Ten Years in America

According to my passport, as of August 5th, I have lived in America for 10 years. Somehow, no profound thoughts occur to me. When I try to look back, no grand ethnographic synthesis or thick description suggests itself. Perhaps all the profound observations about America have already been made by Alexis de Tocqueville and the The Simpsons.

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July 2007 Roundup

The first month of operation turned out to be pretty exciting. Ribbonfarm.com went from zero to 17 articles at a brisk average pace of just over an article every two days. The business, economics, philosophy and thinking themes saw the most development, which sort of surprised me, since I’d assumed I’d be able to develop the science and technology themes the fastest. Here is an article-by-article overview of the action, with highlights of the comments section, and for those of you prefer listening to reading, my first ever experiment with podcasting. The podcast provides an overview commentary of the first month’s activity on the site, and also has a sneak preview of upcoming action. It’s going to take me a while to learn this game, so you can have some fun sniggering at my umms, aahs and run on sentences in the meantime.

July 2007 Roundup (22 minutes, 20 MB)
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Framing the Consciousness Debates

What David Chalmers calls the “Hard Problem” of consciousness has been among the main reasons I started this blog. If you view it honestly, it is the last remaining fundamental mystery and, were I to be as extreme as Camus in The Myth of Sisyphus, I would go so far as to label it the only problem worth studying (Camus said that about suicide though). I meant to segue into this topic slowly, by first posting reviews of a bunch of relevant books as anchor points for my views, but blog readers have an unsettling habit of jumping the gun, and derailing the best-laid roll-out plan with untidy comments. So here we go. I’ll frame and circumscribe my approach, state my axiomatic commitments, bluntly partition the landscape into the relevant and irrelevant, and we’ll get set for exploring the Last Great Mystery.

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