding us together. Ultimately, rationality can’t compete with the overwrought needs of a person who has experienced childhood trauma. Sad but true. That childhood trauma exacts so high a price on our capacity to reason, should entice us to build up any and all protection against it ever being visited on future generations. Yet we seem either not to care or not to care enough to proactively prevent the conditions (poverty, exclusion, illness, tragedy) that lead to trauma. Next time someone talks of “consciousness”, think long and hard about the motives driving that person to choose the topic.

[ Edited: 10 March 2020 21:18 by Randall Lee Reetz]
 
 
burt
 
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burt
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11 March 2020 08:10
 
Randall Lee Reetz - 10 March 2020 09:05 PM

Weird how we use the word Atheist interchangeably with rationalist. In Blackmore’s case, atheist does NOT mean rationalist. Her topic du jour “consciousness” is itself so completely anti-rational that it really doesn’t serve anyone to advance a more detailed criticism. Yet here I am ready to do just that. If one entity has this “consciousness” property, that would only be interesting if other entities could be shown not to. That is the binary form of the attribute that Blackmore and indeed all other advocates of consciousness seem to advocate. But why? Why is this so important to “consciousness” nutters? I’m guessing its just another manifestation of the same existential anxiety that has resulted in all forms of belief… i.e. just another way to assert special, preferred, chosen, entitled status. A separator. A membership badge. Tribal identity. A means of self assurance. In my experience, people that I have met who are interested in “consciousness” are interested in “consciousness” for the exact same reasons that people are interested in gods and spirits and hidden dimensions and superpowers and exceptionality and specialness and ascendence and immortality and omnipotence and alliance to power and providence and prophecy and seers… etc. The people I have met who seek after “consciousness” are to a person the people who have suffered some sort of extreme and early life truama (oh, and importantly, won’t talk about it). Consciousness is nothing more than structural momentum, nothing more than the fact that an entity is more or less the same entity as time goes by. As 2nd Law demanded entropy works its necessary ways on all structures. I am quite sure that “consciousness” when promoted by existentialists, is simply a secret decoder ring, a membership badge, a means of telling oneself “I am special” or “I am better than you because I have this secret sauce and you don’t!”. But its clear that self-awareness, theory of mind, is, at its base, just an elaborate example of the glue that holds a structure together over some epoch of time. An entity, by definition, can only exist if it is at some point later in time what it was at some point earlier in time. To accomplish thing-ness, an entity must remain that thing it was. Remaining a thing is the result of some sort of forces holding parts together. Importantly, it means holding only some parts together. Selectively. Something about a thing has to know what things are to be held together and what things not to. In the end, a thing is a thing because it knows where it ends and everything not it begins. “Knowing” in this sense could mean a thought about self, or it could simply mean a covalent bond acting on proximal molecules and atoms that happen to have the right electromagnetic charge and polarity. At any rate, obsession on the capacity to remain you, well it isn’t exactly special. Rocks do it, planets do it, atoms do it, worms with no brains at all do it. Evolution would certainly select for entities that have the capacity to know, to be damed sure, of what was them and what wasn’t. Entities that don’t know where they end are likely to expend finite resources defending and tending to the structural integrity of things very much not them. You certainly don’t need a big brain to do it. Unfortunately, having a big brain, might cause some entities to fraudulently assign structural momentum qualities (“qualia”?) that have nothing at all to do with holding us together. Ultimately, rationality can’t compete with the overwrought needs of a person who has experienced childhood trauma. Sad but true. That childhood trauma exacts so high a price on our capacity to reason, should entice us to build up any and all protection against it ever being visited on future generations. Yet we seem either not to care or not to care enough to proactively prevent the conditions (poverty, exclusion, illness, tragedy) that lead to trauma. Next time someone talks of “consciousness”, think long and hard about the motives driving that person to choose the topic.

You don’t know what you are talking about, but are certainly trying to defend something. Look at your own trauma.