The Myth of the Transparent Window, preface

For the post following this one to make any sense, there’s something that I first need to convince you of: you are living in a simulation.

I don’t mean that you’re a brain in a vat or a human battery, though either scenario may in fact be true. I’ll grant that you’re a real person in the real world interacting with real things — and you’re still living in a simulation. We all are.

Neurophysiologist Sir John Eccles described it beautifully (and I’m desperate to find a source for this)...

Posted at 2pm on 04/28/12 | 2 comments | Filed Under: Perception read on

Lifting Dinner’s Veil

In the past year I’ve been trying to reduce the friction between my diet and my ethics. Among other things, this has meant becoming a vegetarian. I knew about the horrors of meat production when I was younger but I felt helpless to do anything about it, so I let the idea of forgoing meat gather cobwebs on the “things I’ll allow myself to think about someday” shelf. Finally I’ve been inspired to dust it off, and the change has relieved almost as much intellectual and emotional tension as did the sloughing of my old New Age belief set. Denial is a fascinating thing to observe in yourself once you’ve become aware of it.

I’ve noticed since I made the change that there’s a great deal of overlap between the vegetarian/vegan communities and the New Age community...

Posted at 10pm on 03/31/10 | 14 comments | Filed Under: Miscellaneous read on

On Other Ways of Knowing, part 2

Continuing on the subject of my doubts about the presence of ESP in human beings, I’ve come up with three basic categories that the various psychic senses fall under. Each one needs to be validated a little differently — if it can be validated at all — so I wanted to address them one by one.

ESP of the Commonly Accessible

Most claims of ESP seem to be of this sort. The psychic has access to additional information about something in the physical world that an average person doesn’t. Abilities that fall into this category include aura reading, precognition, psychometry, dowsing, and remote viewing...

Posted at 9pm on 04/30/09 | 1 comment | Filed Under: Belief & Knowledge read on