Archive for the ‘NC/DC’ Category

Yo Mama is a Philosopher

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

Fat Buddha

Originally uploaded by Pete Mandik.

Neural Correlates of David Chalmers‘ drummer Richard Brown posted the following philosophical Yo Mama jokes at the NC/DC myspace page:

-Yo mama is so fat, she is the truth-maker for ‘your mama is fat’

-Yo mama is so dumb, she thinks the trancendental deduction is a tax break for club kids

-Yo mama is so fat, when she introspects her mental states she finds food

-Yo mama is so dumb, she thinks lost rigidity can be fixed with viagra

-Yo mama is so fat, her formal cause is the Fat

-Yo mama is so dumb, she thinks undetached rabit parts are what she uses to make rabbit stew

-Yo mama is so fat that when she sits around the house, she sits AROUND the house in every possible world

-Yo mama is so dumb, she thinks ‘the T-schema’ refers to the Boston Tea Party

-Yo mama is so fat that she accelerates at more than 9.8 m/s/s and so if yo mama and a bowling ball were both dropped from the Empire State building at he same time she would hit the ground first

-If you understand any of these jokes, then P(Ex) (Philosopher(x) & x=you (yes, you)); i.e. you might be a philosopher

NC/DC: Now With More Qualia

Friday, September 1st, 2006

NC/DC (The Neural Correlates of David Chalmers) now has a page with pics and tunes on MySpace. See, hear, and (raw) feel the awesome.

Fig 1. NC/DC logo by Richard Brown.

Consciousness, Data, Electricity, and Rock

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

There’s been some interesting discussion over at Dave Chalmers’ blog (Fragments of Consciousness) on the falsifiability or lack thereof of various theories of consciousness (in particular, Chalmers’ and Dennett’s). (See this, this, this, this, and this.) A paraphrase of the main question I’m interested in right now might go something like this:

What data, either first-person accessible or third-person-accessible, are predicted by your theory that could conceivably/possibly fail to obtain?

Since that wasn’t exactly the question put to Chalmers, it wouldn’t be exactly correct to say that he answered that there are none. I think, however, that’s something like the spirit of his responses, but don’t take my word for it, follow the links above and judge for yourself.

Re: data and consciousness, Eric Schwitzgebel has no shortage of interesting things to say about introspection over at his blog (The Splintered Mind). See, for example, his recent post on afterimages and weigh in on the question of whether conscious experience always involves afterimages (and how you would know).

Re: afterimages and falsifiability again, one pretty sweet thing about various versions of psychoneural identity theory is that they do predict falsifiable data about consciousness. And not just third-person accessible data. Paul Churchland makes an excellent case for one such account in his recent “Chimerical Colors: Some Novel Predictions from Cognitive Neuroscience” in which very odd color experiences are predicted by a neural model of chromatic information processing. In brief, the differential fatiguing and recovery of opponent processing cells gives rise to afterimages with subjective hues and saturations that would never be seen on the surfaces of reflective objects. Such “chimerical colors” include shades of yellow exactly as dark as pitch-black and “hyperbolic orange, an orange that is more ‘ostentatiously orange’ than any (non-self-luminous) orange you have ever seen, or ever will see, as the objective color of a physical object” (p. 328). Such odd experiences are predicted by a model that identifies color experiences with states of neural activation in a chromatic processing network. Of course, it’s always open to the dualist to make an ad hoc  addition of such experiences to their theory, but no dualistic theory ever predicted them. Further, the sorts of considerations typically relied on to support dualism—appeals to intuitive plausibility and a priori possibility—would have, you’d expect, ruled them out. (Seriously, a yellow as dark as black? Whodathunkit?)

A video of Churchland lecturing on the topic is available here.

In other news, unless there are massive blackouts (or chimerically dark yellow-outs) in New York, NC/DC (the Neural Correlates of David Chalmers) is playing tonight. And if there are massive blackouts in New York tonight, don’t blame us.

Fig 1. This is not Paul Churchland’s hyperbolic orange. A Churchlandish orange is more ostentatiously orange than that.

Fig 2. The cover art to Spinal Tap’s album, Brain-Hammer. Q: Why is Schwitzgebel’s  mind splintered and Chalmers’ consciousness fragmented? A: The Brain Hammer, baby.

Churchland, Paul. 2005. “Chimerical Colors: Some Novel Predictions from Cognitive Neuroscience.” In: Brook, Andrew and Akins, Kathleen (eds.) Cognition and the Brain: The Philosophy and Neuroscience Movement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

See also: The Phenomenal Consciousness of Inexistent Colors, Paul Churchland book,  Cognition  and the Brain

NC/DC Rocks!

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

Tonight, in a secret basement in Brooklyn, is the third meeting of the rock band, The Neural Correlates of David Chalmers (NC/DC).

NC/DC’s all-philosopher line-up inlcudes Josh Weisberg, Pete Mandik, Peter Langland-Hassan, David Pereplyotchik, Russell Marcus, Jean-David Lafrance, Richard Brown, and Doug Meehan.

Band photgrapher Jared Blank posted some pics of our first session here.

Update (Sept. 1, 2006): NC/DC invades MySpace. See, hear, and feel the awesome.